Wednesday, May 11, 2011


As we watch the nightly news and see our citizens along the mighty Mississippi and its tributaries filling sandbags, escaping in small boats, and hoping that at least some part of their lives will be spared from flooding, it is hard to transport ourselves to another continent- Africa. In KENYA, there is a severe drought. Very little water is available. This must often be carried by women for seven miles or more. School children receive one meal which according to the World Vision video many of them save to carry back to their families to share. This is just one part of the world where hunger leads to malnutrition, lessens immunity to disease, and causes death. It is important that organizations like the World Food Program provide relief. It is also important that new technology such as using GPS to document locations of sources of water, improving farming methods, creating sustainable animal food sources, and limiting  the amount of trees harvested while planting new ones be implemented. In our global village we must recognize the impact that floods and drought have on us and do what we can to prevent disasters and show compassion in the wake of these events.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Since this is Easter Sunday, it may seem strange to be talking about  Christmas gifts. However, since tomorrow is World Malaria Day, the topic is relevant. In 2009, my sponsored child Golden, who lives in Zambia, received as a Christmas gift from me through CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL- an insecticide treated anti- malarial bed net. At the time, I just couldn't imagine a child in the United States being delighted with such a Christmas gift. This Christmas, THE MUSIC FOR LIFE INSTITUTE/ AFRICAN CHILDREN'S CHOIR used my contribution to buy Nora of Uganda bed sheets and a bednet.She was gracious as always in thanking me.
So what of these gifts. Let's look at the facts.
Worldwide, one half of the population is at risk of getting malaria.
Sierra Leone which has one of the highest infant mortality rates attributes 70% of infant deaths to malaria.
Estimates are that in affected countries the average mother spends 1/3 of her resources on malaria prevention and treatment.
Whenever refugees pour into camps, bednets are needed.
What can you do?
At present, FREEDOM FROM HUNGER has a matching grant program. With a current 4 star rating by Charity Navigator, this is one place among many you can donate to.
WORLD VISION also has an awareness activity NIGHT OF NETS which aims to get young people on campuses involved in the cause of Malaria Prevention.
OR, you can come with your own activity or campaign. Remember, in the case of malaria, it costs very little to save a life.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


What can you do if you can't go without shoes for a day?
Buy a pair of TOMS shoes. For each pair purchased, one pair is donated to a needy child.

Have a pair or more of shoes in good condition?
Donate them to one of these places:
Salvation Army
BOX on a LOT stating Shoes and CLOTHING
Share a Shoe Foundation (see website)

Donate your old shoes   Mail to:
DONATE Your Old Shoes
13191 Winstanley Way
San Diego CA 92130

DR Castaway Kids
11167 Pulaski Hwy
White Marsh MD 21162

Organize a shoe drive at your church or school.
Interested in donating new FLIP FLOPS?
1. Purchase one or more pairs of flip flops. Children's sizes 0-13.
2. REMOVE sales tag.
3. Go to City Team Ministries website to download a gift tag and complete it.
4. Tie each pair of shoes together with a tag.
5. Include $1 for each pair of flip flops to cover shipping.
6. Mail to: City Team MINISTRIES
Attn: Flip Flop Fund
2304 Zanker RD
San Jose CA 95131

Saturday, April 2, 2011


This Tuesday, April 5 is TOMS Shoes project One Day Without Shoes. Some of you know that I like shoes. I frequently go barefoot around the house but like a comfortable pair of shoes when I'm outside. Therefore, when I heard about this project, I was doubtful that I could do this. After all, what would Dr. Gold think if I showed up for my annual examination shoeless. He is the one who did my knee replacement in 2006. On the other hand,  of the 23 countries this project is being done in, my sponsored children live in 16 of these countries. I know how important shoes are to these children They prevent infections and protect the children from cuts and sores. Those of us who have stepped shoeless on hot sand or cement know how painful that can be. One of the things Reyna of Honduras needed in order to continue her education was a pair of shoes. Today, I received a photo of her holding her new shoes and a note saying she was back in school as of  Valentine's Day. SO, how can I who took the name Claire as a confirmation name in my late fifties, mainly because it went well with Marie, ignore the legacy of St. Clare who went without shoes as she helped the poor?  So, I will try in honor of St. Clare and
Norma of Guatemala    Dixy of El Salvador    Geyling of Nicaragua      Charlando of Haiti     Reyna of Honduras     Jhon of Peru       Djenebou of Mali      Amsa of Niger      Nora of Uganda     Vincent of Burundi      Golden of Zambia    Ntefeleng of Lesotho      Addissu  of Ethiopia     Grace of Malawi   Artashes of Armenia   AND    Kanha and Samphors of Cambodia  to go without shoes Tuesday. If Dr. Gold or others on my way to his office are puzzled, I'll just hand them a copy of this to read.   

