Tom Murphy's 200 Bullying Books Challenge

So where do I start?

Have you ever been in a situation where you want to do your best to convey your message, but you're so scared to start that you just keep putting it off. Oh sure I’ve formulated sentences, came up with grand ideas, but then too often, they became just fleeting thoughts, no record of their existence. Well now is the time to put the metaphorical “Pen to Paper”, so bear with me as I stumble through, hopefully, our message will resonate with you :) If our message does not resonate, but you know it may with family and friends could you please “share”.

It was 7:15 on a Wednesday, I believe.

My phone started ringing, it was Diane. In the back of my mind I was thankful it wasn’t another one of those Robocalls trying to bully me into giving up my identity, you know the kind.

As I picked up, I could tell things weren't right. Diane sounded winded as she began, “Paul could you please come over here as soon as you can? Tom has just dropped to the floor, I don’t know whats going on? He says, his legs won’t work, as much as he tries, nothing happens. I’ve tried to get him on the bed, but it’s impossible!

“I’m on my way, I’ll be right there!” I replied.

I live about 15 minutes from Diane and Tom, so the drive over seemed excruciatingly long when you’re in a panic. So many questions rattled in my head.

As I pulled into the driveway, I could see how distraught Diane was, who could blame her. She reiterated her story as we scurried from the entrance to the master bedroom at the back of the trailer.

There Tom was…

By this time Tom and Diane had some how managed to get his legs under him, he was sort of kneeling in a praying position up against the bed. His face had this perplexed look, it left a vivid impression. His stare was so intense that it felt like he had just pierced my soul.

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I had seen that look before, many times in my mother’s eyes as she suffered through her Alzheimers experience and again more recently when our dog "Max"  experienced his first Epileptic seizure. Our eyes can say so much in a moment, but “WTF?” doesn’t begin to describe the look in their eyes.

That moment in time was the catalyst for so many changes in Tom and Diane’s life and in mine too when you get right down to it.

Fast Forward 2 years: 

You may not know Tom personally, but I promise you this, you know someone that has those same fundamental traits. You know, a natural-born leader without the “naturally born” part.

You know that person (he or she) who has your back, will be there through “thick and thin”, will lead when necessary and also be compassionate when the need arises.

You know who they are, they stand out in your life. It may be at a distance, but if your lucky enough to have someone like Tom in your day to day life, you are blessed. People like Tom create an inner desire in us to "Be Better!”, to "Do Better!”.

More Recently!

After a number of surgeries…

a major move halfway across the country…

months of Physical therapy…

Tom has entered a new chapter in his and Diane’s life. You see, in the last year or so Tom and Diane have moved to Winnipeg, into a condominium allowing Tom to have handicap access. Through rigorous therapy, he has been able to get himself mobile as long as he has his walker handy.

Tom and Diane wanted to be closer to their family and that is why their adventures led them to Winnipeg.

Tom and Diane have always believed in making every effort possible to stay connected to their children and grandchildren and with the wonders of today’s technology we can be more connected than ever before. The truth is though that nothing beats one to one interaction. This is where hopefully life long special bonds can be formed.

Introducing “Austin”.

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Austin is Tom and Diane’s oldest grandson. Tom has always felt a special connection, but little did he know that that bond was going to be strengthened by his new proximity. Often in life, it’s a crisis and how we handle that crisis that can be so powerful in building those kinds of bonds with a family member or a friend.

As Tom began his almost new like relationship with Austin, he quickly realized that his grandson was under a lot of stress. Tom didn’t realize how much negativity and bullying in school was affecting Austin. Austin’s futility was affecting his grades, his relationships with his parents and even with his younger brother Lucas.

Now Tom could empathize with his grandson futility, he knew all too well his own challenges with bullying. You see Tom in another life, well it feels like another life to him, he had been in the educational system for almost three decades primarily as a “Principal”. As a leader, he had some success, but he also had many failures dealing with bullies and their victims.

Tom felt something had to be done!

Now I don’t want to give anything away, but I can tell you this. Tom and Austin have written a book about their adventures. It’s a great read for any boy or girl who may find themselves in a similar situation.


Discover how Austin had one of his best friends become his worst nightmare. There are trips to the Principal's Office, a biker gang, a protest rally, an assembly, and a special bench. The story is based on Austin’s true life experiences, names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike. We like to call it a story of “truthful fiction”.

Tom and Austin’s first edition of the book had a production run of 100 books. It was a labor of love and thanks to the generous contributions from people like yourself through the GoFundMe platform we raised $ 730.00 . The first edition was a coil bound psychedelic cookbook version.

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 Again thanks to all who contributed or purchased the first copies.

Let the Evolution Begin.

This time Austin and Tom are back. They’ve recruited a small team of volunteers, two father-daughter teams. Tom and Austin's mother Kathryn and me and my daughter.

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Together we’ve worked towards producing an even more compelling story with added illustrations from my good friend Kathy. 

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 Here is a mock-up of the new cover of the hopefully next softcover edition and we also have an electronic book version that can be read on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.

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Introducing “The Tom Murphy's 200 Bullying Book Challenge”

This is exciting, we have priced out the cost of producing our next 200 physical books (softcover). The price tag to produce the next 200 books will be  $1,158.15.

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This is where your contribution will be greatly appreciated, even the smallest contribution will have a huge impact. We will give all GoFundMe contributors a “Free” electronic version of the "RUSH" book as a “Thank You” for your help.

We are also looking for volunteers to help us with our mission, you can find more details on our website www.CaringandSharingBooks.com 

You might be asking yourself, “What’s your plans for the next edition of the book?

Great question!

Here is the Plan:

The first 100 books

Once we’ve had the second edition printed, we will take 100 of the books and donate them on your behalf to the Indigenous Summer Literacy Camps  directed by the non-profit FrontierCollege.ca . I have two friends in Thunder Bay who have worked with the college for the past few years and we thought it would be so cool to be able to give them the first 100 copies of the book to be distributed within their national literacy program.

The second biggest reason, the next 100 books.

The plan is to use these books to help us develop a study program that we can make available online to anyone who would be interested in. Together along with Tom and our motley crew of volunteers, we will go out to the after school programs like Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg , YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg and others. Tom would do a read-along program, hopefully through a discovery process, we will ask the hard-hitting question to probe for ways to help those who are harmed by bullying. We have some ideas of our own, but we hope through this process we will create a teaching program that any teacher and or after school program can use to help their students or members.

With your help, through your donation or volunteer contribution, we can be the change that makes a difference. Your help is so appreciated, and remember if possible please "share" our message with family and friends.

Sincerely,

Paul

P.S. Our "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Wish" aka pie in the sky.  If I was to hope or wish for something, it would be that our adventure really connects with you and many others and we exceed our goal by tenfold. If we raised that kind of money we would be able to donate 1,000 books to the Indigenous Summer Literacy Camps. That goal would be, $6,369.00

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Fundraising team: Motley Crew (4)

Paul Koevoet 
Organizer
Weslaco, TX
Alexandra Koevoet 
Team member
Kathryn Young 
Team member
Tom Murphy 
Team member
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