Saturday, June 10, 2017

Day 10: The doldrums

I'll be very honest tonight because I don't know what else to write about. I know that no one wants to read a negative post but if I can't be real, then I shouldn't be writing to begin with. I'm pretty discouraged and considered hanging up the challenge today for an early finish line. My social media engagement on my awareness efforts is fatigued and dwindling, and I don't know that I have the creative energy to keep it interesting. My enews that went out announcing the challenge was what I thought to be one of my most heart-felt and relevant, but it was my lowest open rate ever, and even among those who opened it, it had the lowest click-through rate ever. And, I think the hardest to accept is that I'm way off my pace to meet my charitable goal for the challenge.

I have started to have some very real human thoughts, thinking, am I just starting to sound like a broken record? Is my hunger in vain? Is this coming across the wrong way? Have those I'm trying to reach with this message completely tuned out for fear of actually feeling empathy? Perhaps it's just too much. I get it. Many days I feel like tuning out and giving up, and I'm not talking about just in this challenge. Month in and month out I advocate for these children we serve and for those that we are trying to save, and the message largely falls on deaf ears. But each and every dollar I raise to sustain these life-saving programs is backed up with hard work, persistence, and vulnerability.

Yet I reminded myself of all the personal reasons I do these challenges, and regardless of the support or lack thereof, or of the blog and its intended purpose, regardless of its charitable impact, I still gain incredible personal and spiritual insight from the challenge, even if I was just doing it privately. So for that purpose, if nothing else, I have decided to press on. And, of course, for the children whose lives are changed by our programs and all of our collective hard work, generosity, and advocacy, I will always press on. And, I suppose, that is the essence of love— staying the course when everything around you is telling you that the odds are against you and you'll never win.

In the midst of my human moments of despair today, I also decided that I am not giving up on my charitable goal. I dug down deep and realized that I need to tweak the expectation I'm setting on the "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart" because it's not realistic; the pace I'm expecting using the current means of escelating, consecutive values is not attainable given my limited audience.

Thus I'm introducing a new concept tonight that should broaden the reach of the campaign. Sign up using this link to enter whatever donation amount you can afford to give monthly, and I will start keeping track of these "parts" until together, they add up to the next available heart in the "Heart-Chart." So if you can only afford one dollar per month, sign up for that, and we will add it to the next available heart in our sequence, and when others chip in toward that heart with whatever amount they can afford to let go of each month, we'll keep a running total and watch for when that next heart is filled by way of several "part" sponsors.

In a moment of much needed comic relief, I actually thought about calling these "Heart-Parts" but I decided to spare all of us of that embarassment.

So I'll be having my coder work on that to find a visually representative way to communicate that on the "Heart-Chart." Until then, using this link will do!

So a reminder of where we are on our path to meeting our monthly budget in the way of accumulating several smaller, but very generous, monthly donors... this is the first section of our "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart" and it's a section I'd love to see filled within the next 10 days of the challenge  ... Let's keep it going; registering any monthly gift is appreciated!

I'm dedicating day 10 to the boys of our India Boys Home in South India. These kids are some of the most resilient, agile, smart, fervent, and loyal souls you'll ever meet.

I do these daily dedications to remind myself, and to show you, the power of what the "Heart-Chart" is all about, it's about empowering hope. We can give a child hope, but if we don't actually empower that hope with action, then the hope dies. We have done so much to reach that end, including investing over a half-million dollars into on-field small business enterprise over the years, to equip our teams with their own fund-generating tools to meet us in the middle with their own profits and food stocks! So we're not looking for hand-outs, rather hand-ups.

A few of my favorite shots I've taken of the boys from our India Boys Home follow. Many of these orphans were found in child labor or child slavery situations. To imagine the despair they came from, and now to see their smiles, should hopefully speak volumes to all of us:

Charitable goal update. In order to reach my goal of filling 50 hearts on my "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart" I hope to see five new "monthly hearts" on the "Heart-Chart" sponsored by tomorrow. I will need your help to make this happen! Pledge ANY amount monthly, and you will help me reach my goal!

For those of you just tuning in, I'll recap what I'm trying to achieve with the "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart" and my goal of finding 50 new sponsors for these "hearts" which I like to think of as representing lives being transformed and, ultimately, saved.

Why am I seeking monthly donors? The orphan care, child labor response, and human trafficking response programs we've pioneered at Peace Gospel and She Has Hope— while sustained in part by small business enterprise— need charitable support to be fully sustained. The budgets of these programs have fixed, monthly expenses. Thus, while one-time donations are deeply appreciated, it's the monthly donations that give us something to count on and plan with. Therefor, long-term, they're the most powerful.

If you're willing to make a small monthly sacrifice of any amount to help ensure that the following merciful actions are fully funded each month, I would be grateful for your partnership with me in this effort. With your help, our monthly budget enables us to…
  • Provide resident care for 290 orphans in 11 homes in Asia and Africa
  • Operate 4 schools and 4 after-school care programs reaching over 1000 children
  • Serve approx. 50,000 fresh meals to children in our programs
  • Train 100s of girls how to avoid the dangers of human trafficking
  • House, rehabilitate and empower 20 girls recovering from human trafficking

On to what I was able to create with just $1 worth of food today. Definitely getting in a rut, but the more creative things I want to try take a good hour to prepare, and I just have not had time lately. But these standard variations are working for now.

Click or tap on image to enlarge...




Take Action!

1) Please consider helping me reach my goal to find 50 new "Sustainers"— donors willing to give a small amount each month toward our work helping vulnerable children and trafficking survivors. Learn more and sign up here!

2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to the work of Peace Gospel's programs helping orphans, at-risk children of the slums, and human trafficking survivors.

3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. One of the main goals is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.

4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!

1 comment:

  1. I love the honesty and raw emotions of this post. Thank you for sharing your heart and experiences. I also like the added tweak to the heart wall. Praying for great things!