I love the internet. There. I said it. I love how I can look up any information and with the tiniest bit of effort, there it is – the answer. And recently, I’ve really become enamored by social media. Although I understand that some find it a supreme waste of time, I see it changing the world. I have met people through social media that I NEVER would have met in any other way.
I am selective. And I gravitate toward and follow people who help me grow, help me stretch, help me reach my goals, help me leave my legacy. Recently, and to be honest I don’t remember exactly how, I met a fellow by the name of A.J. Leon and his wife Melissa. Well, as with any cyber-experience, I didn’t actually ‘meet’ him. Someone I follow referred me to him via a link. I was attracted to his story about how he came to publish his book ‘The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit’. Cool title, right?
This month and next, via my website and 6 of my local art shows throughout Atlanta, I’ll be showing and selling my artwork. That’s nothing new. It’s how I connect my work with the world. What is new is what I’ll be donating 50% of the proceeds. I’m going to build a windmill and help change the lives of an entire village. My typing slows and tears form in my eyes. I hesitate and contemplate the words. You see I’ve always believed one person really could make a difference. It’s the premise of my ‘One Small Voice’ series of paintings. Never think that just because you can only do a little, you shouldn’t try. Because if we each did what we could, our efforts, our voices would band together to form a chorus for change.
And so, I’m going to build a windmill… in Africa. Together with A.J. and Melissa, and thirty other people who commit to raising at least $500, we’re going to raise enough money in the month of June to build a windmill that will change the lives of everyone in the village of Gambella, Kenya. They will be able to irrigate their crops, which will provide healthy food for the village and a surplus to sell at market. They’ll no longer have to travel or struggle for water – a commodity that you and I only have to turn the faucet to have unlimited access to day and night. They will finally be self-sufficient and no longer need aid.
The joy of this venture is that it literally impacts many lives in a wholesome way, that people I don’t know can virtually band together and get something done; that our collective energy, effort, money and love will positively affect sustainable change; that I can commit to living ever-so-slightly below my means and make a difference. I’ve given money before, but this time it feels different. I feel empowered banding with other like-minded people. I am delighted that A.J. and his wife Melissa crossed my path. Check out my Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter to find out more or if you feel lead to be part of an experiment in social media and measurable philanthropy powered by bonafide misfits:
So while some people think social media is a waste of time, I’m busy meeting awesome people. I’m learning, growing and changing the world. And today I’m happy… because I’m going to build a windmill.