One Million Thank Yous!

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Hi everyone!

I had an amazing reminder of the experience myself and over 1,000 other runners from Team Kensington had last weekend during the Detroit Free Press Marathon. You have to watch the video the Kensington Arts team created to celebrate the work God is doing here in Michigan and in Kenya.

As I watched that (4 times already) I couldn’t help but get emotional (I may or may not have cried). That truly was an amazing experience that I will never forget. What resonated with me most were the faces that I saw along the 26.2 miles that were there to encourage me to finish. I truly believe each of them were placed there at certain points when I began to doubt myself and whether or not I would finish. What was even more amazing was the injury that prevented me from running the 18+ days leading up to the race didn’t bother me at all during the run.

Most importantly, the money keeps coming in. To date, we are at $963,000. I do have one more ask of all of you…would you consider helping me spread the word about Team Kensington and Hope Water Project to your friends and family? I raised my goal to $3,000 and am looking to raise just $285 more dollars. Who knows, maybe your friends and family know someone that ran but didn’t realize they were part of Team Kensington. Below are a couple of links. The first is directly to my donation page. The second is to the search function to see if you know any runners that ran for Kensington.

My Donation Page: http://www.hopewaterproject.org/fundraisers/39

Main Donation Page: http://www.hopewaterproject.org/fundraisers?campaign_id=10

Please consider helping me one last time by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. November 3rd is the goal. I’m confident with your help, we can hit $1,000,000 and make a difference in the lives of the Pokot for GENERATIONS to come.

Thank you again!

In Him,

Patrick

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See You Next Year @TEDxDetroit

I’m 2 days removed from TEDx Detroit and I miss it.

I miss the connections.

I miss seeing my fellow board members.

I miss seeing the attendees.

I miss seeing the inspiration.

I miss seeing the optimism.

I’m glad I miss it.  Now I’m hopeful that everyone that attended has something to grasp onto and feel inspired.

Inspired to do.

Inspired to create.

Inspired to share.

Inspired to make a difference.

The story from Wednesday that continues to resonate in my head is the one of connecting tw0 lab participants in a possible business deal.  That’s what TEDx is all about.  Bringing people together and allowing their creativity to grow, their ideas to develop and ultimately putting them into action.

A special note to my fellow board members of TEDx Detroit.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve with you.  All of you have a special place in my heart because of the passion that you have for what this event is all about.  I learned a lot and I look forward to doing it all over again next year.  There are so many memories that I’d love to share and it would take me hours to gather them here in this post.  So the memories I’ll leave you with are photos.  Photos from Sarah Cunningham, author and one of our awesome volunteer photographers.  Take a look at her view of TEDx Detroit from her camera lens.

Photo Credit: Sarah Cunningham

So many memories to last a lifetime.

To all the attendees, take what you learned and inspired you and do something with it.  Our opportunity is now to show the world what we can do.  Take the lead.  Make it happen.

See what others are saying about TEDx Detroit:
I Was Part of Something BIG Wednesday from Elena Wollborg
TEDx Detroit 2011 Thank You from Charlie Wollborg

Want 2 Tickets to @TEDxDetroit?

TEDx Detroit is a week away!  Can you believe it?  I certainly am excited to gather the biggest and brightest minds our community has to offer for this day of community and idea generation!  I really want to encourage all of you to take this day to attend and I’m giving away 2 tickets to next week’s TEDx Detroit so you can.  All you need to do is tell me why you deserve the 2 tickets in the comments below.  I’ll pick the best answer and let the winner know tomorrow.  Make sure you leave your twitter handle in the comments too!

If you don’t win, there is still time to get your tickets.  Go to tedxdetroit.com and apply today!

To get your creative juices flowing today, I wanted to share with you last year’s talk from DJ Prime Minister.  If you are turntable kind of person, you’ll love this.  Remember, get your responses in by end of day today!

Detroit Still Has A Long Way To Go

Recently Men’s Health posted the Top 100 Socially Networked Cities in the U.S. There were a few surprises, especially with some cities that I expected to see in the top 10 (Chicago #39, New York #53).  There was also a little disappointment to see Detroit ranked #94 in the study and listed under “least socially networked.”  Yes, I know it’s ridiculous to put any weight in a study like this however, it did make me realize that the place I call home has a long way to go.  I sometimes forget that not everyone uses Foursquare or Gowalla to check in.  People I know still don’t get Twitter.  What is Instagram?  Tumblr…huh?  I think you get the idea.

This ranking goes further than being socially networked.  It goes further than the many entrepreneurs I know that are determined to open up shop in the city and look for their opportunities to make a difference Detroit’s rebirth.  What is going to actually make a difference?  I think it has to be the adoption of not just the social tools I mentioned earlier, but also the adoption of the technologies that are available today by the large corporations in the area.

Look at what Ford has done in the social space.  They are leveraging the tools.  They have created a personality behind the blue oval.  They are developing vehicles that leverage the new connected customer and making the car more than just a car.  Don’t blink.  Now they are looking to the cloud.

The biggest thing that we can do as “socially connected” people is educate.  We have a network that we should leverage and begin to find ways to teach others.  The biggest asset we have is not a particular product or service.  It’s actually our intellectual property and what we know about technology and the web that we must share.

