|Photo courtesy of Melanie Smith Photography|
I am now ready to tell you, but pull up a chair cuz it's going to take a minute or two.
It all came about in the strangest of ways.
A few months ago I received an email from a friend of a friend. A woman I'd never met, named Melanie. I was busy multi-tasking as I looked her message over. What I gleaned from it was this:
fundraiser ....... necklace ..... school ..... happy, hopeful, helpful . . . elephant . . . orange . . .
Which I interpreted as: Melanie is starting a charter school in Temecula and needs necklaces for a raffle/fundraiser. Happy, hopeful, helpful must be the school motto.
A week or so went by and I got to work making necklaces, but I couldn't remember the colors requested. So I went to Melanie's blog site to take a look.
I had a moment of humility then. I learned that while I had read Melanie's original message, I hadn't been paying attention to anything she had been trying to tell me, which was this . . .
Last year, Melanie traveled to India photograph a wedding of a friend. While she was there, she spent time in a village in Tamil, Nadu and fell in love the the people there. In spite of their impoverished condition, these people were so happy, and hopeful, and helpful. Melanie discovered that children of the village could not attend school unless they could buy a uniform made of Gingham, and a text book. And sadly, many families can't afford these simple things. So Melanie came home and decided to do something about it. She started a non-profit organization to help these children. And she contacted me to make necklaces so that she could spread the word about ways people could involved and help.
The minute I finished reading, I felt a rush of ideas. I realized that besides necklaces, there were more ways that I could offer support. So that night, I called Melanie and we met for a soda. We spent a few hours talking about her organization -- The Gingham Project, and it's mission to help the village. I left that night excited and inspired.
When I got home, my mind continued spinning. I thought about the women in my association, all in different seasons of life, and different economical circumstances. The young moms with children, frustrated because they had little time to do things that filled their cup, those who yearned to create but didn't know where to start, women who were on the verge of being empty nesters and didn't know what to do with all the extra time, who worked full time and came home tired, and women on the other side of the world who needed a way to earn a living so that they could send their children to school and change the course of their lives.
And then something amazing happened, all these thoughts turned into a mega idea. But, I needed help putting it into action. And fortunately, because of the miracle of blogging, I had a network of amazing friends who could help me pull it off, if they were willing to help. I didn't even need to wonder "if", I knew they would, because they are good, good people. So I sent a few emails, and over the course of a few days, friends began responding, and the mega idea turned into a plan.
Then we started working, and the mega idea turned into reality.
The moral of this story is this . . . one person can make a difference. And when you listen to that inner voice, great things happen.
In this case it all began with Melanie, one woman who went to India, whose inner voice told her to help the children in Tamil Nadu.
The story doesn't end here. To learn more, click on the picture below, designed by the talented Lyndsay Johnson. She really amazes me. Just wait until you see what else she created . . .