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In which John makes like the human heart and shares a video in four parts.

The 13th annual (?!?!?!) Project for Awesome starts Friday, December 6th:

If you can contribute $1,000 or more to the p4a matching fund, please email us: ftdws -at-

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Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday. 

Today's video is like the human heart and barbershop quartet harmonies; it comes to you in four parts. 

Part one: the holidays.

Hank, here in the United States there are several holidays coming up and this year both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve fall on Tuesdays and I will be taking both those days off. 

Part two, related: I've been thinking about burnout a lot lately.

I'm not really burnt out at the moment but I am starting to think differently about the role work plays in my life. Ever since I was about 22, I've worked many nights and most weekends. I don't recommend working that way, and I don't need to but I've continued to do it anyway. 

My central goal for the next decade is to do fewer things that the world constructs as "work" and more things that are valuable but not usually imagined as work, like spending time with family and doing the dishes and sleeping and reading and volunteering my time and talents to causes I care about. I'm just saying that out loud in the hopes that it will make me accountable. 

Part three: the Project for Awesome. 

So Hank, back in 2007 when we first came up with the idea for the Foundation to Decrease World Suck it was mostly a joke. Like we decreased world suck by paying for people to go to their first concerts, which is a value-add to the universe, I think, but maybe not the most efficient one. But then the Project for Awesome started to grow and the Foundation to Decrease World Suck became a real charity that can accept tax-deductible donations despite its very silly name and last year the Project for Awesome raised its ten millionth dollar for charity.

The P4A is my favourite time of the year and I can't wait for the strange mix of exhaustion and exhilaration it brings. The 13th annual - how is that possible - Project for Awesome will happen this year between noon Eastern Time on Friday December 6th and noon Eastern Time on Sunday December 8th but the IndieGoGo will launch this year on December 3rd. There will be many amazing perks available - more on those next week - and because the Project for Awesome is a volunteer-run organisation, except for credit card fees and the cost of making and shipping physical perks, all donations go to charity. 

As in past years, during the first half of the Project for Awesome we'll be raising money for pre-selected charities "Save the Children" and "Partners in Health", both of which our community has worked with for over a decade and both of which have excellent reputations for reaching and assisting the most vulnerable people in the world.

I should mention that this year's P4A fundraising will be completely separate from the project we announced a couple months ago with "Partners in Health - Sierra Leone". Over 3000 of you have joined us in donating to support the strengthening of Sierra Leone's healthcare system and we are so grateful and excited to watch that progress over the next several years. But during this year's P4A, as in past years, we're raising so-called unrestricted funds which allows PIH and Save the Children to spend the money wherever it's most needed. Partners in Health, for instance, might need money to support a clinic in the Navajo Nation or to buy medical supplies in Haiti. They know better than we do where the funding gaps are and unrestricted funds are really important to charities so we're keeping the Sierra Leone project separate. 

If you have any questions about this or about anything please leave them in the comments. 

It occurs to me that someday YouTube will probably move the comment section to, like, a sidebar and then it will look to people like I'm just pointing at my pants. And then it occurs to me that someday YouTube will not exist at all. But back to the Project for Awesome.

Right, okay, so during the second half of the Project for Awesome, as in past years, we will be raising money for charities chosen by you. You make a great video in support of a charity you think deserves a grant and then upload it on Friday December 6th and if people vote for it at that charity might receive part of the funds raised during the second half of the Project for Awesome. So we're counting on you to make great videos and pick worthy charities.

All right, let's talk about money. Hank and I will be matching the first $150,000 raised in this year's Project for Awesome and I know lots of you have donated to lots of causes so really no pressure but if you would like to join that matching fund you can email us at That email address is also in the doobly-doo and in the comments below. If you are able to join the matching fund you will be thanked profusely and it really does help drive donations.

Okay, part four: 

For making it to the end of an update video, you win a picture of my brother and me as reindeer, one of the amazing months of the 2020 Project for Awesome calendar.

Rudolph, I'll see you on Friday.