Michael L. Altshuler
It was about a week before my thirteenth birthday and I sat down to hand write my one page, double spaced Bar Mitzvah speech (actual copy below). I really didn't know what would come off my pencil. In fact, I really didn't give it much thought. I just started writing. I could tell you this though, what came off that pencil in the next 30 minutes or so was 100% uncensored, unfiltered, and straight from the heart. That speech on that special day revealed with total clarity who I was as a person and more importantly why I was put here on this earth. Without question my calling was to do something of EPIC proportion that would profoundly impact the lives of countless thousands in need, especially children here in America and eventually around the world.
Over many years that desire I had in my heart to help those children marginalized by society grew and finally manifested itself in my launching of "Christmas for the Kids" when I had my business back in New Jersey. This program made Christmas very special for close to 1000 homeless children over a period of 10 years. It became the area's largest privately funded program of its kind. On this memorable night, each and every child received specially selected gifts (all were wrapped; unwrapping the gift is half the fun), a visit to a fantasy Storybook amusement park decked out with one million Christmas lights complete with rides and visit with Santa, a private show and a big dinner. The amazing night was filled lots of love and hope for these special kids. And, it was after this special night each year that I knew that no amount of financial success or personal possessions that I had ever attained or would attain (and being a millionaire I had plenty) would ever come close to the euphoric feeling I had when I saw the faces on these kids and some of their moms throughout the evening. It was again, a clear reminder that this was my calling, my purpose here on earth.
Well, that brings us to today or more accurately two years ago. That is when while on a Wild at Heart Retreat I asked myself this important question: "If I know, if I really know, what my calling is, why am I not answering it?" Quite frankly the answer was I was scared. I was scared to give up the things of the material world to do something that was more of the spiritual world. A calling is not something you can touch or see, it's something you feel. As a businessman, a consultant and a CEO, I deal with strategies and results, growing sales and making more money, so to me it was a huge leap to go from doing something that is success-driven to doing something that is faith-driven. The world tells you this is crazy. I decided that to not live my calling, now that would be crazy. So, for the past 2 years and over 2000 hours I've been reading, researching, analyzing, strategizing, collaborating and creating. I'm giving this all that I have. I'm putting to use all my skills, talents and abilities. The Believe & Achieve Tour will be my defining legacy. The ship has left the pier, the pier burnt down and there's no turning back.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your interest in participating on this magical journey with me. So together we can help these at-risk kids live the lives they truly desire and deserve.
God Bless you.
Yours in service,
Michael L. Altshuler
Founder, CEO & Chief Believer