So, over here in the United States, it’s Thanksgiving and the Holiday season. It’s a time to reflect on what you are thankful for and today I wanted to say that I’m thankful for you.

I had no idea where The Traveling Cup would go when I started it almost a year ago and I really appreciate you joining me or the ride.

A bit of news on my end: On a Giving Trip with TOMS I joined a group of change-makers in the Dominican Republic to see inside the one-for-one model that TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie, started.

Over the course of the week and with the help of a driver who could race Formula One, we zig-zagged throughout the Frogger-esque streets of Santo Domingo and worked with one of TOMS brilliant partners, Children International.

Instead of just handing out shoes, Children International (CI) provides dental and medical care, extra-curricular schooling, and a safe facility for children to play. The shoes act as one perk to continue the positive reinforcement structure CI establishes.

Here’s a bit of what I learned about the behavioral psychology behind giving back. If you just give goods away to a child because he is in need, it reinforces the mentality that acting poor means receiving goods. Instead, if you give goods as a reward for going to school and receiving medical checkups, then this helps break the poverty cycle. It reinforces positive behavior and better helps the children live the remarkable lives they are destined to live.

On my flight home the other day, I thought of this incredible little boy Dominique and the volleyball team that giggled at my attempt to join them on the court. As I drifted off into sleep, I thought of the bed they would sleep in at night. I thought of how I went on this trip thinking that I would be the teacher. And instead, I returned the student.

And here’s my big ask for this Thanksgiving season.

I’d love for you to join me in sponsoring a child. For less than a meal at a restaurant, you could provide a month of medical and dental care along with schooling that will help little children like Dominique grow into the remarkable lives they are destined to live.

Here’s the link to make it happen.

All right, let’s jump into today’s interview w/ the former comedian turned marketing genius, David Spark.

David joins us on the coffee chat today to share his journey in the social media marketing world. He is the founder of Spark Media Solutions and the author of the book “Hazardous to Your Social Media Health: 50 Previously Condoned Behaviors We No Longer Recommend”.

Pick up a free copy of his book with this link here.

So take sip of your favorite coffee brew and enjoy the episode. Afterward, come say hi on Twitter @markwguay.

Cheers!

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The Traveling Cup © 2016