Monday, April 30, 2007

04/30/07: Birthday Seeds

Catherine celebrated her birthday at the Stables with a pony party. Instead of gifts, she asked for vegetable seeds to send to KY.

An interesting response from the parents (including my own) who felt "sorry" for Catherine for not getting gifts. The bigger picture is that she gets a gift that you cannot see or touch or unwrap but it's a better gift: the gift of caring for humantity.

The following weekend, she attended another birthday and several moms asked if Catherine noticed that this child received so many gifts while Catherine only received a basketload of seeds (although a few people did bring her a wrapped My Lil Pony or figurine so she wasn't completely "giftless").

It's so interesting to see the perpetuation of focus on monetary gains while the more important gains...caring for each other...are ignored. No, Catherine didn't notice the difference and, if she had, I would have told her the truth. The gifts that Catherine received will help an entire town eat for a winter! How can you not think that is the most wonderful gift of all?

Monday, April 23, 2007

04/23/07: CollegeDonation

A great day for Focus America as I returned to the very place and to the very people for whom I founded the charity. Yes, I was invited back to the College of St. E's where the students presented Focus America with a donation. We are going to use this donation to help with the summer chicks that we are sending out. A donor in Maryland presented us with a donation, too, so now we can order 250 chicks (with shots) and good chick feed to get the peeps started.

It was interesting to return to St. E's. When I used to teach there, I loved those students so much and really wanted to help them change their lives by impacting others around them. Many of those students are first generation Americans and, even more so, the first females' in their family to go to college. Some of them come from similar backgrounds as the people we help. So, to have these students work so hard to help us is a blessing...under the guidance of their enthusiastic professor, Anne Marie Jarka.

It really gets me excited again about all of this work when I see the glow in students' eyes. I wish that I could still work with some of these college students the college administration wasn't as supportive of my efforts as I would have liked. I suppose they couldn't believe that someone would truly do this for the solitary selfish reason of simply helping others. Or perhaps their own community service director was upset because we offered the students a chance to really do something tangible and important that was all their own vs. simply volunteering to file papers or answer phones at some non-profit.

I suppose that sounds bitter. It is. I made a difference in those students' lives that resulted in great change for people in need. The ironic thing is that we have come full circle and returned there by invitation and, once again, impacted these students who now know that they can do anything that they put their minds to and make a difference in this world. The butterfly effect in action...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

04/15/07: Computer!

An almost-brand new computer was donated to us by a local family. It had all the current software, printer, and even a scanner. Panurgy, a local technology company, was kind enough to donate the packaging and shipping of the items to Myra, KY! It's a wonderful feeling when the pieces of the puzzle fit together!