All the passionate arguments I could summon would not illustrate the love that is so abundant in our industry better than sharing a brief story.

Each year, my company rewards its top distributors by sending us to a magical location for a few days of pampering, celebration and total relaxation. In late November 2000, our destination was the Grand Wailea on the island of Maui. This happens to be among my favorite havens in the entire world and I was eagerly anticipating a few days with my dearest friends.

Shortly after arriving, I called home (San Diego) to check on my daughter. Despite the fact that at 21, Sharlie was very much an adult, I worried about her. She was born with Cystic Fibrosis and battles this disease with every single breath she takes. She has rallied back from the brink of death numerous times in her young life, and is currently on the double-lung transplant list.

A chilling, breathless message awaited me as my answering machine clicked on.

“Mom, if this is you…I’m in trouble. Something happened. I can’t breathe. They’re taking me to the hospital.”

I was so shaken that I couldn’t function. I knew I had to get home as soon as possible, but I was too emotional to know how to make that happen. My friends rescued me. They calmed me, helped me repack, changed my flight schedules, transported me to the airport and stayed by my side until I boarded the plane.

I arrived at my daughter’s bedside early the next morning. She was still sleeping and didn’t realize I had come back home. When Sharlie opened her eyes, I placed a fragrant lei (my arrival gift from the Grand Wailea) around her neck and said, “Sorry I wasn’t here for you yesterday, honey. I had to run to Hawaii to pick up this beautiful lei for you.” As weak as Shar was, she smiled and gave me a tender hug.

The morning after I left Maui, all my friends, both field and corporate, got together in a circle to pray for my daughter and me, and then took up a collection so they could purchase something meaningful for Sharlie. A few days later, a stunning bouquet showed up at Sharlie’s hospital room, followed by an heirloom holiday quilt that warmed her heart as much as her body during those long days leading up to Christmas. She received beautiful cards, letters and gifts from each of these dear friends and they have continued to be her “adoptive” parents over the years.

I’ve always known our profession attracts people who want to make a difference, people who are of one mind. But even more important, we attract people who are of one heart.

COLLETTE LARSEN is a mother, grandmother and veteran networker. She and her brother, Bob, have earned their company’s "Distributor of the Year" award for seven of the past nine years.