Week 39: Our Hearts of Hope: Small Acts with Huge Impact

Me with Heart


Hello friends! My journey this week brought me to
Our Hearts of Hope where a small act became a radical way to connect with and support others…
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Mencius (372-289 BC) was a Chinese philosopher who believed every human heart has the capacity for goodness. He taught that kindness and benevolence are rooted and inherent in our nature. By reflecting, focusing and acting on that aspect of our nature, we discover we are capable of performing acts of loving humanity which become a source of joy and happiness.

 

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Week 38: Taking the Polar Bear Plunge: Freezin’ for a Reason and Supporting Special Olympics New Jersey

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Be Bold. Get Cold…

 

Surrounded by a trio of Tyrannosaurus Rex who were dancing to an old Eddie Money tune…

 

I looked to my right and watched Santa and Mrs. Claus laughing as they untethered their reindeer.

 

On my left, a clan of cavemen were swinging clubs and being chased by a polar bear riding a dinosaur…….

 

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Week 37: An Intergalactic Journey to Jupiter to fight Parkinson’s Disease

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Sometimes Mother Nature creatively challenges your plans. A late winter storm dropped 22 inches of snow on our town last week. The storm left behind a magical landscape of thickly drifted blankets of snow, icing-draped trees pulled low across the roads, and…. a State of Emergency.  It looked like a fairy tale and it cancelled my charity activity for the week.

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Week 35: Protecting Children in Crisis: Paint-&-Sip with Family Intervention Services

CDC sources of abuse

According to the NJ Department of Children and Families, there were 59,151 referrals for child abuse and neglect in 2013. All were referred for investigation. Just about 10,000 of them became active/open cases. Ongoing neglect, physical and/or sexual abuse, domestic/school/community violence… these are the environments of children living in trauma… of families in crisis. It’s a world behind closed doors, a secret space in society.  It is into this world that Family Intervention Services (FIS) steps, with the goal of protecting children and rehabilitating families.

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Week 34: CMTC Blue Warming Station: Kindness and Empathy for the Homeless

flyer when openWhen I signed up to be a Shelter Helper on a Friday night for Christ Temple Church Ministry’s CTCM Blue Warming Station (CTCM) in Newark, I did not know what to expect. Open up to 3 days a week, and only on nights when the temperature falls below 32 degrees, the church and staff of CTCM go out of their way to provide a safe, warm, peaceful environment to its guests.

On nights when they are open to house the homeless, they transform the main room into a shelter filled with as many cots as they can, so they can help as many people as possible.

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Week 33: SpreadKindness.Org: Heart+Action=Power

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One of my goals for this 52-week journey is to explore a wide variety of ways to get involved – from more structured organizations to grassroots efforts. Sometimes volunteering can take a pretty big commitment of time, resources, or planning. However, there are also many simple ways to tie volunteering and kindness into your life in much more organic and simple way.  SpreadKindness.org is one such avenue.

 

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Week 32: DoSomething.Org – Empowering Youth and Young Adults to Get Involved and Get Active (because apathy sucks!)

logoDoSomething.org is the future of volunteer and activism experiences. The non-profit uses a digital platform to power offline action through hundreds of grass-roots volunteer, social change, awareness and civic action campaigns.

 

 

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Targeted at ages 13 – 30, the campaigns can be completed by individuals or groups, without any need for transportation, funding by participants, or oversight. Young adults love to get involved and make a difference. They are passionate about causes they identify with. DoSomething.org taps into that potential and makes getting active super easy and super fun, empowering teens and young adults to drive social change.

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Week 31: Volunteering New Year’s Eve at First Night Morris

lego knight on horseChased by Lego knights and pirate ships, stalked by 6 foot tall dinosaurs, time-warped to the 1930s to carve Mt. Rushmore, paralyzed by the siren’s song of a Metropolitan Opera Soprano….. is this a crazy, alcohol-fueled dream? Nope. This is how I rang in an eclectic and delightful New Year’s Eve at First Night Morris in Morristown, NJ.

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