Thursday 5th January 2012, Beaver Creek, Colorado.
I have to apologize for the long delay in my response. I haven't been able to reply to you because I was embarrassed that I hadn't done anything with the cash from WeAreLucky. It sat in my safe in my bedroom for months while I contemplated how I could "do some good" with it. I had several opportunities come and go where I could have used the money, but none left that "I just helped someone out" feeling.
My original plans were to help my grandma who had had her third stroke. However, by the time I was able to visit her, she had already moved out of the temporary rehabilitation house and moved back home. My mom is still helping to take care of her and insurance is helping with some of her medical bills. Thus, cash from me was unnecessary. All she really wanted (and/or needs) was company. She loves for us to chat and perhaps help her do her nails.
So, the cash remained in the safe for someone else who could benefit from the money and an act of generosity. All summer long I talked about it with coworkers and nearly every group that came rafting with me. A very common question from rafting guests is: "Well, what do you do in the wintertime?" This made for an easy transition into last year's winter season at Beaver Creek and a great plug for WeAreLucky. I would tell the whole story, including how nervous my mom was for our meeting. No worries; I was always discreet about the identity of the person in the purple ski pants who delivered the WeareLucky black envelope to me at my lift. Of course, everyone loved the pay-it-forward themed story replying with their options of what to do with the cash. Unfortunately, none of these ideas appealed to me or met my goals of helping someone who truly needs the money along with a smile. To me, there is a big difference between people who think they need money for certain things and those - who would probably never ask for a dime - but could genuinely use a little outside help. I wanted to make someone smile, to feel as good as I did when you explained why you chose me, to help.
Then, this winter, an opportunity arose. While I would love to dish out all of the details, many of our friends are keep up with the WeAreLucky website and Facebook page. I would never want to exploit my friend's situation, so all I will mention is that we were able to share some of this money. His situation is improving, and our friend has every intention of repaying the money when he can. When the money is returned, we will continue to act as an interest-free bank. When our friends are in need, we will silently help them out in anyway we can.
Once, over this past summer, the WeAreLucky cash even helped us out of a jam. A huge storm, 'the derecho' they called it, hit Southern West Virgnia leaving us without power for eight days in ninety + degree temperatures. Because our water comes directly from our lake via an electric pump, we had no water either. Everything in the freezer was thawing, our 250-gallon fish tank was without aeration causing stress to our fish. With no power in the area, debit/credit card machines did not work; gas stations could not pump, and people were beginning to panic. We were able to purchase a generator for our home with the cash from the safe. As soon as the power was restored, I went to the ATM and replaced the money. Basically, we were able to give ourselves a type of cash advance.
I don't know if this is exactly what your foundation had in mind when you decided to dish out thousands of dollars, but I am trying very diligently to do some good (as advertised in original card) with the money you provided me. I still feel so honored, and even giddy, that I was chosen.
If y'all are ever near West Virginia, you will always have a home here.
Thank you. Peace. XO