Hi there,

Happy to report that the campaign is getting some coverage in the media, especially for our cryptocurrency donations. Check out the Wall Street Journal’s BitBeat blogBitCoinNews.com, and bitcoin news by coinsetter.com. There was also a really thoughtful piece on the campaign by Rhodri Davies who writes a blog on philanthropy for GivingTought.org.

Nice to know people are noticing our campaign. Keep up the hard work, everybody.  Ebola has now infected more than 10,000 people in West Africa. We need to do everything we can to turn the tide. Spread the word to stop the spread of Ebola.

Best,

Karin

Hi there,

Some of you are no doubt wondering what those funky squares are on the sidebar of our site. They’re called QR codes, and they make it possible for people who use cryptocurrency to make donations to the campaign. Now, I’m no expert on digital currencies, so I’m not going to try to explain it here. For that, you should really check out Wikipedia. However, what I can tell you, is that we have had quite a few donations, valued in excess of $1000, from individuals who use this type of money. We have even received contributions from a philanthropic Chinese Dogecoin organizationinterested in helping the cause.

Regardless of where the support comes from, it’s great to see everyone pulling together on behalf of Doctors Without Borders (MSF). They are on the frontlines of this epidemic and need all the help they can get.

Best,

Karin

Hi there,

Everything was going swimmingly until 9:30 pm–63 1/2 hours into my Challenge–I briefly let down my guard. While reaching for my husband’s beverage, I ever so briefly brushed his hand. Aargh! My 11 year-old son made this video of the coin toss that followed.

Alas, things did not turn out well for me. But, since this is a virtual simulation, not the deadly, real world of Ebola, I get another chance. Tomorrow I will try again and see if I can last longer.

Best,

Karin

Hi there,

Welcome to our 16 new fundraisers and new team. We are so glad to have you with us.

In contrast to yesterday’s headiness, today was marked by challenges. First, people are sharing their stories of trying (and failing) to go without touch. Children, it seems, are the downfall for this Challenge. Even when old enough to understand that their parents are avoiding skin-to-skin contact, they are inclined to forget in the moment. This difficulty speaks to how we all normally take the ability to touch and be touched for granted in our daily lives and reminds us of the struggle of those in West Africa for whom the avoidance of touch has become a necessary survival strategy.

Second, there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to get done. Press releases to be mailed, emails to be sent, phone calls to be made, tweets to be tweeted, posts to be posted–it’s a lot for one small group of volunteers. For this reason, we are counting on you–our supporters–to help us spread the word about the campaign. Take to email, Twitter, Facebook, or the social media delivery system of your choice and let people know that now is the time to act.

As a reminder of why we are doing this and why it is so vitally important to move with the utmost speed, I leave you with the following piece from the New York Times: Heart-Rending Test in Ebola Zone—A Baby.

Best,

Karin

Hi there,
Another thrilling day on the campaign trail. It’s wonderful to see all the hard work of the last few weeks paying off. Here are a few highlights from the day:

  1. Eight new individual fundraisers
  2. One new team
  3. Over 500 page views
  4. Nearly $10,000 raised. Special thanks to Mehran & Heather Sahami for their $5000 donation!
  5. First media coverage
  6. We are now accepting Bitcoin!

As for my Challenge progress, here are a few highlights:

  1.  I managed to avoid touching anyone
  2.  Lasted longer than my husband, Bob, who patted our youngest son on the head three minutes after starting the Challenge
  3.  Lasted longer than my dear friend, Mehran, who accidentally forgot and shook a student’s hand in class
  4.  Almost, but not quite, high-fived Bob when our Reddit post hit 800 followers
  5.  Blew a kiss to my son because I couldn’t hug him good-night

So far so good on all fronts. Check back in tomorrow for more news.
Best,
Karin

Hi there,

A number of people have expressed confusion about the way to create fundraising pages and join teams. Since it is important to get this ironed out before our big launch tomorrow, here is a step-by-step guide to take you through the process. If you have any further questions, please let me know in the comment section below or at karin@adaywithouttouch.org.

To make a donation without taking the Challenge, just click on the “Donate” button on any page and follow the instructions.

To take the Challenge by yourself or with a team, you must first create a personal fundraising page:

1. Go to the home page at www.adaywithouttouch.org

2. Click on the tiny  “+Create fundraising page” link in the upper right corner or scroll down the page and click on the large, red “create a fundraising page” button on the side bar.

3. Follow the directions on the screen.

4. Once your page is finished, you can join an existing team or create your own by clicking on the “Team” link in the left side bar of your fundraising page dashboard. Click on a team to join or click the “create team” button to make your own.

5. After you log out, you can log back in at any time by clicking on the “Manage my page” link in the upper right corner of the home page.

Hope that helps. Feel free to leave comments requesting further clarification below.

Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, hopefully we can have a little fun with the kick-off tomorrow. Be sure to check back in tomorrow to hear my story as it unfolds.

Best,

Karin

Hi there,

Things are really busy here at campaign HQ. There are so many things to do in so little time that it’s easy to lose sight of what’s most important. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I remind myself of the one thing that matters most: spreading the word.

You know that old saying about a tree falling in the forest? Well, it applies to campaigns too. It doesn’t matter how hard you work or how good your intentions are, if no one hears your message, you might as well not exist.

So, looking at today’s numbers, I am thankful for all the donations we’ve received so far and I’m even more grateful for all the tweets, shares, and Facebook posts. As terrific and generous as my personal network is, the success of this campaign rides on everyone reaching out to 5, 25, or even a 100 other people they know and asking them to pass the word on as well.

So, here’s my mantra for the rest of the campaign: Spread the word and the money will follow.

Thanks for all your support, monetary or otherwise. Keep up the good work!

Best,

Karin

Hi there,

Welcome to the A Day Without Touch Challenge! I’m so excited to have you as a member of the team.

Today is the beginning of our soft launch. For those who aren’t familiar with the lingo, a soft launch is a low-profile kick-off that gives people a chance to work out all the kinks in a project before the real launch date. For us, this has meant making sure the website actually accepts money, getting onto social media, and sending out “sneak peak” emails, tweets, and phone calls.

From now until the Challenge actually kicks off (in three days!), my posts here will focus primarily on technical campaign issues. Starting on October 15, though, check in for daily progress updates and stories from me and others about what it’s like to live without touch.

In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, please read the Slate essay by philosopher Benjamin Hale which is the inspiration behind the campaign.

Thank you for your support! Together we can defeat this modern plague.

Best,

Karin
Karin Tamerius, MD
Campaign Manager
A Day Without Touch Challenge
karin@adaywithouttouch.org

Hi there,

So, everyone wants to know… how’s it going?

The honest answer: rough.

On the bright side, I haven’t touched anyone, so the Challenge is still going. On the downside, though, the Challenge is still going and I’m feeling a bit down.

I’m not saying I’m depressed or anything, just a little bit blue. Not surprising since touch is important for mood regulation. Would really like a spritz of oxytocin about now to lift my spirits. Or some chocolate.I haven’t started buying Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream in bulk yet, but I could see that happening before December. Especially when the holidays descend and I can’t hug any of my relatives.

For now, though, my primary coping strategy is petting and grooming my Golden Retriever, Trinity. I know, I know. People are going to say  I should really be avoiding dog touch as well as human touch, but I’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Spending time with Trinity has been so comforting, in fact, it has given me an idea. What if we found a way to let people, especially children, at Ebola treatment centers have contact with therapy animals? It could make a huge difference to morale. Not sure about the logistics involved, but it might be an idea worth exploring.

Best,
Karin