Well, it’s crunch time. A little bit later today, it will click down to only three days left on the campaign. Since I don’t know if I’ll have time to revisit and put in one last push to ask for more supporters, I thought I’d put put my thoughts about the campaign into a blog post.
The other day, at a WordCamp, I was asked about how I felt regarding this campaign. Was I happy with it? Was I disappointed that it didn’t collect all the dollars? What were my expectations? And a few other questions. When asked, and if I were to be honest with myself, I’d say that my reaction was mixed.
The reason for my mixed reaction, however, had less to do with the fact that we have a huge nut to crack and have only made a small dent in it so far and more to do with how the money came in.
Let me explain:
When we started the campaign, we really weren’t sure what to expect. I knew that there would be a good number of people from my professional WordPress Community that would jump in. I’m pretty transparent in my community and people know that what they see is what they get, whether I’m at home or at a WordCamp. It’s not that I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I’m pretty sure that if you were to ask anyone who’s met me at a WordCamp what the first thing about me is, they’d say “He is a family guy, through and through.”
It’s true. People who see me at WordCamps know that while I am having fun there and love being around that crowd, I would rather my family was nearby. And even if they didn’t know that about me, the people that make up the Community just plain rock and their goal is to see everyone around them succeed at whatever they may be doing. Knowing that for us, bringing in children from less fortunate circumstances and going through a really rough time is big for our personal success, so many have stepped up and pitched in in any way they could. Because WordPress people come from everywhere and every possible socio-economic level, it could have been anything from a really generous donation to a tweet (or a series of tweets) and anything in between.
It blew my mind that people within the WordPress Community whom I have had zero contact with, jumped in to help. I am forever grateful and will not ever forget the generosity. I mean, let’s face it, we are essentially asking for “free money.” It hasn’t been easy for us to do that in the slightest, but the reality is that it shows that so many of you have put your faith in us despite that fact. And you’re not doing it with the thought of a return on “investment.” That speaks volumes about the types of people you are.
Then there are people we went to school with, people I’ve known for years and years, many of whom I have not seen SINCE school, who have jumped in as well. Unbelievable how generous you guys have been, especially since I know that some of you are busy fighting your own personal battles. The truth is, we know some pretty crazy awesome people!
So why the mixed reaction, then? Here’s the thing: whether we like to admit it or not not, we all go into these things like this with at least a certain level of expectation. And while we never really expected to pull in the whole amount, we did catch ourselves playing the “what if?” game an awful lot. “What if we get all the money?”, “What if a news agency picks up the story and gets us more exposure?”, “What if the campaign goes viral?” It’s an emotional thing. It’s irrational. It’s silly. And I think most of us have done this type of thing since we were kids. If we were being honest with ourselves, I suspect most of us would have to admit that we still do it. So, while “hope” is not a strategy, as long as we have dreams, we use the “what if?” game to motivate us to keep trying when we’ve fallen. But the truth of the matter is, it’s been amazing to see people step it up and help! It’s been really interesting to watch. Some money came in from totally unexpected places; from people we would have never expected. Some did not.
So, with all the above said, the reality is we are seriously grateful for the support you guys have shown and we always will be. It’s amazing to see people come together, even on a small scale, to do something so much bigger than they are.
Of course, there’s still time to get in on the action! And, seriously, I’ve said it about a million times, even if you can’t help financially or this particular cause does not speak to you (I totally get it. There are so many worthy causes out there so it’s hard to choose), at least do us the favor of sharing it on any social media outlets you might be part of. It just *may* speak to someone!