One of my favorite projects I’ve worked on with SuperBetter Labs and my twin sister, superstar game designer Jane McGonigal, launched in May 2012: Oprah’s Thank You Game. The Oprah Winfrey Network and partnered with SuperBetter Labs to create a game that spread the benefits of gratitude to millions of people across the globe. Although the 30-day game is over, you can still learn the secrets of “giving good thanks” in this 3-min video that shares the science of how gratitude can improve your own well-being — and change the world.

So let the secrets be revealed:

This holiday season, help me celebrate one of my favorite non-profit organizations, ScholarMatch.

If you donate to Scholar Match through my fundraising page, your donation will be matched in full.

ScholarMatch is an organization that allows donors to support college students who need assistance paying their college tuition. The students are from the San Francisco Bay Area, and many are first-generation college students. They have been nominated by the ScholarMatch‘s community partners, such as teachers, college counselors, and college access organizations and selected by a committee to become scholars. Scholars don’t just get tuition funding. They are supported in many ways, to make sure they succeed. ScholarMatch looks out for their needs — even simple things finding a sponsor to provide winter coats to California students headed to the Midwest or East Coast. ScholarMatch also provides college readiness services to students in the 7th grade and up

ScholarMatch is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals and pay back the benefits we’ve received from our education. As a donor, you can specify the kind of student you want to support (e.g. intended major, interests and extracurricular activities,  college attending) or let ScholarMatch choose a specific student for you. You will be sent periodic updates about that student’s progress in school throughout that academic year. (The letters I get from my matches are funny and inspiring — they bring me right back to what it was like to be a college student, having my world views challenged and horizons broadened.)It’s fun to browse the students’ profiles. (My first donation was to support a young woman who intended to study psychology and journalism — just like I did as an undergraduate.)

I received a full tuition scholarship for four years, the only way I would have been able to afford a private university. It’s a privilege to support young students and remember with gratitude those who paid my way.

Check out this video of a ScholarMatch scholar talking with The Office’s John Krasinski (he donates!) about how the organization has helped her and her family. (The comedy starts at 3:04 — what else do you expect from Krasinski?)