My Hardest Post to Publish…So Far

Lion RunningI’ve been anguishing about this article for the last 4 days.  If I wait any longer, it will be moot.  So here goes…..damn it.

Warning From Friends

What I’m going to share required some help to get set up.  A few close friends were consulted.  I mentioned that I planned on laying everything out in the open.  They were cautiously supportive.  Their concerns centered on how people would perceive what I’ve done.  Here are some of their speculations.

People will say, “What a fool.  He spent all this money and accomplished nothing.”

Some will turn it around and make a joke out of you.

Nobody’s going to believe this.  They’ll use it as confirmation that you’re lying about everything.

Fine.  This post might make me look like a dishonest fool, fit for making fun of.  But, I’ve risked everything else.  You might as well know this, too.

The Gloves are Off

A few months ago I made a post with the title above.  I had reached the tipping point of frustration.  Stories of hideous damage to our children were flooding in.  At the same time, church leaders were completely ignoring me.

You already know that my heart is committed, my time is committed, my reputation is committed, even my church membership is committed.  What you didn’t know was that my funds were also committed.

When I decided to take the gloves off, that included launching my money into the mix.   I’m 65 years old.  My kids are grown and gone.  I have accumulated savings for retirement.  My retirement funds still need to be bolstered.  But, I view this challenge  as something worthy of my heart, my soul and my savings.

Here’s what I have poured in.

$100:  Magnetic name Tags

$300:  Signs for petition drive

$300:  Miscellaneous printing

$300:  Fast response service for Petition site

$660:  Constant Contact.  $220/mo.  Jan, Feb & Mar

$800:  News conf speaker airfare

$2,000:  For availability of up to 8 news releases to virtually every applicable news outlet in the country.

$2,000:  Expenses related to news conferences in Salt Lake City & Houston

$3,000:  Nov-Feb, 5 trips to Utah for speaking, news and podcast events.  Airfare, car rental and one hotel stay.

$3,400:  Website design and deployment.

$11,000:   Expenses to bring 16 members of my family to the march.  Wife, kids & grandkids.  Airfare, car rental and hotel for 3 days.  This is a personal expense.  I want my Granchildren to “come to remember this day.”  When my oldest daughter described the march to her 3 kids, they asked if it was like what Martin Luther King did.  She answered, “Well, kind of.”  All three of them spontaneously shot their hands in the air and shouted with joy!!!  They love MLK.

$14,400  Facebook advertising.  Three weeks leading up the march.  The goal is to reach an new audience in order to increase awareness of the March 30th event.  So, far it has generated a ton of traffic.

$37,500  PR Firm.  Three months at $12,500/mo.  Contracted for Feb, Mar & Apr.  This is a big expense.  During November and December, I was working with a volunteer to reach out to the media.  He was super helpful and still is.  But, we lacked solid national media contacts.  In January, I realized that I was out of my depth in the PR world.  This march is a one shot deal.  To generate maximum awareness we need significant media coverage, hopefully including national outlets.    I decided to turn to experts who can write a press release on a dime and already have established media contacts.  I consulted with a very close acquaintance who has years of PR experience from his business pursuits.  We talked about costs.  He said that you get what you pay for.  If we hired someone at $5,000/mo, we’d likely see no results.  His experience indicated a range from $10,000 to $15,000/mo.  Initially, I slumped at that kind of commitment.  My hesitance didn’t last long.  How the hell could it with story after story crying with horror from my in-box?  We started a search.  Our first choice quoted a price tag of $12,500/mo, right in the middle of the range.  They have been very helpful so far.  Lots of stuff going on behind the scenes regarding national media.  There are some encouraging talks.  But, we haven’t quite got a bite yet.  I’m hoping the march and other local rallies around the country will draw the national outlets to our cause.  This is a big reason that it’s important to have as many people at the march as we can muster.

Grand total = $75,760.  And I still have a ton of costs ahead with the march!

I hope to have the self-discipline to cap it at $100,000 out of pocket.  Will this affect my retirement?  Probably.  While I’m not a wealthy man, I’ll be just fine.   What I have a wealth of is fire in the belly from having read thousands of children’s horror stories.

Why Would A Foolish Man Share all This Crap?

