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August 2013

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Labor Day Weekend

 

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

Albert Einstein

labor workers farm

I must exert myself in order to give the same measure I have received……

I love these words. There are many who have gone before us to make this great life and great country a reality.  This holiday weekend remember those who have gone before us and the hard work that has brought us to this point. I will continue to exert myself in order to give in the same measure I have received and I’m sure you will too.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Charity Matters.

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Gordie’s Story

I have yet to repost something I have already written, this is a first. However, I have watched so many of my friends children leave this week for college that I feel I must revisit this.

So often we do not make discoveries or connections until it is too late.  We do not realize the value of a friend until they have moved away, we do not appreciate our child until they have left for college or we do not know the value of one’s life until it has passed.

Why is it that we wait to make these connections? Why is our hindsight is so crystal clear and our day-to-day vision so clouded? This story is perhaps no different, however, the beauty of it lies in the ability to take that clear vision and create something that matters.

This month thousands of college freshman have left home and many are beginning the process of Rush as they look to make new homes away from home in sororities and fraternities across the country.That is exactly what Gordie Baily did in September 2004, as an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Gordie, a fun-loving freshman who had been the Co-captain of his varsity high school football team, a drama star, a guitar player and a walk on at Boulder’s lacrosse team was adored by all. He pledged Chi Psi and on the evening of September 16th, Gordie and twenty-six other pledge brothers dressed in coats and ties for “bid night”, were taken blindfolded to the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest where they were “encouraged” to drink four “handles”  of whiskey and six (1.5 liter) bottles of wine.

They were told, “no one is leaving here until these are gone.” When the group returned to the Fraternity house, Gordie was visibly intoxicated and did not drink anymore. He was placed on a couch to “sleep it off” at approximately 11pm. His brothers proceeded to write on his body in another fraternity ritual. Gordie was left to “sleep it off” for 10 hours before he was found dead the next morning, face down on the floor. No one had called for help, he was 18 years old.

The nonprofit Gordie Foundation was founded in Dallas in 2004 by Gordie’s parents as a dedication to his memory. The foundation creates and distributes educational programs and materials  to reduce hazardous drinking and hazing and promote peer intervention among young adults.  Their mission is committed to ensuring that Gordie’s story continues to impact students by challenging attitudes about the true risks of hazing and alcohol use and works to promote healthy campus environments in which hazing and alcohol poisoning do not occur.

In just six years, the Gordie Foundation made an impact on hundreds of thousands of students across the country through its programs and educational efforts.

Why is it that we wait to make these connections? Why is our hindsight is so crystal clear and our day-to-day vision so clouded? Why is it that we do not know the value of one’s life until it has passed?

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 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.

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Charity Matters Quotes

“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one. “

Malcolm S. Forbes

open mind

Well, its official. Summer is over and its time to get back to the business of learning. Back to school just sounds depressing but learning, that is fun! Living is learning and the more we live, the more we give.

Charity Matters.

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Charity Matters Quotes

“There is something deep within us that sobs at endings. Why, God, does everything have to end? Why does all nature grow old? Why do spring and summer have to go?”

 Joe Wheeler

summers end

Well its officially over for me. Summer ends this weekend and the boys are back in school on monday. Where it went….. I’m not really sure.  What I do know is that those few precious weeks without structure, homework or stress were perfection.

I think I’m going to try a big dose of denial until after Labor Day and in the meantime enjoy my last beautiful summer weekend. Hope you enjoy yours too!

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 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.

Big moments in small packages

jeffrey, loyolaThere are so many ways our lives touch others. It seems that the big moments that touch us often come from the littlest people. Last friday night my son’s football team had their first scrimmage. Lined up in crisp new uniforms were 86 big varsity high school football players and in the front of team stood a 9-year-old boy. The 9-year-old is our new team captain. His name is Jeffrey and he is teaching our football team about courage, toughness, perseverance, dedication and overcoming adversity.

Jeffrey knows about these traits because he has cancer.  Less than two years ago, he was a typical 8-year-old boy who loved playing baseball and flag football and then everything changed. Jeffrey was diagnosed with DSRCT (Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor), an extremely rare and aggressive cancer.  In just over a year he has completed about a dozen rounds of chemotherapy, five surgeries, numerous procedures and five weeks of radiation therapy.

In honor of our mighty new captain, the team will wear Jeffrey’s initials on their helmets this season in honor of his courage and tenacity, as well as to bring much-needed attention to the lack of funding for pediatric cancer research.  Jeffrey  received the signed game ball and his very own football jersey with the number 11, that represents the date of his diagnosis, 11/11/11.

This little package has already showed our sons how to be strong, courageous, and to face adversity with a smile and can do attitude. Jeffery’s family has a web-site and the quote on the site reads, “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.”

We have yet to play our first game but it is already a winning season.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 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.

Suggestions for Success

success

They say that copying is the highest form of flattery. I can honestly say in over 300 posts I have yet to “flatter” a fellow blogger…..until today. I must admit that I came across this reading one of my morning guilty pleasures, a blog called Habitually Chic. I thought this was simply too good not to be shared and besides I needed to follow tip number 15!

 

21 Suggestions for Success

by H. Jackson Brown Jr. 

 

  1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
  2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.
  3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
  5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  6. Be generous.
  7. Have a grateful heart.
  8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.
  9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
  10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  12. Commit yourself to quality.
  13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
  14. Be loyal.
  15. Be honest.
  16. Be a self-starter.
  17. Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.
  18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
  20. Take good care of those you love.
  21. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.

