I know what you did last year

A year

It’s been a year since I sold my house and hit the road with my three kids — a crazy 12 months filled with drama and life lessons, and one constant.

That constant is you.

You have always been there to support my consumer advocacy, to encourage me when a news outlet cancels my column, or when a personal drama threatens to sink this entire project.

You kept me going last year.

The advocacy kicks into high gear

After removing all of the ads from my consumer advocacy site in early April, traffic went through the roof. We had two days of 30,000+ visits, which is remarkable.

More traffic means we can help more people. And that’s the goal — to empower consumers to solve their problems and help those who can’t.

I’m not stopping. Last week, we received our Employer Identification Number from the IRS for our nonprofit organization and approved our bylaws. And next month, we’re having our spring fundraiser. The bar is set much higher for fundraising, now that the ads are gone. I’ll have details on that soon.

There are days when we have more than 30 new cases through our help form. I’m not sure how we’ll handle the influx of requests, but I know we’ll figure it out. I work with the best advocacy team in the world.

Advocating for the advocate

Last week, in the email edition of this post, I asked you to consider writing to a newspaper in Arizona in support of my new advocacy column, Problem Solved. And you did!

I wanted to let you know that it’s working. Newspapers love hearing from readers. Any kind of feedback you can offer on the advocacy columns I write is helpful. Extra points if you read the newspaper online or subscribe to the paper edition.

I’ve only recently begun to understand the importance of reader feedback in keeping my syndicated columns alive. Unless editors hear from readers like you, the advocacy work will fade away.

If you’re signed up for my weekly email newsletter (look for the subscribe box on the right) then I’ll give you details on how to help.

That personal drama

If you know me personally, then you know that the advocacy struggles last year are just one part of the soap opera that is my life. Many of you have read between the lines in my recent posts and figured out what’s going on. Others actually do know what’s happened, so you understand what being on the road for a full year means to me.

So let me say this: Advocating for you will always be my calling in life. But nothing is more important than family. Everything I’ve done in the last 12 months — every road trip, every adventure and every detour — was done with their welfare in mind.

Sometimes, life deals you a bad hand. You have to play your cards and make the best of it. Through all of the turmoil last year, I know I’ve been able to count on you. Thank you.

Here are this week’s stories

Please read, share and comment. Your feedback makes a big difference.

See you next week.

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Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t. He’s the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. If you have a consumer problem you can’t solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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