The Power Of We – Pepsi Refresh SxSW Challenge

If you have not heard the official announcement – WE WON! The $50,000 does not go to me, but to us. What I mean by that is by voting for you voted for your own neighborhood. Homelessness and poverty effects us all.

More so than the money we showed the world WE have a powerful network. WE can affect real change. YOU are all heroes. YOU did this.  I want to thank each and every one of you that voted #refreshgary I am so very grateful that you believed in me enough to let your voice be heard.

Pepsi was wonderful in making this happen. I am extremely grateful that Gary Vaynerchuk picked me out of all the choices presented to him.  I’m blown away how Beth KanterJessica Gottlieb and Kevin Hendricks rallied everyone to beat the mighty power of Mashable. We were clearly the ‘underdogs’, but thanks to all of you – WE WON!

Beth Kanter teaching me how to work SOBCon party for votes

I must also thank Melissa “The Consumer Queen” Garcia and Sandy Jenney. They were just gorgeous hanging out by the Pepsi booth working together to get votes. Too me, they showed the true spirit of what this “challenge’ should be. The influencer working with the charity to win. Many of you may not know this, but at 11pm they asked their followers to vote for us.

There really are no words to express how grateful I am to every and every one of you. Please know I’m taking this very serious. I have started to put together an advisory team to help with a strategic plan and implementation.  I will also be 100% transparent with the funds.  I genuinely believe is not only at the beginning stages of something big,  I believe is a nonprofit that benefits us all. I never once felt as if I owned anything. Yes, I may have started it, but it’s all your love and support that keeps growing.  Together WE are doing things in homeless services and social media that has never been done before!  YOU are making this happen, and I am grateful.

Final video produced by Pepsi:

Uncut video:

Video with Gary Vaynerchuk:

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  • scottmonty

    Mark, so proud of @invisiblepeople's work because of your vision & passion! Ford is proud to have been with you early on and we look forward to more opportunities to help you achieve your goals.

    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company

  • TheConsumerQueen

    So proud of you! You deserve it! Congratulations! It was great meeting you!

  • Amy

    Mark. :)


    Thank you so much for what you are doing! I am so grateful for people like you in this world who are able to actually DO things instead of thinking about them. Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Sandy Jenney

    It was great to meet you Mark. We had a great time and it will be fun to see the wonderful things you are going to accomplish!

  • JessicaGottlieb

    Mark, supporting you means supporting my community. You're in my backyard, helping families who are in over their heads.

    You aren't helping just the people in the shelters, you're changing the landscape of my city.

    So how could we be anything but grateful to you?

  • slohomeless

    Absolutely outstanding!

  • ericamayer

    Love this. Simply amazing, and congratulations.

  • ericamayer

    Love this. Simply amazing, and congratulations.