Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

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Give the needy food they would actually like. (read all 7 entries…)
Everyone is talking about how they are giving...

and I think that is totally awesome but the goal was to give them food they actually like… not jsut the stray stuff in your cupboard that you are giving away because you dodn’t really want it anyway…
How do we know what the needy actually like? Do they know, especially if they are really hungry?


The Needy

The whole idea is to assume that they would like the same types of things we ALL like. People just usually give the needy, essentials and basics, but the idea is to give them nice things that we all find delicious. Not just canned foods we would not eat ourselves. And YES, I think the “needy” do know what they actually like, they are first and foremost people just like the rest of us…

Do you live in the suburbs?

What I meant was…

Everyone is talking about the food drives and the United Way and all these things. But the goal was to give them food they LIKE. Giving someone something they like takes a little bit more personal interaction and investigation then donating to your office food drive or having dollars taken off your paycheque.

I am not slighting the contributions we all make. The anonymous, corporate contributions where we don’t really have to see any hungry people. Where we don’t have to experience anyone’s need. But are we truly getting involved by doing that? We are helping, yes but are we realy involved?

I live in a yuppie loft in the inner city. My dog and I go for a walk 3 times a day (since we don’t have a yard) around the same block. This block includes a Homeless Seniors Centre, a Mustard Seed Church, another no name church, the Boyle McCauley Health Centre and the Hope Mission. The residents of this block are predominantly homeless, alcoholics, drug addicts and mentally ill. They live under tarps and out of shopping carts. Some of the ones that are doing really well have two shopping carts and they build themselves a little lean to out of them at night. This neighbourhood isn’t even good enough for the prostitutes. Their block is about 5 to 10 blocks west. 1 block from my fabulous downtown apartment is the worst our city has to offer.

I’ve lived there for three years. Until I got the dog, I never walked around the block. The first time I saw a needle disposal bin attached to a light post, I thought it was a pooper scopper bin like they have in the fancy neighborhoods and at the dog park. Like seriously, I had never been around my own block.

The things I have done in my neighborhood are: leave my bags of bottles and cans beside the bin so someone will take them. I left a computer desk that was in decent shape out there and it was gone in less than an hour. I found a woman rummaging through my dumpster and told her I had some clothes I’d been meaning to drop off at the shelter and hadn’t gotten around to it and would she want them. Brought her 2 garbage bags of clothes and duffel bag to carry the ones she wanted in.

There’s a guy in a wheelchair on the corner I talk to every night, his name is Bobby… Very smart, very quick, doesn’t appear to be a drinker, I often wonder why he’s on that corner in front of the homeless shelter. And I don;t think he was always there… One of my 43 Things is to buy him lunch.

Walking that block at 11 or 12 at night is an adventure, I tell you. Walking that block in the daytime is an adventure. And not one I always enjoy. But puppy’s got to pee and there isn’t really anywhere else to go. I have never minded the ghetto, people are people and if you treat everyone with the same respect as you would in any other neighborhood you shouldn’t run into any trouble. As a singel woman, this advice has served me well with time spent in New York, Metro Detroit, Chicago and Boston and I haven’t had any trouble yet.

I guess my whole point is, I know what the needy need… I see it every day. I give it to them whenever I can. I give far more than the average peron because I live there, it’s in my neighborhhod. I too particpate in food drives and donations at the grocery store. I have dropped off at least 8 garbage bags of clothes this year at the Mustard Seed Church.

The reason I chose this goal was to give them something they like. Do you really think you know what you like when you’ve been eating out of a dumpster and eating in soup kitchens for the last 10 years? You might be drunk or high most of the time or you might be mentally ill or just down on your luck. Do you think at that point you know that you would prefer grated cheddar on your pasta over parmesean? Because that’s the way I like mine.
I don’t know that they could even tell you what they like because it’s been so long since they experienced it.

As someone who lives and walks that neighborhood every day, I will tell you there’s not a lot of joy there. And I thought if we could give the needy something they like, even just once, before they go back to soup kitchens and dumpsters, it might bring one small bit of joy into an incredibly joyless existence.

So while I do appreciate your biting comment about how the needy are just like us… (and clearly I am too self centred to realize it) they’re not. Their life is nothing like mine with my yuppie apartment and luxury SUV or my friends with their minivans and houses in the suburbs or yours wherever it is you live…

The life of a homeless person is a painful, sad, lost existence and if by some grace of God, I can figure out what they like and give it to them even once, then I have brought a small bit of joy that they may not have otherwise had.


