I may work mostly with words these days but channeling my latent math geek is something I still do from time to time. (Don't ask me about my calculus doodles in my Master's ethics classes!) Numbers are powerful for me. Some people are able to take them as simple numbers but for me what they represent make numbers heavy duty things in my mind.
For example if you've been overweight you know that the numbers on the scale can bring intense joy or sorrow. If you've had pre-eclampsia you know the dread of watching your BP numbers heading north. If you live in MN the number -20 has a real life chill to it.
Numbers mean things.
Last night meant something too.
Last night 40 Minnesota Bloggers of all sorts (see a full list here) gathered for a gathering to give back. First we all met at Houlihan's to meet and share our stories and our blogs. I had met only two of the 40 attendees before but everyone was so wonderful, lovely and giving - not to mention seriously talented writers - that I'm still a bit in awe to be considered among them.
The dinner and mingling was wonderful but real impact happened 4 miles (and a few U-turns) away at Feed My Starving Children. In our caravan, 40 bloggers joined some other volunteer groups to pack nutritious meals for starving children around the world - particularly in Haiti where our meals were slated to go.
It was there that the power of numbers hit me in full force.
18,000 - the number of children who die of starvation everyday.
19 lbs - the weight of an 8 yr old starving child named Omar before FMSC.
27 lbs - the weight of my own baby goat at 10.5 MONTHS.
73 lbs - the weight of Omar 6 months later after 1 cup of food a day from FMSC.
17 cents - the amount it costs FMSC to feel one child a day.
13,824 - the number of meals packed in about an hour of work.
38 - the number of kids who will eat for one year because of us.
39 - other bloggers who I was blessed to share last night with.
(at least) 1 - person whose heart was touched because of last night - me.
Numbers are powerful. The numbers can be daunting, scary and overwhelming, but they can also be uplifting, spiritual and life-giving. It took so little to do so much. In one hour it might not be 18,000 but 17,962...will you help make it even less?
(And maybe, just maybe, I stuck with numbers because I don't yet have the words to describe it all, but you can't prove anything.)