March 25, 2009


I may be somewhat a newbie or a rookie when it comes to writing a blog, but I have already figured out what makes the best posts: THE UNADULTERATED TRUTH.

I’m always searching for new content that’s fresh, inspiring, informational and/or fun – but it’s the stories that actually find me that end up being nothing short of priceless.

This is one of those gems. (Actually, this has the potential to be the crown jewel.)

I’ve also learned in my first 11 months of blogging…when you have a treasure like this – don’t write it to death.

So I won’t.

Here’s the story: I was recently detained at the Canadian border because I tried to film myself using my passport for the first time.

It wasn’t because they suspected me of narcotics or human trafficking….NOPE! I was detained because I set my Canon PowerShot on the dashboard of my rental car to document a trivial moment in my life.

I was forced to get out of the car, explain to a gentleman wearing a bulletproof vest that I was shooting a video for my blog.

As soon as those three words crossed my lips – “for my blog” – I felt like the biggest wiener in North America.

I could have stopped there, but that would have been too easy. I think it was the sidearm, the badge, or the possibility of never seeing the United States again that turned me into a babbling idiot.

Oh…let’s see….I explained my 101 List…how using my passport was No. 8…how I came up with the idea….some of the things that I’ve already crossed off….what I hope to cross off in the near future.


I even told the office to watch the two previous videos that I self-recorded prior to arriving at the border.

“They explain what I was doing,” I said confidently.


In all seriousness, you know what his response was?

“It could be all part of your plan.”


OFFICER: “Do you REALLY not see how recording a border patrol officer would be a problem?” (If you didn’t read the question like I was a sixth-grader busted for smoking pot in the bathroom, you might want to re-visit the overall tone.)

ME: “I was only filming myself?”

OFFICER: (Obviously annoyed that he had to rephrase his question for this blogging American moron) “Do you REALLY not see how recording a CONVERSATION between you and a border patrol officer would be a problem?”

I was nothing short of baffled, but I refused to travel down the path of no return and utter one of the following two phrases:

• “I really don’t, officer.”

• “It was a stupid camera, NOT A BOMB!”

I saw flashes of rubber gloves and my pants around my ankles, so I responded honestly: “I didn’t think there was really going to be a conversation….”

OFFICER: (Tone reminder: Sixth-grade…marijuana…busted) “You’re honestly telling me that you didn’t think that you and the officer were going to have a conversation?”

Then, I just started to babble as my eyes danced around nervously: “Canada. First time. Didn’t know.”

He asked why I was going to Canada.

He asked if I had ever been in the back of a police car.

He asked me hard questions about e-Partners in Giving – questions that my investors hadn’t even thought to ask.

(Upon further research since the detainment, I realized the Johnny Borderpatrol was trying to catch me in a lie.)

They searched my car.

They made me erase anything on the camera that had to do with the border.

Then I was free to go.

As I gathered up my things, I looked the officer in the eye and said, “I’m sorry. I really didn’t know I was doing something wrong. I never would have intentionally…”

OFFICER: (very firmly) “Don’t apologize. You just need to be more aware.”


I just half-heartedly smiled and thought to myself: “I think someone is just being an a-hole now, but I guess when your dealing with a legitimate threat to national security – someone armed with a point-and-shoot camera and the power to blog – you can’t let your guard down.”

As I walked back out to my violated rental car, I started to get pissed. Not because I was one smart-ass comment away from “face the camera…now turn to the left.”

I was upset that I had NO proof that I used my passport.

All my self-recorded creativity was erased forever.

Or was it?

Without further ado, I present my first short film “Detained.”

March 22, 2009

NO EXCUSES! Many Non-Profits Have Dropped Ball

Please repeat after me:

“Non-profits do not have a free pass 
when it comes to customer service!”


If you work for one of these organizations – take notice.

If you’ve ever made a donation to a charity and didn’t receive a thank-you note – you already understand. (The same holds true for giving your time and energy.)

