Author and entrepreneur Shad Arnold in February released his first book, "Claire's Dad: How I Earned the Title," a collection of personal stories and anecdotes where Arnold offers fathers practical and helpful advice on developing a lifetime connection with their daughters, including a checklist for dads at the conclusion of each chapter. Arnold contends that the role of fathers has been discounted over the years and that it is time to reverse that trend.
For Arnold, it was a natural choice to commit a portion of the book sales as well as his speaking engagements towards on-going projects for the Novitas Foundation, a charity which he founded and where he serves as International Executive Director, providing aid and humanitarian relief in a number of third-world countries.
Most recently, Novitas provided over 500,000 meals to children's hospitals in three northern provinces in North Korea following a devastating typhoon, and while some charities spend a significant amount of money on overhead, Arnold says Novitas' financials are easier to reconcile since 100% of the public donations it receives are contributed directly to project expenses to serve people in need.
Speaking about "Claire's Dad," the author says the book was never really planned in the first place, but that it was simply the musings of a dad reminiscing 20 years of life with his only daughter.
"After moving Claire into the dorm at college and attending orientation, all of the emotions, thoughts, dreams and more of our life together just landed on my heart," says Arnold, "so I decided to record them by writing a few things down. One thought became a chapter, then another, and another. A few days later, my wife Janelle said 'Maybe this is a book.'"
The book was written in a short period of time, but Arnold says the seeds of the idea had been planted over the course of his daughter's upbringing.
"Over the years, a number of friends, family, and colleagues have commented on certain aspects of the relationship that exists between Claire and I, and have stated 'You should write that down,' 'You should create a Father-Daughter Blog,' or 'You should write a book about how you've raised Claire.' Funny, because although I have many other books I plan to write, I didn't really consider this one of them."
While Arnold hopes the book helps men become better fathers, he ultimately wants it to be successful so that Novitas Foundation can advance further in their work to aid children around the world.
"We set up Novitas on a strictly volunteering basis," says Arnold, "no one gets a dime of salary so that 100% of every dollar received goes to relief, innovation, and sustainable development projects and expenses to help people and communities worldwide build a better future. This book is just a simple expression of the love I have for my daughter, but if it can be a catalyst to help children who live in desperate circumstances around the world, that would be an enormous blessing. And I know Claire would love that."