On this day, 10 years ago, I opened a Facebook group which I named 40 Days…over 40 smiles:-) The plan was to collect items and raise money for underprivileged children, whom I hadn’t yet identified by then.
Since then a lot has happened, a decade worth of beautiful bonds, incredible joy, inexplicable hurt, dreams coming true, growing pains, laughter, tears and countless memories.
I remember this day because it is where it all started, the beginning of a journey that has blessed me and completely changed my life and the lives of so many. I feel many things, mostly gratitude beyond words, for all of it, for all of you.
To the first believers, my family and friends who were simply in “We go, we go!” mode. They anticipated needs, responded to any call for help and allowed me to envision so much more.
The volunteers who have dedicated their time, skills and resources at any point in the journey, whether it was 3 months or 6 years. You made and continue to make sacrifices so that others may have a better chance. Every single thing we have created, built and all that is yet to come, is because of the seeds you sowed and continue to.
The partners who have come on board, knowing full well that we don’t have much to ‘give back’ yet sticking with us to make the give the world a little more light, the best way we know how.
The communities we have worked with, many of whom began with wonder and even suspicion (understandably) yet grew not only to understand but also embrace and elevate our mission.
The supporters and donors who have promoted a campaign, donated, built, shared the word, attended events, involved family, friends and colleagues. Your children are involved in our work too and that blesses us so! You understand our strengths and limitations and continue to give, whenever we call on you (and even before we do)
The journalists who have told our story, the advisors and mentors who share their wisdom, networks and resources, every single one of you who spares a moment to say “good job” or “can you try this?”, the people who invite us to spaces and open doors for us, the list is literally endless.
You have ALL played a part in making 4040 what it is today, in helping me to be a better Leader and human being. I carry so much gratitude in my heart that it brings me to tears.
THANK YOU, so very much for all that you are, have been and will continue to be in the story of 4040.