Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to Make A Difference

Starting a "Tsunami of Good Will"

What would "YOU" do if you accidentally met a person who, in five short years, had accomplished more to help "children in need" than most people do in three lifetimes?

Through a series of "random coincidences", I met a young man who impressed me so much I decided to study internet marketing and blogging in an effort to help his "humanitarian efforts" to aid a group of orphan girls in Tanzania. What can I say? This young man changed my life.

In March 2009, while sitting in my doctor's waiting room waiting for an appointment I'd rescheduled twice, I saw a TV program I never watch because of my work schedule. That day, I listened to an interview with the "most amazing" twenty-two year old man I'd ever heard of. His name is Chris Gates.

His story began when he was just five-years-old:

At the tender age of five, Chris announced to his parents that he would be living in Tanzania someday. They chuckled and patted him on the head, but as he grew older, he never forgot his desire to live in Africa.

When Chris turned fifteen, his grandmother agreed to take him on safari to Tanzania, his life-long dream, but first she had to "gently" persuade him go on a mission with her to a boy's orphanage in Tanzania before the safari began. Little did he know how much his grandmother and this trip would change his life. While there, he recognized the poor nutritional state of the children and returned home to raise money to buy livestock for that orphanage.

The next year he returned to Africa with other teenaged friends to buy animals for the orphanage AND teach boys barely younger than he was how to care for them, a skill "he" learned while working at a local veterinarian's office in Oklahoma .

While in Tanzania on subsequent visits, Chris recognized the disparity in care for orphan
boys vs. girls and returned home to raise money to develop a non-profit organization (The Janada L. Batchlor Foundation for Children--named after his Grandmother). He used these funds to start an orphanage for girls only.

At the age of eighteen, he negotiated land purchase on the banks of Lake Victoria in Tanzania for the girl's orphanage and did all the contracting work for the construction of five buildings. All the while, Chris attended college full time in America to earn a degree in social work (ages 18-22)

Through the help of a family friend who worked on the Today Show, Chris met Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. He impressed her so much that she went on the talk show circuit with him to help raise awareness of his "life's work". (It seems kind of funny to say "his life's work" at this point because he was only twenty-two years old at the time of the broadcast.)

In May 2009, Chris graduated from college and moved to Tanzania permanently to become surrogate father to forty girls and run the orphanage he started at the age of eighteen.

As I sat listening to that fateful March television interview with Chris and Sarah Ferguson, I thought, Gee . . . I'd love to help him but what can "I" do? I'm just one person.

Just as I finished that thought, the interviewer on the Today Show said, "Chris. You're just twenty-two-years-old. What made you think you could do all this?"

You wouldn't believe the goose bumps that raced down my spine as I heard him reply, "What made me think I "couldn't" do this?"

That simple statement galvanized me to action. If he can accomplish all that, there "must be" something I can do.

I was priveleged enough to speak to Chris before he moved to Africa and learned details of his eventful life. He never expected to spend his life this way but saw a need and decided "he" could make a difference.

Below are two links that show information about Chris. The MSN interview is not the one I originally saw, but it shows the young man's passion for his life's work.


http://www.nyu.edu/socialwork/news.html?id=163 http://www.jbfc-online.org/

What would it take to convince "you" to help me start a "Tsunami of Good Will" to aid Chris's orphanage? A tsunami is an unmoveable natural force that begins spreading slowly outward from a central location. It gains in strength as it grows in momentum. Help me build a "growing tide" of support for Chris's orphanage's.

Visit http://www.jbfc-online.org/. Click on the "donation" link and leave a tax-deductable gift of $6.00 or more.

Consider this fact:

In the greater scheme of life in America, six dollars is less than the cost of buying both you and your sweetheart a "caffe vanilla Frappuccino blended coffee" at Starbucks. Six dollars in Tanzania will feed four people for several days.

Imagine what "could" happen if more and more people stop by and leave a donation. The "Tsunami of Good Will" begins and who knows where it will go from there.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Need Help with a Writing Project

Could "you" assist me with a open-heart surgery project I'm working on?

I'm looking for people experienced in the field of caring for open heart surgery patients who can answer questions for me. These include: nurses . . . both with intensive care experience ANd follow-up care on the "step-down" floors, certified nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, and anyone else who deals with any aspect of open-heart surgery that I've forgotten to mention.

I'm also looking for family members who provided care for the open-heart surgery patient after they left the hospital.

I especially need "your" input for this project. I'm looking for different challenges "you" faced during the recuperation period of your loved one and how "you" helped them overcome their difficulties. Examples of this include: lack of appetite which seems common after such a major surgery, forgetfulness and depression.

You can contact me at an email address I've reserved for this project. mailto:ThoseMomentsThatMatter@gmail.com. Thank you in advance.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

We're home from the hospital

*deep sigh*. It's been a long time coming. We've got a lot of work to do in the next few weeks to get her up to par.

