Monday, May 25, 2015

A "We" discovery.

                                      The temporary tent home of Mingma and his family. 

In the moment when I sent Mingma the message “Do not worry. We will rebuild your home!” I was unsure who the “we” was I referred to. At that point the One Sherpa Home project consisted of me, my son Trevor, and a classmate of his named Jenny Potoczak. We were still in the process of discovering our We. 

I love moments of We discovery, a sort of free fall with an uncertain outcome. Movies use this vehicle often. In the Dead Poet’s Society there is a We discovery where Robin Williams’ character is being wrongly fired from his teaching post at a Boys Academy. Several of the boys in his class stand on their desks in protest, proclaiming “Captain, my Captain.” A less successful We discovery occurred in the movie Jerry McGuire. Tom Cruise’s character tragically misjudges the allegiance of his co-workers and ends up only enlisting a soft-hearted secretary and a gold fish. 

But in this case I knew our We already existed. I could see them in the postings on social media, they asked about Nepal when I sat in the Barber chair or stood in line for coffee. All we needed to do was make our intentions known and these people would find us. We would discover each other and collectively discover what we were capable of. 

So I launched a few test balloons on Facebook and the response was overwhelming. Many respondents had already given to a relief fund, but still felt helpless in the face of Nepal’s disastrous earth quakes. They wanted to do something, something real and concrete, measurable and lasting.  The idea of rebuilding a specific home from ruble to residence appealed to these people in part because of its clearly defined objective. 

Janet Lightner, owner of Boundary Bay Brewery reached out to me soon after that. She too has a strong personal connection with Nepal and wanted to brain storm about ways her own fund raiser could combine with One Sherpa Home and the efforts of another local resident, Dr Frank James. The idea of a dinner event at the Brewery came from this. Our We was growing. 

A local engineer named Greg Morgan heard about One Sherpa Home (OSH) from my neighbor and offered to travel with us to Nepal. Others threw their support behind the project with pledges of money. My childhood friend, Pastor Mike Unversagt, offered to pass the funds through his church, The House Northwest, so all donations would be tax-deductible. Our We is growing by leaps and bounds!

Give to One Sherpa Home here.

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