In September of 2011, the son of one of my marketing clients was struck by a car. He was a very active eight-year-old and had broken both of his legs. I went searching for a gift for him and couldn’t find what I had in mind. He loved his favorite team and was going to be laying in a hospital bed recovering for a long time. So that night, I stayed up until 3 a.m. creating the first ever Roll Tide Activity Book as a gift for him.
Just a month prior, I had changed my prayers, asking God to help me find a way to live a more meaningful life and to impact others. With this creation, I saw a way I could make a difference in the lives of children who were hurting. I hired a graphic designer and a year later, I had my first sports activity book in print. The reaction was amazing. I took my savings and immersed myself in this full-time.
In the Sports Zone is now a full line of licensed team activity books, storybooks, and coloring books for kids. There is a book for nearly every NFL, NBA and MLB team, as well as over 40 college football teams. I developed an app, so hospitalized kids everywhere can have access to these books, for free, enabling them to have some fun during their very tough times.
But more than a business, this is my way of giving back and helping children. I donate thousands of books to those in need. I visit hospitals and take stacks of books to give to all the kids. It’s my entree to meeting them. I form relationships with the children and their families, ones that have grown over the years.
It’s also given me an opportunity to share my faith and love with these hurting families at a time when it is desperately needed. The business side of this is very difficult and challenging, but the personal side is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.