After months of incessant money begging via all the desperate measures that I could come up with using my only tool - the Internet, I somehow managed to raised $11,500, with the help of Kate, Siobhan and Laura. This is a special post to thank all of you that have helped me in one way or another throughout this process.
The begging began in July. Since I did not come from money, nor went to a school that had a lot of really rich people as friends, I had to beg strangers - a lot of them. I began by bugging people on Facebook and Twitter via my status updates. Then, I sent out press releases to local papers and journal in the St. Louis area where I spent the last 10 years of my life.
Desperation makes you do really crazy things. I wrote emails - countless number of them - first to personal friends and acquaintances, then to teachers of schools that I went to, organizations from my university, companies in the St. Louis area, etc. When those email didn't seem to yield the result that I was looking for, I began using social media tools, posting individual messages on 300+ members on CameroonVibes, individual messages on 500+ members who had committed to blog for the International Literacy Day, 600+ individual messages on my friends' Facebook wall, and thousands of individual messages on random RPCV's page on Peace Corps Connect, to the point of slight trouble.
All the effort became worthwhile when the project was fully funded on October 28th. Through it all, I came in contact with really supportive individuals that have offered their support in one way or another. Yesterday, I submitted our order form to Books For Africa for a shipment of 19,000 books and 7 computers. In addition, the Cameroon Studens Association is giving us 4,000 books. This leads to a total of 23,000 books that we will distribute to over 30 libraries across Cameroon. In the name of full disclosure, you can see how we will make this happen through a very colorful spreadsheet and flowchart. Okay, I really just wanted to share that!
Anyway, thank you all again for your immense support through the past few months! Please follow us on our Facebook page as the project progresses, and I'll try to be good about uploading pictures!