Dear Mr. Bach,
This may be quite a stretch, but I’m hoping this letter makes it into your hands. With that said, I guess I’ll introduce myself, my name is Erin Barry I’m 21 years old. Having first picked up your book at the age of 17, with dollar signs in after seeing you on Oprah, I was determined to carry out the plan outlined in Automatic Millionaire. I’m happy to report that I’ve invested wisely and am in good shape for the future, although this hardly skims the surface of what your lessons have given me. With maturity those dollar signs have been replaced by a mission of philanthropy, which wouldn’t have been the case if I hadn’t learned how to apply the “pay yourself first” philosophy in all areas of my life. I was reminded of your lessons a couple of weeks ago I picked up a copy of your book “Start Late, Finish Rich” that I found lying around a friend’s parents’ house. I opened the book to page 297 and read something that sent chills up my spine. You wrote about the latte factor as it could apply to charity. Within that paragraph, a dream I had had just a couple nights before became a solidified plan of action. You know it too, I thought to myself. Everyone has a dollar to give; they just need to be reminded of the power of those dollars together.
In addition to finishing college and working part time in real estate (a passion you played a hand in molding) I volunteer at a homeless shelter once a week playing with children. It’s a wonderful program, and I’m truly honored that these little people allow me to share in the rare moments of joy they experience due to a life they had no say in creating. I’m fortunate that the program that I volunteer for, which places volunteers throughout Massachusetts homeless shelters for the sole purpose of playing and engaging these young minds, is able to supply books for the common play areas. I realize this is not the case on a nationwide scale, therefore after reading page 297, I realized that the dream I had a few nights prior was nothing less than irresponsible, without action to bring it into reality. I’ve decided to start a website where a two dollar purchase of space to write your name, link to website, or advertise for your company would raise enough funds to send a box of children’s books to over seven hundred homeless shelters throughout the US. My half million dollar goal would be enough to give 50,000 homeless children a possession, their first in most cases. The importance of books in a communal play room cannot be understated, but to give each child something to call their own, books in particular is my goal. The bond that is created when a child plops down in your lap eager to flip the pages wherever they see fit, regardless of the progress made on that particular page, is nothing short of magical. Those that I’ve told of my goal are weary, saying I’m asking for far too much to be done with far too little of a price tag. Thankfully, I tend to be relentless and put the website up two days ago. 250,000 painless latte factors is all it will take I hope to see this plan rise above the confines of demographics; to see a little given by a lot, instead of the reverse.
Yesterday I attended a women’s breakfast in Boston put on by the organization I volunteer for, Horizons for Homeless Children, there I had the opportunity of a lifetime to listen to Dr. Maya Angelou speak. She told the room of 1600 women, myself included, that her hope is for us to look in the mirror and see what we truly are, rainbows in the clouds of others. She went on to tell us how she stands before us the woman she is today, only as a product of the rainbows in her clouds. At the very least, I hope to get across that you are one of the rainbows in my clouds. A ray of hope that has inspired me to achieve what I know is achievable, reminding myself that you know it too.
Around the same time I first picked up the Automatic Millionaire, I lost my father. In doing so gained the strength and desire to deplete every ounce of potential I was blessed with; to leave this earth with my tank on empty, because what echoes my soul the most is knowing his was still full. I understand your mail may come in truckloads, and perhaps it’s even a cliché to note that, but I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for not pleading ignorance to your purpose in life, because if you hadn’t been a rainbow in my clouds I may not have had the courage to act on mine.
“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.”
– Dr. Maya Angelou