I have probably thought about this entry a hundred times, and started it a dozen. I don’t even know where to begin except to state that I am beyond privileged, and indebted to total strangers at a level I never even dreamed. I don’t have the proper words to put down what’s in my head, to write and entry that isn’t just:
….over and over.
So allow me a moment, if you would, to freak out. I’ll try to keep this coherent.
My best friend works for a non-profit called WUSATA, who are dedicated to helping small agricultural business expand their business to global markets. They’ve been longtime supporters of ALS research at her office; they sponsor a team for the Walk to Defeat ALS every year, and for last year’s ALS Awareness Month, they had a Casual for a Cause campaign in which employees were allowed to wear jeans to work, three times a day, for a donation to ALSA.
When her boss learned that I was afflicted, she was incredibly supportive of me, allowing Danielle the time off from work to ferry me to appointments and coordinate my care. She sent the loveliest emails of support, and they were some of my earliest exposures to the amazing phenomenon of genuine concern and assistance from strangers. Her office raised a lot of money for ALSA for this year’s walk, and then they went one further. Andy, the Executive Director, proposed – and the rest of the team agreed – that WUSATA would hold Casual for a Cause again, from October through the end of the year.
To benefit me.
A charity campaign directly organized to be of specific benefit to me personally. When Danielle told me, I cried. A lot. I was powerfully overcome with..more than gratitude – a sense that the universe works itself out sometimes and takes care of people and maybe karma was a real thing. Beyond flattered, speechless and just…
Holy SHIT you guys. HOLY SHIT.
I mean, who the fuck am I even, that an entire office full of people should care enough about me, I’ve never even MET them, to help me. Even if they get to wear jeans as a result, I mean, seriously, who the hell am I to benefit from such a thing? I felt very …HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS OMG OMG OMG.
The campaign ended last week. Apparently they announced the results in WUSATA’s staff meeting on Monday. In three months, total strangers raised over nine. hundred. dollars.
NINE HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS. MORE THAN. NINE HUNDRED THIRTY THREE FUCKING DOLLARS.
Danielle told me by phone chat after the meeting was over. I stared at the phone for awhile, my mind in static buzz, the phone screen becoming blurry because I just…lost my shit. And cried.
Before this happened to me, before all of this drama, I never knew what it was to cry from joy. It was foreign. But now, more than once, this time more than anything, my chest felt like it was going to explode, I was so happy I was freaking out a little.
They sent me a check. The card was adorable. Look!
And they wrote the sweetest message inside:
I am so grateful to the employees at WUSATA for their support. I am so grateful to Janet, for her support for my best friend to be available to support me, and to Andy, who arranged for his employees to participate.
And I am so indebted to Danielle, who championed me and made this possible.