Showing posts from March, 2012

Keep America Beautiful

Our son is a boy scout and loves to camp.I like to think he got his love of the outdoors from us since I love hiking and enjoy camping myself. Before boy scouts, he was in the Adventure Guides program through the YMCA. The leader of the group was wonderful and one of the things he always made the boys do before they set up camp and after we broke it down was to pick up 10 pieces of trash.

It’s something I hope my son will always take with him, the idea that taking care of the environment is an important responsibility of stewardship.If we are to enjoy the great outdoors, we need to take care of them.
This month began the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Great American Cleanup. It goes from March 1 through May 31 every year and is America’s largest annual community improvement program. Last year 3.8 million volunteers put in 5.2 million hours at 30,629 events around the country and the world.
Volunteers also planted 166,000 trees and planted 1.5 million flowers and bulbs, along with plantin…

My First Sacrifice

I did not grow up going to church and the churches I have attended since I became a Christian in 1992 have not made a big deal of Lent so neither have I. That is, up until this year. This year I am fasting every Wednesday night to Thursday night as part of Lent. Although I’ve heard for years what my Catholic sister is giving up for Lent, I’ve never really given up anything before.I fasted once (not during Lent) and found it to be a spiritually satisfying experience so I’m looking forward to doing this on a regular basis. My church is having everyone who is willing fast one day each week from the beginning of Lent, February 22 (Ash Wednesday) to April 5 (Maundy Thursday).Then we are breaking our fast with a sedar meal. I was even more excited about doing this because I know about skip1.It’s an organization that asks people who have a lot to skip something—a meal, a latte, a round of golf, a dessert—and give what they would spend on it to a project to provide food and water to the needy…

Disasters Mount and Who Responds?

Natural disasters.If it seems to you like we’ve heard about more of them in the last year than ever before, you’d be right.In fact, President Obama issued a record 99 major disaster declarations in 2011, compared to the annual average of just 37 for the past 50 years. Looking at the recent string of tornadoes that tore through 10 states, killing dozens of people and flattening neighborhoods, 2012 may not be any better.

Who deals with tragedies like natural disasters every day?The American Red Cross. It reports that it responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year worldwide, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. Red Cross Blood Services also collects and distributes more than 40 percent of America’s blood supply. And, more than 9 million people across the United States receive American Red Cross training in first aid, water safety and other skills every year. Once a year in March the president proclaims it Red Cross month so the Red Cross can fun…

Get Your T-Shirts Here

Today is the official launch of my new and improved website at or It’s been a busy week for me, with a friend home from the hospital and a brother in law who just went in.Besides visiting them, I also managed to pass on a kindness card to someone whose lunch I paid for in line behind me at Burger King yesterday. Helping others feels SO good!

But I’m really ready to give away a t-shirt.This month, if you sign up to get my newsletter, then you are entered into the contest to win a smoky blue “Awaken Your Hearts to End Hunger” women’s Sevenly t-shirt. Since I’ll be giving away a Sevenly shirt, I thought I should tell you about what Sevenly does and about a few other places where you can get clothing and support charity at the same time.
What Sevenly does is pretty simple. Each week it designs a shirt for a new cause and then sells them for $22 and gives seven dollars of that to the cause.As a result, it raises thousands of dollars for a new char…

Relaunch and Refocus

Great new things are happening at You probably have noticed that my website Helping Hearts has been changing.For a month now, I haven’t been able to update the Today’s Ways to Serve feature on a regular basis, because I’ve had a designer working on the page.I haven’t been sending out my monthly newsletter because I have a new header that I’ve been tweaking.For those who have checked out what the site looks like so far, you can see that it’s easier to navigate and looks a lot better, too.

The official relaunch of the website is set for next Friday, March 6.I will be giving away a Sevenly T-shirt that says “Awaken Your Hearts to End Hunger” in honor of the relaunch. The cost of the t-shirt provided 35 meals for people in Darfur.Anyone who signs up for my newsletter in the month of March gets a chance at the shirt and I’ll announce the winner in early April.
The website has a philosophical change to it as well.I’ve decided to share my Christian beliefs and fa…