So this post was supposed to have been written last weekend, but unfortunately it’s been one of those weeks with no shortage of stress and and too much to do. There are many half formed posts floating around in my head, that I’m sure will surface soon. But I thought this time I would take a break from the more abstract themes of previous posts, and give you an update about how the fundraising part of this year has been going.
For those of you who don’t know, as part of this year with CAP, I have been given a fundraising target of £3000. This is money that will go straight to CAP to help fund the work that they do. When I first found out I had got a place on the Internship, back in December last year, the fundraising was a very intimidating prospect. Three thousand pounds is a lot of money, I couldn’t imagine how I would ever raise one thousand, let alone three.
The challenge itself has taught me many lessons about generosity. My first attempts at fundraising were all about trying to earn the money from people. Whilst I was still studying for my final year at Southampton, I got out my sewing machine and started making lots of mini bunting to sell. I would do maths nine till five and sew during the evenings. I love to sew so it made a great break from the monotony of final year. I’ve kept sewing and selling customised bunting since the move, and still very much enjoy it (and would love more orders to keep me busy). But it become clear to me right from the start, that there was no way I’d be able to earn all this money. There were simply not enough hours in the day.
The problem I had was if I couldn’t earn it, then I had to learn to accept the gift of generosity from others. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve always struggled to receive gifts that I don’t feel like I deserve. When I first started fundraising and people gave me money towards it, I almost wanted to ask: “Are you sure?” (and may have done on occasion). After all what have I done to deserve people’s hard earned cash? And yes I know the gifts are for CAP not me, but when you have been burdened by this fundraising for many a month, when someone decides to support you in it, it is such a blessing. I know that many people who have donated so far, did so to show their support not just of CAP but of me in my year with them. That in itself is incredibly humbling. I have had to learn to accept with gratitude the overwhelming generosity of others, and view it almost as I view the grace of God: undeserved but freely given.
I really have been wonderfully blessed on this fundraising journey. I haven’t found it easy at times, the challenge has been daunting and stressful, causing many a sleepless night. It was my biggest worry about this year with CAP, and remains a source of anxiety at times. But I have seen God’s hand at work throughout, showing himself to be a God who delights in providing for his children and giving good gifts. I’ve been reminded of the passage in Matthew:
“Which one of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11
Somehow I expected that God would make me work hard for every pound. But I’ve found sometimes it has been the times when I’ve done nothing at all to earn it, that money has come in from surprising places.
I write this today having reached a total of £2126.29 (including all money pledged to come in)! Which means I am 71% of the way there and only £873.71 off my target! Thankyou so much to everyone who has supported me so far, I am more grateful than I can put into words. For the first time I am entertaining the possibility that I might actually reach my £3000 target. I know I still have a way to go, and am going to need to rely on the generosity of more people to get there. Yet today I can stand back and see how incredibly blessed I have been to get this far. Thankyou for walking with me on this journey.