Thursday 26th January 2012, Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Ah shit! Wearing only a pair of underpants, I somehow managed to lock myself out of the house. No matter, N was sure to be back any minute. I hopped into the communal Jacuzzi and waited. But 10 minutes into my bubblefest I remembered that N had mentioned something about going shopping. She wouldn't be back for ages and there was no way I could get out of the tub in my transparent undies. I was stuck. And an hour or so in, I was shrivelled and wrinkly.
My problems were compounded when two women joined me in the tub, but as long as the bubbles kept bubbling, I reckoned I was cool. I concentrated on acting normal but the small-talk was running on empty when N finally rocked up, grabbed a couple of sodas and joined us in the tub. I relaxed.
One of the women, Lizzie, said she worked in Washington for a not-for-profit organisation concerned with growing unemployment in the USA. Ironically, it sounded like her major donors were some of the huge corporates responsible for the current financial crisis and lack of jobs. I couldn't stop myself from mentioning my own weird little project and before I knew it, I was inviting Lizzie to take part.
I arranged to meet her the next day. Boom! Another fine Wearelucky sorted. I was feeling rather pleased with myself. Right up until I stood up to get out of the tub.
Questions & Answers
1. What were your first thought and feelings when propositioned with Wearelucky?
I was surprised. I had never heard of someone having such blind faith in strangers, to the point that they'd give someone money and trust that they would get it into the hands of someone who truly needed it.
2. What have you decided to do with the money?
I decided to give the money to Gudrun, the mother of my sister's boyfriend. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 35 years ago, Gudrun has recently been through tough times, breaking both of her legs and, as a result, spending six months in a rehabilitation centre. She will be discharged soon and this money will be used to modify an electric wheelchair that was also donated. This wheelchair will give her more mobility and the freedom to get around without depending on others.
3. Did you think about spending the money on yourself and what difference the money might make to your life?
No. It never crossed my mind to spend the money on myself. In fact, this whole experience made me realise how lucky I already am.
4. Is it important to get something back?
A thank you and a smile is all I need. If I get that, then I am more likely to give again. It's important to know that people appreciate what you've done. But it only needs to be a simple thank you and smile. Nothing more.
5. Why do you think we feel good about doing something for others?
I think it brings us back to basics. Today, people are often too wrapped up in their own lives to worry about anyone but themselves. The simple act of giving helps ground you and makes your appreciate what you have. When I'm having a bad day and feel sorry for myself, I try to remind myself how lucky I really am.
6. Did you feel lucky or responsible?
I think this project is amazing because it truly inspires trust. The whole thing is based on trust. I was trusted to give this money to someone who needed it and I felt lucky, and honoured, to be entrusted with this responsibility.
7. What have you learned from this experience?
I am a professional fundraiser and typically secure six and seven figure grants for my organisation. We are constantly under pressure to raise big money and that sometimes undermines the value of smaller gifts. I learned from this experience that a modest amount of money can go a long way and can be just as valuable as a million dollar donation.