I am so loving those ears Jundo. :)
I am so loving those ears Jundo. :)
Fantastic! I bet the children loved it.
Thanks for sharing.
POSTING FOR SOMEONE WHO PREFERS TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS BUT WISHES TO SHARE (I think it may inspire someone to do something like it) ... THEY WRITE:
I work with person's with intellectual and other disabilities. I do my best to respond to people's needs each day but it is often like trying to water every tree in the forest; I know that there are always those that are missed. Knowing this, what I have always done is try to increase the responsiveness of the people (families, nurses, psychologists, house managers, and direct support professionals) that surround the folks we support. And yet, I know that there is always someone who is lonely, always someone who is sick and suffering alone, always someone that is afraid.
So what I have decided to do during the global days of service is, I am sorry to say, no great service, but simply to see one of these moments and respond. Today I sat with a very sick woman with advanced dementia. I held her hand, smiled and looked into her eyes. I wish I could tell you that she experienced a deep peace from these moments, but her eyes and her moaning, revealed true mental/emotional suffering. There were only brief flashes of recognition there, only brief moments(seconds) of respite for her. I remained present with her, spoke to her and then, when it felt natural to leave, I said good bye. As is always the case with such moments, I believe I was of benefit but know that I benefited tremendously myself and am grateful.
Of course responding to these moments of need is something that I have always tried to do in my work, but most of my time is spent in meetings, paperwork and in my office which is in an administrative building. What the global days of service has done for me is make me commit to going into at least one home each day so that I am available to witness and respond. In reality, I am the one receiving from the global days of service, so thank you for that as well.
At any rate my recommendation to other busy people who are looking for a project would be to first make a conscious effort to be around people each day and then simply stay alert to see a basic human need (loneliness, sadness, fear, insecurity,) and respond. I think that by doing so you can make a real contribution in very little time.
Thank you anonymous (and Jundo)
SOMEONE ELSE WHO WISHES TO STAY ANONYMOUS BUT WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ...
I spent an hour with my Great Aunt this afternoon in the care home she now lives in. She seemed very happy (and surprised) to see me, which is good. She lives in a very isolated part of the countryside and it struck me how a small act such as spending time with her can mean so much. I hadn't visited her for a while and I had forgotten how it must have felt to live somewhere like that. I plan to see her more often.
Time constraints and personal responsibilities have meant that I have been unable to dedicate a full day to helping others and so I have tried to think of other things that I can do in the spirit of things:
I plan to give blood for the first time soon (I don't really like needles though). I am in the process of applying to do voluntary work for [a charity] as a befriender who goes out into the community to help the elderly.
A quick report on my activities for the Global Service days:
The last two days I went collecting money door to door for an organisation that does good work for refugees all over the world ( ZOA). Because it was snowing ( I know this eastern will be colder than Christmas, lol) so that is what doing Takuhatsu must feel like or something! :D Also served coffee and a chat for the lonely elderly at a community center. What some of those people went trough in life and now sit staring in the distance, all alone. It’s just wrong! Keeping up the smiling practice. Now the novelty wore off it really is practice!
This is not strictly a Global Service activity as my job allows such interactions to take place....But.... I had to sit and talk through a few things with a child who was quite upset on the last day of term.
Firstly, she didn't want the holidays to start as her home life isn't easy. Talking about that is part of my job in my book, but what came up next I think is something that affects a lot of children.
After a bit of conversation it came out that her birthday was during the holiday and it coincided with the death of her father at a time when she was too small to remember him. I talked through this with her but what affected her most was a fear of this 'shadow of death'. Now I feel I did a good job in how the conversation went and she gave me a hug before going home. However, thinking back over the time since New Years this is the second of such conversations I have had. What is striking is that it seems that a larger number of children are affected by this 'shadow of death' than perhaps we adults realise. A lesson about bones, where I had a model skeleton resulted in such a talk with a whole class, as did a lesson on Easter and the Crucifixion, albeit with an older class. I wonder how many children carry such a hidden fear of of this shadow of death and dying, based on their own ideas and conceptions?
I have never forgotten a phrase I picked up as a child at a museum exhibition about blindness which went something like, 'children brought up fearing death will live lives fearing life'. Therefore my ongoing commitment, beyond my duty as an educator, is to provide a way for children to lift this fear of the 'shadow of death'.
Thank you for sharing.
