Fundraiser | HD T-Shirts and Hoodies!

Last year I had a lot of success with a t-shirt fundraiser I did with Booster.  This year I wanted to do the same – but more!  What’s the point of autumn if it’s not hoodies, am I right?  This year, I am proud to announce that there are THREE different wearable options that will promote awareness of HD AND help me continue to work there for another year!

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Men’s T-Shirt: $18 + shipping
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Women’s T-Shirt: $18 + shipping
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Hoodie: $28 + shipping

Half of the money spent will go toward making the product, and half will go to me!  All proceeds will help me get one step closer toward my goal of raising $32,000 by November 15th so that I can continue to work with HD for another year!

Visit my Booster site Another Year in Greece today and place an order.  The sale ends October 15th, so do not wait!

The Benefits of Fundraising

It’s easy to complain about fundraising; after all, it is very awkward and stressful.  But the past couple days have been really encouraging for me, and I remembered something important.

I chose this.

I have a lot of contacts with a mission organization that pays its missionaries.  I could have tried to work with them (and I actually did serve through them when I spent five months in Senegal), but I decided that I would rather raise my own funds.  Why would I possibly choose to make my life more difficult?

  1. Fundraising keeps me humble.
    There is nothing quite like saying, “The only way I can do this thing I want to do is if you’ll help me,” to create humility.  I go through much of life believing that I am in control and that I only need to rely upon myself.  It is good for my ego to have to rely upon other people.
  2. Fundraising inspires me to be grateful.
    If humility means giving control of your life to someone else, then WOW does it feel great when they take care of you.  Although I can definitely be a self-centered asshole at times, it really helps when I stop and think, “This person worked hard to make money.  They could spend that money on clothes, vacations, or a new phone.  They could buy BOOKS with that money, but instead they are giving some of it to me.”  And that never fails to fill me with a wave of incredible gratitude.
  3. Fundraising gives me opportunities to draw close to people.
    In addition to the closeness that comes from asking for help, there is a second closeness that fundraising provides.  I recently started praying through the list of people who donated to me last year.  Not praying that they would give again, but just, attempting to dig into those humble and grateful postures where I bring people before God and ask him to bless them.  This does wonders for my heart, and I find myself madly in love with dozens of people after these times of prayer.
  4. Fundraising gifts me with opportunities of people drawing close to me.
    This is actually my favorite part of fundraising.  I am a needy person, and I so love when people send me messages.  I guess opening myself up and admitting that I need help financially reminds people that I also need help emotionally and spiritually.  One of the best parts of this is when someone I haven’t talked to in a long time reaches out, and my heart just absolutely overflows.

Humans are needy creatures.  We cannot survive on our own without the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual support of others.  Fundraising helps me admit that I have needs, and (revelation I had while in counseling) when I open up about my needs…they get met!  So whether you’re in a position to need fundraising or not, I encourage each of you to get vulnerable with someone trustworthy and tell them one of your needs.

With that in mind, if you’d like to make a donation to help me stay in Athens, Greece and continue working in a safe house for women who have been sexually exploited and trafficked, click below!

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Fundraising Shirts

I love multi-purpose fundraisers!  Buying a t-shirt is a great way both donate your money AND promote awareness of the thing you’re wearing (and to have a new shirt)!

In order to stay with HD in Athens, Greece for another year, I need to raise $32,000.  Sales from these shirts will go toward that goal!  So please, if you’d like to support me or support awareness of HD, consider buying one of these three shirts:

  1. a traditional t-shirt ($18)
  2. a female cut t-shirt ($18)
  3. a hoodie ($28)

They are on sale now and will only be available until Monday, August 29th, so buy yours TODAY!  Leave a comment if you have any questions!

Fundraising Worries

At HD, the staff meets every week for a Formation of Servants meeting.  FoS is a 12 Steps program that is a more explicitly Christian version of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps.  These mandatory meetings were part of why I wanted to work with HD; I love being part of an organization that focuses on the brokenness of its staff simultaneously to the brokenness of the people we serve.  BUT.  I also.  Don’t like it.  Because it’s haaaard!

We’ve been doing these meetings for at least three months now, and I’ve been stuck on the first two steps the whole time.  The first step is:  “We admitted we are powerless over some of the effects of God’s sovereignty in our lives and because of our lack of trust in him our lives are unmanageable.”  I was on this step for a LONG time, because I do not want to admit that I am powerless or that my life is unmanageable.  I’m pretty good at managing my life, thank you very much.  But eventually I did come to a breakthrough of sorts that allowed me to move on to step two, where I promptly got stuck again.

We came to believe that our loving God, in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, could restore us to sanity.”  This is the natural progression of step one; if I am not in control of my life, then God is.  And…is he?  Do I want him to have all of that power?  Do I want to admit that I’m insane without him?  No, no, no, I would much rather have everyone believe that I have it all together and can do anything that I put my mind to.

Underneath all of this is the question: do I trust God?  Do I trust that he is both loving and powerful?  I mean, definitely not always.  It is hard to be a counselor and not think, “Um, God, what are you allowing in their lives!?”  It is hard to be a human being and not think, “GOD, I could have used you just then!!”

These abstract thoughts are taking a coherent form in my new round of fundraising.  This time last year, I worked on raising $27,000.  I sent out many letters, I worked in a church where everyone could hear my story any time they stopped by the office, I ran a t-shirt drive and put together a yard sale.  I had a team of people who consistently showed up to support me.   I made a month-long road trip to visit people and tell my story.  I did it.  I mean, God helped.  But in the narrative running through my head, I’m definitely giving myself the majority of the credit.

A caveat: I don’t think that is entirely bad.  I definitely think God used my fundraising experience last year to develop my creativity and confidence, and I think I’m going to use those skills in the future for HD.  But that was last year’s lesson.

This year’s lesson?  It’s about actually trusting God, I think.  It feels INCREDIBLY daunting to do fundraising in the United States from halfway around the world.  I can send letters and emails and make Facebook announcements, but I can’t BE there.  I can’t talk to people face-to-face, and I can’t motivate or manipulate or beg.  I just have to…sit here, and trust that God will work in people’s hearts.

THAT IS SO HARD.

It is going to take a lifetime to learn to trust God fully.  And the part of me that isn’t scared is really grateful for this chance to see God work.  But.  You know.  There’s still that part of me that’s scared.

I guess I just have to wait and see what happens!

Enough Thinking – It’s Time to Move Forward!

I’ve been talking with my supervisor at GEM about staying in Greece longer.  It looks like there are two options: returning for a second year-long internship or committing to a two- or three-year stay.  Right now I’m pushing for the year-long internship for two reasons:

  1. I don’t feel strongly about my life location in 2018.
  2. Committing to a two- or -three year stay would mean returning to the States for several months, and I don’t want to do that after just being in Greece for a year.  If I decide to stay in 2018, I think spending a good chunk of time in the States will feel better after being here for two years.

She and I are both talking to people higher up to make sure returning for a second internship will work.

Whichever way I return, this begins the exciting, horrible, awkward process of fundraising!   Continue reading