I attended my chapter's PKD meeting tonight. I really enjoyed going, actually, as I got to meet other folks with PKD, and see what is going on in our area.
The answer, of course, was fundraising.
I'm not very good at fundraising, really. I was never the kid that pounded the pavement for the most magazine sales, or the most cookie sales, or the most candy sales. One time, in high school, I even left the chocolate I was supposed to deliver in my car all day, and when I got back to the car, it was all just a huge, messy, chocolate river. Not exactly "Best Fundraiser" material.
I am also aware that there are people who are hired to do this very thing. They probably don't get paid very much from the PKD Foundation, but I do know that they are put in place because they know how to get people to cough up the bucks.
I, however, do not.
I do have some ideas about things we could do, but I am still uncomfortable with the whole, "Hey, spare a dollar" kind of feel that fundraising always has. I have some friends who are completely forthcoming about this kind of thing. One friend said, "So, is there a foundation or a race or something I can donate too?"
Others, of course, aren't as willing to part with their cash.
And I want people to still like me. That's the thing. I would hate to spoil a relationship because people felt like I was always shaking them down. That's one reason I could never sell Mary Kay, or Tupperware, or heaven knows what else, because I feel like it would alter my initial friendship with people. If everybody feels like you are evaluating them in terms of financial status or potential client, it seems like that would put a damper on some relationships.
Of course, death, or spending massive time in a hospital because of a kidney transplant, or not being able to spend time anywhere because you are connected to a dialysis machine, would also sort of make things awkward, I suppose.
I was really impressed with the drive that these people showed tonight about fundraising, trying to get the word out about PKD, kidney failure, etc. But most of them have been living with PKD for some time, and a few of them have even had kidney transplants. I suppose if this has been your life for 22 some odd years, and 5 of your 7 children have it, that would be a motivator to ask your heighbor if he could spare a coupla bucks.
But I'm still new at all of this, as are my friends and family. I think most of us are just trying to figure out exactly what we are dealing with her, and perhaps I'm just not ready for all of this.
Like I said before, baby steps, baby steps....