Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oh me of little faith

I've been thinking about our fundraiser goal ever since the day I made it. It just doesn't sit right with me. I even tried to justify how low I'd set it by writing this blog post last week, hoping my logic would make me feel better, but it hasn't, and now I know why: it wasn't logic at all. It was fear.

Here's the truth: I'm afraid that I'm going to look like a failure if we don't meet our goal. That it'll be seen as my fault if we fall short. I have a tendency to take responsibility for things I shouldn't, and that tendency is screaming loud and clear right now. It's a pride thing, and a fear thing, a lack of faith thing, and honestly, a perspective thing--because I'm forgetting that I'm not in charge of this fundraiser, God is, and if we don't reach our goal it's because He has a different plan. To try to take responsibility for it myself is to try to take it out of His hands, and it's a heck of a lot more likely to succeed in His hands than mine. All I can do is what He asked me to do, and do it to the best of my ability.

Which is why every day that passes with $10,700 listed as our goal makes me feel like a bigger fool.

So, I changed it. Our goal is now what it should have been all along: the entire cost of Sandi's treatment, plus 7% to cover GiveForward's fees.

And finally, I'm at peace.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The goodies are rolling in...

There are some great people out there donating prizes for the raffle! Be sure to check back often to see what else has been donated so you know how you want to spend your raffle tickets--and then be sure to buy some tickets! We've got scads of books (signed by the authors of course!) some delicious hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn to go with a great package of crochet tools and free lessons, and priceless critiques of chapters and proposals for those of you out there who hope to be published one day. We'll post some photos soon!

And a major THANK YOU those who purchased tickets and got us to our first $100! One percent down, ninety-nine to go--help us get there!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why $10,700?

If you've checked out our site, you know that our fundraising goal is $10,700. takes a 7% fee from all donations, so to be able to give the Rogs a check for $10,000, we actually need to raise $700 more than that.

But really, this is only about half of what the Rogs need. Given the time constraints we are working in with the gift basket fundraiser, we decided to set a lower bar in the hopes that we'd be able to fulfill the total 100% by the close of the fundraiser on Christmas Eve. But how cool would it be to surpass our goal--to double it--by Christmas morning? Can you imagine the gift that would be to this family?

Please help us to reach our stated goal--and then blow it away. Donate an item for the gift baskets today, or purchase raffle bids for the baskets that we'll start drawing winners for the day after Thanksgiving. Or heck--be a total superstar and do both. And then tell your friends and family about the easy way they can bestow a tremendous blessing on a wonderful woman and her family. Let's make this holiday season a neon-bright spot in a scary and faith-testing time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A way to do some good this holiday season

Imagine you're a mom of four, living with MS, still readjusting to life in the states after years spent abroad, and finally seeing a dream come true. The book you've researched for years and poured your soul into is finally, today, being released into the world. After all the struggles of moving, of helping children acclimate, of learning a new city, of juggling motherhood and family and writing, you get to celebrate the realization of a dream.

And on that same day, your doctor tells you to come in right away--you you have stage 4 T-cell lymphoma, possibly caused by the medication you've been taking for MS.

This is what happened to Sandi Rog on November 1, 2010. For the last year, Sandi has endured chemo, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant, with the hope of destroying this aggressive cancer. And then, just a few weeks before the release of her second book, new tumors were discovered near her spine that show the cancer has not succumbed the way we had all hoped.

So now, in the face of the holiday season, the Rog family finds themselves settling in for another year of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual battle as Sandi faces more treatments--one of which holds much promise but is not covered by insurance. As you can imagine, the financial cost of fighting cancer can be overwhelming, and that's why we're hosting this fundraiser.

Right now, we're in the process of soliciting and accepting donations of items we can use to create some of the most spectacular "gift baskets" ever. (The quotes are because there will likely not be any baskets used, but that phrase gives you an idea of what we're aiming for.) As items are received, we'll post here so you can see what kinds of goodies will be available for you to win starting November 25th. To purchase a raffle "ticket", donate $5 at (Be sure NOT to mark your donation as anonymous or to hide your donated amount!) Every $5 you donate will purchase you one raffle ticket. Starting November 25th, we'll post one awesome gift basket per day. To enter the drawing for the basket, leave a comment on the post. Want to enter more than once on the basket you really want? In your comment, note how many "tickets" you're spending. We'll be able to track through how many tickets you purchased. Note that, once your ticket has been spent, you won't get it back if you don't win. (Just like a raffle with physical tickets--once you enter it in a drawing, your ticket is gone.) The comments will close at midnight; comments left after that time will not be counted. We'll use to choose the winner and will post their name the next day.

Email Alison (alison at alisonstrobel dot com) with a description of the item and a photo (if applicable). Include your website if you have one and we'll be sure to link to it when we post about the item. You will be responsible for mailing the item to the winner at the end of the fundraiser (within a week from the win date for non-custom-made items; for custom-made items, be sure to say in your description if the item will be completed and mailed in time for delivery before Christmas). Because we're not raising money for a not-for-profit, your donation is not tax deductible. This is strictly a sacrificial, out-of-the-goodness-of-your-heart donation. For $25, you can purchase advertising space in the sidebar. Then be sure to spread the news far and wide to your friends, family, customers, subscribers, Facebook friends and Twitter followers!

Be sure to have your credit card info available. Click the button and enter your info there. (Note that if you want to purchase more tickets later, you will need to reenter your information at that time as does not store payment info.) Donate as much or as little as you want, and every $5 increment will get you a entry towards the gift basket of your choice. will keep track for us of names and email addresses, so we'll be able to contact you if you win.

We know times are hard for everyone. The economy is in the tank, folks are losing their jobs, and Christmas is probably going to be a lot less materially-focused this year for many people. But, for most of us, the Rogs fall under the "it could be a lot worse" category. Every donation helps. So please give today, and spread the word to help us gather item donations and monetary donations to help keep the Rogs afloat as Sandi fights for her life.

To keep things legal, we have to allow an option for people to enter the raffle without making a purchase. If you wish to bid on a gift basket, leave a comment that states your name, email address so we can contact you if you win, and the phrase "entering without purchasing a bid".