Since I’m “retired,” you’d think I have all kinds of time to do exactly what I want to do, and be productive (I have several projects I am working on), with time to spare. But I don’t. Not that time is a limiting factor — I am working on changing my beliefs by not telling myself there isn’t enough time. There is no lack of time. Time is not a pressure from outside. So, I guess I can just say I’m doing certain things now and other things will get done later. I did finish one project and I’m ready to unveil it, so here goes. First, a story.
Almost a year ago, I had the idea to take some of my best photos and make them into a calendar. I would then give the calendar to one of the organizations I volunteer with and we could sell them as a fundraiser. I started collecting quotes to put on the photos, so that each would have a short inspirational message. I researched photo calendar printing companies and realized that I would have to Photoshop (except I use GIMP) the quotes right onto the photos, in order for them to look the best. So I did that. By this time, it was October, and the annual fundraiser that the organization hosts was coming up, so I hurried to finish the calendar and order samples from two different companies online, Lulu.com and Vistaprint. Both looked remarkable, and I wrote a one-page summary for the decision-makers in the organization to help them understand the way the sales would work. For example, lulu.com is great because you can print-on-demand, which means that you don’t have to order 100 calendars and then hope you sell them all.
Well, the board of this organization didn’t like my idea. At all. So, rather than take it personally, I just gave the sample calendars out to some friends and family. One of the people I sent it to loved it so much, he wanted more copies. And his wife runs a bookstore that is going to sell them! So, I asked another organization I volunteer for, Village by Village, if they would like to use the calendar as a fundraiser, and they loved it! So, the calendar is a go — a couple of months late, but not dead in the water. And it’s available on Lulu, so you don’t have to make a trip to the bookstore. I’m so excited!
They look really, really nice — gorgeous colour, on cardstock-type paper, with a coil binding. I hope you’ll visit the Lulu page and consider ordering one. $8 from each calendar sale will go towards our project of building a school in Burkina Faso, Africa. Village by Village was created when a friend of mine returned from a trip to Africa, where she saw the need for a school in a small village. In that area of Burkina Faso, parents were starting to realize the value of education, and wanting to send their children to a school, but the schools were very full. When she heard of how little money it would take to build a classroom, she started the not-for-profit group and quickly raised enough to build a third classroom onto a 2-room school in the village. We built a 4th classroom and are now fundraising for the 5th. We do not fundraise to send workers over, we just send the money and they can buy materials locally and build it themselves. They really don’t need a bunch of pasty-skinned Canadians to help them with the labour.
So, that is the story behind the calendar I am offering today. I hope you enjoy it — I took every picture myself, on my travels or in my yard!