It’s Tuesday April 14th and I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the surreal feelings I still have.
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you all that what just transpired and took place in the little city of Miami Springs, Florida was likely the most ostentatious event I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of, and also, responsible for making happen.
Hi, My name is Ahmad Hassan. Most people know me as “Ahmed Hassan” the original host and inspiration for DIY Network and HGTV’s Yard Crashers. I am a professional landscaper, fundraising guru, fast talking, smack talking, motivational speaker, and professional flirt. I love babies and children. I love men and women; black, white, Latin, Asian and every other ethnicity. I love Christians and Muslims; Jews, Buddhists, and Atheists. I love the under dog.
I grew up watching TV shows, believing in superheroes. Those larger than life characters that come from humble beginnings and develop amazing talents. Those that learn to utilize their powers for the good of humankind. As a kid, I saw my dad as a superhero. He was absolutely a character that inspired and amazed me with what he knew, what he could do, and what he’d been through.
I lost him to a modern days form of kryptonite (heroine). I was changed forever. My eyes we’re opened and my awareness shifted from being a kid. I began to see, understand, and live my life as an adult.
It took years to process my pain and my sadness. I believed then, and continue to believe, that life is merely a journey where we get to “show up and show off”, as the awesome super heroes of our own choosing. Please understand that because we are all merely natural human beings, we can only develop our natural human powers.
This is to say that our powers must always be kept in the realm of human possibility. Humans don’t fly, so the cape isn’t necessary. On a day like any other, I received a tweet from Mrs Silvia Vanni of Mystic Force Foundation. The tweet included a picture of Silvia and a young, bald, and beautiful Daniella Collazo. Mrs. Vanni is easy on the eyes and Daniella, well… now this little angel is as precious and beautiful as they come.
The request was for Ahmed, the Original host of Yard Crashers to come and “crash” aka create, remodel, accentuate, spruce up and horticulturally enhance, Daniella Collazo’s backyard. This request was nothing new for Ahmed but it came from someone different than the folks that typically reach out and ask for assistance with their oudoor living space. The first reply from Hassan was to please provide more information. Vanni did just that. She shared the pain of losing her own son, Salvatore, to Neuroblastoma. This was the same type of cancer that Daniella was diagnosed with, only Salvatore was diagnosed at stage 4 while Daniella was diagnosed at stage 3.
My saying yes to Silvia Vanni and the Mystic Force Foundation was my opportunity to be big. It was my opportunity to be heroic; my opportunity to step out in faith. It was my chance to prove to myself, Mrs Vanni, Daniella, and anyone else who gave a damn; about the power of intention, love, and being a BADASS as I call it, for good.
Good intentions, good measure, a partnership and movement with other good people that are inclined to join in and “represent” for the cause; this is the kind of stuff my heroes are made of. The kind of stuff that Ghandi, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and others were known for. These men and another master teacher named Jesus Christ were also known for it. It’s all about helping those that cannot, or do not know how to, help themselves.
Because I’m just one person, I’m just one piece of the puzzle. I only have particular human powers. I happen to be a pretty damn good landscaper (And yes, I know it!). I began to reach out to others like myself that are awesome at what they do. I look for gifted and talented individuals that really know their craft. Their confidence level is something that needs to already be in place so that my job is merely one of buttering them up and convincing them to partner with me. Yes it’s manipulative, but in no way malicious.
I understand enough human psychology to understand that people need to feel big, they need to feel proud, and they need to feel loved, in order to rise up and be their best self. My job, my task, and my mission, was to solicit all of who I felt was needed in order to create the space and make Daniella’s Wish a reality. I did this in a modern grass roots way, utilizing social media and personal conversations. I also asked others to reach out in order to exploit and further network for this worthy and heartfelt cause. I played no games, I told no lies. I did what was necessary, and because I love The Green Industry, fans and friends; I kept everyone informed to the best of my ability, posting and sharing regularly as we built momentum and moved towards our goal.
The most unique thing about this whole experience was that it was completely non-profit. As a result, we needed to raise funds for what I thought would be a $50-$70K yard. In actuality, it evolved into a project totaling more than $100K. So in that regard, the learning curve on this project was something that I also said yes to. I’ve done so many things in my life where I hadn’t a clue as to what I was doing, or how I was suppose to get it done.
And yet I set a date anyway, having a conviction in my mind, heart, and the rest of me. Then I worked tirelessly with all of my human powers of communication, visualization, anticipation, discipline, collaboration and finally, fortified the entire thing with LOVE. Love for Silvia Vanni who loved her son Sal, love for little Daniella, who has a real life threatening disease. Love for all of my comrades; the ones that I know and truly respect as well as those that I’ve not met yet. Things magically tend to come together when you maintain your intention to love.
The seed was planted, I said yes, and because of so many others, Daniella’s Wish and Silvia Vanni’s request have been fulfilled. If I had Super Human Powers to take away Childhood and all other forms of cancer I would. But because I don’t I’ll simply and humanly continue to utilize my natural human powers and prove to my family, friends, fans, and absolute strangers; just how beautiful we women and men can be.
Thank you to everyone that helped and assisted in making Daniella’s Wish come true. I appreciate each and every dollar that was donated, spent, and shared to make it all happen. I appreciate the men, women, and children that showed up and exhausted all of who they were to help with the heavy burden. I appreciate the list of National and local sponsors, businesses and the wonderfully loving city Of Miami Springs, Florida.” You all really made a difference this past weekend. Here is a fantastic video of what we accomplished courtesy of Seda Custom Design!
Follow Celebrity Landscaper Ahmed Hassan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! You can also JOIN ME THIS MAY in PALM SPRINGS at the Alive Again Positive Living Conference! #GoGreenWithAhmed #TeamAhmed #DoitforDaniella #DiditforDaniella #DaniellasWish