Richard Paul Evans
Richard Paul Evans is another best-selling author who pushed through rejection to make it big. He wrote a Christmas story for his two daughters while he was working as an advertising executive, but wasn’t able to get a publisher or agent to publish it.
Undaunted, he self-published the book. After it became a best-seller in his local community of Salt Lake City, Utah, he published it nationally, where it went to #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. Big publishing houses competed for the right to publish it, and when Simon & Shuster won the right to publish it, they gave Evans a $4.2 million advance, making Evans a millionaire overnight.
Evans continued to write and has written another 30 books since that first book was published, with several of them being made into television movies. Just a year after he earned that $4 million, Evans used some of his new wealth to start a charitable organization called The Christmas Box House International. This organization partners with local, national and international communities and groups to prevent child abuse and to improve the quality of life for children, teens and young adults who have been abused, neglected or are homeless.
The Christmas Box House International serves between 6,000 and 8,000 children and teens each year through programs that provide gifts for children who would not otherwise receive Christmas gifts, and emergency shelters for children are stocked with NEW donated supplies.
These emergency shelters, known as “The Christmas Box Houses,” exist in three cities in Utah, partnering with government organizations in each city to best serve the different populations. They not only provide shelter and food, they also offer therapy, medical and dental evaluations, and fun activities for the children they serve. The Christmas Box House International also has a very special program that pairs mentors with teens who are aging out of foster care and facing homelessness. Evans is on the board of directors for this organization and continues to devote much of his life to improving the lives of children.