If every charity you support knocks your socks off with expressions of appreciation – consider yourself extremely fortunate.

This is going to blow you away!

I recently read a blog post by non-profit marketing consultant Kivi Lerous Miller. She performed an incredible experiment that started with 12 donations.

She wrote: “I specifically selected 12 national charities that I had not previously contributed to, but whose missions I support, in order to see what the communications response would be to my $25 gift.”
Ummmm….I probably already killed the punchline, didn't I? I guess I wouldn’t be writing this post if 10 or 11 of the non-profits simply said “thank you for your donation.”

TRY 4 OF THE 12!

Yep…33 percent!

While that average will put you into contention for a Major League batting title, it will get you fired and/or embarrassed in the real world.

There are times when I think that a lot of non-profit organizations simply don’t get it. (Please know that I’m not characterizing the whole industry…I said “a lot” NOT “all.”)

After reading about Ms. Miller’s experiment – I received concrete, inarguable proof that I’m unfortunately right.

I hate the fact that Ms. Miller didn’t call out the eight charities that didn’t respond (she explains here). She gave wonderful props to the ones that did, though.

So will I.

National Public Radio was the first to respond. (It was a form letter, but we’ll take it compared to NOTHING.)

Interplast (personal correspondence and Ms. Miller said it was “great” – I LOVE IT!)

The Alliance for Climate Protection (sent “adequate” letter, according to Miller)

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (no thank you note, but they did add Ms. Miller to their newsletter mailing list – a little iffy.)

Miller wrote: “I’m obviously really disappointed in not hearing a peep from the other eight. But, ever the supporter of nonprofits, I have come up with several potential reasons (uh, excuses) why this may be the case…”
I’m going to stop Ms. Miller right here.


She tried to rationalize these customer service slaps in the face by saying:

“…maybe my $25 didn’t merit acknowledgment.”

“….it was the holidays and the gift fell through the cracks.”


Actually, my favorite “excuse” was riddled with sarcasm: “The post office and/or Gmail’s spam filter ate their thank-you notes.”

I guess she caught a little heat in this blog post, because in her follow-up she shared actual excuses:

“…several people mentioned that the practical realities of nonprofit management mean that getting thank-you notes out promptly, especially when donations come through non-traditional channels for your organization, can be difficult.”

“…many nonprofits are chronically underfunded and understaffed and often under-skilled in the technology that could make things easier.”

The best part of both blog posts was found buried in Ms. Miller's follow-up:
"Advice to My Frazzled Nonprofit Friends....Give higher priority to your thank-you notes than to any other piece of communications you work on. The newsletter doesn’t go out, the website doesn’t get updated, your report to your board doesn’t get done, until you have sent some kind of thank-you to your donors. Take control of your work life and make it happen. If you don’t, I can pretty much guarantee that over the long haul, you will remain underfunded and understaffed."
As soon as I hit "PUBLISH POST" I am going to write Ms. Miller a thank-you note for bringing this inexcusable trend to everyone's attention.

March 20, 2009


“What is he going to ask me for this time?”

I hope and pray that doesn’t enter your head before you visit my blog.

I know I’ve asked for your time (Homeless Count) and money (PNS Christmas party and Back on My Feet), but I hope my appreciation – before, during and after – overshadowed the actual solicitation.

“Oh, crap…he’s laid out the poetic preface….here it comes…”

It’s funny you use the word “crap,” because that’s exactly what I’m looking for. I actually prefer the term “gently-used crap,” and I’m really only throwing the term “crap” around just to get your attention.

Got it? Good!

I am on a mission to adopt a client through Presbyterian Night Shelter, which means outfitting them with anything and everything they need once they move off the streets and have a place to call home.

In this particular instance, they don’t need your money or your time. They need some of your stuff!

This endeavor has been on my 101 List (No. 30) and something I eventually wanted it tackle, but the city of Fort Worth helped move it to the forefront. PNS was awarded $375,000 to help its clients move out of the Shelter and into housing as part of the city’s 10-year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.

