Together we built a barn…..
Barn raising, as defined by Wikipedia; “A barn raising, also historically called a “raising bee” or “rearing” in the U.K., describes a collective action of a community, in which a barn for one of the members is built or rebuilt collectively by members of the community.”
This week I got to participate in a fund raising event to help with opening a new charter school for special needs children. With charter in hand, building secured and an opening date of August 25, the school was moving along with great enthusiasm toward the start date. As enthusiasm and momentum was at a high, they were informed they had a month, until July 31 to raise $100,000.00. Without that money in the bank, the school would not be allowed to open. Wow. A steep hill to climb. With the paper work that would allow them to solicit corporate donations not yet approved, they set out to come up with a plan to raise these funds. Fundraisers were planned the communications committee got out the word, friends and family were asked to help…and much prayer was lifted up for this cause.
I knew about this from the beginning and immediately gave a contribution to the cause. I was confident that with God’s help they would find a way to do this. The donations came in steady and sure but with only five days left they had only reached $80,000.00. That is a substantial amount of money in 26 days. But $20,000.00 seemed a lot to get in the next five days. I decided I could help out a little more and so I did.
With two days left they still needed $15,000.00. I had been posting their updates on my Facebook page, encouraging people to donate. But on this day something clicked inside of me and I knew this thing was possible and I set out to see if I could help make it happen.
You may be asking what about this particular project had caught my interest. Well there is this boy, this autistic child, the son of a very dear friend, who will attend this school this fall. Long ago he stole my heart and I so deeply want him to be in a place where he can learn and grow. But not just him, others like him for whom the world is not a very comfortable place. It is hard to explain it all but I have been passionate about seeing this goal met and that school be able to open.
My post on Facebook increased. I began to talk to friends and share about this worthy cause. What happened next stunned and amazed me. Friends of mine began to post the fund raising request on their timelines. They emailed and texted and called their friends bringing the need to their attention, asking them to give. People handed me cash in the hall. At one point I did something I had never done before and I emailed a large group of people, begging them to donate. And some did.
For two days people that know nothing of this school, do not know any people from the school, reached deep and gave and tried to help in getting others to give and the total kept going up. As each new total was posted my excitement grew and so did my amazement at what I was experiencing, at what I had been privileged to be a part of. Co-workers greeted me with “what’s the total, are we there?”
This event evoked in me a depth of passion that I had long since forgotten that existed. I watched as people came together to help, as they united around a common cause and together made something good and positive happen. I am not a fan of clichés but I kept thinking “United we stand, divided we fall”. What a powerful force for good we can be when we are willing to die to self and join together to reach a goal. We accomplished together what none of us could have accomplished alone. Being a loner, this has been a powerful lesson for me.
I am profoundly grateful for the friends and co-workers who united with me to promote and recruit, to give. Their actions speak volumes about who they are. Their willingness to step up and help makes me proud to know them, grateful to have them in my circle of friends and committed to help them when they need it. It validates my belief that “love does.”
I deeply believe in community, especially in the church and somehow it seems this is at least part of what it should look like. One among us has a need and the rest of us come along side and bring others with us to see that need gets met.
For me, I know that for a moment in time, God held me with His hand in the cleft of the rock and allowed me to see His glory as it passed by. I stand in awe of Him, of the hearts he touched and I marvel that when we just love each other as He commanded us to, that amazing things can and do happen.
To each and every person that participated in any way in this effort, especially those in my circle, I thank you not only for what you did, but for your part in making this a moving and amazing experience for me.
As I end this post the total sits at $99,000.00. Somehow I just know before the day is out it will reach $100,000.00.
If you are reading this and want to be part of this amazing journey, just click on the link below to donate.
Within hours of me orignally posting this the goal was reached!
Together we built a barn……