Category Archives: Giving

9 Year Old Helps Pay for Own Heart Surgery by Publishing eStory

Don’t you love stories about children who can face life threatening hardship with bravery, optimism, and cheerfulness? When their young minds comprehend not only the physical challenges facing them, but also the financial challenges, and seek out and find solutions?

Let me tell you about Malkolm.

I first heard about Malklom a couple of days ago when my wife (Christine) was reading the eBay power sellers board.

Christine said, “There’s this woman who sells DVDs on the eBay power selling board. She has a 9 year old son with a heart problem. His heart muscle is thickening and he needs surgery or he could die. His mom has insurance and it pays 80% but they are still going to have a difficult time paying the other 20%. Malkolm was worried about the cost of his surgery. He had written some award winning stories at school, so he asked his mom if he could sell one of them on eBay to help pay for the surgery. His mom was so overcome with emotion she had to fight back the tears. With encouragement from other eBay sellers, they decided to give it a go. Now he’s selling his story on eBay for $10. They sold over 100 in the first 12 hours.”

“Should we buy one?” Christine asked.

“Go for it! It’s only 10 bucks and you’re sure it’s legit, right?” I said.

“Yeah it’s legit. Lot’s of people know her on the power sellers board. She’s been there a long time and other sellers are helping” she said.

So we bought one. And I must say… It’s fantastic writing for a 9 year old. Here’s an excerpt:

I keep on striding down the road, and a nice little house steps into my view. There is a closed window, and a small candle glows inside. I hear a voice: “Goodnight, Katie.” A small voice replies: “Goodnight, mommy.”

I think to myself, “I think I’ll take a peek.” I jump toward the window, trying to get their attention. As soon as I smack against the window, I black out.

It’s the best 10 bucks we’ve ever spent.

You can read more about Malkolm here, he has a blog, and you can buy Malkolm’s story here.

His surgery date is March 24th 2010.

Last I heard he has sold over 250 copies.

A Wonderful Example of the Christmas Spirit

Yesterday I posted about 200 people who lost their homes and all their possessions in an apartment fire. 19 Families were living in the local High School.

Today, I read that an anonymous donor gave $1,000,000 to the fire victims. That is over $17,000 for each leaseholder!

Maria Aguilar broke down crying. “We for sure need it,” she said. “Because what I have on, that’s just what we have. Nothing else.”

Jackie Weller says she’ll be able to get a new apartment, bed and couch.

“There might be a Grinch, but he’s not in Burnsville Minnesota, that’s for sure,” Weller said.

What an amazing act of caring and generosity. Lately we’ve heard so many stories about greed, selfishness, and corruption. But this story stands in sharp contrast.

I truly believe that most people are good and will do the right thing when given the chance.

God bless and Merry Christmas to All!

This Christmas You have the Opportunity to Help Others

The Christmas season is about giving.

Yesterday a nearby apartment building erupted in flames leaving 200 people homeless in sub-zero temperatures. 19 families, three days before Christmas, are living in the Burnsville Minnesota High School.

Charles Wylie was doing laundry when the fire broke out. It didn’t
seem like a big deal at first, he says. “It didn’t even look like it
was going to spread to our apartment.”

But the fire quickly spread from one end of the building to the
other. Wylie figures everything he owns is gone, including Christmas
gifts for his three kids.

Many of the people who live in this apartment building have very little to begin with. So if you can afford to give something, here’s your opportunity.

The Goodman Group, which manages the complex, has created a fund
for the victims. There hasn’t been time to setup a website, so if you you’d
like to donate to the victims:

Make Checks Payable to:
U.S. Bank/Burncliff Apartments

Mail Checks to:
The Goodman Group
1107 Hazeltine Blvd #200
Chaska, MN 55318

You can contact the Goodman Group at (952)

Thanks so much for reading
The Olson family wishes you all a very Merry Christmas!

Contribute to the Great Cubicle Escape

Do you wanna get linked up on this blog post? Read on.

Help Others Reach Their Goals

One of my passions is helping others achieve their dreams. My friend Dereck dreams of leaving his cubicle and biking across the country. And he’s struggled getting his dream off the ground.

I suggest you take the time to read his entire story, it’s among the best on the internet.

I have never asked for a dollar from you, although many of you have asked me how you can donate to this site. Now, I ask you, donate what you can to Dereck, and help him achieve his dream.

Here’s what he is suggesting:

If everyone can participate by doing the list of just three things below, we can raise the money soon enough for me to go before winter arrives:

  1. Try to raise just five dollars
  2. Try to find just two other bloggers who will commit to this list of three
  3. Try to do this list in two days

Donate here. No donation is too small.

If you take the simple steps above, and Dereck confirms it on his blog, I will add your site to the list of contributors below.


Orna Ross (She got it started with $100.00!)
Writer Dad
Beth Partin
Persistent Illusion
Indigo Spot
Learning to Say Yes

This is what Dereck has raised to date


Ergotron – Ergonomic Wellness Through Innovation

You guys out in the blogosphere spend a ton of time on your computers and you need to take care of your neck and your eyes and your back and your wrists and well… yourself, because hours in front of a computer can wreak havoc on your body.

We have some cool things going on at Ergotron (that’s where I work) that will help keep you well when you spend time at your laptop or desktop.

We just created this hilarious video (it’s funny – it really is – I swear – watch it) which clearly illustrates why you need to go dual with a laptop and monitor and get them off your desk and make them height adjustable:

Another cool thing is… we have a CEO who blogs! When Joel took the leadership position at Ergotron he created a set of expectations and behaviors he felt we must embrace to become a great company. #7 is We Will Accept No Walls or Barriers Between Us and Our Customers. His openness to blogging reflects our principles and is one the reasons I am proud to say I work at Ergotron.