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From the 5th Annual Circle of Life Breakfast: a Speech by Carole Pickup

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If you are so inspired by this speech and would like to make a contribution to New Directions for Women to support the life changing work that we do, please click here.

New Directions for Women would like to share “The Ask” speech made by Carole Pickup at the Circle of Life Breakfast in Newport Beach in 2013. This inspirational annual event is used to raise scholarship funds for our women in drug and alcohol rehab. Two hundred Orange County community members join us for breakfast to listen to our CEO providing an update on the successes that we have had providing quality residential and outpatient addiction treatment here in Costa Mesa. In her speech she shares news about the wonderful philanthropic donations made in the year past. We believe that all women deserve help fighting against the chronic disease of drug addiction. Our foundation raises scholarship funds so that women can stay for the duration of time and extent that they need to fully recover from chemical dependency. Take some time to listen to this inspiring speech from Carole who is a longtime supporter and foundation board member. The transcript is below for you to follow:

Hi. I’m Carole.

Before I start my part of the program, I’m going to do something off program. Becky gets up here, and of course half of us didn’t know what was going to be happening today, I’m sure. Nobody ever tells, and she’s not going to tell, what it was like when she first came onto the campus of New Directions.

[My sponsor] called me and said, “Carole, would you like to come down and have lunch” at her yacht club. And I said, “Sure. That’d be great.” I thought, “Well, it’s time to talk to my sponsor anyway. She’s just – well, she had a little else on the plate there that she wanted. She had Dan Carracino there, and here was Becky Flood, who – I didn’t know what she was doing there. The lunch went along great. I really liked Becky and all, but little did – I thought, “Does she know what she’s coming down here for,” because Karen said it’s for the position at New Directions. If anybody would have looked into the numbers on the books, they would have seen we were bleeding red. She walked into that and took it over. Look what she’s done to that today. So I would like to give Becky a hand.

No one in their right mind – I’m not saying Becky’s crazy – but no one in their right mind would have taken over that position as to where it was. I mean the campus, everything.

So I’m doing “The Ask” today, and since I am doing “The Ask”, I want to start off by asking you six questions and you can answer them quietly to yourself:

Number one, will people be better off because I have lived?

Two, do I have happiness because I have a real purpose in life, and do I give my treasures with a happy heart? Make sure that’s a happy heart.

Three, do I have one specific charity that encompasses my giving?

Four, or do I have many philanthropies to which I give me treasures?

Five, have I filled my heart with the love of giving and do I know how that really feels?

And six, lastly, am I starting a legacy by the example I set by the way I live my life so that my children, grandchildren, family of origin and my extended family can be proud?

Now, you know spring has arrived. Wasn’t [it] a beautiful day yesterday? But it is here, and miraculous things can happen when you plant a seed. You can get something completely different from that seed than what you thought it might be. It is such with your treasures that you leave with us today. They will help others be blessed by your generosity. Perhaps you will not personally see these blessings, but you feel here what you have given to New Directions for Women.

Now, today we have an anonymous donor who is matching every single treasure you bring forth this morning. Now, remember, everything will be doubled. When you write down whatever that is you’re going to write down, just think of it: it’s going to be doubled. I found out about some numbers. When we started doing this match, which was in 2011, we brought in $350,440.00. Now, that was in an hour-and-a-half. I know a lot of you are in here and you raise funds. I’m just telling you how important matches work with people psychologically.

But I got to 10,000 would be 20,000, 250,000 would be a half a million, et cetera, et cetera. Well, last year, we brought in – get ready for this one. Last year in 2012, Tania gave me these numbers: $645,857.00 at a breakfast.

Isn’t that pretty good? So of course now what are we going to do? We got to go higher, right? So we want to get three-quarters of a million, right?

Thank you, guys, ahead of time. So before I finish this ask, I’d like to introduce the table captains now. Would you stand up at your tables, please?

Now, why you need to know this is that there’s a plate on your table, and you’ll see it with some pens, and when you finish writing out your distribution cards there, read it over very carefully and if you have any questions, the table captains can help you, although the cards are pretty self explanatory. Now, before I sit down, and you can do your good deed, I’d like to leave you with this thought. I had to call my son last night and ask him. I never can remember that character in Toy Story. I get him mixed up with the Star Wars people, and I call him he goes, “Mom, is this all you wanted to know?” To me, that was important. Yes, I need to know the name of that guy. So as Buzz Lightyear said in Toy Story, infinity– he would always talk about this certain word. I looked it up in the dictionary: what does infinity mean? “Boundless, limitless, beyond measure and in definitely great number or amount.” So my minister says, “To infinity and beyond.” Thank you.

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