On May 3, the Elon Microfinance Initiative student group sponsored a “Love Letters to Mom” event on campus. In fact, Irazu Coffee (located in the Moseley Center in the heart of Elon’s campus) was kind enough to host the event with plenty of space and hospitality.
The event was originally scheduled to be a basic “Meet the Author” and purchase-an-autographed-copy-of-the-books kind of event, but there was a last minute snag that came up, in which we had to face the choice of cancelling the event or being flexible enough to come up with another idea.
The EMI gave me the choice on how we should move forward, and I chose flexibility. It meant more work at the last minute in order to be appropriately prepared, but I wanted the chance to enjoy the adventure. I didn’t want to feel like I was copping-out at the last minute just because I wasn’t energetic enough to come up with another angle for the event.
And so, the event evolved into a FREE Love Letters to Mom event. We invited the entire campus community to stop in and get a free love letter written and shipped directly to their “chosen ones.” In almost every case, the participant chose to send a letter to their moms. And why not?! It’s perfect timing for those unsuspecting Moms…just a couple days before Mother’s Day – BAM – an early surprise that shares love and appreciation. What mom isn’t going to melt?
This event was one of the hardest and most fun to date. Hard only because I was focused for a straight 2 hours on channeling the love and appreciation to others on behalf of the people who participated. By the end, I was exhausted – happy, delighted, resonating with the AMAZING stories I heard – but pooped. Not to mention, so was my hand – these were handwritten letters for that added punch of traditional love letter-ism. And fun, well, because of the obvious – everyone was excited about the sneaky delight in surprising their Mom with an honest-to-goodness love letter.
It brought the kid out in all of us. Which, made this event stand out from all the others: there was a spirit of Christmas-surprise and enduring-Valentine’s love all rolled into one.
And to think, I could have easily missed all of this. I could have told the EMI to shelve the idea until the Fall 2012 semester when we could have more time to think around the bump in the road. Because I was open to being flexible, because I decided to jump into the adventure, because I was willing to put in a little extra work…I received the greatest of treasures: hearing sentiments of love and appreciation from the mouths of sons and daughters to their moms. There’s nothing like it. Talk about some killer ROI.