The saying goes, when it rains it pours. This past week it has been pouring, figuratively that is. Last weekend we witnessed from afar the beautiful Maui Remembers paddle out to honor the 1,100 still listed as missing in Maui. The beginning of the week marked the 22nd anniversary of September 11th. As if that wasn’t overwhelming enough, came the devastating earthquake in Morocco that has killed thousands and displaced so many more. The loss is beyond overwhelming and the magnitude of each event alone is enormous but combined it is just too much.
This week we had prepared an entirely different post but with all of this happening in the same week, I found myself overwhelmed. I thought perhaps, you might be too. There is a reason why many of us don’t watch the news at night any more because some days it is simply too much. This past week is certainly one of those times.
However, it is in tragedy and loss that we often see the best of humanity. This weekend we saw thousands paddle out to honor those lost in Maui in a beautiful tribute. Maui is still rallying each day with meals, clothing and support for those whilst literally everything. In Morocco, we witnessed huge groups digging through the rubble in search of survivors despite their own loss. On Monday, we heard the names called one by one at the 911 Tribute. Each loss is a reminder of a life that mattered.
In moments of loss, there is nothing anyone can say to give comfort. There are no words. In time, you see the rebirth. A fire brings a new forest, an earthquake a new city and a death brings a rebirth. These are the stories we see and hear each week at Charity Matters. Humans with unbelievable loss who find it within themself to use their grief as fuel to help another. Week after week for twelve years I’ve heard these stories and they never get old, ever. The human spirit is remarkable in its ability to adapt, evolve, grow and serve.
So as sad and overwhelming as this past week has been around our globe, I am hopeful. I know that out of all this horrible loss, good will come and heal and spread. It always has and always will, in time.
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It is hard to believe that ten years have passed since I had a crazy idea to start blogging. So much has happened in the past decade, we have had three presidents. Ten years ago were dancing to Gangnam style, doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, and waiting for the world to end from a Mayan calendar. A decade is a really long time, so thank you for spending it with Charity Matters. We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone and to share it with you!
Today, we are excited to be celebrating our anniversary with the launch of Season Two of the Charity Matters Podcast.We are looking back at some of the incredible people we met along our journey who have taught us so much about life, kindness, compassion, community, connection, and ourselves. So join us as we look back and get excited for what is ahead.
The journey of Charity Matters is much like the journey of the Alchemist, my favorite book. ” We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” I set out on this path looking to find a tribe of like-minded people. Never did I expect to meet hundreds of everyday heroes who are changing our world and that so many would join this quest in search of goodness.
The Human Condition
The past decade has brought fascinating people into our path and taught us so much about the human condition. We have learned so much about humanity from these conversations. These explorations in suffering, loss, and brokenness have shown us the resilience of the human spirit. The stories and challenges faced from hunger to health to education and everything in between have opened our eyes.
The Helpers, the heroes
This journey has brought the most inspiring people, the helpers, and the heroes. People that through a series of events have experienced loss and have taken that pain to help others. Each one has had a calling or that light bulb moment when they knew they needed to serve and their lives are forever changed. They start a business, a nonprofit, and dedicate their lives to helping others. These nonprofit founders are the true heroes of our world.
People ask me all the time what are my favorite nonprofits. It is liking asking a parent who is their favorite child, there is no favorite because they all amazing. As a storyteller, there are stories and people that have stayed with me. I think of people who lost their children like the Pablove founder, JoAnn Thrakill, and what she has done for pediatric cancer. I think of Dena Betti, who we met last season, who lost her daughter and began #HerSmile. These women are truly remarkable inspirations of hope, courage, and purpose.
So many of the people I have met and interviewed have become dear and treasured friends. Alexandra Dwek, from Friends with Causes, who I interviewed more than six years ago is beautiful inside and out. Elena Davis of I Am Waters Foundation and her unending work for the homeless is my Gemini twin. Jennifer Hillman from LuxAnthrophy, who resells high-end fashion for nonprofits. Ann Louden brought pink and breast cancer awareness to sports across the country with her nonprofit Frogs for the Cure.All of these women are smart, strong, loving and on a mission to make this world better. I know that my life is better because of each of them.
The big and the Small
Nonprofits come in all sizes. They are no different than a business. We have interviewed small nonprofits that are similar to your tiny local hardware store and large nonprofit CEOs more similar to the Home Depots. Why we have loved our conversations with BCRF President, Myra Biblowitand Project Hope‘s CEO Rabin Tornay. Charity Matters has really become champions for the little guys, those without a voice and a huge heart.
I think of one of my very first interviews with the founders of Saving Tiny Hearts Foundation, Brian and Francie Paul. An unbelievable couple took their infant’s son’s heart condition and turned it into a powerhouse foundation in search of a cure. Francie’s heart is as big as they come. Then there was Alisa Savoretti, the founder of My Hope Chest. Alisa was a Vegas showgirl who was diagnosed with breast cancer and didn’t have insurance for reconstructive surgery. She sold her home and worked in a grocery store to fund her nonprofit to help other women like her. Alisa’s grit, passion, and tenacity is a gift I will always treasure.
The lessons we learned
The lessons we have learned from each one of these interviews is a book onto itself. We have learned the resilience of the human spirit from people like Alisa. Hal Hargrave, the founder of The Be Perfect Foundation took a tragic accident that left him paralyzed and parlayed that into an organization that is a beacon of hope for others facing the same challenges. Interview after interview reminds us of the strength we have to overcome when faced with adversity. More than that, these people take that pain and use it for the betterment of others.
We have learned our need for community and each other. Each nonprofit founder builds a community of connection and reminds us that we are all here to serve one another, not ourselves. These communities reinforce daily the belief that people are innately good. Charity isn’t about taking or handouts, it’s about love. Loving one another in whatever way you do that. Some show their love through time and volunteering, others through donations, either way, it is sharing that energy with another human.
The most important lesson learned is that of gratitude. I want to thank all of our subscribers of the blog and podcast for joining us on this ten-year journey. You have become friends, taught me so much, and created a community where we believe in goodness. Ultimately, Charity Matters has been a weekly reminder of what love is as we continue to help the helpers. Please know how incredibly grateful I am to each of you for being here each week for the past decade. The past ten years have been amazing because of Charity Matters and you. Thank you.
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