I Am Retiring The Love Bomb Project

by Nate St. Pierre on April 7, 2013

Just over three years ago (which is a long time in Internet years), I decided to build a team based around the idea of leaving encouraging comments of love and hope on the blog posts of people who were going through a difficult time in their lives. You can take a look back at the ItStartsWith.Us blog to see where it all began, and then check out the Love Bomb site to see where it all ended up. The project grew from one small email request to many thousands of team members worldwide in a very short time. It was lovely to watch and be a part of.

Of all the things I’ve ever built, this project is the closest to my heart, even though I have deliberately remained the farthest from it in terms of leadership. I love the simplicity and effectiveness of the concept, but running this project specifically has always taken a large emotional toll on me. I am now entering a new phase of my life, and it’s time to clear the table of some of the older projects to make room for the new.

I could talk for a very long time about all the things this project has meant to the world and to me, but I want to keep this brief, so I’ll just mention one example from each:

It touched, changed, and saved lives.
Every week Love Bomb gave two gifts – the gift of love and hope to the recipient, but also the gift of shared connection to thousands of team members. It had a dramatic, sometimes instantaneously life-changing effect each week on the person who received the Love Bomb, but it had an equally life-changing effect on us team members over time. Every week, Love Bomb gave us the ability to step into someone’s life during their darkest hour, make a human connection, and truly make a difference. The impact of this cannot be overstated. For an investment of just five minutes per week, we got to see lives changed (including our own) in real time. Love Bomb was the best return on investment of any project I’ve ever seen.

It brought me closer to people.
I mean this both literally and figuratively. In a very literal sense, Love Bomb brought people into my life that I now consider dear friends. Lauren Lankford Dubinsky led the team in the early days, bringing both a heart for others and a good sense of humor to the project. We shared much laughter and many tears during those early days, and it’s been so cool to see her success with a meaningful project of her own over the past couple years.

For the most part I was able to maintain a professional distance from the people we reached out to with the project (lest that sound harsh, keep in mind it was for emotional protection), I couldn’t escape the impact of the most inspiring person we ever bombed, Laura Lawson. Over the years we have become infrequent communicators, but very real friends. I’m happy to say that she’s marrying the love of her life, and I had the privilege of providing some edits on her first book recently.

Lastly, and most importantly on a personal level, Love Bomb helped me develop a deeper sense of empathy than I ever had before. You know that phrase, “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle?” Well, it’s true. We get so caught up in our own personal day-to-day stuff that we sometimes forget or don’t even notice the life-breaking things our friends, family and neighbors happen to be going through at the moment. Love Bomb helped me open my eyes to the larger world around me. A world of trials and suffering and pain, yes, but also a world of kindness, connection, hope and love.

To all of our members over the years, a very sincere thank-you for giving of your time and joining us on this mission to change lives in just five minutes a week.

Mission accomplished, friends, and I hope to see you on the next project.

– Nate

Much love to some of our biggest team players

Katie
Sasha
Amanda
Emmy
Jo
Matt
Emily
Mare
Sarah
Joni
Arie
Brianna
Jim
Paige
Kat
Chad
Alison
Michelle

  • Darren

    In August of 2011, we were blessed with the more than 200 comments left for us while our 4-month old daughter had open heart surgery. The outpouring of anonymous support was so touching. My wife and I often go back and look at some of the kind words. As for Grace, she just turned two, and is growing like any other toddler. Her accomplishments can be seen at http://www.talesfromgraceland.blogspot.com.

    So thanks once more, Love Bombers!

    Sorry to see the Love Bomb go. It was such a help for us but we know the love and compassion from its followers will live on in many other ways.

    • I’m so glad to hear that Grace is doing well today! Thank you for being a part of our family since 2011, as well. Much love to you and yours, Darren. πŸ™‚

    • <3 to you, Jenny and Grace, Darren. πŸ™‚

  • This comes unexpectedly, especially since Love Bomb just got back up and running with the new team leader you picked. I hada nomination that I was planning to send in for a colleague who is undergoing a frightening and painful health experience this week.

