Susan Faitos is an XLHer who has helped us with XLH Day in the past. She's here to talk about what it was like to do a peer-to-peer fundraiser for the Network.
When The XLH Network, Inc. reached out for volunteers to participate in peer-to-peer fundraising this past summer, I was torn. It was important to me to support the Network, but I was very nervous about reaching out to people to ask for money. I was also uncomfortable with the idea of drawing attention to my medical issues. It brought back all kinds of childhood anxiety about the social stigma of being "different."
I decided to push through my fears and do it anyway. I created my fundraising page and sat at my computer staring at the send button for quite a while. Could I really do this? What would people think? Did I want this kind of attention?
I finally took a deep breath, sent the emails and posted it to Facebook, pretty much terrified of what the response would or wouldn't be.
For the next few days I was often brought to tears…in a good way. The response and the personal messages I received from current and childhood friends, long-lost cousins, colleagues, etc. was amazing. I've had donations from people from all walks and eras of my life, and the generosity has really astounded me. I had no idea so many people in my life could be so supportive and encouraging about my personal experiences and my fundraising goals.
As a result, I'm feeling a huge surge of gratitude and self-esteem. This was such a rewarding experience, and way beyond what I imagined when I first hit "send." This may have been a fundraiser for The XLH Network, Inc., but the benefit to me personally went further than any dollar amount ever could.
For more information on how you can help, perhaps by doing a peer-to-peer fundraising project like mine, check out the Network's #GivingTuesday page here: https://xlhnetwork.networkforgood.com/projects/40097-givingtuesday