This won’t be my usual kind of post. And coming from me, that’s saying something, because I have a lot of different kinds of “usual” posts. This won’t be an old story, new adventure, sporting event or political screed. I don’t even intend any goofy word-play, but I can’t promise anything. Sometimes things just pop out. Word things, I mean. Dammit.
I’ve always hated fundraising, ever since I was forced to when I was a kid, because it was required by my Little League teams. I’d have to go out and knock on doors, trying to sell candy bars or leaf bags or something. I hated every second of it.
I hate it even more now, because today’s kids aren’t allowed to knock on strangers doors to do their fundraising. Their parents have to do it for them and hit up all their friends and co-workers. Granted, I’m only mad about that now because I didn’t get to take advantage of it. I think my parents made me go out there because they were secretly hoping I’d get kidnapped. Then they’d move.
So since I’ve been a grownup, and especially since I’ve worked in an office environment, I’ve always stayed miles away from any fundraising activities. At times, I’d be one of the few in the department that didn’t play. Part of it was because times were tight and I didn’t make much. Another part of it was I didn’t want to be sucked into the “machine.” It’s one thing to buy some bake sale brownies or raffle tickets. It’s another to put your name into the online registration site, knowing you’ll be pestered about it for the rest of your days.
Our company has two major drives each year, where the various departments compete against each other. One of them is for the United Way. I think I mentioned here before that last year, I finally ponied up with a contribution, because I found that I could funnel my donation into one of my pet projects (Planned Parenthood), to which United Way contributes. (I picked the Planned Parenthoods of various states where their conservative governor and legislature are cutting funding.) I figured that if I give to them anyway, why not at least stop being a mark against my department.
The other drive is for March of Dimes (MOD), which provides help for premature babies. Now, I’m not one that gets all misty at the idea of “Oh, save the babies, oh my God, the babies.) I’ve always been more interesting in preventing the babies, if you will, via Planned Parenthood. I consider that ensuring the baby is wanted is the first vital step.
So, time marched on, my place in life became more stable, and most importantly, I picked up a new responsibility at work, in running the A/V equipment for various town halls, meetings and events. That’s what put me in the room for the MOD kickoff event a couple years back.
People I know from my company got up and spoke very eloquently about their experiences with premature babies, and the direct help provided by MOD. That year, I went online and for the first time, kicked in a couple of bucks.
Last year, my boss got up and spoke of the premature baby that she lost, of whom I had known nothing about. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including mine. Luckily, the event organizers had enough foresight to distribute boxes of tissue around the room, ahead of time. I went online to donate again, and upped my donation to the level where I could wear jeans every day in April. (I actually had to go buy some more jeans.) I was signed up for The March for Babies, technically, but I never intended to go.
Today, we had another riveting speaker, who had also lost a baby who was barely over a pound, at birth. But more importantly, she had a second child, whom she was able to keep in utero longer, due to the treatment provided by the MOD.
So this year, aside from donating, I decided that I’ll actually join the March for Babies in early May. With my “Summer of Bluz,” I’ve been looking to do something to break out of my self-imposed ruts, so this seems like a good start. I’ve been assured that I don’t actually have to “march;” regular walking will be fine. Plus, they’re holding it downtown, so there could be the opportunity to have some drinks when it’s over.
“The walk isn’t over yet… what are you doing at Hooters?”
“Seriously, I have to re-hydrate!”
The March is four miles; I think I can do that. I know I walked three miles about 10 years ago, when I had to walk home from the subway. (I couldn’t get a cab). Of course, I was good and pissed off, so I probably didn’t even notice the soreness until I was almost home.
My boss also spoke at today’s meeting; this time to suggest various ways to raise funds through our online accounts. Now, in the prior years, I refrained from asking anyone for anything. I have the hardest time with that. I’d rather be anywhere than asking for something, especially money. I know times is still tight.
But one of the ways she mentioned was through social media, and after careful consideration, I figured that was something I could do. So here I am.
Now, I’m not going to hector you or harass you or try to cajole you out of your hard-earned dough. I’m going to ask you once, and what will be, will be. If you care to help me out here, or more importantly, provide help for parents like (most of) you, who are just trying to give their baby a shot at growing up, please click this link (now removed) to go to my MOD page. From there, you can use a credit or debit card, PayPal, or even cash and check, to make a donation in the amount of your choosing. Five bucks, a hundred bucks, whatevs. It all helps.
I promise, after today, (well, probably this weekend), I’ll go back to being the same crusty, cantankerous, raconteur you’ve come to know and love. Or at least tolerate.