The sprouted seeds that create most non-profits are often powerful and personal stories. Stories that can revive a bored board meeting or fuel a fundraising event. They can be told with pictures, videos, or blog posts.
But sometimes they need to be told face to face.
Last weekend I had the privilege of attending a meet-up in Florida with Patience Salgado, Sanjay Patel, Liz Rosas, Shannon Aronin, Danny Brown, Stacey Monk, Jen Lemen, Vince Hunt, Charles McKeever, Avi Kaplan, Kira Siddall. Without getting into the details, the main point of this meeting was to deepen our connections with each other. We did this by sharing our stories and dreams.
I interviewed Stacey Monk a few months ago, so I was familiar with the Epic Change mission and their success with Tweetsgiving. But I wanted to hear the personal backstory. I wanted to hear the “why.”
So when I had a minute alone with her, I asked: “Why did you start Epic Change?”
What followed was an exchange that helped me renew my own personal dreams and resolutions — my “whys.”
Six and a half years ago, Stacey’s brother died from a drug overdose, devastating his family and leaving behind his 4-year old daughter, Zoe. The morning of his death, Stacey went through photographs in her mind, including one of a double rainbow she snapped while flying over the Rocky Mountains.
Stacey remembered thinking how sad it was that her brother never had a chance to see such beauty. Five years after his death, she reflected: “I think I travel so much now because I want to take him to all those amazing places that he missed. People often ask me why I went to Africa. I think I went to take Josh.”
Stacey realized that life is short, but the value left after one’s death is forever. A couple of year later, Epic Change was born.
I shared with Stacey my story as well, which I’ve shared throughout my blog. And in my heart, I renewed my resolution on behalf of my Mom.
Do you think Epic Change has new meaning for me?
I used to think Epic Change was about making lasting, positive change in the world. But now I know that it’s much more than that. Epic Change is really about the change Stacey made in her life — an individual human revolution as a result of tragedy. It’s about the epic changes I’ve made and will continue to make in my life. It’s about the epic change in your life too.
One more question: Do you think I’m more committed than ever to see Epic Change succeed?
That’s why we need to share our story.John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter or leave a comment.
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