Presbyterian Night Shelter launched Operation Move Out, and I’m calling on my army of do-gooders to earn their stripes.

In an e-mail from the PNS brass, it stated: “These folks are going to be moving out soon so we need help collecting furniture, toiletries and other basic necessities – these items are not included in the grant.”

TK and I have already done an inventory on things we can spare. I’m asking you to open the garage, crawl around in the attic, delve into that hall closet and help us personally adopt one client. (If you have a lot of stuff you need to get rid of….I promise that it won’t go to waste.)

Here is a list of all the items needed (the ones marked through are things TK and I have to donate.) Just like other drives that I’ve spearheaded, I will come pick your stuff up. (I want to make this as easy on you as possible.)

Check back to the blog periodically to see what items have already been donated.

In advance…I appreciate and applaud your willingness to give back.

Items that are needed for each client:

• Mattresses, box spring, bed frames (twin size)

• Sheets, pillows and pillow cases (twin size)

• Furniture including chairs, table, couch
– Living Room Chair
– Coffee table

Alarm clock

• Toiletry items such as shampoo, soap and toilet paper

• Towels and washcloths

• Cleaning supplies including brooms, mops and cleaning sprays

• Laundry detergent


• Toaster

• TV

• Vacuum

• Kitchen items such as paper towels, rags, hot pads, measuring cups, etc. (PNS provides clients with plates, cups, utensils and a small set of cookware.)

• Monthly bus passes

March 16, 2009


A friend of mine recently became the Development Director for Nuru International. He shared this incredible video with me, and I HAD to share it with you. 

This amazing organization is "a grassroots movement of thousands who have grown tired of waiting for someone else to end extreme poverty in Africa."

I HAD to share this video for several reasons:

• The message is powerful;

• The video itself – from the images to the music and graphics – is nothing short of first-class;

• Through new media, Nuru International does an incredible job of telling its story and launching an all-out assault on the heartstrings of its viewers.

For more information on Nuru International:

March 15, 2009


I thought it was about time for an update on my 101 list.


8. Use my passport
Used it crossing Canadian border on March 11, 2009. No documentation (photos, video, etc.) – blog explanation to follow. (Teaser: I was detained)

45. Participate in regular Bible Study
Completed 16-week men's fellowship at McKinney Bible Church; Focus of class: "Winning at Work and Home."

52. Go to a rodeo
Went to Stockyards Championship Rodeo on Feb. 1, 2009

73. Ride on a train
Rode Amtrak Train from Denver to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, in route to ski trip in Vail. (blog here)


10. Go to a Texas Rangers game at a visitors’ ballpark
Going to try and slide this in on one of my business trips OR one of TK's over-nights.

53. Post a video on You Tube
Going to post reenactment of No. 8 (see above) 

41. Break 4-hour mark in a marathon
I have put a lot of focus on this – next week, I will log 31 miles of training. Reminder: I am raising funds and awareness for Back on My Feet (more info here)

74. Start customer service blog
I'm so close to having this ready to roll. To put some added pressure on my self...launch date: April 1st.

76. Play paintball OR
79. Play a round of indoor (simulated) golf

For cost-cutting measures, Anthony and I haven't done anything crazy fun in a while. I think my Little Brother deserves to join me on one of these adventures.

86. Ride on a motorcycle
I have already planted the seed with my brother. I'm hoping we can get a ride in before summer rolls around.


81. Take a self portrait in every National Park
I knew this was one of my biggest/most difficult endeavors out of the gate – since I have ZERO under my belt after 222 days, you can multiply that degree of difficulty by 63.

93. Read 200 books
By no means am I giving up on this task, either, but I'm only at 11. I wish I had read my own tips before putting this one in ink. (read tips here for creating a list here)

March 11, 2009


Mission of e-Partners in Giving:  Provide an efficient, convenient, and secure way for anyone to make an online donation – specifically for significant life events.

