Last week LoadingReadyRun made the official announcement that Desert Bus 5 will begin on November 18, 2011. This closely concerns all you artists and crafters out there, especially those who like to make nerdy, geeky, I <3 Mario stuff. Allow me to explain.
First of all, what is Desert Bus for Hope?
Desert Bus for Hope is an exquisite form of torture. Conceived of and put into practice four years ago by LoadingReadyRun, its goal is to raise absurdly large amounts of money for the Seattle-based children’s charity Child’s Play. The participants of Desert Bus dedicate themselves to playing an infernally boring video game (called Desert Bus) 24 hours a day. The amount of money donated by viewers determines how long this goes on for. And it’s all streamed online for your morbid entertainment.
In order not to pass out from boredom and exhaustion, we at Desert Bus dance and sing and put shoes on our heads. We wear silly hats and play charades and tell outlandish stories. We also auction really cool stuff to raise even more money. A bunch of that stuff is handmade, making it even cooler. And that’s where you come in.
The Craft-Along is a chance for artists and crafters to donate handmade, geek-themed items to Desert Bus, thereby raising tons of money that’s used to provide kids in hospitals around the world with new toys and games.
How can you take part? Allow us to show you:
1) Read this ENTIRE post. Then email Tally at [email protected] to explain your craft idea and get her official approval. This is important so that we know what kind of items we’re expecting and can avoid too many of the same kinds of things. We also need to make sure that the idea fits within the guidelines of the Craft-Along which are (see below):
- Items should be somehow centered around the themes of Desert Bus, video games, general geekery or Loading Ready Run, so they’ll be of interest to our viewers. That’s a huge pool to draw ideas from.
- Items should be generally family friendly. They don’t all have to be appropriate for kids or anything, but no homemade Mario dildos, please.
- Items should be of the best quality you can make them. We want your work, but we want your best work, in order to bring in the best donations for the children.
- We will not be accepting portraits of the LRR crew this year. We’ve had a few of these (some very good ones, we must say) over the past years, and while we do love staring at ourselves for long hours in the mirror, we’re a little dubious that there are a ton of people out there who really really want our faces staring down at them from their living room walls. And if there are a ton of people out there who want this… we don’t really want to know about it.
2) Once you have received approval, make your item.
Probably best not to let your friends play with it, though.
3) Package your item carefully in an envelope or box, and then put it in a second envelope or box, to which you will affix the appropriate mailing information and postage. Please DO NOT SEAL the first (inner) box or envelope. We’ll do that later, after we take pictures and coo over your awesome item, and before we mail it to its new owner.
This step is so that when we get your item we don’t have to hunt around for packaging materials. We pull it out of the first box, and use the second box to mail your item to its lucky auction winner. Efficiency!
4) Email Tally again ([email protected]) to inform her that your item is finished and to get the appropriate mailing address. Be sure to fill out the very important Crafter’s Form that Tally will also send you at this point. Then send it back to her.
We actually prefer that you email your answers back, even though paper airplanes are wicked awesome.
An important note: Please email Tally when your item is completed even if you already have the Moonbase’s mailing address. We’d like to be able to keep track of what mail we’re expecting and what items have, in fact, been completed. Also, we’ll need to send you that form.
5) Mail your item.
Another important note: If you are mailing your item to us from outside Canada, DO NOT list the item’s value as any higher than $60 Canadian. Even if it is, in fact, worth more. (To be safe, keep it under $50 CDN.) We have to pay the value of the item in excess of $60. So if you list the value as $100, we have to pay $40 just to pick it up from the post office. Because customs sucks, boys and girls. Sucks our money, specifically, and then we have less to give to the children.
6) When November 2011 rolls around, tune in to the madness of Desert Bus 5…
7) … and die of shock* when your Craft-Along item auctions for more money than you paid for your car.**
*This is the one and only step we’d actually rather you didn’t follow.
**This is actually possible. Not necessarily likely, but possible.
8) The deadline for us to receive Craft-Along items is OCTOBER 15, 2011. That’s the date by which they must have ARRIVED at Desert Bus headquarters. If your item isn’t here by that date, it risks being excluded from the Craft-Along. Late items are also guaranteed to cause Tally and Kathleen extra stress and possibly anger, and nobody wants that. (No, nobody does. Trust us.)
A quick recap of very important points:
- Please do not begin crafting your item until you have communicated with Tally about it and gained her approval.
- Remember to double package your item. This helps us out immeasurably.
- When mailing your item, DO NOT list its value on the customs form as any higher than $60 CDN.
- Remember to fill out the Crafter’s Form that Tally will email to you and email it back asap.
9) Have fun and get crafting!