Fundraising Day 5
The reality hits, then the exhaustion.
Of course, there are already more stories to tell:
1. The story of visiting Al Onteroa’s office this Thursday morning, and how good it felt and how much thinner he looked and how he approved of our work with a single nod and a smile: “I see you’ve done your homework,” he said, holding up our map.
2. The story of THE MISSING FOOTBRIDGE IN CELO, which in fact does exist. To add to the intensity of the week, the DOT folks sent an aerial photo this week of the bridge we couldn’t find. Fitting, then, that right before Shane leaves next week (he’s moving to New Orleans), we’ll have one more excursion to make.
3. The story of going to McKinney Tire, Terry’s Kwik Lub, Creekside, Dot’s, and Sallie’s Mountain View Restaurants to ask for money. The story of seven workers laid off at Grassy Creek Hardware in just one winter (therefore, we blushed like fools when we asked for money). The story of Grassy Creek Outfitters, and how we were given 60 seconds to give our pitch…
4. The stories that keep coming…
But right now, there is one thing:
The story of putting ourselves out there. Besides this blog and our closest friends, this has all been relatively quiet for the past five months. Now the word is out. There were 39 hits on the website within one hour this afternoon. And yes, I did a happy dance around the desk. It feels good to see that this project DOES have power in the real world and that it DOES have the power to evoke responses from people. And it’s utterly scary thinking that we have so far to go, so many dollars to raise, and so little experience doing so.
When I crossed that first swinging footbridge and had a notion, I never thought I’d find myself here. Now with Shane moving away and the financial pressure becoming very real, I feel edgy for hours at a time. Not anxious. Not unpleasantly nervous. But on the cusp – waiting, with held breath, to see how the universe will respond to this great effort we’ve put out there.
A friend wrote to me in support of the project. She’s a poet, so of course she summed it up just right. Here is what she said:
“This is an extraordinary endeavor. It makes me want to go there and walk the bridges. Such a beautiful, simple, but important undertaking. A tribute to the dwindling contemplative, conservationist spirit that desperately needs to be nurtured now.” ~MBA
I can only hope that others can see it that way to. Here goes world…show we weren’t fools to have faith in following our hearts!
Huzzah for the missing footbridge!
And three cheers for your bravery, both of you. Asking for help isn’t easy at the best of times…financial help right now? That’s hard to do, and you’re pulling it off with grace.