My Grandad shone the light of being self-sacrificial without the expectation of reward, the value of frugality, living without comforts, and giving what you have to those in need. He had a profound impact on so many, selflessly giving them his abounding love and kindness. He never spoke of any personal woes despite growing up in abject poverty, fighting in the second world war, and losing his hair from the shock of falling from a great height on a building site. He emanated joyful light wherever he went. He would find the most lost, most broken, and most frightened human being, and be a pillar of patience, trust, and compassion. He never let anyone down, and the fruits of his service to others means I continue to meet more and more people that speak of the transformative effect he had on their life. Your shining light: Your legacy
Mama Arlene! You shine the light of courage. From leaving a comfortable retirement in the USA to volunteer in the Congo (fleeing under the threat of violence) to arriving in Rwanda to build a home for dozens of orphaned children. You have created the hub and center of an entire community including a school, farm, sewing college, church, and dentistry! Mama, you are the shining beacon of self-sacrifice. You are so joyful, so kind, and absolutely never suffering fools! Every time I am in your presence I learn how to get things done, how to love others so well, and am also reminded how far we all have to go in becoming a true leader and light in the community! Your shining light: Urukundo (Hope Made Real)
Charles Storer, Chas! You shine the light of possessing the unrelenting belief that no obstacle is too big to overcome. Witnessing you coordinate the collection of untold volumes of humanitarian aid, building a team of totally committed volunteers, who load the aid into trucks, drive it hundreds of miles across many countries, to then distribute it in some of the most challenging, dangerous, and despicable conditions, is something to behold! Your levels of energy, perseverance, commitment, and compassion for the world is beyond! Plus every few months you invite me to emergency beers... which stands out above all other social occasions! Your shining light: Hope and Aid Direct
Eleanor Rose! You shine the light of how to love people, gently and truthfully. Your kindness radiates from every part of you. Meeting you whilst volunteering in Greece, I learned of your work supporting people in recovery from addiction, your leading and conducting community choirs, and your gift of truly astonishing music. You have built community projects including gardening, art, and coffee mornings. You give so relentlessly, selflessly, continuously, and always in the shadows. You are a kaleidoscope of creativity and love. You taught me what it means to be a highly sensitive person; how to face the world with soul, not by burying things, but by shining a light upon them. Your shining light: Sing at Work, INMIRIAM, and so many community choirs that have no webpages!
Mum! You shine the light of total self-sacrifice for others, most of all in your love for Greg and me. But more than being a selflessly dedicated super-mum, you give so much to everyone. Volunteering in Romania to help the poor; volunteering with those with severe learning needs; supporting people post imprisonment; working with elephants; it goes on. And you do all of this with a sense of immense humour and total authenticity. Seeing you leave the house morning after a morning at 6am to work cleaning jobs, and then over time in office jobs, to ensure Greg and me had a good life will forever be an example of perseverance and grit in life's trials. Mark Kozelek probably said it best when it comes to mums, so I will steal his words from this song!! Your shining light: Just some of the charities you support: Cry in the Dark, Open Road, Sands, Indigo Volunteers
Cesar! You shine the light of sincerity. Unbeknown to you, you once sent me the kindest message that was pure light and kindness amongst a time of many thorns. Your endurance through pain in running 100 marathons is brave, brilliant and benevolent! You simply do not stop. There is no pain barrier too much for you in your goal to help others. And on top of all of this, you do not stop smiling! You are a truly humble soul of the finest order my friend. Your shining light: Run Cesar Run
Laura and Esther! You shine the light of being totally awesome vagabonds that will stop at nothing in a march to build a kinder, fairer world. You arrived in my life in a beat-up hire car (that you tried to reverse park in a manner I have never ever seen), and struck me as the most down to earth, kind, caring, wonderful, humble and brilliant people. Your dedication to supporting refugees is something to behold. I never leave an interaction with you without feeling happier, more enlightened, and just bowled over by the content of your characters. Plus, I don't believe I have ever seen such a comical duo act. You are basically the same person, and yet entirely individuals! This picture is also joyfully ironic :) Your shining light: ECHO (amongst so many things!)
