Lemon-Aid

If we all do a little we can accomplish a lot.

“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” — Mahatma Gandhi

I believe that we are all born with empathy, kindness and love towards one another in our hearts. I believe that people are innately good.I have a story to tell about a six-year-old boy who has inspired not only me but many others as well. There is nothing particularly different about Joshua as compared to any other six-year-old boy, but there certainly are a million things that are special about him –

My mum met Joshua and his mom, Cori-Ann, at a Curves in Montreal, Canada. Cori-Ann started telling my mum a little bit about her son and the amazing things that he was doing and my mum immediately wanted to connect her with me. Why? For some reason my mum thought I might be able to help in some way. How? I had no idea but turns out my mum was right…

Before I introduce you to Joshua, I want to tell you a little something about Joshua’s mom. Cori-Ann started her volunteer work as a young adult volunteering with AIDS/HIV patients. Her goal, as she says, was “to change the world.” Her supervisor at the time, for reasons of his/her own decided that was not acceptable and said: “You can’t change the world…” Thank goodness Cori-Ann knew better than that.

Meet Joshua, in his mom’s words –
“It is with intense pride that I share the story of my young son who has the empathy and caring to commit himself to a fundraising campaign, Suitcases for Africa, that will build a well in Kenya. It all began 1 year ago with his exposure to some of the media images of starving children in The Horn

Africa. After learning about the effects of the drought, some research at the library, a geography lesson with a world map, and a science experiment with bean plants, Joshua had enough understanding to realize that there is a world of people who need our help. His 1st Lemon”AID” sale last September brought in $240 and was donated immediately in order to benefit the Canadian government’s program to match donations up until Sept. 30, 2011.
By last spring his interest had not waned and he met with one of the directors from Suitcases for Africa, Wendy Buchanen, to discuss building a well — a project that runs about $5000.00. While she had initially expressed to me that maybe he should work on a smaller project, after spending an hour with him, she was convinced and said to him; “You know what Joshua, if you want to build a well, we’ll build a well.”

Thanks to his hard work, and the support of friends, family and community, he has already raised over $1200.While he does not fully understand the impact he is making, I can surely that say that he has created BIG ripples. This project is taking on a life of its own and we are proud to be on this journey with a special little boy.”

Wow. Special little boy for sure.

So we have a little boy who jumped in a decided that he could raise $5000… but he ended up feeling stuck somewhere just over $1200, not knowing how to raise more money. Joshua may have been disheartened and frustrated but he didn’t give up — and neither did his mom. THEY did NOT give-up. Cori-Ann and I had been going back and forth for a little while and she shared Joshua’s frustration with me. I, in turn, shared the story about this amazing little guy with one of my good friends Tom Shadyac who wrote, directed and produced a documentary called I AM that is all about the impact we have on everything and everyone around us. Tom listened and read about Joshua and without skipping a beat said to me: “Tell Joshua that when he reaches the half was mark and raises $2500, the I AM foundation will donate the other $2500 needed to build the well.” I was floored. My heart came out right of my chest with excitement.

Never underestimate the power of encouragement: I told my mum and Cori-Ann the great news and it gave Joshua the little boost he needed to start moving and shaking. Joshua not only raised the $2500 but he surpassed it. The donation from the I AM foundation went out today, and with that, a well will be built that will bring clean drinking water to an entire village in Africa. You just never know where help is going to come from.

Thank you to all the Joshua’s, Cori-Ann’s, mums, Tom’s and everyone out there. And to all those people who desperately want to change the world — and who are taking steps to do so. Joshua, keep inspiring us all to follow our hearts as we watch you follow yours.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” — Desmund Tutu

Love, love, love in a billion drops of water at the bottom of a well in Kenya…