Anyone who writes, who is successfully published and paid, or better yet, is regularly paid, is astoundingly fascinating to me. My first exposure to Richard Paul Evans was when my good friend, Mike Harrison, handed me a copy of The Christmas Box and said, “Daisy, you gotta read this guy...”
Michael, I have yet to return that book. It’s been years. I’m so sorry.
I just read his latest work, The Gift, a beautiful story of healing and compassion which reminds us that, “...in the end, love wins.” Please pick it up if you haven’t already.
Tonight, I went with my friends, Cindy and Debbie, to the Barnes and Noble in Boise to see Mr. Evans, where he gave me a couple of gifts. He is amazingly warm and kind and genuine and generous.
One of his gifts to me was a dollar. You read it right. A dollar. You see, Mr. Evans has Tourette’s Syndrome. I was unaware of this fact until I read The Gift. One of his “ticks” is that he likes sharp objects. He can fold a dollar bill into an incredibly sharp point. He keeps them in his pocket where he keeps his hands much of the time. He showed tonight’s crowd of about a hundred how he could fold a dollar up into a tight little pointy triangle with one hand. And then he handed it to me.
Afterwards, Mr. Evans always takes time to talk with his readers and to autograph books. Last year when we went, I asked him, “How do you submit your work, knowing that an editor is going to hack into it?” Of course, he doesn’t really have too much of a problem with that these days. I was happy to report to him that this year, I was exponentially less concerned (can something be exponentially less?) about having an editor hack into my work and am nearing completion on a proposal that will soon be pitched to an agent. The second gift he gave me was an enthusiastic and genuine smile that spread across his face, full of hope and all his best wishes for my endeavors. It was quite magical. He also threw in a hug and a few encouraging words.
I guess he was swept up in the moment because he then gave me one more gift: another book he wrote called, The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me about Life and Wealth. He autographed it. Of course he did. He’s a professional. He said he hoped to hear a good report next year about my book. If my book gets published, I’ll bring a copy back next year and give it to him. And I’ll autograph it too.
Mr. Evans is involved with a charity called Christmas Box International. This organization helps foster kids who turn 18 and are released from the foster care system. Did you know that 50% of girls who age out of foster care are pregnant within 12 months, and 90% live in poverty? One of the ways Christmas Box International helps these kids is by giving them a box filled with household items they need when they move out on their own: dishes, linens, etc. Google them. Their website will let you know how you can help.
The company I am involved in, ACN Telecommunications, had our annual convention in Salt Lake City last weekend, Mr. Evans’ hometown. Quite the little coincidence that Christmas Box International was our charity of choice this time, and ACN raised over $70,000 for this wonderful charity. Mr. Evans knew all about it. I showed him my ACN wristband that I’m still wearing from convention, and I got another hug.
The best givers are the most grateful, I think.