A Billion + Opportunities for CreateAthon

  • Written by Teresa Coles

Twenty-four hours have passed since Peyton Rowe and I attended the launch event for A Billion+ Change, the national campaign to mobilize pro bono services. To say we are still reeling from it all is the understatement of the year. All day long, we tried to talk about what was going on around us, and we could barely form a sentence. The words simply would not come. You know when Teresa and Peyton are rendered speechless, something big has happened.

And large it was.

Teresa Coles, panelist at the Billion+ luncheon

We were asked at the end of the day to share an interesting takeaway. I’ll start with my response to that question, but I just can’t limit it to one. Instead, here are five takeaways that illuminated the day for me:

  1. There now exists a whole new professional sector of people who are trained and committed to seriously pursuing corporate social responsibility, not just managing donations. I think that’s amazing.
  2. The opportunity to experience the vibe that exists among these people. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen, other than CreateAthon: open, selfless, joyful. “Let me know what I can do to help” ended every conversation.
  3. The willingness to readily connect with others. Never have I been approached by so many people who wanted to trade cards, connect online, stay in touch. There’s a sense that we can all benefit by upholding each other, and it’s readily embraced.
  4. The chance that pro bono can become a permanent fixture of corporate culture. Jean Case stated it repeatedly, and I had never thought about it in those terms. Imagine if pro bono service became a given in every company in America.
  5. The grace that filled every corner of the room, be that a handshake, a smile, a hug. The opportunity to meet and develop relationships with so many incredible people dedicated to doing incredible things will carry me for the days and weeks to come.

in pretty good company

My heart beats a little faster today with the promise of so many good things to come through A Billion + Change, as well as the opportunities for CreateAthon. I truly believe the new relationships that have been formed will impact our ability to help CreateAthon grow in leaps and bounds. Today, Peyton and I are off to tell the CreateAthon story to friends at the ONE Campaign. Just imagine where that conversation could go: CreateAthon International?