As I type in the final minutes of my Kickstarter campaign, I have a warm heart and feel a bit overwhelmed - in the best of ways. Thanks to your generosity and commitment to help see this project come to fruition, we can celebrate a fantastic launch of Fatherless by Suicide.
Though I've spent the past decade helping human rights organizations raise millions of dollars through my work, I haven't asked for financial support to enable a personal project since I was 10 years old and raising money for our itchy polyester baseball uniforms back in Kansas. This process was a lot more difficult, challenging and risky, to put it mildly.
Choosing to share the story of my father's death and be open about how it has impacted me has been a challenge my entire life. I knew that asking others to share their stories would be a bold undertaking. However, I didn't fully appreciate how many twists and turns there would be on the emotional roller coaster of crowd-sourcing the outreach and funding for this project.
I chose to use Kickstarter because I felt it would be the best way to introduce the project on a familiar platform, enable people to swiftly share it and encourage my friends and community to breathe life into my idea. The outpouring of support has been remarkable and affirming. This process has been profound for me and I want to thank each of you for your generous investment of your resources, ideas, words of encouragement and support.
I'd especially like to thank my mom for her unconditional love and guidance throughout my life, and for her support and invaluable insights throughout this process. Also, a special thanks to my core team of closest friends and allies who've nourished me and this idea over the years, and who sprung into swift action with feedback, ideas, edits, camerawork and a flood of financial and outreach support. Lastly, a huge thanks to the most essential partners for this project to thrive: The similarly affected men who have and continue to reach-out to me in order to add their voice and story to this project. I'm eager to meet and share with each of them over the Summer.
Project Highlights Thus Far
- We have raised over $10,800 together, and with that, I'll receive a bonus $5,000 bump to help me dedicate more time on this project(!);
- Over 160 of you donated;
- We met my original goal in under 72 hours, but you all far exceeded it and kept going;
- You shared the project over 550 times on Facebook;
- I have set-up interviews with men in six states, and connecting with more each day;
- Allies, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, have helped share the project with their national staff and extensive network of bereavement group facilitators; and,
- We are just getting started!
Thank you for putting gas in my tank - literally and proverbially. I fly tomorrow morning to do a training in Azerbaijan. When I return - and because of your support - I'll be conducing the first of my interviews in the Tri-state area and then starting my trip across the country.
Please keep apprised of the latest via my blog at www.FatherlessbySuicide.com
Most importantly, please continue to share the project.
Continue to talk about this project with friends, send emails to folks who may be interested and encouraging similarly affected men to add their voice. Together, we're going to make this idea an impactful reality. Along the way, we're going to help support others who are living in the wake of suicide.
With a warm heart and deep gratitude,
NB: Oh, and if you missed the Kickstarter campaign but still want to contribute, please donate here. Each investment makes a difference and will allow me to focus more time and energy on this project.