Well, we’ve now made it to the end of another year. For me, 2018 will go down as a year of growth and success, but also of stress and strain. We hosted 183 events in Memphis with cityCURRENT and had countless highlights that I’ll forever cherish. For example, we hosted two Samaritan’s Feet distributions where hundreds of volunteers came out to wash the feet of more than 1,000 youth with nonprofits like Las Americas and Memphis Athletic Ministries, as we provided their kids with new shoes and socks. In April, we expanded our cityCURRENT efforts into Nashville and we doubled the size of our team, grew our corporate support, and opened the floodgates on new opportunities. We wrapped up 2018 having hosted 103 events in Nashville. Overall, we were able to use our media, events, and philanthropy to make a difference and contribute a record amount to nonprofits, which makes me smile.
While that offers perspective on the growth and success, it came at a price. I underestimated the amount of travel, time, and effort it would take to ensure we delivered on our mission to power the GOOD here in the Mid-South and in Middle Tennessee, as well. There were many sleepless nights and stress-filled days. That carried over into my family, where my wife, Meredith, had to do more than usual to manage our household and our chaotic schedules with two busy boys. Meredith has her own full-time career in education, so to say she is my angel is an understatement. I love and appreciate her more than she will ever know. Sadly, we lost good friends and had two deaths in my family this year. The holidays have been especially tough on my wife, after losing her mother, Kay Hussey, last year. Kay was a special woman indeed, and we miss her.
I mention this for two main reasons. First, I want you to know it’s not easy. Personally and professionally, my mission is to power the GOOD; but it takes a lot of work and sometimes it’s a rollercoaster ride where we have amazing highs, but we also have dramatic lows, too. Knowing my true north is to remain committed to doing GOOD, treating people GOOD, and doing whatever I can to help create more GOOD keeps me focused and allows me to push through all of the challenges. And, it can do the same for you. Some of the most beautiful things and moments are experienced after coming out of darkness, but to find the light we must focus on GOOD. If you’ll commit to a resolution, a promise to power the GOOD in 2019, you will find that GOOD attracts GOOD and it will lead to GOOD things in your life.
Second, I want you to know that I appreciate you. When you deal with any adversity, you learn who your supporters are and what inspires you to overcome the difficulties. My family and I are blessed to have amazing friends, a remarkable group of partners and supporters, teammates and community champions dedicated to helping others; and all of you, readers of this column that I started writing back in 2010. It’s been an amazing ride and I appreciate all of your continued support. I’m looking forward to working with you to power the GOOD in 2019!
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