Holy crap, last week was an emotional roller coaster ride for me.
As you know, (one of the things) that keeps me up at night is our situation at the border. In an effort to take action and help in any way I can, I decided to do a drive to collect in-kind donations for the Kino Border Initiative. I felt super excited about this! So I carefully crafted an email and sent it out to all my friends in SF last Saturday! Annnnnnnnd...CRICKETS! (Well--for the most part--one friend responded!)
I waited and still nothing. It is that strange feeling of putting yourself out there--I wasn't just voicing an opinion or even sharing something personal--I ASKED for something. That felt really raw and vulnerable. And the fact that nobody (except one) responded felt like personal rejection. I mean...really...I was spiraling downwards into a pool of self-pity. It was super fun to be around me!
Last Sunday I asked you guys to write me back and tell me how you're dealing with the overwhelm. I LOVED HEARING FROM YOU ALL! BTW--I'm still working my way through the responses but I promise I'll get back to all of you!
One email really blew me away. Check it out:
Randi Berry, Executive Director and Vice President of the The Indie Theater Fund, responded to my email with the following:
"I wanted to let you know about something I've been doing to try and make a difference. Something you can do too if you have the bandwidth. A few of us (it's now organically turned into hundreds of us, but it started with just a handful of us ) collected a bunch of supplies to donate to kids that were shipped here and are being housed in Harlem. We had such an overwhelming response we didn't want to stop. So we got in contact with an immigration attorney we heard on TV who was talking about a client, Yeni Gonzalez, who was separated from her three kids who are in NYC and she was being detained in AZ. we started a go Fund me for her. We posted her bail, got her out, did a drive share relay from AZ (since she can't fly without the right ID) and she arrives in NYC tomorrow night. We have a free place for her to stay, money for food, clothes and metro and will have a coordinated effort to accompany her to her appointments and meet ups with her three children, who she will now be able to see daily until they are released to her. Connected her to a Spanish speaking therapist etc."
We are working on a blueprint for what we did so it can be easily replicated over and over to get these children their freaking parents. So many people have reached out to help. So many pissed moms. Don't fuck with a pissed mom."
And then, when I texted her and asked if I could share her story here she responded with:
"You definitely can mention whatever you want. We've bailed three moms out so far. Fourth one is being fundraised for now. Check out the Now Politics video on my page. That's our group and two of my friends who are in NYC (I'm in Florida so couldn't be there) who have been doing a lot of the organizing right now. I've just arranged a team of Spanish speakers in Miami to help receive mom number 2 who's kids are here in foster care. Crazy time."
SO INCREDIBLY INSPIRING.
Randi--THANK YOU to you, your friends, and all the amazing humans who are SHOWING UP POWERFULLY and TAKING ACTION. I'm so inspired. I'm in awe.
Inspired by Randi, (and after some pep talks from friends) I decided not to give up on raising in-kind donations so I posted my request on Nextdoor.com. And guess what? PEOPLE ARE SHOWING UP! I've currently got bags and boxes of toiletry kits and men's and women's underwear (the things that are most in need currently) in my house! I'm going to send them out by the end of the month. I'm getting so much that I'm slightly concerned about the cost of shipping! And that's an awesome problem! AND--many of my friends did end up responding to that original email so really I just needed to be patient (not my best trait).
Maybe it's a small thing to do--sending supplies so that people can take a hot shower and shampoo their hair--but it does feel good to help. It feels a heck of a lot better than sitting around.
A woman came by today to drop off the toiletry kits she had meticulously put together and as we were talking about everything that is going on that is overwhelming us and keeping us up at night, we agreed that doing something--even the smallest thing--helps.
After all...small things add up.
I hope this is inspiring for you. There are so many good people out there doing good things. Please remember that the news is intentionally designed to give you an adrenaline rush and it aims to scare the crap out of you. There's lots of beauty out there that simply isn't being reported on.
I feel very warm and fuzzy about all the people on my newsletter list. I've coached so many of you and emailed with many more of you and I know how extraordinary you are. It's pretty awesome. Thank you. You definitely make the world a better place.