Friday, May 13, 2011

"It Overwhelms Me"

Today's title - again, a line from the Harry's Law blog.  Apparently, I must have liked that one! This Responsible Referrals thing is a new project and there are times when I sincerely wonder "what the heck am I doing?" 

Trying to help while knowing that homeless kids live on every continent, it might be easier to just say "STOP - you can't make any difference at all"

Trying to help and discovering barriers of credibility and apathy in the way, it might be easier to say "fine - let somebody else do it!"

But here I am, writing again.
Researching takes up a great deal of time but while pouring through articles and google searches, I do come across people who are making a difference.  Although they are unaware, they are keeping me on task. I've noticed a variety of very creative ideas.  Some ideas are strange.  Some are even a little funny.  Every once in a while, I see one shining with very spectacular results!  Underneath all of this innovation remains a deep desire to make a difference and to help another human.  So here are some stories that have been a bit inspiring for me and I hope you feel the same way. 

When you think "homeless", I'd be willing to bet that you see an old man sleeping on cardboard.  Ever wonder what happens when it rains?  Ever wonder if there isn't something that would make things just a tiny bit better?  Well, there are people who have thought about this in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Combining "green" with social needs, these people make sleeping mats out of plastic grocery bags!  (Bowling Green Daily News)

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We set a record temp in Rochester, MN yesterday at 88 degrees.  I, for one, KNOW it was hotter than that especially with a dewpoint of 70.  Either way, it was a good day for drinking water.  But think about this.  It's early May.  Most parks don't open until Memorial Day.  That means no water fountains.  Maybe it's different in San Diego (probably) but a hug, a kind word and a bottle of water can go a long way if you're homeless.  Waterman Dave has been giving away hundreds of bottles of water every day - and he's 75 years old!  Can a bottle of water and a heart full of love save a life?  Read about it. (NPR News)


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Kids LOVE to help.  Seriously!  If you need the floor vacuumed or the dishes washed or the tables dusted - ask a kid.  Of course, they have to be less than 5 and you can't be too fussy, but they'll get it done!  If you're talking national and/or international causes, kids have more heart than any of us.  They really want to make a difference.  (Do we lose that ability when we get older? That would be a shame.)  Every once in a while you'll see a news program about how the youngest of generations is there for all of us.  And they LOVE fun.  Donate a dollar and wear your PJ's for a day - they're ALL in.  And, they can get the adults to do the same - but only if they donate FIVE bucks!  In one day - $700 for homeless youth in Denver.  Courtesy of Denver Montclair International School.

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Speaking of kids ...
Hannah Taylor (No relation. Article courtesy of Globe and Mail) lives in Winnipeg, Canada.  I've been keeping the nonprofit interviews and most of the discussions centered around homeless kids/families in the United States.  However, I've also mentioned that the issue is global.  So here's a little girl who saw something she didn't like and started doing something about it when she was 5 years old.  In 2004, she started her nonprofit called The Ladybug Foundation.  She was 8 at the time. That same year, she received the Humanitarian Award from the Federal Government. Since then, her foundation has raised over $2,000,000 and today Hannah (age 15) is an internationally recognized speaker. 

Her mission is simply stated.  "No one should have to eat out of a garbage can".  And her vision speaks to her soul - "I believe that if people know about homelessness - that there are people living without a home - they'll want to help".

So with that, I think I should get back to work!  I've got a long way to go in order to reach $2M!!!
I hope you'll consider Responsible Referrals every time someone says "Real Estate"

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The final 3-part, nonprofit series begins next week!  Yes, I know that there were supposed to be 4 contestants, but sometimes things happen and change is required.  The schedule changes will also affect the election.  Here's the plan:

  • May 16, May 18, May 20 - Genesis Shelter, A New Life, Atlanta, GA
  • May 23 - Short review:  School on Wheels, CA., Stride, CO. and Genesis, GA.
  • May 25 through June 7 (14 days) Polls Remain Open
  • June 8 - Winner Announced

Click this link and REGISTER NOW!  One of these nonprofits needs you to help them WIN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!  Tell your friends, family, social media contacts - ANYONE/EVERYONE over 18 years of age can register.  They'll get the ballot by email and they can help decide my check-delivering travel plans!

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