Day 26 Fundraiser: It Continues!

Even though we’ve reach our goal, the generosity keeps coming!  The wonderful thing about this whole project is that Crowdrise doesn’t cut you off by a certain date or amount, so we can just keep going and see how far we get!

As for two awesome people who pushed me over the $1k mark…

Tom and Anita Bartolone!!

I am so lucky to have these two loving people as an aunt and uncle.  The Bartolone’s welcomed me to their large, caring family the first time I came to the famous Christmas Eve party.  So happy to get to see these two, and everyone else, in just a few short months:)  Thank you, Tom and Anita!!!

1278148_4670017927868_985991697_o

WE DID IT!! FUNDRAISER GOAL REACHED!!

photo-1439556838232-994e4c0d3b7c

You are all amazing people!!  As of today, we have gone BEYOND the goal to raise $900 for Zara Aina.  And the best part?  There’s still a whole week to see how far we can get.  I am so blown away by this experience, I had no expectations of reaching the total, especially before the end of the 30 days.  You have all given such a beautiful gift to me and this organization.  Go team.

THANK YOU ROBYN AND ALEX!!!

The amazing couple that put us over the fundraiser’s edge were my cousins, Robyn and Alex.  These are some of the most generous people you will ever meet.  When I was getting to know Ben, the welcoming energy of the family was overwhelming, and came full force from these two lovely people.  I couldn’t be more grateful to call them family.

14567430_10154654845441340_5245890669063108510_o

Day 24: We’re at 99%!!!

So I don’t normally post this early about the fundraiser, but guys, we are $8 away from the goal!!!!  With a week to go!!!  And here’s the great thing about this fundraiser, there’s no reason we have to stop at $900.  If you need to re-inspire yourself this Thursday morning (especially after the anxiety-causing disaster we watched last night) check out Zara Aina’s site, and believe in the world again!  Either way, if any one is up to sending $8, you will be the official fundraiser finisher!

Here are the three people that helped us reach this yesterday…

Zach and Leslie Hoover!

1010295_10151805670189305_1753090246_n

I love these two people so much!!  They knew my husband way before I did, but I like to pretend I’ve known  them for just as long.  They are incredible friends, gracious hosts, amazing parents, and very generous in all the admirable political and philanthropic work they do in their lives.

Carlaina Bell!

13310561_10209651717031403_633556170512885005_n

I couldn’t ask for a more positive person to sit right across the hall from me at work.  Carlaina is the loveliest of coworkers and so generous for donating to my fundraiser–because of her, we’re now at 99%!  Also, she has the best dresses.  Like, how do I find these dresses?

Day 23: Thank you!!

Hi All!!  I cannot believe we have less than $100 to go!  This is incredible.

Today I would like to thank an anonymous donor–an awesome person that has been very supportive to my writing.  And it’s so great that they donated to Zara Aina!  As I have with past anonymous donations, here’s a picture of a cute doggy!

Day 23: The Night I Met Ben

For the final 30 days of my twenties, I am writing one personal narrative a day that has impacted my life until now.  To read more about my challenge, feel free to check out the first post.  

Also, this 30 Day challenge is also to support a wonderful charity, Zara Aina.  Please check out my fundraiser here and if you’re able, please consider throwing a few dollars toward this amazing cause.  It would mean the world!

With only one week left in this challenge,  I figured it was a good time to tackle the bigger stories, the ones that shifted the course of my 20’s, and really, as luck would have it, my life.  I’ve written about this story before–the night Ben and I met–but never in complete detail.  SO here we go.

I almost didn’t accept the birthday party invitation from Jenn, a friend from college who was celebrating her birthday on the Lower East Side.  Nothing against Jenn, I would have just rather given into my trusty depression and climb back into bed with my laptop.  Yeah, that sounds like a better plan.  I was living at home at the time.  The year leading up to that summer left me in a rough spot.  I graduated college, hiked the Camino de Santiago, went through a vicious breakup three days after finishing the hike, worked in a job with a bully by my side for four months, and then found myself curled up in bed back in North Jersey for several months.  It was like a floodgate of emotional issues, kept at bay for years by the structured world of formal education, released its wrath the moment I left its protection.

