Be the Cause Eco-Fest? A reality? Yes!
Quarterly, we’ve usually had Evenings of Awareness with Be the Cause. Before some of the crew went to Ecuador/Peru for their upcoming service vacation last fall, I was thinking of evenings of awareness topics and because of the movie, “Inconvenient Truth” and so much pointing to our Earth and how Mama Earth basically needs our immediate attention with global warming and all, I thought that BTC having an info session/evening about this would be great! Then, there was some discussion and ideas formed…for there to be a day of awareness/eco-fair of sorts.
Because of my schedule during the week…working with kids and serving by tutoring students, supporting teachers in their classrooms, brainstorming and problem solving with parents, staff…I’m usually brain dead by end of week and organizing something on free time is not what I’m used to…plus, I’ve helped a lot with service projects, but don’t have the experience in the non-profit realm…leading, and/or delegating, organizing (eek!).
Even though I expressed an interest in learning how to lead, organize, I didn’t really expect this to be blessed upon me. I had brought the idea up to Sukh, Michele…assuming they’d run with this…and maybe I’d be organizing a few meetings, but that would be that…
No such luck =P The project kinda fell toward me to facilitate, due to some other projects and busyness that Sukh and Michele were involved in…and so I quickly asked some BTC friends who were already wanting this kinda event to come forth…to join with me and kick some &@% in putting together an event/fair to educate others about environment, but mainly to have groups/booths, music, food, children’s corner, workshops/demos in a beautiful setting such as a park.
We asked more to help us out through some emails to volunteer lists. And we did have some extra volunteers through volunteermatch and BTC, but it was really in perfection who was involved in the birthing of this project.
These volunteers kept me on my toes and helped me hone skills that I thought didn’t exist. They told me to delegate more, not to do things all on my own, to say when I need help. They also didn’t make any outrageous promises to take on things that they didn’t have time for…or wouldn’t be able to handle. But I did notice that they did their very best with what time they were in charge of…They were patient with me, yet weren’t shy in stating when something was working or not.
It wasn’t until the last month…until I felt not guilty for asking people for help…for calling, emailing and basically learning how to give away some duties, tasks and feel that it’s ok to request assistance!
So because I’m new at this…I probably sent far too many emails, felt entirely too much like giving up at times, was way too sensitive when there was need for objectivity, and also was basically scared as all get out that we wouldn’t be able to pull this off.
We had to find a park that would allow this kind of event to take place. We had to find groups/booths that were available a week after Earth Day. We had to see if stores such as “Whole Foods”, “Wild Oats”, “Trader Joes” would donate food, water, sodas. We had to promote event…when some of the other tasks were so overwhelming…that we didn’t all have the time to post flyers all over the city of Santa Ana. We also were somewhat concerned about the waste of paper…given that this was an event about saving our planet!
I have to say…I truly believe when there is enough good intentions in the hearts of people, inspiring, awesome possibilities come into view. We cared enough about having an event such as this. It was important to do and it was an amazingly beautiful day…despite some loose ends that didn’t seem to appear that drastic ;) It was a little like putting on a play…making sure all the actors, sets, costumes were in place.
I have to give soooo many thanks to my compadres who didn’t give up on me or the vision of the event. There were times I felt like giving up…not because I didn’t want this dream of a BTC Ecofest to come true, but because I didn’t think I had the skills, wherewithall to put an event of this magnitude together. The passion was there, the vision was there, but the putting into action…a bit hard to get grounded on…
So here I was surrounded by a team of individuals with skills in various areas…some new at this, some somewhat familiar. We all have strengths…but in some different areas. So how do you get on the same page? You meet in person, you have conference calls, you streamline emails by creating an Eco email list.
As the event drew closer, I felt even more frazzled and worried, but amazing things were occurring: food donations were coming in, the number of groups/booths had grown to more than fifteen, an electric car from Plug in America would be on the premises, the food from SSY was definitely going to be brought to event and served by volunteers.
I have to give my highest regards and thanks to this revolutionary group of btcers: Christine, Carolina, Thu-Trang, Elizabeth, Supun, Angel & Marcella.
We must “Be the Change we wish to see in the world”…there were some growing pains…and I didn’t know how all would come forth, but that’s the mystery in serving…and wow…you try not to have expectations, you let it go…and then…what you envisioned…what you thought was just a thought, hope….is put into action and created…into something original, fun, creative, loving, diverse, thoughtful…
There’s always room for improvement, but then again…”beauty is in the eye of the beholder”…and the day presented much beauty and inner calm for me and huge appreciation for all that came into fruition.