WHEN THE SHARPEST WORDS
WANNA CUT ME DOWN
I'M GONNA SEND A FLOOD ,
GONNA DROWN THEM OUT
THIS IS BRAVE, THIS IS PROOF
THIS IS WHO I'M MEANT TO BE, THIS IS ME...
-THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
THIS IS MY STORY
AND THE BIRTH OF #THEGIVEINITIATIVE
So as you may know already, my name's Alex Stiles, and this is my journey.
I'm currently 29, live in Brisbane Australia. I'm proud to be a Airman in the Royal Australian Air Force. My life so far has definitely had it's challenges. But I am so thankful that not only did they the not defeat me, but have ended up being my main source of strength once I conquered them. In 2016 I confronted my most long standing struggle in my personal life and overcame it. This gave me an immense sense of strength. I felt like I could change the world.
At that moment I decided that I wanted to do something positive in this world, and what better time than now. I thought about it tirelessly for weeks, then boom! It hit me! In a brief moment of clarity 'The Give Initiative' was born.
Well, the idea was born. But still nothing but a crazy idea. I started making plans in 2016 to launch in mid 2017, but due to a few reasons, one of them being deployed to the middle east for over 6 months, I had to postpone it for another year.
Although the fire in me was burning red hot, I feared that, like setting your alarm for 5am with good intentions to go to the gym, sometimes your future self doesn't feel the same way, or gets scared. But not only are we here now with my passion more powerful than ever, but that extra year has let this project mature and marinate to the deliciousness it is today.
So why this exact project, and how did I come up with it? It's hard to say, but I just wanted to do something unique that hadn't been done before (as far as I'm aware). Something where I well and truly put my money where my mouth is and put my ideals and convictions to the test. I'd come up with a concept, then think to myself 'you can do better than that Alex'. Again and again I kept upping the ante until I eventually arrived at the half my pay for half the year. Had a definitive goal and a bit of ring to it too!
"TRULY WONDERFUL THE MIND OF A CHILD IS"
My parents met in New Zealand in their younger years then moved to Australia to start a new life.
I was born in Darwin on 9th December 1988. Due to Dad being in the Royal Australian Air Force at that time, we moved around a fair bit.
My parents had spilt up a few years later, around the time my memory kicks in. I can remember moving back and forth between Richmond and Wagga Wagga in NSW.
When I was 5 Dad moved back to Nelson NZ with Mum relocating in Brisbane. The rest of my childhood was spent between the 2.
Although people often told me while I was growing up that this was a disadvantage, I couldn't disagree more.
As it stands today I have 2 totally separate places in 2 different countries I can call 100% home. I can be in either location and know in my heart that I am completely home, with friends, family, a rich history of memories that cover both child and adulthood. I definitely see that as a blessing.
"OHANA MEANS FAMILY
FAMILY MEANS NOBODY GETS LEFT BEHIND OR FORGOTTEN"
MEET THE TRIBE
Family means more to me than anything in the world. I am the 4th child in a family of 8. I know this might seem like a lot for some people, but I honestly couldn't imagine it any other way.
I have such a special relationship with every one of my siblings. We all work together to make an unstoppable team, with each one of our unique characteristics playing a role - like the Avengers!
I quite possibly wouldn't have made it through some of the hard times without them. I definitely wouldn't be all I am today.
Although my Mum and Dad haven't been together since before I can remember, both shared an utmost dedication when it came to giving us everything they could.
They had very different approaches to our upbringing but were aligned in the way they always invested in our internal character by focusing on our values, beliefs and WHO we are rather than what we own.
Although I don't have a family of my own yet, I've been blessed with many nieces and nephews who make irreplaceable additions to out wider family unit.
With a family this size there's a birthday, graduation, wedding or going party more or less every week or two which gives us the perfect excuse to catch up and spend some quality time together.