If someone asked you how committed you are to helping others, how would you rate yourself?
Not Committed, Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced….those might all be options. You don’t have to share your answer with the world (or even your Facebook friends) so don’t hold back, be honest with yourself. Ok, did you figure it out? Now, let me tell you about a 15-year-old named Harris Gagnon. By the end of this story, you may just find yourself a little bit more motivated.
My assignment was to meet with Harris and help him navigate our new Crowdrise Fundraising Event platform. Harris is the founder of a basketball tournament called 3 V 3 for Dream On 3. This is his second year hosting the event and 100% of the proceeds help make dreams come true for our Dream Kids. This is the first year that Dream On 3 has offered a platform that helps others manage their own fundraising events. Harris agreed to work closely with us so we could test and figure it all out together.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that Harris is smart – like quick as a whip smart. Although that phrase is pretty outdated so he may look at me a little funny if I actually said that to him. He does great in school. He gets good grades. And, he knows his way around a computer. Nothing intimidates him….coding, new platforms…you name it, and he will give it a try. But, I think the thing that impressed me the most about him was his maturity and his communication skills.
I have teenagers so I feel like I speak from experience (while praying that my kids aren’t reading this) – teenagers are no joke. This whole “figuring yourself out” process is serious business. Heck, I am still figuring myself out most days! I have to try real hard to remember what it felt like to be their age so I can show more patience than I feel. That being said, if my kids remember to ask me how my day was or take out the trash without me asking – you would have thought they hung the moon. So after a short time of working with Harris, I knew I wasn’t dealing with the average teenager.
Harris’ mom, Pamela, is a great supporter. She stands behind him, helping to steer him in the right direction only when he needs it. But for the most part, this teenager is running the show. He spent the better part of this year working on the details like securing a location, finding sponsors, setting up online registration, marketing his event, communicating with participants and if you’ve ever been in charge of an event on the big day – you know it takes organization, focus, personality and and an endless supply of energy!
Harris’s secured 6 sponsors who all offered financial support, he had 48 total participants and the grand total raised for his tournament, was $2,540.00. Pretty amazing, right?
So having said all that, I would rate Harris’ commitment to helping others as ‘Beginner’.
Surprised? You probably thought after all that I would rate him higher? Ok, I’ll explain.
For you or me it’s all about what we’ve accomplished. Being in my mid (ahem… to very, very late) 30’s if I rate myself as ‘Intermediate’, it’s all about what I have accomplished thus far. I have had plenty of time to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
For Harris, it’s all about potential. I would rate Harris as a ‘Beginner’ because he is the definition of potential. This 15-year old told me, “I am so glad to be able to make kid’s dreams come true. When I see how happy I can make a Dream Kid, I feel so lucky to be a part it. Basketball is a passion of mine and now, being a part of Dream On 3 is a passion too.”
True, that’s more than some people DO or even FEEL their entire lives but Harris is just scratching the surface. Potential. Just imagine what amazing things this kid will do in his life with a heart that size?!
I can’t wait to see what Harris does next. I can’t wait to see all he has accomplished when he rates himself ‘Advanced’. On behalf of all our Dream Kids and our team, thank you Harris for pouring your heart into our organization.
What will you do to take yourself to the next level?
By Danielle Honeycutt
Marketing Director, Dream On 3