Thank You Searchers……

Dear Forrest and Members of the Search Community,

What an honor it was to recently be surprised with a quirky raffle fueled by your generous donations and hosted by none other than Forrest Fenn!  Thank you simply doesn’t cut it, so before I explain the significance of that wonderful encounter, I’d like to share a little more with all of you about who I am, what the Santa Fe Children’s Museum is, and why generosity combined with a sense of hope and adventure is really the greatest gift we can bestow on each other.

I first heard about Forrest Fenn and his treasure about 2 years ago.  I was visiting my family up in Colorado (my home state) and was talking with my dad who was very sick with cancer at the time.  He asked me, “Have you heard about that treasure some guy from New Mexico hid out in the mountains?”  My father had a penchant for all things baffling, unexplained, and archaeological.  I inherited these same fascinations, and while we didn’t have the easiest relationship, we could always strike up a conversation about the mysteries of the universe.  “What treasure?”  I asked.  He proceeded to explain that a strange man had hidden a fortune somewhere in the Rockies and that the only known clues to its whereabouts were to be found in a poem published in some book he wrote.  True to my dad’s own sense of adventure and admiration of infinite possibilities, he encouraged me to go look for it when I returned home to Santa Fe.

Fast forward to New Mexico… my own busy life overshadowed all memories of that fanciful conversation and I became deeply entrenched in nonprofit work.  First at an animal sanctuary, then at the local animal shelter, and now at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum.  Probably not unlike many of you, I like indulging in big, seemingly unattainable ideas, that often seem ridiculous to others, and then pursue them like crazy with only my imagination, a compulsion for good deeds, and an unrelenting belief that anything is possible, to guide me.  Indeed, while maintaining this kind of drive is hard work, and ends in frustration and disappointment more often than not, every step is worth the journey and it ensures that we’re living our lives in accordance with what we find most meaningful.  While I can really only speak for myself, I suspect it’s this same kind of magic that inspired Forrest to hide his treasure, and the very same magic that inspires you to seek it.

So in honor of the cumulative force that brought us all together at this single point in time, I’d like to explain the actual impact the money from the raffle is having on some of the children here in Santa Fe.  As an institution, we aren’t a museum in the white-glove, hush-be-quiet sense of the word, but rather a place where kids can indulge their curiosities, engage in healthy social interactions, and learn by doing.  We have an incredible 1.5 acre interactive garden space, and over 35 play-based exhibits that help boost confidence, curiosity, and problem-solving skills.  We serve families from all economic backgrounds and on many levels… from educational programs, to special community events, to community access projects for those who need it most.

In collaboration with several organizations dealing in child welfare, we’ll be using the raffle money to hold monthly birthday parties for some of the most vulnerable children in the region.  Foster and homeless kids, families with adults in rehab programs, children who are grieving… you name it… we’re here to make sure these kids get their day in the sun.  Not only will they get a great big birthday celebration at the museum and the opportunity to share the experience together, but they’ll also be getting presents from us, fancy birthday cake, and the opportunity to bring friends and relatives along for their special day.  You made that possible for these kids!… A big resounding thank you is in order.


On behalf of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum and the children whose own journeys you’ve helped brighten, and on behalf of my father, who embarked on his own journey into the great unknown one year ago this month, may your own paths continue leading to new friends, grand adventures, and the kindest of intentions.

Yours in gratitude,
Jessica Jenkins
Santa Fe Children’s Museum

27 thoughts on “Thank You Searchers……

  1. Thanks for telling us about your journey, and how our donations will help many young lives on their journeys JDA

  2. Santa Fe Children’s Museum chose a wonderful representative for their nonprofit organization; Jessica Jenkins. Pleased to know the children will find comfort and happiness for a time which will belong to them.

  3. Love your story JJ, it takes big hearts to heal big hurts. Thank you for seeing, doing and being all that is takes to make this place possible for the kids and families in need.

  4. Makes me feel guilty, wish that I could have bought more tickets. What a great cause! Thanks for sharing the information.

    • Not Obsessed, you shouldn’t feel guilty. One penny more, makes a person one penny richer. You could keep them in mind should you wish to donate once more.

  5. Thanks, Jessica, for the beautiful letter. It was a joy to meet you and share a few hours with you and some of your staff.

  6. Chew up that money, oh little dog chew,
    Kids will be grateful because of you. 🙂

    That was a very nice letter. I’m glad to see that the money is going to such great use!

  7. You’re very welcome and a big THANKYOU to you for taking care of our future generation.

  8. I’m so happy I was able to donate to such a wonderful cause!
    Birthday parties are the best:)

  9. I thought the money was for paying museum expenses, it’s nice to hear that it is going directly to needy kids. 🙂

    (The eBay auction was at $2,025 when it was stopped, and the raffle brought in $7,673.30. Sometimes stupid rules pay off!)

  10. JJ, thanks for your great letter!

    It was a moral imperative. A no-brainer, as it were.

    Let’s do this again, next year, every year! 🙂

  11. Not too late to donate. This posty was fantastic! I didn’t join the raffle due to having a teenager that bleeds me dry.
    I will donate today! The chase is on for my debit card. It’s been missing in non-action for about a week. Going through pockets now!

  12. nice story jessica,anytime you can make a child smile,its worth it.the kids at school where i work will say,hi,miss diane,and wave a small wave at me,because they are to be quite while walking from class to class.they get a big smile when I wave back and say hi.these are the things mr. forrest always talked about,making someone happy.if they don’t say hello ,you did your part of the job .the longing for love,peace and happiness is all in each one of us.poor or rich,its there in the heart.never seems to satisfy that longing,because they don’t know what they need to fill that longing.but.its god that they need to fill that need people are always looking for.we are to be like that little child,believe,trust,love.good luck to you and the kiddos,and to all the searchers ,love you all ,good luck with you all.

  13. Jessica mentioned that on Friday she received more donations for the museum from searchers. She can’t believe how wonderful you folks are…

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