Look…I’ve spent every Sunday for the last 5 years at “peoples park” in Berkely, A homeless encampment, bringing lunch to about 5o homeless people who live there. I say spend the day…because thats what I do. I talk to the people there and share a meal with them. Trust me…I know how real thier plight is, how hard thier lives are, I see it in a very real way. And how I know what they like, is I ask them. The needs of these people are great, but they have simple requests sometimes…a candy bar, a can of soda pop, maybe even a cigarette if I have one to share. These are the things I can do for them, and be thier friend.
I think maybe you and I got off on the wrong foot. We obviously have the same goal in mind, and that is to help people who need it…

(This comment was deleted.)

I think that is a great idea...

I am guilty of buying the “Food Bank” pack at the grocery store… It is like 10 bucks and filled with generic Mr. Noodles and other stuff I probably wouldn’t eat. But it’s there and packaged and ready to go and the bin in there, too…

I think contributing is the most important, but I think maybe next time I go grocery shopping I will jsut buy a few extra of the items I am already buying for myself and donate those…

And I, too, love KD! With ketchup and lots of pepper! Yum!

~ John Lee ~ Spring Forth In New Opportunities

All Sorts Of Needy

Some of the needy are the homeless. Some are people on welfare. Others are regular people who have fallen on hard times. (Maybe a major car repair bill, medical bill, or unemployment)

The idea is to give consciously. BUT, there are all sorts of other ways that we can step up our given.

My parents for instance were going to throw away all of the food that their doctor said they should not eat. Even though THAT food is not anything that I can imagaine anyone eating, I think its better to donate sardines (yuk) and instant coffee (double yuk) than throw it away. I brought up their example since so many people on 43things may decide to throw away food to stick to a diet instead of donating. (All of the food is unopened btw)

The food banks to which my church pass food serve mainly working class people : far from the destitute that many people usually think of when the thought of food banks come to mind. With the recent announcements by Ford and GM to close plants there are going to be a large number of middle class people finding themselves at times needy. Perhaps even some 43thing-ers.

The primary objective of the goal is to think about the people to whom we are donating. Besides the obvious nutritional benefits, there is a lot that we can do to help restore dignity to those in need.

That is a good point...

I guess, because of the neighboorhood I live in, when I think needy, I think REALLY NEEDY. Homeless, destitute needy. I don’t think of that workign class family that’s run a little short this month.

We also live in Alberta where there is a major economic boom happening right now and entry level fast food jobs are paying $5 to $6 ove minimum wage just to attract workers.

Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend, a little too soon to get anything organized on my end, other than the usual food bank donations, but American Thanksgiving is another month away…

I heard a story once, an urban legend perhaps, of a bunch of friends who got together and pooled their money and dropped off fixings to make Thanksgiving dinner to homes in a neighborhood they knew would probably be not be having a turkey dinner…

I wonder if the food bank will take turkeys as a donation? I thinkI will call there now…

(This comment was deleted.)

~ John Lee ~ Spring Forth In New Opportunities

Sardines, with Mustard and Cheese


Is there a way I can delete one of the cheers I gave you earlier ?

Yuk !

Only kidding, well not kidding about the gross part, just about deleting a cheer.

(This comment was deleted.)

Ya, I clean out

my cupboards every Xmas and send all the stuff I am not eating to the food bank. And every time I go on a new diet or training program I clean out my cupboards with everything I am not allowed to eat and send that to the food bank, too.

And I totally agree, it is better to give than toss… but this time I jsut want to do something a little more conscious, you know? Rather than just grabbing whatever and tossing it in the bin…

What an excellent idea to clean out your cupboards at christmas time. I really like that I may have to do that as well. :o)

(This comment was deleted.)


That’s is a great idea… Let me know what you find out!

I will see if I can get in touch with my local food bank and ask them the same question… We can swap answers…


(This comment was deleted.)

My local food bank says...

Our most needed items include beans with or without pork, canned meat, canned fish, canned fruit or vegetables, peanut butter, powdered milk, baby food and formula, macaroni and cheese dinners, pasta and pasta sauce.

They always say they need “non-perishable items”. Don’t they ever need “perishable items”?

(This comment was deleted.)

Big B has gotten 2 cheers on this entry.


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