Jun 10, 2010

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood

Leaving Microsoft to Change the WorldI will admit that I am not the biggest fan of non-fiction, but there are somethings that just beg to be read. When I heard about this book, and the non-profit that came out of this adventure, I was stunned and had to read it. I braced myself for the most boring, textbook-like reading that I was choosing to inflict upon myself. To my surprise, it was quite the opposite.

John Wood was a successful executive at Microsoft in the late 1990's (Director of Business Development for the Greater China Region). He had money, power, and success. Yet he found himself unfulfilled. John decided to take himself on a soul-searching vacation, but he definitely wasn't prepared for what he found.

In the Nepalese Himalayas, John discovered that he could combine his savvy corporate skills that had been honed by Microsoft and his compassion for the starved-for-books children he met on his trek. This book is the story of how he changed from a corporate executive to the head of one of the largest-growing non-profits in the nation, Room-to-Read.

It was fascinating to read about how John found the ability to create Room-to-Read. It was a long journey, with many complications, but he was dedicated to bringing these children the books and education that they so desperately wanted. The program started out small with just a few boxes of books sent to already existing schools and has evolved into a program that sends tens of thousands of donated books to schools & has even started building libraries and schools in countries like Sri Lanka, Laos, and Zambia.

This year Room-to-Read celebrates its "Year of Tens" 10 years, 10,000 libraries, 1,000 schools, and 10,000 girls educated. Head on over to the Room-to-Read website to check out how much they've grown and read up on all that they've done. The book was a great way to gain exposure and I'm sure we'll be seeing much more out of this wonderful organization.

Personal Note (PN): I fell so much in love with this organization that for my wedding, as favors, I made bookmarks to inform my guests that we would be making a donation in their honor to Room-to-Read. It was awesome!

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