15 Minutes

It's said everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame.  And wow, my 15 minutes has now lasted a good 5 days and it's mind blowing.  How do people do this?  I'm honoured and overwhelmed and thrilled that The Drawing Hope Project is getting so much needed attention and that the stories of all these little heroes are finally being told around the GLOBE.  So awesome.

Jack, The Hero of Hope Street

Jack, The Hero of Hope Street

In the last few days, I have been spell-corrected by the US Army.  I have interviewed with ABC, NBC and CBS.  I've responded to hundreds of requests from publications and magazines, blogs and everything else - around the world.  It's so weird...seriously, just, weird.  

Does this change anything?  No.  Does it make anything different?  Hopefully.  To know the stories of these kids and the message THEY carry is now (finally!) travelling around the world - wow.  THAT right there is awesome.  That is why I started the entire project.

What can "15 minutes" do for other families like the ones already involved in The Drawing Hope Project?  It can bring them a few moments of happiness.  It can save lives (and it does - I know, mind-blowing, right?)  ART can SAVE lives.  That idea right there is something worth pouring your entire heart into.  I can't ever say "I don't know why I'm here" or "what is the purpose to life" - because, it sort of found me.  I'm pretty sure I'm here to keep this message going, and to encourage other people to save other people's lives, and if you can't do that, then you may as well inspire others.  Then, if you can't do that - can you at least make them smile?  Warm a cold heart-string or two?  If everyone just did a LITTLE something with the gifts they were given, that help other people smile - what a world this could be.  And it is - google it!  The incredible stories that are out there of people helping other people - for NO REASON other than to help them - it will make your heart swell and grow. 

When you help others, you can’t help helping yourself
— - from Avenue Q

I don't think I even have the capacity to recap what has happened the last few days.  Something triggered something in ONE PERSON that started all of this.  I wish I knew who they were so I could thank them.  They've made a difference in MILLIONS of peoples lives. 

To name just a few, here's what has happened, on that wonderful beast called the World Wide Web (and holy smokes, Twitter, slow down already - you have WAY too much energy):

  • The Huffington Post - front page!
  • The Daily Mail
  • ABC.com -
  • TrendHunter.com - shot to #1 on their entire site in less than 2 hours
  • The TODAY Show is sending a crew to interview me and 2 families part of the project
  • ViralNova featured us
  • We're on the Weather Channel
  • And we've appeared in newspapers everywhere from Belgium to Italy.
  • It's appeared on some of my favourite websites, like Demilked and DesignTaxi
  • ...and I could keep going.  I have about 1000 different emails from different publications, blogs and websites I have been responding to who have helped spread this project around the world

What is important about all of this?

It has inspired something in people world-wide.  It has made people - around the globe - take a moment to retweet over 1 million times the magic of believing that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.  It helped me raise over $1300 in 16 hours to go see a very special family that could use some magic in their life.  It is helping to bring more families to me, so I can turn around and bring them some magic, too.  

The internet, when used correctly by people with good hearts - can make magic happen.  And even weirder - it can save lives.  Wow.  Seriously?

I am not so naive as to think this 15 minutes will or could ever turn into half an hour.  I am thrilled with this, and grateful for every soul that has put a tiny bit of effort into telling this story to their own audience.  To helping that ripple...keep rippling.  I am thrilled that it has helped to breathe such life into this project, and will in turn help me meet so many other families who can be part of the project - and inspire them and their family.  It truly is a ripple, that will and can just keep going. 

Thank you to everyone who has helped to make the world smile lately, through the stories of all these incredible children and their families.  I can't wait to meet so many more in the next year.  Art can save lives and ANYTHING is possible. xo Shawn

Visit the official Drawing Hope website here: www.DrawingHope.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/drawinghopeproject

Twitter: @ShawnVanDaele & @DrawingHope

Instagram: Shawnerific