It’s giving season – and if I’m honest, it’s my favorite time of the year.
Let me tell you why. And if you know me, you probably suspect this is going to be A Story. It’s worth it, though, I promise.
Our house is the proud home of two guinea pigs, belonging to my 15-year-old twins, who are generally pretty good about splitting the caretaking duties. We rescued the guinea pigs from Seattle Animal Shelter with the help of their dedicated guinea pig foster coordinator - pandemic pets we took in so they’d have a safe place to grow up.
The twins love them. (You may remember how my daughter used Magic Canvas to illustrate a guinea pig playing a double bass, then turned it into a pair of earrings that had the whole school asking for their own instrument-playing-animal accessories.) And you can see why! Guinea pigs are fluffy and wonderful.
And there’s something special about having a small, furry thing that’s your responsibility. (It’s the same with any pet, though I’m not as much of a reptile guy, myself.) It’s comforting to be a caretaker – there’s nothing like the feeling of providing for your charge, who’s a member of the family.
I’ve thought a lot recently about how many people are in need of comfort this season. And I thought about how much my kids liked making things for and about their two wiggly guinea pigs. We wanted to help our amazing community of Glowforge owners make things that would bring comfort to people who could use some.
Even if it’s just some small bit of joy, like a handmade toy.
So we launched Project Print-A-Toy. If you haven’t heard about it yet, we’re recruiting makers of all kinds – not just Glowforge owners – to help print and donate 100,000 toys to kids in need. We’re providing dozens of new, premium designs every week, so you can find new favorites throughout the season. Print them from the Catalog, or download and make them with any other laser cutter. Then donate them through Toys for Tots or other local charity.
Sounds like something you’d like to be a part of? I know I’d love for you to join us in brightening a child’s day.
Oh, and how else are the guinea pigs involved? Well, I wanted to pitch in with a design of my own. So I contributed something I made for our little fluffballs: the guinea pig mini van. Modeled directly after my own daily driver, a 2014 Toyota Sienna.
Project Print-A-Toy has already been a great way for us to come together as a Glowforge community and do something special for the season.
Another way we’ve been coming together is in the Glowforge Discord chat. I’ve seen some amazing, heartwarming threads as people get to know their fellow creators. Right now, as I write this, there are over 400 of us online together. And there are thousands of Glowforge owners sharing their creations — including some amazing gifts, like this customized peacock cutting board and a delightful miniature pinball table!
Having that real-time connection to folks feels so special, letting us share our successes and challenges. Every day we find new ways to support and inspire one another. To show how grateful we are for this community, we’re having weekly themed contests and giving away gift certificates to the best entries. It’s been so fun already seeing the amazing creations in response to our prompts. If you haven’t already, come join the fun in #glowforge-gives-thanks in Discord. We always love to see what you’re making!
Another thing I love is when Glowforge can give you money. A big part of that is our referral program, which we’ve just revamped to make it even easier for you to share Glowforge with your family and friends. They get their Glowforge at the best possible price, and with each referral you get up to $500 in Glowforge store credit — or even cold hard cash.
Now’s a great time to take advantage of the referral program, because these discounts stack on top of some of the amazing holiday offers we have going right now. We’ve paid our customers millions and I’ve personally signed checks for tens of thousands of dollars to a single referrer, and love to do that again this holiday season. Who knows, it could be YOU!
That’s all for me this month, wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season. As always, I can’t wait to see what you make!
Use your Glowforge to spread holiday cheer with Project Print-A-Toy. Each week we’ll feature new, free toy designs in the Catalog, along with a sale on the Proofgrade materials to build them. Print your favorites and donate them to brighten a child’s day. It’s a fun and easy way to get into the spirit of the season; we’re already so excited to see how many people have participated. Learn more about Project Print-A-Toy here.
In the spirit of giving thanks, we want to show our appreciation – so we’re giving away lots of prizes to you, our favorite members of the Glowforge community. Join us on Discord each week for a different themed contest, and may the most creative entries win! Submit your entries here: Glowforge.
Share the joy of Glowforge with your family and friends! Not only will they get a discount, but you’ll get up to $500 in Glowforge credits for each referral. You can share up to 5 discounts. Just think about how stocked up you could be with $2500 in Glowforge store credit! Check at the newly revamped program at Refer a Friend to Glowforge | Glowforge.