In his 1961 Inaugural address, John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what our country can do for you, ask what you can do for our country.”  I would like to take this sage motto and evolve it a step further. I say, “Ask not what our world can do for you, ask what you can do for our world!” As it’s said, THINK BIG! And sometimes that can be done through a simple, well thought out action such as hosting a foreign student in your home.

Did you know that the U.S. State Department started the foreign student exchange program in the early 60’s as a way to improve diplomacy between the United States and the rest of the globe we share? Students who have had the chance to live with an American family are far more likely to go to bat for our image abroad than those who have never traveled here. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet foreign exchange students at my high school and always thought it would be an amazing adventure to live abroad. Although I have have been blessed with traveling around the globe, I have never taken the opportunity to live outside our borders. What an opportunity to be able to bring that experience to your own household.   By hosting a foreign student, you will not only be helping our country, but also our world.

One of the first things I advise a potential host family to do is check the credentials of the exchange organization you are considering working with. I have found Aspect Foundation to be a top notch group that is deeply in the safety and support of the foreign high school students who bravely commit a year of their lives to living in America as well as being there for the families who graciously open their doors to these guests.

I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have about this life enhancing opportunity at karen@zoeypoey.com and invite you to visit our national website at www.aspectfoundation.org  Cheers!

Author Interview Series: Karen Loucks Rinedollar

-->

Author Interview Series: Karen Loucks Rinedollar

by Lisa Schulz

Self-PublishingHow did you get started writing your book? Or what inspired your book?I was inspired to write this book as Project Linus was nearing its 15thanniversary. As the founder, I knew I would be the best person to enlighten the world to how this successful effort got started. Knowing that we had delivered almost 4 million security blankets to seriously ill and traumatized children worldwide, yet some people in my own town had never heard of it, made me feel like the time was right to get put a book together.What was the hardest part about completing your book?I think the hardest part was the editing. At one point, my husband said, “Just put the pen down. It’s done. You will never have a perfect version so just go with it.”

Did you learn any lessons in the book creation process, if so what where they?

Remember that the editor is like an attorney. As the clock ticks away, so do your profits.

Did you enlist support in getting your book done? If so, what kind of support?

My friend Tina Taylor, who is an award winning designer, created my cover. The cover was the most fun part of the whole process. I definitely recommend finding someone you know and trust. I also hired a writing coach, Andrea Costantine, and an editor.

Self-PublishingWhat tips or advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Start with an outline. It helps simplify the process and certainly helps one get on the path to authorship especially when you don’t know where to begin.

If you self-published, what made you self-publish?

I had heard horror stories from people who were at the mercy of publishers and felt like they had sold their soul to get their book published. They lost the ability to control their own story, received very little/if any advance and still found themselves having market their book themselves. Now that self publishing has become a virtually painless process, it was the natural choice for me.

If you had to do your book all over again, would you?

Absolutely! I am currently attending Project Linus National Conference in Peoria, Illinois and can’t tell you how many coordinators have approached me with appreciation that finally the story had been written. They now understand the evolution of our charity and can also share it with others.

Are you writing or planning to write an additional book(s)?

Absolutely.

What else would you like to share about you or your book?

Working for Peanuts- The Project Linus Story is a perfect example of “The Power of One”. It is a motivational piece that illustrates how any one of us, if we follow our heart and mind to make a positive difference in their world, can absolutely achieve that goal. I thoroughly enjoy motivating others to spring into action through blanket bees, public speaking opportunities and now, my book!

How can people find out more about your book?

www.workingforpeanuts.org , karen@workingforpeanuts.org , http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=karen+loucks+rinedollar