The Shirt Off Your Back

Tim Holtz at Creative Escape

Tim Holtz at Creative Escape

I recently had the honor and privilege of presenting at a program called Creative Escape. It’s a weekend program put on by the good people at Bazzill Basics and Heidi Swapp, filled with nearly 700 excited, screaming scrapbookers.

It was a wonderful weekend and a fantastic group. I loved being there with Kolette (who also was a presenter) and interacting with these women who love to give so much of themselves.

The night I was to give my talk opened with dinner. I speak at a lot of these kinds of functions and the food is usually good. But here, the people at the Wild Horse Sheraton really outdid themselves. The food was fantastic.

After dinner they were going to do a few giveaways, draw a raffle winner, and then I would be on.  Everyone was excited knowing that money raised was going to the American Cancer Society. Throughout the weekend there had been amazing stories told of surviving cancer.  Then, before the festivities began, an addition was made to the program.

Also presenting that weekend was a man named Tim Holtz. Tim is an incredibly talented designer who comes up with fantastic ideas from things you and I would disregard. He has an eye to see art in the everyday. He is extremely popular in the scrapbooking world, and someone thought that auctioning off this very popular man’s shirt to a group of women might garner some attention.

Tim agreed, and just before I went on they brought Tim up to the stage. The bidding began. Everyone thought it was pretty funny and that it might raise a few hundred dollars.

The bidding started somewhere around a hundred dollars. It quickly grew to two hundred, then five hundred and eventually one thousand dollars. It was amazing-One thousand dollars for a man’s shirt.

But the bidding didn’t stop there. Everyone in the ballroom was amazed as the bidding continued. Up and up the dollar amounts went, and with every hand that one up signifying a new bid, Tim’s jaw dropped a little more.

Then out of the back of the room a woman stood up and called out, “Six thousand dollars!” Six thousand dollars. Everyone was in shock. How could it be that such a little thing could bring such a great result.

First, there was someone willing to give. Tim was literally willing to donate the shirt off his back. Without this kind of generosity the amazing result would have never come to be.

Second, there was a wonderful cause. I believe everyone there in some form or another had a personal connection with cancer. There were a number of cancer survivors there at the event and because of that people were willing to open their checkbooks.

Third, there are people at the event willing to be participators. People willing to get involved and do something. People who had decided they would do more than just spectate, they would participate.

Every time I think about this amazing experience I think of those three pieces that put together an incredible puzzle. I think about how I can better give. I think about those “shirts off my back” that I am reluctant to give because it seems like a sacrifice that won’t bring any real result.

I think about how I can better promote the causes I come across. A cause can be anything from a neighbor’s need for a helping hand to fighting cancer. This experience always reminds me that good causes bring about good results.

Then, I think about getting involved in my life. I think about the opportunities where I can participate and I become less likely to let them pass. I may not have six thousand dollars, but I have time and talent and energy that can make just as great a difference. How grateful I am for the example of that woman who that night decided not to be a spectator.

Next time you think you have nothing to give, remember good causes, remember to participate and remember the shirt off your back.



7 Responses to The Shirt Off Your Back

  1. lisa says:

    Great message Jason!

  2. Melissa Cavanaugh says:

    ha ha I was unpacking this weekend and came across THE sharpie used to sign Tim’s shirt… had a laugh saturday night about it at dinner… that sharpie can’t make it into the general sharpie population… it is special, it was a part of something really big (and so were all of us), what a magical night… thanks for helping us remember to give, even when we think there is nothing left to give 🙂

  3. Lyn Meeker says:

    I still get tears and goosebumps remembering it .. just to be in the room as it was happening was awesome!

  4. guess what Jason I first met her in Mesa at a CK convention. I will tell you what Connie did for me. She purchased that shirt from Tim as her husband is the one who’s job is the Electician for the whole Las Vegas strip. She is very kind and generous. I am so glad I met up with her again at Creative Escape.
    Tomorrow I shall share what she did.
    IT is always my pleasure to come and visit your TRULY INSPIRATIONAL BLOG!

  5. Tracy Madsen says:

    What an incredible story and inspiration not only this woman, Colleen and Tim but you are.. You are definately an inspiration to many many people and I hope that one day I can meet you as well..
    Thanks for sharing your incredible stories.

  6. Karlynn says:

    Since CE Saturday night when you gave your speech I think of “the champion inside” EVERYDAY!! You are such a great inspiration and glad I had the chance to meet you and listen to you. Hugs

  7. Johnb202 says:

    In My Bambino site you can find sso many interesting aspefts daafeadecaag

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