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The Rewards of Giving

Every now and then I am reminded about just why I support the many causes that I do ... intellectually I know that it is appreciated, needed and absolutely the right thing to do. But at least once a year the participants of the MASC Young Authors and Illustrators Conference remind me how much difference a relatively small amount of money can make in a person's life!

Each year I get hundreds of thank yous from the children who attend, many of which are funny, articulate, passionate and inspiring. Below is a letter from one of the past participants that demonstrates the enthusiasm I am talking about.

Wouldn't you just love to bottle this passion!


I would like to start by saying that your conference was the best - Not 'One of The Best' or 'One of My Favourite'- but the BEST, MOST wonderful, MOST satisfying learning experience I have had, literally in years. We're talking since I was around five. I AM NOT KIDDING!!! Under No Circumstances Is This Untrue, No Matter How Twisted The Situation, Or How Parallel The Universe, It Was The Best.

I have not learned anything in so long that gave me such inspiration or understanding, shaped with such colour. It just made me so... happy.

That sort of happiness allowed me to breathe again, instead of merely sucking in oxygen. The entire day was one deep, satisfying, alive sort of breath. I was really looking for one of those breaths, and school just wasn't cutting it and I am so, SO, SO grateful to you, for allowing me to participate in MASC.

Next year I'll be too old to come as a student to MASC, (I am sooooo glad I discovered you guys in time to do it this year.) but I would LOVE to volunteer, so if you are ever in need of a Shadow, or anything, I am here. I would also love to know any other ways I can repay everyone at MASC who gave me such wonderful opportunities.

MASC really refreshed my outlook on...well, everything, I guess, and you know what? I learned stuff. Really, actually learned. I learned about something I LOVE. I love writing. Thank you.