The Smooch! Project Gratitude Gathering: December 3, 2011. What an amazing evening it was. An opportunity for me to offer a simple meal to a very select and special group of people — the Smooch! Project Heroes, the 200+ volunteers who have given me so much over the past 5+ years. A small token of my appreciation for their many, many gifts to me.
Heroes have managed Smooch! shoots, helped with office tasks, provided valuable advice in their areas of expertise and more. Heroes step up to a task as needed and return to the sidelines once their job is done. More often than not, Heroes volunteer a single time, content to step back and watch the project grow from that point forward. I’m happy to say there are now literally hundreds of Smooch! Project Heroes in the world.
From within the ranks of Heroes rise an elite group of people I affectionately call The Smooch! Project Dream Team. Dreamers are Heroes — but more so. They are dedicated ongoing volunteers who share the dream of collecting 10,000 photographs from around the world. Dreamers form the inner circle of support for the project and are consulted for advice, expertise and more. They are The Smooch! Project “worker bees.” Dreamers both shape and create the future of The Smooch! Project. Throughout the year, I call on them for help. A lot. And they step up to assist. A lot.
Without the Heroes — and most especially the Dreamers — the forward momentum of The Smooch! Project would slow to a crawl. How blessed I am to have these generous, smooch-committed people in my life. And how awesome it was to treat them and their loved ones to an evening filled with good food, beautiful projected photographs, and an opportunity to meet others who also love the Smooch!
It began snowing that afternoon and never stopped the entire evening. Driving was treacherous but 43 people made it to the event. I was greatly touched by the commitment of my guests. We enjoyed hot soup, salads and breadsticks galore. Stories and laughter too. There was cake and candles and a rousing rendition of song to celebrate the recent birthdays of three Heroes in attendance that evening. We checked out the new website on a row of waiting laptops. We had fun. It felt like family. I think we were that evening. I was very pleased. Kudos to everyone for making this such a special event. Smooches too.
ARE YOU A DREAMER? THE SMOOCH! PROJECT DREAM TEAM 2012
Each December, I reach out to the current Dreamers and invite them to commit to another year of working with me on the Smooch! In January, I put out a call for new Dreamers to step up. Are you a Dreamer-in-waiting? If so, I’d love to hear from you! Please send me an email to start the discussion. I look forward to hearing from all of you interested in the possibility.
(My Smooch! shoot) was exactly what I wanted for my birthday: warmth, merriment, connection. (Yes, you can quote me on that!)