I'm going to try to write at least a little every day now, I hope. Part of the problem has certainly been laziness, but I think a bigger part is the sort of self consciousness about the actual gravity of my thoughts that I always seem to feel. However, I was reading Chris's blog, my friend who's in Ghana right now as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and he inspired me. I know I'm not really a particularly awesome girl, and my thoughts, as I've suspected, truly aren't any more important that anyone else's, but I have taken advantage of a lot of opportunities that have made for some pretty sweet experiences in my life. If writing about it can inspire someone to take advantage of some of the challenging opportunities they have in their own life, I've probably done a good thing. So thus, I'm going to try to share my experiences. If nothing else, I'm sure I'll ultimately appreciate the record later.
Today I had my super spectacular Benefit BBQ!!! Haha. I've been pretty nervous about it for like 3 weeks now. Initially because I didn't think we'd get enough donations, and then later on because I was worried that we'd have too many donations and not enough guests. However, as these things usually seem to, our hard work paid off. It might not have been the best barbecue ever, but it was pretty fun and I'm seriously amazed by how generous people were. I collected $532 with donations, a chinese auction and a 50/50 raffle. Seriously! How amazing is that, especially considering that there were probably less than 40 people who showed up throughout the day. It's been one of the best things about trying to reach this fundraising goal--spending time with all the good people I have around me. And it seems like so many of the people who want to talk to me about it and donate to the cause are either complete strangers or acquaintances that I really never spent much time with before. It's really wonderful to know that there are so many good people around us everyday.
It's also been really difficult asking for money though. I was pretty sure that the fundraising would be more challenging than the biking, from the beginning, and although I can't officially comment on that yet, I think it's probably gotten pretty close to living up to the expectation. The other day Dan was generous enough to walk door to door with me through a neighborhood of complete strangers and ask for donations. It was pretty tough, even though no one was really opposed to me showing up at their door (except for the house that may or may not have let their dogs out on us :) ). It was ultimately a success though--in the short hour we lasted we collected $50. The hardest has definitely been asking family members for donations, because whether they truly want to give or not, as soon as the question is posed or they find out that another family member has donated there's and instant sense of obligation. That worries me quite a bit, but family have still chosen not to donate, while others have given volumes of their time and money. That sort of contests to the fact that I really need to think of this fundraiser as me presenting someone else with the opportunity to do a good deed. It is ultimately their decision whether they donate or not, but at least I gave them the option and perhaps a little motivation if they needed it. Regardless, I'm so grateful for all the help I've had and the countless donations everyone has made. However difficult it's been, it's really rewarding and, actually quite an honor, to be able to witness and perhaps even inspire good will in my friends, family, and random acquaintances.