#1 Transparency.  I have shared about everything possible along the way.

#2 Many of you have asked if you could contribute financially to our cause.  Initially, I was resistant.  It could give the impression that I was in this for the money.  At this point, I hope that any reasonable person can see that would be a ridiculous conclusion.

#3 From the outset, come hell or highwater, I was willing to completely self-fund.  But, if others join in, we can save even more children.

Donations

To make a donation, go to our website ProtectLDSChildren.org.

On a laptop, the donation button is in the upper right hand corner.

On a tablet, the button may move to the left side, depending on the size of the device.

On a phone, click the three line menu.  The Donate button will be at the bottom of the menu.

All funds will go to a new organization named “Protect The Children Association.”  A 501C3 application has been filed.  All donations made 27 months before the application is approved by the IRS will be tax deductible.  I’m expecting everything donated at this point will fall in that category.  BTW, the professional services to get this all set up were graciously provided without charge.

Caveat #1:  None of the donated funds will go towards reimbursing my previous expenditures.

Caveat #2:  DO NOT feel any obligation to donate.  DO NOT feel one whit of regret if you choose not to.

Thank you for traveling this journey at my side in whatever methods you choose.

**We have already made a difference in children’s lives.**

40 thoughts on “My Hardest Post to Publish…So Far

  1. Sam! Im rying to donate, but the zeros will not respond to my attempt to change them to a dollar amount on the payment page (I’m on an iPad). Don’t know if it’s just me, but wanted to let you know in case it’s not. I’ll come back and try again later today. I don’t want you to miss out on one cent!! I am sure that none of use were aware you’d spent so much of your own money.

    Listen, kind sir, you are the best kind of human. Those cowards calling themselves (ha!)”apostles” should be cowering in shame and singing praises to your name and efforts. They disgust me, protected in their ivory tower, shaming you for doing exactly as Christ would have done. I am horrified to see the number of blindly following sheep who think these men are exhalted and speak for god. The evil that exists in this paradigm is shocking — truly a “wolf in sheeps clothing”. Anyway, I cannot express the depth of my gratitude to you, and the epic respect I have for you, your _active_ integrity, and goodness. All my best…

    Like

    1. I’m having the same problem on my laptop. I want to donate, but cannot get the 0s to move over so I can reset with numbers. I didn’t hesitate to respond, and I think many others will feel the same, Sam. We want to be a part of this important history. I cannot march with you, but I can help with a bit of money, which makes me feel included. I thank you for that. Hope the issue gets resolved. I’ll try again later.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ohhh my. Thank you for such kind words. And thanks for your donation attempt. Try this. Put the cursor at the end of the 0’s instead of in the front. Hopefully, that will work. Please let me know thanks my friend.

      Like

    1. Dear Joseph,

      I’m assuming that you are one of the more Christlike members of my church. Your manner of soliciting fast offerings is certainly unique and provocative. Congratulations on that.

      BTW, thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I couldn’t resist your comment! It sounds like my 9 year old arguing about things (except she would say “you poop”, after all she learned in the church we shouldn’t swear – did you miss that lesson on church?)… You probably have the same cognitive level as hers, so I hope you grow up one day and start being able to engage in meaningful conversations as an adult!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dearest Sam, You are a superhero and someone that I admire so very much. Your bravery and commitment mean the world to all of us who have been torn apart by a voyeuristic patriarchal church that has absolutely no business doing what they are doing in these interviews with children and adults. Thank you so much for your honesty and transparency, and for allowing us to help fund a movement that is so imperative to the health and well being of so many children and young adults. Bless you my friend! How lucky are we to know you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Sam,
    I’ve been impressed with your sincerity, heart, devotion, commitment, and determination. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy. People are people, both good and bad, and it is so often convenient to take the “easy way”. The children are the heart-force and the blood of our society, and at certain key ages can be so influenced in things that have ramifications for the rest of their lives. Many times things are done with the best of intentions that can have such unforeseen ramifications. Were it not for your efforts, so many of us would have been unaware and had no idea. You have our love, respect, and support. Also very much my admiration.
    Johnny

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suersday, maybe your hatred and disdain for the leaders of our church would be better posted in a different place. I am a temple attending, tithe paying, active member of the church and your words ar very hurtful to me. I believe in this cause and I would hate to think that others who feel like me, decided this is not a worthy cause because of hateful comments. We are all entitled to our feelings, but maybe it is better to keep our comments positive so that we have a better chance of change. Just a thought.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sam,

    amazing what you have accomplished so far! I am so grateful to you for taking this on. I have made a small donation and will give more as I am able. Don’t worry, just keep moving forward and you will find the support you need and so deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sam,
    I just want you to know that you are amazing. Thank you for creating this movement. As Brené Brown would say, “People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.” Thank you for your bravery!!!! Thank you for asking for what you need.

