Category Archives: Humanitarian

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    on a ledge

    Dear Volunteer

    Category:HumanitarianTags : 

    Dear Volunteer

    Lace up!

    Coming up in October is the Other Half Marathon here in Moab Utah.  Not as large as the ½ Marathon held in the spring, but still a busy fun adventure for the like-minded.

    Thelma and Louise  

    I love those emails that come out and say “Hey Volunteer – you want to help out this year”?  That’s enough said, it’s short, sweet and to the point.   If you are like me and the 100’s of other local volunteers – you can’t say the magic word “NO”.   Here is what is really behind that one line question:

    “Hey Volunteer – you want to help out this year”?

    Dear Volunteer!

    Up at 5:00 am and loaded with nothing but a steamy mug of coffee, an over-sized sweatshirt to keep the morning chill away –please drive yourself the required 13 miles down the curvy river road to your location.  Soon other volunteers will be showing up to help you load the 1000’s of bags from the runners onto the waiting trucks that will haul them back to town to the next volunteer crew.

    Volunteers wipe the sleep from your eyes and get busy helping to park buses
    and utility vehicles or help at the start of the race.  Many of your volunteers will be busy the day before setting up the start and finish lines;  handing out packets;  running unending errands – only to turn around and be back out into the elementsAAEAAQAAAAAAAAXIAAAAJDkzYjYzOWU0LWM2N2YtNGNjNi04ZjQyLTkwZDE2ZWQwMmU1MA-300x123 Dear Volunteer
    the next morning.  Come rain or shine the day is before us!

    Volunteers will line the 13-mile course as marshal’s, trackers, water station aids,  and even a Taiko drummer group will be available to help encourage the runners to continue the pace.  The view along the route is spectacular, and there is personal satisfaction in knowing that there is a river bank location with your name on it after you’re done.  Now, get yourself a breakfast burrito and coffee at the Volunteer booth – let’s get going!

    Crossing that finish line is golden!

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAASaAAAAJDk1MDEyZmEzLTM1NDAtNDI2ZS1iODZmLWU3YzExODRmNGViYg-300x227 Dear Volunteer The finish line is filled with more volunteers happily greeting runners and quickly assessing run times.  Runners are herded to aid stations which will help the tired but exuberant finishers.  Need a massage? The volunteers got you covered.  How about food to replenish those muscles and nurture hammered bones?  Volunteers again.

    The brew crew has a bubbly beer in the beer garden to help wash down the sweat and tears and ease those victory woes.  Don’t Judge! AAEAAQAAAAAAAAXQAAAAJGY1ODFjMTJjLWI3MDMtNDhkYS05MWQxLWU2YjJjNTljZTc0Ng-300x225 Dear Volunteer

    Don’t forget all those folks who are walking the river roadway cleaning up debris and those who help to tear down after the race.  Those on an emergency call, and the organizers on the radios, to those carrying flags – they know the value of what they do.  It’s all for the  REWARD.  The real reward is self-satisfaction in knowing you’ve done something to contribute to a  community event!  An event that brings prominence to our little piece of property on this small planet called earth.  Or better yet, that speck of red dirt called Moab Utah!

    Volunteers from every walk of life show up to help.  You have teachers, doctors, lawyers, honor society members, brewery folk, youth garden kids, and construction workers, democrats and republicans,  and more.  Why?  Because they can. Because they care.  It isn’t one person, but many. Each deserving and caring enough to “show up”.  Have fun!

     AAEAAQAAAAAAAAThAAAAJGNiNzJjYTQ3LTZjZTUtNDZkMC04MzUyLWE2ZjM3OWY2Y2Y3Ng-300x225 Dear Volunteer

     Just show up!  Say YES!

    The best part… the volunteer party!


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    Random Acts of Kindness

    Category:HumanitarianTags : 

    Random Acts of Kindness
    by: JB Radcliff

    The simple things in life matter the most. Providing clean water, food, and aid, to those in need, to name a view.

    Collaborating with like-minded businesses, individuals, churches, and organizations, one person at a time to make a difference – has a rippling effect.  How we pass along those attributes of giving to the next generation, is a secondary gift.

     Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your modus operandi & change your world. ~Annie Lennon

    Random acts of kindness help to “feed your soul”. It is in the doing of kindness that you find contentment in your own soul. Who doesn’t want to feel content?

