What a wild ride.
I’d love to travel in the DeLorean with Doc back to my 19 year old self and say, “This thing you are doing here, it’s going to be incredibly scary and hard, but keep going, because the outcome is going to be amazing. One little boy will grow into thousands”, I would tell myself.
I had no idea what I was doing then. It was as simple as working to fulfill one need with that grew and grew. A small act sparked something monumental in me. Now Art Feeds has reached 11,500 children to date. I would have been totally freaked out by my future self the prospect of thousands of children and the DeLorean.
Do Something is the beez knees because from the moment I discovered DoSomething.org I was pushed by a group of people that know age plays no factor in the amount of impact that can be made. In fact, they believe the younger you are, the greater the advantage. I could have never imagined that it would lead me to holding a silver flying shoe on a stage for Do Something Awards and Vh1 this past Sunday.
I’ve been so honored, blessed and humbled by this entire experience. As I stood on stage Sunday and accepted that heavy silver shoe from Chris Bosh (whoa) all I could think about were the people that got me there. YOU should have been on that stage with me, every little artists, every volunteer, supporter, intern, educator, teacher, donor and parent that allows Art Feeds programs to thrive. Thousands of hands on that silver shoe. I’m honored to be a small representative of a strong and resilient Joplin community and a web of supporters nation wide.
Here’s one of the many reasons I love Do Something so much- they set all the semi-finalists and finalists up to know and learn from each other during the interview process. In all honesty, when I was accepted as a semi-finalist for the Do Something Award, in my head it was going to be like The Hunger Games with all of us fighting for the big $100,000 grant. It wasn’t like that at all. Do Something set the stage for friendship and shared knowledge between each other. I’m proud to know the 12 semi-finalists and 4 other finalists, I am inspired by them and have learned so much on this adventure. We were all rooting for each other that night, you can see it on our faces when Katia was announced as the $100k winner, we genuinely were happy because we know each other’s causes well and know that money is put to incredibly good use. Katia has “little ones” of her own that the grant will serve very well. I’m thankful to call Katia, Manyang, Seth and Danny my friends. My incredible friends that drive me to be better.
Today I don’t feel like anything was lost, I got to represent my community and received an incredible honor with the $10k Do Something Award. I feel more passionate than ever thanks to that weekend. Art Feeds will still reach EVERY child in Joplin this year and expand to communities nation wide to heal traumatized children through the power of art.
Thanks for joining me on this wild ride.