Greg, my brilliant older brother! You shine the light of having the biggest heart, the most unrelenting perseverance, and the virtue of courage. You don't know what it even means to be inauthentic! You are whirlwind of life. I followed in your footsteps more than you'll ever know; getting a paper round, working at McDonald's, working eighty hours a week without flinching as the obvious and needed thing to do to make your own path. You have overcome sadness and tragedies I cannot even fathom, and you did it with such grace. You do not stop thinking of your family and loved ones, and continually teach me how to love others better. Your shining light: I can't share your greatest light due to its nature, but to name just a few, your volunteering in Greece refugee crisis (below) with Indigo Volunteers, your developing young people in your work, and your support of Sands
Holly! You shine the light by being endlessly positive and possessing an unrelenting tenacity to make a better world! You never let anything get in your way to make a sad song (or corrupt world) better! You're proof that there is no need for corporate nonsense or rich resources to create something incredible; a testament that energy, desire, and kindness trumps any tools or money! You continue to inspire so many; a role model for all people, and especially young women. You taught me so much and I admire everything you care and stand for. Your shining light: Indigo Volunteers and your work as an NHS Pediatric Nurse
Goldie! My best friend and brother from another mother! You shine the light of generosity and dependability. When we were seven years old, and I didn't always have pocket money, you would always split yours with me, expecting no favours in return, doing that rare thing of giving to someone you know couldn't give back. You are always there for your friends, putting your arm around me when I cried on our first day at school, to supporting anything we do, and making every party the greatest (you are at least 50% of the party!) I would do anything for you bro! And there you are above, about to get your head shaved by a manually operated set of sheep shears (true story!) Your shining light: Supporting your community rugby club, being a great Dad to Boo, and helping every friend out more than anyone I know
Tas! Your light shines endlessly! You are so wonderfully truthful and you know no other way than kindness. You do everything with love. You really do, CHOOSE LOVE, in everything! You have that rare virtue of benevolence that is wholeheartedly and purely for the joy of helping others, never for any personal gratification or outward appreciation. Your dedication to caring for others is the most natural and obvious thing to you, and you always astound me at just how much you help others. If the world was like Tas, it would be well all right :) Your shining light: The J-P Fund, Indigo Volunteers
De Luca! You shine the light of always putting others first. You do not stop thinking of how you can help others, have a huge heart for the world, and work to connect everybody and everything to make the world better. You have no idea how rare your kindness is. I have truly never experienced someone that relentlessly flies the flag for others, desires no credit, and has done more to impact great causes without ever blowing your trumpet. You are a shining light of hope in what is often a dark and contrived world. Your shining light: Let me queue up the dozens (probably hundreds) of people you have connected and sparked untold amounts of good :)
Karen! You shine the light of the most sincere, humble, and kind love. You always put others first. You continuously seek ways to make the world better. You have dedicated 'holidays' to volunteering, even though all year round you give your all to the kids that you teach, many of whom come from troubled backgrounds. You relentlessly seek to learn more in order to give more. And I know you would fail to find any friend, relative, or anyone that comes to know you, who wouldn't speak glowingly of your heart. Your shining light: The hundreds of children you have taught, and the many places and projects you have volunteered with.
Tash! You shine the light of being the most down-to-earth, dependable, and truthful friend to all that know you. Your heart is simply beautiful. You possess that rare gift of being so wonderfully consistent. You never let people down, always put others' problems in your path so you can fix them with the most important of all things; love. And you are so blooming humble! Whenever I have been a mess, you are the first to message me, invite me over, and be a rock. And of course, you do this for everyone you love! Your shining light: Being the first and everlasting pillar for Indigo Volunteers and the times you have saved so many friends :)
Sulli! You shine the light of being a pure bolt of energy, sincerity, and dependability in the world. You are a beautiful man! The funniest human being I know, and what is a world without humour? NOTHING! :) You teach people to take things less seriously, to slow down and enjoy life. More than the endless joy, smiles, and laughter you bring people, you are the most loyal and unwavering friend. You always call when the chips are down, and you do so with the rare gift of never judging anyone ever. You bring out the best in all people bro. Your shining light: You currently have no links to share (such is your perrectinsim, though you will in time!) But forget this, it's the laughter and joy you bring everyone who knows you each day (and dogs you look after... even dogs feel your joy... DOGS!
Logue! You shine the light of being 24/7 joy and having the most astonishing heart. Meeting you in a corporate environment, you stood out as the most truly authentic and real person in the room. We then immediately formed a band. Your wholehearted approach to life leaves every person in your wake feeling better about themselves, taking themselves less seriously, and approaching life with vivacity and ease that is a true shining light in the world. You are caring to the core and have such compassion to bring love and energy to the world. I long to take life with the breeziness you do! Your shining light: We Are Hummingbird a cause in response to such tragic circumstances :(