I hope you enjoyed these fabulous tips for success and have a wonderful week.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 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

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”

 Sam Keen

summer lazinessI’m not sure what is worse, the end of summer or the countdown until the end. Either way, this glorious season is short and we have just begun to relax. So, take a moment to take care of yourself. You give so much to so many. Your time to give will be here before you know it.

So enjoy the respectability that comes with the laziness of summer because it won’t last long.

Happy Friday!

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 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.

Best Day

best day foundationWho doesn’t love a day at the beach or having the best day? We all do, there is simply nothing better. My youngest son loves to surf and anything to do with the ocean. However, what happens to children with disabilities? How can they share these simple joys and thrills? The challenge and excitement of a wave or doing something new and exciting.

That is exactly what two friends, outdoor enthusiast and entrepreneurs  from Northern California wanted to give children with disabilities, simply the best day they could provide.  Max Montgomery and Brooks Lambert had both volunteered at another organization called Ride A Wave and loved the experience of giving children with disabilities an opportunity to surf. However, being entrepreneurs they wanted to take the idea and expand it both in scope and location. So, in March 2008 they created the Best Day Ever Foundation.

 

Their goal is to enable children with special needs to build confidence through adventurous activities which stretch their limits, expand their true potential and reinforce their achievements. Best Day Foundation helps these children with special needs to build self-esteem through safe, fun, adventure activities like surfing, body boarding, kayaking, snow sports, and more.   For children with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Blindness, Cancer, Spinal Cord Injuries, and other physical and developmental challenges these moments are transformational.

Today Best Day Foundation has expanded to NY, NJ, PA, CT , Northern and Southern CA and new chapters are opening all the time. Everybody loves the thrill of a fun summer day in the water and the challenge of doing something new.  However, it is people like Max and Brooks who take their talents and passion for the outdoors and make it a best day for everyone!

Charity Matters.

 

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Starfish Foundation

Starfish-Foundation-nzLast friday I was in Milwaukee. for my husband’s triathlon  a city I have never been too before. In addition to wanting to check out the sights, some breweries, and of course, some inspiring people making a difference. My search lead me to an amazing lady named Patricia Clausson and the non-profit she founded, The Starfish Foundation.

Patricia grew up in a military family as a Sergeant Major’s daughter. So she already had an innate understanding as to the inner working of military families. At an impressionable age she  lost a close friend to suicide in Vietnam and then shortly after her boyfriend to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when he returned from Vietnam as well.  Her life course was already set from these tragedies and rather than having them define her, she defined them.

In 1998 Patricia began the Starfish Center to help all individuals with emotional healing and in time the center became the non-profit, called The Starfish Foundation. Its mission is to support veterans programs that heal the emotional, moral and spiritual wounds of combat. They work together to guide the wounded to the peace that heals and strengthens their hearts.

Whether you are in LA, New York or anywhere in between people are good. Time and again I see those who take their pain and turn it into fuel to help others. That is a beautiful thing wherever you may be. Milwaukee was a great city and full of truly great people.

 

Charity Matters.

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The Cycle of Goodness

Charity bike rideHave you ever done something good and then had it come back to you even greater? Some call it karma, I like to think its kindness but whatever you call it, it makes you think. I have had more than a handful of these experiences in my life but one that happened the other day that I thought was worth sharing.

I have a friend named John, from spin class, who writes for a big newspaper.  A few months ago, I desperately wanted his paper to cover a cause I care deeply about. I harassed poor John for a few weeks and finally followed him out of spin class pleading for his help. He caved and called a new young writer to come to our event, which was now just hours away. The reporter’s name was Angel, by the way.

Well, Angel fell in love with our cause and spent a month down in Watts following the story. She submitted an amazing article to her editors and then nothing.  I began to give up the idea that the story would ever appear.

In the meantime, my friend John lost his mother to cancer and his nephews were diagnosed with this horrible disease. John, decided to use one of his skills (cycling) to raise money for cancer. Well, last friday the long-awaited article appeared on the front page of the paper. I cried, John cried and if you read the article here, you will cry too.

On monday, back in spin class, I said that John deserved a round of applause for his upcoming ride and raising thousands of dollars for cancer. The next day he received a lovely donation from someone neither of us knows from class, saying what a beautiful thing he is doing in honor of his mother.

The man who sent me a reporter named Angel, continues the cycle of goodness. This weekend he will ride for all those who suffer from cancer. And so the cycle continues…..

Charity Matters.

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The Starfish

starfish1

The Starfish Story


It was still early.
The mist had not yet cleared from the sea.
In the distance, a solitary figure stood throwing objects out over the water.
Walking along the debris-strewn beach, I looked at the masses of starfish scattered everywhere.
The tide had thrown them in, stranding them on the beach.
As the sun rose higher,
they would perish.
Approaching the stranger, I could see that it was the starfish he was picking up and returning to the sea.
Our eyes met.
“Do you really think you can help?
There are millions of starfish on this beach.
You can help so few.
Does it really make a difference?
Does it matter?”
He reached down and picked up another starfish, looking at it intently.
“Oh yes,” he replied.
“It matters to this one!”

Making a difference is as simple as touching one other life than your own.

Charity Matters.

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Charity Matters Quotes

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

Henry James

summer afternoon lake jump

Summer is quickly coming to an end and it is time to squeeze out every ounce of joy from this magical season.

Enjoy!

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 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

“Find what brings you joy and go there.” 

Jan Phillips

lake happy place

With the chaos of remodeling it was time to go in search of a little joy, so I have been hiding out in my happy place….the lake. I hope this weekend you find whatever that place is for you and if you don’t, than I hope you go in search of what that is and enjoy!

Happy Friday!

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 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.