I have a confession to make. When Liz suggested that we create a Fundly page with an initial goal of $5,000 to help support Center Lane Stationery, I thought she was crazy.
Her idea was this: use the film to inspire donations to help Avi restock inventory, hire someone a couple days a week to give Avi a break, or if he was forced to close, start a mini-retirement fund.
I mean, I knew Avi was special in so many ways but would people really want to reach into their pockets and donate money to someone they didn’t know? I was skeptical.
But she encouraged me to dream big, and four months after I created the campaign, I couldn’t be happier to be proven wrong. As of today, we’ve raised over $16,000 for Avi. That’s more than I ever thought possible.
More than that, it’s been heartwarming to see how Avi’s story has resonated with so many people. They get him. They perceive his kindness, his sincere appreciation of the people he serves, and how tirelessly he works.
From India to Indianapolis, people have been showing their support from around the world. Here are some of my favorite donor comments:
people like this pull the earth along with them. – Isarapu Naveen
Thank you for sharing your story. My dad actually was taken away from us running his shop – this is for him. – Mamta CHhabra
I too own a small business and it is hard work! My customers mean to the world to me as well and I’m so glad yours are recognizing you! – Mike Goodridge
God Bless you Avi – You are what makes a town HOME !!! – Matthew Cameron
Avi, you are the very fabric that makes America a great place. Best wishes buddy – Anonymous
This has restored my faith in humanity. I can only hope to know love like this someday! Showing you all love from Houston, TX! – Rickey Williams
Saw the video and wanted to show my support. I believe that if you do good, good things happen to you. You touched my heart. – Marcelo Gittermann
I used to live in Levittown and have visited this store. It makes me happy to see that there are still good people .Levittown u rock. – Lynn Saives
I do not think that I have ever seen a more deserving man. All the best to you and your wife. – AJ Fundly
People like Avi are my heros, my inspiration. Working hard everyday and bringing light into others lives. Rock on Avi!! – Thor Hanks
Loved your story, Avi! Hope your wife continues to remain well. I’m a cancer survivor, too! – Diane Tavegia
The world needs more Avis. – Ryan And Anna Candelaria
I’ve been showing this to my mom, and it’s been blowing her mind that strangers are coming together to financially give a boost to another stranger. Over the Internet.
Fundly has proven to be a perfect platform for us. Aside from just an awesome user experience, what I love most is the flexibility, as it’s allowed us to continually dream bigger and raise our goal from $5,000 to $20,000.
Their team has been super supportive as well (thanks, Krystal Gandola!) and has pitched this story on our behalf to media outlets and promoted us on their own blog to help raise as much as we can for Avi.
I don’t know what the final total will be or how Avi plans on using the money (more to come from Avi himself!), but I continue to be amazed, humbled, and above all, grateful.