Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Untitled for a good cause? Yup, I'm all for that!
Saturday, while sitting in the laundromat (don't ask, it wasn't fun), I met 2 absolutely incredible people. Sonja is retired Army for 5 years and Patrick recently retired a few months ago from the Army. He'd lost an arm in Iraq. They've been married for ten years.
As we talked, it became clear that retiring had never been Patrick's plan. He genuinely loved serving his country and my heart broke for him. Here was this person who truly loved his job and wanted nothing more to continue to serve his country and couldn't. While we were getting our clothes out of the dryers, Sonja mentioned that she thinks that Patrick is depressed & is having an extremely hard time adjusting to civilian life. She wished that there was something she could do to ease her husband's pain.
My conversation with this couple left a lasting imprint on my heart and soul. There's nothing I can do to take away Patrick's pain or make him happy again. There's nothing I can do physically. But I remembered something.
Any John Mayer fan knows all about NCIRE. But in case you're not a Mayer fan and never heard of them, NCIRE is the leading nonprofit research institute in the United States devoted to advancing Veterans health research. And the guitar ninja is on the front line helping. Check it out here. This is an organization that can be very essential in helping assist Veterans transitioning from military to civilian life. So I told Sonja about it. We even checked out the website.
Did y'all know that some laundromats have FREE WI-FI??? I didn't either, but I digress.
Sonja had never heard of NCIRE until that moment but she got awfully excited, which made me smile. We started talking about them and of course, that led to a Mayer convo because of all the fans that I personally know who have gave money to NCIRE in the form of purchasing JM wristbands and participating in Tickets for Charity and who have donated their concert money to NCIRE.
When the spring tour was cancelled, I thought I was doing a good thing by donating my refunded ticket money to NCIRE, but I've always wanted to do more, something bigger but I had no idea what. As much as I wanted to help, I'm not really in a position to keep donating money to the cause. But I love this organziation because of what they do and what they stand for. They cater to the people that I hold a special place in my heart for, especially considering that I have a host of family who are either active military or retired vets. Still , every time I tried to come up with something, my mind drew a blank. Then, on Sunday night, it came to me.
As an author book sales are important to me. Of course they are. But this weekend, I had an epiphany, a way to make my book sales important to others too. I wrote a book, inspired by the music of John Mayer and that book, Untitled, is making me money now. Just what if...what if I could take ALL of the proceeds I made in a month from the sale of Untitled (which was inspired by the Mayer) and donate that. I could still pay my bills with the profits from my other 3 books and I work full time so it shouldn't be a problem.
So that's what I decided to do. And I'm really excited about it. In my head, it makes perfect sense. I've done it before. In October, I gave all the money I made from Change of Heart sales to Susan G Komen so I know I can do this for NCIRE. And in a way, I'll be doing it for Sonja and Patrick too.
At first I was hesitant to speak about my plan because you know...haters...but then I really gave it some thought. Untitled is going to sale, regardless of what I do with the money. So it isn't about me just wanting to sale copies of my book. But if those sales can turn around and help some people help other people, well, I'm all for that!
I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want people who read this to buy Untitled. But you know what, this time it isn't about me. It's about Sonja and Patrick and the hundreds of thousands of other Veterans in their position. So, if you're reading this and want to help...AWESOMESAUCE! If you're reading this and decide that you don't, it's cool too because now you know about Sonja and Patrick and NCIRE
"Whenever they say it can't be done, remind them that they make a jellybean that tastes like popcorn"