    Simple Random acts of kindness mean

    (1) being kind to others: supporting your local communities, animal shelters, and helping out neighbors to name a few.

    (2) being kind to yourself: helping where you can, and knowing your own limitations.

    (3) being kind to the planet: Leave it the way you found it, or make it better.

    There is a lot of research out there; regarding how and why we need to be kind, beginning in infancy.

    Can Kindness be taught?

    1. We are born with a certain amount of bias or preferences. Babies learn things very rapidly and they tend to focus on verbal communication, numbers, and causality.

    2. Babies are born schemers! They have their own will, they enjoy creativity, and they are always looking to develop their learning. Babies think about thinking. They come with a set of natural knowledge cues.

    392b31e7-5d66-4d5f-ae2c-e1b7e243e715.png?zoom=1 Random Acts of Kindness?

    3. Children, as they grow, have multiple intelligences. Meaning, that children will play around with theories they create in their own minds; exploring and packing away chunks of information for a rainy day. They are seeking to understand the world around them, and learning how to best adapt to that world. Many researchers believe that children all learn differently, at different times, and at different levels – with multiple intelligences. If we work with a child’s weaknesses and we build on their strengths, we can help a child create and use play to understand the world around them. We can also apply these same principles to adults and their ability to show kindness, and teach it!

    Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

    Practice a fair amount of random acts of kindness, daily. There is so much to be gained on a personal level when you do. When you practice kindness, make sure your children see you doing it as well. You are their best role model. Kindness is year round – It does not end after one day. Kindness needs to be practiced 365 days a year, and it begins with you. It could be as simple as a smile, a hug, or a phone call.

    “You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.” -Publilius Syrus
     __________________
    Images by: pixabay.com
    I have allowed reprint of this  written work to Excel Managment Systems
    Article points and research content first appeared in  Public Health – Eating Disaster (c)  college masters articles (2012 -2013), Utah State Univesity | Radcliff. 

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

     


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    PHOTO: MYRIAMS-FOTOS

    Charity Begins At Home – When the Last Horn Blows

    Category:HumanitarianTags : 

    Charity Begins At Home – When the Last Horn Blows

    There is an old saying, that Charity Begins At Home. This proverb was originally documented in English, in somewhat different format, in John Wycliffe’s Of Prelates (c. 1380); “Charity should begin at himself.” It was later quoted as “Charity begins at home” by Terence.

    Charity begins at home ~ Terence

    There are many ways to give right inside your own company, organization, religious or educational institution, and your own home.   Yet, I understand that there are also situations in other countries that do require much-needed aid.

    From time to time charity will not involve money. Sometimes it is the opening of oneself and the giving of respect, honor, and occasionally a fond farewell. Best described with examples:

    When the Last Horn Blows

    Looking out the window of the guard shack, an older gentleman, whom we will call RC, sits and awaits the next train leaving the site, “The Train of Pain”. Twice a week the 8800-horsepower diesel-electric engine moves along a 30 mile stretch of track, taking its payload to a dump site. Back and forth, trudging along, giving it’s all, it will continue until its last load is complete.

    Surrounded by nothing more than the still night desert air and an occasional coyote, the desert calm is broken with the distance hum of an engine on the track. In that moment, RC feels a deep appreciation for the work he’s done. Be that watching the site, doing the rounds, radioing the conditions, and checking the U.P.R. train crew in and out each night at the end of the shift, somewhere before midnight.

    Every week, for many years, RC watched as the train came to the switch on the track, and listened as the mighty engines horn-blast filled the air, then slowly it would disappear into the night.

    The Midnight Shift

    The end of RC’s guard had come, tonight would be his last. RC was preparing for the next journey in his life – retirement.  Unknown to RC, right before he was to depart to his solitary guard shack, a radio announcement came over the airwaves. It was the project manager and he radioed for RC to step outside, and then relayed to all around to blow their horns one last time in RC’s honor.

    RC stood on the steps outside and he listened as the horn blast from semi’s, trucks, and train, could be heard all over the project. In this moment of honor – a smile crossed his face, and a solitary tear escaped, and slide down the side of his face.

