Sunday, March 14, 2010

We CAN Make A Difference

Tonight at the Porter Novelli "Entrepreneur's Lounge" party (at SXSW) I was in a conversation about raising money for good causes via blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Annie Boccio (@banannie on Twitter) mentioned that she had raised nearly $300 toward a $500 wheel chair for her nephew Matt.

Matt is an 18-year-old fire fighter. He got a virus that left him paralyzed. He will recover, but he has some work ahead going through rehab before he will walk again. His family has insurance, but not enough to cover all the costs of Matt's recovery.

I looked around. Millions of dollars are being spent at South by Southwest. Tons of parties are happening all over town tonight where open bars and catered food are being devoured by fun loving people from the Tech, Music and Film industries.

Surely we could come up with $200 more to buy this kid in New Jersey a wheel chair. I tossed $20 to Annie. Ian Sanders (a consultant, author and speaker from London) added more. Then Scott Francis and Cindy Lo added more (Scott is the co-founder of BP3 and Cindy is Austin's Premier Meeting Planner - Red Velvet Events!). Angie and Bryan Menell (Bryan works for Dachis Group and together they run the Austin Tech Happy Hour) joined those giving a gift to help the cause. Kevin Koym too (Kevin is one of the founders of Tech Ranch). And a few people I did not know. Finally, JT and Jeanne Keating (JT and Jeanne are wounderful people, and JT works for CoreTrace) took us over the top!

(If I forgot anyone I apologize, it all went so fast)

In about thirty minutes we had over $200. Add that to the money that Annie has already raised on her blog, and now they have a wheel chair. While those who were at the party could not bring about world peace or discover a cure for cancer.... they could make an impact on the life of one person. I do not know Matt. We will most likely never meet.... but he will recover and go forth and make a difference for someone else, I know that in my heart.

Never forget that the little things add up!

Thank you to everyone at the SXSW party at Fogo de Chao tonight who chipped in and solved a problem. While it seemed like a small issue (to raise $200), I know it is a BIG deal to Matt and his family!

Have A Great Day!



Annie Boccio said...

Thom, I can't express how grateful I am to you and all those other complete strangers who literally reached into their pockets and helped buy Matt the chair he needs. I came to SXSW with expectations, but this certainly wasn't one of them!

I spoke to my sister and they plan to bring Matt home from the hospital today, after over 2 months. She's thrilled and grateful (if a little confused) for everyone's generosity.

Rufus said...

Wow. While most people are busy chasing the big things that almost always elude their gasp, they forget about all the little things they could have done over a lifetime that add up to a big deal.

Thank you for sharing.

ColorJoy LynnH said...

Good people are everywhere. Somehow the good stuff does not usually make the evening news.

Life is about noticing the good little things, if you ask me. Wait for big deals and you wait too long. Notice little things, and they add up to big/good.

I tweeted this column. Thanks for taking the time to tell the story.

Tracy Lee said...

What an amazing story! But really not surprising. People inherently are good and want to help each other out. I am sure Matt and his family will never forget the kindness offered up by strangers. This is really an inspiration to all.