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July 2014

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Special Delivery

I am sad to say that it isn’t very often that I turn on the evening news anymore, it is simply too depressing. However, on Monday evening I did and imagine my surprise to find this amazing story. It is the story of a six year old boy, named Danny Nickerson’s birthday wish.  Even if you happened to catch it, it is worth a double take.

As the reporter said, “This is what love and hope look like. You just wish there was more to go around.” I think those cards prove, there is more than enough.

Charity Matters.

 

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All good endings are beginnings

endings have beginnings

Just like summer, all good things must come to an end. Endings are inevitable and a part of life. This year my ending is also my beginning, inheriting a  32-year-old non-profit leadership camp, I understand just how sad our campers are when camp is over. Like our students who cling to their counselors crying the last day, I find myself feeling the same way. So sad that it has come to an end.

What is it about summer and giving so freely of yourself that brings out the nostalgia in all of us?  Having never attended camp as a child I didn’t really “get it” but now I do. Camp is not about the new environment or friends. Rather, it is about being who you really are and who you are meant to be. The discovery of self and soul happens at camp. That island you are placed upon called “camp” isn’t about the location of where you are but more about being removed from your place and people and having to survive as yourself.

This is not a bad reality show, this is life. Camp is a mirror, where you start fresh, see yourself anew thru others eyes that have never seen “you”  before. Seeing your true self is a gift, regardless of age.  That mirror is always full of beauty, if you are willing to look.

Like life, all good things must come to an end. This year for me, the ending of leadership camp, like all good endings, is also a beginning…and I so love beginnings.

 

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

“A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.”

D. Elton Trueblood 

shady tree reading

 

I hope this weekend gives you the opportunity to pull up a piece of shade and enjoy a great summer read.  Perhaps even a moment to ponder who planted that tree for you to enjoy?

The long days of summer are fleeting fast, so enjoy every minute and remember it just takes a tiny seed to create something big.

Happy Friday!

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. 

When Life Gives You Lemons….

4.0.1

I have to admit that I have spent a little time lately being nostalgic and looking back, which includes looking at past Charity Matters post. The post below was one of my very first and probably not seen by too many at the time so I thought it was worth sharing with each of you. Enjoy!

Just the other day my 10-year-old son and his friend asked if they could set up a lemonade stand. It was a hot day and he and his pal worked hard to get business up and running. I was so touched that many of his “customers” stopped and asked my son if he was doing this for a cause.

He wasn’t, but at the end of the day we decided to see what causes there were involving lemonade stands and this is one that we came across. It may not be a “small non-profit” but it is a perfect example of small ideas that create big change.

Every non-profit started small and most began with lemons. So next time you drive by a lemonade stand, stop…you never know what can come from one glass of lemonade.

Charity Matters

Copyright © 2011 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.

Age of Philanthrophy

Age of philanthrophy

One of summer’s guilty pleasures is sitting by a body of water with a magazine, which is exactly what I was doing this past weekend. As I sat on the dock reading this month’s issue of Town & Country, a magazine notorius for covering the lifestyles of the rich and famous…I was thrilled and delighted by the editor’s letter and comments.

I must confess that I enjoy reading this as the best form of pure escapism but when Editor, wrote about a recent philanthropic summit that the magazine hosted, I found myself inspired.

The editor said, “Philanthrophy is already the fastest growing segment of the United States economy. Its contribution to the gross domestic product is, in  fact, larger than that of the Armed Forces.”

As the founder of a non-profit and the current Executive Director of another I can honestly say that I have seen these levels of generosity first hand. It is one of the greatest privledges of my career. At the end of the day, it is not about money but about purpose and compassion. It is not simply the Bill Gates of this world that have the ability to create these changes….each of us hold the same power. Our legacy is only as great as our willingness to act.

We may not be The Greatest Generation but I will happily be lumped into The Age of Philanthrophy any day.

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.

I too had a dream….

blogaversary-sign

Three years ago I had a dream about a television show that highlighted all of the amazing people in our world who make a difference. Today that dream is celebrating its third birthday. Charity Matters is still a mere toddler, trying to run but still waddling despite the urge to speed ahead at full sprint.

I knew nothing about television or TV shows but despite that, I also knew nothing about blogging. What I did know was how to turn a thought into action. So that is what I did.  I wrote a show, registered it and then thought if I can write about this same concept for a few months I might actually be onto something.

What I didn’t know was if anyone else cared or would be here to listen. You do care and you are here…thousands of you. You start your day here, inspire me and share what inspires you. I am beyond grateful.  And while three years has zipped by in a flash, my passion for bringing inspiring stories and people to you has only become stronger in that small amount of time.

Charity Matters is not so much about me or even you, it is about what inspires us to be our best. People, stories, quotes. We are human, compassionate, amazing, capable people and the goal is simply  to remember that. More than that,  to realize how many amazing gifts you have to share with the world.

Whether you love yoga, sports, medicine, fashion, the military or anything I promise you there is a  non-profit to match your interest. My hope is that you find something that speaks to you, your soul and urges you to action. Life is short, live it well, share your gifts and thank you for sharing your time here with me for these past three years. My life is richer because of you.

