#PowerOfConnection – The journey of 86 desks across the US and making connections all the way across America. World Education Connection received an amazing donation of 86 practically brand new desk/chair combinations from good friends Treg & Lori Forech Brown, as well as the great people at The University Of Northwestern in Roseville, Minnesota. This was something we couldn’t pass on, as some of the schools in our program in Tanzania don’t have enough desks for their students. We saw this as a wonderful opportunity for, what could become an annual fundraiser. The goal is to sell the desks for just below face value, and take the dollars raised on a trip to Tanzania to visit the schools in our program, and deliver desks that we will purchase there. If you think of the Toms shoes model of “buy 1/give 1”. This will be a buy 1, give 2-4. We are currently looking to collaborate with someone on this fundraiser, that we hope could bring in some real dollars for our program. The journey of getting the desks here to Southern California in itself was a testament to the power of connection. My husband and I flew out on Friday from Los Angeles International airport and landed in St. Paul Minnesota where it was -5 degrees celsius. We took an Uber to Penske truck rental, where we picked up our 26 foot box truck. My husband did an amazing job of navigating the icy roads over to The University Of Northwestern where we were greeted by several volunteers. That is the power of connection, having people volunteer to come out in the sub freezing cold weather just because it’s the right thing to do…help one another. We had the truck loaded in less than 30 minutes and on our way back to California. We drove south down to Iowa where we spent a few hours in a motel, and continued on to Amarillo, Texas on Saturday. We managed to roll in about 2:30am Sunday morning. Just long enough to get a few hours of rest. Sunday morning it’s hard to believe we left Texas with the goal of getting back to California. Mind you, the truck was never able to go over 65/70 miles per hour!! Yeah, not very good for this lead foot! We left Texas before the sun came up, but didn’t make it too far out of town before our temperature light came on. Luckily, we were able to pull off the road, and into a driveway of a small ranch while we waited for Penske to send out someone to help get us back on the road. His name was Bill, and what a wonderful, kind man he was. We did have to wait an extra 10 minutes for his arrival, as he shared that his dog likes to sit on his lap for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. With a magic touch he had us up and going in 3 hours :(. That set us back a bit. Our midnight arrival time seemed highly unlikely. After over 15 hours on the road, we finally pulled in to our driveway. It wasn’t Sunday, but early Monday morning, 3:15am. I know it seems crazy, but what seemed crazier is the desks winding up in a landfill. I was determined to get them! The journey along the way, carrying my camera, always had people asking “what are you doing”? When they got over the shock and probably stupidity of what we were doing, they were very open to speak about what connection meant to them. I’m very excited to share our journey in a short little film that will come out soon. Any regrets….not one! The amazing power of connection when you open up to people and listen, is the place we connect with all. We just need to allow ourselves to get out of our comfort zone and listen with new ears.