What was it that caught her eye that day? After a long day at work as she was walking through the store grabbing food to make a quick dinner for her own family. “BEST BROWNIES IN THE UNIVERSE!” This seemed like an obvious reason to pay attention. The packaging was a bright and cheerful pink. It screamed “Look at me!” She read the letter with the sweetest words from Mollie’s daughter, Melanie. The words outlined the reason for the creation of the brownie and the reason we should all buy them. Her Mom had been very sick and as the only parent at home, making it hard for her to stay afloat. She eloquently wrote “together we can make the world a sweeter place…one brownie at a time!!!” This is how we came to make the connection. We asked if she could make her brownies as the favor for our upcoming event just weeks away and for over 500 people. She met the challenge and was grateful.
“That was not enough” said Mike, “We need to help this family!”
The wheels started to turn, and we made the decision that we would invite Miss Mollie and her precious family to our annual event. That was still not enough. Melanie, who wrote the letter that had touched us in the store that day read it in front of all 500 guests at the event. She is a shy young lady. Her mom stood rubbing her back, brother there strongly beside her and a friend I would come to learn later had cared for Mollie through the unpleasant moments that a mastectomy and illness causes a woman’s body to go through.
We watched Melanie, feeling her energy sharing the truths of the words once written. They poured out of her and into our collective hearts. That in itself was the kind of moment that you don't realize has you holding your breath thinking of your loved ones, your own struggles, maybe your own fears…then a second later everything comes back into focus and you’re in the room again watching this young girl tell her family’s story and you did not realize, no one realized the magnitude of what was to happen next…
Everyone attending watched the live auction items be presented. As the fun of bidding and countering each other were over a surprise announcement echoes through the microphone…”There will be one more auction!”... Miss Mollie and her family were asked to leave the room. Five minutes was put up on the clocks shown on large screens throughout the venue and everyone is invited to help this family! Unbeknownst to them the last item was to see how much money can be raised to help this family in five minutes. The clock starts and there is an uproar in the room, everyone chimed in, even a 10-year-old joining her grandmother shared her stash. Volunteers quickly went to each table with people over-joyed to show their support. The room was bustling with electricity and the generosity shown was one of the most powerful things I had ever witnessed…UNTIL the five minutes closed on the clock and her family reentered the room. The song “O Happy Day” played as the volunteers brought up their collection amounts. They quickly added up the estimated amount and wrote it on an oversized check. Without sharing this private information I would say for certain the amount written was never seen on one check for the majority of people in attendance. We unveiled the check for the family. This is the moment that I can say with most certainty will be etched on my heart forever!!! Miss Mollie fell to the ground and her loved ones stood in total shock. People cheered and cried and hugged one another as they witnessed first-hand how they helped change a life in five minutes. These moments are rare! But this is what the PROMISE of HOPE Foundation is committed to providing. After meeting Miss Mollie and coming to learn more about her I was left with so much to think about. One of the most important things though is that people aren’t usually aware that when you look at a person, any person, to remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them.
It is very easy for people to ignore what they don’t want to see. Very easy to assume things about others by whatever criteria you have set in your own mind.
What if…we took the time to ask someone “Are you ok?”, “Can I help you?” or just open a door for them. What a difference it could make to simply meet them with a smile or buy a brownie!…What might you see?...Learn?...Feel? or CONNECT with?
Here is an opportunity for you to explore those questions, perhaps make a friend, or be of service to someone…to remind you of your power…and your importance!