Saturday, August 15, 2009

Back2School Challenge

I was so blessed to be able to have an opportunity to try and raise $10,000 to help 1,000 children go back to school with a book bag full of brand new school supplies. The Apple Foundation of Denver NC issued me a Matching Challenge and I started sending out letters, emails, phones and a few tweets.

This was also the time that Megan started having severe issues with Gastroparesis. She had lost ALL ability to digest solids and to make matters worse, liquids were at this point not digesting well at all! Now, please, do not think that I'm using her as an excuse, because I would do the same in her case each and every time. I spent all the time needed to make sure she was taken care of as any Mommie would do. She is my Princess and she had to be taken care of.

The only thing I would do differently is TWEET it first. That's right. When I started tweeting this on Monday, you guys rallied around and the RT's were unbelievable. So many people were spreading the word and trying to help these wonderful kids and I thank you for it. I'm so grateful for how you guys jumped in and blogged, tweeted and then many of you donated towards this project! I say it all the time, but I really do mean it - I follow the greatest people on twitter.

So, what happened? We were able to raise $1150.00 and the Foundation is mailing a check for $1150.00 - matching what we raised, so we'll have a total of 2300.00 to spend on these children. Will I be able to purchase 1,000 new book bags and give them 16 different items to go back to school with? No, heavens no - but IT IS ALL GOOD! Do you hear me? All good!

Remember the story of the loaves and fishes in the Bible? Hmmmm? Indeed, time to walk the talk. Time to show you that we can make a HUGE difference in the lives of some FUN children. Time to pray for wisdom, make some decisions about which of the 16 items can be purchased and go from there. Time to do what I can with what I have!

Am I discouraged? Mercy NO! I'm so encouraged by what happened last week, you would not believe it! I found out just how HUGE your hearts are! I found out that I know some of the greatest people on earth! I found out that it never, ever hurts to ask.

So, unless someone ships me 1,000 DONATED book bags in the next week - the school supplies will be assembled in plastic bags. Will all 16 items be purchased? Probably not. Doing some quick math and glancing over prices in the stores it appears that the kids will get about 6 or 7 things each. But I honestly believe this will be huge to them and will come back and post the pictures! We may have to cut down the number of bags to 700 or so, but still praying about that direction.

I just wanted to give you an update on what happened, where we are and where we are going. As with any Non Profit, transparency is the key. I always want to remain open, honest and up front. I give because I want to make a difference. That's why Spreading Joy was started. A desire to give. I can't stop it, it's in me!

Oh, just one other piece of info - for transparency sake. I'm blessed to have a full time job - so all of these funds go towards the purchase school items. 100%! One day, when I'm living the dream and Spreading Joy full time, I'll probably take a salary, but until then, it is all about the giving!

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.~James Matthew Barrie



Ophelia Las said...

That's is better than nothing.

Well done.

Great stuff Marie.

Have a wonderful w/end.


Prodigal said...

Do you have any way of measuring the source of the funds you receive, for example, do you know how successful you were through Twitter vs. other methods of raising funds?

Marie said...

@olliie thank you! This will make a huge difference! I can NOT wait until I can post the pictures! You will be amazed. This is SOOO much better than anyone realizes!

@Prodigal Yes, $750 was outside of twitter. $400 was raised from the great folks in MY twitter family!

I love those that I follow!

Anonymous said...

Amazing, Marie...
Your initiative to put all of this together is inspiring and motivating. Thanks for 'spreading joy' to all these kids and to all of us.
Thank you,

Marie said...

@Darren Thanks for the kind words. I do dream of great things for children. It helps them to continue to dream as well as know that tough times do not always last. Giving out 800 bags will be such a wonderful thing AND each bag as 9 or so things in them.

very exciting weekend ahead - indeed!!

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