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July 2012

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Union Rescue Mission

A week before vacation I had the privilege to spend some time down on Los Angeles’s Skid Row at the Union Rescue Mission. It was so insightful that its worthy of more than one post.

We all see the homeless everyday and I know that I struggle with what to do? Do I turn a blind eye? Do I give a dollar or perhaps some food? Do I support an organization that does this and has been taking care of the homeless and hungry since 1893? After my time at the Union Rescue Mission, I think the latter option is the answer.

The Union Rescue Mission began during California’s boom at the turn of the last century. Men were coming by the thousands in search of gold and oil hoping to make their fortunes. However, when these people found themselves without a job, food or shelter there was no place to turn, until a man named Lyman Stewart decided to step in.

Lyman had made his fortune in oil and saw the hundreds of hungry and homeless and decided to take action. He had his men start providing food, to over 500 people everyday, with their horse driven wagons on Main Street. By 1907, the URM had purchased a site to continue its work.

When the Great Depression hit, the Mission supplied 42 percent of all free meals provided by private charities in Los Angeles. A staggering amount.

Today, the Mission provides over 1.2 million meals each year to the over 74,000 homeless men, women and children in Los Angeles County.

That legacy and growth of the Mission has been handed down over the generations to many stewards of this incredible organization. On Wednesday, I know you will be inspired by Andy Bales, the current CEO and his passion for breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

All vacations must come to an end

“A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work.” 

Morris Fishbein

Looking forward to making a splash next week.

Charity Matters. 

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

 

A little R and R

Thank you everyone for kind birthday wishes for Charity Matters. Heading up to the mountains to sit by a lake for a week and make plans for a great new year of stories to inspire us all.

I hope you are taking some time to rest, relax and renew this summer. We can only continue to make a difference for others when we are at our best.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Happy First Birthday Charity Matters!

Over a year ago I had a dream, a dream to tell the story of my heroes, these remarkable people who take their pain or their passion and turn it into making a difference for others by creating non-profits. That dream became Charity Matters.

Like most dreams it wasn’t crystal clear where it would lead or why it appeared but it was loud and clear that this was I was supposed to do. In this past year, I have learned so much from so many. I surprised myself at attacking my fear, technology and now have befriended it. I am happy to report that after a year we are getting along much better than I had expected.

From my heroes, (the non-profit leaders) I learned tenacity, passion, commitment and sacrifice are the keys to doing what you love. Every story I have shared about these individuals has the same common denominator and each time I am inspired all over again.

Most importantly from each of you I have learned so much.  I am humbled by your dedication, thrilled when you suggest a favorite cause and always so touched to know that you are here on this journey and for that I am so grateful.

Birthdays are for celebrating and I am happy to celebrate Charity Matters first birthday today with you. So thank you for all the gifts you have given, by liking this on Facebook, sharing a post that touched you or just telling me what action you have taken to make Charity Matter in your life. You are all remarkable and each life you touch through kindness matters.

Thank you for touching mine so profoundly.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Charity Matters Quotes

“A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip.”

  Author Unknown

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Charity Matter Quote

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”

Deepak Choprah

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Summer is Camp Time

To find the poor and needy, the underprivileged children, whose bodies are undernourished, whose thoughts are clouded by fear, whose hearts are heavy from lack of love and understanding . . . to find and rebuild them into healthier and happier generations of Americans.”

-Robert M. Pyles, Founder, R.M.

Its that time of year, when parents are digging out the luggage packing up the kids and sending them off to camp. Camp is that glorious break that children get from parents and visa versa. When everyone can take a deep breath and enjoy the peace of summertime.

Thanks to places like the RM Pyles Camp so can thousands of underprivileged teenage boys from all over Southern California.  These campers come from neighborhoods where gang life and drugs are a way of life. However, schools and law enforcement agencies select these special 12-14 year old campers who are often at a crossroads in deciding to join gangs or not.

Most of the camp’s staff is made up of past campers who also grew up in these same situations and share their journeys to inspire the new generation of 500 boys that show up to camp each year.

All of this is because of one man, Robert M. Pyles. Pyles was a successful businessman whose life had not always been easy.  He was only 3 when his father abandoned his family in Texas. His family moved to Bakersfield and he began working in the oil fields to help support his family at age 11. Pyles had camped his entire life and when he out grew his camp he continued working there. Robert ultimately became a successful oil man and in 1949 wanted to pay forward the experience that turned his life around. So he founded the Robert M. Pyles Camp.

Today over 60 years later over 20,000 boys have spent free two week sessions in the Sequoia National Forrest learning to set goals and take responsibility. Robert Pyles believed that the camp and these values could help the boys lift themselves out of poverty.

As one camper said, “They teach you how to believe in yourself and that you have choices and that there is more to life than gangs.”

Camp matters. Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Charity Matters Quote

“Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Born on the 4th of July

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”  

Thomas Paine

Today we celebrate the 4th of July, our freedom and our great nation. So often when we roll out those picnic blankets and light the barbeques we forget those men that provided each of us with that luxury, our troops.

I was recently invited to a concert from a soldier named Jason Moon and hearing his story of war in Iraq, of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and his life upon re-entry into a world he left to defend and one he didn’t know where he fit upon return was beyond inspiring.

Before Jason left for Iraq he was a singer and song writer who was studying to become a hospital chaplain in Wisconsin. In 2003 he was deployed to Iraq.  Upon his return, depression, insomnia, nightmares and ultimately a suicide attempt had him diagnosed with Post traumatic stress disorder.

An insidious disease where Jason describes that “every life stress becomes a trigger, your low on gas on the way to the store and before you know it you’re in Iraq, you will die if you don’t have enough gas to get somewhere and the trigger goes off on the way to the grocery store.”

Determined to overcome this disease and to “slowly chip away the traumas of war” Jason began to find his voice again and that voice came through his music (Album entitled Trying to Find My Way Home) about his experience and ultimately his non-profit, Warrior Songs.Org.

In 2011, Jason realized that by telling his story through music he could not only help himself but that his music healed and connected other veterans as well. So he founded the non-profit, Warrior Songs.Org, with the goal to bring music to veterans in various stages of recovery. He has taken his pain and used it as fuel to heal thousands of soldiers.

Jason told me,” I find my joy connecting with other veterans to make a difference.” I asked him if he now saw a purpose in all of his suffering and his answer,” I will die doing this, this is my purpose, this disease is knowing my truth and is my something to believe in.”

Today when you see an American flag think of our veterans and all of those who give so we can celebrate. Happy 4th Of July.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Getting ready for the 4th

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

 Thomas Paine

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.