If I’m dreaming please don’t wake me. I had an unbelievable honor given to me by the Stamina Foundation’s Acts of Kindness Gala. Former NBA star and a member of the 1996 men’s NCAA championship team for the Kentucky Wildcats Derek Anderson founded the Acts of Kindness movement. It gives people a chance to express their compassion through acts of kindness from simply giving a smile, opening a door to buying lunch for someone. Many of the things you do today is considered A.O.K. You don’t brag about it nor desire attention for doing right. People do acts of kindness because it’s the right thing to do.
On Friday, October 14th at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville nearly 300 people attended the inaugural gala. If you know me, I don’t know how to sit in one place, I just always need to be doing something. Anderson had me at table one and I thought that was so thoughtful but when I’m apart of the event, I like to be in the back in case I need to get up and I don’t like disrupting the room and those around me. Just before the event began, he gave me a thumbs up to get started. I had no idea what that meant at the time but he was trying to keep an eye on me because I’m the queen of sneaking out of a program.
I had a chance to actually sit down and enjoy the dinner and watch Derek and Ashley Miller honor Darrell Griffith for the Ali & Anderson Commitment To The Community Award and Heather French Henry receive the Muhammad Ali Peace & Kindness Award.
As I just needed to have one maybe two bites of the cheesecake before me, I could hear Derek say “She’s probably going to kill me but I want to recognize one more person.” I think he said a few more very kind words but I have to be honest that the next 15 minutes were a complete blur. I remember he said my name and asked me to come to the front but in don’t know how I got to the stage nor what I said. I just know that he gave me the Derek Anderson Acts of Kindness Award. I now know what it feels like to win an award like the Emmys and the Academy Awards and the person is speechless.
So, I want to have a do-over and do my speech now. “I am beyond humbled by the honor and grateful that others acknowledged me for my efforts. When you’re working, you have your head down and hardly ever notice what you are doing. I was taught at a young age that kindness is a action and should be given freely without asking for anything in return. I do things just because they are right. This award goes to everyone who helped me realize that especially my parents, the late James Shanklin and mom Shirley Shanklin. My mother says this all the time. “Sherlene you can’t live in this world alone. You need to learn how to love and give back. You never know when the shoe will be on the other foot and you are on the receiving end.”
The past few years, I thought I was broken but instead I’m stronger and wiser. I found strength when I didn’t think I had any. I’ve pulled off productions, events and projects that no one will ever believe. I’m so blessed and want to thank Derek Anderson, Ashley Miller and the whole Stamina Foundation organization for giving me this honor. Thank you!
You can follow me on my journey as I continue to spread Acts of Kindness on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you too can move mountains”