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At Your Service cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-914772-0
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-914770-6
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 270 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-914771-3
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 270 pages
  • Keywords
    • Philanthropy,
    • Authorized biography,
    • Humanitarian,
    • Caring for elderly,
    • Medical charity,
    • Education & poverty,
    • International aid

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At Your Service
Authorized Biography of Eugene "Uncle Gene" Verdu
by Mike Stith

Some people spend a lifetime looking for their life’s purpose. Others just know. Eugene “Gene” Verdu had a calling. From the time he was a child, he knew he was meant to help others by any means possible. At Your Service recounts this universally loved man’s extraordinary life as a teacher and philanthropist. From the age of 17, he was a leader in humanitarian outreach. Following years of volunteer work in Central America, he founded the Belize Children’s Project. This organization connects medical professionals, caregivers, and host families with children who have orthopedic disabilities and provides high-quality medical care at no cost to these children. Through his hard work with the Belize Children’s Project, Gene saw firsthand the value that a network of philanthropists and charitable organizations can deliver to the underprivileged, impoverished, and marginalized people of all ages. To this very day, the generations of kids he has helped in Belize refer to him as “Uncle Gene.” Equally as significant are his contributions to elderly citizens through his tireless charitable work, including his role in starting programs that have benefited thousands, including local, regional programs. Gene was nominated by multiple U.S. presidents four times as a voting delegate at the White House Conference on Aging. He also served as Chairman of the Illinois Council on Aging. This selfless man’s lifelong desire and drive to help others were infectious. Family, friends, and even those kids he helped in Belize were inspired by Gene’s love for humanity. Many went on to work in charity in some capacity. Gene passed away in early 2022, but not before sharing his life story with Mike Stith. As this book was being written, his unflagging hope was that this story would inspire others to reach out and find ways in which they, too, can help their fellow human beings. What better legacy could he—or anyone, for that matter—leave behind? All proceeds from At Your Service are donated to Gene’s 501c3 public charity called the Uncle Gene Foundation.

Mike Stith photo

After majoring in Journalism at Kent State University, Mike Stith has spent most of his career utilizing his skills as a writer. In 2008, his mother Mary’s health began to fail, and he accepted early retirement from his 30-year professional career to become a caregiver for her. Mike spent hours, days, and weeks visiting Mary in hospitals, nursing homes, and eventually hospice care. He tried every possible way to cheer her up while in pain. One day, running out of things to try, he began asking random interview-style questions about her life experiences, such as falling in love, what life was like back then, favorite pet stories, etc. Others in the room who overheard the questions also wanted to play along. Roommates, friends, and even hospital staff participated. As he asked questions about their history, stories came pouring out. He often heard the phrase “I wished I would have written that story down.” or “I should write a book someday.” Mike realized that people everywhere are eager to share life stories. Furthermore, he has witnessed the positive effect on their emotional well-being and spirit, including his mother. There began a new passion. Since then, Mike has visited many families, retirement communities, historical societies, and senior organizations to help promote the value of guided story sharing. In 2013, Mike and his wife, Sonja, founded One Legacy LLC, a family-run social enterprise dedicated to sharing the legacies of people of all ages, especially seniors. One Legacy works with individuals or organizations to help preserve precious memories for future generations via story publications or books. In 2019, Mike met Eugene Verdu for the first time. They spent almost three years collaborating on At Your Service. Eugene’s life has been a huge inspiration to so many people in the United States and Belize, and Mike is privileged to be able to share his story. He hopes people will feel compelled to help others after reading this book, just as he and so many others did after meeting Eugene. Mike and Sonja live in the small town of Oakland, Arkansas. Besides being CEO of One Legacy LLC, he is writing his next book, Broken Collar Mended Heart, The Life Story of Father James Mathew Vargo. Mike helped launch the Uncle Gene Foundation, a public charity founded by Mr. Verdu. He currently volunteers as President of the board of directors of the Love a Senior Company, a non-profit organization based in Pueblo, CO, dedicated to providing programs that celebrate senior-hood around the country. To learn more about Mike Stith and One Legacy LLC, please visit


Mike Stith

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