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February 2014

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Living a life that matters

A friend sent this to me recently and I’m not sure who wrote it but I know it spoke to me and I hope it speaks to you.

Live-a-life-that-matters

Living a life that matters

Live a life that matters

Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end.

It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter?

How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.

It’s not a matter of circumstance, but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

Charity Matters.

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New Orleans

 

“What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in New Orleans, goes home with you.”

Laurel K. Hamilton

 New Orleans

I just returned from a fun long weekend in New Orleans with my sister. I had never been to New Orleans before and wanted to share a small piece of my journey with you. I think New Orleans is a place you process more than a place you visit.  The city was all abuzz with Mardi Gras just around the corner.

I wish I could share some of the great meals but for this monday, its simply going to have to be a little memory.

Charity Matters.

 

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One sees clearly only with the heart

“One sees clearly only with the heart.  Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” 

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943

Speaking at MSS

A few months back I was asked to give a speech at my alma matter, an all girls private Catholic school. I had been asked to speak a few times before on the topic of service and charity but this time the assignment was a bit different.  I was assigned a quote from The Little Prince and had to tie the quote into my personal story and service. I must admit it felt a bit like the homework assignments I used to dread.

However, the deeper I dove, the more fun and meaningful the assignment and speech became. Today, in looking for a heart themed quote, this same quote appeared once again. Coincidence? I don’t believe in those anymore. When I saw this quote I revisited the words I shared with the girls….

“Giving, service and charity have healed me in unexpected and unimaginable ways.  I was blind and could not see. The curve balls that were thrown to me became my greatest gifts. Those moments gave me my sight. Living the words is what made me understand what I had translated so many years ago in Mr. Olson’s room, just yards from where I now stand.  And to end where I began, although the journey continues, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Charity Matters.

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I Do Foundation

i Do foundation, proposal

After Valentine’s Day last friday and the long holiday on monday, I have a sneaky suspicion that maybe a few thousand people got engaged over the long holiday weekend. With all of those newly engaged couples in mind , I heard about the most incredible foundation that “helps couples celebrate generously.” The I Do Foundation is the country’s  first wedding-focused nonprofit, that makes charity a part of  weddings. How beautiful is that?

The I Do Foundation was founded on Valentine’s Day in 2002, with the goals of changing the culture of the bridal industry and raising funds for a couples charity of choice. The purpose is to encourage couples to select a cause and charity they care about and encourage guests to make a donation as a wedding gift.  In 2009, The I Do Foundation partnered with Just Give, which is a huge online platform for charitable giving.

Here are some beautiful results that the I Do Foundation has accomplished:

  • In the past 10 years, more than 75,000 couples have sent over $6.5 million to charity through I Do Foundation and its partners.
  • Couples have made charitable donations totaling more than $650,000 in lieu of traditional favors.
  • Over 5,500 charities have received donations from I Do Foundation couples.

So, if you know someone who might have recently gotten engaged and is planning a wedding, share the I Do Foundation with them. I can think of no better way to celebrate love ,than to share with so many.

Charity Matters.

 

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Happy Valentines Day!

“Love is a symbol of eternity.  It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.”

 Author Unknown

valentinesday candy

Love, love, love……just as the Beatles sang….it is all you need. So glad that we have Valentines Day to celebrate the best part of being alive, being loved. I know the card companies try to make this holiday about romance but love is so much more.  Whether you are celebrating as a couple or not, celebrate the love in your life…..both what you receive and the love you give to so many.

My heart is full because you are here, so from my heart to yours a very Happy Valentines Day!

Charity Matters.

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Is it really all about chocolate?

Valentine choc box

I love Valentines Day because I love chocolate. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love all of the good things about Valentines Day…cards, candy, love…really what could possibly be better? Well, I started thinking about it and realized that perhaps Valentines Day should perhaps be about a little bit more.

Especially since this week is Random Acts of Kindness week there are so many ways to make Valentines Day more meaningful. Here are just a few ideas:

1. Instead of giving a Valentine gift, why not give to a cause you or your Valentine cares about? What better way to show your love?

2. If you don’t have a cause you can always buy something from the RED Campaign, a fun way to make a difference and support a great hip cause. Who doesn’t love anything that Bono supports?

3. When you are buying Valentines Cards, think about taking some by a homeless shelter, home for the elderly, a children’s hospital. Share the love.

4. The couple that volunteers together…..you get the idea. Make a date to volunteer together instead of a fancy dinner. I guarantee you, your heart will never feel more full and isn’t that more important than your stomach?

So, as you begin to panic about a gift, a reservation or a card…..remember this is a holiday simply about love and not just about chocolate. What could be sweeter?

Charity Matters.

 

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Random Acts of Kindness Week

random-act-of-kindness-vending

Did you know this week is Random Acts of Kindness week? Well, it is! How perfect to celebrate kindness, the same week we celebrate love and Valentines.

One would hope that each of us would be able to come up with some small way to celebrate this wonderful week, but on the off-chance you are not feeling so creative there is an actual foundation that is here to inspire you.  It is originally named, The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and its goal is to be a resource for people committed to spreading kindness. Their web-site is chock full of heart warming ideas of simple ways to make life better  for other people. How amazing is that?

The non-profit foundation started in 1995 and provides creative ideas for kind actions, along with being an incredible resource for parents and schools….all for free! The Foundation believes, “As people from different cultures and from all walks of life join to spread kindness, they are creating a powerful, synergistic action throughout the world.

Their mission is simply to inspire people to practice kindness and pass it on.  I can think of nothing better than that!

Charity Matters.

 

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Charity Matters Quotes

“All that is worth cherishing begins in the heart.”

Suzanne Chapin

hearts, many hearts

February is a month to celebrate our hearts, our love and our lives. Let us be mindful that it does all begin with the heart.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of love.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2014 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.

February is all about heart

pediatric cardioloy

February is a month about love, and the heart. It is a time for cupids, Valentines and a time to talk from the heart and about it. Talking about the heart and from the heart are not always easy. This month, with my Dad’s recent heart troubles, my heart is heavy thinking about families whose children suffer from congenital heart disease or CHD.

It always hard when someone you love is sick but when it is a child the challenge is even greater. I came across this for an upcoming event and thought it shared the parent’s perspective.

Did you know that……

  • Congenital Heart Defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths worldwide
  • About 1 out of every 100 babies are born each year with some type of Congenital Heart Defect in the United States (approx. 40,000/year)
  • Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined.

So when I was told by a friend, whose son suffered from CHD, about Its My Heart, I was determined to share it with you. Its My Heart.Org‘s goal is to provide strength and support for those affected by Congenital Heart Defects.Their goal is to be a resource for families who are not sure where to turn when their child is diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease. They create networks among families, groups, hospitals, and the community and even provide grief counseling for families in need. Their goal is to make your heart lighter when someone you love is suffering from CHD.

So, as we enter the month of love, from my heart to yours I wish you a very happy and healthy heart month.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2014 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

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.”

Erma Bombeck

give-me-your-hand-5221

The other morning I woke up to one of those 3am calls when the news is never good. It was my Dad and he was heading to the ER with chest pains, complaining that “his heart felt full.” So did mine.

My Dad ended up having a procedure that removed a large blockage in his heart. He has stared death in the eyes many times and we are now referring to him as “El Gato” because he has had so many lives.  That being said, my Dad is very alive. When I think about what it is, that makes him that way, it only comes down to a few words….faith, family, friends and gratitude.  That is his life.

When his time does finally come (and I hope that is a long way off) I know that he will have answered Erma Bombeck’s quote correctly. He will not have a single bit of talent left and say he used everything he was given.

What will you say?

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2014 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.