On Monday, I received a message from BellasBNS Founder, Rocco. Kelly, an artisan that many of us know, had suffered a tragedy in her family. Her son was working on an oil rig in North Dakota. There was an explosion, and he was badly burned. She lives in Utah and had to get to Minneapolis, which is where the burn unit is that they had air lifted him too. She absolutely needed to get to her son, but money was tight. Enter Annie, Wanda, and Chaya.
Annie, Wanda, and Chaya are the three phenomenal women who came together to organize a benefit BNR for Kelly to help with the expense of getting to Minnesota. Rocco had sent me a message earlier in the day asking if I had heard about this yet. I had not, but was instantly worried about Kelly and her son. Unfortunately, I am flat broke, so I had no money to donate or buy into the BNR. I faved the board so it would appear in my activity feed. I also posted the link to every social media site I have access to, and put it on a couple of blogs that I post on. It was the most I could do, until I received another message from Rocco.
Wanda, Annie, and Chaya could only stay open until the early afternoon because they didn't have anyone to curate the board after that. They had several sales and had done a fantastic job, but Rocco felt the board should continue and I agreed. He asked if I had a couple of hours to help man the board and I readily agreed to help, as did the other leaders of Bellas. He offered to move the board onto Bellas and we would run the board and keep the donations to Kelly going. Together we kept the board going for another 6 hours or so.
We raised enough money to cover Kelly's expenses that day. I was happy to help Kelly, but I can't say that I didn't get anything out of it. That day I got to be a part of a beautiful experience. I got to see many artisans coming together to help another artisan in need. I was blown away by how many people came to the board and were buying and donating and promoting. It was incredible. I am truly grateful to Wanda, Annie, and Chaya for allowing me to be a part of it, and for the opportunity to meet these wonderful women. Their selflessness and kindness will stay with me forever.
This is not the first time I have been involved in a benefit to help an artisan and seen the flood of generosity that comes with it. I was moved deeply then and I was again on Monday. I am not ashamed to say that I cried several times on Monday. I cried for Kelly and her son. I cried for the amazing thing Annie, Chaya, and Wanda had started. I cried at the sincere concern everyone on the board showed for Kelly and her family. And I cried for the generosity and compassion that everyone showed that day.
In the world we live in, acts of atrocity have become routine. To be a part of something like this, reaffirms your faith in humanity. It makes me feel better about the world around me and ties me even tighter to the artisan community. I have been immersed in it since I was a child, and I am so grateful that I was. I learned at an early age how the artisan community takes care of everyone around them. Every artisan I know, and I know thousands, have gigantic hearts. They will take you in and take care of you. They will show you love and compassion. They don't judge. They are open and welcoming. I am so appreciative of this community. This community played a major role in the kind of adult I developed into. I do my very best each day to remember the lessons they taught me, and Monday was a great reminder. That to be open, loving, and compassionate is the only way to truly be happy and at peace with the world around you.
Thank you Chaya, Annie, and Wanda! For starting the benefit, and organizing it, and for letting me be a part of it. I can't tell you how much I took from it and how grateful I am to you. I have so much love and respect for you girls, and for what you did and how hard you worked. I am truly humbled by it.
In a modest effort to do something kind in return, I have listed some links below. There is a link to Kelly's shop, to every shop that worked to organize this, and to every shop that worked on a board. Please take a moment to visit their lovely shops, like their Facebook pages, and follow them on Twitter. They are a fabulous group of people.
Love and Peace,
List of Shops:
Kelly - Treasure 2 Remember
Annie - Aunt Annie's Antics
Wanda - GA Girl Jewelry and Gift
Chaya - Pearls Plus LLC
Rocco - Rocco's Country Spice
Luci - Idle Hands Yarn Supply
Amber - Cosmic Cauldron
Raven - Divine Deliciousness