Friday, August 03, 2007

Blue ...

At this time next week, I'll be done with Day 1 of the 3-Day.

But that's not why I'm sad.

Maybe "sad" isn't the right word. Maybe the right word is "bummed." Or "disappointed." Or maybe "doleful." "Doleful" is underused.

This year, I set a fundraising goal of $5,000. I'm halfway there. Of course, there's always more I could do to raise more money.

Mind you, I've passed the minimum required to participate in the event, and that's great. I'm really grateful to all my contributors, as I am every year, for their generosity.

We have a deal, me and them: I walk 60 miles to raise money and awareness, they write a check. Or clickity-click a few buttons online.

And I'm always very aware that not everyone is able to contribute and that's totally fine. We've all been there.

But I'm bummed that friends who have told me they'll contribute, some of whom who have told me for years that they'll contribute, haven't gotten around to it.

"Remind me!" some say. So I remind them. I understand. You mean to do something and then your attention gets diverted and e-mails get buried. I get that. But after several reminders, you realize that there's a fine line between reminding and nagging. After several gently prodding e-mails and phone calls, well, either they're going to do it or they're not. I'm not going to say, "If you don't contribute to this walk, I'll kill this dog."

And while I like to see progress on my fundraising thermometer, it isn't just about the money. And even though I try not to take it personally, it's hard not to feel a little let down.

I've prepared to walk 60 miles in the August heat for a cause I hold very near and dear to my heart. And I know that not everyone takes this as seriously as I do. This will be my fourth event. That means, by the time next Sunday evening rolls around, I will have walked nearly 240 miles.

That's like walking from Chicago to Detroit in 12 eight-hour days.

But I've gotten amazingly generous and unexpected contributions from people I don't even know very well, so my brain is trying to process why people who love me can't find two minutes in their lives to follow through on a promise they've made time and again.


Blogger Dave said...

You rock, Beth. I hope those whom you call friends come through for you - and, more importantly, for those in need. (OK, I'm sounding really mawkish now, so forgive me.) :)

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

Yeah, this is a tough one. I empathize, as my Vision Monthly thing took a lot of time and effort, and when I couldn't raise the paltriest of sums to keep the effort afloat, I was pretty annoyed. BUT, I had to get philosophical about it, and I set expectations up front that the project was money-powered, and no money = no 'zine.

Not that I'm suggesting "no donations = you're not my friend." I don't know why the promised funds aren't materializing, but as Robert Wuhl said, "judge slowly." Perhaps there are reasons that the people have not opted to share at this time.

Not that it lifts your spirits or anything. :-(

Anyway, I'm pulling for you.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

Oh, and thanks for the sidebar link. :-)

9:29 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks, Dave. Mawkish? Nah. The women who are hoping for a cure wouldn't call what you wrote mawkish.

And thanks, Eth. I've been trying to be detached about it all and "judge slowly," but it's pretty hard to concoct an excuse for why someone hasn't found time to write a check for three years.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous girlanddog said...

Push those people out of your mind and focus on the ones who have contributed and who are counting on you to succeed through one more walk. No sense wasting energy right now on people who've demonstrated through actions - if not words - that they don't have the same priority.

Also, some people just find it hard to come right out and say "no". Just like some people won't admit they don't know how to point you in the right direction to the freaking bus depot. :) Don't be too hard on your friends, perhaps they've donated to other charities that are more close to their hearts, but they feel bad saying "no" flat out.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Cute bus depot analogy, girl!

And all you say is true. I just needed to purge the feelings yesterday, hence the blog entry.

Though I'd suggest that I'm not being hard on my friends. I'm just feeling what I feel. It's not as though I'm about to end our friendships over this.

7:54 AM  
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2:47 PM  

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