Saturday, a good day despite some health issues. Mom and Michael were my guests for the Long Beach Giving Project Dinner and Presentations. I was… Scared. To. Death. Hard to imagine, but I’m not a fan of public speaking. Let me rephrase that. I loathe public speaking with a fiery passion. But this was something that meant a lot to me.
My grant proposal was to use $125 to purchase 4-5 No Sew Fleece Kits, make 16-20 blankets to donate to Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach. Then I’d use the second $125 to purchase 100-250 baby items and donate them to my church’s Broken Loaf Food Pantry. We have a Clothes Closet, where our food pantry recipients can take clothes with them. We are always running out of baby clothes, so I wanted to help them.
We got our seats, got our food, and the presentations started. There were 31 semifinalists chosen out of 100+ submissions. So I was pretty thrilled to be there. I was so so nervous, and nauseous. So naturally I ended up being near the end LOL Most people just spoke from memory. I had written my speech, simply because I knew I’d forget something. I did my speech, then after the $250 mini grant semifinalists all spoke, the $1000 recipients spoke. They were “competing” for an extra $1000. The judges went in back to deliberate, and they asked the semifinalists to line up onstage. I thought I’d pass out! Justin called 15 names, and mine was not one of them. “Oh well,” I thought to myself, “it was still an amazing night!” I had met a couple of people who were interested in donating to the Food Pantry. So I considered the night a success.
Then Justin called my name.
My stomach dropped. I couldn’t figure out WHY he was calling my name when the 15 recipients had already been called! I was in such shock that I didn’t answer, I could only look at my mom and Michael, who were shocked and giddy. He called my name again, and this time I answered and stepped to center stage like he asked. He used “the power of Facebook” and collected two large trash bags, a grocery bag, and a brand new gift bag with brand new items for the Food Pantry… and I received the $250 grant!
I got emotional at that moment, and again the next morning when I told my church about it and they all cheered. It was the best end to one of the best birthday weeks EVER!