I often wonder if people question why we do so many fundraisers for Lily. Do they think we are being greedy and don’t want to pay for anything on our own? Do they think we should just be happy with what we already have? Do they think Lily is worth a little bit of their hard earned money?
Please don’t get annoyed with fundraisers. Before we had Lily I got annoyed with people always asking if I wanted to help donate to some well meaning cause. I got fed up with always seeing posts and flyers about them. Although I did give on occasion usually I would just pray for the cause then go about my own business with out thinking of it again. Don’t get me wrong I knew how important fundraisers were I was just tired of people always asking for my hard earned money when I really didn’t have any to spare. I felt guilty and hated finding an excuse to tell people why I could not donate that time. Always wondering if they believed the excuse I gave them. Being annoyed was just me feeling guilty about not helping out and not knowing how to address the situation.
Many who deserve and need to do a fundraiser don’t do one. Why? From our experience its out of fear from what others will think of them. They want people to think they can handle it on their own. They are afraid that if they ask for help people will think they are weak. Fear that they will loose friends and people will look at them differently. Fundraisers bring out the best and the worst characters in people. You get to see their true heart. You get donations from people that you barely know or don’t even know at all, donations from those who let everyone know it was them, ones who donate anonymously yet tell us privately, and then there are ones who so very graciously donate through a friend and won’t tell us who they are or send money in the mail with no trace as to who it is from.
Those who aren’t able to donate either avoid us, act like they didn’t know about it in the first place even though you know it likely was presented to them at least one or more times, and then those who knew about it and just simply say they are praying for God to provide for you and that they will share about your need. In our eyes praying and sharing are just as important as donating. I only wish I had known this in the past. It would have made for a lot less awkward encounters.
I was terrible at showing gratitude when I was a kid (and I admit that I still struggle with it). It wasn’t that I wasn’t grateful. I was. Being shy and quiet I had a hard time showing my emotions. Thank you cards have always been difficult for me to do. I know its the polite and proper thing to do but I’ve never really liked them. You know as soon as you take the time to write it, pay for postage and mail it, that it is likely it will end up being read with a glance and trashed within a week if not sooner or lost amongst the stuff to sort at another time. Rarely do people keep and treasure thank you cards. I’ve always felt that if you give with the expectation of getting a thank you in return, and are disappointed if you do not get one. Were you truly giving with the right attitude of the heart in the first place?
So why exactly do we do so many fundraisers? Besides the obvious financial assistance of course.
We learned when Lily was in the NICU that allowing others to bless you blesses them in return and you never want to rob people of a blessing.
The world of special needs is very expensive! Yes insurance covers a lot, but it does not cover everything. Last year after a scare at school we realized we needed a second suction machine for Lily as a back up. (If she does not have this close by she can aspirate and end up getting very sick.) Insurance will only cover one suction machine, so if something happens to it we are out of luck until it is repaired or replaced. A new one costs around $500. We reached out to our immediate family members and all stepped up and helped. We had a new suction machine fast and it is so much more convenient. It is smaller and more portable than the other one. We now have 2 and don’t worry about the possibility of being without it. This gives us great peace of mind.
We’ve also gotten Lily her Upsee with a fundraiser. This also was around $500. (The Upsee is a special harness that attaches Lily to me so she can walk with me.)
There are lots of appointments in St. Louis usually monthly. As well as therapy in Mattoon weekly. Gas gets very expensive. And most of you already know that our latest fundraisers have went toward getting Lily a much needed Handicap Van. We are so very thankful to ALL who stepped up to help, especially the anonymous family member who paid the remainder of what we needed. Our next fundraisers are planned to go toward a future handicap bathroom addition. This will take a long time to raise for so we are saving up now before the need is immediate.
We will try not to burn everyone out on always having a fundraiser. But please understand that we CANNOT do it on our own. So if someone steps up and offers to do a fundraiser for us we will graciously accept (we will not rob them of the blessing of blessing others). We promise to not drive you nuts posting about it all the time. But we will get the word out for those who want to know about it. We will not be offended if you just ignore it or if you say you do not want to participate.
For those of you who actively fund raise for something all the time. I admire you. It is very hard work and extremely humbling!! Your efforts do not go unnoticed. Although I’m sure sometimes you get discouraged from those who express their annoyance about “Another Fundraiser” stand strong you ARE blessing people with your actions. Thank you!
And THANK YOU to all of you who read this, have ever donated, prayed or shared about a fundraiser. It is much appreciated!