    Later that evening while finishing his final midnight shift, he reminiscences. He will forever recall that first train blast from an old 1996 GE C44AC pusher engine as it slowly meandered down the track. He then thoughtfully stared at a framed image of that same train, a gift which was presented to him, from everyone on the project that day. He had a purpose!

    Charity is a thankful heart

    Charity does begin at home, and from time to time it doesn’t involve money. Charity in its most basic form is that substance that all humans need; respect, honor, integrity, a purpose, a horn blast. If you begin there, giving money is easy after that. Learning how to give of ‘himself’, is the first lesson.

    Charity begins at home, but should not end there. ~ Thomas Fuller

    _________________________

    The “As Usual” series

    Content creator & writer, blogger, social and digital media advocate. JB was born with a passion for writing and instructional design. JB is the owner of Radcliff Design.

      __________________________________________________


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    puerto rico

    US Puerto Rico: Still Desperately Needing Aid

    Category:HumanitarianTags : 

    Puerto Rico is not even a third world country, but now they look like they are. It is estimated that nearly 1/2 of Puerto Rico’s housing (about a million homes) were built illegally (shantytowns). Add on top of that, the destruction Hurricane Maria inflicted on the tiny island, and you have a humanitarian housing crisis, animal, food, and water crisis. There is nothing left but rubble in many areas.

    It’s been months!

    Hurricane Storm Maria made landfall on September 20, as a nearly Category 5 hurricane that lasted approximately 30 hours. A combination of elements caused Maria to transform from a disaster to a “catastrophic event”, meaning it wiped out nearly most of the infrastructure on the small US territory island.

    According to news sources, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico with the equivalent of a 50-mile wide tornado; Puerto Rico took a direct hit. FEMA and government response didn’t reach those in distant locations immediately after the hurricane. Some didn’t see any type of aid upward for a month or more. When aid did finally arrive, most of that aid came from community organizers and not government aid.  People were hiking in to deliver groceries and even some medicines.

    Over 300,000 evacuees transcended into Florida after the hurricane. The aid for these evacuees living in hotels will begin to run out.  On the island, there is also now a growing Mental Health Crisis, and the increase in suicides is escalating. People are desperate for help.

    Electricity

    With the largest US blackout ever recorded, many Puerto Ricans still don’t have electricity today. Only 75% electricity has been restored. Another 1/3 of the population is still without power. No electricity means no power to pump water into homes, no water to bathe or flush toilets. Freshwater is scarce.

    Freshwater is scarce

    While disaster recovery aid packages are in the works, the US Puerto Rican territory was already bankrupt before the storm. It’s not just infrastructure that will need to be restored, it’s the billions of dollars they were already indebted.

    With a poverty rate of over 44%, devastated Puerto Ricans are badly in need of proper food, clean water, and housing. FEMA money is also scheduled to run out in Mid-March for the tiny US Territory.  There are community organizers on the ground taking computers to remote locations to try to get as many people signed up with aid as quickly as possible – but it’s a daunting task. Many cell towers were knocked out in the storm, so communication is at a very low capacity still. Reaching the people, and the people being able to reach out is difficult.

    Probably half of American’s do not even know that Puerto Rico has 3.4 million US citizens living there. Citizens who are entitled to the same government response as any state, like New York, Washington, or California, etc. But half of Americans don’t even know that.

    Housing & FEMA

    The island is dependent on U.S. relief from FEMA, the SBA, and HUD.

    In the impoverished area of Puerto Rico, many people have no title to their homes, and most were constructed without permits. These squatter community homes range from one room shacks to family homes (Informal homes).  However, one of the rules of FEMA eligibility is that the owners need to prove property ownership.

    FEMA states that it will now help those owners of “informal homes” if they can prove some sort of residency. The cap for disaster aid is $33,000 to individuals, but awards are often much lower than that.

    Another compounding problem is that applicants are giving up on FEMA aid. The application process first has to go through the SBA loan process. No one can afford a loan, so applicants just give up. Even though they aren’t required to follow through on the SBA process – they can’t qualify for FEMA aid unless they do. It is only after the SBA denies the applicant that FEMA will provide a grant. There are organizers on the ground to try to help educate people about this. But it is a slow process.

    There is a need to “Build back better,” say’s Puerto Rico, Governor Ricardo Rossello.

