Several years ago it was my privilege to be involved in a campaign to raise money for a local nonprofit. It set an ambitious goal and a group of energetic individuals rallied around reaching it. Much hard work and prayer was put into the effort, and the end result was that more than double the amount previously raised by the organization, But we fell short of the goal.
When it was time to conclude the activities of the effort I had a sort of panic attack because we had not reached the goal. It got to me really bad until a dear friend gently told me I was taking it too personally. My focus had wandered from what was really important —defining success appropriately.
I remember a child-rearing class we took once that encouraged us to let our children know that failure with effort was acceptable, failure without effort was unacceptable. You must, however, not focus too much on failure, but instead on what has been realized when you are able.
Living enough life will take you to the right answers if you pay attention.
On Friday, Mayor Barbara Bass and I were discussing the annual Shine Your Light campaign, and whether we would achieve this year’s goal of $250,000. We agreed it would take a miracle, as has happened in some previous years, to reach the ambitious goal.
As we talked, we agreed perhaps some special circumstances already had prevailed and our gratitude needed to be expressed for what has already been another year of this community’s generosity in action. Whether the campaign beat the previous year or achieved the current year’s goal, we already could rejoice again at the unparalleled giving spirit of this community and its consistent pattern of digging deeper just when you think everyone was finished digging.
Some people have indicated they already had made gifts to many of the agencies we selected, so why should they participate? It is a good question. It is our belief the leverage we generate through the matching funds each year, plus the publicity focused on these agencies by our company and CBS19 gives the ability for people to connect and reconnect with many of these organizations.
It took my mother-in-law’s death for me to experience the incredible ministry of Hospice. I could never think of it the same after the love I saw in action by the caring people who ushered her into the next life with dignity and love.
The Samaratan Counseling center is the new kid on the block. Only around for a year, the stories of the Carson and McSwaine families were touching and courageous with respect to the need people have for counseling.
These and other stories emphasize why this campaign is not just about the money.
The mayor pointed out our campaign has reminded others to give to some of the organizations we included separately and apart from Shine Your Light but perhaps because of it.
This campaign was started because people in our community were clearly hurting and the timing was right for us to engage in a new way.
By today, it is likely we will have come close to reaching the matching funds goal of $95,000 which will mean we will have at least $190,000 to distribute to our deserving agencies. And now we can only wait and see what will happen during the next several days as money continues to pour in by mail.
For five years this campaign has been the blessing of my holidays and a reminder we live in what I like to call “The Last Great Place.”
Thanks for helping with your calls and checks and caring for each of the deserving agencies selected for this year’s effort.
You may never know the impact that came about because you chose to Shine Your Light.