I hope today finds you planning a fun-filled weekend. Whether you are packing up the car and heading in search of some rest and relaxation or simply firing up the BBQ with friends to celebrate the holiday.
Wherever you land, rest, relax and enjoy.
The only way you can continue to keep helping so many is to take care of yourself first.
Today was my sons first day back to school. Along with the traditional photo-op on the front porch, the new shoes and sharpened pencils comes another opportunity. One more year to think about how to plant the seeds of compassion in my sons. What are a few ways to get them thinking this school year about ways to help another?
1. The first suggestion is to ask your children what they think they can do. You will be shocked and inspired by their ideas. When I asked my high school son his plans for philanthropy this year, he responded that he was going to continue reading to low-income students who struggle at Reading Partners, his adopted cause. It is a wonderful organization where you commit to one or two students a couple of times a week and make real one and one impact.
2. For my younger son, he prefers the team approach. Like all good ideas, especially involving kids, they are usually best involving friends. Get a group together and make a plan. It can be as big as adopting a low-income school with your school or as small as creating a back to school backpack stuffing party for the local family homeless shelter in your neighborhood. He will do anything if it involves a team effort.
3. Find out what the school has planned and encourage your kids to get involved. If the school doesn’t have a philanthropy, suggest one. One of my favorites is Grades of Green. Grades of Green is an amazing organization that teaches children how to make their schools greener and be environmentally aware of simple things that make a universal impact. In addition to being a great organization for any school or team, they also have a new Youth Corp for future environmental leaders.
There are so many ways to plant the seed of compassion in your student. Once that seeds takes root, it is up to us to nurture and develop all the wonderful possibilities that go along with new pencils and a new year of possibilities.
How do trends start? What was the impetus to all of us dumping buckets of ice water on our heads? Who was the inspiration behind this chilly trend?
The answer is simple. His name is Pete Frates and this is his story.
So the next time you are looking at Facebook and/or pouring a bucket of ice on your head, remember why you are doing and for who. You are doing it for Pete Frates and everyone else who has ALS. The trend that is changing the face of ALS belongs to one face only and that is of Pete Frates…. an inspiration to us all.
It is finally here and time to say goodbye. My son is officially leaving and there is so much to say before he goes…it has all been said and our job is done.
I knew he was unlike anyone I had ever met since the moment I first held him, he stared right through me as if he had already lived a thousand lives and was wiser than I may ever be. His red hair was a true red flag warning, that what they say about red heads is true, fiery is an understatement! Yet, as an infant, my son knew who he was before anyone else had figured it out.
As a toddler he had no interest in fire trucks, balls or legos but rather collected vacuums and irons. He was who he was and really didn’t care, sadly at the time I did. He taught me not too….but I was a slow learner. Eventually, his interest turned to vegetable oil fueled cars and technology. We learned that to support him, we needed to support his passion and so we did, although baseball would have been so much easier.
Time came for the first cell phone, then computer and finally car. We told him he had to pay for half and each time he figured it out….somehow we had raised a little Alec P. Keaton and had no clue….but he did. While his love of vacuums and irons had diminished long ago, his passion for photography, cars and service to others grew. He grew externally and internally.
Now that wise old infant has become a wise and compassionate soul. Sure he is still a snarky teenager and all that comes with it but the lessons he has taught me about believing in yourself, being passionate about what you love and serving others are some of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.
It is time for him to show the world who he is …..just as he always has.
I never ceased to be amazed by the way that the right people always enter my life at just the right time. As you all know, this week I have been prepping for my first-born to leave the nest and head off to Texas and TCU. In all the craziness I received a phone call from a friend who wanted to introduce me to an incredible woman named Ann Louden, who helped start and drive a non-profit at TCU.
The organization is called TCU Frogs for the Cure and is dedicated to supporting those with breast cancer and helping to find a cure. Ann, a breast cancer survivor, called to chat about her organization’s new video that is being filmed this weekend at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. She said the organization began in 2005 when TCU athletics partnered with the Susan G. Komen® Greater Fort Worth to sponsor a first-ever pink out halftime presentation at a university….which has now become a national trend.
A few years later they created a music video that combined inspirational music and hundreds of survivors and supporters. Each year since, the music video has gotten more elaborate and included more students, survivors and community leaders. This year, the video is being filmed in 5 cities, including my own hometown Pasadena, this Saturday August 16th from 1-5pm.
So grab your friends and register here to be a part of this epic celebrity filled music video to inspire others to find a cure. It is events like this, started at TCU, that have influenced and inspired thousands to adopt a cause and come together to make a difference.
I know I’m inspired and so grateful my son is heading to TCU. Whether pink or purple is your color, it doesn’t really matter but what does, is that you care to give of yourself to help another.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie
This is the week we pack up and begin the process of letting go. Everyone keeps saying that the anticipation is worse than the actual goodbye. I keep thinking that like a band-aid, I just wish we could rip it off quickly so the pain won’t linger. Sadly, the process of packing, editing, shipping and goodbyes is a slow peeling off and not the quick rip I long for.
Each day the pain simply gets worse as the inevitable approaches. He is ready, I am ready and yet my heart breaks as part of me is simply flying away. I think I’m going to need a really big band-aid for this one.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
I can honestly say that after just finishing my third week of Leadership Camp this summer and watching our staff volunteers, this quote truly spoke to me. To see high school and college students give up their summertime to show, teach and inspire leadership to 6th, 7th and 8th graders is inspiring. It reminded me that the greatest gift we give another is a piece of ourselves and our time.
Its summer and summer means time for camp. Camp is a time for children to play, make friends and have new experiences. However, when a child is suffering from a serious illness camp takes on an even bigger purpose. Camp becomes a place to be a kid with others who are facing the same challenges. Camp becomes a place of hope and healing. That is exactly why Camp Soaring Eagle was created. This special place provides the healing power of laughter to thousands of seriously ill children by giving them the opportunity to go to a medically supervised camp at no cost to the campers and their families. The camp was founded by entrepreneur Max F. James.
Max began his life as a Tennessee farm boy where his father was a share cropper. A life of hard work and dedication lead him to the Air Force Academy, Vietnam and then Stanford Business School, where he received his MBA. Max said in an interview recently, “My two children and my wife, Linda, helped me build the business, so we set up a family foundation, wanting to start giving back to the community. Over the years we wrote a lot of little checks, but then my son sent me to Orlando, Fl, to Camp Boggy Creek, one of Paul Newman’s Hole In the Wall camps, where seriously ill kids can attend a medically supervised camping program. We decided we could also do something like that. ”
Since 2009, Camp Soaring Eagle has sent hundreds of seriously ill children to camp and continues to keep growing and expanding. Providing campers and families a happy slice of summer fun and memories to last a lifetime. As Max F. James said, “I have been tremendously blessed and strongly believe that when one gives it comes back tenfold.”
As you all know my summer leadership camp has just come to an end this year. Like many camps our entire staff is made up of volunteers who serve by giving their summers to inspire our students. These incredible high school and college students embody the true meaning of service.
This quote is dedicated to all the volunteers who made another child’s summer amazing because of their gift of service. Friendships are made and love is palpable at camp all because those who are filled with love choose to serve.