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Dear Rosalynn

Last Friday, was the most amazing and unexpected day. It wasn’t because it was 85 degrees in February that made it so glorious, but rather the invitation to celebrate Rosalynn Carter’s 90th birthday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena that made it unforgettable. This wasn’t just any invitation, it was a love letter from one friend to celebrate another’s birthday in the most spectacular way.

These friends were not just any friends, but a remarkable man, author and school principal named Dan Horn and his dear friend, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Dan wanted to celebrate this special friendship in an exceptional way. A morning filled with performances from his amazing students at St. Genevieve’s School at the Rose Bowl and his special birthday gift, a documentary film made by his students for over four years of Rosalynn Carter’s truly extraordinary life. It was a love letter to a woman who has quietly changed our world.

The story all began with a letter written over 30 years ago from a young man named Dan Horn, who had read Rosalynn Carter’s biography and reached out to her via a letter saying that he would like to meet her. To his surprise Rosalynn replied, the two had lunch and as Dan said, “Lunch was life changing and I just had a hunch that we were going to be friends.”

Flash forward a few decades and here we all were in the Rose Bowl watching the world premiere of this documentary about this beautiful friendship between a former First Lady, one very special school and a principal. In the hour hundreds of us sat and watched the story together, we were inspired, elevated and simply blown away by what the Carters have accomplished in their lives.

Photo courtesy: The Carter Center

This soft-spoken mother of four has truly had a remarkable life. Helping her widowed mother raise her younger siblings at age 13 and putting them all through college. Supporting her husband in her roles as First Lady of Georgia and of the United States. It was learning about the depth of her humanitarian efforts that were truly inspirational. Her tireless work for Equal Rights, the creation of the nonprofit The Carter Center, whose mission is to promote human rights the alleviation of human suffering.  Rosalynn’s passionate work in eliminating the stigma of mental health, the couples work with Habitat for Humanity that put the organization on the world’s stage and the creation of the Rosalynn Carter’s Institute for Caregivers, to name a few.

One post is not enough to cover the tireless, bold and beautiful work this First Lady and author of five books has accomplished. In her words, “we just planted a few seeds.” but as the film and students of St. Genevieve said, so beautifully, “Thanks to the Carters we know we are all capable of changing the world.” Based on what we all saw last Friday, I do believe they will.

 

Charity Matters.

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Bring it 2017

bring-it-2017

It seems that the entire planet was happy to see 2016 come to an end. Over and over, everyone is saying goodbye to 2016 and hello 2017. What is it that we are all looking for this year that will be so very different from the last?

How could one year truly disappoint us so much? But it seems unanimous, that we are all SO over last year and looking ahead. 2017 is off to a great start, we get an extra day off, which in my book is a most excellent beginning. Lets be honest, we all really need it and it has been a busy few weeks as we try to catching up on sleep, life and friends.

So, as we begin to ponder about what we want from this new start, let me suggest a few thoughts….in the planning stage of resolutions. First, what went so wrong last year that you want to be different this year? How might you change that? What is the one thing you really want to accomplish this year? What are a few simple ways to start working towards that goal? How can you be kinder to those you love this year? And lastly, how can you be kinder to yourself in the next 365 days?

Why I do not yet have the answers, these questions are where I will begin…..that and heading off to the Rose Bowl to cheer on my team. Here is to a magical, joyous, prosperous and very Happy New Year to all!

 

Charity Matters.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 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.

 

New Years Eve

New Years Eve, Harry met sally

It seems that there are two types of people, those that love New Years Eve and those that don’t. It is one of those holidays that comes with expectations and the inevitable question from all, “What are you doing for New Years Eve?” Once upon a time, that question came with the need to find THE best plans…..perhaps the pressure had something to do with growing up in Pasadena, a West Coast epi-center of New Years with the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl Game and all the parties that go with it.

Don’t get me wrong, we will still be going to parties, walking the parade route at midnight to see the floats come out and celebrating with friends. Yet, something has changed….New Years Eve conjours up different feelings. There is no need for plan approval, to please or to attend THE party…whatever or wherever that may be.

New Years Eve is a time to say goodbye to last year, put it behind, celebrate all that was good and look ahead. More importantly, New Year begins the process of gratitude and reflection. What did we do last year that made someone else’s life better? What did we do that made our own life better? And, what are we going to do in the New Year? These are the questions that make New Years Eve a worthy holiday…..

So, rather than asking what are you doing for New Years Eve, perhaps the question we should all be asking is what are you doing?

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

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.