Thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks. Every day gets a little bit better, but every morning, when I wake up and think “I need to call Eva today”, I can feel the void in my soul. I don’t think Eva, nor I, understood the connection we had. There were so many things I still wanted to learn from her, and every day, I thought there was always tomorrow.
On Dec. 1, I spoke at Eva’s memorial service. I can say, with confidence, that it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Writing my thoughts and memories about Eva were no problem. It was talking in front of so many people Eva adored that made me nervous. How could I provide that comfort, when I didn’t feel it myself? The moment the pastor called me up to speak, everything changed. I felt at peace, and speaking about my dear friend felt right.
The week Eva passed, something kept tugging at my heart. I kept hearing the word “legacy” in my head. That’s what Eva and I talked about often; how to continue our legacies beyond our life. She always talked about how she wanted to inspire aspiring authors in the area to pursue their own writing dreams. She even talked about turning her home into a summer retreat for young girls who wanted to explore their creativity. I promised Eva to keep her memory alive, and I wouldn’t let her down.
I won’t be able to do the retreat, but there were more options at my disposal. As the Scholarship Coordinator at Southwestern Community College, I constantly think about how to bring scholarship monies to the college so I can help students pursue their dreams. SCC is in the business of making dreams come true, you know.
That was it! It all came together in a blink of an eye. It was as if Eva was slapping me in the face with a sign saying, “Do a scholarship!”
I expressed interest in doing a scholarship in Eva’s name to her family, and they were more than supportive. So supportive, in fact, that Eva’s daughter, Sherry, asked me to bring it up when I spoke at the memorial. At that moment, I had nothing prepared to start fundraising. I had vocally shared my desires, but that was about it. I thought I’d have time to work out the details. But if there’s one thing that’s for certain about Eva and I, we always loved jumping off the deep end. Whether I was ready or not, I was going to do this for Eva, because she did so much for me.
Within an hour and a half of talking to Sherry, I had received $75 for the endowment. Things raced off from there. I set up a GoFundMe account, I posted on social media and I took out ads. Donations started to flow in. There was no going back.
As I write this, we have raised $1,375 out of the $15,000 needed to establish the endowment. I also wanted to raise an additional $500 so we can do an immediate award for the 2018-19 year. I’m so proud to say we’ve raised that much, only a few days after starting this campaign. There’s much more work to be done, but I think it’ll get accomplished in no time.
Now that I have your full attention, this is where I give you my sales pitch. There are multiple ways for you to donate. First, all of the book royalties for Eva’s books will go towards the endowment, until it is fully funded. You can purchase Eva’s books at amazon.com/author/evamccall.
You can donate through the GoFundMe page. That’s where I’m doing daily updates to the campaign. $100 donors will get a first edition copy of Eva’s first novel, Edge of Heaven. $500 donors will a copy of each book by Eva.
Finally, you can donate directly to the SCC Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) corporation. Donations sent directly to them are tax deductible. You can make checks to:
447 College Drive
Sylva, NC 28779
Memo: The Eva McCall Memorial Scholarship
Until the funding is complete, I’ll be busy getting the word out. I’ve been putting out flyers, posting on social media and sending out letters. If you see each one by the time this is all over, I apologize. This project is very important to me, and eventually, the rewards will be reaped by some of the most talented students at SCC.
Thanks so much for reading this post, now go and donate! You won’t regret it!
*Update*: As of August 2018, the initial $15,000 was raised. Thank you all so much for your continued support. Any additional donations from this point forward will allow more students to benefit from the scholarship.