Flock of Wishes

31 08 2011
Often Awesome the Series: episode 8 “a final wish”

Watching this for the 3rd time today, its impossible for me not to notice the overwhelming and amazing love beaming from Kaylan.  Just seeing this is enough to make you melt.  It makes this such a love story….

It was observed and brought up to me today from a friend, after reading and catching up on this blog, that “maybe it helps with your mom and processing, dunno, seems that way to me.”  A there is a point to consider in that and in doing so I’ve come to realize that its more than just a way of puzzling out the loss of my mother or of what my family went through; rather its an evolving thing.

When I look back at the early stages of it, the blog was just a place to put things, organize them, hang a flier on the wall to lead people to.  It was a place to start and as I was developing my ideas and trying to figure out how to address a broader community, potentially a local one, I definitely noticed myself adopting a ‘tone’ of expression that was meant to appeal to the public.

Attracting peoples eyes with photos and later videos and sharing the excitement of the events, trying to share how amazing events like the Tri State Trek or Iron Horse Challenge could be, or how simple setting up a trainer and donating plasma could go towards raising money for the cause.  The idea that no matter who you are or what your life it like, you can help make a difference.

The post “blood money” was the single most viewed in a single day posting I ever did.  Something like 300 views in a day.  When I did it I was so concerned that the frustration and challenge that I was throwing out in it (because I was, I mean, I pointed out that in many ways we can all do more that what we do – and its true) was going to unsettle and upset my handful of followers, at a critical time of fundraising.  Yet, something about the shock value in it, maybe even the humor in the title, the irony (the pirate nature), and the gore-vein shots seemed to confirm that ‘shock sells’.  I even followed up the success of the blog post and the obvious money I raised with the plasma donations ($250), with the Central and Southern Ohio ALS chapter.

At the time, the local Plasma Center was offering $50 per visit/donation for the 1st 5 visits (2 times a week, 2 1/2 weeks), regardless of body mass.  The visits took maybe (after the first) 30min and the whole thing was painless and kind of fascinating.  I took the idea to the local ALS chapter that if we could get 10 people to do this, we could raise an easy and quick $2500 and if we shared this with the local media we could potentially start a whole new way of fundraising, that was both a needed service for the medical field and was being used in health care services, but it was also something that took only time and blood and so anyone, no matter how financially strapped, could do something to raise money (tax deductible donation as well).  I thought “wow, if we were the first to think of this, get the press for it, it could be a kind of fundraising revolution”.  Now I know I dream big and sometimes even unrealistically, but still, if I could generate that kind of ‘viewership’ from just a no-name blog…with a little media this could still make the news and get the message out.  The chapter were receptive and patient with my excitement, but quietly didn’t ‘touch it with a 50’ pole’.

So one of the amazing things I learn as I become more aware of the diverse and powerful acts that people do to raise awareness and money to support those they love and to even fund the search for a cure, is how varied it can be.  Walking, running, cycling, swimming, climbs, cross country trips, golf, art shows, music festivals, parties, bake sales, belly dancing….and it goes on and on.

Its back to the point that we use what we have.  If you can walk – walk.  If you can ride – ride.  Create – create.  The whole point is we are never left with nothing and we can do things that we have skills and talents for, that we enjoy doing.

Today I even asked Sweet Baby Octane, a local Grandview, OH tattoo shop (on facebook), who did one of my white tattoos to consider helping honor Tim LaFollette and the Often Awesome with a similar fundraiser here in OH.  I attached the links to episode 7 and forwarded the upcoming memorial fundraiser to help pay the medical/funerary/search for the cure that is going on next month in Tim’s memory.  I tried to contact a few tattoo shops last year when I saw episode 7.  I thought it’s a win/win for the shop, for the charity – potential media…a way to celebrate and remember.  Didn’t happen.  Maybe this year…

Well to you Tim..here’s a raised glass to a flock of wishes….

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