Last night I attended a gala for an organization that is near and dear to my heart – Everybody Wins! It was wonderful! I was a guest of Everybody Wins! and I couldn’t have been more happy to attend.
My history with Everybody Wins! dates back a couple of years ago to my days in DC. I worked for a wonderful non-profit called American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and one of their offerings was a weekly volunteer program where employees would walk down the street to the local school and read with a child on his/her lunch break. I immediately signed up! After all, I’m a book loving nerd. I love to read and the idea of passing on the love of reading to a child that is disadvantaged immediately made me happy.
Every week was different and there were definitely days where I wanted to not be reading with Joquan because he wanted to be outside with his friends instead of inside reading, but he was a sweet kid with a great heart and quite bright and so I enjoyed my time with him. I believe I still have all of his cards and thank you notes from the two years that we shared.
Now, as I attempt to build a better volunteer program for my current full-time job, I’ve contacted Everybody Wins! to see if I could create a partnership with them. Of course that requires more work from my company than Everybody Wins!, but as someone who believes wholeheartedly in this organization and has seen firsthand the benefits of the program, I’m willing to work to make it happen.
Last night, I attended the gala as a guest, yes, to definitely help build a working connection between my full-time job and this non-profit, but I was also there as an individual that has strong passions and commitment to my fellow countrymen and society. This individual Sara, was a representative of S2 Stationery and Design just as well. And I’m glad I was there as an individual because after listening to Tony Roberts and Barbara Feldon read a chapter from their favorite children’s books aloud, I walked out and bid on a silent auction item and won!
The items on the auction included several selections of books donated by Random House Books, including the President Obama’s book, “Of Thee I Sing.” I would have bid on that, except that I was more compelled by this print titled “Dollhouse” by Katy Brash, a wonderful artist located in Bermuda. I’ve contacted Ms. Brash and it turns out that she reconnected with an old school mate who got her involved in donating the print to the gala. Her words to me were, “I love reading to kids.” That same statement rings so true to me, too.
And that’s when I realized that my auction win was really a donation to a great organization that has reached out to me via my full-time gig, but will truly be enhanced by my part-time (and soon to be full-time)stationery business. This may not be a one-to-one business like the wonderful TOMS company, but it will be something where I give back to them. Where I design a line of cards that helps raise money to be donated to Everybody Wins! And by that I will be helping an organization that means a lot to me and offer the future a chance at something that they deserve.
Which all ties in so nicely with what I love…reading and writing. After all, it takes a certain literate individual to pursue a stationery dream. I want the generations that follow to know that same sense of literacy, sociableness and dream as well.