Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fundraising: Why I'm a Slacker

If you've been reading my blog for very long, you've probably seen me mention my friend, Lori, over at In Pursuit of Martha Points. She's not only funny in all the right ways - just enough snark, wordplay and sarcasm - she has a big heart. She's a speech pathologist and has recently launched a blog for that, Your Child Talking. But before that, she started Project: Purse and Boots to raise money for the American Heart Association and their efforts at stroke prevention.

I'll be honest; I'm a slacker when it comes to donating to good causes. It's not that I don't want to, but I like to do it anonymously. Which is difficult when you can't just drop an envelope of money off somewhere. And it's not that I'm so humble I want to wave off the appreciation that I want my identity kept a secret. I want to be anonymous for purely selfish reasons.

1. I don't have a PayPal account, so I have to use a credit card. And I'm all kinds of Mission: Impossible about keeping that stuff to myself as much as I can.

2. I don't want follow up emails/flyers sent to my already overflowing inbox/mailbox.

3. There are hundreds of worthy causes. If I was a millionaire, I'd divvy up my contributions accordingly. However, I only have so much money allocated to charity, and that can only be split so many ways before I'm only able to give a quarter to everyone. If I donate to one charity, the others find out somehow, and suddenly I'm being hounded to donate to help Save the Purple-Spotted Dolphins who are so rare there are only three of them found in a square mile off the coast of Australia. And I always feel guilty for not trying to help everyone who solicits me for donations. So I try to keep my name on the DL.

Other selfish reasons for donating? The swag. I'm all for helping people out of the goodness of my heart, but I'm also not going to deny that I'm enticed by good products. Bring on the Girl Scout Cookies! I mean, most people don't even realize it's a fundraiser, it's such good marketing.

That said, I do think the AHA is a good cause. Stroke affects so many people. My experience with it was my grandma. She was the stereotypical grandma, incredible baker/cook, spoiled me rotten, was soft and huggable, kept all manner of strange things to recycle into crafts with us, like strawberry containers and yarn. We only got to see her once or twice a year since she lived in Manitoba, and it was always such a treat.

My grandpa was quite a bit older than her and passed away when I was 5. Grandma lived on her own for a dozen years before disaster struck. She had a stroke and fell one morning. It was several hours later before a friend stopped in to check on her. Because she had gone so long without treatment, there was a lot of permanent damage. She was paralyzed on the left side and had to learn to speak and eat again. She was no longer able to walk, much less garden. She couldn't knit or play cards. Her personality changed; she often spoke of wishing she could just die - she didn't like being a burden to her family. She had difficulty remembering things and learning new tasks. For example, she couldn't see out of the left side of her eyes, so she needed to turn her head left to see what was there. The OTs at the nursing home would gently remind her to eat the food on that side of her plate. She never got the hang of it.

It was several years before she finally passed away. To see her this way, it was heartbreaking.

And so because of that, I put away my selfish need to stay anonymous and ponied up my email address and credit card info for an online donation to the American Heart Association via Project: Purse and Boots. Lori is having a Tweet-A-Thon today from 6pm-7pm CDT to get the word out and make some progress toward her goal. If you are on Twitter, follow the hashtag #PPNB and join in! Either way, please take a moment to head that way and donate to this worthy cause.


Liz said...

I'll meet ya at the tweetathon!

Clay Boggess said...

If only one could donate without so many strings attached to the giving. I really think that more people would be generous with their money.

Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points said...

You are so lovely, my wonderful friend. I actually understand this problem. And appreciate more than you know you breaking out the personal details.

Love you tons.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

You are so welcome, my friend! I'm glad it was so successful.

Clay, I couldn't agree more!

blueviolet said...

Heart disease runs in my family and strokes have been the cause of death for far too many of my relatives. I totally see why you gave up a bit of anonymity for that.

Shell said...

Is it bad that I'm sitting here thinking about Girl Scout Cookies? I need to remember that about me helping when orders are being taken next year...

Work, Wife, Mom... Life! said...

i missed this last week as i was at work. but i wouldn't feel bad about NOT donating to other causes. i also have a couple of organizations that i typically donate to. and i don't think that's bad!! find your passion and give to it!!

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