Chad Qualls first read the poem “Don’t You Quit” in his high school dorm room at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. At the time he could appreciate the poem’s intrinsic message but it didn’t fully resonate — he was young, idealistic and there were few, if any, uphill battles, sighs and debts in sight.
Years later, though, as a Mechanical Engineering student at Florida A&M University the poem popped back into his head — and, this time, it echoed louder than before. “When the road you’re trudging seems all-uphill…” The words were so true and so in line with his experiences at that moment in time — and, from this moment, on this poem seemed to mirror his own life, no matter where the journey led.
He navigated Corporate America and, after leaving GE to explore his entrepreneurial goals and then being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2014 he assured himself that, “Life is queer with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns…” As he underwent treatment at Johns Hopkins University he reminded himself over and over, “Rest if you must, but don’t you quit…” It would be the fight of his life and, likewise, one that would change his life forever.
During these twists and turns Chad saw first hand how friends and family supported him mentally, physically and financially — and it was then that the final takeaways from this poem rang true. “As every one of us sometimes learns…” What had he learned? That it was that support that enabled him to keep pushing and never quit. “Don’t You Quit,” it seemed, chronicled his own journey through life, health, sickness and beyond –his journey to DirectlyTo, a non-profit organization that enables members to donate directly to personal causes they believe in.
This is Chad’s story — and this is our story. It’s the story of DirectlyTo and the story of how we never quit — and how we’ll ensure countless others stay the course, too.
Welcome to DirectlyTo. We pledge to help you to help each other. We pledge to give back even more than we’ve ever received. We pledge to be different and to show the world that one person can make a difference. And we pledge to, together, make an impact like no other. Our only ask? “Don’t You Quit.”