Monday, December 27, 2010

WIN!...and Fail

I should be writing about today's #reverb10 prompt.

I should be...but I'm not.

Instead, I'm thinking about generosity. About giving. 'Tis the season, right?

When I got up this morning and checked Paulie's kickstarter project page, he was just at 48 hours to go and was less than 2/3 of the way to goal.

And, while I have some experience in the world of fund drives and know that there is always a mad dash to donate at the end, I must admit, I was discouraged. Really discouraged.

As I wrote out my donation checks at lunch time, wrote the letters to accompany them, and addressed the envelopes, I started to think about what other project/fund/organization I would donate to if my donation to Paulie fell through. Certainly, this year I've had no shortage of places to put my heart's money. Frankly, it was much more difficult to decide this year than most.


I wanted to donate something to at least one positive, encouraging place in addition to those places driven by grief.

And I didn't know what it was going to be.

At 5 p.m. Paulie's ticker had moved only just a smidge. Less than 36 hours to go and still nearly 1/3 left unpledged. *sigh*

I launched my solitaire game hoping maybe it'd take my mind off some of the bitter shame-on-you-Scrooges thoughts I was having.

And then? Less than 10 minutes into my 30-minute solitaire session I got an e-mail chime on my smartphone. THE e-mail I was hoping for had arrived!

Paulie made his goal!!! Not only did Paulie make his goal but he exceeded it with 35 hours to spare. Yay! Yay! Yay!

And I'm ecstatic for him. This has been today's WIN.

Yet...there is this little hidden away despair lurking.

Literally thousands of people were exposed to this project. THOUSANDS. Paulie alone has over 1000 Facebook friends who were made privy to this project time and again.

Do you know how many people got him to his goal?


That's it.

It took 28 days to scrounge up 54 people out of a cast of thousands to raise $3,000 to support art, a dream, passion, talent.

I'm attempting to not be nasty here. Truly, I am.

I understand many people have their own priorities, their own special causes to which they donate time and money, and how those causes might not fit into my idea of a good cause.

Still...54 people?

And I wonder how many of the thousands minus 54 have never given a dime to charity or an hour of volunteer service and, instead, suck down $5 lattes like they're going out of style. What is that? Project Caffeine High?

Michael - over at his Fish Bowl - posted an entry a few days back about Ronnie Greene - Tennessee's own year round Santa. A man who has literally given away everything he has earned to the "poorest of the poor". Wow.

Of course, I think perhaps Ronnie may be a little batshit crazy given that now he may have to sell his own house in order to pay his own debts but, you know, the sentiment's still incredibly cool.

And certainly Paulie isn't poor quite in the same way. Paulie was asking for help to make his dream a reality. Perhaps that's harder for many people to stomach when they themselves either don't have any dreams or are too busy wondering why no one is helping them realize THEIR dreams.

Although...if you've got dreams, perhaps you ought to ask for a little help from your friends.

But...really my point is this...

Give. Just a little. Just to see what it feels like.

Like Redhead Writing Ranting posted about the other day:

Do it. Give. You’ll do a favor to them and to yourself with each of these little gifts, and every other you can think of.


  • A hug
  • A smile
  • A cup of coffee to the guy next in line
  • A book you cherish
  • Some time that you’d rather spend on something else
  • Biting your tongue for a change
  • Speaking your mind for a change
  • Not being so bloody stubborn for a change
  • Standing your ground for a change
  • Forgiveness
  • If you want to give some money to someone or some cause, give it
  • Lots of forgiveness
  • Love, of course (What, are you dumb? Of course love)
Anything will do. Give something to someone, as often as you can, just because you can.

Giving just once - even if it's a dollar or a hug - just might make someone's dream come true. It may make your dream come true.

54? *shaking head*

1 comment:

Diva said...

It's consistently true that 10% of people in a group - volunteers, donations, work/school projects - do 90% of the work. I know Sanctuary Radio has thousands of listeners any hour, but has trouble scrounging up their $500/month to stay on the air.

On the bright side, at least there continue to be those of us who give. Can you imagine what the world would be like *without* the 54 for Paulie?

Yeah, I don't want to think about it either.....