Friday, August 21, 2009

Just Do One Thing

It’s probably part of being profoundly patriotic that volunteering for causes is just part of my life. It’s probably part of being passionate about parenting the next generation that volunteering in the community is so very important. But the biggest part about volunteering is that it does matter, everything matters, it all matters.

As a parent with teenagers, I find that volunteering is a wonderful way to focus that abundance of energy in constructive ways. Constructively busy teens are happy teens. It’s good for youth to learn about a situation, see how the world is, contribute in some way to make it better and imagine a world without such difficulties.

When my kids were little, our goal was to make one contribution to the community per month. We started small with drawing pictures for the sick and the elderly, and picking up trash (with gloves) at the park. As they have grown the projects have gotten bigger and I’m so pleased when they find new and wonderful ways to contribute to the community in which they live.

Sometimes, you might volunteer at something that you find you just don’t like to do, I’m thinking about poop patrol, it’s just not my bag. I’d rather collect dog & cat food for the shelter. It’s the same cause, that is near and dear to my heart (our dogs are previous pound-puppies) and I serve in a way that works for me and works for the shelter.

There are so many ways to volunteer and so many causes that really do need help it can be overwhelming. Sometimes the coordinators want a commitment to help all the time. Just do what you can. If you find you like it, you’ll be back.
Here are a few things that you might consider giving a try: making valentines to send to the VA hospital, walking shelter dogs, giving toiletries to the women’s shelter, collecting dog & cat food, setting up a community Christmas tree, sending cards to chronically ill children, recycling cans, picking up trash along the highway, collecting rice for the hungry, donating to war victim recovery, calling politicians and telling them how we feel about the environment, planting trees, singing at the convalescent home, books for kids, writing letters to soldiers, making crafts to raise money, speaking at groups about animal cruelty, telling friends about good things happening in the community, recycling newspaper, helping to set up for educational events, magazines to veterans, being on advisory boards, making prayer shawls, dictionaries for children, sewing blankets for premature babies, sewing bags for kids at the homeless shelter, collecting pop tops for Ronald Mc Donald House, working at the recycling center, school supplies for needy kids, teaching tobacco cessation, planting flowers, shopping for an invalid, delivering food to needy families, backpacks of food for needy children over the weekend, giving blankets to the homeless shelter, giving unneeded things to charities that help families in economic stress, collect horse feed & medicines for the horse rescue, cleaning at the animals shelter, and the list goes on of needed help in the community.

Remember you don’t have to do everything, just do something, just do one thing, because every one thing really does matter.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cliffhanger Concluded

Just as I was posting the update...

Serina called, she's the contact, the president of the board, and if memory serves, I think I've read her name as a reporter for a local newspaper. We'll be meeting in town at a coffee house later.

She said several times that this was about good faith. Is that what this is about? What exactly does that mean?

Perhaps, I wonder too much, but did LaDonna just get out of fulfilling her obligations by passing the delivery on to another friend/associate?

At this point, I believe I'll get the gift certificate in a few hours. But it's not a victory in any sense of the word. The overall tone wasn't appropriate to the positions of the people in this situation. The gift certificate needed to be hassled out of them and even then, begrudgingly given, by way of a messenger who is not responsible for the fiasco; it's just plain... sad.

I wonder, what was the real motivator? Why did this become such an important issue yesterday?

In the end, we've decided to donate the gift certificate to a cause that we know will use it. Perhaps, that will help with healing from the sadness of this most unnecessary situation. Then, we just move on.

Cliffhanger continued

Here we are, wondering about customer service again... An update to the door prize situation. It's now after the " 8/1 deadline" and I received a call 8/18.

"This is LaDonna."

I know it hasn't been that long, but Let Go & Let God really does work! I was driving and thinking about my to-do-list, etc., so I was a bit fuzzing about the name for a second. This makes me chuckle, because I was really hot on this just a few weeks ago.

Anyway, three calls and six emails from LaDonna directly yesterday. With the results that I'm to meet with someone else, some day at some location in town and someone will call.

