Costas Varkarotas (CV) is shouting through DPN Blog (DPN) in this interview Wake Up people. Read the interview and hopefully some of us wil help our World to become a better place! Young heroes are giving life leasons.
DPN: Costas you are a successful professional who is operation in the trade fair industry in Las Vegas. How’s the business nowadays in U.S?
CV: Its been a very challenging last three years, I believe our industry is going through a trying time and frankly needs to reinvent itself.
DPN: Las Vegas is one of the most sparkling cities globally. How is it to live there?
CV: Just like every other city, it has its plusses and minus. It's definitely a unique city, very plastic, exciting and vibrant... This truly is a town that never sleeps.
DPN: Originally you are from Greece but living in the U.S for all your life. Which place do you consider your hometown and why?
CV: I was born in Greece and grew up there, it’s very dear to my heart definitely...went to school in the US and have lived in Asia for close to ten years....I'm truly a man without a home, just kidding....I guess I can call the US Home for now.
DPN: Costas one of your children, Christopher is a child that deals with a terminal disease every day and you witness that pain. That situation was your motivation to begin the foundation “EXHIBIT 4 SMILES”. Share with us what exactly is the “EXHIBIT 4 SMILES”?
CV: Christopher is our inspiration..He's a very special child who has literally taught me many things about life. Through our personal experience, we have witnessed how many families in the same situation deal with this challenge. A couple of years back when I decided to help out before the holidays, I witnessed a little girl who was in agony at the children's clinic. When I gave her a gift, for a few seconds she forgot about her pain and her beautiful smile appeared. That was it for me, I knew then and there what I had to do....
DPN: Are you receiving details on what each child want?
CV: Sometimes, however, this year we have established a form that will be given to the child's parents that can give us some insight on what they like...
DPN: What is the vision for “EXHIBIT 4 SMILES”?
CV: The vision is simple, grow expand and place as many smiles on these children's faces as possible.
DPN: In “EXHIBIT 4 SMILES” you just ask 50 US Dollars per child. How big is the response from the people?
CV: It's been great. This started as a grassroots foundation and now its taking off...I'm just thrilled. This year, the EDPA has joined us and hopefully together, we can take this great cause nationwide and hopefully down the road across the globe...
DPN: How do communicate your cause to the public so to reach awareness for it?
CV: E-mails, phone calls, word of mouth and now social media...We have a page on Linkedin and Facebook (Exhibit 4 Smiles)
DPN: Last Christmas a number of companies and individuals supported your foundation from a number of countries. May you let us know from which sides of Earth did you receive assistance?
CV: We received support from Dubai, Germany, Greece, Singapore and across the US.
DPN: As “EXHIBIT 4 SMILES” has an international following. How do you handle the international donations outside from the U.S and how would you prefer people from overseas to proceed with?
CV: I found the best and easiest thing to do is go to the Toys R Us website and purchase a $50 gift certificate or more depending on what you would like to donate. They will e-mail the link to us and we can go out and buy a gift on the sponsor's behalf.
DPN: Describe us the feeling during the “delivery day”?
CV: Ahhh...amazing!!! Words cannot describe the emotions of that day...First, the children when they receive their gifts are just so joyous and happy, and it’s priceless. Sometimes the reality hits you, when the nurse/parent shares with you their child's condition; it’s just amazing what these kids endure....Then there's the element of the parents themselves. It's truly magical!
DPN: There are a number of children dealing with terminal diseases all around the world. Would you like one day “EXHIBIT 4 SMILES” to spread all around the world?
CV: Absolutely, then I know that I have made a contribution in this world that truly matters....
DPN: One of your aims is to create a website for your foundation. As I am sure a number of web designers are reading this time your interview how do you think that they could voluntarily support your cause?
CV: Yes, it’s my next step and I am open to any assistance with that from anyone out there....
DPN: How many children did you manage to make them smile last Christmas?
CV: Over 70...we hope to reach 100++ this year here in Las Vegas and we are targeting six/seven other cancer clinics around the country.
DPN: On behalf of DPN and of our readers, let me wish you all the best for your cause. We do wish that the next Christmas you will become the Santa Claus for a number of children that you never imagined before. For our readers who would like to support you cause, let us know how they could contact with you?
CV: Absolutely...If you would like to participate and sponsor a child, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to join my network on Exhibit 4 Smiles on www.linkedin.com
DPN: As a closing may you share with us a wish?
CV: Peace on earth and a cure for cancer and other terminal diseases. Children are innocent and deserve a simple life without drama...Thank you for your support and kind words. I love what you do and I wish you great success.