In laymen's terms:

We want people to give back on their birthday;

we want people to give back when they get married;

we want people to give back when 
they graduate high school or college.

(I could go on for days)

We are essentially trying to change a culture that revolves around unwrapping tons and tons of materialistic junk that is driven by nothing more than "gimme, gimme, gimme."

I have one buddy who said ENOUGH and is already living this cultural shift of giving back.


For his son's first birthday, my friend and his wife decided to collect shoes for a Metroplex non-profit instead of having their guests bring gifts.

It was a huge success.

The birthday boy, one-year-old Ryder (photo below), helped collect 50 pairs of gently-used shoes for the Dallas Shoe Bank, which gives them to homeless men and women in Dallas.

The caption on The Shoe Bank web site read: "This young Fort Worth resident, with a little help from his parents, recently celebrated his first birthday by collecting more than fifty pairs of shoes for The Shoe Bank."

My friend said there were four factors that spearheaded this idea (all of which I LOVE):

1) They simply wanted to give back;

2) They want to instill those values in their son at an early age;

3) They knew that Ryder had NO IDEA if he was getting a pair of shoes for someone less fortunate or a new thingymagiggy for himself, because he's ONLY 12-months old. (His dad said, "A lot of times, they're just happy with the box.");

4) "It was a little selfish, too..." Ryder's dad said. "We didn't need anymore stuff – especially toys. We have plenty."

I applaud Mike and his wife for briefly taking the emphasis off their family and giving back.


March 10, 2009


There aren't a lot of words necessary for this inspirational video, but I had to share the origin of this 60-second commercial that captures the life's passion of one woman.

Without making it too confusing: A nut company made this possible.

From the FAQ section on their web site: "TrueNorth is a contemporary new brand of 100% natural, great tasting nut snacks made by Frito-Lay." (I couldn't have written it any better, so I didn't even try.)

As a branding initiative,
TrueNorth had people share their "True North Story" and the most exceptional was given $25,000 and a 60-second spot during the Academy Awards.

Definition of a true north story: "...that singular passion 
in life that causes you to leap out of bed in the morning and think, 'This is why I'm here.' It can be something that leaves a legacy, empowers others, or simply makes the world a more interesting place to live. It could involve a handful of people or connect entire communities across the globe. While every true north story is unique, we believe each one has the power to inspire millions more."

What a fantastically wonderful marketing/
branding campaign! It is nothing short 
of brilliant and definitely inspirational.

Here is the winning true north story:

For more information about TrueNorth and to see other true north stories click here.

March 9, 2009


I’ve written several blog posts about working out of the house. Actually in my first month of blogging, I wrote two:

DATE: May 5, 2008

FOCUS: First day working out of the house


• Question: "Are you mad about the possibility of bad weather today?"  Answer: "No. Why?"  Question: "Because of your tee time."

• (After missing a phone call) "Were you getting your sweat pants out of the dryer?"

• "What time did you start drinking?"

DATE: May 18, 2008
FOCUS: Advice for working out of the house


• I have started my third week as CEO/President of e-Partners in Giving, which means I'm now an expert on working from home.

• Advice: Open the blinds

• Conversation with drive-thru guy at Sonic

These are good reminders why working out of the house is NOT the perfect and/or ideal situation. It’s really good – don’t get me wrong – but I would NEVER use the adjective “perfect” to describe it.

There was actually a wonderfully great incident this weekend that made me utter part of the Dark Side oath: “I wish I had an office.”

My wife (TK) and I were driving home from my mom and dad’s on Sunday afternoon. We had a nice breakfast with my folks and my little sister, Allison….stopped by my grandmother’s to say a quick hello….headed back to Fort Worth around 12:30 p.m.

We didn’t have crazy plans for the rest of the day. I was going to pick up my Little Brother Anthony and “just chill” around the house. (His phrasing, not mine.) TK was going to go to yoga.

