Friday, January 29, 2016

another chance for us to get it right

So with this first month of the year nearly over, how are you coming with those resolutions? Didn't do so well? Hey! There's always next month - or next year! I think it was Oprah Winfrey who said "Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." Of course, we can ask "What is right?"

Some of those resolutions that folks make at the beginning of the year, are really so difficult, that we have little chance.  Stop beating yourself up because you only lost five pounds when you said you were going to lose fifty.  Set realistic goals if you like, but be kind to yourself.  Encourage others along the way and quite often they will also encourage you.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of resolutions. Do your best every day of your life. THAT should be a goal everyone can get behind. Things like showing concern for my neighbor and trying to make a difference, are lifelong resolutions for me, and I believe in Oprah's "another chance for us to get it right" idea, but in my case I think of every day like that. Each day of our life we can try to do better and to be better.

So, let me ask you, are there goals that you have? Have you resolved to do any particular things? Share some of those with us!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Concerned about feelings on Valentine's Day

There still is a little time before Valentine's Day comes. (It's the 14th of next month). I wanted to repeat something though and do it ahead of time to hopefully reach some of your thoughts. I've written about this the past few years, but I really think it can stand to be repeated. I'm talking about the "exclusive" nature of Valentine's Day.

In school, kids often bring in Valentine cards to exchange with other kids in their class and sometimes with other classes as well. It all ends up being a big popularity contest though. The new kid who isn't known yet, or the students who aren't as popular might not get any cards at all. Instead they would have hurt feelings and would go home crying at the end of the day. People end up dreading coming to school that day.
 
The same kind of thing can happen in the workplace.  Some employees exchange cards.  Flowers arrive from husbands and boyfriends.  Sometimes there are chocolates or balloons or teddy bears.  It lifts the spirits of the recipient, but who about the one sitting there who gets nothing? 

I'm not saying we have to supply cards and gifts for the whole world, but perhaps there are a few things we can do to be more considerate of those other people.  For example, some schools have a policy that if you bring Valentine cards in to exchange, there must be one for everyone. The same thing is true with things like cupcakes or cookies.  Another possibility is to be more discrete.   This works in the workplace a lot better though than with kids in a classroom.
 
What are your thoughts about this?  Is it fair though to tell a child who he or she must give to? Should the school get involved? Do employers need to monitor such things? Do we need to care about the feelings of others?  What do YOU think?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

walking to make a difference

First thing this morning, I signed up for another walk-a-thon. Those of you who read this regularly, know that when I used to live in San Francisco, I did many walk-a-thons. It's a great way to bring awareness to a cause and to raise funds at the same time. You know what else? It's great to get outdoors and mingle with other people and get some good exercise. Want to make a difference? Signup for a walk-a-thon near you!

By the way, the particular one with I signed up for today was the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk. Mine will be in San Francisco at AT&T Park in November, and although I realize this is NOT about me, I would be honored to have your support. One of the many cool things about this fundraiser, is you don't have to donate set amounts like $50 or $100. You may give as little as a dollar and you can donate amounts that might be significant to you ($19.74, for example, if you were born in 1974). Click HERE to go to my secure fundraising page for this event.

Donating to these various walk-a-thons helps of course, but so does walking. Join a team, or form your own! Want to raise funds for a local cause? Think about setting up a walk-a-thon. It doesn't have to be elaborate. There are walks all around the country for various causes. AIDS Walk, another event I always participate in, has walks in many major cities. Click HERE to find out about the AIDS Walk closest to you.  More on the Light the Night walks taking place all over, can be found at http://www.lightthenight.org/
 
Go for a walk and make a difference!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What are you wearing?

Do people ever begin a conversation with you because of your clothing? Yesterday I was wearing a t-shirt from one of my favorite organizations, Go Inspire Go. I've written here about them before, but I never tire of telling about them because they pretty much do what I do - encourage folks to make a difference. Their founder Toan Lam (pictured here wearing a shirt like the one I had on yesterday), inspires me every single day with his posts on the Go Inspire Go website and on social media.

Every year I participate in various fundraising events and generally there are special shirts or jackets, which I enjoy wearing because it gives attention to the event, and it gives me a great opportunity to billboard the organization. I have a Light the Night jacket from several years ago that I always wear around the time of that event each year and when I am out trying to raise sponsors. I suppose we all do the same thing to some degree when we wear shirts from our schools or favorite teams.

