I am truly blessed by the people in my life.

Several months ago a friend raised money for expenses for a family to travel with their loved one for surgery in another province. Another friend was the recipient of a fundraising campaign for orthothics that were delisted from their province’s health coverage. I had the funds to chip into one but not the other, but in the end both were successful. I’ve also heard of people getting sponsors for their wedding or other special events online.

It made me think — what about me? I set up a ChipIn account, but then was too embarrassed to do anything about it. I couldn’t actually go through with asking people for money.

But yesterday I did. I bit the bullet. I emailed out my chip-in page and asked people to contribute. And they did.

From a friend who gave me the last $6.15 he had in his PayPal account to someone who within minutes had sent me $500, my friends came through. It’s at about $1000 now and more is coming in.

Last night I had the first sleep in a long time without worrying about bills and money. I know that my aching tooth can get filled this week. Utilities (especially AC in 40+C heat will stay on). Today I registered for the Rising Tide Bloggers conference which is a key event for those of us who write about New Orleans.

The letter I emailed out was simple:

Hey folks

While normally I raise money for other causes, today I am writing to ask for your support for me. As you know doing a PhD is a great deal of work. The more time I spend on it, the less time I have to earn money through other sources. It is unusual — and quite hard — for me to ask for money from my friends and colleagues, but recent circumstances have made it necessary to take this step.

I’m asking each of you to think about this and consider making a small donation. Even $20 goes a long way these days.

 http://phd4tanya.chipin.com/tanyas-phd (or email money transfer or PayPal to falcngrl@gmail.com)

What do you get in return? My undying love and gratitude primarily. And a place to stay in New Orleans.  But overall, I believe I work hard for many communities. A PhD will enable me to continue to do that work. So your contribution is an investment in creating change.

 Thanks and love

Tanya

Tanya Gulliver
Blogs: toronto2nola.wordpress.com and love2nola.wordpress.com
Twitter: @TanyaMGulliver

I’ve always tried to be a good person and to put myself out there in the world. The feedback that has come in with the money, means as much as the money.

Someone said “You embody the principles of “paying it forward” through your generosity, community work and sheer energy. I learned a lot from you via PWAC and my short time on the board. Can’t wait to see where your PhD takes you… and the rest of us.”

Another wrote: “You’re the best cause I can think of.”

A third said “I know you are dedicated to your life passion and it’s one that I believe in. Your a blessing in this world T. I get paid on a regular basis into paypal, and while I still have very little funds to cover my own bills, I’ll contribute a bit whenever I can.  *you* are a worthwhile cause because you’re a primary example and friend in my life that truly knows how to pay it forward. Best of luck to you.”

I’ve been surprised by some of the people who have contributed. (Well, really, I’m surprised by all of them because I didn’t know that this would work!). They are people I have worked with or for, people I have served with on boards or in staff positions — even one person who I have never met face to face but have known in online communities for almost 15 years sent me $50.

I feel blessed beyond belief. My heart has been full of joy today and my eyes full of tears. I love my friends.

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