Thursday, June 14, 2007

pulling rabbits

I haven't been around much this week and I feel it. I miss you. But I was busy working on something, a long shot of great importance. A crusade of sorts.

As are so many non profits we encounter difficulties paying for all of the critical services we provide. It's been a long haul the last few months figuring out what to do, what we can do, what we cannot. None of these are easy decisions; the agony wakes me up at night and ruins my dreams. It feels heavy and complicated. I often want to hide.

But this week we managed to make something work. Long nights at city meetings had us pleading our case with clients in tow who in turn most magnificently gave a face and a voice to our words, the weight of these decisions resting squarely on their heads. Messaging and strategy. Thinky things were said. Public speaking in front of important people and a packed room full of observers with multiple agendas and priorities, certainly not all of them ours.

But we stood up. We pled and shared and tugged at hardened hearts. We fought the good fight, and the homeless gods were smiling. As a result we are able to negotiate the funding we need to keep over 100 people housed that we were almost unable to do last week, and was certainly impossible next week. And now, sweet friends, we can keep them housed for the entire year.

I am exhausted. And while we haven't sorted everything out, we were victorious this week for these 100 brothers and sisters who would have otherwise found sleep under bridges and in parks and streets. But we scared off that darkness, and while nothing comes for free and certainly in not this sort of battle we know it is right. Anytime something this renegade is pulled off there is a later price to pay, but I'll pay it gladly, because sometimes those rabbits claw their way out of the hat, but the scratches can't take away from the soft fluffiness you get to hold in your hand.

43 comments:

thailandchani said...

Last line: You are absolutely correct!

KTF,

~Chani

Laurie said...

You done good, kid.

Laurie said...

(my daddy says that)

meno said...

Oh Hooray for you. By any means available, you have done what was necessary to make this happen.

Mrs. Chicken said...

My late father was notoriously stingy with his compliments. His highest praise was thus: well done.

Well done to you, friend.

carrie said...

Way to go. Sounds like it was all worth it.

Here's hoping those rabbits will stay put!

Carrie

Kelly said...

I can't imagine your words not having an influence and making The Man dig into his vast, deep, jingly pockets.

Good for you. A victory, indeed!

Julie Pippert said...

Fantastic! Congratulations!!

Andrea said...

Congratulations!

Hel said...

"sometimes those rabbits claw their way out of the hat, but the scratches can't take away from the soft fluffiness you get to hold in your hand."

That is lovely.

I hope your heart feels like it is sinking into the softest, warmest fluff while listening to the only singing bunny in the universe.

She sings about heroic deeds, warmth and safety. Her voice is so sweet it fills your eyes with tears and your soul with joy.

kristen said...

I'm glad that there are victories, a small bone thrown your way. I'm happy for your 100 and even more so, that I've come to know you Jen. Your goodness and beautiful writing has awakened me and given me compassion when I mostly used to turn the other way. Now instead of judging, I just give.

Oh, The Joys said...

Congratulations, Jen.

metro mama said...

Big congrats Jen.

slouching mom said...

What a coup.
And jen, your heart, it is so fine. The finest of hearts.

Lucia said...

What great news!

I haven't been around much lately either, and I miss it too.

mamatulip said...

Nicely done, Jen.

Nicely done.

Tabba said...

As soon as I saw the title and your first few lines, I could tell it was going to be something good.

This is great news! Congratulations!

Christine said...

How wonderful!

jen, this world needs more fighters like you. You are an example to us all, and we love you for that.

Never give up this fight.

Mad Hatter said...

Good on ya, Jen, and good on all the clients who brought their voices to the table.

kaliroz said...

Congrats!

You're doing such an amazing amount of good.

Lawyer Mama said...

Fabulous news, Jen! I so admire you.

Magpie said...

Congratulations - I know well how hard it can be to raise money for a cause, and how pleasing it is to get it. Good job!

deb said...

It's sad to think that people have to be pleaded with to take care of others. That they don't just do the right thing because it's the right thing to do. That people have to beg for help. We all need help sometimes, will all need help at sometime in our life, it should be freely given, not begged for.

That being said, I'm glad they've got you and your organization there to stand on their side and fight for them.

Deezee said...

congrats and be proud. It is no small feat the work you do...

we all should have your energy and committment.

Blog Antagonist said...

I'm really glad there are poeple like you in this world. Sincerely.

KC said...

Thank you for fighting the good fight every day. Oh, I am in awe.

J Fife said...

Wonderful! Your work always makes my silly job seem so pointless, useless.

jen said...

thank you everyone. i was hesitant to post this, because i hate sounding like i am giving myself props - and this was certainly a group effort - but it was so damn fantastic i had to share it. so thanks for receiving it in kind.

next post will be a recount of the testimony of one of our clients. staggering in it's beauty.

Redneck Mommy said...

Cheering wildly for you. I'm so glad you won this battle for those people.

You are such a blessing.

And I loved the rabbit analogy.

Pgoodness said...

Way to go friend!! WAY. TO. GO. Group effort or not, you rock and it is such a blessing for you to be on this crazy earth of ours. Those 100 are lucky to have you on their side.

flutter said...

What glorious news, you do such wonderful work

crazymumma said...

I like that bit about rabbits. really like it.

Good for you Jen.

100 people is alot. Take some time for you this weekend and put some salve on those scratches, but make sure you perceive them as marks of victory.

wordgirl said...

It's the life of the non-profit, that's for sure. You tunnel out of the darkeness and into the light, but the next day? You have to do it all over again.

QT said...

You are a superwoman -seriously. I will make a toast to you tonight!

Karen Forest said...

You are so wonderful in all you do.

Kyla said...

Wonderful, jen!! Wonderful!

urban-urchin said...

congrats Jen. Now go get some rest.

Orangeblossoms said...

Really, really good news! I keep thinking that working with one guy will make a difference (and it does, to him and to me)-- but a hundred or more!? Fantastic!

Beck said...

Good work. That's a whole lot of people who have been saved from a whole lot of suffering.

liv said...

You rock, my sister. I am so proud to know that there are still people like you speaking for those who are unable. Powerful stuff. You are so 5th chakra open!

Aliki2006 said...

*Congratulations*--this is wonderful.

Binky said...

You have my belated congratulations. Every time I stray from the Internet you have a big announcement of one kind or another. I really need to check in every day. You're something else!

Susanne said...

Great that that worked!