“LegacyKept is a social project at its heart, serving families and communities, bringing people together, bridging generational gaps and ideally making this a movement,” says Christopher Newport University (CNU) graduate Brad Brewer. Brewer continues, “In addition to graduating from CNU, I later served as director for the CNU Center for Community Engagement and the Bonner Service Scholars Program from 2013 to 2018. I lived out my passion for healthy community and helped foster restorative relationships across generations and races.”
Brewer gives more background about LegacyKept, saying, “In 1997, my grandfather, Sidney Brewer, a WWII fighter pilot, wrote a book about his life and our family that he published for his kids and grandkids. He died of cancer just two years later, but his book has helped me understand my roots and develop a vision for my life.”
LegacyKept became a reality when four CNU grads decided to team up: Brewer and his wife Heidi Brewer; Asa Townsend (a former CNU student); and Heidi’s father, John Naylor, who is a software programmer. Brad explains, “We teamed up and launched a social enterprise called LegacyKept that makes it easy for people to answer 30 online interview questions about their life and turn their answers into a beautiful hardcover book they can give as gifts to their kids, grandkids and friends. Our dream is to encourage as many people as possible to get their story in writing for three main reasons:
- Their own benefit: There is compelling research about the health of reflection-writing among seniors.
- The benefit of future generations: So much important history and identity is lost when these stories and lessons are not preserved in writing.
- The benefit of current relationships: My dad is writing his legacy now, and already our conversations about it have been remarkably restorative. It’s a beautiful way to help our nation and families bridge the generation gap. This is both relevant and timely!”
Brad elaborates about the process and product. The person being interviewed can type (or dictate to a loved one) his/her answers at any pace. Some people aim for one question a day, for example. Each question becomes a customizable chapter title in a hardbound six by nine inch cloth-canvas hardcover book that reads like an interview book, “and we can accommodate any number of pages,” Brewer says.
The online account can be given as a gift and the printed book can be additional gifts for family. If a customer opens an account and chooses not to buy a hardbound book, the online book version is available at no additional cost. Currently, LegacyKept does not offer editing services. “It’s an input/output product at this time,” Brewer says.
Brad Brewer quit his “day job” in February to make LegacyKept his sole focus and passion. Brewer concludes, “I want to live a life of significance, a value instilled in me at CNU.”
TO THE POINT:
Contact: Brad Brewer