Hello all and a very happy Wednesday to you!
So, as many of you know, this past Saturday was the 2nd Annual RAINN Down Hope Dinner Auction and once again I have been left floored by the goodness of people.
To begin with, the generosity of donations. There were seventy-five baskets and twenty door prizes, making for a total of ninety-five gifts to win. The vast majority of these were donated by local businesses, large companies and a number of individuals looking to do good. (Check in next week for a complete list of donors - it's a great way to get ideas for your holiday shopping!)
And then there were the people. This year we came in at around 130 attendees - many attending for the second year in a row, as well as bringing some new faces. In some ways this is a "you had to be there" situation, as I find it hard to properly describe the feelings of love and camaraderie that permeated that ballroom.
Many of these people have never been directly touched by the crimes the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network works so hard to prevent, but still they came out on an extremely cold and rainy night to give of themselves. They do not need to be personally effected in their every day lives to understand the importance of RAINN and the necessity for survivors of these crimes to have access to the help and support they need.
While I think it's important to stay up to date on what's going on in the world, I find the news difficult to watch. To have twenty-four hours of a constantly updating roll of horrible events is wearing. Reading it can provide it's own challenges, particularly if you choose to read it online, as then you run the risk of getting sucked into the comments section. Rarely does any news article go unscathed by some depressing or infuriating response.
These things can warp your view of reality, can leave you with the feeling that this world is a lost cause. However, thanks to these events, I can say with confidence that such a feeling is a wrong. The bad exists, of course - and is frequently heart-breaking - but as long as I know people who are so willing to support not only loved ones, but people who they've never met and likely never will, I can't help but believe that this world is full of hope.
If I had to take any guesses as to what the secret of living a happy life is, I'd have to say surrounding yourself with good people. People who are willing to put others first and people who you are willing to put before yourself. People who are willing to give of themselves and their time and their resources.
Which brings me to an important point - the fundraiser has surpassed it's goal!! Between the money already reflected on my RAINNmakers page and the few checks I still need to send in, we are at a total of $10,780 raised! Also, there are still nine days left on the campaign, so if you're interested in making a donation, you've got time - just head over here and do your stuff!
I am so insanely grateful right now. And, once again, I find myself in the perfect frame of mind to enter the holiday season and I will do my best to carry the feelings from Saturday night into the new year.
Hope to have some pictures to share from the event soon. Check back in!