I still see companies trying things they’ve always done before.  Marketing has changed.  PR has changed.  Sales has changed.  Customer service has changed.  All because of the web and the social tools at our disposal.  I’m not suggesting the web is the cure for everything (but it’s close!).  What I am suggesting is that the web has now become more of an integral part of how people and companies do business in the world today.  The “traditional” methods of doing business are now historical methods.  The “future” technologies are now current technologies.

It’s time to educate so Detroit can move up from least socially networked to one of the top socially networked cities.  What are you doing to teach others?  Start by inviting them to 2 upcoming events this April…Ignite Detroit on April 14th and Future Midwest on April 28-29.  After that, do something with the knowledge you’ll gain and the connections you’ll make.  #makeithappen

Maybe Glenn Beck Was Right

Before you decide to beat me up, please hear me out.

Glenn Beck has certainly caused a stir.  As much of a stir as Chris Hansen did when he did his report on NBC.  The people of Detroit are outraged, mad, offended, etc.  How dare he compare Detroit to Hiroshima!  How dare he lay blame on politics and government!  How dare he show those images of our once treasured architecture?  He is absolutely wrong in his assessment of Detroit.  Period.

Or is he?  Maybe there is some merit to what he was saying.  I’m not going to be popular for saying this, but I think he may just be on to something.  Take out the inaccuracies in his facts about the bailouts or the political blame and corruption for one moment.  The perception nationally is exactly what he portrayed.  It’s exactly what Chris Hansen portrayed on NBC.  If you ask anyone outside of Detroit, the perception is not entirely positive so I can’t completely disagree with Beck’s assessment of my beloved city.

I know first hand that the people of Detroit and of Michigan are passionate about this place and hate to hear when people say mean things about us.  However, the mean things are true and that’s why it hurts.  This is the reality of Detroit today.  Mayor Dave Bing in his State of the City even said Detroit was a “work in progress.”  Where we often get passionate is when someone outside of us speaks the truth.  To me it feels like we entitle ourselves to be the only ones that can talk about Detroit because we live here.

That’s one part of the problem.  We build up walls to divide those who can and cannot talk about Detroit.  It even happens locally.  Urban and suburban have disagreed for decades and a wall has continued to grow higher and higher separating the very people that can be mobilized into action to make a difference.  In my 38 years (soon to be 39) as a Michigan resident, all I’ve known is this “great divide” and very little has been done to break it down.

The other part of the problem (in my opinion) is the lack of action.  We are great at talking about how things can change in Detroit.  We are great at criticizing those that criticize us.  All talk.  Where is the action?  Who are the people that go out and do things to improve this city?  Who are the people that are making a difference?

I’m not trying to make light some of the amazing work that is happening in the city.  There are people and companies doing things to make Detroit better, but change truly won’t happen until the masses of people that call Detroit home (the region, not city proper) get off the couch and do something besides talk.

Mayor Bing closed his State of the City address perfectly with a call to action:

It is time for us to look in the mirror and recognize that Detroit is on the right track.  More importantly, it is time for all of us to think about what we can do to help our city.  Good government creates an environment to help regular people do extraordinary things.  It inspires people to work together and take responsibility for their community.   That is the Detroit we want to be, and are working to become. But we cannot do it without your help. It is time to ask…what will your contribution be?

That’s the solution.  Action.  Action causes change.  Speeches don’t.  So I ask you…what will your contribution be?  What are you going to DO today to make a difference and change perceptions?  What are you going to do to change the minds of national media like Glenn Beck and Chris Hansen so they can do a report on how Detroit has come back like Hiroshima?

Look Right. Click.

In October of last year, I attended Catalyst in Atlanta.  Scott Harrison from Charity Water spoke about his organization and what they are attempting to do to bring clean water to the world.  It’s amazing how simple it is to participate and how impactful they have been in raising money for their cause.

As I was playing around with my blog tonight, I noticed a widget I could install for social causes and saw that Charity Water was participating.  Guess what?  If you look to your right, you’ll see it!  Now that you see it, please click the banner and help me raise some money for them.

Did you know that 1 in 8 people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water?  This is just 1 amazing statistic from their “Why Water” page.  Scott Harrison shares more in the video below.  It’s a highlight of his talk from Catalyst last year.  After watching it, look right and click.

Catalyst East 2010: Scott Harrison from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Can I Pray For You?

If a friend asked you this question, how would you feel?  How would you respond?

This thought popped into my head today and it was one that was confirmed after watching Steve Norman speak on Ephesians 6 on KensingtonChurch.tv tonight.  It’s this idea of praying for others.  I want to make this a weekly topic on this blog.  It’s an opportunity for me to do something for you on your terms and only if you want me to.  So here is how it’s going to work.  In the comments of this post each Wednesday, tell me what your prayer requests are.  If you want to keep it vague and just ask for prayer, perfect.  If there is something specific and you feel comfortable sharing, leave your request in the comments.  If you prefer to send it to me privately, send me a DM on Twitter (@patrickreyes).  Whatever way you choose and whatever it is you want me to pray for, just let me know.  The one thing I would ask (again, only if you feel comfortable doing so) is to let me and everyone here know if the prayer worked!

I have no idea if you will take me up on this but I hope you do.  I really want to do this because I feel like praying for others is something we are called to do.  Who knows, maybe even others that read your requests will pray for you too!  There is power in prayer and if we all join together I can only believe God will hear and answer according to His will.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:18 TNIV)