where to go from here

Thank you so much for your very sweet emails and your understanding. I'm sorry for the short lapse in communication. My studio computer broke down on Tuesday afternoon and I had to replace the hard drive, all while trying to manage the mess that this project had become. I want to clear up where we stand with HEARTS + HANDS after my conversations with real live people at PayPal. Thank you to those who retweeted my messages to PayPal on Twitter. It may have been a coincidence, but I received my first call from someone at PayPal shortly after those and after posting my open letter to the blog. One thing I've learned (and keep learning) is to not be afraid to make yourself heard when it matters – with doctors, with insurance, with accessibility and inclusion, with PayPal :)

None of the donations or payments that have already come in have to be refunded. 100% of this can still go to ShelterBox – about $8.75K!! This is great news. However, the raffle aspect is just straight up not going to fly. Renaming it giveaway or drawing won't work, not for PayPal. Allowing entries just for getting the word out doesn't change anything either. That is just a dead end. As per PayPal's instructions, I also had to remove ALL references to raffle/giveaway/etc from the blog in order to get the PayPal account set right – except for the explanation right now.

So – where to go from here? Although the focus and intent of HEARTS+ HANDS was and still is really on
giving not receiving, I think it's true that a tiny part of the draw for people was the amazing list of artists and studios who wanted to help with this project. I believe it brought people in, even if they were happy to just donate. And I know that people heard about HEARTS + HANDS through each of the artists. It was a way of reaching out to a larger community and asking for action. And it worked. $8.75K in less than two weeks – that's incredible and I'm proud of that. I think we all should be, as a community. I'm disappointed, too, that bureaucracy is so limiting, so impersonal. I think it's a shame that HEARTS + HANDS can't continue.

I have given a lot – A LOT! – of thought on how to keep on with this project as I really hate the idea of being brought to a standstill by bureaucracy. I thought about a pop up shop, but then realized that this would be a lot of behind the scenes work – complicated by lots of admin details. I thought I could offer everyone who donated a credit for the store, but then it was pointed out to me that we would run out of items IF everyone cashed in on those. This should probably have been obvious to me – but since it wasn't, I realized that I need to find a way to end this as gracefully as possible. The last thing I want is to create or find myself – or all of us – in another mess.
What we can do is offer each person a thank you gift for donating. This will come in the mail, but please give me a little time to print everything. Again, I know this is less than ideal, but I'm not sure how else to proceed. I would like to offer any of you who donated or purchased a card the option of a full refund. All you need to do is let me know. I plan to email each person who donated with an explanation of what's happened – essentially the raffle was shut down. I'll offer each the chance to get a full refund in that email ... but this may take me just a little bit of time while I try to get caught up around here.

My brother, sister-in-law and 3 year old nephew arrived yesterday, so I am not going to work this weekend. I've been working a lot and sleeping little, so I need to take a break. I need to bring this project to a close so that I can focus on my family, our upcoming surprise trip for Liam to Legoland (!!) and Satsuma Press. I am sorry that I jumped in without knowing what would come – and yet we are still able to send $8.75K to ShelterBox. This is a good, good thing and I am so grateful for your help in doing this. Thank you.


  1. Thanks again Lynn for all of your hard work!! -Colleen

  2. thank you for all your hard work and generosity, lynn! i am sorry too that this can't continue-- i wish there were a better solution. but you should be very proud of what you DID accomplish. thank you again.

  3. I am so sorry that you have run up against the wall of impersonal bureaucracy - what a frustrating turn of events for something so lovingly planned. And thank you for your efforts to make something good of this despite all the roadblocks!

  4. I'm just so sorry to see these disappointing updates here and at Modern Relief Japan - how frustrating after all your hard work. I was very glad to buy some raffle tickets, and I just want to thank you for all your work on this, and thank the artists for their generosity. I am amazed and thankful to hear about the wonderful total raised for Shelterbox - thank you!!