For the last year, I have been working on two big projects.
The first, raising $1,000,000 for the San Francisco & Marin Food Banks to celebrate 25 years of working to end hunger. This is an every-5 years-event, where we raise money that can be used to invest in the wonderful work we do. This year we wanted to raise enough money for 3 hybrid trucks to pick up and deliver food, increase nutrition education and additionally purchase some food items, such as beans, rice, tuna and peanut butter, which rarely get donated.
A team of us started in 2011. Every time I had two minutes, I would look at my folder of papers and say, “What can I do to make this event better and also reach our goal?” I pushed the team to go for the very large goal of $1,000,000. I knew deep down the team could do it and I wanted to “make it so” (Captain Picard, Star Trek).
Tyler Florence and Tony Marcell were our hosts, with 25 chefs presenting a tantalizing feast. Every two or three tables had their own private chef, who had donated his or her time, food and wine. The food was stunning. The room was full of happy people participating in a wonderful cause for their communities. And we raised $1,300,000!
My family and friends were all there to support me. I was surrounded by 80 people I loved. And it was the best feeling! I feel very accomplished and know that I helped do something that makes the world a better place for many people I will never have the chance to meet.
The other project is my book I have been working for a couple of years on: “Griefprints” — A Practical Guide for Supporting a Grieving Person.
“After Christopher was murdered, I entered that very deep trauma place, where I wondered if I would recover. Once I felt I had recovered, I wanted to share some very practical things people can do to make other people more comfortable when they are in the depths of grieving. Many people have said to me “I didn’t know what to say.” When they read my book, people will get some very practical advice. All of us will experience grief sometime in our lives. My book will be a good road map to help others on the journey.
The book is now 99% done! I have been working with a writing coach for a few years and this year hired a graphic designer; both understand what I am trying to accomplish. The next step is looking for a publisher. I REALLY want this beautiful book to be in people’s hands.
So, getting this to book all of you and others will be my project for a while. I feel good making this transition from thinking about murder to working on the “hopeful” things that can help others along the healing journey. I want people to know they can smile again.