Sunday, September 23, 2012


Today, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Big Apple Circus here in Loudoun County, Va., and it was absolutely AMAZING!  However, what is even more amazing is how yours truly--and more than 1,000 others--got the opportunity to see this incredible show for absolutely FREE. A single donor contacted the Community Foundation National Capital Region and arranged to buy-out the entire show so that underprivileged kids in the local DC, Maryland, and Virginia area would have the opportunity to simply enjoy a day at the circus sans worry about the price of admission. In fact, for every admission ticket that was given out, a voucher was also included for a free drink, hot dog, and box of popcorn. Ummmm...did I forget to mention that all of this was absolutely FREE?!?

The smiles on the faces of those kids--and adults--were absolutely priceless, and you can count the Hackley family among those happy smiling faces.  While the acrobats were flying and the horses were leaping, I just couldn't stop thinking about how ONE single man was responsible for such an unforgettable day that many in attendance will not soon forget.

We all have the potential of creating a "circus day" for someone we know. Perhaps it may indeed be a bit cost prohibitive for you to buy-out an entire circus, BUT you do have the power to put a smile on someone's face for at least a day.   Therefore, if you are reading these words I challenge you to think of a way that you can be philanthropic with either your $$$, talent, or time and bless someone. Leave a $25 gift card on someone's desk with a small hand-written note of appreciation. Offer to watch someone's kid(s) while they take their spouse out on a date. Send a simple email to someone on your social network that you don't normally correspond with. We can all do something!

What it really boils down to is...philanthropy has very little to do with how big our bank accounts are and everything to do with how big our hearts are.

BTW....THANK YOU Mr. Anonymous Donor!

About the Author: James Hackley is an author, inspirational speaker, and a philanthropist who earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Longwood College and an M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Virginia.  He's the founder of Omega Consulting Enterprises, chaplain of a local chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and faithfully attends Holy & Whole Life Changing Ministries International in Lansdowne, Va. His latest book, Body, Mind & Spirit: The Awakening can be purchased by visiting him at ,, and

1 comment:

  1. A tepid "Congratulations" on introducing impressionable children to the exploitation that circuses, including the Big Apple Circus, are infamous for.

    Now think again -- did you REALLY enjoy that evening?? Have a social conscience!