    “Build back better”

    A little knowledge goes a long way. I found this description from Odyssey:

    “Puerto Rico has been a commonwealth of the United States since 1898 during the Hispanic-American War. The result of the war was that the United States ended up with Puerto Rico, Philippines, and Guam. This means that Puerto Ricans ARE American citizens. It also makes Puerto Rico a territory of the United States”.

    AAMAAQDGAAgAAQAAAAAAAA4NAAAAJDFlYzk1ZGFkLTVjMjEtNGY1My1iNDNhLWNmMmJjZWJhMjI2YQ US Puerto Rico: Still Desperately Needing Aid

    While a Puerto Rican can fight for the United States Government – If they live on the island they cannot vote in US Presidental and Congressional elections! They can only vote in the primary elections. If they live on the mainland US, then they can vote in all the US elections.

    Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act.

    Ways to Help

    Spontaneous volunteers are needed to help build housing and schools. One group called All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response has been bringing in teams of volunteers to work on building secure homes and community structures. Their motto is “Come Early and Stay Late”.

    Other organizations coming to the call of Puerto Rico (just to name a few)

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    What Ever Happened to the term “A Gentlemen’s Agreement?”

    Category:HumanitarianTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAOoAAAAJDA2MWE3NmE4LTFiNmUtNDk5MS05OWNkLTNkMzEyMzJlZTdhYg What Ever Happened to the term "A Gentlemen's Agreement?"

    What Ever Happened to the term "A Gentlemen's Agreement?"

    HONOR

    There was a day when men shook hands and agreed a  gentlemen’s agreement between two.  A man’s word was his honor.   Nowadays attorneys draft up legal documents that  are crafted to look for deception and deceit.   Where has honor gone? pop What Ever Happened to the term "A Gentlemen's Agreement?"Speaking the truth should never be hard to do.  Many preach about truth and justice, yet they drag out an attorney when the truth is directed at them.

    RESPECT

    Along with honor comes respect.  Respect for your fellow man or woman.  Meeting a call to justice to help someone in need.  Believing in others, and relying on a friendly hand.  Honor, respect, and  dignity, are the strength  and the armor that uphold  strong men and women. AAEAAQAAAAAAAAREAAAAJDM1YzI1YTI3LTQ2MjMtNDk2Ny05YmQwLTAzOGQ4MTlmOTAwNA What Ever Happened to the term "A Gentlemen's Agreement?"

    INTEGRITY

    Integrity - the truth. Integrity is becoming a rare thing.   Yet it is something worth fighting to hold on to.  No matter how weak your voice may be,  you may be the only voice someone else has.   Injustice can overwhelm an individual soul quickly – but  with many there is triumph as they come together.  Speak the truth.  Value integrity above all.

    Not every argument can be won in a court of law.  Sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” is all that is needed.  Waging war over trivial pursuits never ends well, if at all. 

    Sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” is all that is needed.

    What is important is that you stand up and your  voice be heard.  Speak about those passions you hold dear inside.  Especially when others would keep your voice from being heard if they could.  Don't let fear or intimidation keep you from doing what is right.   Your voice might be all it takes to change an empire, regain a friendship, mend a broken heart.  But unless you stand up and let your voice be heard – others will steal the soil out from under your feet - the very ground you walk upon. AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMCAAAAJGRmY2IyZmNjLThhMmQtNGFmZi04MzUwLTYzN2FlMzBhZmUzZA What Ever Happened to the term "A Gentlemen's Agreement?"

    INTEGRITY, RESPECT, HONOR

    Rise up, ever so weak – yet strong because you decided to take a stand. Integrity, respect, and honor – there really isn’t any amount of money that can buy those attributes.  As human as these attributes are, they will give you a greater sense of value about life, and grace you with a  peaceful mind.  Without them – anxiety, crippling envy and stress take the very life from your own hands.  What are your gains if you aren't around to enjoy them, or can't feel satisfaction for the things  that you tried to build?  Fake friends will praise you in the morning, and damn you in the night.  

    Life is simple.  Live with a giving hand, a kind shoulder to lean on, and stand up when integrity demands a voice.  Stand up, let your voice be heard.AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKvAAAAJDY4NjFmYzA1LThhMDUtNDRmNi1hMGI5LTE0MmY2ZWM5YmZkMQ What Ever Happened to the term "A Gentlemen's Agreement?"