Friday, November 4, 2011

Inspiration is Contagious



Sometimes when we embark on a project to help others, we don’t always realize the positive impact of our actions.  Indeed, it's nice to be appreciated and knowing this keeps us motivated to continue doing more.      


My son and I started Andrew’s Books when he was seven years old.  You can visit his website here.  Each year I help him pick a school, update his website, and follow up with donations, but his steadfast commitment to give up his birthday and Christmas gifts, hours spent shopping for books and spreading the word is what make his project what it is. 


The success of a charitable project is based on how relative the project is to you and how much enjoyment you get from doing it. In order to sustain what you are doing you have to love doing it.  I know for sure that when Andrew is shopping for books, putting the bookplates inside the books, and packing the books for shipment; he is truly enjoying what he is doing.  You can see the passion in his eyes and in his sweet smile when someone asks him about Andrew’s Books. Pride is what you see.  


November came up so fast that he had to reminded me by asking what school would be receiving the books this year.  Coincidently, a friend on facebook posted a link to a video of First Nation children in a very isolated community.  After Andrew viewed it, he said, I know who should get the books this year.  You can read about it and view the video here and visit the school website here.  What is important is not to lose sight of the positive, watch their school video here posted by the school principal, Jo-Anne.   


I contacted the school principal. After I explained the project to her she said, “Do you know where we are located?”   I said, yes, you are located in an extremely isolated place and that is one of the reasons why your school was picked.   She told me that they don’t have a library, and any amount of books will be helpful. The books would be shipped before the end of February 2012 to take advantage of the ice road into the community.


So how is this project contagious?  Last week Andrew received a box containing 22 new books; with titles that are so relevant to First Nation’s students you know they were picked with extreme thoughtfulness and care.  The box of books included a letter and some wonderful photographs. 
Click on letter to enlarge 
A big thanks to Adia (Silly McGilly) and her parents who were inspired by Andrew’s literacy project and for joining Andrew’s Books!  Anyone can make a difference, even at one year old!  
  

Another person who is inspired by what children are doing is author Janet Wilson. Janet's  brilliant book “Shannen and the Dream for a School” is a book worthy of a read.  It is a sweet story about the students at Attawapiskat, Ontario.  This school was a  recipient of Andrews Books in 2008 but because they didn't have  a school the books were distributed to the students to take home.  There is a brief mention of Andrew's project in the book.     

One thing I know that is true, even if you're not always aware of how you inspire others by things you do, someone out there is noticing and appreciating you and your contribution in making the world a better place.    

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