Monday, August 24, 2009

Why I Fundraise

Another September draws nigh, with its back-to-school frenzy. For me, this year, no tuition or lectures are involved, yet I am still anxious about the back-to-school time -- for some children across the world. I fundraise for Children of Uganda, an organization for which I volunteered in 2005 and 2007, and September is one of the most expensive months for them. Tuition must be paid out to several schools where we send older children (not having an in-house high school or vocational training), but even the little ones whom we educate at our own school need fresh supplies of pens and pencils, notebooks, and the other supplies that all add up. I am committing to an effort of raising $3,000 this year, even though my sister and brother-in-law "got" many of our regular donors at their wedding.

So it begins... the facebook messages, status updates, blog entries, mailing and stamping for those old-fashioned types... the Big Push.

And I wonder, every so often, just HOW annoyed my friends get by this effort, and I appreciate the many who have not (yet) de-friended me on facebook, on account of my charitable zeal for the Ugandan orphans.
So, why do I do this?
Risking the cyber-groans and "doesn't everyone know I'm a starving artist/student/CEO/bum and have no money?" ... the feelings of guilt... the i-should-help-but-i-won't-today... and all the other crap I'm inflicting on my friends by the financial requests I send?
I do it because I have seen how far a dollar can go on the other side of the world... how far a donated dress can go when it's handmedowned to five girls, one after the other, and then turned into hankies and rags... and because I have returned home to America and seen how quickly my money flies unwitting out of my pocket. Because I need to keep myself remembering that in more extreme circumstances money does NOT fly away so quickly on chocolate bars and other minor luxuries, but that it can bandage, bind, shoe, feed, and clothe the wounded parts of our world.

THAT is at least somewhat why I spend so much time on the computer facebooking, or at my desk addressing and stamping, or whatever else I manage to do...

It's also because, well, I fell in love with a lot of loveable children, and I'd be willing to bet that you would too if you could meet them. I've been adopted as some kids' "Mummy Talitha" and I feel fiercely loyal to protecting and empowering them. And the bare facts are, school costs money, and you can't get jobs in Uganda without an education. And so! little by little, "slowly by slowly," dollar at a time, we try to help.
Thank you all so much for your contributions and support!

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