I will admit that for this first time back I am reposting a note from Facebook but I think it is worthy of retelling...
(Originally posted to FB on Feb 27, 2009)
Yesterday afternoon I had a wake up call that hit me like a surprise hook to the jaw.
Part of my job responsibilities with Transitions Global is to field calls that come into our business line. I don't get a lot of calls as the number is new and most people have our cell phone numbers. However, I do get the occasional "I want to help out", "Can you answer this question for my research project", or "I am responding to this post on Craigslist... do you think it is sketchy."
Yesterday was different... I got a call from a lady who is representing a girl that was rescued from sex slavery her in Portland this past week. She wanted to know if we had a secure shelter for this survivor. A place where this girl could be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society.
This is where my world temporarily fell apart... I had to tell her that, "No, we don't have a facility set up yet and we cannot help her directly." I quickly fumbled to give her some resources that I had, and put her in touch with our Director, so he could follow up with her... but the damage was done.
I had to tell her, "No... I cannot help you." This wasn't me giving another presentation, spouting out facts about human trafficking, and how horrible it is, and then trying to convince people that this is a worthwhile cause to give to. It was me.. right here... right now... saying, "No."
Over the last couple of months I have been working feverishly to build a fundraising infrastructure for Transitions Global. I ran a marathon last week, I am running a 5k with a group of people in mid-march, we are planning a cigar and wine event tentatively for April, we are working with Churches, we are working with bands, I am putting together a group of people to summit Mt. Hood in July, we are planning an immersion trip to Cambodia in August, I am putting together a triathlon team to race in July... and this is just a few of the things I have been working on... but for a moment all of this came to a screeching halt. I had to say, "No"
I am sorry little girl. I know you have been abused beyond all imagination and I know that you desperately need a safe place to feel real love, and to wrk through all of the crap that you have gone through, and to figure out how you are going to proceed with life but... I cannot help you.
I am sorry... I haven't done a good enough job at raising funds yet... I haven't been able to convince people that this is important... I am sorry, but "No"
My wife walked into the room and asked me what was wrong and through stifled sobs I tried to tell her what had happened only moments before.
As I drove to class last night I began to think... I can really let this bum me out or... (and this is the option that I have chosen) I can use this reality to increase the already raging fire on the inside of me, so that hopefully next time I can say "YES!!!"
Thanks for letting me vent...