I love telling people about some of my favorite charities though and it was great yesterday when a total stranger pointed to my shirt and said "What's gig"? After a few minutes of talking about Go Inspire Go, I suggested he watch some of their videos and I directed him to http://goinspirego.com/ - you should check it out too, if you don't already know about them.

Monday, January 25, 2016

circumstances

The people in the numerous states who had record amounts of snow dumped on them over the weekend, certainly didn't ask for it. The folks in Alaska who found their houses and businesses shaking violently from another strong earthquake, didn't ask for that either. There have even been some California places in the past few days that have experienced flooding, and while they have indeed been asking for rain, they didn't want these circumstances.

As bad as the past couple of days have been for many, we have also seen some remarkable occurrences - people helping each other - folks working together. How wonderful! Neighbors have check on neighbors and made certain they were okay, and isn't that the way it should be? "Do you have enough food? I'll be happy to share what I have." While circumstances might look rather grim, and their indeed have been some tragedies, it is heartwarming to see folks care about others, and we have seen an awful lot of that in the past few days.

Call it a twist of fate, but this is an often repeated situation - it really isn't new. Circumstances like blizzards, earthquakes, and flooding (and others) do indeed bring people together. Wouldn't it be wonderful if daily life brought us together - if we always cared about others? We can make that happen. We don't need special circumstances. All we need is love.

Friday, January 22, 2016

last request

Do you ever read the obituaries in the newspaper? Sometimes they can be humorous and sometimes they simply gave details of someone's life. Lately though I have come across several that are very inspiring, not just because of the life that had been led, but because of a last request.

In telling of one man who had recently passed away, the obituary said that one of his last wishes was for any person reading the obituary to perform a good deed in his honor for someone that they may have had friction with or disliked. Wow! Someone wanted to continue the love even after they were gone. How wonderful. How many people did a good deed in his honor? There is of course no way to know, but what a wonderful idea!

Maybe this will inspire folks reading this to make other last requests. What would you want your legacy to be? How would you like to be an inspiration to strangers, even after you are gone?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What is Street Medicine?

In much of the country right now, it is very cold. Imagine sleeping on the streets. Do you know how many people out there are sick and dying? I was thinking about this, and I remembered hearing about Street Medicine Institute, so I did some checking. First let me tell you that I do not know anyone affiliated with this organization, but I am really excited, because there is such a great need. 
 
From what I have learned, Dr Jim Withers has been at this for awhile, but the Street Medicine Institute was official founded in 2008.  People Magazine and CNN have reported on them as have the Examiner, Pittsburgh Magazine, and others.  The stories are inspiring ones.  We usually think of doctors walking the clean corridors of hospitals and clinics, not the dirty and cold sidewalks of our cities. The stories I have been reading about Dr Withers and the others, and not only encouraging, but very inspiring. In this small blog, there isn't the space to go into great detail, but I urge you to do a little homework yourself, beginning with the Street Medicine Institute website at http://streetmedicine.org

When I lived in San Francisco, I remember standing in the cold each December, as we remembered the homeless who had died on the streets. How many of those deaths could have been avoided? What about other communities where the elements are even more severe? Medical care is desperately needed by those who cannot afford it, and often are frightened of the establishment. Hearing about Street Medicine, warms my heart. You can help them by clicking HERE and you can get to know them even better through their facebook page HERE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fear no evil

Positive words like love, and peace, and thanks, and beauty are what you usually find here. I prefer to talk about doing good things and making positive changes in our world. I like to write about heroes and folks who are making a difference. It's always nicer on the high road. That doesn't mean though that all is well with the world and that there is nothing bad to worry about. There is plenty of bad - WAY too much. But we need to stand strong and fearlessly fight against any evil.

I have friends who come from Indonesia. I also know several people who are either living there, or visiting right now. The terrorist attacks last night in Jakarta really hit home for me. You no doubt have already heard the news. I have found out that nobody I know was injured, although two men I know, had just left the area where the explosions occurred and had to shelter in place where they were, until they knew for certain that everything was safe. Thursday in Jakarta was certainly not a good night.

