Wow. What an amazing December. And a Bit busy. I do not like using the word stressful, as it is over used, and giving back should be a privilege, not a stress. All in All, 89 kids received a Christmas this year on Katie Hill. 100s of you all made that happen. I just consider myself the "broker" or the common denominator between 2 worlds.
Ray Zate and Stephanie Langston, two of my greatest friends got a lot of this on video for me, and once I get it back, I will post and be sure to get your tissues! I am so thankful for their amazing videography skills and the ability to have capture the true essence and beauty of simply giving. And of course THANK YOU to everyone that contributed. It is so special to make a difference in the community in which I live.
With that being said, I attending Crosspoint tonight and Pastor Pete talked about a few things he would like to work on as an individual and encouraged us all to think about things we would like to do starting in 2015. He talked about More Attempts and Less Excuses. I truly believe most people to give back and help those who are in need. It is in our nature as humans to do such. Some of us are just go-getters and we will do it, others question themselves or are scared they don't have the audience to help others. Pastor Pete said, for those those you who are unsure of question yourself, do the following:
1. Don't Wait for an audience
2. Don't wait to be asked.
Difference Makers do not ask for permission. We just do. And most of us end up apologizing for being to tenacious.
So in 2015, here are a few things that I intend to focus on:
- I am learning that I have to stop apologizing for being "too passionate" or fighting for what I believe in and even what I don't believe in.
- I am learning that I am not normal. And will not apologize for it. I am me. I will also speak when something bothers me, even if is not politically correct or could offend someone else.
- I am learning that I haven't always had an audience, but it is growing. And a responsibility comes along with that.
- I am accepting the challenge to change the mindset of those around me. I am simply one woman. But I have a platform. It is not to change the world or even change my community. It is to simply transform the mindset of those around me, and with that transformation, comes growth and a shift in whats around me.
- I will not be afraid to speak about the political corruption that floats around me. The ones who simply turn a blind eye and say "Lindsey, this is the way it has always been done" can step out of my path. Because I clearly am not going down the same path as they are, and I am probably just going to piss them off.
- I don't do anything I don't want to do, and I am clearly bothered by organized "giving back". I attended a function recently to celebrate and raise money for a non profit here in Nashville that provides food etc., to the homeless. I was so grateful to be invited and accepted the invitation to learn about this organization. As I arrived, I noticed all of the very nicely dress upper class people/celebrities and I thought oh lord, I am not going to fit in here because everyone looks exactly the same. The presentation was thoughtfully orchestrated down to the 5 course meal and the servers tending to our every need. I then noticed as I walked to the bathroom, there was a table in the very back of the gymnasium (turned party room) with about 10 children and their parents (not dressed nice and you could tell they were completely uncomfortable) . During the middle of the ceremony, the children walked from the very back of the gym to the front to sing with the lady who started this non profit on stage, which I thought was super sweet and heart warming. After the children were done singing they walked off the stage and back to the last table in the room. I had heard that each table cost around $1k to purchase. I then immediately got angry. Why are these children and their families in the VERY back of the room and I am sitting at one of the front tables? They should be front and center because all of this is for them! It's not about the organization or the woman, its about the PEOPLE? RIGHT? I then began eating my $1000 plate of food and noticed that there were 5 empty seats at the table. Yet they still had the 5 course meal just sitting there getting cold. After I finished, I noticed all the food was still sitting there, and would soon be taken away and thrown in a trash can. I asked the server for boxes to take the food downtown to some of the homeless, but they didn't have any boxes. I left the event so angry and more so heartbroken. How could your foundation or non profit raise all this money, put on an event with celebrities etc., to feed the homeless, and all of this fancy pants food is wasted? Blows my mind. I then went online to find the financials of this non profit, but since it is a "church" it is not required to release the financials. Go figure. Not shocked at all.
Which leads me to what I all want you to know. YOU do not have to start a huge non profit, or even an organization to make a difference. I raised quite a bit of money for our kids at Christmas and I was so crazy about it, I cashed the checks and put the money in an envelope to spend because I wouldn't dare want to accidentally spend any of that money on anything but the families on the hill. But I encouraged everyone to actually shop for the kids vs. giving me money to do it. Because there is a lesson when you actually put thought and time into giving back. It's a great lesson for children to learn as well. I have a full time job to pay my bills. This is all strictly volunteer. Anytime anyone gives to Katie Hill 100% of it goes back to the people. I saw online somewhere that major non profit CEOs make up to $500k a year. That blows my mind. Non profits do so many wonderful things for communities and people, but i would ask you to do some research on who you give money to and how much of it actually goes back to the cause. Everyone plays a different role in improving the lives of others. Some have a ton of money, and can donate. I love those people because I couldn't help others without money. Others put their heart and soul into helping others hands on. Whatever your role is, I respect you for what you do. Seriously do. But you don't have to have money, an audience, or anything to make a difference. The audience will come if they know where your heart is and you are doing the right thing for people. I've decided I am not going to attend any more of those silly cocktail parties to raise money for an event or cause. The party itself most likely cost more than what will be raised. If I want to go drink wine and socialize, I will go drink wine and socialize. I don't need to drink wine and socialize and give back at the same time. I'd much rather volunteer my time and energy into the cause, and drink wine on my own time. That's just me. I love when some of my athlete friends or people who have a lot of money tell me what they do to help their communities. It's really quite laughable and a total PR scheme ( except Delanie Walker! He is the real deal and I love him for that! ) . I usually just shake my head. I even experienced politicians ( or 'want to be' politicians who will be running for an office )coming to a few of my events to strictly get their pictures made, and then leave. It made my head spin, but i still smile. Karma shall deal with all that mess.
My mission in life is to stay positive and help the ones who need help. I want to change the mindset of how to help, no matter what your cause is. My life is Katie Hill and I don't expect everyone else to live for Katie Hill, but i do want to encourage you to be that "power of one" no matter what your mission is - the ice bucket challenge is a great example of that in 2014. Y'all know what ALS is now right? haha. I am not a non profit, I am not superwoman, I am just a lil lady who wants to help. And if I can encourage others to do that, I am in love with that idea and will continue working. If that calls me to run for a political office at some point, I am not opposed to that, but it will most likely be the most real, unscripted, brutally honest campaign ya'll have ever seen, or I'm not doing it all. I am happy impacting lives the way I am right this moment. I will always speak my mind and not have to worry about offending someone, because I know my mind is always focused on people and making lives better, and unfortunately most political matters aren't focused on the basic needs and rights as humans, but focused on money. Shocker.
But I love you all and I am so excited for 2015 and to watch what happens in the lives of others around me. Life is so beautiful. So....
1. Carry blankets in your car and give them to the homeless
2. Always get your leftovers to go, someone would love your half eaten steak, trust me.
3. Please, whatever you do, don't litter and pick up trash wherever you are. Its the cool thing to do these days. Who knows, your trash could actually turn into a great piece of upcycled art :-)
Happy 2015 -
Love Lynclair xoxo