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Category Archives: Triumphs

Small Pleasures

…That pure, utter thrill of joy I felt today upon checking my Great Exchange email account and receiving three inquiries from people who had found the program independently. One from a special needs case worker who wants a job at the Great Exchange (to which I had to sadly reply that our budget is literally 0, for the time being), one from a parent of a disabled 19-year-old who’s interested in the program, and one from a group of students at Rice University who want to volunteer with the Great Exchange on their Spring Break.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt such gratitude for the small push of forward momentum via a source that seems completely out of my hands. And on the day before Thanksgiving, of all times. Thank you, thank you, thank you random emailers. May you always help me rejoice in the simple (profound?) pleasure of reaching people.

And thank you, blog readers, for joining me on this slow and steady journey. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


The Best Thing About Running a Startup? The Small Victories.

Donation thank-you

What I found when I was searching for "DIY greeting cards." Horrifying.

This morning, I:

  • Dragged myself out of bed while still trying to remember the fabulous dream I had about helping my family pick out a pet tiger from the Tiger Humane Society (usual)
  • Turned on the coffee pot before I had actually put coffee into it and consequently made a delicious pot of hot water (usual)
  • Checked my email; deleted the latest Groupon offer. Told myself, as I do every morning, that I should unsubscribe from Groupon but then did nothing about it (usual)
  • Opened a notification from Paypal that said…what? The Great Exchange received its first donation from a complete stranger? Unusual!

With any luck, in a few years this feeling won’t be unusual. But today, an attorney in Albany, New York gave the Great Exchange a small vote of confidence…and I haven’t felt this good since I found out I was going to Finland for free (another story for another time).

Do you remember how wonderful the world was when you were a child? Well, the Great Exchange is currently in its “child” phase, and nearly everything–from a bump in traffic on this blog to the smallest of donations–feels big and weird and awe-inspiring. Sure, in a few years The Great Exchange will be as old and wizened as a retired police cop (“I’ve seen it all in my day, kids”), but today, I am making a homemade greeting card for a man I don’t know who believes in disability rights and inclusion.

And then I’m redoubling my efforts to get fiscal sponsorship, and I’ll probably look into opening a Great Exchange bank account, and I need to create an on-the-fly donor management system.This donation is a great reminder of all the things I have left to do.