Last night I heard of so many negative happening during the evening news, that it would have been very easy to switch to a comedy or turn the tv off altogether. We were reminded of the gun deaths in so many places in the past months, and the resistance by many to do anything about it. I won't go into great detail here - we don't have that much space, but Wednesday night on the news, was not a good night.

On Tuesday night, a group of about ten young men, approached two men sitting at a bus stop in San Francisco's Mission District. Somehow a fight broke out, and one of the group of young men repeatedly stabbed one of the sitting men. Another attacker went after the other man who had been sitting, cutting up his back. Tuesday night in San Francisco's Mission, was not a good night.

Lone gunmen, deranged doers of evil, followers of cults or of terror organizations, local mobsters, and all assorted criminals can turn our world upside down. Sometimes it looks like they are winning. Don't let them. Don't fear the evil. Don't let bad win. Counter it with good. Stand firm and spread the love.

This morning a friend of mine who was in Jakarta during the attacks tweeted "Jakarta is strong! Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes!" Another friend posted on facebook "We are not afraid," and in face the hashtag ‪#‎JAKARTANOTAFRAID is trending right now. Good. The bad cannot win. Good must prevail, and we can make that happen. Today, do your very best, to spread good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Birthday presence

Saturday night I had the great joy of attending the 100th birthday party for a delightful lady, and on Sunday I wrote here about the delightful Betty White, who turned 94. What kind of gift though do you give someone who is turning 90 or 100? As that question crossed my mind a few months back, as I anticipated this big event, it occurred to me that anyone reaching such a milestone, would probably be more thrilled by people coming out to celebrate, than by any package they might bring.

A frequently used statement on invitations, is "we request the pleasure of your presence." Whether you are turning 100 or just a quarter of that, how wonderful it is to know that people care about you and they want to spend some time in your company.

It doesn't matter how far you go in life or how much material success you might achieve. What's really important is how many people's lives you touch. Of course the guest of honor might very well see more guests if they have touched many lives, but how about each of those guests? What kind of difference do they make by simply being a friend. It doesn't have to be a birthday party either. Your presence when someone is ill, or having a bad day, or looking for a new place to live, or beginning a new job, or any number of other things, can have a huge impact.

Being there: it's the gift that truly keeps on giving!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever

The holiday observed each year to honor Martin Luther King Jr, brings out volunteer spirit and a sense to make this a better world, and that's the kind of thing I write about here every day, so this should make me very happy. Nope. I am always happy when people step up and do good things, but as the day begins, I find it frustrating that so many young Black men have lost their lives in the years since Dr King's was so senselessly taken. Black lives matter? That's not how it looks!  If you think that Black people are no longer oppressed in this country, you must have your eyes closed.

Don't get me started about all lives matter. I have said that before here, and of course it is true, but my African American sisters and brothers are being killed in the streets, and not enough people even care. Add to that the folks who are just barely making it due to underemployment, racism, transphobia (yes, so many transgender hate crimes are against Blacks and other people of color), sexism, and so many other obstacles, that I sometimes wonder how many people actually listened to Dr King's words.

Another frustrating thing: a few days ago I was in a coffee shop and heard a woman, who had just been looking at a store ad, say "What's an MLK Sale?" When her friend tried to explain to her, she was confused about why Martin Luther King should be memorialized by discounted bed linens. Sale prices end oppression?   I'm confused about that too.

Yes, today is a day off from work for many people, but instead of shopping, what if we used it to really make a difference. What if we used it, not just for today, but as a starting point. Let's never again sit quietly when we hear hate speech. Let's never again remain silent when police misconduct claims the lives of our brothers and sons. Let us always stand up against hate and against oppression. If we aren't doing it already, let Martin Luther King, Jr Day, be the day that we begin.

As Dr King himself said, "Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever."

Friday, January 15, 2016

Two Words: Betty White

We write here about making a difference in this world, and this woman certainly has! Betty White has been entertaining us most of her life, with her numerous radio and television characters, with her public appearances, with her books, with her movies, and so much more. It's not just performance that Betty has given us - she's an activist too and has worked tirelessly on behalf of animal rights as well as human rights.  Sunday she is hopefully taking a little break to celebrate her 94th birthday.

