This is Friday, a Forum for the Human Connection.
Last night I attended a new friend's zoom fundraiser. Kara's nonprofit is 2 years old and she assembled 50 smart and compassionate individuals I had the pleasure to "meet." This was my first introduction to her group, her nonprofit, and really, to her. Kara's plan for our virtual fundraiser was well thought out - sometimes for each of us to share a little bit about our own lives, a short presentation on the work and mission of her nonprofit, and an update on the group's progress during the quarantine. Then she had time scheduled for interactive fun and games. It was clear from the moment I signed onto zoom that these people lead with their hearts. There was a warm camaraderie, some playful teasing, and a story being shared among the group about a recent heartwarming moment with one of the individuals they serve. I felt warm and fuzzy. My kind of people!
And then technology reared its ugly head. Our host kept her cool as the rest of us watched her sweat. Nothing was working the way she had rehearsed it. The mute buttons were stuck, the games didn't "share" on the screen, and the order of the activities wasn't going in order. The twenty-something intern was called in to rescue us from tech confusion.
Every one of us knew what Kara was feeling and as she and her intern figured everything out, the bonding between the rest of us escalated. We were laughing and learning about each other. I was so impressed to hear about the progress the organization is making despite the challenges in this COVID time. And we shared tech horror stories. It was one of the best virtual evenings I've had in six months! Our chat was fun and full of admiration and compassion for our host. I hope she takes the time to read all the comments - there's a lot of love there.
What came through at the end of our evening was Kara's undeniable commitment to her organization's purpose, and to her Board of Directors and supporters. Her ability to lead with grace while under pressure was inspiring and the loyalty and dedication of all those on the call were crystal clear. This is a group that will make a difference in this world because these are people who lead with meaning.
As for my tech horror story, it was during my book launch last week when my internet went down due to, well, something else that went down - see below. We too found a way to continue but I felt Kara's pain!