11/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Trick or Treat for UNICEF!

Faithful readers may recall that back in April, I raised a lot of money for mosquito nets to mark World Malaria Day.

Well it's that time again. Trick or Treat!

Back then, before I knew Barack would do so well, widespread public interest in global health was one of the few bright spots. Bono, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and the rest of my buds were ahead of the wave. They are all using their celebrity to promote public health. OK I put these names in so people would find me on Google. But it's true. UNICEF is certainly a rare bright spot on Holloween--an otherwise rather wretched occasion to all reasonable people.

For some of you, this comes not a day too soon. You might fear you will collapse from psychological whiplash the day after November 4. You might fear that you will have no place to donate money to channel aggressions stimulated by William Kristol and FOX News. You know who you are.

Fear not, There is a thirsty, mosquito-bitten Sudanese toddler who is here to help.

OK she's not here. She's a little busy trying to find clean drinking water. She asked me to stand in and help.

It takes seconds to make a donation. And don't worry about maxxing out. If you hit the legal limit, you can always contribute to my UNICEF Victory fund.

Yeah I know. Some of us asking for money are like that guy with the hockey mask, or was it that guy from "Holloween" part whatever who climbs out of the grave when you hoped he would stay dead. My bad, but it's for a good cause. Kids around the world really need you.

Did you know that Barack's campaign raised enough money to run UNICEF's global operations for three months? Don't get me wrong. Senator Obama's impending victory is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I've been canvassing in Indiana.

We must be equally jazzed about bringing the world's children basic sanitation, nutrition, and who knows: maybe a few reading lessons. Seven dollars protects a kid against malaria--not to mention the itchy bites. Fifteen dollars buys a carton of high energy protein biscuits--not the crud people hawk on cable TV--the kind that supports three severely malnourished kids for a whole month. Twenty dollars vaccinates nine kids against polio. To quote PBS, Forty-five hundred thousand dollars.... well, you get the picture.

Last time around, many economists donated through this post, because they realized that UNICEF and related charities are among the most cost-effective strategies to improve the world.

To donate, click on my tacky personal donation webpage

If that's too tacky for you, the UN foundation's website is pretty cool, too:

PS: Your kids might like this fun time-wasting flash link.

PPS: Please comment and spread the word.