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Why And How Carolyn Gable Of The Believe Project Decided To Change Our World with Penny Bauder

What I have learned in life is when you have an idea and you really believe it to be true, the Universe sets things in motion for you. Ideas, opportunities all fall into place if you pursue your passion. As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the […]

What I have learned in life is when you have an idea and you really believe it to be true, the Universe sets things in motion for you. Ideas, opportunities all fall into place if you pursue your passion.


As part of my series about young people who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Carolyn GableCarolyn is a successful entrepreneur whose entire career has been focused on inspiring others to tap into their greatness. She started out as a waitress and then went on to build a multimillion-dollar company, while coaching and inspiring countless individuals, groups and leaders along the way. As Carolyn’s business flourished, she never forgot the struggles that she endured as a single mother which inspired her to establish the Expect A Miracle Foundation, to provide resources to single working parents for their children’s extracurricular activities, and the Believe Project, www.believeproject.net, that brings hope, love and $100 each day to a deserving neighbor in need. She is the author of “Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress,” sharing her principles for professional and personal success. Carolyn is proof that anything in life is possible.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit how you grew up?

I grew up in a Northwest suburb of Chicago. Both of my parents were in the Marines during World War II. When the war ended, they married and, being devoted Catholics, had 6 children. We were like everyone else: very poor and yet filled with faith that God will always take care. My father died at 42 and we were all left to figure out life at a very early age.

You are currently leading a social impact organization. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to change in our world today?

The Believe Project reaches out to people who know of someone who needs a little reassurance that they are not alone in their struggles and the challenges they face. We are helping people by giving them a crisp $100 bill and 5 motivational cards. In our organization, there are Givers and Receivers.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

I was once a struggling single parent without enough money to pay a babysitter. I was a waitress. But life had so much in store for me and I became a very successful business owner. I started the Expect a Miracle Foundation to cover the extracurricular activities for children of single parents.

However, I felt I just wasn’t doing enough to give back. I repeatedly found myself in situations where someone just didn’t have enough money to pay their bill: a grocery store checkout, an airport concession, a school fundraiser, and more. Each and every time, I thought to myself that I wanted to step in and help and yet I was frozen. God had begun to softly get my attention.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. They don’t get up and just do it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and do it? What was that final trigger?

I was at an event at my granddaughter’s school. There was a long line in the school bookstore. As I waited in line, I couldn’t help but hear the conversation between the young girl ahead of me and her grandmother. They only had $15 to spend. I came to find out the girl’s mother had died of cancer and the young girl had it as well. The entire time I kept thinking I want to help pay this yet once again didn’t have the courage.

That afternoon, I sent the Principal a note with $100 to give to the girl and her grandmother. I immediately received a thank you note from the girl and her grandmother thanking me and telling me they would spend $20 a year for the next 5 years at the bookstore! The Believe Project had begun.

Many young people don’t know the steps to take to start a new organization. But you did. What are some of the things or steps you took to get your project started?

What I have learned in life is when you have an idea and you really believe it to be true, the Universe sets things in motion for you. Ideas, opportunities all fall into place if you pursue your passion.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

A couple years ago, I was watching the PBS series of hunger in America. They profiled several families over 5 years. It was heartbreaking for me to watch. The next day I searched through the internet to find the producers to tell them I wanted every person to receive a Believe Envelope for Christmas. I believe there were 17 people. The producer was in England and said it was impossible to do this. I asked him to please try because I just knew this was going to happen. We were on such a tight deadline, for Christmas was 5 days away.

Facing impossible challenges has always been my driving force and sure enough he called and said he found a partner in New York that would help with this request. We faced several hurdles; UPS missed the pickup and we lost another day. FedEx stepped in and by Christmas Eve all 17 recipients received a Believe Envelope. There are always forces at play bigger than who we are.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?

I can’t really think of a funny mistake other than my assistant constantly telling me “Ms. Gable, can we get a little heads up before you jump into giving these envelopes away?” There are several steps to prepare.

None of us can be successful without some help along the way. Did you have mentors or cheerleaders who helped you to succeed? Can you tell us a story about their influence?

My Aunt Jo was beyond a doubt my greatest mentor and cheerleader. When I was a struggling single mom, she always had the ability to pick me up and reassure me better days were ahead. All my thoughts and ideas were rejected by so many — however, never by her.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I had a retreat in Wisconsin several years ago. One lady received an envelope to give away and she held onto it for years. She was leaving a restaurant and realized there was someone there she could give the envelope to, so she drove back to give it to him. On her way home she saw there was a bale of hay in the road. She pulled over to park her car and ran to remove the bale of hay. As she got back into her car, she saw a truck come over the hill followed by a motorcycle. She was convinced the series of events stopped a tragedy from happening.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

All they need to do is write in and let us know in 100 words or less why someone needs a Believe Envelope. Finding people who would contribute, of course, will always be welcome.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Because I started the Believe Project later in my career, I was well prepared to handle any obstacles that came my way. If this question was about my business, I would have many stories to share!

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I 100% believe whatever good you do in the world it will come back to you in ways you can never ever imagine. I have had dreams fulfilled and I have been bestowed by miracles and I truly believe it is because of giving.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Wow, there are so many…Warren Buffet, Jim Cramer, Oprah, and so many more. However, if I had to choose, it would be Melinda Gates. Wouldn’t it be great if people all over the world could receive a Believe Envelope from someone who cared about them?

How can our readers follow you online?

Believe Project is on FaceBook at facebook.com/TheBelieveProject. We are working to get on other social media platforms. Of course, our website is BelieveProject.net.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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