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September 17, 2007


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That's great fantastic! I think your blog will brought the house down, I reading your article with much more pleasure. Thanks a lot indeed.

Shel Horowitz

Hi, Robert,

I'm a big believer in giving, and recommend it in several of my books (it's particularly relevant to Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First).

Among the many ways I've done this is to start the Business Ethics Pledge, an international movement pledging to run businesses with honesty and integrity (and sensitivity to the environment). This movement has reached 30 countries so far--and interestingly enough, since I started doing this pro bono work, I'm attracting a much higher caliber of client, and those clients are purchasing considerably more of my services. The Pledge is located at

I just finished two days of media training for a client who runs a nonprofit that matches groups of teens to do direct service with homeless people, and we talked about how he could make this an attractive charity for businesses to partner with. He came all the way up from Virginia to Massachusetts to work with me, even though there are plenty of media trainers in the DC area. He is one of a number of substantial clients that clearly resonated with the ethics work.

Shel Horowitz, copywriter and award-winning author of five marketing books -
Blogging at (intersection of ethics, marketing, sustainability, and politics)
and (monthly frugal fun, frugal marketing, ethical business, and book marketing newsletters)

Rebecca Morgan, CSP, CMC


Here's an example for you:

In 1995, I got fed up with buying and giving out Halloween candy to what seemed like increasingly chubby and gluttonous trick or treaters who came to my door. I liked how Halloween allowed kids to act out a fantasy by dressing as a beloved character, but the candy just seemed to be getting out of hand. I'd read data about the epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes, and wanted to shift something.

So I decided to give out gently read children's books instead. Purchased at the library book sale, thrift shops and garage sales, they cost about the same as a regular-sized candy bar. Every year I did this and heard stories of the kids insisting on coming to my house for Halloween.

I decided to take the concept to the community, and established Books For Treats, In '02 we began to give out book to the trick-or-treaters on Lincoln Ave. in Willow Glen in San Jose. We quickly ran out of books. The next year we got more, and still ran out, the next year more. Last year we gave out 3500 books.

This year, I've begged and negotiated and have 8000 books. We are expanding the program to include a give away in the mostly Hispanic East San Jose. As we get more books donated, we will expand to other parts of the city.

I've also developed a free, downloadable kit for those who want to give out books at their own home at Halloween. Just go to to see.

Rebecca Morgan
Founder, Books For Treats

Khorshed E. Randeria

I'm reading Three Cups of Tea - a Book by and about Greg Mortensen. He's a mountain climber who like John has built schools for girls in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. And he didn't start out with all that money.

Glennette Yelverton

What a great post! I am inspired to be more and do more. I know that God has a plan for my life and it's more than just work, work, work. I'm going to make a concerted effort to get out of my comfort zone and contribute more to this wonderful world we live in.

Have a great day!

James Kershaw

What an amazing story about courage and the ability to act on a real need!

John Wood set himself to a mission which few others would even dare to think about, let alone implement. He responded to a need by providing books, schools, and opportunities to learn for those who could benefit most by these materials. He saw an opportunity to serve meaningfully and he envisioned ways to address an urgent need. Minds full of curiosity satisfied with the colour of picture books, adventure stories of far away places, common experiences shared with other curious minds - what natural ways to promote growth and inner satisfaction!

Today when I read your article I was feeling somewhat lost and in the dumps with my program implementation of music and reminiscence with the seniors I meet with. Like John Wood, I asked, What can I bring to my group? What are they asking? What do they need? In a real way, the group of seniors I see can be receptive to similar things that children like to experience. These could be things that stimulate the individual at deeper levels and yet can at the same time be perceived as something new again. I began to think what it must be like for Nepalese children to see something in a book that brings everything to life. Would it be possible to colour my work environment with music sounds and visual stimulants that can be familiar and distant but at the same time appear fresh and exciting again?

The place where I visit is a room where seniors sit quietly. Many are asleep and not much aware of their surroundings. But at a certain level they do "hear". Others don't look too happy but may be trying to get comfortable in different ways. The looks on their faces are not always encouraging. Life is boring and not much fun. But how did John Wood change the situation? He used the vehicle of sensory stimulation provided by books, etc. He used a variety of sensory items, different languages, media, and he made them easily available for everyone by personally delivering them. That's outstanding! And that's how I need to implement my service! Bring as many different objects, sounds, stories that I can, right to their present existence.
You have brought a great gift to mankind, Mr. Wood.

Thanks Robert for sharing this wonderfully inspiring example of courage and determination. Jim


Two years ago Johnny Mouradian, coach of the San Jose Stealth professional lacrosse team, and Eric Venzon, CEO of TEAMWRKX Construction, were concerned about the rising epidemic of childhood obesity. They had the idea of bringing lacrosse into the schools to help inactive kids learn to love a new sport, and get fit and healthy in the process. They founded Sticks-2-Schools and asked if my PR agency, c3PR, would provide pro bono services. We did and in two years have helped raised more than $70,000 to bring lacrosse to 41 schools in the Greater Bay Area. Like most nonprofits, we have more kids in need and schools on the waiting list than we have funds. None the less, we're excited about the upcoming season and all that we can achieve with the help of our generous sponsors. To read more about us, visit

Rob Wendes

Robert, you hit a chord as you often do with your marketing messages. However, how do we go about 'keeping our head above water' (maybe that's another subject for you).

What I mean by this is that my software business is just that, the focus is providing business owners and entrepeneurs with the type of Software solutions that they deserve.

It seems to me that the balance is difficult, because when I'm delivering solutions I have no time for marketing, when I am marketing I have no time for solving software problems for my clients.

That doesn't mean that I'm not busy, just that it seems to be more of a roller coaster ride than a gentle ebb and flow (like the tide coming and going:-)

Whilst I completely agree with the article, it does take such initiatives to stop the speeding train and make us think about life.

btw Himalayas sounds great, maybe one day the speeding train will derail enough to get me there.

For the last 20 years Rob Wendes has been helping Business owners and professionals to build better software systems.



Wow! I can't tell you how timely this message is! I and my business are based in New Orleans. The past 2 years post-Katrina have been a world-wind as I have been working with small business owners to rebuild and reinvent themselves and their businesses. However, I've been wanting to push the envelop just a bit more. I just purchased a plane ticket to Haiti where a delegation has been planned to do the same as they too were affected by a hurricane just 1 year before my fair city was. Your message this week just confirmed my decision. Giving to others is the gift that keeps giving. Moreover, each time you give you're taken to new levels to do the same. I now also know that I must apply the same to my core business as I do my business 'projects'. Thanks again for being so sensitive to what independent professionals NEED to hear.


Desiree Young
Your Biz Recovery Partner

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