AA County Schools compete in Sole for Souls challenge

Balanced Life Skills is sponsoring the visit of Brian Williams, the Sole Motivator for Sole4Souls, a non profit organization that has given away over 5.5 million pairs of shoes around the globe.  The following is the press release to our local media.  I have highlighted how you can help.


Annapolis, MD November 4, 2009 On November 9th, 5 local schools in Annapolis will host the Soles4Souls Think Kindness Program.  Soles4Souls, a Nashville based non-profit organization, is sending one of the nation’s top youth motivational speakers, Brian Williams to travel the country in search for the “kindest school”. Over 50 schools across the country have signed up for the Soles4Souls Kindness Challenge in hopes of receiving the first annual award.  

Students will be challenged to inspire their entire city to sponsor over 5,000 shoes for needy children throughout the United States and world. The Soles4Souls organization can distribute 2 pairs of brand new shoes for every $5.00 donation received.  

“We’ve set up a cutting edge website that allows each student to create a profile, send emails, post pictures, and allows for friends and family do donate $5.00 under their name. Individuals can also text message the letters AOK (acts of kindness) to 20222 and it will make a $5.00 donation on their phone bill.” Says Wayne Elsey, CEO of Soles4Souls 

Williams opens the challenge with an action packed martial arts speech with back flips and a brick breaking routine.  

“In martial arts I learned that kindness is the ultimate form of self-defense. Yet, when you do nice things for others, you open yourself up to be teased for doing the right thing. I tell students to have no fear and to be committed to being good people no matter what. Martial arts serves avenue to truly speak to the students,” says Williams. 

The entire school is given drop boxes, parent letters, Acts of Kindness Journals, morning announcement CD’s, and teacher packets with idea’s submitted by teachers from across the country.    

“If we can inspire every child in our local community to do kind things, then our world will truly be made a better place. We use shoes as the catalyst to teach the ever important life skill,” says Elsey.  

For more information about the program visit www.GiveShoes.org

Alabama, UBBT, Mr. Joe

This morning I am about 24 hours away from leaving for Alabama to spend 5 days with like minded martial artist in a setting that many would ask, “What does that have to do with martial arts?”
It is a learning experience for me.  It is an opportunity for me to take the lessons I have learned on the mat like perseverance and put them into application in the real world.  In this setting I can see the lessons my instructor is teaching in action.  Taking all of the organizational, motivational and deep thinking skills and putting them into practice.
It is a time to demonstrate acts of kindness and peace and to honor those before us who have done the same.  Martial arts may be about self defense, but in fact it is kindness, empathy, tolerance and celebration of differences that create peace.  If the ideal meaning of health is energy –  the ideal meaning of peace is happiness.
This trip is also a lesson in teaching leadership.  Leadership is demonstrated by doing not just by sitting in a classroom and learning techniques of making people listen to you.  The lessons I would like for all of our students to learn is about leadership.  Thinking for oneself and doing something about what we see needs to be done.
See my journey in the UBBT at MY JOURNEY

Acts of Kindness

We reached our goal of 1000 Acts of Kindness and surpassed it.  At the end of the day on last Saturday we had accumulated from our students, parents and friends.

1825 Acts of Kindness

Now the question is, Can we do more?   I believe that as a community we could become known as one of the kndenst communities in the nation.  It does us and our kids so much good to think about the act of being kind.  I am going to leave our form up for you to fill in your act of kindness.
Just think if you did one act per week that would be 52 acts of kindness in a year.  What if your family of 4 each did the same?  In one year you would accumulate 208 acts of kindness.  If you got 4 of your friends families to do the same that would be 1040 Acts in one year.  If they each got 4 friends families to do the same we now have an additional 3328 acts and the numbers keep growing.
Would you do an act of kindness each week? each day?  Lets do this together and have an impact on our community!

Acts of Kindness

In the next 6 weeks what can we accomplish as a school?  Can we work as a group and accomplish doing and being the catalyst for 1000 acts of kindness?  Can we do even more than that?  Who will step up and show their leadership skills and ask their classmates to join them and do 10 acts of kindness with them?
We are putting together and absolutely amazing day of activity when my instructor comes into town to visit and train with us.  I can honestly say that visiting with him for 15 minutes will inspire you for a very long time to be the best you can be.  And the only thing he has asked is our school put forth our best effort and accomplish 1000 acts of kindness before he gets here.
Join me in our quest to meet that requirement.  Then feel free to ask others to join you.  They are welcomed to come and visit on that day also.  Record all acts here on our website and we will have the results on a weekly basis posted so you know what we have accomplished so far.