Outrageous aspirations - that’s the Charlotte Chamber’s mantra for 2012. Two words that represent endless possibilities for those willing to think out of the box and reach for what others deem unattainable.
In an effort to inspire members, the chamber sponsored a BHAG or Big Hairy Audacious Goals contest in the fall. Six Charlotteans were selected and given the rare opportunity to share their big ideas at Annual Retreat.
One of the six, Kristina Cruise, is well on her way to achieving her goal of collecting a million books for her non-profit organization, Promising Pages. The grassroots group gathers and then donates new and gently used children’s books to less fortunate kids.
“Since sharing our audacious goal with the chamber, we have had a number of members reach out to help. Stoney Sellars of Technology Project Management has picked up our printing costs. We were gifted a table at the Governor's Women's Conference by Mark Levi of Total Event Productions, and we have linked up with Michael Barnes of Carolina Connections, Inc. and Business Leaders of Charlotte (BLOC) and will be applying for their 2012 funding,” said Cruise.
The list of contributions is impressive. Just this week, Cruise was contacted by David Longo of Carolina Business Interiors about the company’s desire to donate storage space to house all the books. “It’s so awesome,” a thrilled Cruise told me. “It will fit as many books as six, two car garages and has 50 foot ceilings! They are sending a truck out to pick up all of the boxes of books from our house next week.”
And that’s not all, CBI also presented Promising Pages with a check for a thousand dollars. “It is absolutely incredible – just takes my breath away,” Cruise beamed.
As for the future, Cruise hopes to partner with local hospitals for book drives and has met with officials at UNC Charlotte. The organization has even established an internship program. “We are taking our Big Hairy Audacious Goal very seriously. We know it will be a huge success based on the response we have already received.”