Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am mom to 11yr old Samantha and a Partner in Possibilities at Stellar Journeys, a meeting and incentive planning company. Ron and I have been married 13 years and have been enjoying our journey with Sam, Josi & Nala.
As a family, we are passionate about travel, spending time outdoors, live music and the arts. You will often find us either at an outdoor festival, on a local patio or at a music venue listening to live music, cheering Sam on at her softball games, hiking in North Georgia or biking the beltline in Atlanta.
When Sam was born, she taught me to slow down and smell the flowers and watch the butterflies – literally, on our camping trips and hikes I would catch myself moving at my normal pace and look around for Sam – she would be either taking the time out to smell the flowers or just watching where a butterfly was headed. I have learned to recognize that each moment in life is precious, try and take each one in and appreciate them all (good & bad) and to lend a hand to others along the way.
What was your first impression of Do It For The Love?
LOVE – I believe music has healing powers for anything. Whether someone is experiencing physical, emotional, financial hardships being able to shut out the world and lose yourself in music even for one day/night is truly healing and can make all the difference between giving up or going on. I believe DIFTL is making our world a kinder place.
What made you want to volunteer for Do It For The Love?
I experienced my first Michael Franti show at a festival in Atlanta. I had been trying to find a way to expand on our Cottage in the Back project and I knew after experiencing Michael Franti’s energy and the way he created inclusion with his whole audience, I had a feeling he was probably doing something amazing with his gift of music.
What are you most excited about with volunteering for Do It For The Love?
The day after my experience at Michael’s show, I started my research on what he may be doing with his energy and music. That is when I discovered DIFTL. I was really excited to learn that DIFTL was inspired by Steve & Hope, I had been following their story for a few years and saw Steve at a local Holiday show in Atlanta – I remember the emotion I felt watching Steve enjoy the show just like it was a normal night – however, I knew that it was not a normal night for him, but the effort to get him to the music was worth it to him and those who love him. That to me is the power and joy of music. I want to be a part of helping everybody have the opportunity to experience that joy.
What has surprised you the most about Do It For The Love?
The empowerment that they give to the community to go out and be ambassadors and spread the love and word the way that is best for you. I am not a jump in with 2 feet type of person, I am a slow and steady – I feel like DIFTL embraces and accepts you wherever you are on your journey.
What other causes and organizations are you passionate about?
My biggest passions are supporting live music and children.
About 4 years ago, I started Cottage in the Back – we host singer/songwriters in our backyard where they can share their stories and their music with a quiet thoughtful audience. We ask for a donation and 100% goes directly to the artist. It is our way of giving back by supporting live music and bringing the community together. It has been a grassroots passion and I hope that one day we will be able to use CitB as a support for artists as well as giving back to non profits.
Project House of Hope – I met Amy Fletcher when Samantha sang at her fundraiser. In 2012 Amy traveled to Haiti, saw a need and knew she wanted to make an impact. She came back home and jumped full speed into her fight for the orphans of Haiti. Not only does she provide for the children, she now focuses on community development. I had the pleasure of meeting the children of HOH a few years ago and look forward to going back again one day. Amy is such an inspiration of leading with your heart and the rest will fall into place.
Vieques – Boys & Girls Club & Escuela Monte Santo. The Island of Vieques had been struggling to find their identity again after fighting (and winning) to get their land back after 60 years of military bombing practice. After this latest hurricane they experienced a set back in reclaiming their Island life. I spent some time with the school and the B&G Club singing songs, doing some yoga and exchanging lots of hugs. I hope to go back soon to lend my support.
Playing for Change – A movement created to inspire and connect the world through music.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
I would say welcome to the journey – let’s do this!! ☺ Remember “Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world” – Desmond Tutu