Thursday, March 1, 2012

Your Inspiration for Week 5

Last year, an inspirational email a week helped fund 69 art classes and workshops, 50 internships, studios for 419 artists and events for 7,539 people of all ages at Pyramid by raising $5,000. This year, I am going to raise 1,000,000 pennies (or $10,000) to help make even more possible.

I invite you to be inspired and join me.

Week 4 is in the books and I am at 160,000 pennies or ($1,600). Thank you to everyone who has brought their pennies. I am so grateful to you.

Here is your Week 5 Inspiration:

"My mother and father came from Cuba with nothing but what they could stuff into a suitcase. In Cuba, it had been different for them. My dad's family owned a number of businesses and they had a home in the city and a home in the country. My mom's family owned one business, but they had housekeepers and chaffeurs. Life must have been great, but they left it all behind and had to start again in the United States and it made them bitter people who seemed to always dream about what they lost and what they could have had.

I could hear them talk in the living room when I was a kid. "That guy, he thinks he's something special because he's driving that car and making so much money," my dad would say. "That jerk. He is so full of himself, it makes me sick." I grew up not trusting people with money. "They don't care about anything, but their money," my mom would say. Money was something you were born with and in Miami, I was not. I didn't get it, but I didn't know many people who were wealthy growing up. I grew up believing that money was a bad thing and people with money even worse

All this came to a head for me, a year ago when I started my fundraising campaign. It made me confront my own fears and prejudices about money. It scared me. It made me want to run away and never come back. I felt like I was turning my back on my family and all they believed in. I think back on all of the challenges my parents faced when coming to this country and I don't believe that they ever forgave themselves for what never was. When I forgave myself and got out of my own way, I discovered people who were ready, willing and able to help. I made new friends who have shared with me their lives and their support. I forgave myself for who I wasn't and could never be.

In my fundraising journey, I have learned that money is a valuable resource. It helps make life easier for you and those you love. It can support a cause you believe in and groups you care about, but it is no substitute for friendship or feeling loved for who you really are."

I hope I inspired you to join me. Its easy:
If all this penny stuff is too complicated and you just want to make a contribution, you can donate in any form of currency to Pyramid Atlantic by clicking here. I will add up your donation in pennies and include it in my campaign.

Join me on March 8 at 7 pm for a culinary event at Pyramid with Chef Egg! Admission is "pay what you can." Enjoy parmesan risotto, spicy garlic shrimp, and pure fresh fruit sorbet prepared by Chef Egg right before your eyes. Bring your pennies and I will take them to my friends at Eagle Bank.

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