Day 713: Beard for Nepal

BeardA colleague of mine is making a very personal sacrifice to raise funds for the Nepal Disaster Relief effort.

He’s planning to shave off his beard — 17 months in the making — if he reaches his fundraising goal of $500.

To paraphrase John 15:13:
“Greater love hath no man than this: to lay down his beard for Nepal.”

And now in an interesting plot twist, an anonymous $500 donation has been made internally at the office to allow The Beard to stay.

Which one do you think I donated to? :)

Here’s his funding page in case anyone’s interested in contributing (the Canadian government will match all funds donated until May 25, 2015.

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The disaster in Nepal is incredibly heartbreaking worldwide. 2 major earthquakes in less than 3 weeks has affected millions, displaced people from their homes, and injured or taken the lives of thouands.

I’ve been growing my beard for 17 months now, and am even affectionately(i hope) known as The Beard around work. There was a time not too long ago I thought I could never live without my beard, but I admit now that seems foolish. With so many people in Nepal having to face life without homes and loved ones and the life they once knew, living without my beard, something that grows back easily, feels like a selfish thought.

Near the end of May I will be cutting my beard off and hope to raise funds for The Red Cross to help those in Nepal by doing so. If you feel inclined, I would very much appreciate a donation. I have set a goal of $500 but regardless of whether I make that amount or not, ever dollar counts and I thank you for considering it.

Even if you don’t donate to this campaign, I truly hope you read about the devastation in Nepal and do whatever you can to help out.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”- Charles Dickens

You can donate here.

p.s.
Song for the day… seemed only appropriate. :)

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Day 712: Do the right thing

Just read this story on Apartment Therapy (dangerously addictive site, btw :) ) and wanted to share… it’s heartwarming to find out that even in the face of great temptation, there are still honest people in this world.

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 Pin it button big Reese Wekhoven (left) and Lara Russo (right) with the cash they found in their sofa. Photo via The Little Rebellion

Reese Wekhoven (left) and Lara Russo (right) with the cash they found in their sofa. Photo via The Little Rebellion

Most of us are lucky to find a few pennies, maybe a quarter in our couches, but three roommates at State University New York at New Paltz did much, much better. They decided to investigate why their 20 buck thrift store steal was making their movie marathons so lumpy, so they unzipped the cover and began pulling out bag after bag of cash — nearly $40,000.

As college kids, we’re sure they could have found plenty of ways to use the extra cash, but Reese Werkhoven, Lara Russo and Cally Guasti always knew they were going to do the right thing. They noticed a name on one of the envelopes and, with some research, located the women to whom the bounty belonged. Says Werkhoven, “It’s not our money, we didn’t have any right to it.”

The owner? A 91-year-old widow who’d spent 30 years stashing the money in her sofa, only to have her children donate it to the Salvation Army while she was recovering from a recent surgery.

And the happy ending for our three good samaritans? Besides the lifetime supply of good karma, they split a reward of $1000. Sounds like a win win to us.

Via Eyewitness News New York and The Little Rebellion

(Image credits: Shutterstock; The Little Rebellion)

Full story here.

(And apparently the original couch owner’s family had donated the couch to Goodwill because she’d been sleeping on it and they wanted to replace it with a new bed where she could recover from her surgery.)

And what was my good deed today? I helped a lady up some stairs and carried her Nexxus rollator/walker up for her. My mom has the same model so I knew how to fold it up but, man, those things are heavy. Thankfully a strong guy was around to help her when it was time to come down. :)

p.s.
Song for today (warning: ear worm plus!), Do the Right Thing:

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Day 711: You’re never fully dressed without a smile

Not feeling 100% today… in fact, more like 62.3%… but I’m going to make an effort to smile more as I go through the day. *deep breath*

Watching this helps… sending it out to you!

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Day 710: Piano man

Remember Ryan Arcand, Edmonton’s “piano man”?

Well, great news … the woman who originally shot this video, used it to raise money to buy Ryan his own piano. And what’s more, his life has taken a turn for the better:

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On Friday afternoon, Ryan Arcand was doing what he usually does these days.

Playing piano.

He was in the lobby of Ambrose Place, a supportive-housing complex in Edmonton’s inner city, where he recently got his own apartment after years of living on the streets.

Around one o’clock, the front doors opened and two men came in, lugging long, heavy cardboard boxes.

They set them down and went back for more.

Curious, Arcand eyed the boxes.

“What the heck?” he said.

He got up and walked over to read the labels.

“It’s yours Ryan,” said Carola Cunningham, executive director of Niginan Housing Ventures, the non-profit group that runs Ambrose Place..

