You have been hearing a lot from me lately about POCA Tech’s Sustainers, in part because POCA Tech needs to raise money and so we need to keep talking about it, but also because I just think the whole thing is so cool. The more I learn about the acupuncture profession, the cooler I think it is. How many other acupuncture schools have more than a hundred individuals making small donations every month to help the school grow? (That’s a rhetorical question but I’d guess the actual answer is, none.) It’s like POCA Tech is a tiny seedling and we’ve got more than a hundred gardeners lovingly keeping an eye on it, watering and mulching it a little at a time. When we first imagined the school, I wouldn’t have thought this was possible.
Here is another thing I wouldn’t have thought was possible: that another community outside of POCA would support POCA Tech as well — so much so that they would express it with a $10,000 donation.
It happened. The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of La Crosse, Wisconsin, just donated $10,000 to POCA Tech to help us with our expenses related to ACAOM accreditation.
Sister Eileen McKenzie L.Ac. runs a POCA clinic, FSPA Community Acupuncture, within a collective of holistic practitioners dedicated to Franciscan values. You can read more here about Sr. Eileen’s commitment to acupuncture, community acupuncture, and POCA. The FSPA community has been dedicated to education, healthcare, and social justice for over a hundred years, and when Sr. Eileen asked them to show support to POCA Tech, they responded with radical generosity.
If you’ve looked at POCA Tech’s budget, you know that $10,000 is a very big deal to our school. But what is an even bigger deal, at least to me, is the moral support. To know that another community, one that has been committed for over a hundred years to affirming the dignity of marginalized people, believes in us and wants to encourage us, and they’re backing us with tangible resources — that’s huge.
Getting POCA Tech through the process of ACAOM accreditation will cost us upwards of $50,000. There are other costs as well — energy, attention, and the all the internal demands of taking a big risk. We know that lots of people think we’re not going to make it. If we felt like the universe of acupuncture schools was friendly to marginalized people, we wouldn’t need to make our own school at all. And as I’ve said, the process pushes all of my buttons around class. For anyone from my background, a $50,000 price tag for something you really, really want looks like an invitation to getting your heart crushed. Are bureaucracies that charge $50,000 for the price of admission designed to be intimidating? Maybe not, but it certainly feels that way sometimes. So to have another community come forward and offer to help with the scariest part of the process — that’s worth more than money. That’s the power of solidarity.
Thank you, FSPA Community, from the bottom of my heart. It means the world to know you’re on our side.