We were meeting about something completely unrelated...
I met with Gabby at the Starbucks newly opened in Bakery Square. It still smells of new construction adhesive and the lights are shockingly bright. Yet, somehow, Gabby's energy tends to warm up every room - even the nervously cold settings.
We got on with our meeting, checking in on each other's wellbeing when Gabby suddenly stopped the conversation and redirected to an emergency fundraiser I organized for a family who was in direct jeopardy of losing their home.
"I didn't have it at the time, but I wanted to make sure I got this to you to contribute towards that family finding a home!" Gabby said, with her hand outstretched affirmed with the $10 bill donation she intended to give. It was the sweetest and most selflessly thoughtful gesture that I had experienced in a little while, so I took the moment to appreciate it. "Thank you, so much, Gab, but they are fine. We hit our goal and they were able to secure their home." We chatted for a bit about that family and their circumstances. That naturally led to us discussing the general reality of so many people in the exact same predicament, if not worse off. "Still give it to them," Gabby said, arm still outstretched. I didn't know what to do at this point. I didn't want to take Gab's money in vein. I also didn't want to deny a blessing happening through her. Then, finally, the conversation landed on The Wellness Collective.
Gabby listened intently as I struggled to get the words out before my excitement took them away completely. "I know what this can go towards!" I pounded away at my laptop that has been unused and open this entire time, opened the then incomplete website and explained to Gabby what The Collective was.
I could see her tears welling in her eyes as I made my way through the concept. We took a minute to pause and honor the tears now flowing from her eyes. After a little while, Gabby explained why she was so touched by The Wellness Collective.
"This is honoring the life of my mother. When we were growing up, she could have used this!. It was exactly what she needed and now I feel like what you have created is honoring her life!" Still with $10 bill in hand, "I want to donate this to The Collective. This is a wonderful, wonderful program and I want to support it."
It was this day, weeks to a month before we even had the website complete, that we received our first donation to The Collective.
The Wellness Collective has been a lifelong project of mine that has finally come to fruition. It is a work that is founded in love. Thanks to Gabby, it is a work that is funded in love.
I humbly accepted the donation on that day. What we received from Gabby that day was priceless...and then she added $10. Thank you, Gabriel Gray.
written by: Shanon Williams, Founder of The Wellness Collective