April is Autism Awareness Month

Many of you know a child or young adult who is somewhere on the autism disorder spectrum.
Towson University has a Center for Adults with Autism- one of a kind in this area. They are having some fundraising events.
Concert for Autism Sunday, April3, 3-6 pm Potomac Lounge Towson University
This Celebration of Life Concert features Gary Rubin and Debbie Miller. The event features the performance, dinner, drinks, and a silent auction.
LAPS Sunday April17, 8-10 a.m. Teams will walk/run laps at TU'S Johnny Unitas Stadium to raise money for the Center.
During the month of April, Bill Bateman's Bistro will donate ten percent of your dining bill to the CENTER. Family Dining Night THURSDAY, April 28 starting at 6p.m.
Golf Tournament Monday May 2, 8a.m. Shotgun Start , Rocky Point Golf Course, Essex
Drinks and lunch included in the cost of registration fee.
Other ways to help autism:
The Greater Good Network is giving part of sale proceeds to Autism.
Advocate for funds for Autism programs.
Advocate for funds for art programs in the schools. Temple Grandin is an example of someone who benefitted from and advocates for the arts in schools.
Read a book by a parent or family who is dealing with autism.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


In Wednesday's Episcopal Public Policy Network's POLICY ALERT, Eagle Butte, South Dakota is described this way. 'The largest town, Eagle Butte, has one grocery store, a few cafes, and one taco restaurant. It has no movie theatre, no bowling alley, and no bookstore...The local flower shop often doesn't sell a single flower for days. Its biggest boom comes when someone from the community dies."
This March, I made a special donation to the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte in honor of my friend Kevin's birthday. This is from the letter of thanks I received today.
Dear Linda,
On behalf of the Cheyenne River Youth Project thank you for your donations of prom dresses, shoes, a purse  and other clothing items to support Passion for Fashion 2011 that was held on March 12, 2011.
This year's event was incredibly successful with 84 girls attending the actual event along with over 30 Moms, Aunties, Grandmas, Sisters, and Community Volunteers! This year's theme, "Alice in Wonderland", brought the event to an entirely new level of fantasy and excitement for the girls. As Alice said" Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
When the young women arrived at Cokata Wiconi (the Main Youth Center) at 1 p.m. they enjoyed a "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" luncheon and special presentation in the Magical Forest, followed by ice-breaker activities at 2:30 p. m. Then, from 3:30 TO 6 P.M. the girls entered the Red Queen's Palace and had the opportunity to select their prom dresses and accessories; receive manicures, pedicures, and facials; learn the best make-up applications for prom night; and try new hairstyles. At 6 p.m., all teens modeled their new looks in a formal runway fashion show, which has always been a huge hit. After the fashion show concluded at 7p.m., the teens enjoyed cake, watched a screening of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and participated in the final prize drawings.
For Cheyenne River teen girls, this day is not only about finding their perfect dress and accessories for an amazing prom experience, it is also about coming out of their shells, learning about making positive life decisions, forming intergenerational relationships, and most importantly- loving the people they are....
Passion for Fashion is made possible by your generosity.
I hope you can see from the content of this letter why I am so sold on the Cheyenne River Youth


Last week, I watched a webcast for Feeding America which explained the Map the Gap project which will be discussed in another blog In that study, Buffalo County emerged as the poorest county in the United States. This week, the Episcopal Public Policy Network's theme is helping the rural poor and asserts Ziebach county also in South Dakota is our nation's poorest county. To me, debating who is the poorest is not the issue. Both counties are homes to Sioux reservations.
First of all be more informed. South Dakota is home to the Crow Creek (in Buffalo County) , Rosebud, Pine Ridge,and Lower Brule reservations. All of these are served by the Native American Heritage Association (a 4 star charity) which works with Feeding America another 4 star charity. In addition, there are the Lake Traverse reservation (home to the Sisseton and Wahpeton Sioux), the Yankton reservation, and the Cheyenne River reservation. The Cheyenne River reservation is in Ziebach County with Eagle Butte its main town. The Cheyenne River Youth Project works to provide the youth there with actitivities (see ) I have found this organization to be outstanding at thanking you without continually asking for more.
Next, the giving of food and other items does not break the cycle of unemployment and despair. Native peoples need jobs and businesses. The Crow Creek people have both the Harvest Initiative and a microlending program called Hunkpati Investmests. In addition, the tribal colleges can train people in skills. Ron His Horse is Thunder, former charman of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation which is in both North and South Dakota, has been the head of the tribal colleges and an advisor to the President.
Finally, to be better informed on laws which involve these groups, the National Congress of American Indians website and THOMAS (Library of Congress) can be valuable sources of information. Going on the websites of the tribal reservations and organizations mentioned in this blog can be a valuable, eye-opening learning experience. To take immediate action, enroll in the Episcopal Public Policy Network. You can renew your commitment to the nation's rural poor by e-mailing your Senators and Representative.