“It is?” He grinned. “Can I open it?”

Inside those boxes was a new Yamaha digital piano, a keyboard stand, some headphones.

Arcand seemed stunned. He looked at the camera. “Mom, if you’re listening, watching.” He turned and pointed at the boxes. “Look, mom. It’s me!”

Read full story HERE.

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Day 709: The kind leading the blind

Thought I’d share another heartwarming story I came across today.

Especially since there’s a crazy blizzard raging out there right now and a little kindness will certainly go a long way.

I think what struck me most about this photo is that the grocery clerk in the green apron isn’t even wearing a coat. Brrrrrrrr.

When I get home, I’ll try to do some shoveling for my neighbour… but knowing my true-blue husband, he’ll have already done that!

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This photo of a Sobeys employee walking a 72-year-old customer home was posted to Facebook on Friday. (Terri Bordage Stevens/Facebook)

This photo of a Sobeys employee walking a 72-year-old customer home was posted to Facebook on Friday. (Terri Bordage Stevens/Facebook)

A photo of a Halifax grocery store clerk walking a 72-year-old customer home on icy sidewalks has gone viral.

The photo, taken by Terri Bordage Stevens, was posted to Facebook on Friday morning and has since accumulated more than 12,000 likes and almost 5,000 shares.

“I was driving in Halifax by Sobeys Queen Street and made my friend slow down so I could snap this wonderful picture,” Bordage Stevens wrote in the Facebook post. “Now that’s putting your customer first.”

The picture shows Sobeys employee Austin MacNeill helping Mary Cogswell, who is legally blind, navigate the icy sidewalks on Queen Street in the city’s south end.
Mary Cogswell

Mary Cogswell, who is legally blind, says the Sobeys' staff have helped walk her home for about five years. (Photo: CBC)

Mary Cogswell, who is legally blind, says the Sobeys’ staff have helped walk her home for about five years. (Photo: CBC)

Mary Cogswell, who is legally blind, says the staff at the Queen Street Sobeys in Halifax have helped walk her home for about five years. (CBC)

Cogswell said employees at Sobeys have been helping her get her groceries home for about five years, regardless of the season.

“They always do that at Sobeys, whoever takes me around there. They walk me home,” she said.

Read the whole story HERE.

p.s.
Song for the day: George Ezra, “Listen to the Man.” Love this young Brit’s voice.

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Day 708: Homeless helping the homeless

I read this story this morning on the NPR news site and it choked me right up. Someone who had nothing, less than nothing, and yet managed to turn his life around and then dedicated it to helping others do the same.

I think more of these stories need to be told.

At Health Care for the Homeless, Simmons helps a man named Ethan. (Photo credit: Gabriella Demczuk for NPR.)

At Health Care for the Homeless, Simmons helps a man named Ethan. (Photo credit: Gabriella Demczuk for NPR.)

Sometimes, the people you’d least expect are those who do the most. People like Tony Simmons, a homeless man in Baltimore who helps others get off the street. Simmons says he does it as much for himself as for anyone else.

Simmons is 53 years old and a former Marine. He’s also a former heroin addict and drug runner and was in and out of jail. Eventually, he hit rock bottom — homeless, penniless, alienated from family and friends.

Two years ago, he says, he was afraid he might die if he didn’t pull himself up. Even then, he knew what he had to do.

“You must start with yourself. Get up. Get going. No excuses. That’s what I tell myself every morning after prayer. ‘Cause every time I help one person, I get a little part of me back,” Simmons says.

Read the rest here.

And what have I done today? Nothing quite as grand as Mr. Simmons. But I did donate some of my clothes to a local group who outfits unemployed people of all ages with clothes they can wear on job interviews, or to those who just need clothing, period. The hardest thing to part with? My shoes. I get separation anxiety when it comes to giving away my footwear. Yes, I know I have issues.

p.s.

Song for the day. This is a Newfoundland singer/songwriter I just discovered, named Amelia Curran… I’ve heard her described as “Leonard Cohen meets Patsy Cline” and I’d have to agree. Enjoy!

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Day 707: Mustang Sally Ann


The Salvation Army does a lot of great work (learn all about it HERE) and I’m happy to donate to them, especially at Christmas time.

I was in Florida this past week (where I took the video above) and I couldn’t help but notice that the volunteers manning their Christmas “kettles” have a much more pleasant setting than our volunteers here, who often look like this:
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The best Sally Ann “troupe” I’ve ever seen was in New York a couple of years ago…

I can never seem to just walk on by those kettles, but those guys definitely deserved extra, lol.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

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