Sunday, November 04, 2007
Give Some Back
I once heard that the authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul tithed on every project they have created, and since have donated millions of dollars to charity. Their book series has sold over 100 million copies! That is a lot of soup.
Co-author of this best selling book series, Mark Victor Hansen, recommends that speakers and authors start early in establishing a habit of donating money to charity, instead of claiming they will wait until their ship comes in to give. If one is not accustomed to contributing to society all along, upon becoming wealthy, they will not be a giver. Mr Hansen's beliefs touched my soul, and caused me to think about the importance of giving something back.
I have been blessed with the honor of speaking to a variety of corporations, law firms and other business groups since the release on my first book. Some Assembly Required. While I appreciate the speaking fees that come with being a motivational speaker, I decided that I need to honor others and donate a portion of my speaking fees to a cause greater than my personal bank account.
In December 2006 my wife and I established the Kate Singer Endowment for Cranio-Facial Surgery at the Dell Medical Foundation of Central Texas. Five years ago my daughter, Kate, was born with a rare medical condition called Sagital Synostosis. This caused the bones in her skull to be prematurely fused together. This was a horrible time for our family as we faced many rough and difficult decisions. Kate had surgery at six months old to remove much of the top of her skull, and then having it reconstructed.
Today she is a delightful five years old. She is fabulous. Hopefully there will never be any side effects from the ordeal. We had to travel to San Diego to have state of the art doctors and facilities for this procedure and the ensuing follow ups. We found the experience of working with the doctors and staff at the SD Children's Hospital to be amazing. Since that time our home town of Austin, Texas has opened the new Dell Children's Medical Center, and has hired many of the top doctors in the world to come here to excel in providing the best possible care for sick kids. They have recruited a wonderful group of professionals who specialize in conditions like Kate's, so now local families have state of the art options right here in Austin!
My family now donates a portion from every speakers fee to the research and support of the team at this new hospital. We also hope to one day add to that giving to honor the phenomenal doctors in San Diego who are leading the way in discovering new methods to tread these types of birth defects.
I had the opportunity to meet Mark Victor Hansen this week. His foundation is now raising money to help the victims of the California Wild Fire. I was inspired by how he encouraged others to give to a cause and make a difference. (That is a photo of him and me...and my book! I still have a few more copies to sell to catch his 100 million books sold. But we are working on it one book at a time!)
If you would like to make a donation to the Kate Singer Endowment for Cranio-Facial Surgery, I encourage you to send a check directly to the Central Texas Children's Medical Foundation (the address is below). Even ten dollars makes a difference to this team of surgeons who are helping kids like Kate. Please write "Kate Singer Endowment" in the memo section.
Thanks, and Have A Great Day.
Children's Medical Center Foundation of Central Texas
4900 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723
Make Checks payable to "Children's Medical Center Foundation of Central Texas"