The Power of Giving – Jada Carlson, Hannah Montana and The Rest of the Story!

March 20, 2008

The other day I received a wonderful e-mail from an unexpected source – Jada Carlsons mother – Faith.

As a reminder and for a little background, many months back there was a story about a young girl in Garland, Texas who (with the help of her month) created a fictious story to win Hannah Montana tickets. When uncovered it took the news media by storm. As a teen ethics speaker through the Choices Foundation, I wrote a blog about the lesson that this young girls mother taught and the consequences that followed.

Soon after the story broke another that was 180 degrees opposite captured the attention of the media. This story was filled with love, compassion, giving and helped to restore faith that our youth can have ethics and morals – knowing that doing the right thing is the best and will produce positive results.

Faith’s e-mail stated the following:

Mr. Gallagher,

I just wanted to send you a quick thank you for highlighting Jada Carlsons gift and the concept to so many that giving does not have to have expectations in the least. I am Jada Carlsons mom Faith and she is the little girl that at 5 years old “gets it”.

I was not sure if you heard the back story but after givng the Miley Cyrus tickets to Gabby, Jada recieved 4 front row tickets to that concert, backstage passes and 3 hours on the tour bus eating lunch and sifting through all the tour bus treasures all gifts from the Miley Cyrus group that saw her deed on ShowBiz Tonight.

I, like yourself, understand life is not about getting ahead or how much money you make but about positive choices and more importantly making the choices to help others. Some people get it and some people do not but I hope your book coming out can help a few “Life has no purpose” individuals. I truely think we all have a calling and I like yourself have also published a book but by choice have not really publicly promoted it yet. If you have chance to peek at it the title is ” My Life My Story” on Dorrance Publishing”s website. ūüôā long story short I wanted to let you know that has you mentioned in your article the rewards were yet to come from Jada”s gift…What comes around came around and she was delighted to enjoy the concert from her front row seats.

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Recently as she has begun to read (she is only 5 and in kindergarten) we have made it a choice to visit a local nursing home and “adopt a grandma” to read to on Fridays. This recently has been the next big “adventure” and she has met a very friendly elderly resident “Margaret Kamping with a K” Jada now calls her Grandma Kamping…they have only met 2x so far.

With hopes your success continues and again thank you for the pleasant article about Jada, we printed it and placed it with the photos from the concert. God Bless and keep up the great work.. as Oprah Whinfrey said The Universe can dream a bigger dream then you ever could imagine when you are of service to one another!

Well Faith…I know that you didn’t send this to me to be published, but I think others need to know the rest of the story about Jada and her giving perspective. It is true – if you plant the right seeds you will have an abundant harvest. Jada is living proof that you reap what you sow. I hope you forgive me for letting the world know about your story as well and the book you’ve written. For Faith’s book information click here.

My best to you both and as you have time drop me a line and let me know how Jada is doing. Perhaps she might find it in her heart to be a part of the Choices Foundation – an organization dedicated to helping youth understand the power of choice in their lives.

For any readers – your comments are welcome!


Hannah Montana Tickets and A Heart Warming Positive Ethics Story!

January 10, 2008

No doubt most people have heard of the terrible incident where a Dallas area mother made up a story for her child in order to win prized Hannah Montana tickets. The story entitled “My Daddy Died This Year In Iraq.” Of course, the story was later found to be false and the tickets were withdrawn.

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Showbiz tonight (part of CNN) has reported a truly touching story – in fact a polar opposite story compared to the which made headlines across the country. Here (as reported) a five year old girl – Jada Carlson – donated her Hannah Montana tickets to another for a truly selfless reason.

According to the report, Jada received expensive Hannah Montana tickets for Christmas from her mom Faith. While Jada was excited about going to the show, there was a story about one of Jada’s school mates – Gabby. It was reported that Gabby had been in and out of the hospital and people in her community have held fund raisers for her family to help with doctor bills.

Jada felt that Gabby needed one more thing to help her with the difficult time she was facing. So, in an act of selfless love, Jada gave Gabby her tickets so that “Gabby would know that Jada really did care!”

According to Jada’s mother – the only thing she asked of Gabby was that sometime in the future 30 years from now, she would remember and “pay it forward.”

Watching that video story was heart warming. To see the video click here: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/showbiz/2008/01/10/anderson.sbt.montana.miracle.cnn

Kudos to a child who saw past the personal value of self-gratification and enjoyed the greater value of “giving!”¬† As a teen ethics speaker and founder of the Choices Foundation, you bet that this story will be used to contrast the difference between the consequences that come from right acts.

Every choice has a consequence.¬† I speak about the “Truth about Consequences.”¬† http://www.chuckgallagher.com ¬†¬† In the first example the consequences for lying were humiliation and loss of the tickets.¬† In this example the benefits for right actions have been incredible publicity and benefits that are yet to come.

What do you think?  Feel free to comment!


