Archive for » November, 2009 «

November 26th, 2009 | Author:

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a project since August to raise money to buy teddy bears for kids at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California.   My original goal was to give 250 bears to the kids for Christmas.   At the beginning of this week, I did an interview with KNSD TV (NBC) in San Diego.  After the news segment ran, picked up the story and donations started pouring in.  Within a day, I had raised enough to buy 1700 bears!  I could hardly believe it.  Kids were donating $5 and $10, companies were donating larger amounts, and a group of three 8th grade students in Michigan donated their bake sale money.  But today, on Thanksgiving of all days, I received a special donation from three soldiers stationed in Iraq.  They read my story and decided to donate.  I was amazed but it meant even more when I received this email from one of the guys.  He gave his permission to share it on my blog.  It means a lot!

Remember to thank our military guys.


I am Staff Sergeant (name withheld for privacy reasons), curently serving in Iraq.  I saw an article about your donation of teddy bears to kids in the hospital and felt that in addition to a donation I should write you this email.



Hopefully you know already how incredible your achievments have been thus far.  The fact that you have chosen to give back to others less fortunate than yourself is what makes all of it truly extraordinary.  Your friends and family are no doubt proud of you beyond words.  I wanted you to know that others are proud of you as well.

I, as well as my fellow soldiers, are often asked why we are willing to do the things that we do.  While most everyone has a different answer, I believe I can speak for most when I say that one of the primary reasons is in order to protect the American way of life.  In this current age filled with people looking out only for themselves, or expecting things from their country that they have neither earned nor deserve, it is refreshing to see someone carving their own path while giving of themselves at the same time.

Many adults in your shoes would concentrate all of their effort into their profit margin without a thought for others less fortunate than themselves.  I can’t tell you how glad I and my teammates are to see that the American spirit is alive and well in our younger generation.  Please keep up the good work.  I will keep you and your family in my prayers.  My teammates and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.  Take care.


SSG (name withheld)
November 22nd, 2009 | Author:

As many of you know, every quarter I donate part of my proceeds from Pencil Bugs to buy toys, games, books, and other activities for kids at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California.  For Christmas, I try to do something extra special for the kids by having a fundraiser.

This year, my goal was to give 250 bears to Rady Children’s Hospital.  With the help of generous people on Twitter, Facebook, and also family and friends, to date we have received almost $750 which along with my own money is enough to buy 300 bears so far.  With the deadline of December 1 approaching, I hope to be able to buy even more.

We hear lots of negative things about teens today but there are also many who are making a difference in a positive way.  Here is a perfect example.

This past Friday, I received a very generous donation from a group of eighth graders at Detroit Country Day School in Beverly Hills, Michigan.    Their teacher, Kathleen Mencotti, sent an email explaining she taught a Service Learning Class.  A group of three students, Adrienne Yu, Sarah Matthews, and Maggie Pyett held a bake sale to raise money to buy bears for their local hospital.  As they were running out of time to complete their project, the students took it upon themselves to search Internet to find someone who was already doing the same thing they were to see about contributing the money they raised.  They found me and read about my hospital bears project for Rady.  They generously donated their bake sale money of $119.

Young adults have many opportunities to do amazing things.  They just need to have the drive and the heart to do it like these students in Michigan.  I am so grateful for everyone who continues to support me, my business, and my charity work but I especially get excited when other kids want to help also.

Thank you very much!

November 09th, 2009 | Author:

You can have someone show you how to do something and you think you know it.   Depending on what is is, you may only need to see it one time.   With other things, you may have to see it done over and over again until you really know how to do it.  But simply knowing how to and actually doing it are two totally different things.

This can apply to many things: sports, music, swimming, or even playing video games.    Let’s take one of my video driving games and my parents as an example.   I could explain in detail how it works, what the object is, go through all of the buttons on the controller and show them what each one does.   They nod their heads and agree they understand everything.

“Okay, we know how,” they say.  “Let’s try it.”

I get the game set up for them to play a round.  They each have their controller.  The green light starts but Mom’s car isn’t moving.

“Tell me again which button is for the gas,” my mom says.  Even though I showed her what controls to use, until she actually did it for herself, just knowing wasn’t good enough.  Actually doing it for herself made all the difference.

This situation is just one example.  Most of us, especially kids, have probably had a similar situation at one time or another.   As kids, we think we know everything even if we’ve never done it before in our lives.  We think being told or shown how is good enough.  Then the surprise hits.  We actually try it for the first time and realize the difference between knowing how versus doing is huge.

What’s the point?  You can learn more from doing.

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