Last week, I attended the 2011 kickoff dinner for the Bay Area Professional Videographers Association, a group I joined in 2009. Amazingly, they decided to give me a Volunteer Service Award for the work I did with The SOLD Project. I’ve received a lot of congratulations, and I’ve felt so honored and humbled that such talented videographers would decide my video was good enough for selection.
As proud as I am about this, the recognition is unevenly distributed. The fear I have in writing this post is that some might think I’m unappreciative or trivializing the honor of receiving the award. I really hope it’s not taken that way, I don’t want to exude false humility under the pretense of saying it was undeserved. But I hope people realize that my short trip is a tiny gesture compared to the incredible work of so many others who have sacrificed far more than myself to further SOLD’s cause of ending child prostitution and human trafficking in Thailand.
I took 2 months last year to volunteer for SOLD, came back home, put a little promo video together, and got back to “normal life.” Meanwhile, the staff at the organization have spent years of their life working tirelessly toward the cause, and volunteers have spent up to almost a year pouring themselves into the project and their sponsored kids.
I am inspired by and in awe of my lovely sister Rachel, her husband Kevin, Nate and Rachel Sparks-Graeser, Tawee Donchai, Plah Chermui, Michael Manes, Michael and Heather Colletto, Deirdre Flynn (aka P’Dara), Shannon O’Malley, and so many others who have been involved with SOLD. And there are still other remarkable souls in Chiang Rai who are living out their passion for social justice by getting up every morning and selflessly choosing to make a difference.
Every single person listed above deserves a trophy room of awards for the real difference they’re making through their remarkable perseverance. These people truly inspire me in a way I can’t explain short of introducing them, and I hope that others are aware of just how much recognition they deserve. I’m honored by the award I’ve received, but my work is a small piece of the puzzle in a much larger cause. If you know any of these amazing individuals, please let them know how awesome they are. :)
Thank you again to BAPVA for the incredible honor, and thank you to those who are making a difference in Northern Thailand.