A few years ago, I asked you “How can you make a difference in the world today?”
You can read that column at https://tinyurl.com/differnceintheworld.
Based on the emails I received, it was probably one of my most popular columns. Within almost every one of us is this sincere desire to help one another.
I find myself pondering an addition to that first question, asked in a slightly different way. “What would you do to help someone in need?” Would you plunge into the freezing Atlantic Ocean on a day during a New England January? Would you spend a few hours serving a hot meal to a family in crisis? Would you place a call to a crisis center for a person considering suicide? Or, would you wear a hat?
For those that follow me on social media or see me out and about you may have noticed that I routinely wear the same hat. Many of you believe I wear the hat because I am follicly challenged, but you are wrong. Aside from the possible misspelling of that term, I have long reconciled with that in which I have no control over. Humor aside, this hat is much more than something to cover my baldness. It is in fact a very special hat.
It has gotten to the point that people ask me about the hat and the significance of the design. It appears to be a simple black baseball hat with a blacked out American flag on the front and the initials OHT on the side. It may give the impression of simplicity, but every time I place that hat on my head it reminds me I can do more to help my brothers and sisters in whatever their struggles might be. It is quite a hat indeed.
The OHT on the side of my hat stands for a mission called Operation Hat Trick (https://operationhattrick.org). In conjunction with ’47 Gear, OHT offers a series of hats in which part of the proceeds go to helping those who serve on your behalf, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Most of you have heard the statement “22 a day.” For those that haven’t, it represents the 22 active duty military, guard and veterans who commit suicide every day. Over the past two decades there have been years in which suicide was the leading cause of death with our active duty military, for all branches. Veterans are more susceptible to suicide during the first three years of their separation and again at around the 20-year mark of separation from the military.
As dangerous as serving in the military may be, the unfortunate reality is that as of lately, my brothers and sisters are more likely to die by their own hands than those of our enemies. This truth is very hard for us as a nation to accept, let alone admit. Why? Because we must acknowledge our failure as a nation to honor those that served us.Is This The Best Documentary Streaming Service?Ad by CuriosityStreamSee More
Our charity comes in many forms, some of us donate our time, while others make important financial contributions to those charities that play a vital role within our communities. OHT is just one organization trying to serve those who served us. There are two organizations I work very closely with that offer aid to those currently serving or have served our nation: Veterans Count NH and Liberty House – Manchester.
So, I have decided to take the power of the hat one step further. If your company has a hat, I will wear it for a favor. Donate to either Veterans Count NH or Liberty House, and I will wear your hat and post it on social media (just remember, I have a face for radio). But there is more.
I will wear your hat during my weekly Friday appearance on NH Today with Jack Heath (as well as my weekend show). During those appearances I will mention your company and your website and thank you for making a difference. I will do this for the remainder of the year, hopefully with a different hat each week. And I will do one better. If you want, I will come to your company and give a brief presentation on other ways we can help those that serve our nation, including those members of your organization. With your help, we will work together to reduce the number 22 to zero.
When I think about how we can make a difference in our world, I can’t help but hear the song “Heroes” by David Bowie bouncing around in my head. “We can be heroes, just for one day.” Absence the caps and mythical superpowers, each of us is armed with something more powerful: our empathy and our humanity. We have the capacity to drop to one knee, to look squarely in the eyes of a person in need and take ownership of their healing. Or we could just walk by, passing on our opportunity to be a hero, if only “just for one day.”
If you are a company interested in making a difference and want to take me up on my offer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.