Ibulliance: It's ALL JOY

Elizabeth throws out the first batch of her slipper-shaped cookies—because her hand-colored tassels ran—and makes them from scratch again for the 100 Ibu guests arriving at her home.

Austin, on this way to our panel presentation, sees the Ibu team loading merchandise into U-Haul trucks in pouring rain; rolls up his sleeves and dives in.

Charlotte sits beside me in the quiet wings while the party begins, both of us preparing in silence, then looks up to say to me—you know how honored I am to do this, making my eyes fill because it has been nothing but my honor to host her creative talent and generosity from day one.  

Sam and Jason, Barbara, and Monica open their homes to host guests from Morocco and make friends for life; Deborah offers them local shrimp and grits in the comfort of her kitchen.  

Brandon and Alex fill a truck with their own urns and benches, fasten oranges to trees, and festoon carts with rugs and roses—making poetry, line by line, of a simple space.  

Jacqueline and Jared weave tented souks from the rafters, hang lanterns. Amanda invites out-of-towners to her home for lunch. Lily flies in from college classes just to model for Ibu and shine on behalf of the women of the world.

Doug asks How many women do you want to bring into the fold tonight?? and looks into the crowd for paddles to fly.

How do I stop and thank this many stars in the sky? How can I praise the many who raised their hands in joy to give? How can I describe the goodness that will flow from the $225,000 raised—lighting up the hope of women around the world?

How can I tell you—this movement is made of so many of us, so very many—leaping, leaping into something bigger than ourselves, into a vision that spans the globe?

I can tell you that the Ibu Team is the moon that guides my night sky. Marisa, Lasley, Beth, Sarah, Hannah, Meredith - these are supernova. How they create, build, design, craft, reach, run, respond, detail, persevere—I mean they do everything, and with such love and grace and persistence that I am in awe, daily. Now, more than ever, I reach for words but cannot find them. These women are blindingly bright. 

New allies came from New York to our gathering and said, astonished—the color! the women, the caftans, the work, the beauty, the joy! Yes, the Joy. 300 people gathered in praise of women walking into new lives, and made it happen. In the end, after the cookies are consumed, roses strewn, guests returned, projects funded, hope fed; in the end… it's all joy.

All the Best,