The Roots of Happiness

In the summer of 2010 12 individuals went to Kenya to a very special place, Tumaini.  The record of their trip, the sum up of all the smiles of those beautiful children is coming soon in a documentary titled:  The Roots of Happiness.  As you watch this take a look at the joy of the children with the jump ropes that were made by our students here at Balanced Life Skills.  Everytime I watch this I am rushed with emotions and love for these beautiful children.


Roots of Happiness Trailer from Brian Williams on Vimeo.

Student’s demonstrate doing good for others

Talking to our students and children about subjects that may seem difficult for them to understand is an important concept in starting early.  I have found that the subjects that I was not sure was really getting through to the students would come back later, with them speaking of them with authority. 

A couple of months ago we talked about ‘CHARITY’.  Days, weeks and now months later our students are still finding ways to demonstrate that they understand the concept of charity.  Here is a student and his younger brother who have taken charity seriously and brought in their shoes that they have outgrown for Souls 4 Soles. 

Souls 4 Soles is an organization that collects shoes for those millions of individuals around the world that do not have them.  Some of the shoes are slightly used, some are brand new and supplied by manufacturers from around the world.  Balanced Life Skills started our relationship with them through the efforts of Brian Williams and the Think Kindness organization. 

Along with Balanced Life Skills, several high schools from the area have supplied over $10,000.00 to help pay for the delivery of shoes around the world along with over 10,000 pairs of shoes.  Teaching our children young to be concerned about their neighbors in the world, and to grow in their desire to give to those in need.


Jump ropes for Kenya students

This past week Balanced Life Skills students made 117 jump ropes for children in Kenya who live at an orphanage.  Next week I will be spending the week at the orphanage seeing what we can do to help and provide hope to the students there.  The group will be traveling with martials artists from across the nation and will include singer / songwriters, artists and a full film crew as we will be filming a documentary, “Roots of Happiness”.

The trip was put together by Brian Williams and his Think Kindness organization.  The documentary and our goal is to determine what it is that makes these children so happy when they have so little from an American point of view.  When the film is completed, we will show it to high school students here in America to inspire them to find ways of serving others.

The film you see here is our jump rope making day at Balanced Life Skills.  If you would like to help fund the supply of school supplies, teacher supplies and the shipping of the jump ropes you can by going to

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