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Archive for July, 2009

nablopomo I’m going to join my friend – and fellow Mother in ActionLauren and try to   complete a successful NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month – which means I’ll be posting every single day in August.

I’m going to try to post something every day that doesn’t need a password, so that means if I share any pics, I’ll be doing TWO posts a day.

Here’s hoping I have a lot to share in August about such matters of import as “back to school,” the So You Think You Can Dance finale, the on-set of fall (I start early), Julie & Julia (which I’m dying to see and WILL see even if I have to go to a midnight show by myself once the kids and ryno are down for the night) and progress with Mothers in Action for Vietnam.

Have a post suggestion or a question to help me along?  Post below!

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I was born in the wrong generation.  I should have been born around 1940 and been a baby boomer – part of Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.”

This is how I know – I was born a very old woman (on the inside, not in real Benj@min Buttons style).  When I was about 9 years old, my mom and dad offered me a typewriter or a new bike for my birthday.  I chose the typewriter – I might as well have emerged from the womb playing bridge.

My favorite films – black and white.  My favorite music – 40s, 50s easy listening.  I say “mercy” and “gosh” a lot:  “Mercy, I’m tired.”  “Gosh, that’s bad news.”  I drive too slow.  I like to sit on a porch swing.  I buy really unfashionable old furniture at yardsales.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Today, I was the speaker at a prayer breakfast (for my work).  I spoke to a room of about 75 Assisted Living residents.  As I stood and spoke, watching them all nod at me with encouragement, as proud of me as if I were their own granddaughter, I thought, “these are my peeps!”

I admired the pink cardigans.  All the gentlemen looked super dapper in ties and/or suspenders.  Some even wore jackets.  Most of them had thick glasses, just like me.  “Yes, these are my peeps.”

I sat at a table with a good friend of mine who is about to turn 80.  She is an AWESOME lady.  When the staff waiter came around to take our breakfast “order” he said:  “What can I get for you guys?”

After we ordered, she said, “You guys.  That’s all we hear.  ‘You guys.'”  She laughed.

Note to self:  Do not say “I want to thank you guys for inviting me to speak to you today” when you start the presentation.

Moments later, I stood up at the podium, tested the sound system to make sure everyone could hear me (sometimes me and my peeps have trouble hearing when people mumble).  Then, I launched into my presentation.

“Good morning!  I want to thank you guys, uhm, you all, all of you for inviting me to speak…”

After the presentation, my friend grabbed my hand and said “Oh, that was perfect. You are such a honey for doing that.”

It wasn’t perfect, but I like how my peeps are all about making me fee good.

After my tour of the facilities, my friend walked me out to the car (because MAYBE I got lost in there).  At the door, another one of my new peeps sat by her walker, waiting for a ride.

She didn’t seem interested, but my friend felt like telling her “This is my friend, Kelly, she’s the director at …”

Then, the other lady, very politely, looked at me and said.  “Well, how about that?!” And then, she went back to looking out the window and watching for her ride.

Note to self:  Start using “how about that” as often as possible in day-to-day conversation.  And throw in “Well, I’ll be…” just for good measure.

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Have you guys heard about Mothers in Action for Vietnam?  Click the button on the right to get involved.  We are VERY close to hitting our first goal!

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

Two months ago, my friends Lauren and Kerryanne and I watched a video on-line about a young boy with HIV, living in an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  His life was being changed by the daily anti-viral medicine that was being provided by a non-profit.  The young boy’s many struggles – his health, his life in an orphanage – are overshadowed by the hope the little boy has when he talks about the plans he has for his life – he wants to be a singer.

It was one of those moments where….  well, words defy me.  It was one of those moments.  You can watch the video HERE.

Lauren, Kerryanne and I started e-mailing each other and discussing ways that we could parlay our blogging into doing some good work in the country where our sons were born.  We researched multiple non-profits working in Vietnam, and met a bunch of dead ends.

Last week, we discovered a group Friends of Hue, who is doing amazing work in Hue, Vietnam, with very little.  Based in California, their office is staffed entirely by concerned volunteers.  Their only paid staff is their in-country staff in Vietnam.

Here are a few things they are doing:

  • Monthly mobile health clinics – It is amazing to think that a mobile health clinic (which can be sponsored for approximately $350) can serve over 200 people in need of care.
  • A Shelter for Orphans
  • Emergency Medical Sponsorship for Children

The three of us knew that we wanted to do something to benefit orphan care, or HIV/AIDS care and education.  We did not want to start our own non-profit, but rather serve as a conduit for the many like-minded people we know in real life and via our blogs, to support one project at a time in hopes of making a real difference.

Last week, I contacted FOH and we began a dialogue about an infant boy in need of heart surgery.  We learned that the baby’s family had raised $900 USD – half of what the surgery would cost) – and so the three of us planned to raise the funds to help the family pay for their son’s surgery.

In less than twenty-four hours we received word that the boy had died.  This death knocked the wind out of me.  Here was a case where a child died because his family simply could not afford the surgery he needed.

With a renewed sense of urgency, we have worked double-time to get our Mothers in Action for Vietnam blog going so that we could help FOH raise $600 to pay for two surgeries:

  • Buu, age 9, is in desperate need of a surgery to repair a serious facial deformity.  Cost in US dollars?  $300
  • Tuy, age 2, is in desperate need of a surgery to repair a cleft palate.  Cost in US dollars? $300

Facial deformity and cleft palate are such pressing concerns because they affect a child’s ability to eat, drink, and speak.  Can you imagine that the $300 we spend for a car payment or an i@phone could completely change a child’s life?

Please visit our blog (follow the button on the sidebar) to read about what we’re doing or to support this project.  We will not take donations, but we will steer you to FOH’s donation page.  Kerryanne is generously offering a handmade gift to each person who donates $30 to these surgeries.  Part of our goal from the beginning was to do this without touching any money ourselves.  We are only identifying one project at a time, where we feel we can have an impact, and steering our friends and family in that direction, if they are willing.

Please consider posting about this project on your blogs and/or adding our button to your site.  While we are raising funds for these surgeries via FOH, we plan on working with a number of different non-profits if we are lucky enough to get your support.

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with, nor do we represent, any non-profit group. We are acting only as a conduit for like-minded individuals to work together, making a difference one project at a time. It is our hope that we can make a greater impact when we unite for a common goal.

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Importance

philanthropy

Please plan to check in later tonight for a really special announcement.  No, I’m not pregnant.  Or adopting again.

This is about a little something that a few of us have been spending a lot of time working on, and we’re excited to introduce you to it!

and, we’re gonna need your help.

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