What does it all mean?

posted by Dana We are in the midst of our first ever fundraising campaign - our "Countdown to 2012".  It's an incredible time for us.  This time of year, we are all asked to give so much, yet people have given more. We are humbled, overwhelmed, encouraged, inspired, thankful, very very thankful. And, we're sorting through what this all means. Beyond having the funds to pay our musicians, and the funds to have a professionally built website and much more - what does this mean?

We had no idea what this would be like. Would people give? How much,  how often? We put this campaign together literally in hours. We meet with a professional development person who said "What are you waiting for - START NOW". So we did, in a burst of activity; calling a few supporters to get the initial challenge donations, making the database, the thank you follow ups, and everything else as we went. It's been a rush! And, to top it all off, we're doing this during the holidays. This made us wonder, "Would people give? Is it a bad time of year, or good time of year to start this?" This is always an intense time of year for me personally, and then we added this. And boy have my wheels been turning!

What does it all mean? Hanukkah? Christmas? The New Year? People giving money to this Project I helped start?  I always wonder, as a spiritualy unconventional person, how do I fit into all of this holiday craziness?  As one who is always seeking the deeper meaning and substance in life, who is appreciative of, but not belonging to any organized religion, what does all this holiday stuff mean?

Gift wrapping mayhem!

Somehow, this fundraiser has finally given me an answer. In the midst of populating a database and sending emails, I paused and cleaned up my desk. I stumbled on a letter from a friend who is raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (She's doing the St. Anthony's Triathlon in April!). I immediately put a check in the mail. It felt great. And then I began to figure it out.

It all started to make sense to me. All because of the Countdown to 2012 Fundraising Challenge. Somehow, the generosity that has been bestowed upon us, has shown me what all these religions are celebrating. It's the gift of gratitude, this is what this season is about. It's about gratitude. We give to people (or fledgling non-profit arts groups) that we are grateful for. Christians are grateful for the gift of Christ. Jews are grateful for the miracle of light in the Temple. We are grateful for the gifts we receive, and perhaps even more grateful, if we sit and think about it, for the gifts we are able to give.

We have a few more days left in our Challenge to 2012 Fundraising Countdown. If you'd like to make a contribution, of any amount (somehow the smallest donations pull at the heart strings the most), we will be grateful and put your hard earned money to work in our community with enthusiasm and generosity.

by check:   Chamber Project St. Louis, 4195 Wyoming Street, St. Louis MO 63116

online:  click here for PayPal link

Thank you and Happy New Year from all of us at Chamber Project!


Dana playing with a Rock Band. Scroll down to listen to the whole thing for free. It's great. This has generated over $4000 for a local food pantry so far!

The full poem "Sixth Night"

The Rabbi James Stone Goodmans Blog