Monday, December 3, 2018

Pixel to Pixel Closes: Statement From the Group

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
- From Ecclesiastes 3, but also from a very good Byrd's song from 1965.

The Bible causes strong emotional reactions in people, from those who fervently believe it is the divine Word of God to those who think it the most dangerous fraud ever perpetrated on humankind.  But no matter where you find yourself on that continuum, within the chapters and verses and poetry of the script can be found great truths.  Ecclesiastes 3 gives us one of those truths:  For every thing there is a season.  It goes on to list what seems to be an exhaustive list to support the idea, but there is one repeated theme throughout; everything has a beginning and an end.

It started with a need.  Jadyn Firehawk, herself a fairly new arrival to Second Life and inspired by the group, Virtual Ability, recognized a feature of the world that a lot of us missed - she saw the opportunity for those with disabilities to live a meaningful virtual life in ways they could not anywhere else.  She saw a chance for millions of people in the world to live and walk and laugh and love and....function...without their supposed disability being a factor in their relationships with others.

But Jadyn the dreamer is also Jadyn the realist, and she recognized that many of those same individuals who could benefit so greatly from what SL had to offer also often had RL limitations to resources.  There was nothing she could do for those with no access to the internet or a computer, but there was something she could do for those with access but limited financial resources to fully enjoy a regular life in Second Life.

Many of us know the Serenity Prayer and its plea to a Higher Power to help us know the difference between what we can change and what we cannot.  Though perhaps inspired by that, to our great blessing she didn't take it to heart.  No, her actions are better described by the words of Edward Everett Hale:  "I am but one, but I AM one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and I will not let what I cannot do interfere with doing what I can do."

So, Jadyn founded the Pixel To Pixel Foundation to provide a weekly stipend for those with disabilities so that they could enjoy a more complete Second Life.  The dream became action, and the action became perseverance, and the perseverance became a foundation that worked with a network of compassionate donors and a list of grateful recipients who were able to update their avatars and purchase things to make their lives a little better and, in many cases, purchase things that they could use to create.  Jadyn created a gallery so that those who created artwork would have a place to sell their earn their living in SL.  Through Jadyn's hard work, aided by individuals who believed in her vision and gave of themselves, she was able to grow P2P so that it was able to provide support to dozens of people and hundreds of stipends over the years.

It was not always easy.  There was a constant need for fund raising, and always, always, more people who needed help than could be provided for.  It was sometimes heartbreaking, but over the years, with dogged determination and unmatched fortitude, Jadyn pushed on.

It has taken a toll.  Nine years of constant fund raising drives, nine years of pouring over applications for aid, nine years of the joy of being able to help and the sorrow of not being able to help everyone.  It takes a toll.

And that brings us back to Ecclesiastes.  There is a time to begin, and there is a time to end.  The time for this great and marvelous and selfless act of compassion to come to an end has arrived.  The decision was not an easy one, and it was not taken lightly.  Something you may or may not know about Jadyn, she has her own disability.  She has struggled with it even as she provided for others.  But the scale has tipped, and it is time for Jadyn to take care of herself.

Now, this isn't going to happen all at once.  There are resources available to continue making stipend payments until the first week of January and those payments will be made.  But effective December 1st we will no longer be soliciting donations and we will be shutting down the donation kiosks that can be found scattered around Second Life.  We ask that those who use personal giving boxes deactivate them by taking them up into inventory.  Any excess funds we might have as of January 4th, 2019, will be donated to Virtual Ability, SL's main disability support group.

Of course there will be questions and concerns and grief.   There will be temptation to direct such things to Jadyn, but we ask that all such be directed to me (Sandi Glas) for now.

In closing, we want to thank our generous donors, sponsors and volunteers who have made this nine year journey possible and express our love for those who were recipients of that generosity.

With all our love and affection,
The P2P staff.

* * * * *

A heartfelt thank you to Sandi Glas for helping me to make my very difficult decision to close down the P2P Foundation. She's been an indispensable sounding board for me over the past several months, as well as having been a valued supporter over the years in a number of ways. Thank you, Sandi.

Jadyn Firehawk

Pictures from the Newser

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