SOCF Chair Eric Goodline and I returned from riding ourbicycles 1,600 miles from Colorado to Ventura California to meet with Patagonia. I got to shake the hand of a personal hero of mine, Patagonia's founder Yvon Chouinard. They invited us to discuss their incredible Early Childhood Development programs in hopes that we may emulate their amazing work with our Lali Gurans orphanage programs. Additionally, we met incredible people at every turn willing to go above and beyond to support and promote the accomplish. The love for what we were doing was phenomenal. Mission accomplished.
Now my thought is more exposure. Let's keep this up. It's the snowball effect. We've started getting people really into what we are doing and we need to keep it going. The real question is how.
One way is I wanted to make myself more accessible to people as many seem interested but are almost afraid to ask--afraid to take that leap of faith that what we are doing, as strange and outside the box as it might be just might be the key to helping bring widespread change. To this end, our team has created the new "Ask the Founder" website at www.socfusa.org/askthefounder where you can email me questions directly (even anonymously).
Conversely, I have to access more people. Those of you familiar with Denver know that there is an abundance of panhandlers around town. Some of these people are truly amazing souls if you take the time to talk to them. Though most people just assume they are out there for drug or alcohol money. I began to think about their stories and I had an idea, for better or worse, to model a new mission in kind. What if I stood with them on street corners around town, not necessarily for money, but to bring attention to Lali Gurans and SOCF? I might even help the other panhandlers out by drawing attention to their ordeals in turn.
Yesterday, I went down to the Union Station Light Rail, again not to take money, but to reach out to others in hopes they “like” or “share” the Facebook page. It has been challenging. Some people are receptive. Many don’t even give it a chance. Maybe because they are jaded and assume I have a self-serving motivation involved. And I suppose I do. I want to create something good in the world. I don’t want to imagine a world where there is more bad than good around me. There’s just too much on the television to persuade us that the world is out to get us. I am determined to break through and make people believe in better.
The signs I am using for this little initiative say: “Ask me about when I was a millionaire and 3 inches taller” (to get people’s attention), and “I have a job and a home” (so people realize I’m not asking for money), and “Help us finish/spread the word, building an orphanage in Nepal, www.socfusa.org”
Many people read the signs, few approach. Some that I make eye contact with I walk up to them politely and ask if a can give them something. It seems the people most fearful or put off tend to be the ones wearing nicer clothes. In a way it is slightly entertaining to see people’s reactions.
I will keep trying but am working on other marketing projects as well. We really need to have more progress for the project soon. If you have any ideas, please feel free to send them to us at LaliGurans@socfusa.org.
We will succeed. And to anyone reading this, be inspired in life. Take chances. Don’t turned a blind eye. Things aren't always what they seem. If you do possibilities will pass you by. Otherwise, you might just change the world one step at a time.