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The STI Project Was Awarded and then Un-Awarded A Grant Today
Growing up in a very conservative part of the country, I nearly dropped off of my chair last night when I noticed I was getting referral traffic from The Awesome Foundation via my google analytics (my education is in accounting, and my website analytics are borderline geeky crack for me), so I followed the link through to see how I was referenced on their website.
To my added surprise, it stated I had been awarded July’s grant for The STI Project (I had applied in June and July so far, and they award one grant per local chapter monthly).
I diligently checked my spam inbox, my voice-mail by hand, and the pile of mail I thought I had carelessly discarded to see if I had missed the details or a congratulatory message.
I hadn’t missed anything; I had not received official notification yet……so, my subconscious kicked in and I sent an enthusiastic ‘just making sure this is real email to the chapter and thank you, thank you, I’m so excited!’ Although, the eternal optimist in me was certain there was just a timing error with the national chapter’s post as compared to our local chapter’s website, because locally, the webmaster probably hadn’t had an opportunity to update yet.
After-all, why would it say I had won and why would they have posted my website information, links, etc., had I not won the grant?!?!
I proceeded to blast my personal facebook page about how excited I was, how this meant I could apply for non-profit designation, and what a blessing this would be for the website, for my readers, and ultimately, toward ending STD stigma.
If leaders in my conservative hometown could see the benefit of The STI Project, people elsewhere were surely to agree.
Unfortunately, an hour ago, I received the news that The STI Project had, in fact, not won July’s grant and someone had accidentally pushed the ‘winner winner, chicken dinner’ button.
I don’t know about you, but I had no intention of using the funds to host a chicken dinner!
The Fight to End STD Stigma Carries On! 🙂
Disappointing as it were – especially because I had publicly posted my exhilaration and there are a faction of individuals who would like to see me fail – this further validates the necessity of The STI Project. The leadership in my conservative town (at least not the ones who sit on the board of The Awesome Foundation) had not seen the value in my project.
Thus, I must continue until people everywhere see how The STI Project is helping so many.
The notoriety would have been delightful as well. I’d like to say I’m doing this completely and wholly altruistically, but I don’t believe anyone can ever do anything with 100% altruism. I still want this to succeed. And because I enjoy what I do every day, finally, and I believe in this project with every fiber of my being, I will not let an un-award be my set-back. (Can’t believe I just wrote un-award – the ridiculousness is not at all lost on me!)
There are so many people who reach out to me personally – on a daily basis – pouring their hearts out and sharing their stories with me, because quite frankly, they have no one else to reach out to. I’ve been there.
The STD stigma which presides is nothing short of horrendous and leaves so many people without a place to turn for comfort, grief, healing, etc.
So, gosh dang it – I’m not quitting!
Rather, I am going to work harder.
I am going to work until people see how affected they are by STDs, how so many people are silently suffering and being defamed or berated, and how this can change via communication, education, and acceptance.
The wind has NOT been taken out of my sails.
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Are you happy to hear a bump in the road has not deterred my mission? Does this inspire you to carry on despite a set-back? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!