What a week it’s been. Those who’ve been following my comments know that I’ve had a big struggle regarding serious leaks in my laundry room, and raising the money needed for proper repairs.
After much thought, I finally turned to the Kos community for help. At the urging of others here, I posted my fundraising diary on Thursday and then triciawyse posted a second for me on Friday. The background details are well-explained in the linked diaries so I won’t repeat them here.
It turned into an interesting evolutionary journey, to say the least - and ended up extremely well. By Thursday evening I’d received contributions totalling $350 towards my goal of $700. Then, on Friday the goal was reached within an hour after the diary was posted! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this generous outpouring of support.
Now I've met my goal, things are in motion. My handyman will come over Wednesday so we can go over the plans. By then the PayPal transfer to my credit union account will be complete, and I'll be able give him the deposit so he can buy the materials. And I'll be on my way to being leak-free!
Beyond the mere fundraising, I - and I think some others here - had a Very Fine Growth Experience. It’s so compelling for me I wanted to share my thoughts. And I enlisted the LOLpooties of ICHC to help me. More after the jump.
Pre-jump note: Wouldn't ya know, I screwed up the poll :( The third choice shoud read, "Meh - not that special."
How It Works
A community fundraiser is about helping a Kossack who has a need that they just can’t handle alone, such home repair like in my case, or raising funds to get medical care for a beloved pet, or even more desperate needs like avoiding eviction and homelessness. A diary is posted explaining the need, what it takes to fill that need, and how fellow Kossacks can help:
Sometimes goods or services are offered for sale to help raise the money:
All contributions, no matter how small, are welcome, and there are many other ways to help the Kossack in need. Good wishes and moral support are appreciated more than you can know. It also really helps to spread the word, both within the site and out. This can be done using other social networking sites, such as Twitter or Facebook.
A little magic doesn’t hurt, either.
It can be quite an adventure. I had no idea what would come about when I started my project.
Some folks, however, aren’t as enthusiastic about these kinds of diaries. There are indeed legitimate concerns about online scams
Other concerns resulted from viewing a request for help as the requestee thinking they’re “entitled” to the money.
Others noted that a requestee who has nice things might not need all that much help.
This of course has the effect of distracting from the real message - helping a Kossack in need. I’m grateful to the many good Kossacks who stepped forward on my behalf to refute these claims. I would encourage anyone who might need to do a fundraiser to ask an experienced Kossack to host it for them. Or at least get some endorsements and post them in the fundraising diary. This helps reduce the misunderstandings - and if they do crop up, it's comforting to know the community will join together to take care of their own.
In summary, Community Fundraisers are a valid and vital part of this community as a whole. I recognize that some may disagree with this. This being my diary (I haven’t posted it to any groups), those who disagree have the freedom to express their views here. And the rest of us have the freedom to say what we think about that.
My personal outcome
Seriously - this is not snark - in addition to meeting my fundraising goals, the whole experience has been amazingly transforming. The pie fight of Thursday’s diary was gut-wrenching for me. Many of the criticisms triggered long-standing personal issues and hot buttons of mine. It isn’t easy for anyone to ask for help, especially in the larger culture which is so saturated with notions of who deserves what and pull yourself up by your bootstraps, etc. I could go on with that, but not right now.
Yet by the end of the afternoon, all those hot buttons had been neutralized. The overwhelming support of the Kossacks who rose to my defense gave me a gift that goes way beyond money. It was truly liberating.
After this, I don’t believe I’ll ever again have to listen to someone who thinks I don’t deserve to have my needs met, or that I’m being “too commercial” by inviting people to look at my business enterprises. Sure, someone down the road will probably try to tell me that, but I don’t have to listen. Those issues are gone. I feel very bonded and much more part of the community now, and I hope I’ll be able to give back as I have been helped by the many generous people on this site. Since I don’t have the words, I’ll let my pootie LuvLee close with a message from both of us:
FANK YOU ALL for helping mai mommee!
Now, about those towels
Because I started this whole journey in the PWB threads, I wanted to appeal to the pootie people and show how LuvLee was forced to get her feets wet when she went to her litterbox in the leaky laundry room. So I included this picture to show the proximity of the litter box to the wet floor and buckets placed to catch drips:
When I took this picture, I wasn’t even about the towels that were put down to soak up water, but several observations about the towels were made in Thursday’s diary thread. Hilarity ensued. It’s kind of all moot by now, but I am curious: What does the community really think about the condition of my towels? Take the poll (which is included by popular request) and let us know in the comments, too :)