Here I'll be cleaning the local river Dodder with a local action group early next week. It is filthy since the floods last year and in IMF bailed out Ireland the government leaves all these public works up to voluntary groups.
Anyway, that's what I'll be doing.
I´ve been collecting empty cans, recycling it and given the money to the red cross organisation.
thank you so much for your inspiring posts. I'll be doing something rather unimaginative this week , which is to take a big plastic bag and to walk along our little river here, hoping and non-hoping to find a lot of trash which people put where it definitely doesn't belong :) I'll also help my hospice group to set up a blog, but this won't happen this week it seems.
Hans Chudo Mongen
Time to carry some food in my backpack, for the skinny man with the big beard, who walks up and down Yonge street wearing a dirty blanket.
Well, I never came up with anything new or exciting, so I am cleaning a trail, cleaning a park, and handing out gift cards for food while we do it. Of course, I have a helper who is amazed by our trash picker-uper, which makes the time go by pretty fast!
Prisoners. I work with inmates. Write some overdue letters.
Will clean up the forest preserve in back of my house which has served so well during no less than3 hurricanes. It needs TLC, no trash though but down trees.
I've been working on a a scholastic chess program for the past year, but I haven't been very successful with it. We've needed funds for equipment and fundraising hasn't been easy. Most of the money has been out of pocket so far, but I'm far from throwing in the towel.
I've very recently started cycling again after many years away from the sport and have been loving the saddle time. In the process of re-establishing some old friendships I discovered a wonderful food-drive effort that's been happening in various cities across the nation called 'Cranksgiving'. Essentially it's a charity bicycle race/scavenger hunt with the purpose of generating food for those in need. I've already got a few businesses willing to help with the effort and have talked with one local food bank about being the distribution point. Hopefully there will be enough interest locally to make this effort fly. If you wish to read a little more about the event here's a link: http://www.cranksgiving.org
Thank you all for your efforts to make your community and world at-large a better place Treeleaf!
my global day of service had to be reset due to it snowing (yeah first day of spring around here and we get a whooping of snow:P) and I had to wait for the it to yield again so I am doing my work this weekend. Its an on going endevour of cleaning up a dump that is not actually not a dump.
Hey there everyone,
Well, the action that I have taken on will go beyond the specific time frame for this service. What I will be doing to re-designing two websites for local non-profit groups that foster and find loving homes for both cats and dogs. We are wanting to get the message out there that there are still homes needed for these beautiful little creatures. My little buddy Bodhi was brought into Canada from Mexico via Los Angles through this organization.
This will be starting this week, but will be going for the next few months ... so just giving a little extension on this Global Days of Service. :)
An anonymous person via Jundo brought up bees earlier in this thread. It was an issue I was pretty ignorant of, so I thought I'd share the link! It would be cool to try to start repopulating bees up here in the mountains, I'm been thinking about the best way to do that! It's a pretty interesting issue (at least to me.)
Also, the previous link came up on my FB feed- a 19 year old with a viable solution for cleaning up garbage in our oceans! In 5 years he could remove 7,250,000 tons! He has funding and it is in the works- astonishing.
I went out trail cleaning today and had quite the adventure. We had our first sunny day in awhile, so my wife took off work (thanks hon!) so I could go. It was too muddy to bring my oldest son who really wants to go but he's not as good as I am at staying upright...I only fell down once! ;) We'll head out again as soon as things are dry.
I ended up with nearly a full bag of trash, mostly beer cans and bottles, and was pleasantly surprised to find the areas my oldest and I cleaned last Fall to be mostly clean! So, I ventured into some different areas this time and made an interesting discovery. Under one tree off the path I found ice tea bottles, cold packs (the ones that aren't frozen), and empty sudafed packets. I figured whoever it was must have been doing some relatively low level partying, but in an adjacent area I also found cut open lithium batteries, coffee filters, bottles filled with rock salt, plastic tubing, and some hydrochloric acid. At that point I'm thinking, "Looks like a homemade meth lab." The real clincher? Nearby I found a high school science textbook.
Not sure if I should report all that...definitely made for an interesting outing.
I think you should definitely report it! That's a charitable act in and of itself. It may or may not be what you think (though I think it's pretty clear..) but I would alert the authorities if I stumbled upon it. It could be a danger for other hikers/do-gooders in the area, especially if they drop in on the person who is experimenting. Kinda like if you hike in California and come up on a marijuana field. What an interesting find, though! Bet it fueled some conversation for a while!
