Thursday, December 29, 2011

10,000 Reasons to Smile

Well folks, I have some amazing news to share- yesterday, we received a $10,000 grant! Even more amazing is the fact that it was an unsolicited grant from the anonymous fund associated with a particular foundation. I've been having a bit of a vacation this week and only doing a little work. I breezed into the post office yesterday, not particularly interested in actually picking up the mail- my primary focus was to return my netflix movie. I opened my mailbox and flipped through the mail as I was walking out. I saw the envelope and could tell it was a check. My first thought was, "wouldn't it be nice if this was a check for $10,000." I didn't really think it was a check for that much- I wasn't waiting for any grants and $10,000 checks don't exactly fall into my lap. I got into my car and opened the envelope- I peered in to see the dollar amount and there it was- $10,000. I squinted to make sure I wasn't imagining it, then I took it out of the envelope to stare at it some more. It took a few minutes to sink in that I was actually getting that large a donation. Within the hour, I deposited it in the bank.

The last time we received a $10,000 grant was in 2005 when we were the recipients of the Mass Bankers Charitable Foundation grant. The Milford National Bank had nominated us for the grant based partly on our donation for the children who were victims of Hurricane Katrina. That grant was revolutionary for us- if I had to pick one moment in our last 8 years that has been the most important, it was that $10,000 donation. At the time, we were barely hanging on financially. That donation put us on the path to a decent financial footing and we grew steadily. I've never received another $10,000 grant until yesterday.

This grant means so much to us. I don't know how the foundation heard about Project Smile or who the anonymous donors were, but if you happen to be reading this blog- thank you. Thank you so much for sharing the dream. I work very hard for every penny that we receive and the fundraising pressure is unrelenting. We don't get huge donations. In order for me to raise $10,000, it's an event that takes 9 months to plan or a bunch of grants that require extensive work. There is so much more that I want Project Smile to accomplish, but the financing is a major constraint.

Even beyond the dollar amount which is fantastic- is the knowledge that someone who I don't know believes in us enough to make that commitment. I usually have to go out and convince other people to donate and support our mission, but here is someone (or a group of people) that is already touched by what we do and I didn't have to say a word. That is such a beautiful thing. And to all the other people that donate and support our work, thank you- because you are all sharing in the dream as well.

I could go on about how delighted I am about this $10,000 donation, but I'm going to go and eat some crackers and cheese. I was going to have a grapefruit, but cheese is calling my name. Until next time friends...

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