Overwhelming Gratitude

I took the day off on Monday…to write thank you cards. Gratitude is the adult coloring book of my life; in good times and bad, saying thank you puts everything in perspective for me.

This week, I was writing thank you’s to the more than 100 donors that contributed to our year end giving campaign. They – YOU – didn’t donate to Born This Way Foundation, instead you joined alongside our team in investing in 35 nonprofit organizations from California to Florida.

Born This Way Foundation was so moved by our community’s response to this campaign we decided to match every dollar donated – and Lady Gaga did as well. That means these 35 grassroots organizations will receive more than $1,000 each. We wanted to make sure you know how big of a difference this support is making, so we invited these groups to record a message for all of you who made this possible…

The Channel Kindness Tour was an amazing success by so many measures and for me, it was one of the most fun, inspiring, and purposeful periods of my life. As I sat in the coffee shop, with thank you cards sprawled in front of me and an open excel document in front of me, I looked at the list of names and my heart almost burst from not only the number of people that joined our crazy experiment, but the number of friends, colleagues, and family members that supported these amazing groups like Pridelines in Miami or Khloe Kares in Los Angeles.

Lane and Ky, from Lady Gaga’s team, had already spent countless hours making our in venue activations possible and our community events as successful as possible. In each venue, Lane would store hundreds of donated toiletries for us, until the next time we stopped at a local non-profit and could distribute them to incredible young people in need of such basic necessities. They each donated; adding to the time, treasure, and talent that they had already so generously given to the Foundation.

There was Rex, Amanda, and Emma, friends and colleagues who give each and every time we ask – of all that they have – and are such incredible ambassadors of our mission. And right down at the end of the document, a familiar and unexpected name popped up: my mother in law, Ruth.

We had seen each other half a dozen times since she had made the donation in December, but she hadn’t mentioned it to either my husband or me. This tour had taken me away from her son more than she might have liked (though she never mentioned that either) and it required her to drive the 200+ miles to my house more often than perhaps she had time for. It probably even required her to put a pin in a map to remember where I was and what time zones I was in before she called and still, after giving all of herself – truly – to my family, she gave to Born This Way Foundation.

I am overwhelmed by these names, their stories, and what they made possible for the dozens of organizations that will benefit from their generous support. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for supporting Born This Way Foundation on the road, in communities, online, and with your donations. I hope you know, and that you feel, how incredibly important you are to each of us – personally and professionally.