Santa's Gift: True Stories of Courage, Humor, Hope and Love

Overview

"All of the Author Proceeds will be donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation"

DISCOVER THE REWARDS OF GIVING WITH SANTA'S GIFT

"In his Santa activities, Jeff has redefined 'family,? embracing all children as if they were his own. His stories about those children will inspire you as they have me."
Warren Buffett, Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

"It is important to get involved. When I see how grateful people are, that's the ...

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Overview

"All of the Author Proceeds will be donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation"

DISCOVER THE REWARDS OF GIVING WITH SANTA'S GIFT

"In his Santa activities, Jeff has redefined 'family,? embracing all children as if they were his own. His stories about those children will inspire you as they have me."
Warren Buffett, Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

"It is important to get involved. When I see how grateful people are, that's the biggest thrill for me. Go see for yourself. The rewards are incredible."
Sir Elton John

"The stories in this book are about children and families who are facing their worst fears and still show their courage. Without this kind of action in the face of fear, it is impossible to move forward."
?Kate Carr, President and CEO,
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation

With reflections by:

Sir Elton John, Warren Buffett, Norman Lear, Donna Karan, Michael Eisner, Toys "R" Us CEO John Eyler, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Michael Glaser, Reverend Craig McElvain, Congressman Mark Kirk, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation President and CEO Kate Carr, Kim Webster, and more!

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What People Are Saying

Warren Buffett
In his Santa activities, Jeff has redefined ‘family,' embracing all children as if they were his own. His stories about those children will inspire you as they have me.
—Warren Buffett, Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Elton John
It is important to get involved. When I see how grateful people are, that's the biggest thrill for me. Go see for yourself. The rewards are incredible.
Kate Carr
The stories in this book are about children and families who are facing their worst fears and still show their courage. Without this kind of action in the face of fear, it is impossible to move forward.
—Kate Carr, President and CEO, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471225157
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/17/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

JEFFREY W. COMMENT is Chairman and CEO of Helzberg Diamonds, a Berkshire Hathaway company. His experiences as Santa motivated him to start the "Santa s Gift" program, a volunteer opportunity involving executives that has been adopted by the General Electric Elfun Society and other organizations. All of his proceeds from this book will be donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is the leading worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying, funding, and conducting pediatric HIV/AIDS research as well as promoting global education, awareness, and compassion about HIV/AIDS in children. In addition, the Foundation is committed to working on other serious and life-threatening diseases facing children through the newly created Glaser Pediatric Research Network.

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Read an Excerpt

Foreword

by Warren Buffet

Many years ago, Ben Graham, my friend and teacher, told me of a goal he had set for himself. Each day, he would attempt to do something creative, something generous, and something foolish. I think Ben included the third activity to avoid sounding "preachy" in recommending the first two.

Jeff Comment has run Helzberg Diamond Shops for Berkshire Hathaway since the day we acquired it in 1995. He's a superb businessman, and I've yet to see him do anything that could conceivably be characterized as foolish. As CEO of Berkshire, I feel lucky to be associated with him.

But, more important, I also feel proud. Jeff is a great citizen, and he has blended Ben's recommendation for creative and generous acts into a program that has lifted the spirits of thousands of ill or disabled children. When Jeff presents his "I Am Loved"® bear, the child receiving it knows that the message is true: The girl or boy can see it in the eyes of the big fellow standing there in the red suit. That's a gift that has more therapeutic value than any pill or wonder drug can deliver.

As I write this, my grandson, Howard, is in his fifth week in the hospital recovering from injuries suffered in an automobile accident. I have seen first-hand the effect of family love on the healing process. Howie bears his pain far more easily when love and humor are in the room with him. He's getting that in abundance, but not all hospital-bound children are so lucky.

In his Santa activities, Jeff has redefined "family," embracing all children as if they were his own. By doing so, he has converted youngsters with impassive faces and lifelessbehavior into the excited and eager human beings they were meant to be. His stories about those children will inspire you, as they have me.

Reflection

by Sir Elton John

Elton John is one of the most successful entertainers of the past 30 years. From his first Top 10 single in the United States—"Your Song"—he has had numerous hits and has also appeared on stage and in films. In the mid-1980s, Elton John became interested in AIDS research, met Ryan White, and formed the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He has donated royalties from his singles to AIDS charities.

I used to think that giving money was what generosity and philanthropy was all about. That was until I spent a week with Ryan White who, at 13, was one of the first and most courageous AIDS activists.

I was with Ryan in Indianapolis in 1990 during the last week of his life. I went to the hospital every day and saw in Ryan and his family humility, generosity, and the ability to forgive during the most tragic and sad circumstances. That week, when, instead of money I gave my time and understood how much it was appreciated, meant so much to me.

That week had a huge impact on me. It was at a time of my life when I was very self-absorbed. I was not behaving very well. I was into drugs and simply out of whack. Ryan's example was the catalyst for me to change my life and get sober and clean and start doing philanthropic work myself.

Many people can't afford to be philanthropic with money, but we all have time we can donate. That is the most important lesson I've learned since Ryan's death. The time I spend with my AIDS Foundation or just talking to people has the most value. There are so many people who need our help. It is important to get involved. When I see how grateful people are, that's the biggest thrill for me. Go see for yourself. The rewards are incredible.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Warren Buffett.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Reflection by Sir Elton John.

PART I: Stories ofCOURAGE.

The Story of Jonathan.

My Heroes.

Parent and Child.

The Beauty of Lindsay.

Reflection by Kate Carr.

PART II: Stories of HUMOR.

Bald Is Beautiful.

Poker Faces.

One Last Stop.

No Two Kids Are Alike.

Reflection by Norman Lear.

PART III: Stories of HOPE.

A Handful of Preemies.

A Little Heart Goes.

a Long Way.

A Smile of Hope.

Blow Me a Kiss.

Reflection by Reverend Craig McElvain.

PART IV: Stories of LOVE.

Lucky in Love.

A Child Is Lost.

The Outpatient Clinic.

The Joy of Teamwork.

Reflection by Bill Belfiore.

PART V: A Call to ACTION.

A Call to Action.

Epilogue.

Resource List of Nonprofit Organizations.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Uplifting

    Every Christmas Helzberg Diamonds CEO Jeffrey Comment dons a Santa costume to provide gifts to children in several hospitals across the United States. Mr. Comment has found that by giving time and energy to a worthy cause, he gains much more back. This book includes encouraging comments from famous individuals advocating that good deeds is as important as donating money, but the Samaritan obtains much more with the activity than the targeted audience does ever gains. Some of the anecdotal true stories will leave the reader sad yet uplifted as this gift lives up to its subtitle of True Stories of Courage, Humor, Hope and Love. In the back is a list of nonprofit organizations that try to make a difference, but most significant is the inspirational message that if everyone one of us stopped being couch potatoes and becoming involved, we will make a difference. Harriet Klausner

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