A couple of years back, I stopped at a small nonprofit to drop off an in-kind donation. While writing out my receipt, the Office Manager gave me a brief overview of the organization and its services. Further disclosing that their grant had been cut and the organization was in dire need of funds. As a result, the majority of the staff had been laid off leaving behind the CEO, a college intern, and himself, to work without monetary compensation. Notwithstanding the lack of funds, by using in-kind donations the organization created a small store selling gently-used clothing, household items, and other knick-knacks to the surrounding low-income community. Charging no more than $2.00 for any item, the store provided a means to pay operational costs. During my seventy-five minute drive home, it struck me to reproduce the nonprofit's donation model to generate funds for Cultivating You, Inc., my start-up nonprofit.
Two years and thirty donation boxes later, the appointed time drew near.
Nervousness, anxiety, and fear coiled throughout my body—pricking every fiber of my being, restlessly tossing me to and fro forgoing a good night’s sleep. The sun emerged announcing a new day; drawing me out of my slumber proclaiming, "This is it. Today is the day!" Excitedly I haul fifteen boxes full of books to the front yard. Six hours later, I lug fifteen boxes of books back inside the house. What?! Are you kidding me?! Trickling like the sweat on my face, my motivation slowly disintegrated forming a puddle at my feet. Although some books found new homes, I failed to meet my monetary goal. Though no fundraiser is guaranteed to rake in globs of money, the public library’s bi-annual Brown Book Bag Book Sale dealt the biggest blow to my small-scale sale.
For the past month, disappointment along with his friend discouragement have been my constant companions. Seeking solace in historical romance novels my reading life, writing, motivation, and resolve suffered. Yet, I could not escape the questions constantly swimming through my mind. “Should I have another book sale?” “Should I give the books away?” “What would be in the best interest of Cultivating You?”
After thirty-one days, I now know what’s best for Cultivating You is to try again, again, and again. Today, I reclaim and revive my energy, motivation, and resolve from under the mountain of disappointment. Book sale number two…here I come!