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:
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…..
— 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!
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! 🙂
–Then yesterday I received this message:
…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!!!