If you know me personally, I go out of my way to avoid asking for assistance. Ask my friend Don, he’s always trying to convince me to stop being a “stubborn Asian” and accept the kindness of others. There’s a part of me that can’t let go of this lingering feeling of unworthiness and I often make life harder for myself along the way.
Fundraising of any kind has always been a huge HELL TO THE NO for me. While I’ve cheerfully donated to several non-profits/Kickstarters/all kinds of funds, I generally don’t feel comfortable asking friends to support things financially. The guilt has always led me to shy away from any situation that involved asking for money. Be on your fundraising committee? NO. Douse myself in ice water for charity? NO!
However, the last few weeks have changed the way I view fundraising. After many months of posting once in a blue moon, my Facebook timeline is now dedicated to raising funds for the Walk to Defeat ALS in Atlanta. I’ve posted photos, written a blog and personally emailed most of my network because in truth, this is all I can do for my friend Mikey.
Living in Hawaii, I’ve felt absolutely helpless since his ALS diagnosis in 2013. I don’t have the right words. I’m not able to travel and visit during holidays. There’s nothing I can buy that will change the reality that someone I care about has ALS. While flying out to Atlanta, fundraising and walking 2.5 miles won’t directly change his circumstance, it’s something. It’s a little something that is within my reach. Something.
In about two weeks, I raised $1,237.00 (of my $2,500 goal). I was in tears when I received my first donation. It was from someone who I admire professionally, but never had the chance to meet in person. Wait, there are genuinely kind people out there? Not just mean people who write horrible YouTube comments?! What? When more donations started coming in, I was so moved by the generosity of my friends. They understood that Mikey means so much to me and supported my advocacy for ALS.
This experience has changed my life forever. I get why people fundraise. It’s not because they think they’re saving the world, but because they want to do something. ANY action helps. Raising awareness. Googling ALS. Supporting caretakers. Making a donation. Something. Anything.
To my friends who have supported Mikey’s Minions, I am so grateful for your commitment to furthering the progress to find a cure. This is a bit embarrassing, but there have been several moments of crying as I watch the fundraising honor roll scroll. As a person who usually doesn’t care about anything, I am overwhelmed by the out-pour of kindness and generosity. I will never forget this, ever. Thank you.
If you would like to contribute to the Walk to Defeat ALS in Atlanta, ANY donation would be greatly appreciated.