MIC Blog


The MIC Blog is also known as Michael’s Veranda, because when Michael was a child he lived with his grandfather, Melbourne, and they would relax on the veranda together.

It was here, outside the concrete house with its tin roof, that Melbourne liked to sit in the evening with a view of the neighboring hills and the other houses dotted here and there on the slopes.

Michael would join him, and they'd spend time chatting; Michael as a young boy learning through talking with his grandfather, and Melbourne as an elder passing on his own wisdom and knowledge.

A bond was created there, a bond that would last and now forms the legacy that is the Melbourne and Michael Folkes Foundation.

Character lessons

Of all of the projects taken on by our Foundation, the one of which I'm most proud is Mighty In Character. Its title conveys perfectly what we want our children to be. No matter how good-looking, how prosperous or how talented you are, all of that means nothing if you are character-deficient.

Don't think that people won't notice. Your character is always…

Speaking out

On Thursday, May 21, I was granted the opportunity to become the Keynote Speaker at Riverview Elementary’s Sixth Grade Recognition Program in Hamilton. 

With 72 children (and their parents and other family members) in the audience, I first traced briefly my own background of poverty, starvation, hardship and abuse. Then I spoke of that period as an adult when I was homeless and living…

What you say is what you get

Words have power. If you doubt that, just watch what happens when someone verbally attacks someone else, particularly in regard to traits the recipient cannot control, like race, ethnicity, intelligence and/or physical disability. Those are the cruelest of taunts, and the long-term effects are deadly––because they assault not only the feature, but also the person.

For most of…

Hug your teachers

They arrive at school early, stay late, update lesson plans and grade papers through their weekends. They lead gently, speak softly and usher children toward heights even their own families never imagined they could reach.

Where else but in education can you find such unified, persistent, unflagging dedication?

Teacher Appreciation Day is scheduled this year on Tuesday,…

A second chance, a fresh start

If there’s one universal behavioral trait among human beings, it has to be this: We all make mistakes. But those mistakes range from redeemable (forgetting to zip your jacket before venturing outside into a snowstorm) to misguided and/or tragic (robbing a drugstore or hot-wiring a car).

That second category can color your life forever. Even after you’ve served your time and…

A Green Initiative

Imagine a world where nothing goes to waste, not ever. Where the words “garbage” and “litter” become relics from another age––like “record player” or “phone booth.” Well, that day is rapidly approaching, thanks to recycling and a heightened worldwide corporate awareness.

The M.A. Folkes Co., Inc., in partnership with Xerox Corporation and MillerCoors Brewery, makes…

Who is Patchy?

You’ll find him on our MIC (Mighty In Character) website. He’s an animated figure, a small boy entrusted with a sacred mission––to translate for children the importance of always behaving well and adhering to five fundamental elements of ethical citizenship: truthfaithcouragekindness and gratitude.

How to revisit the past

It’s an odd feeling to realize how little my past life has to do with my current one. My entire existence was once defined by immediate surroundings––my grandparents’ house with its bare-bones kitchen and outdoor bathroom. Primitive, to be sure, but somehow saturated with strict yet loving discipline.

Some of us need not just to change our lives, but to replace them––so that…


“Rejoice in life’s disappointments, because if you look closely enough, you will see the marvelous opportunities that exist in those situations.”

This is one of my favorite aphorisms––but early on, it was so very difficult to accept. Like most of us, I occasionally, though briefly, caught myself wallowing in my own misfortune.

Being cast out of a relative’s home not…

What I learned as a bartender

From my first day on the staff of a well-known cruise line, I loved it. Elegant surroundings, excellent food, infectious excitement, round-the-clock entertainment––all buoyed my spirits, even after I had logged an exhausting twelve-hour shift.

So I made it my business to spoil shamelessly all vacationing guests. I darted around like the Energizer Bunny, refilling cocktail glasses…

Latest Posts