On Saturday night, Andrew and I were so honored and excited to attend the third annual Classy Awards in down town San Diego representing Reece’s Rainbow who was nominated for an award. The Classy awards are the country’s largest awards ceremony for philanthropic organizations.
Andrea Roberts, the director of Reece’s Rainbow, and I have exchanged many emails over the past three years, but I was still very honored for her to ask me to go. I told her that I would love to give a speech because being a teacher means I am used to speaking in front of a crowd.
Reece’s Rainbow was nominated for best use of social media by a non-profit or charity, and Reece’s Rainbow functions almost exclusively through social media: blogs, facebook, twitter, emails and websites. I think many, many children have found their way out of institutions and into families because of family blogs. Blogs showing with pictures and telling with words the story of a neglected child, and how over the course of even just a few weeks and months what a family and love can do: absolutely transform a child into a happy and healthy, loving child. (Click her to see the blog list and see these children blossom and transform in front of your eyes: http://reecesrainbow.org/category/sponsorafamily/alreadyhome it’s amazing, truly)
It was one of the most inspiring nights of our lives. There is no place I would rather be than in a room filled with the most forward thinking visionaries in the world who have come together and formed organizations to make this world, literally, a better place with each passing day. (Aaaaand, I was going to say that in my speech…)
We got to meet Heenal from www.hugitforward.com.
We met people who build schools in Guatemala by filling plastic bottles with trash and using them as walls, people who are stamping out child soldiers, people who give free psychotherapy to soldiers, people who create task forces to rebuild cities, students who danced for 30 hours to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, and students who box up seeds to mail to people who then grow plants, and donate the food to the hungry. And this was just in the meet and greet.
We met up with an amazing family who adopted a little girl from the Ukraine 9 months prior, see them here: http://www.themissingswerd.blogspot.com/ Andrew LOVES the picture of her with the goat! We were the Reece’s Rainbow team.
When it was time for our nomination category, my stomach filled with butterflies. I quickly yanked my folded up speech out of my bag and stared blankly at the words in the dimly lit awards ceremony room, the podium staring me down. The words I had thought were in my brain, but now just looked blurry before my eyes. “And the winner for best use of social media goes to….” Me, looking up, ready to just go for it and see what comes out of my mouth…
“I’m Too Young For This!!!
Come on up and receive you’re award,” followed by cheerful applause, and me fighting between disappointed and happy for this group. I was sad for the Reece’s Rainbow kids. The kids who are right now living another day as just a kid–no family. Another day literally without love. I usually can’t even let my mind go there. But I was happy for “I’m too young for this,” they really do amazing work.
Here is the Reece’s Rainbow Blog post about the night: http://reecesrainbow.blogspot.com/ Here you will find the speech Andrea wrote and gives the true and short essence and history of Reece’s Rainbow.
There are so many groups of people trying their darnedest to help people across this country and the world. A big thing is finances. Please, google around and find a group that you connect with, something that you can get behind and then do just that. Honestly donating $5 makes their day, and helps that group help others. And I promise you’ll feel good, but more importantly, you’ll do good.
We didn’t win. We didn’t give no stinkin’ speech. But next year, next year we have our eyes set on Charity of the Year! I think we can do it. I stayed home from church Sunday morning and wrote everything I learned. I was so inspired by some of the most effect charities (Invisible Children, Charity Water, and Kiva) and what they do to get the word out about their cause, and to raise funds. They are powerful and effective. What I noticed was their connection to the youth, and a short yet powerful video clearly spelling out the problem and need. We’ll see what God has for RR as the year closes and a new approaches.