At 1:03 p.m. my cell phone buzzed and all hell broke loose. (Again…this turns into a fantastic story, but for 107 minutes…I prefer the verbiage “neurotically hellacious.”)

1:03 p.m.
(driving outside of Keene, Texas, approximately 30 minutes from home; phone buzzes…”Private Number”)

ME: “This is Drew.”

WOMAN’S VOICE: “Hi! This is Sana from CBS 11….” (All I really heard was "CBS 11")

ME: (kind of interrupting & praying that Keene, Texas, hadn’t missed the memo about cell phones and specifically cell phone towers) “Yes. How’s it going?”

CBS 11: “Are you in town?”

ME: (slightly pushing on the accelerator a little firmer) “Ummm…kind of. I’m driving back to Fort Worth right now.”

CBS 11: “We were wondering if we could visit with you today about leaving TCU and starting your own company….”

I won’t bore you with the whole back and forth, but Sana Syed was going to be at my office/house – along with a cameraman and a satellite truck – in less than two hours.

ME: “That’s perfect….see you then.”

1:06 p.m.
(right foot VERY heavy on the accelerator…speed limit signs irrelevant….my mind actually going faster than the car.)

ME: “That was Channel 11. 
They’re going to do a story on e-Partners today.”

TK: (pumping her fist in the air) “Yes!”

Then I explained to TK that by the time we made it home, we would have one hour to make the office/house “TV Ready.”

TK: “Yikes!”

1:07 p.m.
TK and I start to put together a game plan to attack the office/house. Here are some snippets over the next 26 minutes:

NOTE: Our house was not dirty or messy, but definitely not ready for CBS 11. Again…if there was only a definite line between home and office. Despite what I tell the IRS...there's really not!

ME: “You start with the kitchen and I’ll work on the office…

TK: “Let’s just throw everything in the back bedroom (our bedroom) and close the door…”

ME: “Do we have any extra laundry baskets? I’ll just shove all my clutter in those.”

TK: “Let’s move that table out of the office…”

ME: (interrupting) “Move furniture? Are you kidding…No, you’re right…let’s throw that in the bedroom, too.”

TK: “What about Anthony?”

ME: (eyes wide, staring at the clock) “Crap...I mean YIKES!”

NOTE: One phone call to his mom, saved me 30 minutes – she agreed to drop him off at the house.

ME: (still driving like a contestant on “The Amazing Race”) At 2: 15, 
I HAVE to stop what I'm doing and get cleaned up and shave…”

TK: “What are you going to wear?”

That topic over-shadowed “Mission: Get the House Ready” for the rest of the drive.

1:33 p.m.
Pull into the driveway

1:34 p.m.
Start throwing anything not nailed down into the bedroom; Tanya started hiding the toaster and other irrelevant appliances that I assume made our counters look cluttered. (When asked about it later, “I didn’t want CBS 11 to know that we eat toast.”)

2:06 p.m.
Office/house starting to take shape (unless you opened our bedroom door…it looked like a PODS storage unit.)

2:07 p.m.
I stood at our bedroom door and mumbled  to myself, “Why do we have so much crap?”

2:08 p.m.
I was mopping the office floor, while Tanya was hiding the blender.

2:10 p.m.
Anthony shows up…I apologize about the chaos and hand him some Windex and a rag.

2:15 p.m.
I start to shave and take a junior high shower (damp wash cloth under the armpits and a couple squirts of cologne).

2:17 p.m.

TK: (sticking her head into the bathroom) “What are you going to wear?”

ME: (wearing a shaving cream Fu Manchu) “Wear? What am I going to say?”

2:33 p.m.
Decide to go casual with my attire – jeans and purple button down (Go Frogs!)

2:40 p.m.
Spray some Febreze and light some candles.

2:42 p.m.
Take a deep breath…sit down and ask Anthony about school.

2:43 p.m.
Doorbell rings


The rest of the story is pretty awesome:

• I feel so blessed and grateful that I got to share my story.

