Another calendar year has passed. It was a year that saw year 2 of our project come to an end and year 3 begin. Over the 52 week period we worked with 45 new nonprofit organizations and causes. Each and every week the experiences were new, eye-opening, heart-warming, and life-changing. We met unbelievable people who are committed to our community and the organizations that make a difference in the lives of others. There are so many men and women in our communities that do much more than we do. They deserve our admiration, our praise, and our ongoing support. They truly are an inspiration to our family. We also heard the heartbreaking stories and witnessed the hurt, the pain, and the need of our neighbors. Stories of addiction, job loss, hunger, poverty, and sexual abuse (to name a few) grabbed our attention and inspired us to do more. I was asked this week about the year’s most memorable moment, our favorite volunteer experience, and the biggest lesson learned. As I look back on this calendar year, I cannot answer those questions. There are too many awesome moments and experiences to pick just one. I cherish each opportunity that we had to serve and the lessons that we learned along the way.
2013 was also the year that our first book LINNIE MAE’S NEW FRIENDS was published. We are very excited about getting this book in the hands of young people. We hope that the underlying message about not judging people can be learned by children and adults alike. The feedback so far has been very positive (hopefully people are honest). If you are interested in buying a copy of the book, you can visit the books page of our blog.
As I reflect on the past 12 months, I continue to be amazed at the support we get from people like you. Our readership continues to grow and our traffic to the blog is at an all-time high. According to our blog statistics we touched 85 different countries during 2013. 25 of those countries were new from the previous year so we are estimating that our blog has been read by over 130 countries since its inception in 2011. Opportunities continue to present themselves to travel and speak about our story and challenge those in attendance to stop making excuses and take action in their communities. In the end, that is our mission. This project is not about what our family does week after week. We believe that this project is about what we can get YOU and others to do. We want to show people how easy it is to volunteer, serve, give, and simply care for others. Based on the feedback that we have received, we are accomplishing this goal. It is always great to get that Tweet, Facebook message, or email that says someone has been inspired and they are doing something as a result. Our goal from day one was to get one person each week to look themselves in the mirror and challenge who they are, how they live, and what they do. That goal remains in place today as we move into 2014 and finish out year 3.
Thank you for your continued support. It really does mean a lot to our family that you have taken an interest in who we are and what we do. The kind words and the encouragement have lifted us up through challenging times. 2013 was a challenge for our family. We have not openly shared our personal struggles through this blog and we won’t. Please know that your support of Impact 52 has positively impacted our family in a big way. We hope that you will continue down this winding road with us as we venture into the new year. We have many new ideas and things that we want to do. I have no idea where this project will go as we move forward. I do know however that it will continue to move forward and we will continue to do our part to make our community, our city, our state, our country, and our world a better place.
Here’s to 2014. A year where we all commit to doing just a little bit more. I challenge you to be more than just a human being. I challenge you to be a human doing. I know you have it in you.
Blessings to you and your family for the new year!