Have you ever felt moved to do something for someone else even though it wasn’t your place or responsibility?
Over a year ago I read an article on my Facebook news feed about a woman I know and her son. The article was about his health problems and her brave and determined journey as his foster mother.
I did not know until that very moment that she chose him.
What I mean by that is, she did not give birth to this child who has special needs – she chose him and chose to dedicate her life to him.
I read this story and was completely blown away by her selflessness. These days we hear about so much bad that the idea that someone would CHOOSE to do this was absolutely amazing. Her story touched me and inspired me to do more for others from that moment on.
Not long after, she posted a picture of a mini van and made a comment about how she didn’t know how she was going to make it happen but this was the van she really wanted as hers was falling apart.
In a split second on that Sunday morning, I knew what I needed to do to repay her for sharing her story and inspiring myself and countless others. At that moment, I decided I was going to DO SOMETHING.
I was going to help her get that van and, without asking anyone for permission (including her) I wrote a blog about it and called it the Ultimate Kindness Project.
Within 48 hours, you helped me raise $5,000 to help this family!
Then, due to several factors, donations began to slow. We entered a cooling period, but we didn’t give up.
We kept at it and recently we held a workshop where we raised close to another $5,000 from people like you who wanted to learn about Social Media. We also had tons of help from Pierrette Raymond. Thank you for all your help Pierrette, and for being a wonderful part of the UKP team!
Now, just over a year later, this story has finally reached its happy ending.
Yesterday, I met her at the dealership with a bank draft for $14,775. More donations came in from local organizations too, and in total there was almost $22,000 to put towards this van!
What’s really odd is that when I went to the bank today, I didn’t feel excited. I felt like I hadn’t done enough. I felt like I didn’t really deserve credit because it wasn’t just me – it was so many people who made this happen.
Then I got to Southbank Dodge and I met Kim…
She was bouncing off the walls with excitement!
It was beautiful to see and it felt good to contribute but again, instead of feeling a sense of pride, I felt a sense of obligation – to take picture of the bank draft, to get a letter from Southbank saying I made the donation, because I wanted proof that I took care of your money and gave it to the person it was intended for.
It wasn’t until her mom gently reached over and looked me in the eye and softly said “thank you” that it all sank in…
She made me cry.
It was then that I felt the true weight of the emotion of what was happening. In that moment I realized what had actually happened. This wasn’t just a gift of a vehicle…
A mom and her son now have a van with heat (last winter the heat stopped working in their old one).
They now have a van with air conditioning so they can be cool in the summer.
They now have a van with good brakes so they can be safe and they can go places!
They now have a van that is reliable so when he needs to get to the doctor or has to go to the hospital, she doesn’t have to worry if they’ll make it.
Looking at Kim, I realized that this was so much more than just a van. It was peace of mind for a Mom with the weight of the world on her shoulders.
I made a decision to do something that day to help, but I wasn’t the only one. YOU stepped up to support me on that journey.
I want to say thank you for you help, and for allowing me to experience the gift of changing someone’s life.
And I didn’t want to take a chance on anyone feeling left out. So I took a couple of videos (I know…videos from me, amazing right?!) so that you can get the full effect. Warning, you may cry so have tissues ready!