I’m not really an arrogant, conceited asshole…even though I may come off that way at times.
I’ve screwed up a lot in my life and made my fair share of mistakes but I’ve overcome them- I’ve taken responsibility for them and corrected them and continued to grow to become a better person.
I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud of how my life has turned out and the things I do. I do feel like I’m “better” than a lot of other people based on the life I’m living, the decision I make and the way I treat others.
There are bad people out there. There are assholes who are assholes simply for the sake of being assholes. There are people who won’t do anything to help make the world a better place…they won’t even step up to make THEIR world a better place.
We don’t all leave a legacy behind us when we pass away- we may mean the world to a handful of people but we don’t always do huge thanks to really let the world know that we were here- and that is sad. No one should ever be forgotten.
I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to find my legacy- trying to do something big that I could be proud of and say “hey…I’m THAT guy!”
I became an outspoken atheist at 15 years old.
I’ve had articles and stories published in local newspapers and in a couple books.
I’ve worked my ass off to lose weight and try to be “the guy that lost 200 lbs!” (Still in progress…about 140 lbs down currently.)
My grandfather wasn’t there for my dad and my dad has never been there for me- I only had my mom. I’ve made sure that there hasn’t been a single day of my son’s life that I haven’t been there. There will NOT be a single day (until I die) that I’m not there for my son. Period.
I grew up on welfare, food stamps and living in the projects but I’ve worked my ass off to be sure my son doesn’t even know what food stamps are and we’ve been successful at that- that isn’t to say something bad could happen and it could all change but I’m doing my best to make sure he has a better life than I did.
All of those things could be considered my “legacy” but they only affect a small group of people- yesterday, I did something that I think will truly become my legacy- my charity, Commons4Kids, passed 10 million trading cards donated to kids.
Now- I’ve always been very up front- I’m mostly the middle man in this project; 90% of those 10 million cards have come straight from people that I call the #C4KFamily. We get folks mailing us cards from all over the world- literally and I want to give those people credit for actually getting 10 million trading cards into the hands of kids.
With that said- I do the webpage, the promotion, contacting the charities, delivering the cards, sorting and getting the cards ready and make all those loose ends connect. I put my heart and soul into C4K- along with my time, money, tears and even blood. (Cardboard cuts are NO joke….plus, try removing 1,000 cards from those plastic sheets…that plastic is like razor blades!)
I try my best to not take all of the credit because the cards come from the #C4KFamily but….I am the guy responsible for getting over 10 million trading cards to kids…I am THAT guy…that is ME!
That is my legacy.
We’ve worked with so many charities in so many states and even other countries and these cards have gotten into the hands of, literally, thousands of kids. Most of those kids will never know my name or that those cards came from me and that is fine with me…the point is- I still did that. I made that happen and I’ve done it for 8 years now with no end in sight.
We could reach 20 million…50 million…who knows????
If you know me personally, then you know that long before C4K- I did stuff like “Project Sharky Claus” and did toy drives and Hot Wheel drives and donated to charities as much as I could and did everything I could to make the world better than when I found it.
It may not be humble and it may make me sound like an asshole but I want that to be my legacy- I want people to see it and follow in my footsteps. I want people to think “if he can do it, why can’t I?” I want to be remembered as a guy that put everything I had into simply making the world better.
You can have your reasons for hating me. I’m a straight, white, male, Liberal, atheist, science loving, evolution believing guy who’s done my best to be a good son, husband and father and never stopped putting everything I have into the things I believe in.
I wish my mom was still here to see that 10 million mark- she saw 1-9 million and that 10 millionth card is now buried with her (a 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr)- she had no doubts we would get there.
Finally- I would like to think my amazing wife for putting up with 8 years of trading cards all over her kitchen, kitchen table, living room, coffee table and even the bedroom. For loading up her van and now Kia Soul with thousands of cards and delivering them as far as St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
While none of this could have happened without the #C4KFamily- NONE of it could have happened without her support, time and money.
I’m still blown away by what we’ve done over the last 8 years and I can no longer even imagine where we could be 8 years from now. This project started out with me wanting to donate MY commons, then C4K was created with a goal of donating 1 million cards to kids and now we just passed the 10 million cards donated mark and that doesn’t count all the other stuff- from Legos, to figures, DVDs, video games, stuffed animals, thousands of comic books, autograph bats, jerseys and all the amazing stuff you guys just throw into boxes and mail us- nothing surprises me anymore.
One finally thanks to EVERYONE in the #C4KFamily- if you’ve donated, shared our social media, talked about us, accepted a donation or just liked a post- I consider you family- please share this “legacy” with me as being a part of something really cool.
Thanks for all the support, it’s greatly appreciated and I look forward to being the middle man for the next 10 million cards.
Jerry W. Milburn, II
AKA Sharky Hitchens