Why I’m so thankful; together for a special WordCamp Speaker’s Gift

Joe holding WordCamp Speaker's Gift, a red scarf.

As you eat your weekend’s final holiday meal, safely enjoying family take a moment and be thankful. Calendar year 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone but being away from my mother this year was especially tough. This video tells the story of a surprise collaboration back in the spring provided an opportunity to share her time and a special gift with our WordPress Community was invaluable.

Learned (Creative) Behavior

I remember as a young child finding books of poetry my mother published as a student at Highland Park Community College or seeing the leaders of my family often weaving garments during a lively discussion. Creativity runs through my veins because of her. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with her and WordCamp Santa Clarita Online provided the opportunity.

Five years ago, she began a battle with cancer. She has been tenacious, valiant but has continued creating through it all. In the two years that I’ve been Lead Organizer for WordCamp Santa Clarita, part of my excitement is thinking of a special way to thank those who give so freely of their time and talents to bring the Community together. 

“Let’s do something together that I can share with our speakers.” She asked me what does it look like? Can you provide a sketch of what you’d like me to do? Quickly, I roughed out a design and she took it and created a pattern from the sketch.

Bad News WordCamp Santa Clarita (and the world) 

It started quietly with chatter in the Community about this thing called coronavirus just after WordCamp Phoenix completed. I remember an article by a Community leader calling for drastic measures regarding WordCamps. Then the cancellations started to occur: WordCamp Asia, WordCamp San Diego, and the list kept growing. 

Our team decided to postpone our event as well (April 3-4), not knowing what tomorrow would hold. We held out hope and half the team split, with a small number of Organizers not wanting to continue in the new virtual format, but the remaining team wanting to proceed.

We decided to move on putting on the event with less than a two-week delay.

Special edition for a select group

I wanted to come up with a design in keeping with our Saugus Speedway racing theme but have three versions: 1) containing a pink stripe in honor of my mom’s and other’s battle with breast cancer; 2) a green stripe for mental health awareness, and 3) yellow stripes for our speakers and organizing team who made things possible

Because of the postponement, we only completed eight scarves, three for special speakers and the rest for our organizing team.

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