We Did It!
When I got the crazy idea to write a book about the night time ritual that had changed my sons’ lives, I knew it wasn’t going to end with merely printing a stack of pretty hardbacks.
I had an inkling that this book was about so much more.
The families and friends who’d tried the Sleepy Magic ritual were reporting incredible changes in their children – increased confidence, less angst and worry, and a profound sense of self-esteem.
The results were astounding. But I knew it needed to go further.
See, at its heart, this book – and all my books – are about empowering kids (and grown ups) to connect with their self-worth. Because if you’ve got self-worth, you’ve got everything you need to change the world.
So that’s exactly what I decided to do, in two distinct but parallel ways…
We built a School in Nepal!
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
Consider this: if every child received an education, 171 million people would be lifted out of poverty.
But the stats are astounding: 793 million people remain uneducated and illiterate — and two thirds of them are women and girls.
It’s heartbreaking stuff.
Which is why I was so excited to discover Room to Read.
This incredible charity is dedicated to helping children across the world to pursue a quality education, reach their full potential, and contribute to their community and the world.
They do this through numerous programs and initiatives that all focus on two guiding principles: literacy and gender equality in education. So far more than 10 million kids have benefited from their work.
When I first heard about Room to Read, back in 2014, I instantly knew three things: that I wanted to get involved, that I wanted to aim big… and that I wanted to build a school.
Yep, an entire, real-life, bricks-and-mortar school.
It costs $37,000 to build a school in a developing nation, so my target was set… and slightly daunting.
How did we do it?
We started our fundraising with book sales. A significant proportion of all profits from Sleepy Magic went straight into our ‘Sleepy Magic School Fund’.
Then there were events, raffles, rummage sales, speaking gigs, and more. My two boys even busked on the street, singing their little hearts out (and melting many grown-up hearts in the process!).
We also received personal donations, including from some of our very own Sleepy Magic kids, who came up with incredibly creative ways to raise money. (If anyone is in any doubt about the future of the planet, you need only look at these kids to have your faith restored a hundredfold.)
Then, in March 2017, during the annual Room to Read charity dinner, we hit our target.
In that moment, there were no words. (Though there was plenty of screaming and jumping about!) It took two years, a truckload of determination, and a million tiny steps, but we made it.
Our Sleepy Magic School is now up and running in a small village in Nepalgunj, Nepal. My family and I had the privilege to visit the Sleepy Magic school during the April 2018 school holidays. For the full story go here.
My heart bursts with gratitude for all the people who helped along the way, and the enormity of what we’ve achieved may never fully sink in.
Of course, the journey doesn’t end there…
Now that we’ve met our target for the school, donations from Sleepy Magic sales will continue to go to Room to Read, this time, to fund scholarships to send girls in developing countries to school.
And, as it was right from the start, for me it’s not enough to just raise money. I want to empower people at the same time. That’s where this next part comes in…
The Gold Light Project
Sleepy Magic may seem to be a book about soothing your children to sleep.
And Alfie may appear to be ‘just’ the story of a cheeky little angelfish.
And on one level they are. But they’re also so much more than that.
As you lead your children through these stories – particularly Sleepy Magic, where you’re sorting through their fears, affirming their strengths, honing in on how they want to feel – you are planting seeds far greater and deeper than simply a restorative night’s sleep.
In fact, you’re helping them create a firm, resilient base from which to engage with the world.
The Gold Light Project is devoted to growing and cultivating this self-worth in ourselves, our children and beyond. I started it as a platform for the Sleepy Magic Kids and Parents who wanted to express their newfound personal power and create positive change… and it took off from there.
It’s basically about empowering you and your children to make a difference – within your own life, within your family, within your community, and in the world at large.
We do this through…
- Raising money for Room to Read.
I want you to get involved too, through thoughtful, community-driven initiatives. We already have heart-swelling examples of Sleepy Magic Kids who’ve heard the story of Room to Read and have decided to raise money for it… Now it’s your turn. I’ll be sharing ideas and strategies that you can put into action in your home, your child’s school, your neighbourhood – pretty much anywhere. And every single dime donated to Room to Read goes directly to funding child literacy and education equality in developing countries. Click here to donate.
- Spreading the self-worth message.
Over on the blog, I share stories of kids (and grown ups!) who are putting this message into action. I also share tools, tips and strategies to help you enhance and foster self-worth – both in yourself and your kids.
- Insightful products and tools.
Sleepy Magic and Alfie the Angelfish are just the start of a whole series of love-fuelled books and products designed to empower you and your children to cultivate resilience, self-worth and personal power. This is just the beginning…