Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

18 February 2011

Why do we do Frosty Fest? As Julian Smith says, "I made this for you"

This past week, thanks to the wonderful local media coverage we've had, I've told the Frosty Fest story quite a number of times. Here's the some bits and pieces (or the whole story here):

  • Brantford's 2nd Annual Winter Carnival
  • Last year drew 10,000 people over 3 days into the downtown
  • Organized and Staffed by primarily Freedom House volunteers totaling roughly 70 in partnership with the city of Brantford's Park's and Rec.
  • 16,000 Free ride vouchers were given to every elementary school student in the city & county.
  • 23 Community/Corporate partners of various sizes

Over the next 3 days, you'll find this is Downtown Brantford:

  • 5 Carnival rides along Dalhousie Street
  • 3 Professional Ice Carvers on the Harmony Square Stage
  • Horse Drawn Trolley Rides
  • Free Carnival Games, prizes and ice skating
  • Daily group Random Act of Kindness blitzes throughout Downtown Brantford
  • Funnel Cakes, Deep Fried Mars Bars, Snow Taffy, Sausages, Pulled Pork, Candy Floss, Candy Apples and more!

But that's just the stats. It's about more than that for Freedom House. Last night as we were loading hundreds of sausage buns and giant vats of sauerkraut into the church, a new security guard at the Freedom House City Center asked us why we were doing this. He discerned quickly what a Freedom Houser who is serving in India right now as a missionary wrote me this week as he was wishing he could be here. He wrote that this is a disproportionately-sized undertaking for the size of Freedom House. It is. But that's the beauty. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

I think Julian Smith's line in the "Hot Kool Aid" sketch communicates the reason why we do this the best.

"I made this for you (Brantford)"
Julian Smith (Dave)

One of the reasons Freedom House exists is to SERVE and GIVE what we have to the city of Brantford. We made Frosty Fest... for you. We looked around and found a hole, a need, the lack of something beneficial to many... and did it. This quite simply is one of the ways we've chosen to say to you... we love you and believe in you as a community and people. And the city has responded reciprocally. Because kindness DOES change a city BY good INTO good.

Some have said, "What a waste of time! You should xyz" Our answer is, "That sounds like a great project you have passion for. How can we help you accomplish your dreams." Everyone plays a role.

This week, we were guests on a half hour local show called, "Talk Local Brant". We used the term "Jesus needs new PR". We've thrown it around quite a bit over the years because, as someone who works in advertising/marketing/spin world... it's true. Christians have not communicated the love of Jesus very well at all in recent years (although I'm thrilled to say that things are changing). Just right now I went to the Google homepage and typed in "Christians are". Here's the suggestions.

Not great. But it's nothing I haven't heard before. Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was. In 3 of the 4 gospels, he said variations of this:

Rule 1: Love God
Rule 2: Love Others (or love your neighbor as yourself)

That's our job. On Sundays, Tuesdays, Mondays, Fridays... people from a church in a mall in downtown Brantford get together and spur each other to live life excellently while falling in love with God. But it doesn't stop there. That's only Rule #1. That part is only about ourselves. God's design is that we fall in love with Him, so that we're full of GOOD and personally FREE enough that we can help others find freedom too via that goodness poured out. That is communicated by loving others. Rule #2. Rule #2 is the out-flowing of #1.

You'd be flabbergasted at how much work goes into running a Winter Carnival for a tenth of the city. I know we were. But if I do say so myself... we've again done a great job and this weekend will be WONDERFUL. I hope you come. But it's not without HARD work and LONG hours. I can honestly say that it's all done because of Rule #2... inspired by Rule #1.

Hope to see you this weekend for Brantford's new Family Day tradition.

And Freedom House... I'm EXCEPTIONALLY proud to help lead a group of people like you.

PS... this is not an exclusive club... YOU are welcome to join in the fun too :)

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