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Over the past couple of days, I have embarked on a couple of fairly unorthodox campaigns to try and get people to donate money so that the hundreds of thousands of West Virginians who have been left with nothing to drink and bathe with but poisoned, tainted tap water can have clean water to use on a daily basis. I have based these campaigns around my limited knowledge of the internet and modern fundraising which have led me to believe that beard and mustache-based fundraisers are more successful than their facial hairless brethren. Thus, I now have a business model of:

Step One: Grow a hideously patchy beard.

Step Two: ?????

Step Three: Get donations for providing West Virginians with clean water.

Me on one of my two trips through Southern West Virginia Last Weekend.

After a day or two, my impatience led me to amend this plan to include not just a bad beard growing challenge, but also to pledge to eat one sugarless Haribo gummi bear for every 5 dollars folks donated to help provide clean drinking and bathing water for the people of West Virginia, up to 200 gummi bears. This may sound perfectly harmless, but these sugarless gummi bears are apparently not so much candy as hyper-intense colon cleanse that makes anyone stupid enough to eat them cling to their toilets for dear life for about 12 hours, leading some Amazon Reviewers to say that it causes flatulence that sounds "like trumpets calling the demons back to Hell" and have earned them the nickname of "Satan's Diarrhea Hate Bears."

So, essentially, what I've done so far is given up any pretense at attractiveness and not looking like a gnarly post-pubescent pube face and sign my colon and small intestine to Satan's Diarrhea Hate Bears. And yet, while I realize we're only three days in to this drive, we have only raised $65 out of our goal of $5,000. This simply will not do, so, I have come up with yet a third hair-brained idea to raise donation monies.

On the donation site for the 1st Inaugural Mountaineer Bad Beard-Off for Clean Water one of the "Perks" that is listed is the as the "Angry Congressional Letter", wherein, for a mere $50 donation, I will write out and give you a copy of a furious, potentially epithet laden letter to the Congressperson of your choice. Today, I AM EXPANDING THIS OFFER TO DEAL NOT JUST WITH CONGRESSPERSONS, BUT WITH ANY ELECTED OFFICIAL OR TOPIC OF YOUR CHOOSING! Have a particular Representative or Senator who really eats your lunch, but for whom you've run out of novel ways of expressing your hatred and disdain? I'm your guy. Do you care about an issue that isn't covered much in the mainstream media that you would like to see written in a cogent, thoughtful and well-researched manner? I can do that too.

Now, I must say that these set dollar donation amounts are only for these specific perks and that you can donate however much you want. If all you can spare is a dollar, then we will gladly take it because that one dollar translates into one gallon of water for West Virginia household in need. Your donations will be processed through my indiegogo website for the 1st Inaugural Mountaineer Bad Beard-Off for Clean Water, but will ultimately be handled and disbursed through the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, a wonderful non-profit based out of Charleston that fights for the protection of both the people and the ecological health of Appalachia.

If there is any way you can donate even the smallest amount to this cause, it would mean the world to me and to thousands of West Virginians who would benefit from your kindness and generosity.

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