Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mission Accomplished ...

Yep, it's true. The rumors you heard, circulating on Facebook and such. 76 days. That is all it took to finish what we started, which felt like a long time ago, but really wasn't. 20 iPads funded. All but 2 delivered but those are being wrapped and getting ready to ship, as I type. Phenomenal. Amazing. Incredible. Humbling. I have so many words to describe the feelings I have and for some reason, they escape me at the moment. Too many emotions going on inside perhaps. I'll find the words at another time. So, as I have done so many other times in the last several months, I will turn it over to, and he will hate this, but I will turn it over to my pretty spectacular friend and partner Ken, and let him say it as only Ken does: beautifully.

Brief Change in Plan

Was going to kick off the iPosts today, but instead, I wanted to postpone that in light of the fact that, if you glance over to the number at your right above the little Thermometer widget, the $11,000.00 goal HAS BEEN ACHIEVED.

That means that in 76 days, from the time this site went live on July 12, this community came together to raise money for 20 kids to get their iPads.

That's amazing, when you think about it.



I posted on our Facebook page last night and Heather posted about it on hers, and I know that she and I are both in agreement on this statement...no need and no desire to say anything about how amazing WE are. In fact, we prefer you did not. The fact is...YOU are amazing. The COMMUNITY is amazing. The WORK is amazing. The KIDS are amazing.

You should always remember that.

In fact, it is almost a tragedy that I have to address something so pedestrian in light of something so awesome, but I got word yesterday that someone was very uncomfortable with the idea that I used the phrase 'an anonymous helper' yesterday in my post. This person went so far as to compare me to a certain individual who ran a contest on a different website. Now, I could care less about the person who bitched about it, but if there is anyone else out there who might have issue with my choice of 'phrasology', let me be absolutely clear and totally frank.

Occassionally, there are going to be other people involved behind the scenes of this venture. And sometimes, those people are going to request to remain anonymous. Just as I would respect any of the Parent's requests not to give out their information, just as I respect the right of any donor who chooses NOT to be placed on the Supporters page, I also respect the right of any volunteer who wishes not to be called out by name.

One such person, who stepped in during my recovery from my tonsillectomy and helped me out in a HUGE way, asked me if I would keep the name private. And so I did. I don't apologize for that, nor will I. If that creeps you out or makes you think that this feels like the old MB thing? Well, then this is clearly not the place for you.

It was also suggested that I do this for praise and recognition. Particularly that my statement yesterday regarding how the money breaks down (and that some costs were eaten by us) was a plea of some kind to let you know...*sniff*...that money was coming out of my own pocket. The reason the money thing was even in there was because one of the parents asked me to address the monetary discrepancy since the numbers did not add up, so I wanted to offer disclosure on it.

Technically it BELONGS in the FAQ, but I admitted even in yesterday's post that I have been FAQ-slack and need to get that thing done. I copped to it being my bad, but I will get to it. But rather than keep the parent waiting on an answer, I felt it more important to give the parent an answer and do as requested...answer it publicly.

I was not hoping to have anyone break out the world's tiniest violin. I was just trying to explain the breakdown of costs. I even had a screen shot of our spreadsheet, but then I thought...well, that's probably TOO much disclosure.

I don't do this for accolades or awards. I do this because I have a 4-year old son who had a brain tumor, brain surgery, unexplained malformations in his brain tissue, catastrophic epilepsy, an autism spectrum disorder and who can't communicate and these Missions mean something to me very deeply and very personally. To be involved in something that helps to bring communication to kids who have a communication related disability is enriching to every aspect of my being.

And for other reasons too. Granted, being involved in an online community is a part of who I am. I have been involved in some kind for as long as I can remember. It used to be toys and collectibles. Now it is Special Needs families. It is just something that I do.

When I started my own business after leaving Palisades Toys, the last major toy company I worked for, the main goal of the new company, Creatus Maximus, was to get other people's ideas made into product, because I thought it sucked that so many people out there had so many great ideas and no means to get their stuff produced. It was all community-driven.

At Palisades itself, when Message Boards were the thing, and this was LONG before the social media craze, long before Facebook, I spent many hours on that site getting involved in that community, getting feedback from people who lived and breathed the licenses that we were making products of.

They would get involved in the design process, and in the production process. And in return I would get them a bunch of free toys and get their names on the back of the package. Would have paid them had our budgets been higher, but they were cool with what we worked out.

In fact, some of those people and I are still friends today, and read THIS site, if you can imagine that. Some of those people donated to this cause. They know me very, very well. Many of them I have had the pleasure of meeting in the 'real world'. They know what kinds of things motivate me.

Glory? Nope. Patton said it best...at least the film version did...all glory is fleeting.

But let's remember the best part of why this post is NOT an iPost today.

Mission One, at least the financial aspect of it, is A-FREAKIN-COMPLISHED! And, the two iPads are sitting right here. So they will be shipping today or tomorrow. I will do my best to get them out today, but I was not expecting the last $740 to drop in last night, so I have to scramble to get them packed up and out the door. I will do my very best to get them out though.

I can promise you that.

That doesn't mean the end though. We still have many an iPost to write, and lots of things to think about as far as how to set up our plans for what will be our Mission Two. And some other changes that will be taking place, all of which will be gone over in due time.

But for now? 

If you feel compelled to do any back-patting? You go right on and pat...on each other. (KEEP IT CLEAN, PEOPLE!) All we did was facilitate this process. All we did was become a conduit for the generosity of a community that I could not be more proud to be a part of.

Enjoy the moment, because this is YOUR success.

You've earned it.


On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group



Anna said...

so so awesome! This is one of my many things on my gratitude list for today! Im sorry that there are people that have the need to rain on the parade but love the way you handle it. keep up the awesome work!

Justine said...

Wonderful and amazing!

And Happy Birthday Heather!!!

Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm so glad for all of the kids and so proud of you guys for getting it done.

Oh and by the way, Happy Birthday. Sorry for making you cry on your special day.

Elizabeth said...


Emma said...

Proof that God can do great things when we are united, beauty from ashes indeed! well done guys, and much praises to our God!

E x


You are awesome!

Melissa said...

Yay! I know you don't want congrats and pats on the back, but the truth is, without you and the others who helped this wouldn't have happened. This whole thing would have just stayed a hurtful fiasco. What you all have accomlished truly is wonderful!