In the Court of the King 5

I did hear back from the producer of The Dave Glover Show. He asked that I send them a short list of bullet points about the fundraiser and that hey would try to get an announcement on the air. That was Friday, June 29th at about 13:30.

However, it appears they were unable to make an on-air announcement about the fundraiser and did not get back to me about plans to do so by the time the fundraiser ended.

That’s OK, though. The project had already had a HUGE impact. I don’t FEEL that the Dave Glover Show being unable to make an announcement was a signal that I was wandering away from what the Lord had done. It could have been a gentle reminder that He was calling the shots and didn’t need my assistance.

I’m honored and privileged to have been a part of helping everyone help the Notgrasses. I was just a guy using a tool created by someone else. I can’t say I’d like the circumstances if I had to do another one, but I certainly would.

I’ve seen the GiveForward fundraisers of others on the site; I am pained to hear these stories. If I was rich, Lord, I’d give it away.

In the Court of the King 4

I just wrote an email to the producer and the host of The Dave Glover Show ("The DGS" as it’s called), a local talk radio program on 97.1fm in St. Louis, MO. On Tuesday’s (June 26th’s) program, Dave mentioned how sick his daughter was and I was immediately reminded of how sick Avery was. He then went on to talk about how "we" (himself, his listeners, and everybody) should help sick children and their families – it was a sincere statement and The DGS crew has done much work in that area as well as helping military veterans and victims of disasters; if I recall correctly, they filled two or three 53-foot trailers full of goods to take to Joplin, MO after the F5 tornado wiped a large part of it from the planet.

It was the perfect opportunity. I instructed Mr. Glover to make sure his daughter gets all the care she needs thinking of Avery’s sudden turn (as much as you can tell a grown man and complete stranger what to do with his family). I used that opportunity to ask their compassion and tell people they know about our little fundraiser. I stated that we had already raised nearly $29,000 for John and Audra and that we are satisfied with that and were not asking for air-time (time is money, after all). $29,000 is an incredible amount of money and no measly achievement for everyone that has participated. Not to mention the physical things I saw awaiting the Notgrasses at the Family Vision Library! You all have really come through for them and they are thankful for that.

I’d been contemplating writing the DGS or The Dana Show ("that sucked out loud", anyone? Hahaha!) about passing word of the fundraiser along to their contacts, but couldn’t find the right opportunity to approach such entities; how do you approach someone at that level and ask "Hey, you don’t know me, but would you mind if I used you for your contacts". Today, the right opportunity leapt from the radio speakers and I wrote them an email – I’ll post the content if I hear from them. I made the request politely stating "we’re satisfied with what we’ve received" and asked if they would relay our fundraiser to people they know. I hope they do – that’d be just another helping of amazing to this project.

It’s been a real joy to make the updates to the fundraiser as we pass goals (and in-between). I wish we’d known about GiveForward sooner, we might have used it to help pay our own bills after George was born spending his first month in the ICU between Mercy and Children’s. Insurance has thankfully paid for nearly all of the expenses related to his initial care. There’s still a huge amount listed as "pending" and the follow-ups from his second month onward were a large drain, but we’re still hangin’ on. We’re rest in the Lord and His provision and guidance.

I hope the DGS responds favorably to my request. Kinda excited over here!

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It’s been a long week since Avery’s untimely passing. We’ve grieved a great deal, the fundraiser has grown beyond our expectations, and some of us are seeing things with a new light.

Give Forward is a great resource for fundraising. It allows people to donate online to a cause without the need to stand in front of a supermarket "hounding" and chasing people and begging their compassion. From personal experience and non-scientific observation and conclusion jumping, most people don’t like to be bothered or confronted when they’re "on a mission" (e.g.: going into the grocery store to buy groceries, coming out of the store to load their car and go home, walking through the mall to the movies, etc.). The same rule applies to telephone and email. In general, making a request in a manner that interrupts a person’s set itinerary is going encounter a higher degree of apology for disinterest and apathy than if a passive request is made.

Present these same people with a URL they can visit at their leisure, however, and things are quite different. I don’t believe the "In the Court of the King" fundraiser would have been near as successful using the traditional approaches. Of course, there are people that are interested in talking to strangers outside the grocery store and are sympathetic to their plight; more are willing to participate when they’re not put on the spot in front of everyone passing by.

I wonder if a mix of traditional methods with new technology might fare better than traditional methods alone. QR codes, for example. Humans are naturally curious and handing someone a business card with only a QR code and a URL on it or standing in front of a grocery store holding a small placard with the same might begin more conversations.

Let your potential benefactors make the first move. They’ll feel in control of the situation and more likely to listen.

Again, no scientific research on this, just going with a gut feeling. I don’t know nothin’ about nothin’ about fundraising, but this project has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever been a part of.

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To all interested in giving non-monetary gifts to the Notgrass family after the loss of their dear little Avery…

It has been suggested that we should get baby items together for this devastated family. They need some cheering up and a sweet reminder that they will have a new little one in just one month. Having some new outfits especially will help when getting out all of little Avery’s clothes for the new baby. Let’s give them a fresh start. Let’s have a Welcome Party for Henry!!

Suggested items are: diapers, baby wipes, clothing, toys, gas cards (for traveling about), cash money, Wal-mart gift cards for food and/or formula. I’m not sure if she will nurse Henry – need to get more details on this. Anything you can think of would be great.

The Family Vision Library in St. Peters, Missouri will be the drop-off point. If you mail your donation, please mark it with “The Notgrass Family c/o The Family Vision Library”.

The items have to be in by Friday June 15th at 5:00pm to conserve on trips to deliver the gifts.

Its address is:
2020 Parkway Dr.
St.Peters, MO 63376

Phone: 636-447-6900.

Their hours are:
Monday – Thursday: 9am to 8pm
Friday: 9am to 5pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday

In the Court of the King

Yesterday afternoon a friend family’s 16-month old son, Avery, passed away. Unofficially (and presumably; no autopsy has been performed), the causal agent was a severe abdominal infection leading to heart failure. He had been in the hospital a week earlier for an undisclosed reason (to us) and was treated and released. Friday afternoon he was airlifted to a university hospital in Nashville and placed on life support and his heart stopped.

For the half-day prior to Saturday morning everyone poured their prayer into little Avery, hoping for a miracle. Unfortunately, Avery lost the battle and passed on into eternity to be with our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy and it is even more difficult when it involves someone so young and innocent. Being Christian doesn’t make dealing with death easier – it does give us assurance that there is hope beyond death and that death is not the final arbiter of our lives.

I’m pretty sure I have about zero regular readers here at RandoJones.com, but if you’re of a giving and generous nature, a fundraiser project for Avery’s surviving family has been created: InTheCourtOfTheKing @ GiveForward.com.