December Kickstarter Round-Up: A Book for Children With HIV/AIDS and More

Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

Our Little Soldiers: A Book for Children Living with HIV: Now, I have gone on record a time or three about how I detest people raising money for writing books on Kickstarter. The legitimate reasons that someone would need to crowdsource a book are few and far between. In that article I just linked to, I neglected to mention something like Our Little Soldiers.

Dr. Bobby Ricketts is a resident at Texas Children's Hospital specializing in treating children with HIV/AIDS while stationed in Sub-Sahara Africa. Yes, that is in fact the saddest sentence I have ever typed. One of the problems that Dr. Ricketts runs into in treatment is noncompliance with the medication. According to him, patients miss up to 30 percent of their doses.

His solution? A children's book designed to show patients the power of the medicines locked in an epic battle with the disease. He's tried using this analogy vocally with patients to pretty good effect, but feels that a 20-page illustrated book with pictures by R.J. Matson would make more of an impact.

He wants $9,000 to work up and print as many of these as possible to hand out to patients, and the project is completely non-profit. The material rewards for investing aren't great. You have to drop $50 to end up with a copy of the physical book, but guess what? That book you just got is one less book being used to treat a child with freakin' HIV. This is one of those projects you contribute to based entirely on it's charitable goal... though if you've got $500 to spend they'll illustrate you or someone you choose as a soldier fighting the disease. That's the sort of thing you want on your resume.

Goal: $9,000 by January 4.

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Fall of the Republic: The World After: To be totally honest, I'm not loving the look of this RPG. It sort of comes across like a mixture of Parasite Eve and an Ed Hardy shirt, though still not all that bad for a $10,000 game.

Aesthetics aside, the premise does sound wicked interesting. A turn-based RPG set in a United States after the collapse of society? Character classes based on paranoid, gun-totin' 'Murican values? That's a good time, surely. $15 buys you into the game, which is more than a fair price. $1,000 donors get to design a whole town or area, which is something that folks only got to do in the 1700s, and this is much cheaper.

Goal: $10,000 by January 1

Public Art Houston: There's one good reason that you should trust in this project; Reginald C. Adams (a former Houston Press MasterMind award winner). The man has been responsible for adding art in public spaces all over Houston. The city is infinitely brighter because of his contributions.

This latest project is a tile mural specifically celebrating the fact that Houston has become the most diverse city in the country. It will be located in Midtown on the wall of the Breakfast Klub, which has housed many of his creations before. From there he hopes to expand to other murals, making the streets of the city a gallery in and of themselves.

Like the HIV book for children, this is more of an investment in a good cause than something you're going to get any real material benefit out of. Sixty dollars nets you a poster of the mural for your home. Businesses looking to get some one-of-a-kind art at a fairly low price can drop $5,000 for a special mosaic painting done just for your space.

Goal: $40,000 by December 29

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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