No. 924



Early one morning a few weeks after my wife passed away, I was all alone sitting in my easy chair and got to thinking about the future and the days that lie ahead. All of a sudden the emotion came over me of being so grateful for all the good things I had going for me. First, I was grateful for the extra months the Lord gave me with Viola before He called her home and the joy of taking care of her, as I am sure she would have done for me. In case you may not know, she had Parkinson’s for almost 20 years and passed away May 13, 2013.
Then I was, and still am, grateful for so many personal friends, my children, church family, members of my Lions Club that I have served with for so many years, my great friends who read my column and listen to my daily radio program, and relatively speaking for good health. I am also grateful that I am a positive person and have a real vision and hope for the future. In spite of our nation’s many challenges, I just believe our best days are ahead and there are millions of Americans who feel the same way. Our freedom was not won by cowards, but by millions of our citizens whose blood, sweat and tears made us the land of the free and the home of the brave.
For the past several years my passion has been literacy, and specifically the Bookcase for Every Child project I was privileged to be a part of that was started here in Conway in 2005. I don’t know of a cause where there is a greater need, where I could spend the rest of my life, than trying to help children being reared in low-income families have a brighter future. My wife Viola was also a big part of this, as she supported and inspired me in so many ways that it would be impossible to list them all. One thing most of my readers have never heard is that she recorded radio commercials for more than a hundred of our “How to Plan Your Life” radio sponsors.
Sometime back I saw the results of a survey that revealed that woman mature at a much earlier age than men. The age for most women is around 32 years of age, while for most men it’s around 43 years of age. I personally know this is true. While only a few months separated our chronological age, in the early days of our marriage she was much more mature than I was. She also possessed outstanding character, and there were many times when she pulled my bacon out of the fire by providing insights and counsel that money could not buy.
The more I thought about this, the more I came to realize what a fitting tribute it would be to dedicate to her memory the bookcase project that I founded. When I die, my daily radio program and syndicated column will basically be over, but this is not the case with the Bookcase for Every Child project. Literacy is a generational thing, and to teach a young child to read who would not otherwise achieve fluent literacy may impact his own family and even generations yet unborn. Therefore, I am appealing to every American to help spread this literacy project to every hamlet, city and town that we can possibly reach.
With God’s help, your help, and the help of thousands of others, I would like to see at least one Bookcase for Every Child project developed in every state in the nation. Thanks to a wonderful feature article in the American Profile magazine back in August 2011, we are now in five states. Except for in the case of local efforts, Viola’s condition created a delay in spreading the project. Taking care of her was my number one priority and I know you understand this. However, I am excited about the future and I hope you are as well. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)