Keep Hope Alive

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 

- Margaret Mead

We have entered into spring- it's been a slow arrival, but here we are.

With spring, come Keep Hope Alive events, which are evenings organized by Simply Smiles that raise funding for the year's programs in Oaxaca, Mexico and LaPlant, South Dakota.

Last weekend, on the first day of spring something remarkable happened.

I'm not referring to the 5 inches of snow that fell (which, by the way, took me down hard - I still have a bruise on my hip!), I am referring to a small group of people that came together to change the world.

Because of the snow and the bad roads, we were all nervous - would anyone even come to the event? If I had a choice between curling up on the couch under a blanket and going out in the cold - I would have probably chosen the blankie...

Attendance was low, about 2/3 of the RSVPs didn't come.

But we did the event anyway, because the other 1/3 did come. And because we were there, and because we thought - these folks came out in the middle of a snowstorm - we decided to make the best event we could despite circumstances we couldn't control.

And it worked!

People were so happy to be there, the energy and positivity in the room were absolutely amazing. I feel like we were generating our own heat.

As the night started, people raised their hands to donate money, as the night continued, people continued to raise their hands, and about halfway through the night...

An anonymous donor gave $40,000.

The audience went wild. People continued to give. We were all tearing up. It was emotional and powerful and inspiring.

At the end of the night, Simply Smiles had raised $114,760 thanks to generous pledges, and we knew in our heart of hearts that a small group of committed people had come together to make the world a better place.

I take back what I said earlier. There's no place I would have rather been than in that room. I wouldn't have missed that night for the world.