Week 27: A Visit to the Market Street Mission

Life is meaningless without purpose and hope…. these were words spoken by one of theIMG_2615 former residents of the Market Street Mission, sharing his story with our group of volunteers. His story was unique to him but also familiar to other stories of addiction – a progressive spiral that moved from drinking to marijuana to increasingly powerful drugs, along the way experiencing homelessness, jail sentences, a multitude of court-mandated rehab centers, isolation from family….

 

The ‘bottom’ – the turning point – is different for each addict. Unfortunately, for over 100 people in the U.S. a day, that bottom is death. For our speaker, the bottom came when a 30-bag-a-day cocaine habit ended with an epiphany after almost dying from another overdose. Eventually he ended up at the Mission’s Recovery Program where he found a place of acceptance, spirituality, hope and possibility.

 

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Week 26: Feed My Starving Children’s Mobile Packing event with Liquid Church: A Holiday Poem

photo of group

Pastor Tim calls Christmas the season of light

and encourages us to find ways to shine bright

by sharing love and kindness to others in need,

And one way to do this is through doing good deeds.

So when Liquid Church held Feed My Starving Children’s Mobile Packing event, 

my husband and daughter and co-workers went. 

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Week 25: The Alexis Diner’s Thanksgiving Charity Dinner for St. Peter’s Orphanage

 

Facts-About-Macy-Thanksgiving-Day-ParadeSometimes participating in a charity can be super simple – like enjoying a charity dinner… which is what my husband and I decided to do for Thanksgiving. For us, it was an easy choice. Thanksgiving is typically just the two of us. Our tradition is to take the train into NYC, look at the holiday window displays, do a little holiday shopping at Bryant Park’s Winter Village, then have Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant (Blue Fin on Times Square has been our go-to). It’s a really fun tradition – the city is full of lights, energy and happiness, bright decorations and holiday music. Everyone is friendly and you’re surrounded by the excitement of tourists.

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Week 24: Salvation Army Angel Tree Program – Practicing Empathy Skills With My 4 Year Old Grandson

I wanted to include my grandson Jason in a few charitable activities this holiday season. He’s 4 years old, cute as a button and has more energy than a wild bronco, so I needed to find something that was both active and would make sense to him. The Salvation Army Angel Tree program fit perfectly.

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Week 23: Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (Volunteering in Orlando)

 

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My husband and I are visiting Orlando for vacation this week and wanted to include some sort of volunteering activity into our trip. There are tons of places to volunteer in Orlando. The trick was finding an organization that needed help during the few days we were here. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida made signing up a snap and they utilize a great number of volunteers each day so there was room in their schedule for two more!

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Week 22: Liquid Church’s Love Week: Spreading Kindness and Connection

kindness heart

The month of November always makes me think of kindness. The start of the winter holiday season is a wonderful time for refocusing and remembering that it takes only a tiny effort to share love!  It brings to mind a special story I want to share with you. It’s my interpretation of the concept of Tikkun Olam*, Hebrew for “repair of the world”…

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Week 21: A Day of Food Rescue With Table To Table

IMG_1454It’s 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and rush hour is in full force. We are smack in the middle of the chaos of bumper-to-bumper traffic as it winds its way along spaghetti strings of highways leading to the George Washington Bridge. We are in Fort Lee, NJ – a 3 square mile city that wraps around the New Jersey side of the bridge. The views of the NYC skyline are amazing, especially as the sun was rising.

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