I want you to think of one of the worst things that have ever happened in your life.
Seriously. Reflect upon it for a moment. I know it’s not something you hear me say/ask you to do very often, but it’s an important one for today’s lesson.
I know you probably don’t like to go to that “dark space” or spend much time thinking about one of the toughest tests, challenges, adversities, tragedies, or disasters in your life.
But I have an important question regarding this “event, tragedy, or challenge” you experienced.
For me, when I reflect upon the question, I can think of several different “tragedies or disasters” in my life.
- I think about my father dying of a heart attack when he was just 58. I was 20. Tragic.
- I think about my back injury playing pro-football in Europe. 3 herniated discs. Stenosis. Degenerative back disease. I was just 25, and I faced one of my biggest lows in life. It ended my football career and forced me to create a new dream.
- I think of my best friend Ken “Sawman” Sawyer getting hit by a car and tragically passing away at 51 years old. This was the same man who prompted me to “GO BIG or GO HOME” when I started my business with no clients, no money, and no business plan. His tragic death rocked my world, and I still miss that guy 9-years later.
But the disaster I want to speak about today is one that impacted 8.5 million people.
It caused $70.2 billion worth of damage
And 147 people died.
And 650,000 homes were destroyed.
This disaster was called Hurricane Sandy. The reason it’s so personal to me is it devastated my hometown, Brick, NJ, where I was born and raised. It crushed the eastern seaboard and annihilated the Jersey Shore.
I remember sitting here in San Diego, CA, 3,500 miles away, thinking, “What can I do to help all the displaced people?”
As I saw the news footage on CNN from a helicopter tour of the devastation, I recognized the towns of Pt Pleasant, Bay Head, Mantaloking, Lavallette, Seaside, and Brick. These were “my” towns. My people.
They were underwater.
Houses were destroyed.
People were displaced.
Bridges were washed away (the Mantaloking Bridge connecting Brick & Mantaloking) was gone.
I literally just sat there and thought, “What a disaster. What can I do?”
While I felt extremely hopeless for days, 5-days after the hurricane, I got an epiphany.
I got the idea to start a charity, raise money, and give it all to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Within weeks, my vision crystallized even deeper. I organized a “Virtual Summit” with motivational & educational speakers that would be donation-based, and ALL proceeds would go to families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
By the miraculous works of many, within weeks, many things were happening simultaneously…
- My dream of 5-years for creating my own non-profit foundation came to life. The Durkin IMPACT Foundation was created, and we now had a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
- Hundreds of people were signing up for the IMPACT SUMMIT.
- People were asking me, “How can I help?”
Long story short, we raised $87,000 in a mere few weeks, and 100% of that money raised through the Durkin IMPACT Foundation went back to the people in need.
I felt a calling. I felt a deeper purpose than I had ever felt or experienced before. I felt like it was the start of something special.
And it was.
Since its inception in 2012, The Durkin IMPACT Foundation has taken on a life of its own and has positively IMPACTED thousands of people.
Our mission of the Durkin IMPACT Foundation is to motivate, educate, and inspire people to improve physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and to help those in need so they could ultimately become “IMPACT-Makers” and “IMPACT-Shakers” as well.
Since 2012, the Durkin IMPACT Foundation has raised over a quarter MILLION dollars, and 100% of ALL money raised has gone back to families, individuals, or kids in need.
One of the initiatives over the past 9-years with the Foundation is to scholarship student-athletes going to 4-year colleges and universities and are in need of financial aid.
To date, we have scholarshiped 52 students in 9-years. I’m darned proud of the fact that we have helped dozens of kids attend college or university.
NOW is the time for the IMPACT Foundation to HELP again!
There are 2 things we are in NEED of…
1. We need applications for this year’s IMPACT scholarships. Accepting applications NOW!!!
If you know of any graduating high-school student-athletes who are in need of additional financial assistance for college/university, we are NOW accepting applications for the 2021 Durkin IMPACT Scholarship.
These IMPACT scholarships (up to $1,500 each) will be awarded to graduating high school students NATION-WIDE (U.S. only) based on academic merit, athletic prowess, character, and community involvement.
At least 3-scholarships will be awarded to deserving recipients. If you are a deserving high school student or know of one anywhere in the U.S., NOW is the time to apply!
Apply today (Application deadline is May 15th, 2021): https://todddurkin.com/impact-foundation/
2. Would you like to make a “tax-deductible” donation?!
While we do have specific events a couple of times a year to raise money for the IMPACT Foundation, we accept your donations year-round.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution, NOW is a great time to do that.
Again, 100% of your contributions are tax-deductible.
And 100% of your contribution goes directly to serve the mission of the Durkin IMPACT Foundation.
You can make your tax-deductible contributions here.
Disaster to Dream to Destiny
Folks, from disaster to destiny!
As a matter of fact, I would go as far as to say it was “Disaster…to Dream…to Destiny.”
From one of the nastiest hurricanes in modern history.
To sitting there contemplating how I can help out or make a difference.
To the start of a philanthropic movement to ultimately IMPACT millions of people.
That’s where we stand today.
But let me take you back to where I started this conversation…your “disaster.”
Maybe you are in the midst of your own “hurricane” right now. Whether it’s your health, a situation, an event that has happened, a tragedy in your life, or something that seems impossible, you MUST keep going. You can’t stay down forever. You gotta get up. You gotta find something “bigger” than you.
Ask yourself, “What can I do to somehow turn this into a positive?”
Take the energy from a disaster and transfer it into energy that can manifest into something special. Let it manifest into a dream and put energy behind that dream. Especially if it helps others.
Ultimately, pull the trigger on that dream and become mission-driven to live out that dream. And if that dream involves helping others or results in positively impacting humanity, the mission will take on a life of its own.
And the next thing you know, you are living a purpose-driven life. One that has recaptured your passion. Renewed your vigor. And one that will ultimately allow you to create massive IMPACT.
Sometimes when you are in the middle of the storm or drowned out by the storm, this seems impossible.
But then again, sometimes you read an article/email that gives you some hope and light, and the next thing you know, your DISASTER DRIVES A DREAM WHICH ULTIMATELY DRIVES YOUR DESTINY!
Much love, big DREAMS…and lots of IMPACT!