An Open Letter to EVERYBODY who has Supported this Fundraising Effort

Dear You,

When I was first offered the opportunity to be part of this charity TV adventure, the goal of $10,000 was so intense that my first reaction was “no way.” I had too much other stuff on (not the least of which was trying to get myself organised for my DVD taping later this year). The idea of spending months doing bakes sales, sausage sizzles and annoying people with pleas for help just made me think one big NUP!

I’d like to tell you my mind was changed by the goodness of the cause – and it IS good, more than good in fact – but that would just be me trying to make myself look better than I am. No, the first point that started bring me around was this: at the beginning of 2012 I decided my word for the year was “Yes.”

A little story: there I was, on the beach just outside of Byron, chatting with my wonderful brother-in-law David while we watched our kids frolicking in the surf. We watched as they invented a game – running up the sand-dunes, rolling down them and then bolting into the water to wash themselves off. Over and over again.

“Ah,” I sighed, “I feel like I don’t just play enough. Like look at them. They don’t even think about it, they just play. I wish I could just do that. Just roll down the sand-dune, get coated in sand and run into the surf!”

“Well,” said David, “let’s do it!”

“Uh…” I hesitated. Bare my eternally postnatal bod in my soggy op-shop faded swimmers, actually ROLL in front of everybody? Then it hit me. Why was I saying no? I’d just said that was what I wish I could do, and here it was, right in front of me and I was refusing to say that word that makes things happen.

“Yes!” I said.

And there it was. My word for the year.

Specifically, I decided to say “Yes” to getting out of my comfort zone, and so, when I really looked at it, this project fit the bill pretty damn perfectly. Would committing myself to raising $10,000 make me uncomfortable? You bet.

But…I strongly believe that despite what the ads would have us believe, life is not about being comfortable.

So, I started to come around.

Also, I thought about how I want my kids to grow up knowing that the world is not all about them, that they have a responsibility to contribute and help where they can! I realised that for them to see me doing this and indeed, to be a part of it, would be a huge leap towards that end.

And finally, when I say the cause itself wasn’t my first motivation, that is true, but what it IS is what sealed the deal. Of COURSE the services this charity provides resonate with me (I don’t think I could successfully raise any $$ if it didn’t.) My hubby worked for over seven years as a personal support worker for people with all ranges of disabilities. I went on community camps with him, stayed with him in a couple of clients’ homes regularly (with permission of course!); we were a part of that community and in meeting these incredible people and their families we saw in a first-hand way the HUGE need for support. Almost all of these organisations are massively under-funded, relying on goodwill and volunteers, staff working on less salary than they would otherwise get in the corporate world, these families truly do need support.

How could I not be moved to help? And so it was: I basically told myself to stop being such a selfish twat and just go for it.

I kicked off my fundraising efforts by putting together what I thought were pretty swish bang sponsorship proposals and sent them out. I thought – naively so, it turns out! – that it would be easy, that companies would jump at the chance to have their logo and name onscreen on a commercial television network! I was wrong.

I started to freak out. Had I just signed myself up for the impossible? I drafted an email to the show’s producer, one of the “I’m so sorry but I think I made a massive mistake!” variety and literally, AS I WAS ABOUT TO PRESS SEND, she called me.

She talked me through my panic, made me feel like it indeed was doable and then said this: “I think you’re stressing out because you’re trying to do it all by yourself.”

Then this: “I think it’s time to go public.”

I was terrified. TERRIFIED. Of annoying the shizz out of people (again!) with another round of “Support my project!” pleas. Of people thinking I was stupid for even taking it on. But mostly, I was terrified that if I went public and FAILED, I would feel like a total knob head.

Which brings us to today. Here we are. With just over 24 hours til d-day, the total now sits at just under 5k.

So. Unless a freaking miracle drops out of the sky within that time, I have to face the reality that I have not wanted to face. The reality that I most feared all those weeks ago:

I HAVE FAILED.

The question is, do I feel like a total knob head?

No.

I feel a bit like a failure, sure. I feel disappointed, absolutely. BUT…those feelings are trumped by the absolute FIRE in my soul that has been lit by YOU.

Yes, YOU.

You – friends, family, comedy pals, cabaret mates, the Candian contingent, blogging buds, tweeps, Facebook folks, audience members, complete and total strangers – who have supported financially and/or in other numerous ways.

I cannot even tell you what that has meant – and continues to mean – to me. I have felt so supported, loved and cheered on. That feeling of being a superstar team with members from all around the globe is something I never would have known had I:

a) said no; or

b) refused to go public and do it all solo!

Truly, it’s been a highlight of my whole life.

There’s so much bad in the world, but as I have seen over and over this past month – there’s a freaking lot of good too!

So, no, I do not feel like a knob-head because you have filled my love-tank too full to even allow it!

That said, here’s the deal:

On Monday, I fly to Adelaide bright and early and literally go straight from the airport to our first on-location shoot. Yes, that’s right! We’re shooting a TV show! Which I have had absolutely zero time to even think about. But I know it will be ridiculously fun.

So I have made an executive decision to just enjoy it, damn it! AND when I get back, I’ll sort out a plan to make the 10k. I have to. Not because they’re making me, but because after all you guys have invested in this, I will not rest until we’ve done it.

I promise this won’t involve any more “Please Donate!” posts (except maybe on twitter!) because heaven knows you’ve had your fill already, I’ve been annoying myself lately! But I will find a way to reach our target and keep you posted!

Phew!

As I type this, I’m on the plane back to Brissie, meeting my fam at the airport who’re dropping me straight to my friend’s house so we can organise and price everything for tomorrow’s garage sale! Then some sleep (HOPEFULLY!!!!!) and off tomorrow night to headline Ladies’ Night at Sit Down Comedy Club.

The miracle might still come. Where are you when I need you, sugar daddy?

Either way, WE WILL GET THERE.

Thank you all so, so much from the bottom of my warmly lit and well insulated heart.

You ROCK.

Love Jen.

xoxox

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