June 21, 2020

Dear Hope Nation,

First and foremost—Thank all of you for your support and donations regarding the broken windows at Hope! The money is huge—more than $5,100 as I write this—and much appreciated. It means we’ll be able to pay for most of the broken windows—freeing up funds for hiring more staff, helping people and supporting recovery. More than 100 people have donated so far. Thank each and every one of you—and the folks who are “as broken as that window” but still wanted to offer verbal support in the comments, along with the 158 “shares” of the initial letter.

Hope Nation is composed of good and decent folks—or at least those who aspire to be. Like Tolkien’s Rivendell, Hope is “a haven for all that is kind and just, no evil will pass its borders.” The thrower of those rocks, the cause of all this destruction, now sees those weapons transmuted into evidence of love, evidence of creation, evidence of hope.

Evidence of Hope.

Thank you all again.

(I wish I could remember where I read the following anecdote. I also wish I knew whether it was accurate recollection of what I read or something I’ve made up.  Finally, I wish I had an onion bagel with lox, cream cheese, a slice of tomato and some capers.)

Kurt Vonnegut, the writer, went to a Unitarian church on Cape Cod, and he wrote of how the church’s minister would fall apart and lose his faith in God every time a member of his congregation died. It would be up to that same group of people to buoy the minister’s spirit and renew his faith in humanity and in God. In a sense, his loss became everyone’s gain since the congregation’s faith and will were bucked up by having to support their minister.

I am no longer a minister. I was never a Unitarian. Yesterday’s (or last week’s. or last month’s) broken window didn’t become a crisis of faith. I still knew recovery worked. I still knew Hope Nation was made up of kind and supportive folks. I still knew a broken window is not a broken spirit.

Still.

Yesterday morning when I wrote that letter, I was disheartened. Angry, yes, but also disheartened. I never wanted to attach a donation link to any of these letters, and I didn’t find out it had happened until hours later. I’ve always wanted Hope’s fundraising to be based on supporting cool things happening, not on making up for the costs of evil deeds.  Karla Gallagher, Hope’s Operations Manager attached it, a decision I would likely have vetoed had I know.

I would have been wrong.

Your support and financial donations are the equivalent of that Cape Cod congregation’s drawing together, sharing their hope and faith, and getting things back to where they should be. If Karla hadn’t added that donate link, far fewer folks would have been part of this effort to get Hope back to what it should be.  Thank you all.

I still want our fundraising to be positive and built on success, but I now see that love can transform destruction into creation—and what better example of hope is there?

You matter. I matter. We matter.

Keith