No. 1103



It is often said that there is some “good” in all of us, even the worst among us. At least there is some good that can come from the worst of us. A good case in point is the Nike slogan “Just Do It” that was inspired by Gary Gilmore, a murderer who demanded that his execution be carried out instead of the endless delays that are usually a part of the legal process. But to back up a minute, “Just Do It” is the trademark of the shoe company Nike, and one of the core components of Nike’s brand.
The slogan was coined in 1988 at an advertising agency meeting. The founder of Wieden-Kennedy Agency, Dan Wieden, credits the inspiration for his “Just Do It” Nike slogan to Gary Gilmore’s last words. The “Just Do It” campaign allowed Nike to further increase its share of the North American domestic sport-shoe business from 18 percent to 43 percent (from $877 million to $9.2 billion in worldwide sales) from 1988 to 1998. And who says that words are not powerful -- not me!
This slogan is what I thought of when I got an e-mail recently from my good friend Dennis Schick, former executive director of the Arkansas Press Association for 25 years. Dennis and his wife Jan attended our recent Bookcase Fundraising Banquet, where we announced that this coming year we are going to have a book drive to provide at least one book for every child who attends our annual Awards Ceremony, in addition to the 50 Head Start children who will receive personalized bookcases and a starter set of books.
In typical fashion for Dennis, he sent me a list of ideas for collecting books in our community for this occasion. What really caught my attention was something he said, “Let’s be PROACTIVE rather than just waiting around for someone else to act.” In other words, “Just Do It.” Thanks, Dennis, we will and we are asking everyone to help us because it is for a very worthy cause -- helping these children learn to read, and even develop a passion for reading. Before I share his thoughts, let me say, if you live here, HELP US. If you don’t, get involved in starting a Bookcase for Every Child project in your community. Visit our website: for more information. Here are some ideas to “Just Do It”:
* Why not have a TEAM in each neighborhood GO DOOR TO DOOR ASKING for books. The ideal team would be a man and woman with one or more children with them. How about the KIDS asking for books? (We’re collecting books to give to children who can’t afford them). How about them pulling a WAGON with decorated boxes with some books in them (priming the pump -- Kids helping kids.)
* Further, have a FLYER to leave if no one is there, with information on it, including “Sorry we missed you, but please bring your gently used children’s books to XXXXX.”
* How about asking FIRE STATIONS to agree to be a drop-off place for books? THEY would get a GOOD NEIGHBOR pat on the back, and everyone knows where the fire station is. People would be REMINDED about books every time they passed a fire station, heard a siren, etc.
* Would ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS (and their PTAs) be allowed to have a volunteer stand where cars drop off kids every school morning with a box and sign which says, “BOOKS FOR KIDS!” A note could be sent home with kids telling their parents to drop off books WITH their kids.
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)