Posts tagged Philanthropy
I am humbled and honored to announce my induction into the Caring Hall of Fame as 2010’s International Caring Award Recipient. On October 5th, in Dallas, myself and fellow recipient of the Domestic Caring Award, Laura Bush, will be honored as outstanding members who give back to those in need.
The Caring Institute was established in 1985 with Mother Teresa in mind — the ultimate example of giving to others. The institute honors those who live by her example through doing good works and demonstrating selfless behavior. Other notable recipients of the Caring Award include the late John Wooden and last year’s winner, Colin Powell. I heartedly support their mission and am grateful and speechless that my efforts are being awarded for doing something I love. My award only re-enforces my desire and commitment to continuing to give to others that I learned so many years ago from my mum.
My motto has always been, “first you learn, then you earn, then you return.” I was taught no matter what your circumstance, you have something to give to others. I now have the ability to give financially, but what I teach is there is always something of value you can give and money is not always the answer. I credit this passion to serve to my mother, who instilled in me strong values and a need to think beyond myself from an early age.
As a successful serial entrepreneur turned social entrepreneur, I didn’t always have an easy road. I lost millions in 1982 with the first real estate crash and in 2000, personal tragedy struck with the suicide of my only son Todd, at age 36. Not sure how to move on, I turned to one of my mentors and his words, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort…but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” It was this year that I turned my efforts to honoring the life of his son by founding The Todd Thomas Foundation to help raise awareness around mental illness and support research into effective treatments. I then went on to develop the Todd Thomas Institute for Values-Based Leadership, and in 2002, I galvanized my method of values-based goal setting and shared it with others through LifePilot – a British Columbia based non-profit organization that provides programs that empower and teach people from all walks of life to live in alignment with their values.
My most recent endeavor is in conjunction with the launch of his newest book, Be Great – The Five Foundations to an Extraordinary Life. I have already embarked on a 10-City Be Great America Book Tour , that began in Phoenix with proceeds from book sales and speaking engagements to benefit the local chapters of Boys & Girls Club. This book is being used by Childhelp, The Alfredo Molina Foundation and The Bonnie Addario Lung Foundation as an incentive/gift to donors to raise additional funds for their organization.
I love sharing what I’ve learned from my journey in my new book. . . it’s important for me to re-enforce that we always need to be grateful for what we have, always pursue our inner greatness and always share with others be it knowledge, time or monies. I am delighted that I am at a place in my life that I can do all three.
Thank you to my family, friends and followers for all of your support along this journey that has lead to this wonderful moment and recognition of my life—I couldn’t hav
In the beginning of every new journey or venture in my life, the part I look forward to most are those who I meet along the way. With the Be Great tour getting kicked into gear, we embark on our voyage to Phoenix, Arizona. Excitement and anticipation building inside, I can’t wait to get on course with my agenda.
My first stop was at Phoenix’s Boys and Girls Club. As you will come to know, my passion for aiding in strengthening the courage within the children of today to become the leaders of tomorrow is undeniable. There is something about kids that just inspires me. Their pure look out on the world, so honest and uninhibited by responsibility, gives the sense of endless opportunity. They are at the time in their lives where dreaming isn’t frowned upon, its encouraged. My visit to the Boys and Girls club reminded me just that. I made some wonderful new friends, as they taught me some new tricks at pool –and I attempted to teach them some tricks of my own—their inventiveness and creativity astonished me. As you’ve heard me mention before, rediscovering your talents is an amazing process, a bit like searching for a long-lost treasure you buried as a child. Being able to approach any situation from your own angle is an essential building block in forming the foundation to your personal world of innovation.
Any day that I get to surround myself with a room full of dreamers and potential pioneers is a day to cherish. From my wonderful experience at the Boys and Girls club, my next engagement was to judge the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. I was able to speak to the six finalists as they shared their drive and passion for success as the next generation of leading entrepreneurs. After an epic two day event of rigorous interviews and meetings, it was an honor to announce student, Brent Skoda, as the Southwest Regional Champion for his online nutritional and fitness website.
In time when so many feel the hammer of defeat and the inability to go after their dreams, it’s refreshing to see such an indomitable group of young adults living their dreams every day. The dreams that you have as a kid are invaluable to hold onto—harnessing that drive towards a greater goal. With the love and support you can give to a child, you are nurturing their ability to take risks. Who knows, one day the child teaching me new tricks at pool could be the winner of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards.