April 25, 2014

Kindness Auction, BBQ and Van Painting – and a big thank you!!

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Success!!  This event was a different than any we’ve run before because i have just left my job counselling troubled youth (the best job i’ve had for ages), bought a big van and begun living in it. I’ve done this because i have to explore whether Focallocal, the project i started can make a difference to the World.  I turned down the chance at corporate sponsorship a while back as being supported by a corporate overlord didn’t fit nicely with the idea of people coming together themselves to make a change to their community and planet, funding applications just stopped me from setting up events (and was more boring than sitting watching wet paint dry for soo long that it flakes off again).

 

I realised that my best opportunity was to use my strengths rather than struggle along with things i’m  not good at, so i thought about it and formed a plan! I spent most of my adult life hitch-hiking around seeking out adventure and have gotten very good at travelling on a tiny budget, and sharing my excitement for what-ever mission i happen to be on; and through Focallocal and working with young people i’m strong at setting up events. 

..So i’m off on a Road Trip around the Europe (and then hopefully the whole World!), putting on Focallocal events with local social groups and charities to spread the word about our project, and without a job i wont be able to keep on supporting Focallocal as it is.. and even with a job it would be tough if as many people join in as i hope will. 

This event was an experiment to discover whether it would be possible to support our Focallocal by hosting cool parties as i leave every town i visit, and also by asking people who like our vision if they would like to support it by offering something they can do for others at an auction. 

I do question myself sometimes, normally when i’m sitting alone in a bar or cafe at my laptop working on Focallocal ..as i do most evenings after work till closing ..or when i wake up and ask myself ‘why dont i have a bathroom or shower any more?’ whether people really have any interest in the Focallocal project, or whether they just come to enjoy the events some random guy keeps setting up for some bizarre reason.

The licenses and alcohol cost a lot of money and i was extremely nervous whether, or not, it would be a success. But our community came together in a way that was absolutely astounding , leaving me stunned  by the level of support and the kind words from the Focallocal community. Everyone who took the time to come will i’m sure agree that the event was a monumental success! there was an atmosphere full of kindness, happy people and positive energy all day long!!! Lots of wonderful people took the time to cover our van with cheerful paintings, a few folk helped run the bar, music and BBQ without even being asked, saving me from the exhaustion and stress of having to rush around all day.

By far the biggest success of the day in my eyes was the amount of people who offered things they could do at our auction to support our project, and offered other ways to support (including redesigning this website, and joining our marketing team), or insisted on overpaying for drinks just to give us a little lift. the day showed that we can support our project and keep  the mission for connection going through marvelous parties and the kindness of our community, and new friends we make along the road in our adventure!

The amount of support and kindness i received in the past week from our community has absolutely stunned me! in the nicest possible way. Its so amazing how many people were happy to give to keep the project moving forwards, and it has renewed my determination to give everything i have to take our message, project and mission for connection, around the world! Thank you all so much!!! :O)

Lastly, a little apology to the bands who gave their time to come out to play to help entertain everyone. I’m really sorry the generator wasn’t working, i was promised it would be but thank you so much for coming and i hope you’ll all consider sharing your music with us at the next event we throw!

I hope you all feel as amazing as you are to me everyone!

Andy at Focallocal :O)