• I love the fact that I got to spread the word about giving back.

• I thought it was cool that they shot footage of me and Anthony working on his new model airplane, which was a birthday present. (photo below)

• I was so proud of Anthony for agreeing to be interviewed and doing such an amazing job.

• I was so appreciative of Sana and John for taking a group shot next to the CBS 11 satellite truck. (photo below)

It was perfect ending to a chaotic day.

At 5:30 p.m. – 4 hours and 7 minutes from the initial phone call – Anthony and I sat in my immaculate living room and watched the newscast on my freshly dusted TV.

ANTHONY: “Did you know they were coming over today?”

ME: “Nope.”

We were both glad they did, though.

March 4, 2009

'It Doesn't Interest Me What You Do For A Living'

I'm constantly on the look out for blog fodder, and thanks 
to like-minded friends and family, I'm never short on content.

A friend of mine, who just re-launched a blog of her own, sent me a poem the other day entitled "The Invitation." 

Before I share the poem, though, I wanted to provide some background on how it came to be written, which should have a familiar aroma for everyone.

From the Author: 
"In the spring of 1994, I went to a party – an ordinary party – and I made an effort, a real effort, to be sociable. I asked and answered the usual questions: 

What do you do for a living?  How do you know the host?  

Where did you study? Where do you live? 

And I came home with the familiar hollow feeling of having gone through the motions. 

So, I sat down and did what I often do to sort out what is going on...I wrote. Using the format of a writing exercise that had been given to me by poet David Whyte I wrote about the party conversations – what really did not interest me and what I really did want to know about others, about myself. I went to the centre of the ache for something more between myself and the world and "The Invitation" poured onto the page."

Here is the poem – definitely worth a read:


It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with JOY, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty everyday, and if you can source your life on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "YES!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

– Oriah Mountain Dreamer

March 3, 2009

BLOGGING: 'Forcing My Way Into the Conversation'

This is another tremendous explanation why I blog, why you need to blog, why everyone should be blogging.

This brief 90-second video captures the essence of this powerful social networking tool.

Seth Godin has a remarkable perspective on marketing, business, and social networking. His bio reads, "... a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change."

In this same lecture series, he answers the question "Is social networking good for small business?" 

For all those people who think I'm constantly "playing" on Facebook and Twitter and/or spending too much time writing posts for my blog, I encourage you to watch this 2-minute video (click here to view).

March 2, 2009


Marc Ecko, founder of the urbanwear behemoth that dons his name, has definitely pushed the envelope in marketing.

Probably his most famous "campaign" was when he bought Barry Bonds record-setting home run ball for almost $750,000. He set-up a web site and asked people what he should do with the ball:

• Give it to Baseball Hall of Fame

• Send it to the Hall with an asterisk cut into it – signifying that Bonds' record was tainted by suspicion of steroids

• Blast it into space

In the March issue of Inc. magazine Ecko's online voting booth was explained: "Dominating the blogosphere and landing on newspaper front pages everywhere, the campaign garnered millions of dollars' worth of publicity and reinforce the edgy, youthful image of the brand."

Mark Ecko didn't just step outside the box, he catapulted himself out of it.

I share this story, because it indirectly inspired me to do something radical on behalf of e-Partners in Giving and our mantra of "never stop giving back."

We are in COMPLETELY different leagues, but when I decided to Twitter after every mile of the Cowtown Half Marathon, Ecko's rational for the Bonds' stunt were echoing in my head. (No pun intended.)

"It was a ridiculous idea, so people would say 'Why would you do that?' I thought, take the hard news and make it go American Idol. It was a social experiment. It was a little P.T. Barnum."   – Marc Ecko

I was going to be running anyway. I thought I might as well use this new social media phenomenon to spread the word about a non-profit that has launched an all-out assault on my heartstrings and the company that I've poured my blood, sweat, and tears into.

The best part of the wasn't going to cost me one penny. (Just a few seconds off my overall pace.)

