Mark Danger Powers

drummer • educator • author

Gather Your Troops

I hate asking for help. I usually pride myself on autonomy and self-reliance. And, I’ve recently been reminded how extremely limiting that can be.

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” (Helen Keller)

For a while now, I have been planning a project titled Amaloboozi. I will be traveling to Uganda, East Africa this fall, to record an album of music with youth choirs and musicians in the region. The audio tracks will be turned into a CD when I return to the States, and 100% of the sales will directly benefit Show Mercy International. SMI is doing some incredible work in Uganda, providing a home, food, education, clothing and medical care to scores of orphaned and abandoned children.

Closing in fast on the date of my March 27th fundraiser for the project, I have been trying to do it all. Coordinating things at the venue, scheduling the entertainment, marketing, collecting donations for a silent auction, budgeting for the trip and recording, handling audio/video details, designing a poster, building a website . . . the list goes on and on and on.

And I’ve been pulling my hair out.
(Yeah, yeah, smartypants . . . I know I don’t really have any hair, but stop it- you get what I mean!)

Or rather, I was pulling my hair out. Then, about two weeks ago, I finally came to my senses, snapped to and realized that I couldn’t do it all by myself. I needed some . . . (gulp) . . . help. I mean, I could do it all. But there is no way that the event would turn out all that fantastic when I’ve spread myself too thin to give ample attention to each (or, any) of the many details. And I have so many friends who have strengths in areas where I don’t.

So I got my head out of my butt, swallowed my pride, made a few phone calls, posted a public plea for assistance on Facebook, and BAM! Like magic, friends and acquaintances started coming out of the woodwork to offer their time, services and donations to the project!

In a matter of hours, I had gathered together a small team of individuals to help me make the upcoming fundraiser not only a reality, but a success.

I will be updating the Thank You page of the Amaloboozi website regularly, listing everyone who is helping to make this project happen. I sincerely thank all that have joined me already in supporting Show Mercy and the children of Uganda.

—–

If you would like to help, please visit Amaloboozi.com to learn more about the project, spread the news via email, Facebook, Twitter and good ol’ fashioned word of mouth, and consider making a tax-deductible donation.

Moreover, if you’re in Oregon, it would be great to see you at the fundraiser:

Sunday, March 27th (2-5pm)
at Clockworks Cafe- Salem, OR
more info

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Time for you to gather your troops! If you’re anything like me, it can really be difficult to invite others to jump aboard your project, buy into your vision and devote time and energy to it.

But stop for a second and ask yourself these two questions:

1. Is it a worthy cause?
2. Are you passionate [I mean really passionate] about it?

If the the answers to both of these are yes, then why wouldn’t others want to be involved?

Make a short list of people you know who may be better than you at one or more of the tasks at-hand. Perhaps they are more efficient in a particular, more educated on a specific topic, or more socially connected in certain circles.

Whatever the case, block out fifteen minutes, take a deep breath, and start dialing. I would be willing to bet that, in the end, you’ll be super glad you did!

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Comment below and tell us about a time that gathering and rallying your troops helped you reach an otherwise potentially unrealistic goal.

Better yet . . . tell us how you need help now. Maybe some of the rest of us will be able to help by joining your ranks!

(photo by Cherie A. Thurlby)

10 Comments

  1. I’m so glad I read this post (even if it did take me a few days). Kudos to you for caring so much about a good cause, for working so hard for it, and to know when you need help! I don’t like asking for help much either, but I’m starting to figure out when and how to ask for help. We really can’t do everything by ourselves. I’m going to try to help spread the word about this great project. Good luck!

    • Thanks, Angela- I super appreciate the help spreading the word about this! And please do let me know if I can ever help you!

  2. This is ironic from the man who gives $100 away to help others every month!

    But I know what you mean. Sometimes we want to be in that heroic helper role and never let it be known that we need help too. But what are friends for? If they don’t want to help you, they’re not such good friends. And if they won’t want to help children in Uganda, well… they’re really not very good friends.

    I’m going to check out the website and see what I can do to give back!

    • Ha! Oh yes, the irony . . .
      🙂
      But I really do have some amazing friends. So many have reached out to lend their support.
      Thanks for checking it out, Chase!

  3. I’m the same way. I decide to do something, and just dive right in….take care of business. But I never ask for help! When I do ask, friends step up to the plate and I’m always so amazed.

    Just like the donating drummer, this is another great project and I wish you the best of luck!

    • Thanks for the read, comment and encouragement, Maria!

  4. Mark,
    This is a way cool project and I’m looking forward to following you as you work on it. Great to see you’re receiving so much support.

    I forget where I heard this, but someone once said that a force multiplied is a force squared. In your case, by asking for help (not easy), you’ll be able to increase the impact and reach of your project.

    • Thanks, Seth- I am really blown away by everyone (yourself included) who has already jumped onboard to show their support! I do hope that the project can reap some substantial benefits to the orphans over there.

  5. Mark, this is an awesome post. It helps me to realize that there’s strength in not only thinking big but also in becoming a leader. It doesn’t only have to be for help a specific cause, either. Some of the things I’ve seen organized lately have made me see the power of collaboration. The synergy of working together on something (like the blog commenting circle I joined lately with @TreverJClark and friends) really does increase the power of your actions.

    I’ve just added “design something collaborative” to my goals. I can’t wait to come up with something. Thanks a bunch for the rallying call.

    • Jack- thanks for swinging by! I (as you know) am a big fan of your site and appreciate you taking the time to drop in here. Group synergy is definitely where it’s at! Let me know if I can help out with any of those collaborations! 🙂

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