Now I’m a bit of a marketing nerd, so you’ll have to bear with me. But this is my favorite way to show the birth of the Greatest Exchange.
“Inbound Marketing” is a buzz word in the marketing world. The methodology is that you don’t go out looking for new leads, you help them to come to you and then you take good care of them to nurture them to engage. It’s a concept I’ve been studying and applying in my time as Director of Marketing at The PARC Group, but this became a true picture of how beautiful it can work beyond the corporate workplace.
Summer of 2014, both Aigul and Aisulu were living life with me. Everybody that was meeting the girls were absolutely falling in love with them, and in turn were generously supporting them in whatever way they could. Time, money, teaching to cook…all were things people of the community genuinely wanted to do because they had a true relationship with the girls.
Over the course of the summer, a few local publications caught word of the girls and their stories. Aigul and Aisulu were featured on the front page of The Ponte Vedra Recorder, and had spotlight features in Family Magazine and Realty/Builder magazine. Talk about a great souvenir to bring home-the girls were truly honored and ecstatic to be able to share their stories.
In September 2014, Aigul and Aisulu had already returned home…and I had already booked my plane ticket to Kazakhstan to go back in November and find more girls to come next summer. After taking the leap and booking the ticket, host families stepped up offering to house girls next summer. Women were stepping up to start donating clothing. People were reading the girls’ stories and asking how they could be a part.
After months of generosity and seeing the desire of all types of people all over the city to be a part, we decided it was time to create The Greatest Exchange. Now people have a platform to be a part of a miracle.