This is a rather difficult letter for me to write. I don’t usually ask for help for myself –I tend to think of myself as offering help to others, not asking for it for myself. But I must admit that this is one of those moments where if I don’t ask for help I will have no one but myself to blame for not getting it.
As you may know people have been asking for prayers on my behalf these last few days. Indeed, I am facing some difficult situations. Perhaps most importantly I have been quite exhausted. I have been working hard for months on the World of Witches Museum here in Salem, and even more so these last few weeks as the October season crested. My health has suffered somewhat from stress and overwork, but I had thought I would be able to rest in November and recover a bit –so far that has not been the case however. Persistent swelling in my legs has left me increasingly dependant upon my cane, and has really raised a question as to whether I may be having cardiac issues in addition to my arthritis and other mobility issues. I simply do not have the energy or stamina I once had, and I need your prayers and am grateful for those I am receiving.
Truly though, I need more than prayers. I have a rather large hurdle ahead of me if I wish to maintain the World of Witches Museum that I have spent these past months building. Although the Museum has done well, it came with a good bit of back debt and I am finding this difficult to overcome. In the immediate future I have a balloon payment due of $2600 and I must make this payment as soon as possible. This is the last of a series of $2600 balloon payments (covering back rent owed from before I became involved here) that I have been making on a weekly basis throughout October –but unfortunately this one has been more than I have been able to manage. This is only one of many financial hurdles I must clear in coming weeks if I wish to survive here, (not least of which is the sudden need for a new place to live) but I believe that with a little help I can overcome all of this and continue on with what I feel is a significant work.
The World of Witches Museum is not only an excellent interface to educate the public about our religion –it is also the only place in the world that celebrates the personalities of the contemporary Pagan movement. Certainly other museums have sections on modern Witchcraft and Paganism –but no museum that I know of has exhibits of contemporary leaders like Selena Fox, Zsuzsanna Budapest, or Oberon Zell. At World of Witches the contemporary Pagan movement is not dealt with as an abstraction, but as a human movement with human faces. I really hope to be able to continue this project to its completion, and see it as a permanent institution.
I find the situation especially frustrating because the Museum has been doing well. If it weren’t for the balloon payments the Museum would have done very well in October. Indeed, one or two more heavy traffic days would have made all the difference in the world –but the heavy traffic days were not nearly as numerous as hoped for this October.
In the future I am hoping to even things out with online sales and special products –like the Witch City Expo DVD I have just completed. I feel that the future for World of Witches is very bright –I just have to get there.
People often tell me that if every Witch School student or Correllian Tradition member would each give $1 that financially we would be in wonderful shape –and that is certainly true. Unfortunately it has never worked that way –I can barely imagine the difference it would make if every person really did give just that $1! Over the years many people have been very generous –and a few have been extremely generous- and I am very grateful for everyone who helps and has helped. Truly your love and support has many times renewed my spirit when times were rough. But if every person actually gave just $1 it would change everything.
The story of the last 20 years of my life has often been one of being “so close and yet so far” but in this instance it is more the case than ever before. If I succeed here I feel that the Museum will be something of a crowning achievement –an educational attraction with a year-round appeal in a city universally connected with Witchcraft in the public mind. But failure here may well leave me unable to move forward in any other direction. It is, in short, a “do or die” situation as I see it.
So I am hopeful that at this time, when in many ways my need is greater than ever, that you will help me. Send that $1. Send what you can. I am grateful for any assistance. Help can be sent to my paypal account (DonLewisHP@yahoo.com) or to me directly at Don Lewis c/o World of Witches Museum at 57 Wharf St, Salem, MA 01970.
Thank you and may you blessed be