By Katie O’Connor
Local author Dr. Shellie Hipsky’s latest book, Ordinary People Extraordinary Planet, is uplifting, profound, and highlights the lives of 12 individuals who have gone above and beyond their call of community duty.
Each chapter of the book is based on interviews performed by her writing partner, Ray Leonard, on his radio talk show, Ordinary People Extraordinary Planet. After appearing on the show, Dr. Hipsky knew how to help spread the message of these moving people. “I’m just amazed by the people that I’ve met and I’ve come in contact with: They’re just so inspirational. I’m excited to share those stories,” she says.
These touching tales of ordinary people include that of Mary K. Hoodhood, a quadriplegic and founder of Kid’s Food Basket, which feeds more than 3,800 kids daily, and Roy Juarez Jr., who was homeless at the age of 14, along with his two younger siblings, and is now a speaker with the Homeless by Choice Tour.
Twenty-five percent of the profits will go to the charities featured in the book. Each of the 12 chapters “features a specific charity, based upon what that person went through or something that’s special to their own heart,” she says. This concept is familiar to Dr. Hipsky, who has been a supporter of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund for the last six years.
In addition to being a mother, an associate professor at Robert Morris University, publishing five books and more than 100 articles, earning the status of “Luminary Author,” speaking at schools, including Oxford University, and raising money for charities, Dr. Hipsky is also set to appear in Inspirational Women Magazine and on camera, both in films and TV. Says Hipsky of her inspirational work, “Maybe someone who hasn’t really thought about volunteering before will go out there and dedicate their time and energy. That would be wonderful.”