Friday, July 13, 2012

You Can Do This Project: The Booth

I spent Friday afternoon and most of the day Saturday at the You Can Do This Project booth in the exhibit hall at Friends for Life.  It was an incredible experience.

Photo courtesy of You Can Do This Project

"Hi, have you heard about the You Can Do This Project?" way my typical approach when someone walked up to the table.  The bracelets and stickers were popular.

Usually, the answer was no, they'd never heard of it.

"It's on online video project (or movement, as Kim says) for people affected by diabetes.  We have over 100 videos made by people with diabetes or those who love them.  It's a place for people to share their journey with diabetes and offer hope.  To be a light in someone else's darkness."

People's response?  For the most part, it was something like this: "Wow!  That's great!"

It was so encouraging and amazing telling people about the project.  The response was overwhelmingly positive.  Like Kim said, I knew I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.  It's an incredible feeling, and for me, it reinforced how much a project like this is needed.

Some people agreed to make videos on the spot.  But that can be quite intimidating.  So we encouraged people to write a message on a white board and participate in Words of Hope.

Isn't that AWESOME!!!! I LOVE it!

Bottom line- volunteering at the YCDT booth was truly an honor, and I can't wait to volunteer again at TCOYD in Des Moines in September.  I truly believe that this project changes lives.

There's another story from the booth that I HAVE to share.  As you hopefully know, Meri and her wonderful family won a trip to FFL.  It was such a thrill to meet Meri and Ryan and the boys.  Silly me didn't even get a pic with Meri.

But when I was working at the booth, up wandered L, Meri's youngest.  I was talking to him, encouraging him to take a bracelet and a sticker, when he gasps and points, "Hey, that's my mom!"

Yep.  Right behind me was Meri's lovely face on a poster.  Kim had screenshots from a few videos on posters displayed at the booth.  L was excited to see his mom's face on one.

"She's famous!" L exclaimed, and I had to laugh.  Yes, she is.  Famous for being honest and sharing her story to help others.  That's what the project is all about.

Thank you Kim for creating the project.  And thanks to all of you for making videos.  I wouldn't have been able to tell people there were over 100 videos without all of you making them.  Thanks for sharing your story and supporting YCDT.  I can't wait to see what the future holds!

Disclaimer: I should probably disclose that I'm a member of the You Can Do This Project Advisory Team, which is a tremendous honor.  I love this project!


  1. I truly appreciate all of your help at the booth - you rocked it! I can't wait for TCOYD!

  2. aww, i love the story about meri's L! :)

    and i LOVE the idea of writing the words of hope on the whiteboard. who had that idea? PROPS TO THEM.

    that vid totes made me cry.

    1. The brilliant Kim had that idea!

      It was perfect for those who weren't quite ready to make a video or were too shy to make one!

      Excellent post Jess!

  3. I am so proud of ALL of you. What you're helping Kim do is AMAZING!! The Words of Hope video made me cry. And at the end of it, my favorite was actually the very first one. Scott Strange holding up a sign that said, "Breathe!" Advise I give often, but sometimes forget to follow. :)

    Love you guys!!!

  4. I LOVE this project too, and the team behind the scenes that makes it happen!

    When I was talking to the boy at the booth in front of you, he said, "Hey! You are the one on the poster over there!" My 2 minutes of fame...and I was honored!

  5. this is beautiful. i love what you all did with the little white boards.