You’re really no one until someone rejects you. And if you get an email saying “have a nice life, and don’t contact me until you live an ethical one” – well that’s just gold.
Let me back up.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the immense pleasure of learning I was accepted to a very exclusive writer’s workshop outside the US. It took a TRUCK LOAD of balls to send in my writing sample, and even after I did, there was a part of me that really didn’t believe I’d ever be selected. The instructor is a literary rock star; there are only 10 slots open, and well… I’m just this chick with some blog.
After receiving the call that I was in, I cried so many happy tears, I couldn’t speak. I called my mom. I sat there in my living room and allowed myself to dream bigger than I ever have.
Then a day passed. Reality set in. And I needed to think about how the hell I was gonna afford this (I don’t know anyone who has extra cash floating around, do you?).
Then I remembered a few months back, donating to a friend’s Kickstarter Campaign. She’s a stage performer (comedian) and needed funds to help with productions of her videos. I happily donated to her dream because I know her passion. Come to think of it, I’ve kicked in a few bucks this past year to similar personal fund-raising campaigns – just to show my support and encouragement for someone having the balls to follow their dream.
Still, I was uneasy. Would starting my own fundraising campaign be… weird? I’ve never asked anyone for money or any kind of help before, so just the idea was definitely off-putting. So I asked my friends (and followers) on social media what their thoughts were about me doing something like this.
“If I get accepted to this writer’s workshop, would it be totally narcissistic and gross if I started a fund-raising campaign? If everyone I knew donated just ten dollars, I’d be able to go.”
“No, way – do it!”
“That’s an awesome idea!”
The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. So I thought – if I get accepted, I’m doing it.
Fast forward with 20 days to go on this campaign and I’ve raised a good chunk of funds. I’m beside myself with gratitude for friends (and some anonymous strangers) that have come forward to help fund my dream. Seriously. I’ve cried many, MANY grateful tears. I get that money is tight for all of us. And for someone to even contribute a penny of their hard-earned money is BEYOND.
Then, the email.
“Don’t contact me again unless you live your life ethically.” (paraphrasing)
This is from a family member who has supported me every step of the way – until now. She’s in her 70s, and a retired journalist. And BOY does this fundraising idea hit a nerve.
With one email from her, I’m 14 years old again – feeling ashamed of myself, embarrassed and like an overall tool.
After she said I was “Stupid”, and a whole bucket load of negative bullshit, I replied.
“I appreciate where you’re coming from, but I refuse to be shamed for having the courage to ask for help and follow my dream. These fundraising programs are very popular right now, so although I understand this seems unethical to you – quite honestly – your email calling me names is unethical. No one is required or obligated to donate. And if you don’t have anything nice to say, please don’t say it.”
Well, it just goes on and on from there.
I’m proud of myself for taking a stand to her, but can’t help but feel she’s not the only one who believes these personal “Kickstarter” campaigns are unethical and in poor taste.
There are countless people in the Philipines who could use the funds I’ve raised. Part of me wants to give up my spot at this workshop and donate the cash to the Red Cross.
I’m emotional. I’m completely stressed.
If you’re interested in seeing what the fuss is about, here’s the video I made:
If you’d like to see the fund-raising campaign – please go HERE.
What are your thoughts on personal fund-raising campaigns: logical or unethical?