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We had a very special evening last month. The “Night of 1000 Drawings” event in downtown Los Angeles, organized by our nonprofit, Miyamoto Relief, was attended by more than 350 people and generated $30,000 in donations for Metro Charter Elementary, an inner-city school. It was beyond our expectations.

The event was held at the forgotten but historic and beautiful Globe Theater, built in 1913 in America’s original Broadway Theater District. More than 1,800 drawings were donated by the public and clients. Award-winning musicians performed while people mingled between the art, silent auction, and bar and danced.

Many of our staff volunteered their time to build the venue in one day. It was stressful, but also great fun. We all got to know each other well. Some of our staff involved in organizing the event had little sleep during the preceding weeks.

The school principal, Kim Clerx, told us, “I know that our Metro Charter families and students will forever be grateful for the impact this event will have on them. Last night was truly amazing. It was great to see the community come together in support of education and the arts.”

We may be just a structural engineering company, but even engineers like us can make a difference in our community and beyond. It doesn’t have to be the Bill Gates Foundation. My goal from day one was to be a purpose-driven company. Why? Because you want to help others and live with passion.

It is truly important to live with purpose and passion. It makes life much more fulfilling and interesting. Also, whatever you give, it always comes back to you with more. Through this event, we got to know so many of our clients and influencers in Los Angeles on a totally different level. Working together on this event provided a platform for our staff to collaborate beyond the normal work place. I really enjoyed hanging the 1,800 drawings in the exhibit with our L.A. staff, and a big party followed.

I will remember this day forever. I met many students from the school — many from under-privileged backgrounds. Their hope is to have a music program in their school. The $30,000 raised will be the initial funding to make this happen. Some of them approached me personally to say thank you. That phrase itself was good enough to melt away all the hard work we did.

So, I challenge you today to make the world a better place. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Just try a little thing — one at a time. If many of us work toward this, we can truly change our communities, and it will enrich our lives at the same time.

Watch a video our event at www.miyamotorelief.org/night-of-1000-drawings-event-photos. Let me know what you think!


H. Kit Miyamoto, Ph.D., S.E., is the CEO and a structural engineer for Miyamoto International                           (http://miyamotointernational.com), a California seismic safety commissioner, and president of the technical nonprofit Miyamoto Relief. He specializes in high-performance earthquake engineering and disaster mitigation, response, and reconstruction.

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