I had another little opportunity this week, as the Cherry Blossoms are in bloom here in Japan. We made a bus trip with that same group of challenged kids for a day of hiking and "Hanami", which is a traditional picnic under the flowers. It was lovely. Here is some of the scene.
Even though our service period is "ending" today, April 5th ... it is really not, and we don't think of it that way. Really, it is never too early or too late, and each day is a good day to do something.
Thank you to all who helped.
I'm glad it doesn't end today, because I went to the homeless man (mentioned above) with fresh bagels and fruit, and he refused it. Oh well. I'll think of other things to do. :)
What variety of flowers would that be? Any good tips? I want to see what can be done in our garden.
+1 for Bees! [claps]
Great service project Seizan! There just hasn't been enough said or done about the mass die off of bees, it's cause or it's lasting side-effects.
As someone that's experimented with organic beekeeping, if you need any resources, please just yell. I don't currently have any active hives, but lots of information I can share. I've also got a couple of DVD's on working with organic hives that I would be willing to send you. Beekeeping is a very rewarding hobby that I can't say enough great things about. It doesn't take a whole lot of time, but you do need the 'right' space for it.
It never ends!
Kindness is forever and we have to make it our life mission.
Thank you all who participated.
I almost forgot to report.
My last activity for this period was to donate clothes to people who need them. Not regular clothes, no. Extra large clothes.
You see, obesity is a huge (no pun intended) problem in Mexico. 7 out of 10 people are obese! I was one of the 7, so this is a very sensitive topic for me.
And as you may know, we are a poor country. Many of the obese people are poor and can't afford proper clothing. So I donated all I could to people in need.
Hope I can donate more in the future.
Update on my project
It grew. Some folks dropped off the entire contents they gutted from their home (living room including furniture, dry wall wires, and lit a fire to boot), This changed my plans from loading up my van to pulling it all together in a pile and Im calling the Govt. garage to come with a dump truck as the area turns out to be crown land (gov. land) and so I dont want to be burned with any accusations of trespassing or illegally harvesting wood from there (which is also going on :/).
I hope to do a before/after pics when were able to get stuff out of there. I am also making posting some signs.
Hi guys! Here are two pictures of my husband and I on Easter at the state park :) Sylvan Lake State Park, in Colorado, if anyone is interested! I forgot we took pictures to share- always good to put a face to the posts :) I should have mentioned, it was a struggle for us to find this garbage- we found maybe a total of two full trash bags in a day of looking. We are blessed to be in a place where people are so environmentally conscious! I have a few other campsites that I know aren't treated respectfully that I'm going to clean up when the snow melts. I know they are messy because I planned on cleaning them up LAST service days, but it snowed- and then it snowed again during THESE service days! Of course there were other acts of service to do, but I thought the snow pattern was funny.
Seizan (and Eric, too, for this one)
I am just really happy at the fellowship I experience here in reading about everyone's activities. Yesterday my youngest son and I engaged in trail cleanup/maintenance activities at Wolfe Neck Farm here in Maine, as the snow has melted. The ground is soft and muddy, so there were areas of the trails that needed reinforcing, to prevent erosion. There were also limbs to be cleared and cut, remnants of wind and snowfall during the winter. Sam and I plan to join Maine Island Trail cleanup days next month (and on through October), when we can get out to some of the outer islands.
You may also remember my friend Tony (with ALS) - his condition has deteriorated, and we are spending a couple of hours a week together. I think the time when this becomes hospice care is approaching....
Global Day of Service is a concept that has extended into my everyday life.... we have found ways to perform service as part of our regular activities. Caring for our surroundings as well as others is caring for ourselves.
Thank you all for your practice and inspiration....
Such wonderful efforts being made here!
Yugen, I'm sorry to hear about your friend and his health. I'm sure it is a comfort just having you with him.
Our community is gathering funds and materials for a large project. We will be getting together later in April to build beds for needy children. They are trying to build 72 beds this year as they have so many children in need. My children and I have donated money to start with, but we as a family, will be going on April 27th to help build the beds and put together baskets with sheets, blankets, nightlights, etc.
Wonderful pictures Jundo and Seizan!
take care all,
Over the last week, my boys and I have gathered up old toys, books, video games, and clothes to donate to the local battered women and children's shelter here in town. My boys also helped the neighbors find their dog who had ran out of their house...she is pregnant and ready to give birth any day.