I wasn’t always in the do-gooder business, but believe it or not, I can actually pinpoint the precise moment that led me from my corporate corner office to the chair I sit in today – the moment that turned this skeptic into an activist.
In the summer of 2006, I had the privilege of participating in a Habitat for Humanity project – working hand in hand with thousands of volunteers from around the world to build a neighborhood of homes in a week – pretty amazing stuff. On our last day, the homeowner, Diane – a hard-working single mother of two — burst into tears. I went over to console her, and when I asked her what was wrong, she said, “I just can’t believe you people came from all over the world to build my house.”
In that instant, something snapped in my heart and in my head. I realized that I was either part of the solution, or I was the problem. There was no in between. Standing on the sidelines was no longer an option. It was time for me to act. And while I didn’t join ONE formally until 2010, I can draw a straight line from then to now.
I’m telling you my story because, as I’ve learned at ONE, most people doing good in the world have their own story as to why. This World AIDS Day, ONE is celebrating those stories with the YouTube video series, “It starts with me.” The series features an incredible group of people – from celebrities to AIDS activists to students, to faith leaders, to moms – all united under one common goal: an AIDS-free generation by 2015. Check out this inspiring and beautiful mashup of videos from ONE members:
So why is this important right now? Well, I’m sure you’ve heard the talk about the US budget and the dreaded “fiscal cliff.” This can all sound pretty abstract. Let me break it down for you: if an agreement is not reached, and cuts to life-saving AIDS programs go in effect, real lives will be lost. These aren’t numbers, these are people.
Cold facts only get us so far. Stories are the path to real change, and we need your help in getting the word out. Watch one. Share one. Join ONE. And tell your friends to do the same.
Keep fighting the good fight.
Submit your story to our YouTube channel. Directions here.