Thank you so much to Jill Boone, both for supporting Sam’s Fans through her project “Read for a Cause,” and for writing this blog post.
About Read for a Cause
Reading books with my two boys has always been one of my favorite things to do. As a parent, I appreciated books that taught a lesson but were still fun to read. Because you can only read a poorly written book about nothing so many times, right? I hand wrote (and illustrated, albeit poorly) the initial versions of each of these books with no intention of expanding distribution to anyone other than family. But then an idea arose: why not sell these books to support organizations that embody the values these stories seek to inspire? That idea grew into Read for a Cause, which I officially launched in 2019, to promote childhood learning and charitable giving. Specifically, I wrote and published five children’s books. I dedicated each of them to a deserving non-profit organization… one of which was Sam’s Fans.
About Little G’s One Man Band
The book I dedicated to Sam’s Fans is titled “Little G’s One Man Band,” which I wrote for my oldest son. It is about a little boy discovering a passion for music and realizing that its okay to “break the mold” of everyone else’s expectations. The takeaway:
“Everyone is good at something they do… you just have to find it and be true to you.”
Why Sam’s Fans?
I have to admit: I had never heard of Sam’s Fans until last year. In May 2019, my best friend took her 1-year-old in for a doctor’s appointment for what she thought were seasonal allergies. Shortly thereafter, they met with an oncologist, started chemo and radiation, and prepared for a bone marrow transplant. It was a whirlwind of disbelief, heartache, and helplessness. That summer, I was completing final edits on each of the books and starting the process of contacting organizations that embodied my “read more do good” mission.
Around that time, I reached out to my friend just to check-in. She told me that Akron Children’s Hospital had a music therapy program and that a guitarist had just finished playing a song for her son. Her son had loved it– smiling and clapping and dancing. She said she felt completely overwhelmed with relief and gratitude that for those 5 minutes that day, she could see her son escape his situation and just be… happy. I knew right then that Little G’s One Man Band–about a little boy’s love for music–was meant to support an organization that promoted music and art therapy. Fast forward a few weeks, and I was nervously waiting outside of Nikki’s office to discuss a possible partnership with Sam’s Fans.
Sam’s Fans and Read for a Cause Partnership
It took all of about five minutes to know that Sam’s Fans and Read for a Cause were a fit. As cheesy as it sounds, ir almost felt like it was meant to be. I shared my friend’s story without knowing how close it hit home with Nikki… and without even realizing that Sam’s Fans directly supported that very guitar player that brought my friend such peace. We talked, we laughed, we cried, and we hugged. I walked into that meeting feeling nervous and apprehensive. I walked out feeling motivated, driven, and inspired by Sam and her story.
Over the past year, I have felt privileged to promote Sam’s Fans and the good work it supports in children’s hospitals throughout Ohio. A few months after I published Little G’s One Man Band, Nikki actually participated in a music therapy session with my friend’s son at Akron Children’s Hospital. When I heard that, I smiled. What a small world… separated by hundreds of miles, joined together by a story, and some good music.
You can purchase Little G’s One Man Band from Amazon. Or if you want a signed book with a personalized note in it for someone as a gift, you can send an email through the website (www.readforacause.org).
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