Community Raises over $20k in 15 days!
When I spoke to staff in early April about Tecumseh Center for the Arts’ need to raise $20,000 – I didn’t realize it wasn’t just the theater that needed this campaign. Our Together We Can Donation Campaign was created with the theater in mind but it accomplished something greater than raising money. It reminded us that perhaps, we all needed something to believe in that was bigger than ourselves.
This pandemic is affecting all of our lives. We are seeing first-hand community members who are sick, hospitalized, or who have lost loved ones. We are seeing people scared of losing their jobs, their small businesses, their ability to pay bills and their livelihood. We are seeing people divided over politics, this crisis, wearing masks in public and even the right way to move forward.
But we are also seeing something more.
We are seeing communities support each other. We are seeing people turn their front porch lights on or place candles in their windows to support first responders and essential workers. We are seeing parades of cars drive past people’s houses for birthday celebrations, anniversaries, to support those who are sick and hurting. We are seeing communities rally in support of small businesses by shopping local. We are seeing people leave flowers on neighbor’s porches and coming together like nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime.
The theater’s Together We Can campaign was a pipe dream. I knew we needed to cover our lost revenue from closing in March and April. I knew we had to find a way to involve the community. I knew in my heart and soul that the theater and more importantly the arts could bring people together because it always does. What I wasn’t prepared for is what actually happened over the past 15 days.
I saw people donate who spend countless days and hours at the theater each year. I saw people donate who give multiple times throughout our season. I saw people donate who have never stepped foot in the TCA. I saw people donate who have moved out of state or who only come to the theater once a year. I saw people donate who believe in this community and who wanted in some tiny way to make the world a better place.
At the time that I am writing this, donations continue to come in -- both online and by mail. That together we have raised $20,671 and still growing. To each and every one of you who made the choice to support the theater and this campaign – thank you. Your donations are worth so much more than their monetary value. You have reminded us all that love, compassion and generosity is what will get us through this difficult and challenging time. Thank you for inspiring us and reminding us what is truly important – people and the community we build together.
Together we can … Together we did!
Kelly Jo Gilmore
Behind the scenes of Tecumseh Center for the Arts.