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Donate to Big Orange Heart, Become a Self-Proclaimed Winner in the WP Builds WordPress Awards 2021

Flipping the usual popularity contests WordPress-related award systems on their heads, Nathan Wrigley has created something where we can all be a winner. What started as a joke to crown his WP Builds podcast as the best quickly took a positive turn that has seen several charitable donations in the past week or so.

The awards “contest” is simple. Anyone can donate the minimum amount of $10 to Big Orange Heart and show their receipt via the submission form. They can then create a new award category for the WP Builds awards page and claim themselves as the sole winner. There are 27 days remaining to enter.

Screenshot of the WP Builds WordPress 2021 joke awards and submission form.
Awards page and submission form.

While I certainly want to be charitable, I saw this as an opportunity to crown myself as the Best WordPress Halo Player in 2021. I have already won, so no one can dispute it.

In all seriousness, Big Orange Heart is a worthy cause in which to donate, regardless of whether you claim your award. The charity organization focuses on mental and physical health for remote workers. It offers coaching, mentoring, workshops, and other resources to over 14,500 members.

“So I really did not come up with this,” said Wrigley. “It was an accident. I saw a few posts about a variety of awards polls (both inside WordPress and outside too), and I thought that it would be funny to create an Awards poll of my own. It had only one question, which was ‘Best Podcast called WP Builds’ and there was only one option to choose from, which was, erm…WP Builds. I thought that this was enormously funny because somewhat humorless dad jokes are the level that I’m on.”

He then posted on Twitter and got 30 votes for the joke award poll in which his podcast could be the only winner.

“A day later, I got a tweet from Jamie Marsland of PootlePress who said (jokingly, I expect) that he’d give me £10 if I would add a new question of ‘Best WordPress Tennis Player’ and him as the only possible winner. Now, I know nothing about tennis (or WordPress, if the truth be known), and so I thought about this for a moment. I imagined all of the things that I would do with Jamie’s £10. The new Bond film at the cinema, some new tennis balls, a billionth of a Bitcoin…Then I remembered Big Orange Heart.”

Thus, a new fundraiser and faux awards contest had been born. Wrigley described Big Orange Heart as a charity that’s really close to his heart. He told Marsland to donate to the organization to earn his spot. A $25 contribution and a screenshot of a receipt later, and he had become the unofficial best WordPress tennis player.

Not to be outdone, Nigel M Rodgers later won the “Bestest Best WordPress Tennis Player” award. It is all in good fun.

“So this silliness had taken a new turn,” said Wrigley. ” A silly idea had generated $25 for Big Orange Heart. My heart was racing; this could be huge. I went to bed. In the morning, I woke up and sent out a new tweet.”

“I had set a new low for Awards,” he said. “I will allow you to donate/buy your way into winning whatever category you choose for yourself in exchange for a guarantee that you’ll win!”

The WP Builds WordPress Awards 2021 is, without a doubt, unique. Now that we are just ahead of the holidays, it is always a welcome time to donate.

Michelle Frechette “is actually triplets masquerading as one person” reads one award. Leanne Mitton is the “Best Gnome Collector in the WordPress community.” Isaac Coleman is “The Most Awesome 13 Year Old in the World” — there could be a proud parent involved in that one. And, there are many others to read through just for laughs.

Wrigley does not yet know if he will run it in 2022. He is waiting to see how this one turns out. With enough support from the WordPress community, it could be fun to keep up with every year.

For now, Big Orange Heart is the only accepted charitable organization. However, I asked if Wrigley would be open to others in our space in the future, assuming he keeps it up next year.

“I’m sure that there would be ways to allow the person making the donation to choose alternative charities,” he said. “This seems like a great idea! I’m open to suggestions about which charities we could include.”

Note: Nathan Wrigley runs the WP Jukebox podcast for WP Tavern.