John Maxwell + The Ellie Project

Ellie stole santa's shoes

Hi!! I wanted to share an exciting story that happened in my life and it includes you! A few weeks ago, my parents went to their third Exchange conference put on by the amazing John Maxwell. If you aren’t familiar with John, he is the expert on leadership (check out his site here Exchange is John’s big yearly event of about 150-200 people who come to learn about leadership from the master of leadership himself. The event also includes meeting with and learning from top leaders and CEO’s from different organizations and industries.

One of our family’s dear friends, Dianna Kokoszka, attended the event as well. She has been a huge supporter of my late husband, Andrew’s, book, The Ellie Project, so while at the conference, she gave it to John Maxwell. When she told him the story behind the book, he handed her $200 without her even asking for anything. The next day, my dad talked to John at lunch and thanked him for the donation and said that giving us money wasn’t necessary. John said, no, he wanted to be a part of the cause and contribute to me being able to share the books with more people.

John then went on to ask my dad a lot of questions about Ellie, Andrew, and me. That’s John, so personable and someone who genuinely cares about people. I met him once at a Success Magazine conference years ago, before Andrew got sick, and we talked about being in the ministry (John used to be a Pastor and still speaks at Christian conferences). I shared with him at the time that Andrew was having a difficult season in his faith and he really listened and really cared. John made me feel seen and heard, and it left a lasting impression on me.

But, back to the present day… John told my dad that he woke up that morning and was looking through The Ellie Project and said it was an incredible children’s book! Yes, that would be the John Maxwell stamp of approval on The Ellie Project! My dad also gave the book to John’s executive assistant who has a 2-year-old. She absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait to read it to her little one.

I shared this with you today because, due to John Maxwell’s giving nature, I want to pay it forward by granting his request to get The Ellie Project into the hands of more families. Today, I want to give away 10 books to families to whom you think it would be a blessing. For those of you who have not read the book, it is Andrew’s final words of inspiration to our daughter, Ellie, before he passed away from cancer. It’s an alphabet book and he drew an animal (Ellie’s an avid animal lover) with each letter. Accompanying each letter is a love note to Ellie filled with character lessons that he wanted to instill in her throughout her life. The pictures are simple and children love them, but the words are profound and applicable no matter what your age.

One of my favorite letter’s in the book is G, because I love his drawing of the giraffe and because he says, “Ellie, sometimes you must look at things from a higher perspective to see what is really going on. Love Daddy.”

I get messages all the time from parents who love the book just as much as their kids do because Andrew’s words are inspirational and thought-provoking. I love that this book is bringing families together to have meaningful and important conversations. That’s what I think Andrew would have wanted. So if you know of a family who could use an extra dose of encouragement and inspiration, please email me directly at [email protected] with:

  • the name of the person/ family name
  • their address
  • why you think this book would be a blessing to this family.

I can’t wait to hear their stories and share this incredible book with them! Thank you for helping me to inspire other’s through Andrew’s legacy! Blessings.

P.S. My parent’s favorite quote from the Exchange event was this by John Maxwell, “Once you taste significance success will never satisfy.”

P.P.S. If you want Ellie and me to come speak and sign some Ellie Project books, shoot me an email at [email protected]. My speech is powerful, inspirational, and about living your legacy today! It’s good for men and women, corporate groups, mom’s groups, Bible Study groups, community groups, etc. Big or small, group size is of no importance. We are excited to come share this powerful message with you!

2 Responses to “John Maxwell + The Ellie Project”

  1. Mary harker

    Thank you so much for your message I will put together a list soon and get it to you ,in the meantime ,I want to order a case of books. Texting works the very best for me or a phone call I love you and I know that this is going to impact hundreds of families and children .I am so proud of you .
    God bless you precious Bailey and Ellie !
    Hugs& prayers

    • Bailey Heard

      Thank you so much Mary for your support! I just shot you an email with all the details about the books. Looking forward to hearing back from you. If you did not receive my email feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected] and I will get you all the details.Love you Mary. Blessings.