Why start with Calliope? Well, why not? She has been working so hard to get to this FET cycle and reaching it on her own would mean changing the essence of Calliope. Yes, she could place her grandmother in a nursing home and blow off the people who need her. She would have the IVF money, but then she wouldn't be Calliope. Because Calliope's enormous heart led her to give up her job in 2003 in order to become her grandmother's caregiver.
Compounding her situation and why she needs us is that she is doing this on her own. Yes, emotionally she has family and friends who have her back. But she doesn't have a partner's paycheck to supplement her own lack of income. And she has frozen embryos, just sitting there, waiting for her to come back for transfer. And frankly, she has taken care of so many--from her mother and grandmother to others in the community--it is time to stroke her head and say with our actions, we'll take care of this.
And once we have succeeded, doing it again. And again. And using our smart, resilient, sensitive minds to do something so simple, that costs us little, that can change someone else's world. As we planned this, we decided that our goal was to this four times a year and hopefully, it will become so streamlined that we won't need a month or two to get it ready.
Someone made an argument a while back that we should fundraise for the major organizations and that money is better spent than fundraising to give a person a chance. They may be right in one sense, and we should keep fundraising for Resolve but I disagree. I think changing a single person's life can have larger, rippling effects that cross the world. That create change. So, if you don't agree that it's a good idea to help one stirrup queen at a time, you don't have to participate. If you do agree and want to help Calliope, join in U.T.E.R.U.S. (Union To Expedite Relief Until Self-Fulfillment).
Here's the idea that a few of us brainstormed behind the scenes and we're still trying to figure out how this will work (sorry, Calliope, you're our guinea pig):
- We are going to hold a series of mass auctions via eBay. The first will take place this upcoming Thursday. Our eBay ID is uterusbrigade.
- This allows us to utilize an online auction site that is already in place with little taken off the front/back end for costs.
- It also opens up the bidding to the larger world rather than having the weight of the fundraising coming internally from our community with sales.
- This is what needs to happen on your end:
- Decide what you could donate to the sale.
- Take a photograph (if possible).
- Fill out this form by cutting-and-pasting it into an email.
- Email it to Jen at email@example.com and Mel at firstname.lastname@example.org simultaneously (as in, put both our names in the address line). Just a heads up, we are keeping a spreadsheet the three of us will see so any of us can email you during the process to ask you a question or give you an update.
- Helen is going to list your item and sell it for you. We will have all of the sales under one account to make it easier to transfer the end sum in one transaction.
- All money earned will go to the designated person (in this case, Calliope), though you will use the shipping fees you requested to ship the item. The cost to you is simply the donated item.
- We will talk the hell out of this to get word out (grab the code for the icon over here).
- There will be list of all the auctions in one space so people can easily access them.
- We will give you constant updates so you know how much we've raised. The goal is to have this completely finished within a month or so.
- The goal for this particular convening of U.T.E.R.U.S. is $3000.
Me: I'm starting off with designing an ad for a blog and running it in the top corner of my blog as well as on the blogroll post for the entire month of May (with the image obviously linked back to the winning blog). This feels completely immodest, but I do have a large number of readers and it felt like a simple place to start. So...um... I will be adding to my list as we do our Pesach cleaning and remember what we own buried under all the stacks of paper and books in our house.
Jen: a set of pearls (matching necklace and bracelet).
Helen: a vintage 1920's necklace.
Alison: a copy of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
BigBellyMeli: cherry red size 6 bridesmaid's dress at home in perfect condition only worn once.
Angi: family organ (no...not that kind...). The musical variety.
JuliaS: a Motorola W370 Tracfone.
Arian: a really really gorgeous, hand-made baby blanket. It looks so damn soft I want to wrap my head in it and go to sleep.
Chicory: 12 piece magnetic spice tin set.
Io: An official program from the 80th Academy Awards "Oscars." This is the program given to people who attended the Academy Awards on February 24, 2008. AND two dramatic, wooden wall sconces.
Anonymous Offering: Very rare collectible jacket from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Embroidered with a message from Arnold inside. Never worn.
Amy: Pearl and crystal drop jewelry based on the original design by the House of Robin from French 19th century design (necklace and earring set) AND costume jewelry from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the original packaging.
Gypsygirl: hand-embroidered bookmark.
Jen: chocolate chip cookies (though we need to figure out the whole food thing) AND a size six Liz Claiborne little black dress AND Old Navy pink s/s shirt with bows at sleeves.
Care: 6 DVD+R - recordable discs and SanDisk Sansa c250 MP3 Player.
Liza: First Edition paperback copy of Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2003.
JP: Complete First Season of "The New Adventures of Old Christine"- DVDs viewed once and are in mint condition, box/case also in mint condition.
Duck: Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut, Hard Cover, 1987 First Edition, excellent condition.
Luna: Once-worn classic puma sneakers, perfect condition size 7s.
S.E.: Lot of 14 popular fiction paperback novels.
Shelby: Few skeins of sock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.
Freyja: Pedestal sink and a *brand new* ventless (I think) gas fireplace.
TNC: A two-hour outdoor photo session at the location of your choosing in the Middle Tennessee area.
Fostering Pride: Morton's Chili Blend.
Tracy: Authentic "Return to Tiffanys" necklace and bracelet.
Family of Two: Diaper Cake.
Anonymous: A copy of When We Get There.
Soapchick: 4 different sugar scrubs (I know you use them on your body, but they sound so good, I want to eat them too).
Dotty: Flecked, blue-glass beaded necklace.
Arabella Cucumber: An original arabella cucumber cloth doll.
Deb: Crabtree and Evelyn Summerhill items.
Queenie: A copy of the book 'The Godmother' by Carrie Adams.
Kelly: Copies of her book, Tiny Toes.
Anonymous: Irish Claddagh ring w/diamond chip in heart AND Hearts and "Kisses" ring AND Lot of 4 Marion Zimmer Bradley books.
MsPrufrock: Baby Einstein DVD entitled "World Animals" AND DVD, "Lindsey Jackson's Pilates in Pregnancy."
Jenny: Elegant handmade ceramic brooch of girls' face AND Ceramic Lenox floral clock.
Slimbo: Dune brand new ladies flat black leather shoes in box size 6 1/2 with strap detail.
Anna: Black Leather Pumps, size 9 AND White Patent Leather Peep-toe Pumps AND Box Set of Books - "Revolutionary Thought From Marx To Mao."
Jess: A knife set AND a lot of really gorgeous jewelry. I am seriously drooling over one of the earring sets and I don't even have my ears pierced. It would be worth doing it for them.
Jennifer: Tiffany & Co. Somerset Mesh size 6.5 ring.
You: add what you'll be listing on eBay in the comments section and I will move it into the post. Then send the email to Jen and myself so we can get this ball rolling.
There is also a growing list of people who are donating directly to Calliope's fund and they need to be thanked and honoured too:
1. Fellow infertile in CA
3. Auntie Venustat2
5. Anonymous reader from Germany
7. Anonymous Infertile
13. Jen & Cait
19. Baby Step
22. Anonymous from NC
For photos and links to the auctions (once they are running), click here and access our eBay page here.