Hannah Montana – No Tickets For False Essay – Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher Comments

December 31, 2007

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The Problem:

As reported, a six year old girl in Garland, TX had, what was thought to be a winning entry in a Hannah Montana essay contest. The essay started with the words, “My daddy died this year in Iraq.”

Problem was…that statement was false. The essay was a lie and created to win the contest.

According to the Dallas Morning News the child’s mother stated, ” “We wrote whatever we could to win,” she said. “It said to write an essay. It never said it had to be true. I never said it was true. … It was just an essay. We wrote whatever we could to win.”

Now isn’t that a skewed perspective. Lie in an essay to win and then think that such an action is alright!

The Outcome:

The prize was withdrawn according to Club Libby Lu’s chief executive officer, Mary Drolet. For more information about the withdrawn prize the following was contained in the Dallas Morning News article written by Tawnell D. Hobbs:

Asked why the prize was withdrawn, spokeswoman Robyn Caulfield referred to a prepared statement from Ms. Drolet. The statement said the company had wanted to take ample time to gather facts and make an “appropriate decision” on whether to award the concert tickets and other prizes to the family. It said the company had learned the essay was false after awarding the grand prize.

“We value honesty and integrity, and in order to uphold those values, we have made the decision we have made,” Ms. Caulfield said, referencing Ms. Drolet’s statement.

The company will award the concert trip to another girl, according to Ms. Drolet’s statement. The name of the new winner is being withheld to maintain the family’s privacy, the statement said.

The Lesson(s):

Every choice has a consequence. This is a statement that is made in most every presentation I give. http://www.chuckgallagher.com

Whether it is to a business organization, an association, or a group of teens or college students, ethical behavior has one common thread – you cannot escape the consequences of the choices you make.

Certainly in this case the consequences fell into several areas:

  1. One the little girl was taught a lesson from her mom – Winning at all costs will not yield a positive result if the win comes from a dishonest foundation.
  2. Mom has shown her ethical foundation based on the comments she made and considering the publicity she has received, she is the recipient of consequences as well.
  3. The example shown by Club Libby Lu as set a standard and example for young girls “tweens” as they are called. I respect Ms. Drolet for taking the stand for ethical behavior and allowing the consequence for unethical behavior to take place.

Perhaps this simple chapter might make a life long impression on the life of a little six year old and be a message for others to take head from.

Every choice has a consequence and doing “whatever we could to win” will not always yield positive results.

Your comments are welcome. Do you agree with the position taken by Club Libby Lu?


Hannah Montana and An Ethics Meltdown – Anything For Success? Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher Comments!

December 31, 2007

A sad story out of Garland, Texas (not far from my home in Southlake, TX). A story of Iraq, a little girl, compassion and all for Hannah Montana tickets.

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The little girl was six years old who won Hannah Montana tickets to a sold out concert for the touching essay she wrote. What a special reward for a girl who touched the hearts of those who read.

The essay was a fake – the story told a lie! All done to influence the judges and win the tickets. Ethical choices gone bad and at six years old (and get this) with the knowledge (and likely help) of her mother.

The Associated Press story featured on CNN is shown below: http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Music/12/29/fake.essay.ap/index.html

Here’s what took place:

  • Club Libby Lu, a store that sells clothes, accessories and games intended for young girls based out of Chicago, sponsored a contest which included airfare for four to a sold-out Hannah Montana concert on January 9th in Albany, NY.
  • The little girl who won had an essay whose first line began with: “My daddy died this year in Iraq.”
  • The story wasn’t true!
  • Priscilla Ceballos, the little girls mother, told an interviewer with KDFW (a Dallas, TX TV station), “We did whatever we could to win.”

Mary Drolet, the CEO for Club Libby Lu stated, “We regret that the original intent of the contest, which was to make a little girl’s holiday extra special, has not been realized in the way we anticipated.” The company is considering taking away the girls tickets.

What should the outcome be?

I seriously doubt that a six year old girl could come up with a deception that contrived on her own. She had to have had help and her mother has as much admitted her part in the overall deception.

If the little girl were allowed to keep the prize, including the tickets, it would send a clear message that unethical behavior (regardless of who made the decision) is alright. It’s not alright!

If the little girl had the tickets revoked, while she would likely be hurt, it would demonstrate at a very young age, something that I state to groups all over the country, that every choice has a consequence. Reality is, by your choices you determine the consequences you receive – negative consequences (loss of the tickets) or positive results (enjoyment of the prize).

Either way, her mother, through national attention, has been exposed as a liar and a person who was willing, as she put it, to do “whatever we could do to win.” The likely outcome for their family will play out in many ways for time to come.

What do you think the outcome should be? Your comments are welcome.

Do you think that children and teens are taught ethics or is ethical behavior instinctive? Again, your comments are welcome.

For now, Motivational and Ethics Speaker, Chuck Gallagher signing off.