Success is a byproduct of the “power of we”
The first year in the Bring Smiles to Seniors journey was one of the most difficult that I ever encountered. Here I was with a full time job, dealing with my grandmother’s dementia and trying to find more hours in the day that just were not there. We had all the infrastructure, but were at a point where we had no money, no cards and no idea how we were going to keep it all going. I had spent thousands of dollars of my own money setting up the corporation, getting all the materials, Facebook advertising, buying cards and supplies and word still wasn’t getting out. I was at a point where I decided it might be time to throw in the towel and realize that I had bitten off more than I could chew.
I knew we had tapped into a need. I saw it on the faces of seniors when we delivered the initial cards that we had. I also saw it on the faces of the children that initially decorated the cards for us. Slowly people started to respond, but it was not happening fast enough for me and I was beginning to wonder if the stress was outweighing the benefit. It was then that my grandmother’s mantra, “never start a job unless you are going to finish it and never do it unless you do it right” kicked in and started to work it’s magic.
Our mission to bring smiles to seniors started to spread. More advertising, word of mouth, invitations to speak at civic groups, the local news and perseverance eventually paid off. Just when the temptation to quit was at its highest, success begin to happen and it snowballed like wildfire. When we reached the end of the first year we had delivered 7,719 cards in nine months. I initially looked at that number and asked myself if people were going to think that was too small. Then I thought of every one of the seniors behind each of those cards and realized that I was being ridiculous.
The second year we still had to buy some cards, but the network of card angels across the country was starting to grow and by word of mouth our message was spreading. When the cupboards were bare, magically boxes of cards would appear. The card angel list grew to the point that we were able to deliver 18,810 cards the second year. By the third year we didn’t have to buy a single card, were able to deliver to senior communities in all 50 states and delivered 40,515 cards.
Just several weeks ago I sent out our last batch of cards to be decorated and all of the card racks were bare. I literally had no cards left. That day I went to the post office and picked up 13 packages of cards that had come from our card angels across the country. That is the power behind what we do together and the power of we. Every time the bank account gets low and I wonder how we are going to continue to send our packages out to the senior communities, a check arrives from somewhere, a tournament picks us as their charity or an unknown benefactor gives us the ability to send one more, and one more.
This year we have encountered the most amazing people who believe in what we do. We are in April and have delivered 20,000 cards already and delivered to almost all 50 states. If that isn’t the definition of success, then I am not sure what it is. Your creativity, compassion, dedication and love have not only supported a program, it has created a moment where are are literally making the difference in the lives of thousands of seniors all over the country. Being a part of something this special is magical and I thank each and every one of you for going on this journey with us. That my friends is the power of we!
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.
Mornings With Ron is now available as a podcast on anchor.fm/morningswithron, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and most podcast sites.
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