Rakes Report #158: Christmas Giving 2020

Hello, friends. For those of you who have been through this already, here is your fifth annual Christmas Giving link. For those who are new or who would like a refresher, here is the rundown.

Wait, where is the Syracuse Review?

It will hit your inboxes for lunch on the east coast. Normally the regular season has ended over a week before Christmas Giving rolls around so there’s no need for double duty, but we adjust as necessary. I’m kicking the day off with this but will still get the normal Monday edition out, albeit a few hours later.

What is Christmas Giving?

Christmas Giving is a fundraising drive for the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, a great organization that helps out those who need a hand, particularly as we head into the holiday season and another Indiana winter. Because being a college football fan is such a passive activity where we’re usually just along for the ride this is an opportunity for the Notre Dame Internet and its extended family to be active in doing something positive.

We started Christmas Giving after the 2016 season when you may recall Notre Dame did not win many games and we’ve seen the Irish go 43-6 since. I don’t know if that’s coincidence or causation but I think we should continue doing this just in case it’s the latter.

(You can also consider this a tip jar if you enjoyed the Report newsletters or podcasts at any point this year but I encourage you to participate even if you hate-read/listen because it’s for a good cause.)

What does the Center for the Homeless do?

You should explore their website to get a better understanding but executive director and Notre Dame alum Steve Camilleri provided this brief explainer of what his organization does in the community to me last year:

The Center's mission is to help break the cycle of homelessness, and it's been such a gift to see people transform their lives and get back on their feet. Like a university, guests that arrive at CFH focus on their "major," and take classes, programming, and seek the help they need in the area they need it most. As they achieve success in that area, they wrap around other opportunities, much like elective courses, that can be for personal edification, enjoyment or education. All in all, CFH tries to meet the needs of everyone that walks through her doors with dignity and respect. We have found that each guest is a gift and has so much to give, and when you hold a high expectation of them, they rise to the occasion!

How can I help?

Two main options:

1)    If you are in a position to give, you can donate here.

2)    I know it’s been a long, difficult year for many so If you’re not in a position to give at the moment, please consider sharing the GoFundMe URL on your various social media feeds/listservs/group chats and/or forwarding this email around. Any bit of exposure helps.

Sometimes when people donate they leave a tribute of some sort — to Irish players and coaches, to certain statistics, to loved ones who are Notre Dame fans, to Randy Edsall’s buyout — but you absolutely, 100 percent do not have to do that if you don’t want to. The money still helps whether it’s attached to a comment or not.

To get an idea of what kind of stuff people write, here is last year’s.

Where can I buy the shirts?

They are available for purchase at the Rakes Report store at TeePublic. The designs are the wonderful work of Bridget Reynolds, who was kind enough to donate her time and talent to the cause so please say thank you on Twitter because she’s the absolute best. If you want to get the designs in a hoodie or crewneck or whatever scroll down to the bottom of each item page where it says “More X Products” and you can browse the full inventory.

Because TeePublic prints each item as you buy it plus everything with the pandemic, I would advise trying to get your order in as early as possible if you want to give them as gifts. I’ll donate the December commission from TeePublic to the CFH, so proceeds from both new designs and old ones will all go to the cause. That lands around the 15th of the following month and I’ll shift it over then.

How long does this last?

I’ll keep the GoFundMe open all month but as far as the official drive I’ll stop bothering you at close of business on Friday. There will be at least one more newsletter and far too many tweets over the next few days but then I will let you enjoy the remainder of your December in peace.

What is the goal we’re trying to hit?

$2,847, which is Ian Book’s total offense through ten games this season. I had a few other ideas but we’re always going to associate the 2020 football season with Book so why not tie 2020 Christmas Giving to him as well?

If you have any additional questions/comments/suggestions on the fundraiser, please feel free to reach out to me simply by replying to this email. As part of Christmas Giving launch we have a great podcast with Jamie Uyeyama of Irish Sports Daily that should be on your feed now in addition to Saturday night’s Syracuse instant reaction/tribute to the senior class with Jessica Smetana of Sports illustrated. (Spotify link for those who use it.)

Again, the Syracuse Review will be landing in a few hours so keep an eye out for that. Thanks in advance to everybody for their generosity and good spirit this week. And here is the GoFundMe link one more time before we go.