Yellow Envelope Project: Dallas

I know this Yellow-Envelope-Project-thing is not about me, but I can’t help it.  I have to take a second to share with you what happened to me yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon I opened my mailbox and found a yellow envelope.  It was a letter from a former student of mine – someone who I have not heard from in about a year.  It had a fortune taped to the top reading, “What is to give light must endure the burning.”  The quote was accompanied by a two page letter explaining how the fortune, which he received a week earlier, made him think of me.

The letter was a gift.  I read it once and then immediately, as if in total disbelief, I read it again.  For six or seven minutes I sat on my couch, staring straight ahead and imagined that this thoughtful and carefully crafted letter was really about me.  I day dreamed about how great it would be if what he wrote was really true – that one person who is passionate about life and possibility and making a difference could really – from a thousand miles away – inspire someone else.

And then I realized that of course it is true.  It is the very premise on which the Yellow Envelope Project was built.  Find hardworking, passionate, committed people in your communities and then shower them with love and gratitude.  Do that and you will ignite in them an insatiable desire to work even harder.

People, IT WORKS!  OUR YELLOW ENVELOPE PROJECT WORKS!  Sending letters of gratitude to hardworking people who are making a difference in their corners of the world works.  I know it, because right now I feel like a million bucks.  I’m walking taller, feeling more energetic, and I am more confident than ever that my work – my small contribution to this world in which we live – matters.  I feel great.

And to top it all off, I cannot believe we can create all that good will and all that positive energy for only $0.44 and a few minutes of our time. It is like the best-freaking-kept-secret on earth!

Having said ALL of that, let’s get busy recognizing this week’s recipient of our Yellow Envelope Project.  Here is what her nominator had to say:

“I have known Debbie for 20 years, she reached out to my wife and me at that time and gave us an opportunity to work with her. Little did I know at the time, she would become one of my closest and dearest friends. She has always put everyone ahead of her – friends, family, strangers. She gives her all whether it is walking for the cure, helping her staff to better themselves, taking care of her best friend who has terminal cancer, or dropping everything to travel hundreds of miles to help a friends elderly Aunt find a new place to live. The list goes on.  She never takes a moment to think of herself because she is always thinking of others. I am honored to call her my friend to be a part of the company that she owns and operates. I nominate her for the heart that she has that is way too big for anyone’s chest!! Thank you Debbie.”

Debbie understands what it means to be a setter.  By walking to find a cure for cancer, spending time to develop her staff, caring for sick friends, and sick relatives of friends, Debbie makes it clear that she is committed to elevating the people around her.  

She understands Shine Principle #6 – Bring Out the Best in Others.  The planet cannot be powered by shine when talented people are forced to spend their energy fighting cancer.  So, Debbie does something about it.  She does her part by walking to help find a cure.  Also, Debbie doesn’t worry that by bringing out the best in her staff she might shine less.  Debbie got our memo.  She’s knows that, “Earth is an estimated 196,950,000 square miles, so there is plenty of room for us all.” 

The world is a brighter, better place because people like Debbie are willing to extend themselves for others in need.  We could take Debbie’s empathy and generosity for granted or we could take ten minutes and send her an anonymous letter of gratitude – a letter that will leave her walking taller, feeling more energetic, and giving her the assurance she deserves that her contributions matter.

Here’s how to do the right thing: Write a short note of gratitude.  Put it in a yellow envelope (or a white envelope decorated with yellow markers and stickers).  Place the words, “Yellow Envelope Project” in the return address.  Seal it up and commit to mailing your envelope to Debbie sometime before next Saturday when we recognize our next worthy recipient.  It’s that easy.

18333 Preston Road
Suite #425 MB #7
Dallas, TX 75252

Icing on the Cake: The letter I received yesterday?  Here is what the last line said.  “I have begun sending a yellow letter each week, which has been exciting and a positive point of the week.  It is always inspiring to hear someone’s story of adversity or hope.

Shining off until Monday.

Claudia Beeny

Founder and Executive Director

Posted on 7/10/10 10:00 am by Claudia Beeny in: Uncategorized,Yellow Envelope Project

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