Don’t forget to keep dreaming.

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.

 

 

Young at heart

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman

Young at heart

What is age? Really? Who is actually counting? Is it a number? A Feeling? An image? Or perhaps simply a facade?

This week age is not about a birthday, but rather time spent pursuing a passion….I suppose age is more of an anniversary. Celebrating small milestones that gradually turn into something larger.

At the end of the day, our lives are not about our years but rather about how we lived them.

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.

A privilege

New years new day

” I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community,

and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.

I rejoice in life for its own sake.

Life is no “brief candle” for me.

It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it onto future generations.”

George Bernard Shaw

There could not be a better quote to begin Charity Matter’s birthday week and to sum up Charity Matter’s purpose and my own. Life is a gift to be treasured each moment and used for its greatest purpose.

Whats yours?

Charity Matters.

 

Charity Matters Quotes

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Dr. Seuss

Dr. seuss quote 7-11-14

At the end of the day, it is just that simple. What is it that you care about?  Once you know the answer, the next step is finding out a way to show you care. With 1.9 million non-profits in the United States alone there are literally millions of ways to put your caring into action.

Dr. Seuss was right, unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, its not going to get better…its not.

So, think about it.

What is it you care about?

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.

Doctors without Borders

doc without borders
A few weeks back my husband and I were sitting at a sushi bar and had the most interesting conversation with the gentleman sitting next to us. It turns out that he was a pilot, as a hobby, and used his free time and resources to fly U.S. doctors to remote areas of Mexico to provide medical treatment. Our conversation got me thinking about the well-known organization Doctors Without Borders or Medicine Sans Fronteriers (MSF), as it was named by its French founders.
Doctors Without Borders all began when Raymond Borel and Philippe Bernier, journalists from a medical review, issued an appeal to establish a group of doctors to help people suffering in the midst and wake of major disasters. On December 22, 1971, 300 volunteers made up the organization: doctors, nurses, and other staff, including the 13 founding doctors and journalists.
 “It’s simple really: go where the patients are. It seems obvious, but at the time it was a revolutionary concept because borders got in the way. It’s no coincidence that we called it ‘Médecins Sans Frontières.’” MSF was created on the belief that all people have the right to medical care regardless of gender, race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national boundaries.

What began with two journalists need to bring attention to suffering around the world and those who had both the compassion and skills to ease it has now grown into an international organization that we can not remember a time without. Today, Doctors without Borders  is in 28 countries and since its founding,  this incredible organization has treated over a hundred million patients!
It is an age-old story that continues to inspire, people who use their voice, passion and compassion to change the lives of others……change our world. And you never know who might be sitting next to you at a sushi bar.
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.

Homecoming Thank You

Homecoming thank you

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July, truly one of my favorite holidays. Since most of us are still in a patriotic mood I thought I would follow-up on a post I shared a few weeks back.

Last week we had Operation Gratitude come and speak at our leadership camp and tell the students just how important the two words, “thank you” really are. Our students wrote thank you letters to the troops, that brought tears to my eyes.

When I saw the video below, another example of saying thank you in a very big way, I simply had to share.

Just another reminder of the power of gratitude and saying thank you.  A great way to start our week and remember that we all hold the power to make the world better…..simply by saying thank you.

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.

Happy 4th of July

“I love my freedom. I love my America.

Jessi Lane Adams

Happy 4th of July

There is simply nothing I love better than 4th of July…..especially when it falls on a friday.  Barbecues, sunshine, fireworks and  smiles. I hope you are with your friends and family enjoying one another and the freedom we celebrate today.

It is a magical day for each of us to be reminded of our blessings and the gift of freedom.

Wishing you a very happy Fourth of July!

God Bless America.

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.

Word of Honor

photo via: Huffington Post
photo via: Huffington Post

A few weeks ago, a girlfriend invited me to a potluck dinner, which she called Friends with Causes. The idea was to get a group of girlfriends together for a fun casual night and learn about a non-profit in someone’s home. My friend and our hostess has been involved with a non-profit called The Word of Honor Fund, which supports the children of fallen Navy Seals.

This week being all about freedom and patriotism, I can think of no better time than to share the beautiful work that this group does to support those who gave their lives for our country. Many of those who pay the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, leave behind an unwritten, unfulfilled legacy in their children. This is where the Word of Honor Fund begins.

In recent years, two major wars have taken significant tolls on our nation and our soldiers’ families. The overwhelming loss of so many heroes has created a void in the lives of their surviving children.  The brutal reality for these kids is that they will grow up without the guidance of a hero and mentor, a beloved dad and male father figure. The effect of such loss cannot be measured.

The Word of Honor Fund enables the Seal families to step in to help these kids during the intervening years that lead to adulthood. The Seal Teams provide Make a Wish like experiences as well as mentoring their fallen brothers children. It is their goal and responsibility to identify the means to honor promises made to them by their fathers, and see those promises through fruition to the best of their abilities. It is their Word of Honor.

As we begin preparing this week for our Fourth of July celebrations, remember those who have given us the ultimate sacrifice and their children who continue to live with the consequences.

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.