Somalia charity challenge

Charity challenge to the RBC community. Support global NGOs in poverty alleviation and public health, and I’ll buy you a book.

I don’t know how many RBC readers follow Mark Goldberg’s terrific stuff at UN Dispatch. If you don’t, you should.

As you might have heard, western economies are hurting. One predictable consequence is the reduction of public and private giving for global health and development. People as different as Paul Farmer, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush agree on one thing: We can’t take our eye off the ball in helping people around the world who struggle for basic nutrition, economic necessities, and public health.

The situation in Somalia right now, for example, is pretty dire. Now refugees face a measles epidemic, as well.

I therefore issue this challenge to the RBC community. If you are an author and you contribute to the United Nations Foundation, Doctors without Borders, UNICEF, or the International Rescue Committee, I will buy a fresh new copy of your book. This offer holds even if I already own your book, and even if the book is poorly written. And if you are too lazy to have written a book, I will buy one of my choosing and send it to the address of your choosing. You know where to find me….

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

4 thoughts on “Somalia charity challenge”

  1. Can I get a rain check on this? I’m in the process of setting up an epublishing operation for my writing, but I don’t have anything ready to go at this point. Given how little I know about the publishing business, it may be some time before I’m ready. I’ll go ahead and contribute, though, since that seems like a good thing.

    If anyone has any advice about starting in epublishing, I’m all ears. I’m planning on using Barnes & Noble, but could be talked out of that. Marketing and price points are probably the parts I’m most clueless about.

  2. I’ve had a monthly donation to Doctors without Borders set up since the beginning of the year? Does that count? If it does, while I don’t have anything published, a good friend does. Roger Bonair-Agard (amazon links: and No need to send one anywhere; they’re both quite good and I think you’d enjoy them. Plus he’s Chicago based at the moment.


    ps: And a video link to him performing a poem:

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