2015 was definitely a game changer

Little Voice was first thought up in 2013, published in late 2014 and a movement by 2015. 2015 was the year we officially launched our story, our movement and our fundraising efforts. It’s the year where everything slowly began to take shape.

It all started with a major push right here in our community. Though I’ve always had a entrepreneurial bug within me, this was my first time setting out and branding an entire movement, managing an entire production, and ultimately publishing a story. I didn’t always know what direction I would take; I didn’t always get the answers I wanted; but I never ever gave up. I trusted my own little voice to guide me and sure enough, every little step I took proved to be one step closer in the right direction.

We started our year by taking over social media; we then hosted event after event wherever possible. We spoke at schools, events, and not-for-profit fundraisers. We started our own fundraiser. We gained an audience through Scholastic’s Top Ten Inspirational Books of 2015 and again with eTALK and Starbucks Canada’s #GiveBack Campaign. We did whatever we could to share our message and inspire all those who joined us on our journey. We got emails from teachers, parents, bloggers, and children. We shared countless smiles, made countless friends, and changed the way people looked at themselves. We reminded you to be proud of who you are. We encouraged you to chase your dreams. We motivated you to tackle your next project or goal; and invited you to join us in our own efforts to support Alzheimer’s research. We tried to show you that we were more than just a book. We wanted to be a tool in your home, your classroom, or wherever a little inspiration was needed. We used the power of illustration to share a world of possible and used the power of rhyme to engrain our message in your memory – like your favourite song on the radio. We did a lot of things in 2015 but so did you.

You taught us to never give up despite being turned down by literary agents and publishing houses. You taught us to be patient. You taught us to appreciate the little moments. The times where a child would hug you and ask you for your autograph. The times when you got invited to a child’s birthday party at a school talk. You taught us to be fearless, to take chances and make mistakes. To publish our own book, to share our own experiences and to stand up against bullying. You taught us so much about our community and showed us just how great humanity truly is. You brought out the best in this movement and the best in us.

2015 was the year where a little voice made a ton of little moments; moments that have had such a big impact on my life.

Thank you 2015 for making me feel so blessed each and every day, I only hope 2016 can bring many more little moments that will continue to shape this movement and my life.

– Amanda Bernardo, author