Archive for October, 2009

The Hierarch of Helping

October 23, 2009


I am passionate about volunteering. I volunteer in a variety of capacities for several causes. I volunteer for many reasons; but mostly because I am called to serve. Finding a perfect match is not always easy.  But when everything in the volunteer universe in aligned – it’s golden. Key elements to a successful experience include: a responsive, committed and dedicated staff; an engaged and involved Board of Directors; there is a universal relevance to the mission of the charity; the lives of those served are impacted and changed by the organization; and the volunteer is important to the agency.

I am passionate about Mika.

I am drawn to support Mika because of these three words: Justice, Mercy and Humility.  Micah 6:8 Mika has an important role in my city. By equipping leaders in (low-income) neighborhoods, residents can build communities with VISION.

  • Vision: where neighbors share and agree on a desired future for their community.
  • Interdependent Relationships with God and Each Other
  • Servant Leadership
  • Impact
  • Organization
  • Networks

I share this Vision for my city.

In addition to my volunteer position with Mika in fund development I signed on with the  Step Up program.  As an adult role model, I am able to work with children in leadership development.  Spending time weekly with these young people gives me immeasurable joy! And the kids know that who they are makes a difference.

The Mika kids may be considered (by Federal guidelines) from low to very low income families, but none of them considers themselves poor. However, the major difference between these young people than those from the other side of town’s families of higher income brackets is that culturally, giving is not a way of life.

Proverbs 19:17  “Who is Kind to the Poor, Lends to the Lord.”

So the challenge becomes how do kids who do not have: helping, volunteering or good samaritan behaviors modeled become makers of change?

It’s been nine centuries since Maimonides provided the ladder of tzedekah which laid the foundation for acts of charity and almost 50 years since Maslov‘s pyramid of needs provided an order to human development. In developing a format for a youth service-ethics program I am melding the works of these two learned Jews. Designing the Hierarchy of Helping, the following premises are established:   (lowest to highest priority)

HOY – Helping Our Youth

We commit to:

1. Help students by acknowledging “helping” talents.
2. Help students develop insights into their helping talents.
3. Help students understand the needs in the “world” for their helping talents.
4. Help guide and direct students towards utllizing their helping talents.
5. Students will use their helping talents to make a difference.
For all of the Mika children,  the basic helping concept begins in home caring for siblings or participating in family chores without pay. Building upon that premise; it’s elementary! Kids love helping because the act of engagement raises them up. With a solid foundation the students eagerly look for more ways to help. The result is a sense accomplishment and independence.

Hierarchy of Helping
(lowest to highest priority)
1. Help at home first serving family and friends.
2. Help by serving the Lord in your place of worship.
3. Help by making your neighborhood a safe and happy place.
4. Help by showing respect for the less fortunate, other children, older adults, the sick and God’s creatures in your community.
5. Help by making a difference in the world.
I am passionate about being the change I hope to see in others.

My inspiration is Maimonides:
* Give unwillingly (gives only because he is forced to so so. This is a gift of the hand but not of the heart.)
* Give less than you should or are able, but gives cheerfully.
* Give cheerfully, and as much as you can, but only after being asked to do so.
* Give before you are asked but doing so directly to the poor, causing embarrassment.
* Give when you do not know who is receiving but the individual benefitting knows the giver’s identity.
* Give anonymously to someone in need (who does not know the giver’s identity),
* Giver and receiver are unknown to each other.
* Give so that receiver can help himself.
Making a difference: from Maimonides to Maslov to Mika.


I Was Born to Write

October 20, 2009


From short stories written in grade school about wild adventures atop Mt. Kilimanjaro, to poetry in high school that I hand delivered to Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, I was on a mission to write. I wrote letters from a communist country that were never delivered to my family back home and I have compiled journals of musings and things not so amusing for decades. I have written love letters, dear john letters and letters to editors. A career of grant and proposal writing allowed me to make a living doing what I loved for charitable organizations.  And then when I had written my first book, Stories of Old, I thought maybe that unsettled spirit in me that roams the heavens and beyond could finally rest in peace. That was not the case. An opportunity presented itself to me as I celebrated yet another milestone birthday on the cusp of a momentous decade. I was being considered for a position as editor of a weekly column on senior (citizen) living. Nearly three months later, after classes and writing samples and training… my dream lives on.

BellaOnline The Voice of Women, where you can read about everything from A to T  (autos to television and more).  According to the BellaOnline homepage, its mission is to “provide an encouraging, supportive publishing community for women. To provide free training, support and promotion so writers may reach their personal and business goals. Overall, BellaOnline aims to provide high-quality, helpful, trustworthy content, at no cost, in a low advertisement environment for our millions of visitors. ”

Giving credibility to BellaOnline, it is the second largest women’s website on the internet and each month BellaOnline receives more than 20 million views on their website. As writers we are volunteers; there is no paid marketing budget and efforts from BellaOnline benefit charities which include those serving children’s health, cancer research, the environment, literacy, small business micrco-enterprise loans and animals just to name a few.

BellaOnline provides a variety of opportunities for interaction among its readers. From a myriad of forums to contests and interesting products, BellaOnline lets you be the best you can be. Stay in touch with newsletters or book clubs. There is always something new each day on the BellaOnline homepage from features to literary magazines.

Senior Living will link you to my  Senior Living Site. Subscribe, sign up and you will be notified when new articles are posted to the site. If you misplace the link, you can always go to BellaOnline. At the Headings column on the left of the page, click on FAMILY, there you can be directed to Senior Living

And now back to my passion as I write on!

The Word of the Lord

October 20, 2009

imagesLector: One who proclaims the Scripture readings used in the Liturgy of the Word from the official lectionary. Time commitment: Weekly, at a scheduled mass. Qualifications: Able to speak publicly. Possession of good vocal variety and quality to bring to the proclamation of the Word. Development of an understanding of the Scriptures to be proclaimed.

Psalm 95:8     If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart. The “call” came in mid-June.  I answered.

Psalm 19:14    Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord. As I approach the altar and bow with highest reverence, I am filled with awe.

I Corinthians 12:4-11 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. There are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the workings of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each on individually as He wills.  When a gift is given, you must accept it willingly, graciously. You must share that gift, pass it along and be grateful.

Passion, Mission, Vision

October 19, 2009

My passion is defined by my:

Mission to care for others, serve my community and make a difference by making connections.

My passion is shaped by my:

Vision to live in a community where thoughtfulness is a way of life and the needs of others are met by young and old everyday in every way possible.

It’s My Passion!

October 6, 2009

It was the summer of ’07 when I came across this brilliant flower. Like a virgin snowflake, she made a soft landing on the freshly mowed, well-manicured lawn in our front yard. She exposed her beauty with confidence. Whites, laced with blues; a pentagon of greens blessed by a trinity of purple. What was I to call her? I followed every lead trying to determine who she was.  And now, nearly 18 months later her name is made known to me. She calls herself passionflower. And just like that I found my passion. From this day forward, I share my passion with you.