They tell me that "Project Why" is different because they are not trying to shock us, they are simply asking for permission to continue their work were the words that dropped in my mailbox this morning. They were from a friend and supporter who conveyed the feelings of someone who had just discovered us.
I sat a long while pondering over them. How true they were. In my now almost ten years of soliciting and panhandling I have never wanted to shock anyone. I remember how upset I always felt when anyone dared suggest that we use sad pictures to showcase our work. I was anathema to me. Pwhy could and would never be a sad place. It is true that people tend to loosen their purse strings more easily when faced with pathos but that was never the way we wanted to go. We were in the business of crafting smiles and creating joy and that is what we always sought to share with one and all and what we asked was help to continue to do so!
I would, I must admit, never have thought of using the words permission to continue our work but come to think about it that is exactly what it amounted to. Every time we requested help in any form it was simply to allow us to carry on what we were doing: ensuring that one more batch of students complete their studies or move into the next class, ensuring that a group of little souls are able to acquire the skills needed to enter the portals of a school, ensuring that a bunch of very special kids spend one more day of their lives in laughter and joy. Simple things that should ordinarily happen without much ado, but that often come at a price for children of a lesser God. Every penny we sought and continue to seek is to do just that. No more, no less.