I sent out an email to a number of my colleagues today, informing them about my AFSP donor drive this year and asking for their participation. I felt a bit awkward sending the email, especially given I am in a remote office, and the majority of people are far away in San Francisco. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Who’s really going to donate to my drive or care about me and my brother when they don’t see me every day?
I’ll be honest. At the rate I sent out this message at my last company, I got a lot more donations, and I’d assume that’s because I worked at that company’s headquarters, thus more people around to see me, but the amount that each person donated at my current company in the last 10 hours has been a lot more. And not only that, one of my colleagues who donated even shared my AFSP page with his fiancee, who then donated $100 to my drive and wrote me a very personal message, telling me that she was really touched by my story and my courage in sharing, and she had lost her father to suicide about ten years ago. Not only that, both her brothers in the last year had attempted suicide. She felt lost and struggled to discuss it, but she was inspired by what I wrote and how I’ve chosen to move forward. She hopes to work through her feelings.
I get negative about fundraising every year. It’s part of who I am, I guess, because the apple never falls that far from the tree, and I generally don’t always believe in the pure goodness of people. But these responses from total strangers always inspire me to move forward and continue raising money for this cause. It’s the only way I know to keep Ed alive. I think he’d be happy to know that I was touching the lives of complete strangers in a positive way because of the legacy he left.