Friday, May 22, 2015

starting young

Last night I was watching young Opie Taylor learn about sharing. You remember The Andy Griffith Show, don't you? It was about life in a small town, where Opie lived with his father - the town's sheriff, and his great aunt. There was laughs, but there were also a lot of life lessons.

In this episode, there was a collection for underprivileged children, and Opie only put in three cents, despite having a full piggy bank. His father tried to impress on him the importance of sharing and of helping out others. His father was also concerned about appearance.  How would it look for the son of the sheriff to be so stingy?

When was the first time you ever did something for somebody else? Do you remember? Do you remember anyone ever teaching you these values? Is it important to get this message at a young age?  Did you give out of generosity or because it would make you look good?

This show treated the subject well.  It wasn't a new concept. They told the story in a fairly straightforward manner. At the end though came a surprise: Opie wasn't being cheap. He was saving to get a coat for a little girl who would shiver come winter, because her family could not afford a new coat for her. Opie, it seems, already knew the importance of helping others!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Red Nose Day

One of the things I have said here for years, is go out and find a creative way to help other people - to give back to the world. Red Nose Day has done just that. The very first Red Nose Day is today, and it's a delightfully creative campaign dedicated to raising money for kids living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh. There's a tv special with big stars. Walgreens stores are selling red clown type noses to raise funds. That's only a tiny bit of it all though.

The public is encouraged to get involved. Put up a red nose picture of yourself on facebook, for example. Help raise money. Share information with friends. There's a whole bunch of ideas HERE on the official event webpage.  Of course you can donate money too.
If you see folks running around with red noses today, smile and be happy that folks care.  Get involved too.  This is really an easy one!  Stop by a Walgreens and get yourself a red nose - while you're at it, get one for all of your family!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Walks Continue

I've written here about AIDS Walk so many times and I am grateful that so many participate at AIDS Walk events all over the country. I've been very fortunate to have many personal sponsors, although there is always room for more donations!

There are some people who have forgotten about those early first days of AIDS and there are some who think there is already a cure.  No so.  That's why I walk.  That's why I write about it so often.  That's why so many caring people are passionate about this. 

Today is AIDS Walk New York, one of the biggest each year. My best wishes to everyone there in the Big Apple making a difference. If you are not near New York, you can still make a contribution to that event, of find an AIDS Walk that is nearer to you. There are several here in Arizona, the state where I now live, but I will be going back to San Francisco for the 21st time participating in their event. To sponsor me, just click HERE.

AIDS is still with us, and we need to keep on fighting.  Tomorrow is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day - to learn more, click HERE.  This Tuesday is National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  More information on that is HERE.  Stay informed.  Do what you can.  The walk continues .   .   . until there's a cure.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Help for a hungry man

Lately I have been seeing a lot of kindness in this world, and that is such a wonderful thing! This story, reported by WTVD in Durham, NC, is one you may have already heard.  Other outlets have picked in up in the past day or so, and many are springing to action.

Here's what happened: an 81-year-old North Carolina man had been hospitalized for months of cancer treatments, and when he returned home, he hadn't even thought about the cupboards being bare. They were though - he had nothing at all to eat and nobody to turn to, so, it being an emergency, he called 911. Well in some cities they may have ignored his call, but in this case, the very operator who he spoke to, along with police officers, went to his house with food. It was very touching. Oh and that operator even made him sandwiches while she was there!

According to news reports, the Fayetteville Police Department is working with a local church to make sure the man's future needs are met. His cancer is seriously slowed him down and some reports suggest he may not have long to live. It's nice to see folks helping to make sure his end days are comfortable. The Fayetteville Police Department (at 910-433-1529) welcomes any assistance that might be offered to help.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Auctioning for Saint Dorothy's

There is a wonderful facility in Northern California, operated by the Diocese of California, that hosts all kinds of great memories. It's called Saint Dorothy's Rest, and I have written about them here before. (Click HERE for my words from last December).  I could go on and on about how great this place is and what a difference it makes in so many lives.  Check out there website at and find out a whole lot more.

Looking for a place to support?  This is it!  There are many ways of giving as you can find HERE, including giving them items on their wish list.  There is also an online auction with a whole bunch of great things to bid on.  These fun and unique items are being auctioned to raise money in support of Saint Dorothy's Rest's Hospital Camps. Beginning today and going through June 7th, you can bid on a chance to sponsor the new stained-glass chapel windows, a weekend retreat and guided hike at Saint Dorothy's Rest, dinner for up to eight people served in your own home by Saint Dorothy's kitchen staff, a 14K Gold - 12 diamond ring with a story that is sure to warm your heart, and several other items. Check out the entire list (with pictures) and place your bid, by clicking HERE.

Saint Dorothy's Rest is amazing, truly amazing!  It's the oldest camp in California, and serves children, youth, and adults.  I have never heard anyone not be impressed.  Here is a wonderful way to help more people become acquainted with this place and it's programs.  Give them a closer look, and get involved in that auction, a truly inspired fundraising idea.  Let the bidding begin!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love

Remember that slogan "The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love"? It was for the Peace Corps, where nearly 220,000 Americans have served in 140 countries since President John Kennedy created the Peace Corps 54 years ago. You might have been one of them, or perhaps you wanted to signup, but just didn't. A friend of mine is about to go, and I don't know if the slogan will apply to him, but I do know he is about to do some pretty amazing things! His name is Michael Nguyen, and he has already done amazing things.

It was just after Christmas when I heard that Michael had accepted an invitation to serve in Zambia, Africa. I smiled. I know he is up to the task. It's been that way when he organized fundraisers, or parades, or HIV testing. If Mike is doing it, you know it's going to work out. Since I have faith in him, and already knew about how great the Peace Corps is, I settled back in hope of an occasional update.

Let me tell you, there is going to be a lot of information. Mike has begun a blog and has already started posting, even though he is still a few weeks away from leaving. To stay up to date, check it out at and to find out more general information about the Peace Corps (or to volunteer), click HERE.  I'm sure I will have some updates here during the next two and a half years, too.
One more thing - and this is important.  Mike has a big expense in getting ready and could really use a hand.  He needs journals to remember this mission, a sleeping bag, some sturdy boots, a dependable hiking backpack, and various emergency supplies.  Any idea how expensive this will all be?  There's a fundraiser at to help raise some money.  Click on that link if you can donate - ANY amount (yes, even if it's just a dollar or two), and share this with your friends too!  Thanks and watch the adventure ahead.  I'm certain Mike will have some inspiring tales from Zambia!