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The Braille Monitor December, 2000 Edition
by Mickey Fixsen
Jeanina and Mickey Fixsen
From the Editor: Mickey Fixsen moved to Iowa in the seventies in order to get the rehabilitation services that he knew he needed and that no other state in the nation was able to offer. He and his wife Jeanine are longtime Federationists who live in Iowa City. Mickey is a consummate wood worker--the grandfather clock in the dining room at the National Center is an example of his workmanship. He also builds and exhibits hotrods. The following is what he has been thinking about our capital campaign:
The capital campaign for the new National Research and Training Institute for the Blind is now in full swing, and we need to raise over eighteen million dollars to get the project done. Eighteen million dollars is a very large sum of money, and if you write it out like this, $18,000,000.00, it looks insurmountable. Most of us cannot imagine this sum of money and therefore do not know how any paltry sum we could contribute toward the project could possibly have any effect on reaching the final goal.
I am reminded of something that Dr. Jernigan said to us on many occasions when we were about to begin a task which appeared extremely daunting to us. He would ask us, "How do you eat an elephant?" He would then say, "The answer is obvious. One bite at a time!"
We therefore should make like hungry Federationists and take our fair bite of the eighteen-million-dollar elephant. It doesn't have to be more than you can chew. Lots of small bites add up quite quickly. For example, we have some fifty thousand members in our organization, and if we all contributed only $300 total over a five-year period, we would have fifteen million dollars! This $300 contribution breaks down to only $60 a year and breaks down even further to only $5.00 per month. Now $5 doesn't seem so daunting, does it?
Most of us can find $5 each month in our discretionary spending. This may mean that we skip a movie or a meal out at a restaurant one time each month. We might, alternatively, have to cut out a few soda pops or snacks to get the $5. We can do it.
I realize that this example does not get us to the full eighteen million dollars that we need, but it clearly illustrates just how small a bite can make a huge difference. There will be some that can afford to take a much larger bite--many already have, and there are a few others that cannot afford to bite quite as much. However, it is easy to see that, if we all take our fair bite, we can more than achieve our goal of eighteen million dollars. Bon appetite!
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