Storytelling is something that any successful fundraiser must do well. The stories have to be engaging and connect to your organization’s mission in a positive way. At the Vermont Foodbank, we have a great story about our logo, a black bird with a kernel of corn in its mouth. It is an Abenaki tale. The Abenaki is one of the Native American tribes of Vermont. The story goes this way, I hope you like it:
In Abenaki legend corn is a gift from the gods in the form of a black bird.
On a cold night in the forest, Mon-do-min, an old, lame hunter, lay dying from hunger. He prayed to gods of the southern sky to send him food. Suddenly a small, black bird appeared. The man caught the bird, prepared a fire, and began to roast his meal. He was about to eat the bird when he heard someone crying. He followed the sound and found an injured woman and her child. He brought them back to his camp and gave them the bird to eat, saying, “The Great Spirit has spoken. You must live. I must die. But remember me when you see others alone and hungry. Share with them.” In the early spring, the old man’s tribe found his grave covered with green plants. The Great Spirit told them that the plants would ripen into full ears of a grain that would feed everyone. The black bird symbolizes the vessel for gathering, the yellow kernel, the food we share, and Mon-do-min, the act of nurturing others.
It would be wonderful if you would share with me stories that you have that talk about hope in the face of hunger. You can leave a story hear, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.