Thursday, July 26, 2012

Game-Changers: Adam & Erik

I know some pretty cool people.  Like my long-time friend who learns rare Welsh and Spanish dialects, recites essays by memory, and hikes hidden coastlines.  Or an acquaintance from five years ago who learned the stars, bought a sailboat, and sailed from California to Fiji.  I know an editor of presidential biographies, a squirrel expert in Kazakhstan, women who have started education initiatives in Africa and created websites about healthy body image, and many, many international and local philanthropists.

In other words, I am surrounded by people who are actively bringing goodness into this world.

And then there's these two kids: Adam and Erik.  Adam studies law and is one of those people who is always looking for ways to make people happy. The hardest I've ever laughed was over a cup of hot chocolate at Denny's with him. Adam=interesting conversations, promises of adventure, kindness. Plus he looks like Christian Bale. As for Erik, as far as I've seen, he has every earthly skill known to man. He writes poetry, makes music, does art. I learned how to make cinnamon-sugared almonds from him. Erik makes friends everywhere he goes.

And you'll never guess what these two dynamos are doing. Yep, bicycling across the country for a good cause.  Here's what Erik writes: 

You would never know it just by looking at him, but only a few years ago my 5 year old nephew Jeffery had an open gap where his upper lip should have been. Even with the gap Jeffery was all smiles as a baby. It has taken numerous surgeries including having an artificial palate literally nailed into his mouth. There are still future bone grafts that will be needed to create a permanent palate. It took Jeffery longer than most children to talk because he had to get used to a mouth that changed with each surgery. All the surgeries, speech pathologists, and doctors' visits come at a heavy financial cost. Fortunately for Jeffery, he was born into a family where those costs could be covered. 

Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft. Not all of those children have the same resources as Jeffery. 

So Erik and Adam founded PennyChange International and set out today to bicycle 1,700 miles, from Wyoming to New York, to raise money for kids with cleft lips and palates.

Pretty cool, I'd say.

Anyways, check out their webpage, share this post on facebook, maybe donate a few bucks if you can. (Come on, what's a couple of bucks when there are two guys with beards bicycling across the country for children??  ...Just sayin.)

Meanwhile, I'd love to hear about other people who are doing cool things to bring goodness into the world. If you know about any such things, post about them below so we can all enjoy!


  1. These kids were in my ward! Very inspiring. Also...Carolyn--do you think it is coincidence that all of these people you described are drawn to YOU?

    I think not.

    1. ...says the game-changing woman herself. :) Grateful for you and all the good you're doing in this world, Dana.

    2. ("the game-changing woman"=you. in case that wasn't clear.)

  2. It's such a small world, Carolyn. Adam & Erik are my neighbors! (Well, not for the next month, but still.) And I agree with Dana, these people are drawn to you. Just sayin'!

    1. Ha, Sara, we really could host a party together and each invite our own friends and they'd end up being all the same people. Apparently the universe is conspiring to rally every awesome person in the world to us! First Patricia, then Natalie, now these two boys. So awesome.