Last weekend I volunteered at our local shelter to serve meals to the hungry. I convinced a classmate of mine, a woman who is older like myself to come along for the experience. Her life consists of school, playing golf as a semi-pro, and generally living a very comfortable and protected lifestyle. I assume everyone has seen the hungry, the needy, the homeless, the less fortuanate in our society but the assortment of folks at the shelter seemed to trouble my friend. She was aprehensive about getting physically too close when she was serving meals and she was also full of questions. She made observations such as, "They look like they do drugs", "I assume a lot of them have alcohol problems", "Some of them seem like they are retarded." Once everyone is fed, staff/volunteer's can also eat from the leftovers. We were told there was enough and that we should ... Read Full Story >>
I just finished my Human Services practicum and as much as I loved the class and the instructor, I was dissapointed with my classmates. It was a small class - just 12 of us - and the other students took advantage of the instructor's kindness with late work, excuses for not completing assignments, etc. During the last 3 weeks of class, she was expressing her dissatisfaction and how she was going to have to re-think how she taught the class next semester. I really felt bad for her as she is a great inspiration to me and I could relate to her pain. In Chicken Soup for the Soul, there is a story about two guys walking down the beach covered with starfish. One guy is throwing the starfish back into the ocean as they walk. The other guy says "There are thousands of them you can't possibly make a difference." At that ... Read Full Story >>
After 11 years of being "lucky to live Hawaii" my wife and I are moving to Florida to take care of my Mother. It's a real treat for my wife, who is a local girl who has never been to the mainland.
To minimize expenses we decided to mail the essentials from Hawaii to Florida -- the cheapest solution we could come up with. This also meant parting with things that we have held onto. Things like my cassette tape collection, along with my vinyl record collection. I'm guessing that I probably had about 300+ cassette tapes, mostly 60-70's rock and around 100 or so vinyl LP's, many bootlegs and a lot of great cover art.
I called our local radio station and told my friend DC, the morning jock, that I'd like to donate them to a listener who would appreciate them and give them a good home. He put it on the air, said that the first caller would get the cassettes and within minutes, a listener named "Spike" was over joyed to get them!
The following day DC gave away my vinyl collection and I'm glad they will have a home where they will be listened to.
A couple we know who have fallen on hard times went out of town over the weekend we think to probably regroup and try to re-establish their love for each other so they can weather the adversities they have recently encountered. They are the type of people who will not ask for help and even if it is offered they will not accept it, at least not willingly.
We decided to do something nice for them by doing a quick landscaping job on their entrance walkway. They have a nice paved walkway but on either side it was just bare dirt, not very attractive. We went out and bought some flowers and some red cinders and replanted the walkway and then spread out the cinders for the asthetic look and hopefully to make weeding easier with less weeds able to grow through.
We think it looks great and hope that when they drive in their driveway they wonder if they are at the right house. We feel it is important for them to know that they are special people who have friends who love them.
The wife had an appointment after work and as she doesn't like to drive she asked me when I picked her up from work if I could take her.
She said she'd take about an hour and she'd understand if I didn't want to wait and I said sure I'll drive. Our downtown, small as it is, can get crowded at times especially this time of the year.
While sitting in a parking spot reading my book, I had noticed this one car had made two trips past me looking for parking. I thought how lucky I was to have a spot and then a few minutes later I see this same car at the corner scanning for a spot. Knowing I could just drive around as the wife should be back soon, I put the Echo in reverse and the look of relief on the lady's face was priceless.
People are pretty polite driving-wise here in Hawaii anyways but along with the shaka she flashed the smile she gave me made my day. It only took a few trips round the block before the wife showed up and I thought about how easy it is to be polite and thoughtful. What if everyone cared? Imagine!
I am very involved in my church and I am also a volunteer in our Garden Ministry. Basically I am one of three who takes care of our gardens, watering, weeding, etc. a couple of days a week. The main entrance to our church is a very long driveway with 2 flowerbeds on either side. I'm not sure what had been planted there before but whatever it was became scraggly and really wasn't very appealing. We decided to yank the plants, pull the weeds, turn the soil and get all of the rocks out so we would have nice beds for planting new flowers. This took us 3 days and when we were finally done we decided to shop for flowers. First we went to Home Depot but the selection was minimal as we needed around 100 plants. Next we went to Walmart and they had what we wanted but ... Read Full Story >>
We recently had a bone marrow drive in our community. I have been an organ donor on my driver's license for years but had not given being a bone marrow donor much thought.
When I told some friends, they were apprehensive about getting their fingers poked with something sharp for the blood draw. I thought a little pain would be worth it if it saved someone's life.
To my surprise you do not get poked in the finger rather you take 4 cotton swabs and you swab the inside of your cheek top and bottom left and right side. This is to avoid any cross contamination by having another swab your mouth. It's fast and painless and you can update your information such as a new address or phone number online at any time.
I would encourage all who have not registered to look into doing so!
We were recently married at our church, New Hope Hilo on Valentine's Day. It was a small service, a few friends, couple of family members and Pastor Aaron performed the service. We did notice that there was one girl who was taking pictures and we thought that they might be showing them to the congregation at a future service but we were way off base. The Pastor's wife, Carlen made a wedding scrapbook that words just cannot describe. The detail of the handmade items, the imagination, the love was overwhelming for us. At Sunday's service, Pastor Aaron was speaking about how at our church we have breakfast after all 3 services and he and his wife were eating. When they finished someone came up and cleared their table for them throwing away the rubbish. He was touched by the act and the love this person expressed. After service, we shared how ... Read Full Story >>
We were downtown, our tiny downtown, running errands and doing some shopping when we were approached by a homeless man who asked for spare change. I will almost always help if I am able by giving something but today thought I'd try something so I asked what it was he needed the most.
He looked rather puzzled and then said I'm not gonna lie to ya, I need a drink. I gave him the money he needed and asked the Lord to watch over him. It brought back memories of years ago when I was homeless and some Christians asked me what I needed and I replied cigarettes. They bought me a pack and I've always remembered their non-judgemental help. Sometimes we can't see past the moment to see what our true needs are.
Last night my wife decided she wanted to make sushi and chocolate chip cookies for the Pastors at our church. She started late about 10pm and at midnight, I was to tired to do much more and went to bed. When I awoke this morning it was like Santa had visited. Here were all these packages wrapped with ribbons and bows which wowed me and she was afraid her gifts wouldn't be received well, silly girl. We delivered them to the church and when we dropped off Pastor Pauline's she smiled and said "You too good" to my wife.
I do a lot of volunteer work in the garden at the church and as my wife works she doesn't have the time to volunteer so her way of saying thank-you was to donate her culinary talents to those who fill us up with that spiritual soul food. I was proud of her and I know she felt good being able to give back and it says to me that it's so easy to let others know we care. Merry Christmas everyone!