Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Wow, I resisted this one part of the mission. Couldn't figure out what I wanted to get out of it. Then I was too scared to actually contact the person. But it's done.

I chose Robin Smalley of mothers2mothers.

To be honest, while the mission of mothers2mothers is great: to prevent the transmission of AIDS from mother to child in Africa, that was not what drew me to Smalley.

I read a profile of her in More magazine speaking of how -- in the midst of her full career as journalist in Hollywood -- she picked up and moved her family [including teen daughters] to Africa to help found mothers2mothers.

That courage to reinvent herself after the age of 40 -- and to pick up and move "where the action is" -- well THAT is why I am choosing her as my hero.

And this is what I wrote her:

Dear Ms. Smalley,

I am a 42 year old mother of 4 who has been reading about you and your work in More Magazine and on the m2m website. I am writing you --even though I am nervous to do so-- because I am participating in an innovative "game" launched by the World Bank Institute [www.urgentevoke.com] that seeks to spawn innovate solutions to global problems and launch the next generation of social entrepreneurs. One of the challenges in EVOKE is to find and contact a hero. And after a good deal of introspection, I have chosen you.

To be honest, I am not sure where this overture should or could lead. I do know that I want to make a difference and that I was once afraid that I was rapidly becoming too "old" to do so. The courage you showed by reinventing your life is a model I aspire to.
I intend to learn more about m2m, of course. But what I most want to know is the story I know I have no right to. The story of how you made the decision to uproot your family's life -- the life of your teen girls -- and take on the new challenge thousands of miles from home. If you ever find yourself willing to share that story -- I know it might inspire and give courage to many other people, like myself, who want to know that it is possible.

Sincerely and with great respect,
Ayala Sherbow

Views: 17

Comment by Mita Williams on March 10, 2010 at 2:11am
I think you made a great choice. I'm so hoping she responds!
Comment by Ayala Sherbow on March 10, 2010 at 2:31am
She did! very graciously. and offered to share more of the personal side of her decision to uproot her family. I will follow up with more in a later post. :)
Comment by Fleep Tuque on March 10, 2010 at 7:10pm
Wow, that's a great letter and I wish I could award more than 1 courage point! Great to hear she wrote you back!
Comment by Murray Britton on March 11, 2010 at 1:02pm
Wonderful format, i want to ask your permission to take some key phrases out of this for my letter to my hero. I'm not very eloquent and reading what you wrote, i was thinking, "thats exactly what i want to say." =)

Also i would love to read her response and hear her story, get her permission and post it if you can! Great stuff
Comment by Hayden Darrell Linder on March 19, 2010 at 1:02pm
This sounds promising but I didn't give you a +1 courage for sending this letter. You're not that old, and sending this letter wasn't that scary.

I gave you a +1 courage for what you're going to do.
Comment by Chris Lancaster on April 5, 2010 at 7:34pm
Great work! I love the letter. You've taken the first step, now build on it!


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