It is a time to celebrate – The Love Foundation turns 10 on March 3rd!
It is amazing to me that ten years have gone by so quickly. What began as a simple idea to share the practical wisdom of unconditional love, has blossomed into an internationally recognized nonprofit organization that has become the leading resource “inspiring people to love unconditionally.”
From the very beginning, we knew we would be somewhat different from the common nonprofit in that we would be an all volunteer network of individuals, we would approach our growth organically and we would focus on our vision rather than fundraising. To our delight we have accomplished all this and so much more. The talent, resources and finances have all come as needed to fulfill our vision.
As you might imagine, in the initial days when we began sharing our vision of unconditional love, we were met with a great deal of skepticism, apprehension, and thankfully, some warm embraces. We even wondered at times how we were going to inspire others and implement our mission. We were energized by all of those early experiences and continued to find ways to build programs around our message and theme of unconditional love.
I awoke one night in November of 2003 with the idea of Global Love Day for each May 1st and with the theme of “love begins with me.” I approached our board and everyone was in full agreement to move forward. We were all excited that we finally had a specific form that could help promote awareness for our vision and mission.
We began spreading the awareness through simple emails of introduction to people around the world. The positive response was immediate. A couple of weeks later I had the additional idea to create an Art, Essay and Poetry Invitational designed as a complimentary program around the inspiration of Global Love Day and as a way to encourage the loving wisdom of our youth.
Many delightfully unexpected things happened next. We were making wonderful connections around the globe and one day had an inquiry from someone in Nairobi, Kenya wanting to know how she could be involved with us. That was the day our Volunteer Country Coordinators came into being. Lydiah, from Nairobi, was quickly followed by Raphael in (then) Port Harcourt, Nigeria coming to offer their time and talent.
Since Global Love Day was both an individual and also a community type of event, we sent out invitations to Governors, Mayors and Councils to acknowledge the day. Within a very short time, we had our first proclamation from the Mayor of Salt Lake City. The media enjoyed poking a bit of fun with the Mayor and our organization, yet in the end they admitted it could only help. By the time the first Global Love Day came, we had twelve proclamations, including our own hometown of Tampa, three governors and several other prominent city Mayors and Councils from around the US.
May 1st, 2004 arrived and we had made contact with individuals and organizations in 36 countries. Each came to us with their courage and support of our vision. Our main flyer had been translated into several languages and over 300 submissions came in from around the world for our Art, Essay and Poetry Invitational. We decided then and there to continue supporting both programs the following year.
Our next significant program was the honorary designation of Love Ambassadors. We knew there were so many inspiring and unconditionally loving people that are the silent heroes of our world and we thought it would help to acknowledge them. This program was launched in late 2004 with our first seven Love Ambassadors.
Around this same time, we were invited to a halfway home for women coming out of prison locally in Tampa to introduce basic meditation as a helpful life skill. We made it a point to focus on self-love and self-esteem. After that first night they asked us to come back the following week to continue to share the wisdom of unconditional love. We went back that week and every week for the next two years. The experience touched every one of us to the core. Several of these amazing women are still in our lives.
Over the ensuing years, we have continued to present Global Love Day each May 1st and are now coming to our seventh annual. We have expanded our Art, Essay and Poetry Invitational to reach a full range of people, received 35 translations of our flyer and as of this writing have 260 proclamations from prominent government leaders.
We have also designated over 200 honorary Love Ambassadors, have added over 30 Country Coordinators from around the world and 10 State Coordinators throughout the US. We produce a monthly inspirational message and have added countless pages to our main web site with information and resources related to unconditional love. We are in regular contact with individuals in 136 countries and that number keeps growing.
In 2008 we were awarded a Google Grant where they provide additional exposure in internet search at no cost to us. This grant continues today and has brought us tremendous additional coverage. That same year we were also awarded a YouTube nonprofit channel; even though we didn’t know what kind of videos we would even create. As miracles are, a beautiful volunteer came to us a few weeks later saying she could produce videos for us and we currently have 125 inspiring videos on our channel with several hundred thousand views so far.
One of our greatest surprises over the years has been the interest and support from people in the African nations. Remember our original pair of Coordinators from Kenya and Nigeria? They became our East and West Africa Directors to help oversee the growth we have experienced there. We also enjoy a very large response from India and surrounding nations, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and of course the US, Canada, Australia and parts of Central and South America. Each day we welcome the new emails where people introduce themselves and lend their support to our mutual vision.
In keeping with the latest trends, we have a presence on numerous social sites including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and the Ning platforms among others. These are providing marvelous opportunities to connect with existing friends around the world in real time along with making countless new friends with every passing day.
Perhaps our greatest accomplishment has been our ability to bring unconditional love into the common vocabulary and awareness of a greater population along with initiating the necessary discussion as to its meaning and potential in our personal and collective lives.
Over the past ten years, The Love Foundation has become a global family of people who understand that love is both our birthright and our responsibility. We are here because of you and are grateful every day for your support whether as direct volunteers, occasional admirers, through your inspirational ideas and financial contributions. Mostly, we are honored by your courage to be the example and inspire us to love unconditionally.
Love, light and peace,
Harold W. Becker
President and Founder
Along with the Board - John, Tam, Lanis, and Erik
And our Country and Regional Coordinators - Lydiah, Raphael, Magda, Martin, Emmanuel, Peris, Wendi, Keyvan, Julie, Shiva, Shed, Sahro, Zuberi, Karim, Falguni, Matthew, Kimiko, Ebrima, D. Amalraj, Wojciech, Melony, Roger, Deby, Mitzi, Heather, Jana, Kaleemullah, Javier, Bishwanath, Zeina, Kelvin, Neabei, Godwin, Suraj, Tony, Alex, Benjamin, Balakrishnan, Alexander, Rick, Roauf, Rio and Aaron
The Love Foundation, Inc.
“Inspiring People to Love Unconditionally”
Think: Global Love Day
Feel: Love Begins With Me
Remember: May 1, 2010