Humans First: Nothing Can Dim the Light that Shines from Within

–A Heartfelt Message From Mike Vacanti

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

– Coretta Scott King

Overwhelmed by the enormity of it all is the message that came through loud and clear in his voice and in his eyes when I spoke with our dear friend, founder, and beacon of light behind the community we fondly embrace as HumansFirst. Words from a man who less than 24 hours ago watched his home and so many treasured memories ravaged by fire. Words from a man who just prior to the fire sat quietly and listened to dozens upon dozens of members of this community from around the globe lay heartfelt praise upon him in recognition of the second anniversary since launch.

You may naturally think the “enormity of it all” was speaking to the notion of waking up to his house in ruins and to the start of a grueling recovery & rebuilding process likely to dominate his life and that of his beloved family for many months to come. But that’s not what I heard and that’s not what he meant. What our friend Mike meant by “enormity of it all” was the overwhelming outreach by this community to let him know that we are here and that we care. Try as he might, he just couldn’t find the words to respond one by one to such an outpouring of goodwill. And so Mike decided to do what Mike does so very well, that is to share his message of thanks and wellbeing in the following video —along with a promise that when the storm passes, he will respond to each and every one:

And that my friends, is by word and deed precisely what Mike means when it comes to putting HumansFirst.

Please leave your comments below, as they will all be relayed to Mike and his family.


Dennis Pitocco
Dennis Pitocco
DENNIS is the Founder & Chief ReImaginator of 360° Nation, encompassing a wide range of multimedia enterprises, including BizCatalyst 360° —the award-winning global media digest; 360° Nation Studios —dedicated to reaching across the world in an effort to capture, produce, and deliver positive, uplifting messages via blockbuster global events, and; GoodWorks 360° —a pro-bono consulting foundation focused entirely on providing mission-critical advisory services to nonprofits worldwide. Collaborating with his Chief Inspiration Officer (and wife), Ali, everything they do is "for-good" vs. "for profit". Their mission over the past decade-plus has been to rediscover humanity at its best, influencing and showcasing it every step of the way. Together, they do their very best to figure out what the world is trying to be —then using all their resources to help it to be better every day in every way. They understand and embrace the notion that it’s not about me or you; it’s about caring for the people we serve and more responsibly stewarding the precious resources in our care. And they believe it’s about showing up, being present, and intentionally giving our invaluable gifts of time, talent, and treasure "for good". Dennis is a contributing author to these Best-Selling Books ♦ Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational ChangeJourney Well, You Are More Than EnoughThe Four-Fold Formula For All Things Wellness: True Stories of the Heart, Spirit, Mind, and Body Voices of Strength Win the Wellness W.A.R. We Are Responsible

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  1. Mike,

    I am so deeply sorrowful to know of this distressing situation you and your wife have experienced.

    There is something so final about a fire. Having gone through a Category 5 hurricane, I know that even when pictures and documents…memories…get soaked, they can often be salvaged. Not so in a fire.

    It hurts us just to know of your experience and yet I, and as others have expressed, admire and deeply respect your positive words that you took the time to share in the video.

    Keep holding on to your faith and the power of prayer to get you through this time in your life.


  2. Oh, My heart is with you 100 percent, Mike! I send waves and waves of courage, strength, and love to you as rebuild a new home for your Huge Heart. May you receive this outpouring of love, care, support directly into that huge heart of yours. I’m also sending many prayers to you and your family at this time of so much loss. I hold you in your grieflove for a home you filled with beloved belongings, treasures, memories. I’m grateful to know you and your family are safe. How important to know we have got you-holding you every step of the way, my friend. I am here. We are here. A phone call away… Love Always Finds A Way!!!! You are loved more than you can even imagine. You matter to all of us, to our world.

  3. Mike, I am so sorry I didn’t respond earlier! I thought I had, but I don’t see anything. I know I watched your video, and that thought at the end about filling a stadium with others who would trade problems with you right now hit hard.

    I thought about that for hours, which is probably why I thought I’d written a note to you. So often we downplay the hurt we feel because we know others have it even worse. And while that’s true, Mike, you and Sue have still suffered a tremendous loss that is real and hurtful. Perspective is all well and good, but I hope you’re both taking the time to really grieve.

    As so many others have written and said, we’re here for you in any way you might need us.

  4. Hi Mike,
    So sorry to hear this and what you and your family must be going trough.
    Gratefully you all are safe.
    I don’t now you well, but we all speak the language of humanity, kindness and compassion.
    I wish you sincere much hope, faith and strength facing this challenge in your life. Such disasters always come unannounced, but always with the promise of growth. Sometimes we make our own choice to follow a new different path and sometimes life makes that choice for us. I hope you stay connected with your light that shines from within you.
    May that same light towards healing, brighten every step of your way and guide you further.
    And Mike, especially now, please, one step at a time my friend.

  5. Thank you dear friend Dennis for publishing this emotional and moving message from Mike! I wasn’t aware of what happened and I’m so very sorry for the losses.

    Mike, I loved both the vulnerability and resilience in your voice my friend! That was so beautiful to witness! I want you to know you have all my support, that I’m so glad family is doing well; most importantly, that you’re allowed to be sad and cry and we’ll all listen and cry with you whenever is needed!

    Sending you much love!

  6. Hey Mike. I’m so glad, SO very glad, that you and Sue are safe. You already know this, I think, but just a gentle reminder that we’re all holding you in our hearts, and this is one of those times when community, family, really matters. So ride the emotional rollercoaster – it’s got you anyway, might as well just go for the ride… , and rest easy knowing you’re not alone… not even a smidge. We’re here for you, however, whenever, whatever you need. Much love, my friend. Much love.

  7. Mike first of all the fact that you are thinking of us and feel like you to respond so fast in the middle of this all shows again what an incredible loving, caring, human being you are. You and Sue and all your family are in my heart. I could not even focus on work or sleep well last night thinking of you all, I don’t know how you can stay so resilient. I had no doubts you would; so not surprised either.

    As we are reminded in every tragic event, human lives and our loved ones matter more than anything. You were talking about other people having bigger problems in the midst of what you are going through.

    All the outpour of love is what you created. You gave all this love and care to other of course you will receive it 10 fold. I hope all the love and positive wishes coming from our wonderful community makes it easier for you to carry on taking care of things you have to at this point.

    I am here for ANYthing you need from me for your family. Anything we may not think of.

    I can visualize you sharing your story with the wonderful silver linings you will pull from this in the future. You are that person.

    Lots of good vibes to you and your beautiful family my friend. Thinking of you.

  8. Thank you, Dennis for publishing this message so the HumansFirst community hears from Mike and sees that he and Sue are safe.

    Mike, I am here for you. We are here for you. I see the impact of your vision, your heart-led creation showing up most powerfully over the past day. So good to see in your video that you feel this. I am sure the love, care, and concern for you and your family is overwhelming. So is the impact you have had on me and so many who have been touched by your heart, vision, courage and strength.

    The incredible, global HumansFirst club that has evolved over the past two years is ready to support you during the process that lies in front of you.

    We’ve got you.