I recall a television program she hosted years ago called Pet Set.  You could tell then that she genuinely loved animals. She's worked with numerous organizations too, including the Morris Animal Foundation, Actors & Others for Animals, African Wildlife Foundation, and the Los Angeles Zoo Commission.  It would be impossible to measure the incredible good she has done.

Betty White has also been an outspoken supporter of marriage equality.  She's been politically active too. She endorsed President  Barack Obama in 2012.

Emmy Awards, a Grammy (which she only recently won at age 90), and even some lifetime achievement awards have been received by this truly talented women who gave us Life with Elizabeth, Date with the Angels, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Betty White Show, Just Men, Mama's Family, The Golden Girls, The Golden Palace, Boston Legal, Hot in Cleveland, and many more.  She has no interest in slowing down either, although as I said, I hope she is taking a break to celebrate today and to know how much we all appreciate the joy she has brought to our world!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

On Patrol

Yesterday and last Friday, I mentioned law enforcement in San Francisco. Today, I go back to that city once more to say something about the wonderful Castro Community on Patrol (CCOP), which is just over nine years old, and is doing some remarkable things for the folks in that city. They support more than forty community events and provide more than a thousand hours of volunteer time to the community each year. They are a wonderful model for neighborhood patrolling that I would love to see copied in other places.

Patrolling is at the heart of what they do, acting as the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. It's important to note that they don't get into physical altercations and they don't arrest people. When necessary, they call the police, or other emergency services. They also provide safety information, act as ambassadors with shoppers and tourists, distribute free safety whistles, and are a visible presence, helping to keep people confident of their safety.
 
Volunteers are always needed.  Training is held regularly.  Donations help too.  Check out their website at http://www.castropatrol.org/ to find out more, and also to get ideas of how you might form a similar organization in your own community.  Contact your local police department too if you are looking to set something up, as you should always work with their guidance and supervision.  When we get together and go on patrol, we can really make a difference for the better!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In appreciation of law enforcement

Some of the men and women in law enforcement, should never have put on a uniform. Some of them don't know how to play by the rules and some of them have caused serious abuses, and have even taken lives. Please note that I say some of them, not all. Certainly the vast majority of police do a tremendous job of protecting us and out property. While the bad seeds got an awful lot of attention last year, how about the good one? How about all of those cops who truly make a difference for the better?

Saturday was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, but I happen to think that every day should be a time to show our support for our nation’s approximately 780,000 police officers who carry a badge each day, knowing they may face extremely dangerous situations while carrying out their duties. Men and women doing good things to help others are certainly the majority of those in law enforcement, and it would be wonderful if more attention were paid to the positive things they do. I'm not just talking about those who follow their job description, but the ones who do that extra. In 2016, I intend to write about more of those instances here, and I also invite you to share your own first-hand accounts in the comments below.

In addition to the sworn officers, I would like to think for a moment about all who work with them - the civilian staff in police departments, the police auxiliaries, the neighborhood patrol groups. Think of all the good. Think of the crimes prevented and the crimes solved. Think of the sacrifices made by so many women and men and the risks they take, just to do good. Yes there are bad apples, but today, let's focus on the good.

Friday I wrote about San Francisco's new sheriff, and you might notice from the picture here that these are also from the San Francisco Sheriff's Department.  Tomorrow I will write here about some other folks who patrol.  I would love it if every single day we could recognize that there are good men and women out there in police work. When you see someone in law enforcement today, tell them thank you!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

working together

President Barack Obama is waking up this morning to his last opportunity to revise the content of an important speech. Tonight, he will come before a joint session of Congress to give his address on the State of the Union. This is an annual event. The Constitution requires him to do it. (Article II, Section 3) But what does it mean?

Presidents traditionally come before the House members and Senators, Justices of the Supreme Court, Members of the Cabinet (minus one - there is always a "designated survivor" who sits it out, just in case of disaster), and invited guests, and basically updates what has happened in the past year, and what needs to be accomplished in the future. Presidents will talk of bills before Congress and the importance of their passage.
 
Expect the President to say something about ISIS, about the various terrorist attacks, about his executive actions on guns, and about the upcoming political campaign.  Will he also talk about marriage equality?  It's likely, given that the plaintiff in last year's Supreme Court case, will be sitting with the First Lady.  He will probably also say something about moving prisoners away from Guantanamo Bay, about immigration, most certainly about health care, and the economy.  The really significant thing though is he will ask for people to work together.
 
