When I opened my eyes this morning I knew that I had to make a life-changing decision. After two years of trying my darnedest to turn things around in every way possible despite an unbelievable amount of difficult challenges, just finally give up, spend what little money I have left running around to various pharmacies to get whatever sleeping pills they would give me. then end it all tonight. No more pain.
Not being someone who gives up easily, as I have proven time and time again for my whole life, the other choice was to give it one last, final, possibly all for nothing, give up any pride or dignity left, college try, albeit desperate, attempt to save myself. Despite all the very cruel personal attacks on me, telling me to “suck it up”, “quit whining”, “get over yourself” and worse, the one character fault I will freely admit to is that I am too logical. Regardless of how my brain tells me something won’t work in my heart I know it’s right and worth the fight. This is one of those times.
Months earlier when I had found myself in a very dark place with overwhelming thoughts of just ending it all, primarily because my government back in Canada had incorrectly and most callously suspended my pension payments, leaving me thirty-three cents in the bank and no food, three amazing things happened. First, I received what is called a GST rebate of a few dollars, which is issued every three months. Good timing! Then my dear friend and colleague from back in London, Ontario, Sieg Pedde, generously sent me fifty dollars. Then, out of the blue, a new friend who I barely new and someone I don’t have permission to release her name on. emailed me a whopping hundred dollars! Her generous donation is really what saved me because I could finally get some much needed food to survive.
Having made it through for a few more days at least my thoughts turned to giving fund-raising a shot. I had seen numerous incredibly stupid fund-raising campaigns on various sites, like boob jobs, paying off credit card debt and even dumber, that, despite being totally absurd still managed to raise thousands of dollars. I didn’t want to match the stupidity by creating a woe is me, please save my ass, begging campaign, so instead I researched every worthwhile cause I could find here in Mexico. There was clearly no shortage of need. Everything from clean water, education, living wages, to projects like turning hyacinth into biofuel, and rainwater harvesting.
For decades now I have designed websites both for myself and for many others, so I invested a whole lot of hours building this website, at first planning to promote the causes on sites like GoFundMe. My whole concept, dumb as it might have been, was to ask for only one dollar, which I figured everyone in the world could afford. Looking at things like Facebook posts that had garnered sixty and seventy million views I wondered if that same amount of people would donate just a dollar to worthy causes? After going through the lengthy process of setting up my campaign on GoFundMe I was disappointed to learn that their minimum donation was five dollars, so that was all a waste of time. Then because I wanted to see every dollar donated go to the causes I went with self-funding so that no money was lost in fees to these normal fund-raising platforms. No doubt a big mistake on my part based on what ended up happening. More on that later.
After finally getting this website designed the way I wanted it I turned to creating my contact list of the people I was going to send it to, which turned out to be a more daunting task than I had assumed it would be. My contact “people” in my years old Outlook contained more than four thousand people. A good start, I thought, until I realized that a huge number of them had no email addresses. I then went through the very arduous process of exporting my contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn, and WordPress site memberships. Anywhere that I could find email addresses for people I had ever known. The next step was how to send the email. Again, lots of conflicting research but it came down to that I could send one hundred emails at a time using Gmail.
The emails went out with the subject line, “Our paths crossed at some point in our lives so I hope you will consider helping or sharing this with your friends. Thank you!” The content of the email was a mail template I had created showing the links to this site, which a friend had confirmed worked perfectly. Another friend also confirmed that the PayPal donation process also worked fine.
Although it took some time to send out all the emails, at only one hundred at a time, I was hopeful that people, especially those I considered to be good friends, like all the many friends I had back in BC, Canada, would respond. I mean, who can’t afford a single dollar for a good cause? Thousands of people have proven over and over again that they will donate all kinds of money to the dumbest causes ever. I certainly didn’t think that any of my contacts were this kind of stupid people who throw their money at absurd, and often fraudulent, campaigns. I gave them more credit and knew that the majority of them were also generous people who would certainly be more than willing to donate a single dollar. At least I thought so.
As I expected within a few days I got a few rejected, undelivered emails because the email addresses were no longer valid. That was expected because many of my contacts had moved on to other positions and their addresses had obviously changed. No surprise. I also received a very few emails asking me to remove them from my mailing list. No problem and they were removed quickly. I didn’t want to upset or annoy anyone. With email today you need people’s permission to send them emails, opting in as it’s called. Now I clearly did not have their permission so they had opted out.
Then I sat back, nervously waiting, checking for donations that I was sure would start coming soon, once people had a chance to check out the website and read some of the causes, then donate. I waited and I waited. I kept checking that my PayPal button worked. I rechecked that the links in my original email worked. Unfortunately I had not installed Google Analytics on the site to see how many people had visited the site and where they were from. My mistake, but the fact that not a soul had donated a single dollar spoke volumes. I had clearly failed to get my message across. Did my emails end up in their junk mail and they never saw them? I didn’t think so because of those people who had asked to be removed. Clearly they got the original email. Did no one believe in the causes? Did no one trust me to spend their lowly dollar wisely? Did anyone believe that this was some sort of scam? Even the poorest of people can afford a measly dollar, right? I was left completely baffled.
So, why I am trying this all over again? I guess because I haven’t lost my faith in the good in people. Although the world has become a crazy and cruel place with the likes of Trump spewing his hate and stupidity daily, the rise of white supremacy, the “send her back” mentality of the truly ignorant, the mean-spirited personal attacks on people every day on social media, the mass shootings with assault weapons that clearly should be outlawed for anyone but the military, the damaging trade wars, the loss of trust in politicians, the tragic destruction of democracy, the increase in wars around the world, the atrocities being committed against ethnic minorities, the staggering growth of the rich and powerful at the cost of everyday, hard-working people, the growing bankruptcies and deaths of those who can’t afford decent healthcare, the ignorance of the climate crisis, and a world in total chaos, I still have undying faith in that old adage, that the “meek will inherit the earth”, the most accepted translation of which is not “weak”, but rather that it is a virtue. I’ve also lived my life by the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you“. Regardless of how successful you might be, how much money you have now, how healthy you are now, how happy you are right now, how in love you are right now, or how many wonderful things you are able to do in your life right now, it can all come crashing down in a heartbeat and you will find yourself in a place where you need a little help from others, just like I do now.
PLEASE pitch in and do your part. What’s in it for you? You’ll get that warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart knowing that you’ve done something to help so many others less fortunate than you. If you provide your name with your dollar donation your name will be inscribed on our Wall of Thanks. You’ll also get a free exclusive membership to one of my other websites. It’s simply the right thing to do.
Let’s make this go viral and be the first small donation campaign to raise a hundred million dollars! That will get a ton of publicity and get even more dollar donations. Just think of all the good work that could be done, vastly improving the lives of so many Mexicans.