Sunday, January 16, 2011

Facebook Friends Challenge

I'm trying to figure out how to revive the raffle and fund-raising. It has hit a lull. It was a tough time of year. The holidays hit, I got sick, life got in the way. But it's a new year, so here we go.

I had dinner with Jill a few weeks ago and we brainstormed a few things.

The easy....

The chickens have started up with their egg production again. Even the teenagers, who last summer were just babies, have been laying beautiful blue-green eggs.

And even though we've sent emails at work about the raffle, there are still people who aren't aware. So I'll use this as an excuse of something that's not urgent and finally make the move from PageMaker to InDesign. It'll be a good practice project to make a flier for the building and for friends to hang around campus in their offices.

The not so easy....

Jill and I talked about creating a general appeal letter, a heart-felt appeal. And so I wrote a short recap of the three years of failed fertility and an update of the adoption process. I also included tickets with each letter. I asked them to buy a ticket, sell a ticket, spread the word, share my web address.

It was hard -- as Jill told me it would be -- to be that vulnerable, to ask for help. I started slow, close friends from college, former co-workers and friends who live in different states, my former boss.

Why is it hard to ask for help? Lots of reasons. It's hard to think you need help. I would much rather do things for others. It's hard to think you are as deserving as people fighting real diseases.

I have two close work friends that were diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. Between the two of them I have attended a wine and cheese party where we were encouraged to shower one friend with gifts, made a meal for another friend's family (the week before one of my IVF retrievals), contributed to a fund to pay for one friend to have her house cleaned regularly, made phone calls, sent emails, and participated in other supportive activities. I know I shouldn't compare infertility to someone with cancer. First of all, we aren't likely to die from infertility (although it feels like it most days). And our treatments are arguably less arduous (we don't lose our hair, just our minds). But I can't help but think that it is unfair that most of us can't even get our Facebook "friends" to acknowledge our "infertility outings" on Facebook during Infertility Awareness Week.

-- From Bottoms Off and On the Table

And so this is my walk, my Facebook campaign.

One ticket. Five dollars. From each friend on Facebook. Some will buy the five-pack for $20, some with ignore it outright.

For all the Girl Scout cookies I've bought (even when I knew I shouldn't because I'd eat them all in one sitting), the wrapping paper, cookie dough, frozen pizzas, chocolate, 50/50 raffles....for all the walks I've sponsored, for MS, cancer of every ribbon color, ALS, hunger, hospice, AIDS -- I'm asking for my turn to be supported.

In my circle of friends, I know of nearly 20 people affected by infertility. I'm the only who didn't come out on the other side. This is my way of coming out on the other side.

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