Politicians are not always good at working with others, especially those for another party.  President Obama, being a Democrat, will likely not get a lot of applause from the majority in Congress who are Republicans.  That's really too bad.  If you truly want to make a difference, you need to get along well with others and be willing to hear all sides of an issue.  The State of the Union Address is always a good chance to see cooperation, or the lack of it.  Watch tonight and see how our elected officials react to our President.  Tomorrow, start sending those emails and making those phone calls, urging them to work together!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Check ignition and may God's love be with you

Playing Pontius Pilate, Paul Ambrosius von Przygodski, Sir Roland Moorecock, and many other characters on the big screen, writing numerous hit songs and recording album after album, producing records, painting works of art - it seemed there was nothing that David Bowie couldn't do. Words from one of his huge hits echo in my mind this morning as I hear word of his death last night. "Nothing's gonna touch you in these golden years." But something did. Just two days after his 69th birthday and the release of the album, Blackstar, the liver cancer he had battled for a year and a half, claimed his live.

In the past hour I have seen countless messages, memories, and news accounts of David Bowie's life. Part of me is a little surprised that he was so beloved. Why not though? He touched many with his entertainment. Remember that duet with Bing Crosby? He also performed with Cher, with Freddie Mercury, with Lou Reed, with Mick Jagger, and so many others. Most people know he had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but did you know he was also a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame?

Do you recall a women's rock group from the early 70s called Fanny? David Bowie didn't like that the weren't remembered, and worked to correct that. He also called out MTV when they played very little music from African-American artists. He helped to bring about that change.  The images of a lifetime are coming to mind.  Reading tweets and facebook posts from friends, it seems just about everyone I know, has been to a David Bowie concert and just about everyone considers him a hero. His happy, upbeat, forward looking personality would probably be a bit uncomfortable with the level of praise that is coming in this morning, but you may recall in his song Heroes from back in the 70s, he sings "We can be heroes, just for one day."

It's another song of his that I am thinking of right now though. As David Bowie's earthly life comes to an end, I cannot help think of the words from Space Oddity:
 
"Commencing countdown,
Engines on
Check ignition
And may God's love be with you"



Friday, January 8, 2016

There's a new Sheriff in town

There was a lot of division in this particular county's Sheriff's Department. In a couple of hours, there will be a new Sheriff. People who were upset with the past administration didn't give up, they got involved. Old fashioned shoe-leather campaigning brought the results everyone had hoped for: Change. Last November, the election choose the first woman to hold that office. Today, the first woman to be Mayor of this city, will swear her in.

The specifics here are not important to my story. The significant things here is that people got involved. People brought about change. This is how we make a better world. 
 
Some of you may remember when there had never been a Roman Catholic US President.  John Kennedy changed that.  Most of you will recall that all US Presidents had been white men.  Barack Obama changed that.  We all know that women have never been President.  Hillary Clinton is trying to change that.  There was a time when gay people or Jewish people or people of color or women or various other groups, were not being elected.  Some of this comes simply from no people from these groups even trying.
 
We need candidates who will run and we need supporters to help with the campaign and of course we need folks to turnout at the polls.  This is such a great way to bring about change.  It's called involvement, and it's something all of us can do.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Be kind to one another

"I have to say, It's a little strange to actually get an award for being nice and generous and kind which is what we're all supposed to do with one another," said Ellen DeGeneres last night. "That's the point of being a human." She was onstage in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theatre, accepting the People's Choice Award for favorite humanitarian.

I have mentioned Ellen here a number of times as someone who inspires me. Last night, she continued inspiring, even while receiving that award. Before coming to the stage, a partial list of her generosity was shared with the audience. Ellen has done so much for so many, it bring teats to your eyes to see such kindness. I'm glad so many others recognize what she has done. The next step of course is to follow in her footsteps. It really can be quite simple too. She is always reminding us of one simple thing we are all capable of doing: "Be kind to one another."

We have all been entertained by Ellen DeGeneres, but it warms my heart that there is so much more than just her performances. Ellen cares about animals and her humanitarianism is truly legendary. How fortunate we are to have Ellen DeGeneres in our lives!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Brighten Up My Day

Writing these words here every morning, brightens up my day. Hopefully along the way you also find something that helps to brighten yours. I hear people say they don't have the resources to make a difference - not enough money. not the right skills, not enough time in their busy lives. Seriously? There is ALWAYS a way!