    ” You can do everything right. You can cheer yourself on, have all the support you can find in place, and be 100 percent ready to go, and still fail. It happens to writers, artists, entrepreneurs, health professionals, teachers – you name it. But if you can look back during your rumble and see that you didn’t hold back – that you were all in – you will feel very different than someone who didn’t fully show up. You may have to deal with the failure, but you won’t have to wrestle with the same level of shame that we experience when our efforts were halfhearted.” – Brené Brown

    Ps.. I REALLY hope those friends you mentioned at the beginning of this post were only giving you hypotheticals on what people could/would say while in the same breath standing next you without a flinch as you continue to go all in.

    I support you in what you are doing!…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve been thinking a lot about your cause and the horrific stories that I read on your website. While I haven’t completely sorted through my feelings about worthiness questions I’ve been thinking a lot about the examples of horrific sexual abuse that have taken place behind closed doors. I was thinking at the very least it could be worth fighting for Windows put in the bishop office door (like the ones they have for nursery) that way someone can always be watching and horrific abuse is much less likely to take place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily, I think that is a great place to start. One that everyone would’ve suppity and an easy thing to do. I live in Texas and most of our bishop offices already have them.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for being a warrior for the children, Sam. I’m so happy to be able to help. I’d be there with you in person if I didn’t have a previous commitment here in San Diego.

    I’ve commented on your blog before – I relate to you because I believe we’re the same age and I believe we were equally devoted to the church. I am the 65-year-old grandma who just three years ago (before I resigned) was asked by my bishop in a worthiness interview if I masturbate. It was shocking to say the least. That interview was certainly not the reason I resigned, but it did help me see everything I’d experienced during my six decades of devotion to the church in a new light. We have sixteen beautiful grandchildren and I hope with all my heart they will be spared the guilt, shame and humiliation I experienced so many times growing up in the church.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I so much wanted to be there, but we leave from another state on 03/31 on a different trip. I even tried looking into one way back and forth–and it just didn’t work. My name will be on a balloon, and I have donated to the balloon costs, and a small donation to this. Keep it up Sam! I was so unaware of this problem. I have never been asked these questions (young adult convert). but in questioning my children that are now grown they had very different experiences from mine..and from each other based on who the leadership was at the time. I had no idea that one of my daughters actually learned what masterbation was from our bishop. I also had a bishop come to our home and tell us everything that one of our children confessed to him. So WRONG on so many levels. There is no turning back time, but you are changing the future for my grandchildren. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG. My respect for you just doubled, and it was already through the roof. I can’t make it to the march, but I will certainly donate to your cause!! Thank you for fighting the good fight!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sam
    No worries over being honest about what this is costing you and your family financially. I’ve wondered how you were defraying costs and if, when, and how I could contribute. You have taken up a heroic cause. I signed the petition anonymously because my son asked me to remain discreet until after he leaves for his mission in the upcoming months. I can not attend the march in SLC but am happy to contribute.
    My sister stopped attending church in large part due to invasive interviews and bad advise given by priesthood holders when in her formative years. The love she once had for the gospel has now completely faded.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Sam,
    There’s not enough money in the world to compensate you for your commitment and passion to doing what is right! However, I want to help in any way I can, that means not only telling my story, signing the petition, marching, but also putting my $$$ where my mouth is. BUT….. when I click the Donate link, it doesn’t take me to Pay Pal. It doesn’t take me anywhere that I can donate. Please advise.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for putting your $$$ where your mouth is…in speaking up to protect our children. You have already done a bunch. Thank your. And thanks for pointing out that the donate link doesn’t work.

        Like

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