Mail-a-Thon: A super big, sincere thank you!
It started with a text exchange about Emily McDowell's incredible line of sympathy cards (Emily McDowell is on my hot 100 list of makers I adore, she's a bad ass.) I knew Kiley was running the marathon, and not just to prove she's super human and run 26.1 miles through the streets of NYC, she was running with Team in Training, running for a cure. (Kiley's also a bad ass.)
I spent my flight home from Salt Lake City drawing and prepping the 6 sketches. The idea was simple: sell card sets, donate all the profits.
My goal was to raise $1,000. Which felt really big. Sell a few sets to friends, blog about it to promote it, have Kiley share it with her crew. You know, collaborate on a project that helped me to write a check grander than what I could do on my illustrator budget.
And then that morning, as I pulled the sales page down and sent my order to the printer, I found myself tearing up. Overwhelmed by the support of over 80 people, marveling at the dollar total, itching to call Kiley immediately: I found myself overflowing with pride, filled with gratitude.
"I get to write you a check for over $2,000."
I worked in fundraising for 10 years. I've seen projects fail, even though the cause was sincerely worthy. I've seen volunteers work their tails off to raise $250. (I've been that volunteer.) I've sat across the dinner table from a gentleman as we discussed his $300,000 legacy gift. I've seen employees drop $12 a week from their paycheck back into the organization they work for. I've been blown away by the generosity of strangers, of friends, of colleagues and relatives.
I'm not sure a gift has ever felt as sweet as this one.
After two trips to the Beaverdale post office, we sent them out to 13 states, to familiar addresses and to new friends. And when it came time to write that donation check, there was really only one way to do it.
It hasn't been easy putting myself out there, drawing for a living, saying "I chose this" each morning. But this feeling, this uninhibited joy, this high five the world feeling: it's unmatched. In that moment I had this wave of right-place-right-time-right-project-right-choice. I chose this. I boldly chose this and because of it: I got to write a $2,280 check to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to support my dear friend on her quest to save lives, and see 80+ people send more mail.
Love letters can change the world.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
PS: Want to support Kiley and her Team in Training crew fighting against blood cancers? You can still support here.
PSS: A totally over-excited check presentation bonus photo. Because it's hilarious. And we're actually that happy.