    Doing the love bombs this past year has been a great experience for me, in getting to see how people can come together to show someone that he or she is not alone in a hardship. It also helped me keep in mind that everyday, someone in the world is suffering an unimaginable tagedy or hardship that is often larger in scope than many of the difficulties the rest of us are having at the moment. Good luck to you on your future projects.

    • Thank you Nicole, and though it may seem unexpected, it’s been on my mind for a long time . . . even before it got back up and running with Sasha.

  • I don’t understand?

    I thought just recently Sasha took over? Does it have to be every week?
    Oh well, thank you for starting a great project.
    I will continue to leave messages for people I come across.
    be well

    • Sasha recently took over the team leadership, yes, but I’ve always been the one behind the scenes, and it’s time for me to hang it up. Thank you for continuing to leave the positive messages for the people who need it – that’s one of the most important things we can all do.

  • Matt Peters

    Whenever I’ve explained Love Bomb to someone else, I’ve summed it up like so: “Every week we break our hearts and give half of it to a stranger who needs to know that while we can not fix their situation, we can make sure they know that no one ever goes through anything alone.”

    Same goes for you, Nate. Whatever the next phase is, we’ll walk that road with you.

    • This is the best description of Love Bomb I’ve ever heard. Thank you so much for being a part of it with us, Matt, and for walking that future road with me, wherever it leads.

  • I’m sad to see this project go…even though I have not been a big part of it for a while now (call me crazy but I sort of have my hands full!). I know that this was a project that had a very real impact on my life coming up on two years ago, during my angel’s open heart surgery. The thousands of messages left by strangers from across the world uplifted our family and had a big part in carrying us through the toughest days of our lives. I’m beyond happy to report that that tiny angel you all sent love, thoughts and prayers for is now a beautiful, thriving two year old (as you can see by my picture!). Thank you everything you have done. Thank you for your enormous heart. Thank you for finding a way to spread a little more love in our world. Best wishes to you. Love. Heidi Ehle

    • PS…I’m a little teary eyed. Sad to see it go…and blessed beyond words by Darren’s response (since I was the one who nominated them!)

    • Heidi! The picture of your little girl sitting on the carpet in her pink shirt with that cute little grin melted my heart. I’m so glad to see that she’s doing well, and that the Love Bomb team was able to be with your family during that tough time.

      Much love to you and yours, and give that little girl a hug from all of us!

  • Tabitha B

    I am so disappointed that Love Bomb is over. It meant a lot to me that I could help people without having to be somebody.
    All the same, I am glad that it existed while it did. Thank you, Nate. You, your ideas and your teams have inspired me to stand up for people that can’t stand up for themselves.
    I hope that I can be like you when I leave school.

    • I have a feeling that you already are like me, even while you’re still in school. Just people who aren’t afraid to do what they can, no matter how small, to make a difference for others.

  • Cassie

    As someone who was on the receiving end of a Love Bomb about two years ago, this project was absolutely amazing and helped get me through a low point in my life. And I loved joining the team to help others when they needed it most. So i want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart everyone who worked on this project in my mind is amazing. <3

  • Lola

    I am going to miss dropping love bombs. It didn’t just help the bomb receivers; it also helped me. It has been amazing. Thank you.

  • Ginny

    I understand, I truly do. But Love Bomb was something I could do despite limitations. Isn’t there a way we could all continue it informally? Set up a Love Bomb group on Facebook or G+ or something where we could leave links to blogs of people who need our support? I just hate to see it end.

    • smile74424

      I think that is a fantastic idea. That way we could spread the love even more.

  • sorry to hear this, but thank you for the inspiration and the love and the lessons learned and the reaching out xxx

  • Is there any way we can keep this going? Love Bomb 2? I think it’s too great to let fade away.

  • MarΓ­a

    I’m really sorry this great project is coming to an end. I used to live inside a bubble where everything was just perfect and Love Bomb made me land no this earth and get in touch with people who had problems and suffered. I developed a great empathy not just for the people we sent messages every week but for those around me too. And when I had to deal with my own problems and suffering I had already learnt a lot. Thank you all for contributing to helping me become a better human being. I only wish this could go on!