I didn't land on "newspaper front pages everywhere," but people were paying attention – I received well-wishes from runners across the country and Facebook friends were making comments throughout the day.

The Fort Worth Start Telegram picked up on the story and sent out a Twitter message to its followers, as well as the NBC affiliate in DFW.

To be honest ... it was just a lot of fun to do something different and off-the-wall. Like Ecko said in the magazine interview, "'s something I need to do more of." 

I wanted to share the entire thread with all of you who weren't glued to your computers this weekend. I've also included some pre- and post-race photos captured by my wife. (I guess I was running too fast, because she couldn't find me on the course.)

(first post of the day)

Pre-race I….reminder, running Cowtown Half today & sending out tweet at every mile to raise awareness for Back on My Feet.

Pre-race II….15 minutes to start; shout out to some fellow tweep runners @sdhedman @smullican @saramartisek @Mmarts.

(starting to shed clothes)

Pre-race III….10 minutes to start – very windy; a lot of trips to porta-potty.

(representing with the homemade T-shirt)

Pre-race IV….5 minutes to start; more shout outs @jenamn @thedailyrunner @SiobhanBulfin @virtual4now @MichelleDewbs.

(let the race begin)

Mile 1... DONE! Tons of is awesome (a little cool, but perfect for a 13.1-mile jaunt).

Mile 2...Current pace 8:40 (a little slow, but too many people to turn on the jets.)

Mile 3...thanks to everyone who supported Back on My Feet with a donation

Mile 4....for more info on Back on My Feet; Tweet @20in24.

Mile 5....feeling strong w/ 8.1 miles to go...pack has thinned out; easier to breath and run now.

Mile 6....this is my third time to run Cowtown (ran full marathon first 2 times); HOPEFULLY cramps not a problem this time.

Mile 7...using this as a training run for April 25th Country Music Marathon in Nashville (trying to break 4 hours)

Mile 8....if I can break 4 hours in Nashville, I can mark No. 41 off my list

Mile 9.... still feeling strong....pacing 8:20 overall (I love running with other people).

Mile 10…a lot of comments about my T-shirt: “Bring Back on My Feet to Fort Worth.”

Mile 11…all down hill from here, right? Shout out to Tweep @DianneSanLuis for making donation.

Mile 12....thanks to all Facebookers who supported my run with a donation to BOMF.

(homestretch – no tweets until the finish line)

Mile 13....DONE! What a GREAT experiment!

(acting out)

Post race I...what an interesting experiment. It was actually pretty fun. Definitely made 13.1 miles FLY by. I feel GREAT!

Post race 2 (final) Thanks to everyone who supported my run. Raised $641 for BOMF in just 5 days – never stop giving back.

March 1, 2009


If you ever get the chance to visit with someone directly involved with Habitat for Humanity, they are very adamant about the mission of the organization.

"We don't give hand outs," they'll say with poignant tone – almost unexpectedly defensive. Then they'll flash a huge smile and say with pure unsolicited confidence, "We offer a hand up."


I got the opportunity to see this first-hand during a recent Habitat Build in Dallas.

Two weeks ago, e-Partners in Giving rallied six volunteers to help with a mid-week Build. (These individuals were true all-stars for sacrificing and giving back on a Wednesday morning and afternoon.) We helped frame the house, plywood the roof, install hurricane brackets, and anything else the foreman asked us to do.

Exactly 10 days after we were on the job site, I got to return for the dedication of the house and see one family's life completely changed forever when they handed them the keys to their new house. 

It was awesome!

The new homeowner said, "This is a dream come true."

I wanted to share a couple pictures from the dedication, and a general bio on the family.

(click to enlarge)

Final thoughts: If you are looking for a non-profit that has the potential to tug at your heart strings every single time you volunteer – whether you are raising money or hammering a nail – this is a tremendous organization.

I feel blessed and humbled that I played a part in Semert's dream coming true.

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