Oh, then an associate of LaDonna's sent an email that she was highly offended by my blog. Originally, I did not use her name but the company name, she said she was offended that Google didn't bring up her company as a mail service. I had reported what I found on Google, M**** company was a computer company. I stand corrected, M*** company is a mail service company and has been so for over 20 years. I've removed the name of her company, not because she asked nicely because she didn't (in fact her email was in RED) but because I don't know all the details of their relationship, and sometimes things aren't necessarily as they seem, perhaps she's been drawn into a situation rather than voluteering to cover for her friend.

Anyway, in an another email the same associate reported the post office was unable to locate any of the letters. (It reminded me about the return receipt request, what was that number again?)

In all fairness, the postal service isn't always the greatest. But as I mentioned in conversation with LaDonna, we've had our share postal problems in the past at a different address (really, who hasn't had missing mail from time to time) and I do sympathize.

However, it doesn't change what these people have been telling me. LaDonna says the mail company mailed the letters, that's why she uses them. The mail company said that they were tracking the letters as a favor to a regular client but they didn't mail the letters.

All the drama aside, current status: waiting...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Judges Need To Get Together

It’s a bad habit, reading the paper. Your head ends up full of information, if given a second or two to process, recognizes the injustices our society continues to exhibit.

In the old days, judges represented the people, the society, so through their sentencing of convicted criminals, they were making ongoing statements about the values of the society. Judges are allowed latitude in sentencing guidelines for circumstances that may not appear in the newspaper. Still those guidelines and the standard sentence for various crimes represent the true values, not the hype, of what a society values. For this reason, many believe that premeditated murder is the worst crime and that death is appropriate. Everything else is up for negotiation. Despite all the media rhetoric about protecting children, children are our future, each individual is valuable, the sentencing pedophiles to help protect children clearly isn’t as much a priority as protecting property , because the pedophile sentences are not as harsh as those give to burglars.

Yesterday’s paper, Region & State, Page 5, Judicial Briefs: 3 cases, 3 judges.

Case 1
23 year-old man pleads guilty to multiple commercial & residential burglaries. The sentence: $4,000 restitution + fines, 20 years in prison.

Case 2
25 year-old man pleads guilty to commercial burglary (netting $400), high-speed chase with multiple collisions and one injury. The sentence: $10,000 restitution + fines, 20 years +10 years suspended for the burglary, and 3 – 15 year sentences from the chase & collisions and personal injury collision. A total of 65 years +10 years suspended.

Case 3
25 year-old man pleads guilty to more than 3 years of continual rape of a minor (from age 7 to 10 or 11) and threatening her to stay quiet about the rapes. The sentence: On a reduced charge of “second-degree sexual assault on a girl” in exchange for a guilty plea, SIX YEARS.

This might be a good place for a closing comment, but the situation pretty much says it all.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Human Polygraph

Polygraph machine (or lie-detector) measures physical changes of temperature, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, during questioning or a psycho-physiological detection of deception examination.

On the 60s-70s TV show, Endora put a spell on Darrin to tell the truth, much to the advertising executive's dismay, he tells the client that his product is disgusting. But like all the other shows, Samantha helps smooth things over and Mother's Stew becomes Mother's Doggy Stew, sales sky-rocket, and Larry gives Darrin his job back.

Linda Carter's character, Wonder Woman had a golden lasso. If she put the rope around you, you had to tell the truth. This came in handy when time was running out and there was too much information needed to make the ending possible without the supernatural help of the lasso.

But the old-fashioned way works best... Mom.

Real mothers have a way of knowing when their children are lying. It becomes second nature. A real good mother doesn't need to wait for their child to open their mouth, they don't have to hear the ridiculous lie, they have a sixth sense about it.

Then there are the extraordinary mothers who expand this gift to include the rest of the world. These moms are statistically on par with Sherlock Holmes. Call it what you will, an angel whispering in the ear or a BS-detector, but when the liar-liar pants on fire starts talking, the Super-mom bells go off, it matters not if it's in person or on the phone...the game is afoot.