By Lauren Goodwin
My first week as an intern with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation included a very busy three days. I attended the 25th annual Points of Light Conference in Houston, TX and the sessions I attended were wonderful, time-valuable, and worth every minute. We had some great speakers such as Nancy Pelosi, Gabe Eggerling, AmeriCorps director Bill Basl, and many other great individuals we aspire to. However, this post isn’t about how amazing of a time we had at the conference or how much we learned and took from the conference itself, but about a situation that happened to me personally, and I want to expunge that upon the reader.
On the 2nd to last day of the conference, I was meeting new people and networking, doing what a lot of us came there to do. I was speaking with a particularly interesting woman from Seattle, named Kendra. She told us she was a spin-instructor and I was hooked into our conversation from that moment on. Anybody who can not only ATTEND an entire 90 minute spin class, but actually TEACH it is someone I have to know better. We chatted after our last session that evening and walked down the escalator to the lower level keeping full conversation. We eventually parted ways after a seemingly great conversation and I was walking to the garage where my car was parked and suddenly I realize I’m missing one very important item…my PURSE.
Immediately after realizing, I turn back around and bolt through the double doors, onto the sky walk and just before I jump onto the escalator, a woman who was also in my class yells out to me, “Hey! Did you leave your purse?” I yell out in exasperation, “YES! I’m going back to get it!” She proceeds to tell me that our speaker had seen it and said she would wait as long as she could for me in the classroom, but if she had to leave, she would leave it at the Information Desk. I yelled back, “THANKS!” and took off. I ran into a VISTA member who works at the Foundation with me and she completely changed her path and started looking for my purse with me.
Her name is Ashley and she is the sweetest thing – I’ll write another blog telling you more about this kind soul later. Oh, I should mention that Ashley and I were in the same session, but we sat at different tables because we were supposed to be networking. Anyways, we both walk back to where our session was and look in to find there was no purse. We both start panicking a little and move onto searching for the Information Desk. Oddly enough, the information desk had been broken down already due to the conference being over for the day. We start panicking a little more and she had the bright idea of speaking to every single person to see if they had this purse.
We did, but nobody seemed to know where this purse was. As all of these thoughts came to my mind, one was most important to me…”I won’t be able to buy wine tonight without my I.D.” – classy I know.
So, after about 30 minutes I let Ashley go home and let her know all would be fine and I would find this purse. Another thought came to my mind as I know sometimes I overlook things and so I walked back to the classroom just to see if it was in there….TA-DAAA! It was. I was the happiest person on the planet at that moment. Alas! I can buy wine! And I did. After all this, I realized the kind of people who I was around that day. Anybody else could and would have taken that purse and the cash I had in there and I would’ve never seen it again.
The Points of Light Conference was filled with tons of people who are all about the cause and want to see the effect and be a part of it. These are volunteers who take precious time out of their lives to give back to the community and actually make a difference in the lives of people all over the globe. It was a true testament to the company I was around this week and how truly blessed I am to have been with these great people and have been a part of their experience as well. I learned more in 2 ½ days than I have in the last year. Thank you, Points of Light, for restoring my faith in humanity and for treating my team and I so well.