The Note Project

by Mike O’Mary

For much of the past year, I’ve been prepping for something called the Note Project. It’s finally going to launch on March 20, 2011 (the first day of spring!).

The Note Project is about sharing appreciation with others. There is no cost to participate. We ask participants to send at least one note of appreciation to another person. The goal is to collectively send 1 million thank you notes (thus the tagline “making the world a million times better”).

There is a natural fit between literacy and the whole idea of writing notes of appreciation. Accordingly, I plan to donate 10% of the proceeds from Note Project Starter Kits to promote literacy. I’ll announce details as soon as they are finalized.

I’m excited about the opportunity to help promote literacy because it’s been an issue throughout my life, starting with my own family. Dyslexia runs in my family, which makes school more challenging. And we were raised in a single parent home, which also makes things more challenging for kids (not to mention for the parent!). As a result, not all of my seven siblings finished high school, and only two of us went to college.

Later, as the instructor of a course in remedial writing at the University of Montana, I worked with freshmen who had failed the school’s writing entrance exam. I had students who didn’t know that you begin a sentence with a capital letter and end it with a period. I didn’t know how they had gotten through high school without being able to write, and I was genuinely worried about what the future held for them.

Why does that matter? Well, for one thing, literacy affects your standard of living. The unemployment rate is 5% for college graduates and 15% for everybody else. If you want to improve your standard of living, education is the key. And the key to an education is literacy. So I’m looking forward to donating a share of the proceeds from the Note Project to help promote literacy. I’m also looking forward to telling you about the projects of the organization we will be supporting, which reaches millions of people around the world. So plan on being twice rewarded for participating in the Note Project: writing a note will make you and the recipient feel good, and you can also feel good about helping to make the world a million times better. Literally.

Mike O’Mary is founder of the Note Project and of book publisher Dream of Things.