"A Christmas Tale" Children's Book Benefits Glaucoma Research
"A Christmas Tale" is a story of two families coming together by chance in the true spirit of Christmas. And purchasing this heartwarming children's book by author Sam Polakoff has a very important side benefit — it may help cure glaucoma.
Polakoff donates 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of "A Christmas Tale" to the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a glaucoma cure.
Published in 2007, "A Christmas Tale" — the story of a family of homeless cats and a police officer looking for a last-minute holiday gift for his daughters — results in "a nice check" every year for the foundation, says Thomas Brunner, president and CEO of GRF.
The story behind the book
"Writing a children's story is something I always wanted to do," says Polakoff, who is CEO and president of supply chain management company Nexterus.
The children's book is drawn from a nugget in one of Polakoff's daily inspirational emails to Nexterus employees.
The story of "A Christmas Tale" centers on the family of hungry cats huddled in a warehouse and a police officer who has put off to the last minute finding a gift for his two young daughters.
The happy ending? The cats are the surprise gift, and it's the best Christmas ever.
The moral of the story is that there are no coincidences. The officer was meant to find the family of cats and give them a loving home.
The moral of Polakoff's decision to donate the proceeds from sales of the book to glaucoma research is that one person — especially someone who follows their dream — can make a real difference in people's lives.
Why glaucoma research?
Polakoff has a personal as well as a philanthropic reason for helping researchers find a glaucoma cure — he, like more than 2.2 million other Americans, has primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the sight-threatening eye disease.
Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And though there are glaucoma treatments available to manage the disease, no cure currently exists. Most people who suffer from glaucoma must put medicated eye drops in their eyes daily to reduce their risk of vision loss.
Also, there are no early warning signs of glaucoma. Routine comprehensive eye exams are the only way to detect the disease before permanent vision loss occurs.
"A Christmas Tale" epilogue
Since the publication of "A Christmas Tale," Polakoff has continued juggling his roles as business executive and author. His sci-fi thriller, Hiatus," was published in 2018 and "Shaman" was published in 2019.
Though he and his wife Denise shuttered the Polakoff Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against glaucoma, a few years ago, their work to increase awareness of the eye disease continues through their contributions to the Glaucoma Research Foundation and other activities.
Polakoff "always has been very committed to doing all he can to increase awareness, education and fundraising for glaucoma research," GRF's Brunner says.
"A Christmas Tale" can be purchased at Amazon.com.
Page updated January 2021