Op/Ed: Journalist Extraordinaire McCarthy Still Fasting for I Can't We Can
Four Dollars In Quarters
(BALTIMORE - November 21, 2008) - Yesterday as I was walking towards the door of I Can't We Can, I was approached by a pretty rough looking customer.
I still wear a tie to work most days which, as you can imagine, makes me stand out in some parts of Park Heights. He had to be around 30 years old, unshaven, long military looking coat and a cigarette balancing on his lips.
He said something along the lines of, "Yo, I saw you on the news the other day. My moms has been all over me to drop this off here. She went through the program."
In my mind I imagined he was going to hand me $25 or $50 in cash.
I opened my hand and he poured $4 in quarters into my palm. "That's all I got right now," he said.
I stood there in amazement. So many people are struggling and having such a hard time. But they get it. They seem to understand that some things are worth giving all you have.
Quite a few people have stopped me on the street or called me to ask me why I'm fasting to raise money for I Can't We Can. They seem genuinely concerned about my health and about the longevity of the program.
My only answer at this point is the same as the man who gave me four dollars in quarters - this is all I have right now.
I don't have influence. I don't have an important job. I don't have my own wealth or any extraordinarily wealthy friends. All I have left is me. And over the last seven days I have sacrificed ME to help I Can't We Can.
I am writing to ask you to help me. Any contribution you can give to I Can't We Can will make a huge difference.
If you are available, tomorrow (Saturday) night we are hosting a fun Variety Show with music, a comedian and even a clown! Tickets are $20. Its being held in the auditorium at Douglass High School, 2301 Gwynns Falls Parkway, from 6-9 p.m. Come by for a minute, you don't have to stay the whole time, but your $20 would be greatly appreciated.
This is the last time you will ever be solicited by me for this program. The need is clear. The services provided by I Can't We Can touches all our lives in some way. Do what you can.
Finally, one of my favorite poets, Audre Lorde wrote, "When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether or not I am afraid."
On a very personal note, the people at I Can't We Can have taught me not to be afraid any more. Whatever happens, whatever comes my way, I can survive anything because I am no longer afraid to live life. I didn't stop living because of lies or innuendos or losing an incredible job or losing a house or my car or anything. I'm still here and I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message. God bless you.