Eight Years and Four Words

I have been spending the better part of this past week attempting to understand exactly what I need in order to satisfy the IRS requirements to file Backup Ribbon Project as a nonprofit. As I even type out that sentence, I remain stunned that what began just over eight years ago now has me trying to decide what National Taxonomy of Exempt Entity Code best describes this crazy endeavor.

All of it began with four words: “Hey, are you OK?” In that moment, my life changed, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. All I cared about was helping somebody in danger. Not being the person who walked by as if nothing was wrong.

And here I sit, eight years and many words later, staring at forms that make no sense whatsoever to me (and hey, if you know about this whole NTEE code thing, drop me an e-mail). Part of me thinks that this whole registering as a nonprofit rigamarole was absolutely not what I signed up for when I started this. I just wanted to give back to the geek community. I wanted to just do a small grassroots thing. It was never going to really go much of anywhere, right?

Except those grassroots caught fire, and now I no longer feel like I am the one person who refused to walk by as if nothing is wrong. I no longer have to start any conversation from “No, really, this happens in the geek community, and it’s a problem.”

I no longer am the only one willing to say those four words.

Maybe that’s why I am scratching my head at these IRS forms. Because enough of you have said those words that the time has come for me to level up. I’ve often joked that I was an army of one. I guess now the joke is truly on me, since I wouldn’t be at this point without every single one of you who took ribbons, wore them, passed them out, and talked about them. Believe me when I say that I am laughing in amazement and gratitude at this particular joke.

Eight years ago, it all started with four words.  I am looking forward to the next eight years!

PS: Just a quick reminder about our fundraiser! Part of our funding goal will be put toward the IRS application fee.




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