Friday, January 29, 2010
I met Rafael Smith my freshman year of college. He was living in the same dorm as several of my guy friends and we met in the hallway when I was chatting with his roommate. We'd both come to Purdue from the Indianapolis area and we were both practically living in the Art & Design building at the time. He was studying Industrial Design while I was pursuing my degree in Photography. We had classes together and started studying for several of them together.
We stayed friends and met up for 'catch up' lunches along the way, even after I'd left art school to pursue social work. We shared a heart for helping other people and we talked countless times about what that would look like in our chosen professions. Each of those conversations only served to make me wonder more, how a 20-something year old guy could care so much about people. Even people he doesn't know.
His heart for the poor and marginalized in other countries spoke to me, the girl who's never gone farther than Hawaii. Clearly smart and talented, he could have had his pick of design jobs anywhere in the world but I've never heard him say anything about money. He truly wants his work to better the world. A quality that more of us should adopted both personally and professionally.
In the year and a half since I graduated and moved away to sunny Florida, we've stayed in touch. Every time he calls me or I drop him a line, I'm fascinated by what he's up too. From spending time interning in GERMANY to trying to produce an affordable shelter for those in need...he's always got something big going on (I contribute somewhat less exciting updates).
So, this time his project is getting the attention it deserves and he has a chance to get it produced! In the wake of the Haiti disaster and the relief efforts happening there - I can't help but think that this is exactly what we need! I want to share it with you all so you can catch the vision & in case you want to show some support by spreading the word for donate $10.00 to the cause.
Check my boy out here.