I must confess that my children have accused me of being exactly like the people Progressive commercials make fun of—and I am guilty as charged. Sure, I was embarrassed when the commercials first came out. I was still printing directions for long roadtrips. But I have come to embrace the fact that I am that guy, and that’s OK.
 
The Progressive commercial’s slogan, “To protect you from becoming like your parents,” initially had a chilling effect on my behavior. I found myself trying not to be like the people they made fun of—which was difficult because I’m chock full of interesting things to say to complete strangers. And I do like to keep my garbage cans clean and my hedges trimmed…

Progressive’s Dr. Rick passing on some bad advice.

For a good ten-year run, I went to the local Hungry Howie’s for pizza every Friday night and often found the owner of that store running the counter. We talked about sports, our kids, and ideas on how to get more loyal customers like me. Was he offended? No! He started giving me free Hungry Howie’s gear to wear around town and even changed my name in their records so that his team called me “Big Mike” when I phoned in my order. We moved away a few years back, but not before he had opened two new stores. I like to think I helped with that.

I believe that G. K. Chesterton holds more weight than Dr. Rick for good life advice. He wrote, “We are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”

If you see yourself in the Progressive commercials and you’re looking for a cause to align your time and your passion, don’t let the commercials intimidate you. Instead, please email me and let me know.

We have 800 of the most amazing young people in the world on scholarships in developing nations, and they need people who don’t mind talking to strangers on their behalf. It costs just over $3,000 to provide each one with a holistic scholarship for a year, and they need champions and advocates!

Tucker and I will be doing a barnstorming tour this year to cities across America where we have strong school or church partnerships in place (or in the works), including:

  • Ann Arbor
  • Chicago
  • Columbus
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • New York
  • Phoenix
  • Toledo
  • Washington, DC

If you live or work near one of these cities and would like to meet with us next time we are in town, please reply to this email to let me know.

Even if you don’t have time to give, keep being you, boo! We make the world better together.

Mike Tenbusch, IntSam President

Mike joined IntSam in 2018 after two decades of leading social change in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. He’s a University of Michigan Law grad and author of The Jonathan Effect: Helping Kids and Schools Win the Battle Against Poverty. He and his wife, Maritza, have three children who keep them young.

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