Thursday 5th January 2012, Beaver Creek, Colorado.
I arrived in Colorado for a skiing holiday having just got engaged and with my fiance 8 weeks pregnant. Ring on finger, bun in oven, BOOM. Suddenly, giving away a load of money to complete strangers had become a little harder to justify. I'm also continuing to struggle with the optimum amount. For this phase I decided to give USD1000 rather than GBP1000 (thus making a saving of GBP333 per Lucky Person). Somehow this seems to make a lot of sense to me.
It must be fucking cold working on the ski lifts all day. I don't think I'd be up for it. I hate watching other people enjoying an activity and not taking part myself. But it doesn't seem to bother Shanna. In fact, she goes out of her way to make others feel good and each time I rode the lift I could hear her interacting with a new group of skiers. She doesn't just trot out the same old lines, either. Shanna seems to really connect with each individual, if only for a brief moment.
In a place that is not short of huge white smiles and where nothing is too much trouble, Shanna shone out as genuine, sincere and happy. I decided to ask her to participate in Wearelucky and managed to surreptitiously drop an invite on to the lift before skiing off. A bit like how I imagine James Bond might have done. She emailed back a few days later and we met on the mountain. Shanna's mum was terrified that the whole thing was a scam and that I was planning to abduct her daughter, so I waited as Shanna texted a reassuring message.
I gave Shanna the money and she started to talk, not stopping until we parted an hour or so later. She fizzed with energy, asking a million questions and telling just as many stories. I was exhausted by the end, but content that the money was in very good hands. A great day's work.
Questions & Answers
1. What were your first thoughts and feelings when propositioned with Wearelucky?
I didn't think that it was real. I thought that it was some kind of scam to gain personal information about me.
2. What have you decided to do with the money?
Initially I had thought I would give all of the money to a rehabilitation centre where my grandma has been placed after her third stroke. After a bit more thought, I still think I will do this, but I think I will split the money. I know how I felt when I was told that I was personally chosen to receive this money. I love this idea. Everyone that I have told about the project has their own ideas of how they would spend the money on doing good so I am going to give away a part of it, too. I will just include my personal email address and phone number and hand someone $100 to do something good. I hope it will all be put to good use and they will contact me to tell me how they chose to help someone or some cause.
3. Did you think about spending the money on yourself and what difference the money might make to your life?
Of course I thought about it, but karma plays a large role into that. After I heard how others in various countries have spent the money I began to think about what a large effect this cash has on people who cannot afford to feed their families. In my situation, I have all of the essentials: food, clothing, shelter, water; I could not possibly spend this money on frivolous items.