In the spirit of Valentines Day, we wanted to share with you a love story that began on a GO-Night. Check out this story…

My name is C.J. Wilkes, I am a Project Live Love volunteer, and this is our story.

I picked her up from her house in Kirkwood at 8:00pm on Wednesday night, February 9, 2011 for our first date. Her roommates quizzed me about the night and tried to decide who I was/what my intentions were with their friend – they were much more intense than her father (I later found out). I answered the questions awkwardly and apparently seemed really nervous (I also found this out later).

The truth is that I wasn’t really sure what the night had in store, but I was desperately hoping I would have a great idea come to me that would be magical. I knew that I had managed to turn a coffee date into a dinner date – and that it should get cold enough for hot chocolate – that was all I had as I opened the car door for her to get inside. I was definitely nervous.

I didn’t get us into an accident or say anything stupid on the way to the local pizza joint that I had selected as the perfect hipster – yet bearable enough to eat at – place to make me look cool. Dinner went well and it took just long enough for the temperature to really drop so that hot chocolate made total sense.

On the drive over to a coffee shop the conversation broke through the ice ever-so slightly, and we started talking more about what we were doing in life – what we really cared about.

She began telling me about a homeless friend that she had met outside of the building that she was working in at the time. She said that he was super-nice, but he didn’t have anywhere to go and spent most nights sleeping outside around the corner. She described her concern for him on really cold nights and wished that there were more that she could do to help out. On cue, snowflakes began to fall outside as we sat nice and warm and comfy drinking our hot chocolate.

Then, suddenly, it came to me! Project Live Love’s Three-Oh-We-Go program would be running around the streets of Atlanta that night as it was well below freezing. I mentioned the opportunity and she was totally up for the experience – so we ran to the car and made it to the meeting location just in time.

When we arrived we met up with Kel Long, the person who would be leading the group for the evening. It turns out that we were the group. In the early days of Three-Oh-We-Go, sometimes the groups were small. I didn’t consider that this would be the case nor did I consider that Kel would also be chaperoning our first date.

We piled into the car and started the route. The snow began to fall harder, but we pressed on. As we were driving and in some cases sliding around downtown Atlanta, I couldn’t help but sense the love being put into action. There was an overwhelming desire to demonstrate care and make people feel comfortable with this small group of three, and it was an experience that completely reshaped my perspective.

Over the course of the months to follow – more opportunities were made available through Project Live Love including more Three-Oh-We-Go nights and the Live Love Events. Her and I were able to put our love into action for the city of Atlanta – to realize our responsibility to show and do love for the well being of those around us, whether we know them personally or not.

I have also come to the understanding that serving alongside the person that you love deepens your attraction and ultimately strengthens your relationship with them in ways that nothing else can. Project Live Love has provided a space for her and I to participate in this responsibility.

Her name is Maggie Monroe. We were engaged on October 20, 2012! We will be married on October 6, 2013, and a Project Live Love Three-Oh-We-Go night was our first date!

(Photo Courtesy of C.Taylor Photography)