This is not so much a blog post as it is a love letter—a love letter to the Power of Good. To Open Hearts. To Friendships, new and well-seasoned.
Three years ago, on what would turn out to be merely the cusp of a game-changing Recession, I got a phone call from David Kunz, executive director of The Cooperative Ministry. I did not know David at the time, but I heard something in his voice that prompted me (against all sense and reason), to take the request he made of me to my business partners.
"The Cooperative Ministry serves the working poor in this community," he said,"and the economy has dealt us a double blow." Financial support for TCM was way down at a time when more people than ever were desperate for the kind of help they provide.
Would you be willing to develop a television spot to run during the holidays? David had delicately asked.
But there was more to the story. The Cooperative Ministry had been gifted a performance of the Hootie and the Blowfish megahit "Hold My Hand," sung by the incredible Benedict College Gospel Choir. Perhaps the song could be a powerful soundtrack for the spot, he offered.
Interesting, I thought. But still there were a thousand reasons to graciously decline.
(1) No Production Budget DOES NOT = Powerful TV.
(2) We were already in work overload, doing our best to support clients in a crippling economic downturn.
(3) We had an event in place to support nonprofits, and we had held it just two months prior to this phone call. CreateAthon allows us to focus our pro bono efforts into one concentrated time period—and we hadn't quite wrapped up that work yet.
And yet I felt compelled to approach my partners with the possibility of helping The Cooperative Ministry. They really need us, and right now, I said. With no hesitation, there was a unanimous partner vote. Yes, they said.
It was not an easy assignment. We were committed to creating television, yes. But we also believed there was a larger story to share about the gifting of the song. We brought in volunteer creative teams to help craft what ultimately became a movement, With A Little Love. The team built a website. Keely Saye oversaw an inbound program. Ryan Cockrell produced a phenomenal video. Mad Monkey created TV magic:
[case_vid vid_url="http://riggspartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/With_Little_LOVER.flv" bg_url="http://riggspartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/blkbgrd.gif"]
Many on the team also developed a heart connection with David Kunz; his phenomenal deputy, Courtney Thomas; and the starter of this movement, Hootie and the Blowfish drummer Jim "Soni" Sonefeld. Each of those light-filled souls gave way more than they took, and they introduced us to other heart connections that have filled these three years with so many grace-filled moments the power of Doing Good simply cannot be denied.
So it is quite the understatement to say we were humbled when CreateAthon was honored by The Cooperative Ministry at their oh-so-swell gala, The GOOD Night. We thank them from way deep down for their generosity. And we thank every volunteer who has been a part of Riggs CreateAthon since its inception in 1998, as well as the nonprofits who have supported us and cheered us on all these years. We especially thank David Kunz, Courtney Thomas, and all the folks at The Cooperative Ministry who worked so hard to make The GOOD Night sparkle so brightly.
You have, do doubt, been a gift to us.