This story is so crazy that I myself am still in awe. Don't allow anyone to talk you out of your dreams.
On Saturday night, in my home town at 730pm- it was 5 degrees and with the windchill it felt like -10 below freezing. I was reading all these articles how homeless people risk freezing to death in weather like this. Something came over me, I decided in that moment, with seeing all the pics of men, woman and children sleeping out in the cold and in their cars, that I was going to sleep outside and livestream it. My goal was to raise 10k. I kept thinking about how we spend billions of dollars trying to find life on other planets, yet we don't take care of the life on our own. I thought about all the empty foreclosed homes and all the people living on the streets.
Something struck a chord and I decided to go all in for people I didn't know but who I care so deeply for. I called my business coach, he said that, and I quote, "This has nothing to do with your brand. We will hold an event to raise money if you want- but get this crazy idea out of your head." My sister called me after she saw my post on fb about sleeping outside in the cold, and told me that I needed an intervention that this was crazy. I decided not to listen to the people in my life. I decided to listen to my gut. As I put on my jacket and gloves, I thought about how many people let others talk them out of something that they are passionate about, not because they don't care, its actually the opposite, its because they do care and they are scared for you.
Before I went outside, I closed my eyes for a moment in stillness and got on my knees. Something emotional came over me and tears started streaming down my face. I asked God for strength needed for the night to come. Ten I opened my eyes wiped my tears and I opened my front door to enter the bitter cold.
So at 930pm on Saturday night, I went outside and on to the freezing cold streets of Philadelphia. My post started to go viral and donations started pouring in. I went on periscope and streamed and posted videos to the website.
Within 2 hours, we had collected over $2,000 dollars with 100% of it for the homeless. Sleeping outside in the cold - was one of the hardest experiences of my life. My hands were on fire and burning. With the windchill, it felt like -10 degrees below freezing and every time the wind blew, it would send a burning sensation onto any area that was not covered up. People were looking at me as they walked by with disgusting looks. I am never looked at like that- and it was humbling to see what a homeless person goes through.
As the night went on, I had to keep getting up and walking to keep myself warm and keep from freezing. I had people in my community stay up with me all night and make sure I was okay and alive. Some guy named John Wolfe stayed with me to make sure I was okay. I even had a friend, who came up to Philadelphia and stayed with me through the night and brought me a battery for my phone too. Apparently his wife, a long time friend of mine, Marie McAfee saw me on periscope and decided that someone had to help me! lol She later told me, after seeing me their out there in the cold, all she she had to do was look at Bill who was sitting right next her, and he rolled his and said, "Ok, I will get my coat." As I think back now, I am 100% confident that Bill, Marie and John were angels. I would not have made it through the night without them.
At 7am, I was literally falling asleep standing up. I walked about 5 miles through out the night to keep my body from freezing. I decided to go home, to my warm bed. I had a whole new perspective on life. I had never been more grateful for my home. I ended up raising over $9,000 and donations are still coming in.
This goes to show you that one person, when their heart is in the right place can make a difference. My family and a few friends told me that I was crazy and that sleeping outside wouldn't do anything but get myself sick. It is sad to say but in most cases, your friends and family will be the ones who try to convince you not to move towards what you feel passionately about. Why? Not because they are mean, or trying to hurt you, but because they love you and because of their own fears.
So next time you have a great idea, don't let anyone talk you out of it. If I listened to my coach, my sister, and my dad, I would not have went and slept outside and I would not have raised all that money. The money I raised will get men, women and children out of the cold, sheltered and fed. Anything is possible if you believe it is. YOU can and do make a difference in the world.
So take a look at your life today and think about where you may have wanted to step forward and go for something but you allowed others to talk you out of it. Or how you didn't let others talk you out of something and you succeeded! It's through sharing our stories that we can empower and inspire others to reach for the stars and make the impossible possible.
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Sending you hugs, high fives, and pattern breaking ass slaps,
Carolyn Rim <3
Spark Your Rockstar