My Light

It finally dawned on me that life is really a circle. It’s 5:50 AM and I’m eating my granola and scanning through the countless emails on my Blackberry. What else are you gonna do at that time of day? One email came from AWB, better known as the Alternative Winter Break program from Young Judaea. My daughter Lior and her best friend Orli (my partner Amir’s daughter) are currently part of the program. They are down in New Orleans volunteering for a week.

What catches my attention in the AWB newsletter is a post from Lior. Making e-newsletters is what I do for a living. Our company designs, produces and delivers e-newsletters. Lots of them. We send millions of e-newsletters a month. I eat and breathe e-newsletters.

And here I’m reading one that has post written by my 15 year old daughter. But the thing that got me is that she is writing about something that is very dear to my heart. She is writing about helping Green Light New Orleans bring light to homes that really need it.

Even more amazing, right below her article was a post about helping build homes for Katrina victims with the Saint Bernard Project (SBP). I almost fell off the seat. Here is the same group that OpenMoves helped market three years ago by providing a website and of course an e-newsletter. SBP founder, Liz McCartney was the CNN hero of the year and we were part of the story. Lior and Orli were only 13 when all this was going on. New Orleans must have seemed like some far, far away place. But something stuck.

Lior and Orli are with a group of teens who are volunteering their time to help the less fortunate who have been forgotten after the media left town. And it was all in this e-newsletter. My brain is only working on two cylinders at this time of the morning, but this is blowing my mind.

You see Lior and Orli have never been apart more than a couple of weeks since birth. Theirs is the most remarkable of friendships. We often combine their names to save time: Liorli. Since birth they have done everything together. I mean everything from sports, education, travel adventures, art, sewing, horseback riding, tennis, boys, music, summer camps, snowboarding, trips to Israel, even rafting down the Grand Canyon. They have had 534 sleepovers to date. If you want a complete list of the experiences these two shared in just fifteen years of life, I’d need another blog post. But the the hidden jewel lies in their names. In Hebrew, each of their names mean the same thing: “my light!”

And here they are going around lighting up New Orleans with hope by helping the same group that our company had started helping 3 years ago. By now smoke is coming out of my ears trying to weave all of these threads together. None of this was planned. It just happened…or did it?

Maybe as parents we set our intention to help drive some of the darkness out of the forgotten corners of New Orleans and now our kids are on the ground sending e-newsletters back to us filled with hope about the contribution they are making to repair a piece of the world. What goes around comes around. Yes sir!

I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking we named these girls right. They are living up to their namesake and then some.

Proud dad…

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