I need your help. Seriously.

You’d think that after working in fundraising for seven years, I’d be more comfortable with asking for money. But I’m not. I know that people have their own priorities, needs, and desires when it comes to spending their cash. And I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with trying to persuade people why they should give their money to this or that cause.

But this time it feels a little different. While my organization is raising money for a very specific, important project (which is described below), we are also trying to achieve a very challenging goal. Our goal is to raise $5000 from at least 40 donors in the month of December. Really, we need to raise $5760. But $5000 will help us achieve at least one part of our goal. Either way, it is a tall order. But if we succeed, my organization will be able to fundraise through the globalgiving.org site on an ongoing basis which would be a huge benefit for us. I’m the second volunteer in a row that they have had. I leave in June. The chances of them getting another volunteer for next year are pretty slim. If they can successfully complete this challenge, it will be okay that they don’t have a Peace Corps volunteer to help them fundraise because they will be able to do it themselves. Georgian organizations largely depend on international donor organizations for their funding. But my organization has been very forward thinking in trying to diversify their support base. Ongoing access to the globalgiving.org community would be a huge opportunity for them.

So, today, I’m asking you to help my organization realize this opportunity. Honestly, I know that most of my friends and family don’t have the ability to make the big gifts. The one’s that will get us to our total dollar goal. But you all have the ability to give $10 or more to help us reach our goal of at least 40 donors. Please consider doing so. It would mean a lot to me and it would make a big difference for the future of my organization.

So, I know I haven’t talked about what exactly we are raising money for. It isn’t because it isn’t important. It is very important. But for me, as I see my time here winding up, I want to be able to help ensure that they are able to find support in the future. Thus my focus on the big picture challenge portion. But rest assured, my organization is actually focused on the benefits of the project which will have an impact on 52 children with disabilities in my region of Georgia. So here are the details.

The Project:

KEDEC, my organization, administers three day care centers in the Imereti region of Georgia. The day care centers support the individual development of children with various types of disabilities (ages 6-18) and promotes their participation in public life. The children are involved in educational and cognitive activities, which help improve their social, communication, functional and life skills.

Through these daycare centers, KEDEC serves a total of 52 children with disabilities, who come from low-income families and/or live in rural regions of the country. The children’s lack of learning and physical abilities has a direct effect on their socialization skills. Special education teachers are tackling this problem by providing integrated and inclusive programs for the children. However, the day care centers lack an adaptive infrastructure and environment that could help children develop essential sensory integration skills.

Thus, through this campaign, we are raising $5760 to purchase a portable sensory room that will provide a multi-sensory environment which can provide this interactive stimulation. The sensory room is designed to develop children’s senses, through special lighting, music, and objects. Purchasing a portable sensory room will allow us to provide this type of therapy to all 52 children at our day care centers, further developing their sensory and communication skills and helping them better integrate into society. The portable sensory room will be used in active programs, where cause and effect understanding, concentration and memory abilities can be developed in a fun, focused environment.

The goal of raising $5760 is a high one for us. And raising it in only one month is even more challenging. The project is worth it and will have a huge impact on the lives of the children at our day care centers. In addition, you will be helping KEDEC tap into a resource that will help maintain and develop the day care centers for years to come.

Help us make this happen. Give what you can anytime from December 1-31. We really need your help. And if you are so inclined, please share the link with your friends and family. Every gift counts.