I wrote last week about getting to hear Hillary Clinton speak at the Women in the World Summit. It was amazing, I was so inspired. I cried a little. (You can read the entire deal here.) And then something incredible happened.
I took the train home after a 'blow my mind' morning, lucky enough to arrive at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Essex, CT, and get to work on a summit of my own.
Every year, Simply Smiles (simplysmiles.org) hosts an annual fundraiser called, Keep Hope Alive. (It's named after my song, and yes, I remind Bryan that he 'owes me' all of the time…) Basically, Bryan does something amazing. He gets people in a room, tells them what his plans are for the next year by presenting tangible goals and asks people to support Simply Smiles in their efforts.
And they do. Big time.
This year the money went to four causes:
1- eradicating hook worm in the village of Santa Maria Tepexipana, in Oaxaca, Mexico 2- buying land to build a children's home in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico 3- building four greenhouses in La Plant, South Dakota, on the Cheyenne River Reservation 4- running a suicide prevention program also in La Plant
I get very emotional during the evening because I love our friends in Mexico and South Dakota so much, so I'm not a great help. But I get to socialize with people, help a little by telling the volunteers what to do, make sure the emcee and Bryan have water, etc, really - I'm just there because at the end, I sing, 'Keep Hope Alive'.
It's my chance to sum up the emotion of the night, and condense all the inspiration of the evening into a digestible melody that hopefully will stick with people as they walk out the door. (They're sent home with a CD of the song, just in case they can't remember…)
It's how I can contribute.
My job is to encapsulate the passion, excitement, and emotion of the evening into a two minute and thirty second performance. And I love it.
It's my favorite performance of the year.
And this mini-summit was replicated three times throughout Connecticut last week to raise over $218,000.
So yes, I had to leave the Women in the World Summit early last Friday, but I got to be a part of something that is creating real change in the world for the better.
And isn't that the point?