Wednesday, January 20, 2010

By the Numbers: Bloggers Give Back

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.)


Becky said...

That is such an awesome thing you guys did. I'm proud of all of you, as you should be of yourself!

Kate said...

I was touched as well, more than I could have even begun to comprehend. I'm still in awe over it, and finding more to fill me. I'm trying to write about it but putting it into words is daunting. How to you speak to the profound feelings in your heart?

Aaah. That's why I have been given the blessing of written word.

Robin said...

Liz - great post. It was so good to get a chance to visit with you while we were dancing -- oops, pouring and packing I mean. :) Hope to get a chance to talk again soon!

Crystal said...

Great review of the numbers - they defintely do the speaking for us.

So nice to meet you briefly last night. I'm sure I'll see you at a future event too!

The Marketing Mama said...


I love how you put together the list of numbers. What a beautiful way to show the impact of our time and energy last night. I'm so grateful you and I were on that journey together. :)

happygal said...

Liz, it was so great to meet you last night. And this gave such a great perspective on what this was all about!

Anti-Supermom said...

Liz, it was great to see you again last night and so happy that we shared in such an experience.

What a wonderful post!

Tastebud Tart said...

Thanks for a great post! Lovely to meet you last night!

MamaBear said...

It was great to meet you Liz and work along side you last night! I'm a big fan of "by the numbers" posts - even have a label for that on my blog :)

Hope to meet up again sometime!

recoveringprocrastinator said...

well said!

darcie said...

powerful powerful post.
crazy how much simple numbers really do mean.
It was soo fun to meet you last night. You are so much fun to be around!

The Fritz Facts said...

The numbers do mean so much don't they. This post was so very powerful, you made me thing back to it all and add the numbers.

It was so wonderful to meet you! I can't wait to do it again.

Roxane B. Salonen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roxane B. Salonen said...

Liz, since we talked about your thing for numbers the other night, this post clicked in a way it would not have earlier. I always talk about words being powerful, but you're right. Numbers pack a punch too, and you did an amazing job of melding the two here. I'm impressed, and inspired. Nicely done, and the connections keep coming, don't they? It's a beautiful thing.
[I deleted the earlier post because of a really weird typo that I blame on my keyboard...:)]

Mom Culture said...

so great to meet you last are so on top of your details! nice!

JM said...

Great post and great job! What a wonderful and awesome way to give back :)

Laura said...

what a great post. I was glad to meet you, and hope to see you again for something like this.

trishatfox said...

It was great to meet you. You did a wonderful job here showing the macro impact of what we did.
Take care.

Blessedw5mom said...

I've been reading many of the blog update from the Volunteers who went to feed my starving children and I just get goose bumps! You guys are awesome!!! Hope I can join in the next time!

Anonymous said...

Keep on posting such themes. I love to read articles like this. BTW add more pics :)

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!