When we think of #GivingTuesday - and giving in general - we often think of the usual: time, talent, and cash. Often times, NGO organizations need the time of those willing to offer their hands, voices, and attention to further their cause or reach. Naturally, the talents we individually possess are highly sought after assets to growing organizations as well; accounting services? Legal? A designer? GASP! Have we all got a thing (or 12) for you to do! And lastly, resources - typically in the form of dollars - keep our organizations alive. Sometimes though, the presence of something is not nearly as valuable as the absence of it. I want to tell you a story about space and how it not only changed my life, but will hopefully change the life of my small NGO.
When struggling with mental illness, I surrounded myself with people, tasks, things, etc. I made sure my to-do list was long and filled with endless stuff to do and people to help. I made sure I was forever involved in someway with every possible thing I could...until I crashed. I crashed and I burned. I was burnt out on my professional and personal life and my passion for Project Purse Indianapolis, an NGO I started nearly two years ago, was gone - completely. Project Purse Indianapolis was born of my distaste for peer-to-peer selling parties and a surplus of purses that resided in the bottom of my closet. Upon filing 501c3 paperwork, I promptly branded my home office, purchased a shelving system to house all of our future product and purchased our website domain. We were officially official and I had officially lost every inch of free space in my home to this fledgling of a organization that was positively impacting lives every day. The space I required to get well included distance from my own organization.
Through counseling and recovery I found the strength and fire for my cause through space. Space to exist on my own. Space to breathe, think, and reset. Space to replenish my cup in order to keep filling other's. Upon my return to the organization, I realized that it too needed space; space to stretch its legs, space to grow - a space of its own.
Who would have thought that space tore us apart, brought us back together, and will guarantee the longevity of the organization.
-Chelsea Marburger, Founder of Project Purse Indianapolis