One of the most challenging aspects of being sick has been that I can't do all--or even a fraction--of the things I used to do. Some things I miss are small, like burlesque dance classes or trying new cookie recipes. Other things are much larger, and the one thing I most want to do again is leaflet for Vegan Outreach.
I'm an activist. But the key component there is "active." And I just can't be active the way I want to be. Back in 2003, when I realized that my calling was animal rights activism, I had this light bulb moment--this is what I'm supposed to do during my time on this planet. It was a moment of absolute clarity of purpose.
When I started volunteering for Vegan Outreach, I found what I believe to be the single most effective way to channel my activist energy. I leafleted schools in Arizona, and when we moved to California, I jumped in with both feet. I leafleted across the Bay Area, and I'd go on road trips to Southern California to leaflet schools in San Diego and Orange County. All told, I've handed out over 54,000 Vegan Outreach booklets on college campuses.
In the past year, I've handed out zero booklets. I've simply been too sick get out into the field. Which is where I know I belong. But I can't do it right now.
Which is where you come in. Yes, you, dear reader! Because Vegan Outreach doesn't run on energy alone. We've got the most amazing staff and group of volunteers, and our outreach efforts have been massively successful. In the fall semester of 2008, we reached over 130,000 more students than we did in the spring semester. And while we couldn't do this without the energy of our members, we also couldn't do it without financial support.
As you know, I'm on the VO board of directors, and I get the financial reports. I can tell you that we don't waste money. Our paid staff members take exceedingly modest salaries, so that the money donated can be used for our stated purpose: to decrease suffering.
Every Christmas Nick and I ask for donations to Vegan Outreach, so this request is not going to come as a surprise. However, this year I'd like to ask you VERY LOUDLY. Because I've been sick, I haven't been able to contribute my physical energy to Vegan Outreach. I honestly cannot express how frustrating (and depressing) this has been. So if I could have one magic wish this Christmas, it would be to regain my full health so that I could jump back into leafleting and making this world a better place, one little piece at a time. But I'm not going to be well by Christmas. I've got months, if not years, ahead of me.
So I'm asking that, rather than purchasing a gift for me, you make a donation to Vegan Outreach in my honor. Vegan Outreach runs on energy and generosity. You can't give me energy, but you can direct your generosity. Any money you would spend on a gift for me, no matter how small, I would prefer be given to Vegan Outreach. Nothing could touch me more, especially this year.
You can donate securely online at VeganOutreach.org. We currently have a matching donation challenge, so your donation will be doubled--so remember to mark your donation for the matching challenge in the "comments" section of the donation form!