Each year our organization holds a fundraiser to feature the work we do of connecting youth and transforming lives. I was honored to introduce a young lady named Zoe to the audience. Because you were not there I wanted to be sure you had the chance to hear what she said. I threw the camera up as we headed on stage so the quality is not the best, but the story is worth hearing. I originally met her in the school and she got involved in our art program. At one point she pulled me aside and told me that some words I said to her in passing had meant a great deal to her.
Her story inspires me to keep going in this work. I hope it encourages you as a supporter of my work. If you are not a supporter, would you consider doing so? Right now through to the 31st of December (2013) the Chimp Foundation will allow you to make a donation to my work with ZERO fees. This is an amazing opportunity to help me out. Every penny helps. Thanks for considering this request. Click the following link to donate (just be sure to note that it is for Danny Ferguson for me to receive it) Thanks so much.
If you don't have a chance to watch the video at least read the transcript of Zoe speech here:
It was about this time last year that I started attending an art club at my local community centre. I’ve loved art since I was a little girl, and some of my friends went to it so I thought I’d go check it out. I loved it. I wasn’t taking any art classes at school, so art club became my way to express myself creatively. I made the effort to go every week, and I can proudly say I haven’t missed a single one since. One of the best things about art club was the people; for it was there that I met Danny, Chris, Derian and Carmen, four youth workers who would impact my life in ways I couldn’t imagine.If you had met me then, on the outside I would have appear to be a typical teenaged girl: busy with schoolwork, hanging out with friends, singing in my school choir... but on the inside, I was a brewing storm. Powerful emotions that I had buried deep several years ago were starting to resurface. As I know now, I was starting to develop anxiety.Things started to become difficult, until it got to the point where just being my usual happy self was exhausting. I needed help. The youth workers supported me, carried the burden of my problems when I couldn’t, and helped me get back up when I crumpled under the weight of it all, but the best thing they did for me was introduce me to Jesus. I had never been entirely certain about my stance on religion, and I always seemed too busy to stop and figure it out, or at least that’s what I told myself.The Jesus thing all started all started at one of my usual coffee sessions with Carmen. She’s great at coming up with thought-provoking questions, so of course she asked me: “If your life is a house, where is God?”. I thought about it for a second before replying: “He’s knocking on the door.” Throughout the next couple weeks a growing discomfort sparked within me. Like when you can’t remember the name of an actor in a movie you just saw and it nags at you until you figure it out.The day I figured it out was awesome. Chris and Carmen were there with me when I opened the door to God and let him into my heart. I felt a sudden calm rush over me, the complete opposite of what I had been feeling up ‘til then, like dead silence after an eardrum-shattering rock concert. It was so nice to finally be at peace and after that, things started getting better. I’m not saying that my problems just magically disappeared; it just got easier to deal with them.This summer I went to Anvil Island Bible camp. Carmen was speaking there and so she was able to bring someone for free and she invited me. I was a bit nervous about it since I’d never been before and I wouldn’t know anyone besides Carmen, but I went and it was an amazing experience. The whole island has a holy, healing aura around it, and it was there that I fully began to understand a valuable lesson.I used to think I was lost. That if I could only find the path and see what was ahead of me that everything would be alright, but I have learned there is only one way to deal with life’s obstacles and challenges: take it one step at a time, with someone there to walk beside you.