First, the update:
I have, in fact, confirmed with the Columbia School of Journalism that money was donated in my name by Cooks Source. I have also seen the webpage with the apology. While it is not perhaps the most contrite apology I have seen, it will do and all of my requests regarding the copyright infringement of my article have been met. So, unless something unexpected happens, I would say this is all resolved, at least to my satisfaction.
Now, onto the rest:
Wow. Just. Wow. Thank you. Not only did "The Internets" take up my cause, but, many people donated to CSJ and to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Thank you for doing good and being mighty.
This whole thing has also been a bit of an education -- I have learned a great deal about copyright, or at least, how it relates to my work that is posted online. Copyrighting and defending your work, for the amateur (as the financial hardship to try to copyright and defend your work is large) is difficult to say the least -- and that does not seem right. Not sure what else to say there -- but -- I am sure more eloquent people than myself have something to say. :) I had some amazing help (thank you, Akiva) but I received such help because of what you all did -- getting the word out.
Second -- being a part of the public eye and being a part of the news cycle, becoming "internet famous," has been somewhat overwhelming. Somewhat. When I was visiting friends this past week or so, I would hand over my iPhone and tell them not to let me have it. :) (They obliged. :) I am very glad to be able to going back to being Just Monica or Just Illadore. (However, I don't think I will ever be able to Google my name again without it being linked to this story. :)
One last thing -- crowdsourcing is amazing (but I have mentioned that already :) -- and so is investigative journalism. Kudos to Ed Champion (www.edrants.com) for working up this story and doing fact checking and really digging at what was going on. (Much love to other reporters I spoke with this week too, btw. :)
So, thank you all, again, for being interested, caring, and generally making me laugh. The song, the parody, the Downfall video, the haikus, the poetry, all of it -- thank you very much.
And on that note -- I'm out. :)