    Good luck to you!

  • Kylie

    I’m so sad to hear this is ending! We don’t have a lot of money since we’re still in school, and I work part time and take care of my baby boy, so I don’t get a chance for a lot of volunteer opportunities – this was something I could do each week and I found it very uplifting, even when it was tragic. Thanks for the memories!

  • Jeannie

    What a bummer to hear, well, Nate, I took a page from your book and do love bombs at work all the time. I work at a high school for pregnant and teen moms and sometimes I am the only one who says ” You are a great mom” or “You rock, graduating high school and raising a baby” I started a program called “Caught ya being good” when the moms are caught doing something I consider great I reward them with a small gift, it makes them smile and my heart smiles even bigger and that, dear sir started because of this project so though it is ending, it really is just living on in another way πŸ™‚ So thank you!!!!

  • Mare Aehlich

    Although this is very sad, I get it. Through the years with Love Bomb I’ve made one really close friend – someone we’ve Love Bombed and I got to meet Sasha while she was working at Disney World at the Magic Kingdom. I’m no stranger to sadness and it’s painful, so helping others through very dark times has actually helped me get through mine. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help others and Nate, you know I’m in for whatever you have in store. Love, as always, Mare

  • Gloria

    I absolutely loved this project and being a part of it. There’s nothing better than sharing a bit of heart with one who needs it. Thanks for having pioneered this, Nate. While this may have come to an end, I’m sure there are more projects along the way. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next πŸ™‚ be blessed!

  • smile74424

    I am so sad to hear this is over. I got involved during a summer (2011) I was stuck on the couch due to knee surgery. I would anxiously await the e-mail, comment on the blog, and sometimes spend half the day reading old posts.

    My favorite part was everyone banding together to help one person. It may have been simple to do, but to let someone know that people were thinking of them was far from nothing.

  • Tamara

    Nate,
    When I read your email on the tram today, I was saddened to hear the news, even though I have not participated in Love Bomb very much for quite a while. But because of that, I immediately thought of the cliched line “you never know what you’ve got til it’s gone” – the fact that this project is over has reminded me of how much it did mean to me when I first discovered it, and has renewed my desire to love those around me, as well as those I may never even meet. I am sitting here in tears reading the updates in the comments, and the links in the article to Lauren’s new project and Laura’s blog also made me cry. They were exactly what I needed to read today.
    You were the first person who made me see that the internet could be a powerful tool used for actual good, and not just harm or time wasting or research, and even in this final chapter of Love Bomb, that is truer than ever. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for this project you have created, and for sharing the love that you have for others. I pray that God will continue to use you in whatever you do next.
    Much love, Tamara.

  • Carolina Vieira

    This was definitely one of the best projects I have seen in my life. Over the period of a year, I dropped each Love Bomb faithfully as it came in my mailboxes. Some stories really made me cry, reach for my box of tissues and call people I love to tell them thank you for all the support they have given me in my life. It made me really happy when Lauren would email us with someone’s response to receiving a Love Bomb, and sometimes I would even keep checking their blog to see if there were some good news and still leave them words of encouragement, if that wasn’t the case. This project definitely thought me that it only takes a couple minutes to help someone smile (even if you can’t fix their problem) and give them hope, as well as making me thankful for the people in my life. Because of this, I would like to give a big thank you to Nate, Lauren, and all the people, leaders or members, that throughout the years made this a very successful project! πŸ™‚ Great job, everyone!

  • Kerry Goodrich

    This breaks my heart… I understand completely… but it has been my way of getting through some weeks I just dont know how to get through…. I have enjoyed this project so much! Thank you so much for all your hard work nate!

  • Dith

    Was introduced to this fabulous project when people dropped a huge bomb of love on a friend of mine. A while later, I requested a similar expression of support for another friend. I confess to being on the verge of giving up hope that she and her little family would get it – there being a huge need for love out there after all – but you guys came up trumps in the end.

    Thank you, Nate and team, every blessing with your ongoing (ad)ventures!

  • Glad to visit your blog. Thanks for this great post that you share to us

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