Wednesday, July 30, 2008

thank you

I’ve started writing this post several times and every time I write a few lines, I scratch out what I have written and start again. I am trying to say thank you, but whatever I write feels small compared to how much I feel inside.

When I started Spirit First I wanted to begin by sharing my vision with friends and family, so I planned the formal announcement of the beginning of the organization to be a dinner party at my own home, which turned into our July 19 celebration. Many of my friends shared what they have to make our gathering a wonderful dinner and a musical gala. I cannot imagine a more beautiful way for the organization to commence than with the shared gifts of friends who embrace its vision.

Our celebration became more than just an announcement, as this event also became our first fundraiser. Spirit First raised several thousand dollars, and I am grateful to so many who gave such loving financial support. Everyone gave what he or she had—sometimes a big check and sometimes five or ten dollars—and all of it added up to a really nice beginning for Spirit First. To those who handed me five or ten dollars and apologized for their gift being so small, I want to say there is no such thing as a small gift when you give what you have. Besides, almost all the gifts were small gifts, but it is quite beautiful how several small gifts add up to something really big.

We often hear the expression “charity begins at home…” and Spirit First begins in just this way with its first funding coming from friends and family giving what they have to honor and support the beginning of this dream. Before we seek funding from outside sources, we begin by receiving from friends and loved ones who support our vision.

Friends not only donated money but offered what they could to contribute to the event, and those gifts are just as big. Miguel volunteered and helped me prepare the yard. Javier and Hector arrived early to help set up and several others helped with cleanup. Brigitte, a new friend I met just this year, brought plants and flowers from her garden to decorate. Glendora, an old friend I hadn’t seen in several years, offered kitchen duty and helped serve. Margarita, Etsegenet, Veronica, Azeb, Jonathan, and Basma cooked and donated incredible food. Madalina and Hector photographed the event. Treasure, Greg, Felicia, Jeremiah, Dan, Sassy, Karen, Joe, and Vicki sang and/or played music for us (all of our musicians and singers donated their time).

Everyone who gave time, gifts, or financial donations is now one of our founding contributors, our founding donors, and you are become part of Spirit First.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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