Read a Book, Make a Difference






On Christmas Day, 2007, my wife and I were blessed with the arrival of our miracle baby, Brody. We’d tried for five long years with no success, and just when we agreed that being childless was okay, too, of course—we got pregnant. We figured his deciding to enter the world on Christmas sealed the “miracle” deal.

Brody was perfect. Beautiful, ruddy, healthy—he ate well, put on weight according to the charts, wowed the docs at all his appointments. On February 21st, 2008, at just shy of two months old, Brody died of SIDS. We lost our miracle boy, and it came out of NOWHERE.

A nonprofit organization in Colorado helped us through the first few weeks, and the difficult decisions that we had to make. On the other side of our crushing grief, we started to get involved in nonprofits—our intent, to do good things in the memory of our lost son.

Recently a friend’s son, Ben, who has Down Syndrome and autism, completed his first year at a wonderful institution here in Denver called The Joshua School. The public school system was not taking care of Ben’s needs; at The Joshua School, Ben began to thrive!


Our friends now have an annual fundraiser for Ben’s tuition costs, which are relatively high. I started thinking about an idea: Read a Book, Make a Difference. Why not donate half of my net writing proceeds to Ben, his tuition, and ultimately, to The Joshua School general operating fund (assuming sales ever got to the point of covering Ben’s tuition)?

People are going to buy a book—why not give them the opportunity to do some good at the same time?

I intend to do this with all my publications. I encourage any authors reading this to consider a similar situation with a nonprofit that means something to them!

What started as a concept has now blossomed into a website! Other writers are now joining the Read a Book, Make a Difference (RABMAD) campaign—choosing their own causes or simply continuing to support the cause(s) they always have.

Please visit us here to peruse the compassionate RABMAD authors, their causes, and their work!

8 Responses to Read a Book, Make a Difference

  1. Karina Cox says:

    Hi Rob,
    Having really enjoyed your ‘garage sale’ post today, I presued your blog and landed here on the About Rob page. You took my breath away. The tragedy of losing the most beautiful Brody, coupled with the heroic compassion with which you made meaning out of his memory by helping Ben. I am so moved and I am honoured to have you in the group. I have had my own tragedies and was so moved by the suggestion of ‘reading a book and making a difference’ that I am going to do something similar. Thank you for your inspiration. Best to you and your wife…and Ben!
    Karina (in your Triberr tribe)

    • rsguthrie says:

      Gosh, Karina…thank you for the kind comment. Please consider joining the RABMAD site ( — it’s free, no money passes through the site; it’s only a place to showcase authors who are doing exactly that: giving back! You choose the cause (or maybe it’s one to whom the author already donates). No matter, RABMAD simply promotes your good work!

      Anyway, great to know you, Chief Karina! Honored to be a tribesman. 😉

  2. Hello Rob,

    I just noticed your post about the loss of Brody. My heart goes out to you and your wife.

    My wife and I have had a similar experience. A few years ago, we experienced the sudden loss of a vivacious 19 year old daughter.

    We’ve accepted that but the grief lingers.

    Take care, my friend.

    • rsguthrie says:

      Thanks so much, Rich. I am so terribly heartbroken to hear about your loss. The pastor that delivered the service for Brody had lost a daughter of similar age to yours. His loss had happened some 40 years earlier and he said when he learned of someone else who’d lost a child, it was like reliving it over again, as if it were only the day before. We talked about a vase…ours is empty, us always lamenting the memories we’ll never have to fill it, where his (and yours) is a vase filled with wonderful memories, and it is those you will miss. But in both cases, such devastating loss. You and your wife are in my heart today, my friend. Thank you for reaching out. I’m glad we’ve met!

  3. PaulaSHx says:

    Wow, I’m sorry to hear about Brody. I can only imagine how heart breaking it is to loose your only child. Especially when you waited for them for so long. Great project. You guys have an amazing heart.

    • rsguthrie says:

      Thank you, Paula…from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It’s been a tough four years, but I’ve learned that we really do grown through our pain. At least we’ve tried to stick to that philosophy and try to make something good come from such a tragedy. Cheers, Rob

  4. Yes, the grief does linger, Rob. For a long, long time. My only son was killed, knocked off three story roof of house he was building for his new bride and himself. Prayers for you and your wife for peace, there is nothing worse than losing a child. They woke up in the presence of the Lord – but we are left here in our sorrow. Be well

    • rsguthrie says:

      My heart goes out to you, Kathleen. You are right, it lingers. Good days, bad days, and then nothing days. You are right about them waking up in the presence of God, of that much I am certain. The burden is ours, not theirs. 🙂

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