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.