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2020-07-24 Matching Donation ending

It has been said that there are three kinds of people in the world.

* People who make things happen

* People who watch things happen

* People who ask, "Hey! What happened?"


We had some people who made this Matching Donation Challenge happen! These are the people who will storm the bastille with you! Our fans at the University of Alabama issued TNKR a challenge--and TNKR met it!

* Donor Participation! We had almost 500 donations overall. At times we had so many donation notifications coming through that our Alabama fans felt like they were under attack! As I stress--participation. So many people seem to be embarrassed about the amount they donate, but I make it clear when I donate, as I slam the money down on the table. "And you're lucky you got that!"

* Fundraising! We raised about $42,000, a few donations are still pending, so please wait before declaring the final amount, I will announce that after we RECEIVE it.

* Sharing! I sometimes hear people say they don't want to talk publicly about their volunteer work or donations. That is a nice irrelevant out-of-date sentiment that is now a dead-end street in this social media age. Don't worry about the "humble brag" complainers. Sharing and talking about your activities can get others involved, which helps raise awareness for organizations and causes. And many people did share this Matching Donation Challenge, resulting in others donating. Plus, when people did public donations, their family and friends were likely to see it, resulting in more donations. Probably the top sharer, as usual, was TNKR Fan Club president Eben Appleton. 

* * *

Of course, there are many to thank, but I would like to highlight the top fundraisers who made it happen, each raising $1,000 or more.

Casey Lartigue, $28,000

Yeonmi Park, $2,800

Choi Shi Yong, $1,800

Nadia $1,500

Eunhee Park $1,033


Yes, two of the top five fundraisers are North Korean refugees. Three of the top five fundraisers were born on the Korean peninsula.

The next top five fundraisers:

TNKR Global High School Union Moms $832

Eugene Chung $832

Michael Downey $779

Joanne $625

Brooke Chong $400


(The world is a funny place, people who don't do anything feel comfortable analyzing people who did do something. So my rule about fundraising: Only analyze the fundraising totals of people who raised less than you did.)

If you were just an observer this time...what are you waiting for, an engraved invitation?

As a result of this effort, TNKR co-founder Eunkoo Lee (temporarily) released her tight grip on the neck of our budget, allowing me to make two hiring decisions I have had in mind for quite some time. We have hired two TNKR students as staff members, bringing the overall total to three North Korean refugee staff members. 42% percent of TNKR paid staff are TNKR students who have all been with us since 2015. And yes, I have some more ideas for hiring and expansion, and look forward to us having more money to make them a reality.

This particular fundraising challenge has come to a wonderful end, but of course TNKR's opportunities for growth (and the bills that come along with that) are never over, so you can always donate to

It is a little tricky with mentioning donors by name, many feel uncomfortable being highlighted. I would like to mention, however, the Haanong company. They hosted a small event for TNKR. The founder of the company was so inspired by what he heard that he offered a donation of $7,000 on the spot.

Thanks to those who helped make the Matching Donation Challenge happen. Last night I messaged with the Matching Donor and the main team members from the University of Alabama, the Matching Donor confirmed that he is thrilled to match the amount that we raised. So they made this entire fundraising effort possible.

Three Kinds of People


What if I hadn't checked my spam folder?


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