People are often unreasonable and self centered.

FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.

BE KIND ANYWAY.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.

SUCCEED ANYWAY.

What you spend years building someone can destroy overnight.

BUILD ANYWAY.

If you are honest people may cheat you.

BE HONEST ANYWAY.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous.

BE HAPPY ANYWAY.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.

DO GOOD ANYWAY.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.

GIVE YOUR BEST ANYWAY.

For you see, in the end it is between you and God.

IT WAS NEVER BETWEEN YOU AND THEM ANYWAY.

-Mother Teresa

Why we are Doing It Anyway

In 2000, our family went through the most horrific event in our lives. Our father, one of the founders of San Felipe Humanitarian Alliance and a man who, along with our mother, had devoted his whole life to helping others, was murdered when he stopped to help a stranded motorist. It was several days before we knew what happened, and the days, weeks, and months afterward ran together as we dealt with police and prosecutors and planned a memorial service – all while overcome with grief trying to process the reality of what happened.


Above my Dad’s desk was a copy of the poem Do it Anyway that he had emailed to his kids not long before he died. It perfectly summed up how our Dad chose to live his life, so we read it at his memorial service and go back to it often to remind us of how we should strive to live.


The following year was a one of adjusting to life without the one we depended on to guide us and lead the way. Going through the trial, we learned that the life of service that our parents had chosen was not a conventional one. We were told a jury wouldn’t be able to relate to it. Something we had always been so proud of was now seen as strange – even weird. It was during this time that we all turned inward. We dealt with our grief in our own way, which sometimes meant not really dealing with it. We found ourselves more focused on how our father – the Silver Fox as he was called by many – died and not how he lived. But the time for that has ended. In the passage of time, we learned to love and laugh and see beauty in life again, albeit never as bright as before. We are now Doing it Anyway – as our father did, but also as our mother never stopped and still does.


In April, we will Do It Anyway by rebuilding a school library in Puerto Rico that was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. After the hurricane, Escuela Inés María Mendoza, located in a low-income community approximately 30 minutes from Old San Juan, became a receptor school – absorbing students from schools unable to open after the hurricane. It currently serves over 1000 children – from Pre-K (as young as 18 months) through Grade 12 – and serves an area with 93% of the families under the poverty level. Even before the hurricane they did not have enough books, but now the need is more urgent than ever. Life is not an even playing field for all, but education helps even it. The first step to good education is access to books. 


Aside from income, the quality of the school library is the best predictor of reading scores because the most effective bridge from low levels of reading ability to higher levels is pleasure reading. Pleasure reading provides the base for all reading, including academic, but it is the kind of reading missing from the lives of many students. 23% of fourth graders read for pleasure only once a month or less, and research indicates that many children don’t have access to pleasure reading materials. Affluent children have more books at home, better public libraries, and go to schools with better libraries. In some cases, affluent children have access to more books in their home than poor children have in their home, public libraries, classrooms, and school library combined. Sadly, many children in school today have practically no access to books and no quiet and comfortable place to read. Public libraries cannot close the gap. Imagine how pressing this problem is in Puerto Rico, where even the limited libraries available were ravaged by Hurricane Maria.


We are Doing It Anyway by selling custom made shirts and sweatshirts that can be purchased at bonfire.com/do-it-anyway-legacy-of-robert-p-del-conte  The logo is a representation of our father — the fox represents his nickname, The Silver Fox, and the butterfly wings represent how our father is seen by many now. In the days following his death, we noticed butterflies in the yard around the house and when we walked into the church a large Monarch followed us. In many cultures, butterflies — specifically monarch butterflies — symbolize human souls. The Aztecs believed that they visited relatives after their death to assure them that they were happy. In Mexico, they are associated with the Day of the Dead as they have annually returned to the Sierra Madre during this holiday.  In times of sadness, in times of happiness, when we need a reminder that our father is still with us, and no matter the time of year, a monarch butterfly will appear as a symbol that he is with us every day.  This image is our father, someone who was with us as our Silver Fox and now as our Monarch Butterfly, reminding us that he is always with us guiding from afar. Or you can make a direct donation to help. A little goes a long way: $25 buys two books - $100 buys paint - $250 buys a bookcase - $500 fills a few shelves - $1000 stocks a bookcase.


Will you help us Do It Anyway?