Category Archives: Charity

Can Something Good Come From This?

Wow!  I have been busy…between working, dating, volunteering…I am surprised I have found time for sleeping.  But I am happy…happier than I have been for months.  I am so looking forward to my volunteer work with the Ronald McDonald House this coming Thursday.  We have gathered a good team.  I know the impact will be great.  Knowing that even for a second, I can help make a child smile is so rewarding.   Personally, many of you know that I myself have lived with cancer so it means more to me to be a volunteer.  Throughout the years, I have found many ways to give back.  I have loved each and every moment of the many fundraising events that I’ve volunteered at, and making lifetime friends along the way!
I’ve grown very passionate about the work so many provide, such as the Ronald McDonald House and how they lend support to children and their families living with this cancer.   So I am going to remain forever optimistic and hopeful.  I am going to maintain my enthusiasm and get a kick out of putting smiles on children’s faces, and continue to reap the rewards of being a volunteer.

And as much as I want to fall in love again, I have been soooo dreading dating again.   But being out in groups with my support group and my volunteering teams, has introduced me to many like-minded people.  I am truly enjoying spending my time with quality people who know how to give of themselves.  For now, just taking it slow.  Meeting in groups is key.   So volunteering may even help me find my next true love.  Who knew?!

What I am learning is that cancer can take a lot of things but that it could also help me and others realize many more important things.  Cancer gave me focus and determination – to live what life was given to me to the fullest.  It has helped to make me deeper and wider and more impassioned than those who have not had to experience the harsher sides of life.  I learned that the unexpected gift of cancer is an intense appreciation for life.  I found compassion for others where there had been none before, I found strength I didn’t know I had…and I would not trade my experiences for anything. 

No one would volunteer to have cancer. Even though it may seem impossible to imagine at the beginning, most people find the strength to deal with cancer when they or a member of their family become ill.  I see it every day!  Most people cope with the challenges cancer brings one day at a time and come out okay in the end.  Overall, most children’s cancer survivors have a good quality of life and sense of well-being.   Also, after getting through such a challenging experience, many people look back on it and feel that they underwent some positive personal changes as a result of having cancer.  Here’s to continual hope…

It is easy to think of the negative things that come with cancer:  having to be in the hospital, missing out on school, work and social activities with friends, feeling too sick or tired to enjoy life, worrying about the future. During treatment, the time is often spent managing these negative or unpleasant things.  After treatment, looking back on these experiences can challenge the way people and their families think about themselves and their world. Many people begin to see positive changes in themselves as a result of surviving the cancer experience. They feel stronger. Parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and friends may also experience positive changes as a result of someone close to them having cancer. For example, some people say the cancer experience helped them focus on what really matters in life. They say they appreciate life more, have deeper personal relationships with family and friends, and find a stronger sense of spirituality. Others report increased confidence in their ability to handle difficult situations, and more certainty about their priorities; they feel more confident and have new interests and goals. Some people experience a desire to “give back” to others and work to help current and future cancer patients. These people might get involved in organizations like Ronald McDonald’s House that provide resources to cancer patients and families.

So here I am…on my journey to give back…find my way…hoping…♥


Being Altruistic…”Keeping Hope Alive” (MLK)…♥

What a day!  What a weekend!  Many may view my life as pretty sad – trust me I have called my life that myself many more times than I care to admit.  But as down as I am, I try to remember that there are many others worse off than me.  I usually find that giving back in some small way is good for the soul.  I don’t have much but my heart is full and I am forever grateful.

I find that being altruistic, and reaching out to help others, not only benefits the person being helped, but practicing altruism also has many benefits for the person doing the helping.  Trust me I am proof.  I try to help others because I truly believe that reaching out in some small way is one of the greatest gifts of the heart.  I sometimes wish I had all the answers though and a crystal ball.

I have been doing some type of volunteer work for the past 15+ years; and it never fails to make me FEEL!  Sometimes I feel happy, relieved, worthy, determined, purposeful…but other times I have felt heartbroken.  Saturday was a good day.  Raised money, was able to help provide close to 200 elementary school aged children get school supplies.  But this evening was a different day.  Children in distress – emotional abuse, broken homes, anger residing.  I grew up in Newark, NJ but was luckily sheltered to the real ugliness that permeates the city.

I met a little 10 year old today that was using his fists and hitting a brick wall when I asked what he was doing and if he was okay, he answered “No!  I have to hit, I am angry”.   He didn’t want to go home. I took him for a walk, we chatted as he drank two bottles of water.  Sounds so simple but it was hard – all I wanted to do was hug him and take him home.  I found myself many times tonight at a loss for words.  So I listened. And prayed.  And will continue to do so…

So I cry and I pray that my tears help someone else….more in need than me.  ♥

Some of my favorite quotes that remind me what living is all about…

“You will find, as you look back on your life, that the moments that stand out are the moments when you have done things for others.” – Henry Drummond

“Down in their hearts, wise men know this truth: the only way to help yourself  is to help others.” – Elbert Hubbard

“Charity and personal force are the only investments worth anything.” – Walt Whitman

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no person can sincerely try to help another without helping themselves.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because
you have lived, THIS is to have succeeded.”
 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Make it a rule…never to lie down at night without being able to say, “I have made one human being at least a little wiser, a little happier or a little better this day.” – Charles Kingsley


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