DownsizeDC.org
July 20, 2011
From Mrs. Taylor's Pen
By James Wilson

Quote of the Day: "The power of one man or one woman doing the right thing for the right reason, and at the right time, is the greatest influence in our society." - Jack Kemp

I often wonder what motivates people to care so much about the future of their country. What is it for you?

And what does that motivation make you do? How does it change who you are? And how does it change the world around you?

Each month, for a couple of years, I would get a handwritten check from Mrs. Taylor.

She was a monthly pledger. I greatly prefer that monthly pledgers set up some kind of automated process, like a credit card pledge, so that we budget based on the reliable delivery of those funds. But when Mrs. Taylor's handwritten check, sent in a hand-addressed envelope, would arrive, like clockwork, I'd smile.

Mrs. Taylor started her pledge at one level and increased it twice, over time. She never missed a month, right up through June. There was something so encouraging about that handwritten and stamped consistency. Every so often, I'd reach out to her, and thank her.

But then, late last month, her email account was unsubscribed from this Downsizer-Dispatch email list. I was surprised, and so I phoned her a couple times. Then, I emailed, and her son responded.

Mrs. Taylor had passed away, shortly after writing that last check.

I felt sadness at her passing.

And I will miss those checks. Yes, they represent financial support for a cause that matters deeply to me. But the conscious, deliberate nature of writing a check, addressing an envelope, stuffing, licking, and stamping it, and then taking it to a mailbox, represented something more. I knew that each one of those contributions was notable to her, as well as to me.

This is not to say I wish everyone would send their pledges this way. Automated is far better, business-wise. But not all of life is dollars and cents.

I knew that Mrs. Taylor was a senior citizen. But when I got the email from Mrs. Taylor's son, it hit me that she was old enough that she could've said, "So what? I won't see liberty in my lifetime!" Instead, each month, with a black-ink pen in hand, she would recommit herself.

As a reader of this newsletter, you have a burden that this country should be free from the expense and oppression of The State. How does it change who you are? And how does it change the world around you?

One way you can make a difference is to do as Mrs. Taylor did -- ideally, to start or increase a monthly pledge in honor of her.

It is not crass to speak of money. After all, as Morton Blackwell said, "You can't save the world, if you can't pay the rent."

And the truth of the matter is, in a month where we have an EXTRA pay period for our small staff, we've exhausted our reserve funds. If we fail to meet or exceed budget over the next few months, we'll be in distress.

We have nowhere else to turn, but to you. I'm asking you to take Mrs. Taylor's place, with...

* a generous one-time contribution
* a new monthly pledge, or
* an increase in your current monthly pledge  

We've already met our $3,000 goal for the Downsize DC Foundation this month. We've reduced our July need for DownsizeDC.org from $26,967 down to $11,173.

However, we only have until July 31 to raise that $11,173 before we encounter TROUBLE.

It would be very encouraging to have someone contribute the entire amount, or even half of it. We'd be virtually certain to reach the goal.

And I think it's vital, at this point, that we have at least one donor of $1,000 or more.

But getting our monthly pledge level up is the long-term solution, so we really need a lot of people with the commitment Mrs. Taylor made.

Now is the time to act, and you can do so at the link we've provided repeatedly in this message.  

And when you do, please tell us, in the comments box, that you're dedicating this contribution to Mrs. Taylor. 

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka, President
Downsize DC Foundation
& DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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