More then Just a Number – Making a Difference

Most of   you   already know that I’m a “member” of  and  semi-regular  “poster”  on  the  forum that   the Raptor Resource Project   hosts  to talk about   their  wonderful work and give their “fans”   somewhere to chat, ask questions, learn , share etc….   RRP are the  folks that manage the    Decorah Eagle   Web Cam……. They are a small   non-profit  organization but they  do wonders for the world…… check them out if you can and help ‘em  too if  you  can 🙂

That’s the  backdrop for this  “feel good post”…  the DE Cam and the RRP forum are followed   by many, many  people both as members and just as  “viewers/readers/watchers/lurkers”.  If  you’ve  followed  along so far and are nodding then  I’m betting that you  also know that I  helped start a  Facebook group  when  the 1st of the 2012 Clutch  of the Decorah Eagles  – D12  was found   dead on July 1st  from Electrocution…  people around the globe had watched these  amazing creatures first hand LIVE in  real  time   go from Egg to Eagle …5 months  or more  every day thousands of people watched and  fell in love  with   nature all over again.  Not just with nature but  also specifically with these   birds, these  majestic  creatures that went from  bobble headed little fuzzballs, to  gremlins with mohawks to  full blown  Eagle…I was one of those   people who felt the pain and loss that I felt was caused by  “man” and was avoidable ….…anyway   long story  a little shorter  à FB group,  Memorial,   raised money to  buy a  bench  in memory of D12,  had a book committee of  fabulous  people   who created a   true  work of art  using   input from  many  sources …a beautiful book and keepsake that  helped   people heal and provided education for  others….    That’s where this story leads us today….   So we   sold this book, we  sold  roughly 400 copies of this  book… at $35 a piece with all the profits going  to the  memorial  fund…  several  people in the group  bought and donated some to schools and nursing homes and people that had  helped us  along the way  with our goals  etc.. etc…..  there are many, many  feel good stories   about this book that  everyone who had a part in it can  be proud of knowing they  made a difference.



I’ve gotten  so many  notes of thanks and shared them with the  book  committee  but this one message  below really   gets to the  core of what we wanted to do  with this book   and so  I’m sharing this with you  all…..  This person isn’t on Facebook, isn’t  on  the RRP  forum but watched the eagles  and “lurked” on the  forum  reading  the things we all post etc…. where she found out about the book… she purchased one book and got two , now I’m going to turn the floor over to her   and   paste excerpts from our  email   exchanges:

 –From “S”

Hi Michael (Capt_Dad),

I received my lovely copy of the memorial book “More Than Just a Number” yesterday. What a precious book…so beautiful!  Haven’t been able to read through the book yet as the tears start flowing; is kind of hard seeing through tears. Funny how all of us can get so attached to a family of eagles through our computer screens. When we lost D12 and then our little Techie D14, it felt as if my heart had been dropped kicked to the moon and back. :-/ Am sure hoping and praying that D13 makes it to adulthood, has a happy life, and joins his/her siblings at a ripe old age.

Now to get down to the reason for contacting you. As mentioned above I have received my D12 memorial book; however, I also received a second copy which I did not order or pay for. What do you need me to do in order to get this memorial book into the proper hands? I wish I knew someone who would love to have a copy, but can’t afford to buy one….I’d buy it and give it to them…..
Best Regards,

— I  checked with the book committee,  it was our mistake but thankfully we had some  books that had been donated  still left to find permanent homes …..

–My response then to “S”  was:

Hi S – Thanks for the message and the honesty, both are very much appreciated. With regards to the extra book, if you would be kind enough to donate it to a school, nursing home, vets office or somewhere that is “paying it forward”  and then share that with us we’d certainly appreciate it!

–Her reply

Hi Michael,

Yes, I will definitely look in to donating this beautiful book. Haven’t had any kids in school for 20+ years, but I plan on contacting the Junior High and High School here and see if any of the classrooms followed the Decorah Bald Eagle Nest cam. Would very much like to place the book where it would mean the most because the students/people would already have a connection.  If the schools are not interested, then I will check with our local library as they do have a few books about Bald Eagles, and they are always thrilled to receive new books…have donated many to them through the years.…Will let you know how things turn out.  Have a great weekend, and thanks for the opportunity to donate this book! 🙂

Best Regards,

–Then yesterday I received this  message:

Hi Michael,

…Wanted to let you know where the extra copy of “More Than Just a Number” was donated. Over the past couple weeks I thought, and prayed about where to donate this beautiful book because I wanted it placed where the most people would have access to it, and benefit from the words and pictures. Well, I’m pleased to report the book is now the property of the wonderful library we have here in town.

All books donated have to be cleared before acceptance, so the desk lady took it back to the lady in charge, and the book passed with flying colors. They not only accepted the book, but were thrilled to be able to add it to the library’s eagle collection. Initially I thought maybe the book wasn’t going to be accepted because the desk lady was gone so long. LOL. Turned out that the delay was because they were looking through the book, and enjoying the pictures! 🙂

Also had the opportunity to talk with the desk lady about D12’s and D14’s deaths; her sadness was obvious as she fixed her eyes upon D12’s picture on the cover. Anyways, I left the library with an assurance in my heart that this special book is right where it belongs. There will be many  many children, and adults, who will view those beautiful pictures and words for a long time to come.
The book will be stamped with this encryption:

“Donated in the memory of
the 2012 Decorah Bald Eagles,
D12 and D14”

I hope you, and all the creators/authors, will be pleased knowing that your labor of love and talent will now stand proudly among other eagle books, and be viewed by people of all age brackets and walks of life.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity of finding a home for such a special book.

The Best of Regards,

The end  of the  email excerpts..

Isn’t  that wonderful?   Uplifting?   It’s  a proud moment for me to have been a small part of the  book,  and   I know a proud moment for  wonderful members  of the book committee and  the  people who contributed to the book’s contents,  to the people who donated books to  go to “special”  places…

So thank you “S”  for paying it forward!!  Your story alone makes all the love, sweat, tears, more tears and hard work that went into the book  worth it!!!

Our goal with the book  and with the  money we  raised was  to  Pay it forward, to make a  real difference and to   leave a lasting legacy for D12 and then  also D14….  We succeeded  beyond our wildest dreams  and  it’s people like YOU “S”  that   truly MAKE A  DIFFERENCE!!!

As always –  Stay Safe, Be Kind, Keep the Park Clean, Pay it forward, Make a Difference and One Love


One thought on “More then Just a Number – Making a Difference

  1. OH my friend, every time I think that my heart is just as full as it can get, some other wonderful person comes along and just makes it swell a little further!!! What a sweet thing for “S” to do…and what lovely words for her to write!!! I do pray that our little book touches hearts, and that some of these that have been donated to schools or libraries may have a tiny little part in making more folks want to do wonderful volunteer work at Raptor Rehab Centers like you do, or maybe even inspires the NEXT Bob Anderson to continue the wonderful work that is being done in making our world a better place for Raptors!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us!!!
    You absolutely made my day!!!!!

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