THanks for all prayers. I can't believe she's home again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cinderella's shoes


"Cinderella seen in Bergner's store at Grand Prairie Shopping Center".

When asked for an interview, Cinderella inquired, "first... what time is it." When told it was 5 minutes till 12, she bolted from the store screaming "I'm late, I"m late," leaving only this confused reported and a purple sequined 3 inch pump respendant with a bow and a large purple and two crystal jewels by the open toe.

Just thought you should know famous people DO make it to Peoria.

BTW....WHO would wear such a thing? Ggggrin!

Oh wait, I do have a friend who could pull this shoe off and do it with style, but us ordinary folks, man....my husband would be laughing his butt off at this one.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What do light switches, ketchup dispensers, bananas, chairs and tables, a yellow-- Caution WET FLOOR sign and a tree have in common? I'm at the hospital visiting mom. SHe's asleep so I'm in the cafeteria wondering what I could write in my blog.

Sometimes, it's amazing to me how you can be in a place so very many times, but not "see" something. There are actually "3" trees in various corners of our cafeteria. Most likely fake ones. Ggggrin! ( I think) I've never seen them shed their leaves, but then again, since I never SAW the trees in the first place, one never knows. The darned things are actually dusty, so I assume they've been here for a while. (blushing faintly that I coulda missed the dumb things in the first place)

Oh well, guess I better turn my brain on next time I come to the cafeteria. Hope there aren't any pink elephants in the soup line. Ggggrin!

Friday, September 4, 2009

7 Rules to live by

1. Smile more often. It makes better looking wrinkles.

2. Take time to smell the roses (and if you're allergic, you can just wave from a distance. Even roses get lonely, ya know.)

3. Shave your legs more than once every 3 months in the winter. (You just never know when you're gonna fall on your face on the sidewalk and end up in the ER with a skinned up knee and a rattled brain.) And . . . IF you choose NOT to shave more often than that, tell the ER personnel that you are trying to start a new trend by wearing dread locks on your legs.

(Hey, wearing your pants around the bottom of your butt with your underwear hanging out came into vogue...I think you can away with this one!) gggrin!

4. When someone asks how you are . . . give them a spontaneous answer. None of that "fine, how are you?" crap.

Personally, when someone asks me how I am, I respond, "I'm reeeally, reeeeally, reeeeeeeeeally good, bordering on spectacular, but not quite there." That's been known to startle the person asking, but they almost always smile when I do it.

5. Be sure to listen. You just never know what you're gonna find out. Maybe it will be the winning lottery numbers. (Well, I can dream, can't I?)

6. Don't assume that someone should "see" you need help. Ask for it.

I know you think you shouldn't have to ask, but most of us are not mind readers, although I do "play" one on TV.

7. Pay it forward. Do a small kindness for someone and when they want to repay you, tell them to do something nice to another individual. I know for a fact that slowly and over time, you can influence an entire group of people to do the same.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Laughter reigned in the ICU

As many of you know, my mom’s occupied a room in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital after undergoing open heart surgery more than a month ago. She experienced two respiratory arrests during the last five weeks and was on a ventilator/breathing machine most recently for more than two weeks.

Thank heavens . . . to quote a cliché, “she has turned the corner” and her health improves daily. The doctors decided to put a tracheostomy into her neck which sounds horrible but since then, her difficulty breathing has eased considerably. And as her breathing becomes better, her sense of humor erupts full force almost daily to the point she nearly made one of the nurses pee her pants tonight laughing.

Mom requested I place a cold rag for her head. A minute or so later, she made a grimace and gestured her fist towards her head several times like she was pounding something into her forehead. OH, NO, I think. She's got a horrible headache or is it a stroke?

Scared to death, I ordered her to tap out a message explaining the problem on an alphabet board. And this is the message I received:

“I need to tack the cloth to my brain. It keeps slipping.”

Relief swept through me. I laughed till I wheezed and me, being me, I told her I was going to ask her nurse if Mom could borrow her stapler. Tape would do if they didn’t trust her with the stapler. She chuckled silently and shooed me on to see what the nurse would say.

Of course, the nurse entered the room with a frown. “What do you need a stapler for, Mary?” Mom pantomimed that she wanted to staple the cloth to her forehead while I explained what she wanted. Thought we’d have to clean up the floor when the nurse finished laughing. I did end up taping the cloth to Mom's forehead anyway, just to tease her.

Candace, her nurse, told her that soon they would put a valve in her tracheostomy which would allow her to talk again. “Then you can cuss us nasty old nurses out.” Mom made the “who?…lil’ old Me cuss you out?” face and batted her eyelashes all sweet and innocent looking.

I told her I really wanted to know what word she said first when she could talk. That woman, my dear sweet 82-year-old mother, looked so pensive and thoughtful and onery (up to playing tricks) that both the nurse and I laughed till I ended up wiping tears from my eyes.

We’ll see what she says.

Report to follow . . .