A Plea for Benevolence

When I give, I give myself.

~ Walt Whitman

This post will change everything between you and I. Or, it might not. It depends on the perspective.

You visit here and expect certain things: a whimsical tale; a well-researched and thoughtful polemic; a charming anecdote featuring one of my kids; an update about this or that life circumstance. When I beg, it’s generally for forgiveness.

Today, I’m begging for your financial assistance.

I have nothing to sell. No book to peddle, no beaded headbands, no homemade peanut brittle. This is not like that.

Here’s the deal:

As you may know, I spent the better part of last year laid off. I did my best to make ends meet and relied on some forms of assistance to help in critical areas. When I returned to work for a new company this past March, those forms of assistance ceased. I have therefore worked hard this year getting back on my financial feet, making severe adjustments in the way our money is used for the expenses that come with providing for a large family. It hasn’t been easy. We live paycheck to paycheck and have very little left over to set aside for emergencies.

As you may also know, we have had our share of emergencies this month. In addition to some unexpected car repairs, we have been dealing with my father-in-law’s cancer diagnosis. Most trips one can save for, but the recent rushed trip to Fargo so everyone could see him one last time and be with family broke the proverbial bank. If it hadn’t been for the generosity of several relatives and one dear friend of my wife’s, that trip would not have happened. And now that my father-in-law has passed, I need to get my wife back to Minnesota for the funeral. My most recent paycheck is gone, and I have no way to pay for this trip.

And here you are. Gathered among those who read The Cheek of God. You may know me personally, either as a relative or as a friend. You may come here because we met via our blogs, or Twitter, and think of me as either a significant or relatively small member of your digital social network. There are degrees to relationships. And through this venue, I’ve tried to make a few good friends. I’ve always been honest, even as I’ve held the most important cards to my chest. We’ve become “close” in ways both intriguing and familiar. I’ve given you the best, and sometimes worst, parts of me, and many of you have responded. As a result, some of us have chatted outside these digital walls, and some of you have privately expressed a desire to help during this difficult time.

This is your chance.

Since this has come up unexpectedly, I have had no time to consider all the ways one can make donations that are both quick and anonymous. After an evening of contemplation, PayPal seems to be the most effective and safest way to accomplish this digital passing of the hat. So I offer these two ways to give:

1) Click HERE. This will take you to a web page that will allow you to make a donation to The Cheek of God using your PayPal account. However, there are a couple things you should know about using this method:

  • There will be a fee deducted on my end for receiving your donation. Not a big deal. I just want you to realize that I won’t be receiving the full amount that you choose to donate. If that’s cool with you, then it’s cool with me.
  • I will be given your physical mailing address as part of the payment details. So, while this method of donating is perhaps the easiest, it may not be the best option for you.

2) Make a Personal Gift Payment. To do this:

  • Sign in to your PayPal account.
  • Click on the <Send Money> tab.
  • Enter my email address (piscine@frontier.com)
  • Enter the amount of your gift.
  • Click the <Personal> tab.
  • Select <Gift>.
  • Click <Continue>.

Using this method, I will not be charged a fee for receiving your donation, and I will only be given your name and email address, not your physical address.

There are, of course, other ways to send money. There is Western Union or MoneyGram. If you prefer to make a donation using one of those services, simply contact me at the above email address and we can go from there.

If you’ve made it this far, know that I am aware of how asking for money can affect any relationship. Some of you will not consider what we have here in Blogworld a “relationship.” You may find my gall in asking for help both rude and inappropriate. I can understand that. If you never visit my blog again, I wish you peace as you go. Others of you will think differently about me. I have let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, and you will think less of me. You will question my discipline. That too is understandable. Know that what I present here is me, pure and simple, and I am evolving. I will not be the same person tomorrow that I am today. This blog has helped me realize that change can happen, and I’ll be here for as long as you’ll have me, working toward becoming a different, and better, me. But perhaps most of you will understand where I’m coming from. You get it. And you’ll stick around. The decision is yours alone.

I will not be able to pay you back. Not with money anyway. And I promise that any money you give will be used for this trip. I will not squander it or use it frivolously.

So there you have it. My plea. What good are friends if you can’t ask them for help on occasion. Know that I am grateful for you. You take the time to come here. You offer your time and thought. And from my perspective, whether you choose to give or not will not change a thing between you and I. I know you care. And for that, I thank you . . .

[Flickr photo is by Artotem and is protected]

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