Invitations like this were few and far between.  And since I planned to move to NYC, I needed to at least try and become comfortable with having social life there.  Yet there were several issues–I barely had any money and I worried my mood would take a dark turn during the party.  Still, I decided to accept Jenn’s offer and she graciously extended an offer to stay with her in Astoria that night.

It was one of the hottest days of July–July 23rd to be exact–and the only thing I could bare putting on my body that afternoon was a small sundress given to me by my friend Claire years earlier.  I stressed all afternoon about not looking like a weirdo, especially since I knew my ex, and many of his group, may be there that night.  Why I was putting myself through this, I did not know.  I just hoped there would be enough other people there that I could manage to have a good time.

After dropping my things off at Jenn’s, we stepped out into the humid night when a dramatic crack of thunder ripped through the air, sending a deluge of water through the streets.  It was a comical storm really, you had to laugh.  Because of this however, we took a cab–a luxury beyond my means at that time, you can be sure of that.  I noticed during our drive down the east side of Manhattan that this was one of those black cars that didn’t take cards–it’s wild how clueless you feel when you look back on your early-NYC self.  We arrived at the bar and I handed over every dollar I had brought for the evening.  I had money in my checking account, but not a whole lot.  So yeah, this should be an interesting evening.

Continue reading

Day 21: Big Fundraiser THANK YOUS!

The past 24 hours have been pretty exciting over in the fundraising world.  I have three sets of people to thank today!!  And we’re at 90%!!!

Debi and Ben Goodrich!

Ben and Debi are both awesome coworkers of mine, and very generously donated yesterday!!  I am so lucky to have Debi to chat with about my blog posts–and it always makes me smile when she says she’s given it a look:)  Thanks, guys!!!

13718520_10100528755052529_3252808993875616691_n

Kelli Meyer!

Oh my goodness, Kelli Meyer!  I’ve known Kelli for 11 years.  ELEVEN YEARS. She’s been my bridesmaid, my roommate, my long-distance driving buddy, and oh yeah, a really great friend.  Love you, lady!

13327583_919926183589_1959960391780113782_n

Cortney Conrad!

‘Tis a good day for roommate donations.  I lived with Cortney in college and she has been a dear friend since Drew.  Though she is far away in Colorado now, I miss her so!

We're so little!! And still learning to take selfies!!

We’re so little!! And still learning to take selfies!!

Day 21: Thank you Dana! You are Awesome

Hi all!  With just over a week left of this challenge, Dana Sumner-Pritchard has very generously donated to my birthday fundraiser!  Dana and I have worked together in theatre since college–she is a fabulous actress, writer, and all-around hilarious individual.  She also put us at the 80% mark!

1536614_755264761399_4392593688275542694_n

Look at her dancing the night away at our wedding! Cause she’s a champ!

Day 20: Thank you, thank you, Kathleen Jones!

I have been reading the title of this blog post a bit like a cheer with a rah-rah ahead of it.  Why?  Because Kathleen and Orion Jones donated to my birthday fundraiser for Zara Aina!  This has been the season of Kathleen for my theatre life.  She and I have known each other since college, but I’ve recently been blessed to get involved with the development of a new play she’s writing, directed by her husband Orion.  She’s also a lovely blogger, and you should totally check out her stuff here.

Here they are, in a photo I snatched from Facebook!

14222234_1033250023457099_6236644912427136329_n

Fundraiser, DAY 18!!!

Thank you very much to the best neighbors anyone could ever ask for–Ben and Lindsay Weisman!!!  They very generously donated to my fundraiser!!  They are two of our favorite people on this planet–amazing hosts, great artists, and pretty darn good at fundraising themselves.  We are the luckiest of people to now have them right around the corner.

You are both spectacular!

14463061_948878637639_8316356515731381657_n

I stole ya photo