INNOCENCE: Lack of guile or corruption; purity

I’m so excited…eager and nervous also…about today’s volunteer venture.  A while ago I was invited to help fundraise for a non profit called Jump Start Ministries and Love is in the Bag.  Jump Start is run by a husband and wife team who run a church for poverty level families and Joanne…the wife…dotes and loves on the children in that community. This is a woman who recognizes their INNOCENCE and the opportunity to invest in their lives…in order to prevent them from becoming statistics and to show them how to break out of the poverty cycle.

Love is in the Bag is run by a bad a** mom of two. Bags are placed in businesses and people can shop for items that are needed (lists are put inside the bags) and return these Love Bags to whichever business is helping out that month. Shoes..toiletries..shirts…toys…blankets and snacks are most commonly asked for by kids.  For this particular fundraiser the idea was to help raise money to purchase shoes for the kids that attend Joanne’s church. It’s a sad fact that a lot of these kids have one pair of shoes and they are used for school and church and then passed on to younger siblings. One youth was known to walk on the heel of the shoe because he had outgrown his sneakers and his toes were curling under. (I look at my multiple pairs of Vans and there’s a moment of shame…do I deserve to have 4 pairs of Vans…should I feel guilty?)

I didn’t give away my Vans…but I did decide to bust my butt to raise funds by selling Live a Great Story t-shirts. (HUGE thanks to Zach..the founder..for allowing me to do this). $400 + was raised for the kids and I was lucky enough to watch them receive their bundles and shirts. I admit…there were a few kids that I wanted to get plane tickets for and bring home…they were THAT cute.

Today I’m invited to follow up with these kids and see their homes and look at their faces as they tell us about their week. Today…I get to deliver Hot Cheetos and a prayer…if it’s requested.

I’m going to drag my jeans out of my suitcase and try and figure out which shirt will mask orange Cheetos dust. Maybe I should bring my big bag in case one of the kids is down to fly home with me and be my cute new friend.

(If you’d like to show love for Live A Great Story and purchase some gear…go here… – you can use coupon code “Popandlock” for 10% off. )

TRUTH: A fact or belief that is accepted as true

I’m a brand ambassador for a movement called Live A Great Story…which I’ll shorten to LIVE for the remainder of….well…forever. A fellow ambassador named Lou Redmond sent a book to a group of us who serve as leaders in this community. “Find Your Truth” is an autobiography and an opportunity to walk alongside Lou as he grows from a partying, raving, booze-binging frat boy…to an inspiring leader. From the intro…I’ve found myself asking myself what my truth is.

Two pages in Lou declares that “YOU WERE MEANT FOR GREATNESS” and I proudly puffed up my chest at that….on a plane…next to a stranger….who plugged in his headphones and ignored me after that.  I DIGRESS….

Greatness. Am I really destined for it and am I entitled to it? What is the key to unlocking this greatness that my fellow leader assures me is there? Fortunately, he gave the answer right away…my truth and then the ability to share it with the world.

The idea of living for a purpose bigger than me coincides with that SACRIFICE I talked about. I’ve declared my truth in the past year…..serve humans..specifically houseless and foster youth…and encourage everyone to love and engage with their fellow man. I aspire to inspire others to make this second nature.

Lou encourages the choice to inspire and the choice to find and live out our truth. What’s your truth? That’s the hardest part…defining that…the encouragement can be found to proceed and move forward once that part has been determined. Can’t find the encouragement from your circle? Get a new circle and then message me…I’ll encourage you. Can’t determine your truth? I’m happy to dialogue. Also….get this book by Lou Redmond.