Story of the Week: The NAKED Prom Dude

The way I see it, we have two options in life:

Option A:
"Somebody needs to fix that!" Be an armchair complainer busy yelling at the talking heads on your TV about the problems in the world.

Option B: "What can I do to fix that?" Get off your donk and do something about those problems.

True, it's hard to conceptualize how one individual can solve a monumental problem, especially one that impacts life on a global scale. But everything doesn't have to be some ginormous project. Everybody can be a change-maker in their own neighborhood or community.

I don't talk about my job a whole lot on this blog but, well, in a nutshell, I love it. Six months ago I started working at GOOD with the Pepsi Refresh Project as their Ambassador for Education. If you don't know much about it, in a nutshell Pepsi's giving away $1.3 million a month to projects submitted by everyday people who look around their communities and think to themselves, hey, I'd like to change (______) insert your idea there. Sky's the limit.

The projects are voted on by the public, and then the 32 ideas with the most votes get grants ranging from $5K-$250K to make their project happen. I get to tell their stories on the Pepsi Refresh Blog and I'm part of the team here at GOOD that helps ensure the projects actually get executed well. There's no handing somebody a check and saying, "Good luck with that!"

Anyway, now that our grantees are really getting things off the ground, I've been thinking of sharing a story of the week with you. They're really inspiring, and in a world where there is always so much bad news, we need more than ever to hear the stories of people getting out there and wrecking shop on the problems in their communities.

Story of the Week

The first story I'm going to share is of a Southern gentleman named Calvin Cannon. He's from Shelbyville, TN and his "Clothe the N.A.K.E.D. (Nice and Kind Educated Dude) Prom Date is one of those projects where no, he's not engineering world peace, but he's making a difference in the lives of the teens in his community.

When I interviewed Mr. Cannon for the story I wrote about him and his project, I was so touched by his sincerity and his insight into the needs of guys from low-income backgrounds. I don't know if we always take into consideration how tough it might be for guys to finance being outfitted for such a special event.

Our video division went out and filmed him and some of the low-income teens he helped. I had tears in my eyes after watching this:

Sit on the sidelines and complain or do something about the problems in the world. It's clear that Calvin Cannon is a doer... and that's why he's my story of the week!


Lola Gets said…
VERY nice! Ive heard of all sorts of organizations that help teen girls with gowns for the prom; its nice to see that the guys arent being left out.
Liz Dwyer said…
That's what I thought, too. And then when you see the smiles of the guys and see how happy they are, it totally makes my day!
Remnants of U said…
This is great. Yes, I've never heard of anyone dress the guys for Prom.
Liz Dwyer said…
I tear up during the video when they show the guys and their dates at the end. Such a good project! I hope more with that kind of spirit get grants.

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