I’m not sure why it took me so long to write a post on this, but I’m finally writing it. Maybe it was because I talked too much about it when my birthday was coming up, and I didn’t really want to bore or annoy my friends with all the similar posts… 😛 But, thinking back to the whole process, I have to say this has been such a wonderful experience. In fact, I consider it as one of my favorite achievements this year, so I’d hate to let it just slip away and forget about how amazing it made me feel.
And I know both Nora and I have said many times how happy and proud we are to have fundraised $1,570 for our birthday, but in this post I want to write about the “whole story”, including some challenges that we had, but how glad I am that we didn’t just give up.
For our birthday this year (March 19th 2013), Nora and I decided to do something different. Basically, our birthday wish was to raise $1,000 for Make-A-Wish. So instead of having parties with gifts, we asked our friends to help us fulfill this wish by donating with us. You can learn about it from our fundraising site.
And this is the video that touched me and inspired me to contribute and make a difference for these children.
I still remember so clearly, one day we received a catalog in our mailbox when Christmas was just around the corner. I was 8 years old.
The catalog shows many designed cards by children without arms. There were a few pictures of them drawing with their feet and their mouth.
Then all of a sudden, I started crying in the living room…And to this day, I remember that feeling. I remember admiring their talent and their optimism, and I remember thinking how unfair it is for them…I felt so sad and I just wanted to do all I could to help them. So then my dad ordered tons of greeting cards that we probably never got to finish, and I was happy enough to feel like we made a difference.
What’s different now is that, I can’t just randomly ask my dad for money and donate to all these people. In fact, unlike when I was 8, now I feel helpless when I encounter situations like that.
What good does it make when I cry for these people? I have just recently graduated…I’m not rich, I’m not powerful, what can I do to actually make a difference with all these limitations?
That’s why, this Birthday Project gave us such a great opportunity. Even if none of us have enough resources to do what we’d like to do to help, together we can. And yes, I know $1,570 is not a world-changing amount, but this money will help the people in Make-A-Wish to have more resources to accomplish the children’s dreams…and to me, that is beautiful.
I guess I just want to say, many of us think “I really want to help, but I will donate/volunteer when I grow old/have money/have time.” But the truth is, we can start anytime, and ANY of us can do it. I’m just a nobody, and see we have accomplished with our friends’ help! I was humbled by how big their hearts are. And I was so touched to see donations from our acquaintances, high school friends who we haven’t spoken to for ages, and of course our closest friends that supported our cause since the beginning. In fact, we raised almost $500 on the first day, some people donated as much as $100 and in the end we raised 50% more than our original goal. Some of them even asked THEIR friends to donate just because they think it’s an awesome cause. It felt so heartwarming to see how we are all in this together for a good cause…
So, trust yourself. Just do it. YOU can make a difference.
Another thing I really wanted to share is the challenges that I was facing. Sure, it seems simple to just write a short post and ask your friends to donate. But on top of spending hours researching for the right charity, choosing and evaluating the best platform for donation (yea, I was pretty dedicated to it…), and then trying to draft compelling messages to our friends without sounding too pushy…I think I was most worried about what people would think, and I was worried I would fail.
Would people really donate for our birthday? Why would they do that for us? Or maybe they’ll say yes first but never donate (then that’s just awkward)…Most of them wouldn’t give me gifts anyways…What if we only raised $200 and look stupid? Maybe no one gives a ****…Then I’ll just look like I have no friends and have the worst birthday ever.
And yes, I worried about people thinking: “Who do you think you are and why would we care?” With the project, we really had to put ourselves out there and be a little shameless and forward, you know. Otherwise, no one would even know about it. And every time I wrote about this project on my Facebook, I struggled a little because I felt a little embarrassed.
But you know what, we just gotta do it. There will always be people who are against you, who don’t believe in you or even make fun of you no matter what you are doing. And even if there aren’t, you might still imagine it (like I did). But if you believe in what you are doing, just have faith and go for it. You won’t regret when you see the result that you’ve accomplished. 🙂
Like Steve Jobs said, “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
So get out there, and start on that project that you’ve been thinking about since forever ago. Just do it! 😉