We at the 826 family are devastated to hear about the death of Robin Williams. Early in the days of 826 Valencia, Robin sponsored one of our first Young Authors' Book Projects -- and did so in a way only Robin Williams could. He visited Galileo Academy of Science and Technology, a public high school in San Francisco, to inspire their students to write essays on the theme of "home," and he not only talked about the importance of hard work in the process of self-expression, but he put on a show! The students were thrilled, laughed till they cried, and were thoroughly inspired. From Robin's visit and inspirational words came the book Home Wasn't Built in a Day
, a riveting, beautifully written collection of student writing that has sold thousands of copies and gave these students a profound sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and the uniquely empowering knowledge that they were heard. The students were amazed that someone of Robin's stature -- and stature in the Bay Area in particular -- would visit their school, and so fully support their writing -- he even paid the print bill! He wrote a wonderful essay to accompany the book, and that essay can be read below. We wish peace to Robin's family and hope that the world will remember Robin Williams as not only a once-in-millenium talent, but one of the world's most generous and big-hearted citizens.