Some things that don't require money include volunteering to read to kids in your local library, donating some time at a senior center, sharing flowers from your garden, giving blood at your community blood bank, or paying a visit to a homebound person. They don't necessarily require much time either, if you know how to manage your schedule. A very simple thing to brighten the day is to make a point of smiling more often and greeting people you encounter, rather than ignoring them. No special training is required for any of these things to!

Yes, donating money or property is a wonderful thing to do, but not everyone can afford it. There are so many other ways to brighten someone's day. Compliment the teller in the bank. Let the store manager know when you receive exceptional service. (People are quick to complain when things go bad, but way to slow in offering the praise that is so often do).
 
Oh and another thing everyone reading this can do - share this with others, and add your own ideas in the comments section below!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Be the spark

I love it when folks post encouraging things on facebook, Instagram, or twitter. Encouraging others, I think actually encourages ourselves. Sometimes I read a long and very profound message, and other times it is short and to the point. ("Be Kind")

This morning as I looked at my twitter feed, this jumped out at me: "All it takes is a single spark to build a fire. Commit to being that spark in your community and make a difference." Wow! I couldn't have said it any better. 
 
Be the spark.  Isn't that what we talk about here every day - being the spark? More and more I see folks agreeing, and I think this world is getting better each day!  Let's all keep encouraging each other.  Let's all keep making a difference!

Monday, January 4, 2016

A great big year

Did you enjoy the New Year's holiday? Well now that 2016 is upon us and the second day of this brand new year has arrived, let's get down to business! How many things can we do in the days and months ahead to make a difference in this world? Think about it. Make a list. Get to work!

No matter how good things are, there is always room for improvement. fourthfor a political campaign. This is a Presidential election year so there is going to be a lot going on. Does the sight of homeless people drive you to want to do something? Can we end hunger and homelessness? Can we improve the quality of life for everyone? Can we enjoy the beauty of this earth and share that beauty with others? Can we bring smiles to people's faces? I think the answer to any of these questions depends on our attitude and how much we are willing to give. If we all get involved, imagine how much good we can do!

A great big year is just beginning. How will you make a difference for yourself and for others? Share your thoughts. Let's change the world . . . for the better!

Friday, January 1, 2016

The tweet that reminded me of an inspiration

So often on January 1st, we are treated to year-in-review summaries or New Year's resolutions lists or discussions about the holiday itself. It would be easy to do likewise, but last night, I tweeted about a celebrity who moments later tweeted a response. I knew right then that he should be my topic this morning. His name is Mario López and you know him as a tv host and actor. (You knew him years ago as A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell, portraying the famed Olympic diver in Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story, and as a young cop on Pacific Blue). After tweeting that López is "one of the most talented men in America," he tweeted back "Wow, thanks Michael. Happy New Year man!"

Working in media, I have known many celebrities, and way too many of them are just a little bit full of themselves. This guy, whom I don't know at all (but whom I would love to someday meet), seems like the opposite. The way I read his tweet, was that he is very down-to-earth. But, you may be asking, what does any of this have to do with making a difference in this world? Why am I writing about Mario López? Well quite simply because he is making a difference.

Through countless appearances he has delighted and entertained all kinds of audiences. As a frequent guest on the Ellen DeGeneres program, he has shown us a lot of who he is, but we catch glimpses at other times too, like when he is lending his famous name to help numerous charities. (Yes, he really has helped a LOT of different organizations). Just last month he teamed up with Habitat For Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. On Ellen's show, I recall him being dunked for charity. I can also remember him being associated with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Eva Longoria Foundation, Broadway Barks, GLAAD, Padres Contra el Cancer, Leeza's Place, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and a whole lot of other worthy organizations.

As I said, I don't know Mario López and so don't have tons of verified information I can give you, but as someone who reads a lot and watches a lot of television talk shows and news, I can tell you for certain that this guy is an inspiration. He's a devoted family man who regularly attends church services, provides uplifting entertainment, and continuously gives back to others through his vast and generous donation of time, talent, and money. Want to make a resolution on this first day of the year? Resolve to be more like Mario López!