The Right Thing to Do Children’s Book will benefit Thumbs Up!

There are a lot of fun things happening for THUMBS UP through this fantastic children’s book called “The Right Thing to Do.” The story is written by our friend, Joe Schmit, the foreword is by Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame legend Joe Mauer, and it is illustrated by the very talented Kevin Cannon

The book is a story that has a special meaning to our Executive Director, Katie Shatusky; you see, in 2014, after losing her grandfather to suicide, her husband Todd gifted her Joe Schmit’s book called Silent Impact. That book was one of the reasons why THUMBS UP exists. Silent Impact was all about making a silent impact and doing the right thing for others.

After losing her grandfather, Bob Schmit, Katie felt called to do something more. She didn’t know what “that” was. So, after reading Joe’s book, she was out for a run one day when the light bulb moment happened for her. She had the idea to start a 5K memorial run to remember my grandfather, all while bringing the community together for a greater purpose: to shine a BRIGHT light on a very dark and stigmatic topic: mental health.

That summer, a group of community members started planning the event. Over 500 participants showed up, and Joe Schmit was our keynote speaker.

One of the stories in Joe’s book is called No Average Joe. It is about Joe Mauer back when he was in high school at Cretin-Derham Hall. He did something his senior year that is still being felt today. One day in his fourth-hour class, he asked a student by the name of Mike Hally to sit with him at his lunch table. Mike just so happened to be blind. Mike was getting very few invitations to the lunch table, and Joe Mauer knew that. When asked why, his response was, “It was the right thing to do.” Hence the name of this Children’s Book. 

Fast forward to the pandemic: Katie was watching her daughter struggle. Her daughter had been distance learning for over a year. When it was finally time to go back to school, her daughter didn’t know anyone during her lunch hour, so she went to the counseling office to eat her lunch every day. A few weeks after doing that, her daughter shared that information with Katie. Katie was instantly reminded of the story of Joe Mauer and Mike Hally. She wondered if there was a way to tell this story on a grander scale. She contacted Joe Schmit and asked if he would do a few speaking engagements at some local school. Katie wrote a grant with Sherburne County Area United Way and secured $5,000 to make this all happen. After pondering this idea, it became apparent that it would be better to make a short video telling the story. Katie asked Joe Schmit if he would ask Joe Mauer to help tell the story, and much to her surprise, Joe Mauer agreed. The coolest part of the story is that we got to reunite Joe Mauer and Mike Hally at Cretin-Derham Hall, in the same lunchroom at the same lunch table where they had sat 21 years prior. From this story, No One Sits Solo Program was born.

We feel very fortunate for Joe Schmit and all that he has done to support the Thumbs Up organization. 

For more information on the book The Right Thing to Do, visit 

Media for The Right Thing to Do:

Twin Cities Live Interview

KSTP-TV Interview with Joe Mauer and Joe Schmit

The Joe Mauer and Mike Hally Story

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