By: Mary Kurek
President of Frontrunners Development, Inc. (Publisher of Frontrunners Innovate and Founder, The Frontrunners League of Social Impact Innovation)
On the morning of November 10th, I arose quite early. Still dark outside, I enjoyed the solitude…the quiet that allows for slow awakening and a meditative time before coffee. I had no idea how impactful this day would become.
My cell phone suddenly pinged. It was a Linkedin message. The father of our youngest Frontrunners League member was just sending me notes on his amazing daughter and how far she has come from the baby who had life-saving surgery at 9 days old. A surprising communication since I really only had interacted with him on calls with his teenage daughter. But, this endearing parlay of communication continued throughout the next hour before I received a startling text message from my business partner that read…
“You have a League member in trouble.”
The message included a copy of a message from another League member in an African country. She had created the friendship through our Whatsapp group. There was concern that she couldn’t get our African member to answer the phone once she knew there was a medical condition that had progressed along with other burdens causing a fairly significant level of despair. Reading the message, I felt that our very smart, and incredibly talented young innovator seemed to be truly in trouble. My partner, the originator of the message, and I hopped on a call immediately to brainstorm what we might do to be of help.
While we each had large and diverse networks around the world, we really couldn’t come up with any good resources in the country of our member in crisis. We left the call vowing to continue trying to locate someone in that country to could somehow be of support.
I then made an attempt to call our troubled League member. No answer.
I began reviewing all my networks for local contacts, but, had no success. Convinced that this situation didn’t just “show up,” but, that I was somehow meant to be of service, I finally made an exasperated plea to the one I knew held the answer:
“Dear God, you don’t usually put something like this in front of me without making it clear how I can be part of the solution. If there’s a connection I need to make, show me who.”
Suddenly, clarity erupted! I had actually been in communication with exactly the right person all morning long. A miracle was unfolding.
The father of our youngest League member was a Pharmacist and Patient Advocate in the same country as our member in crisis. I hadn’t made the connection right away as the daughter lives in a separate country from her father. I think I knew his location some time ago, but, because we hadn’t really spent a lot of time communicating previously, the dots just didn’t connect immediately.
I hurried my pajama-clad self over to my laptop, found our prospective “angel on the ground,” and asked for this enormous favor. His response:
“Give me the number; I’ll call right now.”
The rest of the story: Turns out our “angel” was located within a half-hour of our member whom he met in person within the following hour. After a very emotional start to their meeting, our “angel” told our member that he’d solicit support from doctors in his network and take over the health situation to help secure proper testing so that medications could get sorted. The mission was to provide a foundation for a return to health so that the stability of life could be rebuilt. By the end of the week, most of the tests had been completed and by the end of a dozen days, all was completed including adjustment of medications and commencement of monitoring.
This way back isn’t as simple as it sounds, and the story continues to unfold, but our member is feeling lots better with health symptoms clearing and is busy restoring stability. It seems that real progress is being made.
When you consider the mission of that day started with a concerned League member located in one continent concerned about a fellow member in another continent, then advanced to another member in yet another continent, then back again to the continent where the crisis was spinning, then you realize that this is nothing short of amazing…and an absolute story of love, faith, and follow-through.
I know of the gratitude that comes from our African member, but what I didn’t expect was the immense gratitude that was expressed by our “angel” who feels his part in this effort was a gift given to him. Gratitude extends also to our far-away member whose friendship toward her African fellow brought about this needed support. Her compassion and action-oriented spirit made all the difference.
Don’t mistake this for a story of Christmas magic. While this was no doubt an incredible story of a collective act of faith where we could express our global love, this type of thing actually isn’t an uncommon occurrence within the League.
In the last year, acts of faith and fellowship within the League have been happening and growing. I’ve noticed requests for mentorship, recommendations for leadership, education, and awards opportunities, meetings of support between parties far apart, and simple offers to be of service between members. These are acts that I simply can’t label as rooted in business. There’s something bigger at work here; and no matter how small the act, there is nothing insignificant about the benefit.
I’m not sure I’ve ever known a business network to evolve into this kind of thing, but, I’m calling it like I see it. And, what I see, is a movement among members that I’m referring to as Frontrunners in Faith.
I don’t want to discount the beautiful spontaneity of what’s happening within the League by trying to over-organize it, but, I do want to put a spotlight on it, because, while we, individually, aren’t looking for publicity for our greater-good work, the motivation this kind of thing inspires is important…no, it’s critical for our emotional growth as a world of shared human-hood.
To that end, we are opening up a Whatsapp group for those members of the League who wish to connect more deeply, share, and impact more individually…from the heart. We want to encourage members to share their own experiences as a voluntary participant in this movement.
If we were to define a “moonshot,” we’d like to see this movement expand out from the Frontrunners League waterfalling across the planet, across all forms of loving faith, and diverse persons. Why not? It’s already started.
If you are a League member and wish to be connected to the Whatsapp group, please inform, and we’ll get you the link. As for now, it is a group restricted to League members…but, the good works are not.