I first heard about MegaBolt over at PencilWrap.
From the Megabolt website:
In late 2009, Megabolt started as nothing more than an idea to do something good rather than just talk about it. Around the same time, the father of a close friend passed away from brain cancer. We took this opportunity to begin raising money to help with hospital bills. Thus Megabolt had its founding.
More and more people got behind the idea and Megabolt continued to grow, and in the spring of 2010, Megabolt began to focus on raising money for kids in hospitals. Through the creation of art, Megabolt is empowering kids to find strength to keep fighting through their illness.The driving idea behind Megabolt is to create an original, tangible way for people to give back to the community. Through different projects, we hope to inspire others to help.
When you buy a sketchbook, you're not only getting one for yourself, you're also giving one to a child in a hospital. But we're not stopping there. Every sketchbook is individually numbered which will allow you to see exactly whom you are giving the book to. Once the child has completed his or her book, their
artwork will be uploaded onto Megabolt.org where you will be able to interactively flip through the pages of the book*.
*Due to a variety of reasons artwork may not be published to megabolt.org.
It took a little while for the sketchbooks to arrive. I received an email from the company advising me that they were a little backed up, they had sold 200 sketchbooks in just 14 days!! What a great response to a worthwhile project.
The sketchbooks really are very good quality, they are made by Scout Books. Scout Books is also making the sketchbooks for the 2012 Sketchbook Project. They accepted all types of ink from brush pen to fountain pen and even watercolor without complaint.
I really like this little sketchbook and at 3.5 x 5 inches it is the perfect size for carrying everywhere. Plus MegaBolt is an awesome cause.
You can also check out a review of the MegaBolt sketchbook over at No Pen Intended.
Edit for update - I received this email from MegaBolt on Thursday:
I wanted to take a second and explain to everyone the typical life of a Megabolt Sketchbook so everyone can have a better understanding of what is all entailed! So at this point we have sold just over 500 sketchbooks. 500 sketchbooks sold means 500 sketchbooks to kids! Pretty great right? Now we know that everyone is very excited about their sketchbook being given out and we are working everyday to get more sketchbooks into the hands of kids. The process can take a bit longer than one might think though.
Basically this is how it works:
Once the sketchbook is purchased we have to wait until the hospitals that we are working with request more books. When they do we send out a new batch. Inside the package is anywhere from 20-100 sketchbooks (usually on the lower end) The sketchbooks are then given out to the kids and their parents get information about returning their artwork to us (via photo, scan, or sending the sketchbook back). At this point we have to play the waiting game. After this is done we will then be posting the books to our website. It's important to understand that there are a very large amount of variables in which a child may not ever finish their book or they simply just don't want to share their artwork.
However! This post isn't meant to get you down. Kids are offered to give us a simple sketch or their entire book. All it really comes down to is that it takes time. Just as you probably haven't filled your book they will take a while to fill theirs. The good news is the Megabolt Sketchbook is a double whammy donation. At the least you are making a child's day and giving them a gift. Then if all goes well you get a return on your donation in the form of art.
If anyone has any questions or wants to know more please never hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Couple side notes: If you have not received your sketchbook yet PLEASE email us. We have had a handful of sketchbooks get lost in the mail and never returned to us (or not yet at least) If you order a sketchbook it shouldn't take longer than 1-1.5 weeks to get it. And that's on the really long end of the time line. Most people get their books in 3 days. Please please please email me if you haven't received your book and I will send out one that same day.
Second, If you or anyone you know works in a hospital and want Megabolt books to be donated at your hospital please email us with some contact information and we will make it happen!