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Last week was pretty special, even more special than the average day. I met Zach and his family, and helped his dream of owning the 'world's best quesadilla shop' come to life. NBC's The TODAY Show flew in to document the experience and the next day, we revealed Zach's final photo to him...it was, in his own words, "Awesome!"
The segment on the show kicked off a series they are doing called "One Day, One Deed" - and I'm honoured that they highlighted The Drawing Hope Project as part of it. It really IS that simple when you think of it - you don't need to think about saving the entire world. Or even making life better for 100 people or more. It's about what you can do, and what you do, every day. It's what you can do to make life better for just one person. Over time...all those little "one deeds" add up to one big difference you have made.
This project has been getting a LOT of attention lately, and it's amazing to watch the power it has to inspire and touch people, literally everywhere. And it all started out with one deed, on one day, over two years ago. Then another one. And another one. I never imagined it would or could ever add up to what it has. It's proof that the sum adds up to more than the parts. A Mom, who I have never met or worked with, wrote in yesterday, and it was so simple but meant so much to me. She wrote about how the project and all the photos and stories made her feel, in relation to her son with Autism: "It was like being able to see in his mind for a few minutes!" Every one of these magical photos and the stories of these amazing kids lives on beyond the photo shoot. They travel around and continue to inspire not only the child and family featured in the pic, but everyone who sees them. Each little warrior becomes that 'good deed' that has the power to change and inspire the lives of total strangers. And that's what it's all about.
NBC's The TODAY Show: April 14, 2014
The clip plays after the 'commercial' at the beginning. It's about 3 minutes long, and you can click the OPTIONS at the bottom to view it larger!
Zach, The King of Quesadillas
When I saw Zach's original drawing come in...I really had no idea what I was going to do. A Quesadilla Shop? Zach's story is so special...two heart transplants...who does that? Mixing his love of quesadillas (seriously, it's more of an obsession!) with his love (okay, obsession) of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and his personal story of his two transplants all together, here is what I came up with. I absolutely love it. Every time I finish one of these magical photos for The Drawing Hope Project, I experience that same moment as the Mom who wrote in...it's like I get to see inside and share the heart of that child, for just a few minutes. I think I'm more of a translator than an artist...taking the drawings and hopes of these children and translating them into something that is universal and can speak every language in the world. – xo Shawn