I remember the first time I was in their presence.
The room was full of a lot of good things, just like your favorite soup. But instead of tomatoes and basil, this soup was simmering with feelings of strength, experience, compassion, energy and peace. How else do you explain a congregation of women brought together for a great cause? I have always felt a contagious strength in a group of women. Whether it be the laughter, stories, camaraderie, and yes, even the emotions - we are bonded by a sameness, an unspoken understanding. Some serve in time, while others donate resources or talents, and many others donate countless acts of unseen kindness. It doesn't really matter how each of us choose to serve, because it all adds up to an amazing result! It's no wonder I was hooked on United Way and Women in Philanthropy the moment I learned of them.
It has taken some time for me to be involved, as I have been raising my six daughters and one adopted son. Over the past few years I have made it to some meetings, but missed many more. I have been successful with some of my philanthropic goals, and failed miserably at others. The thing that has brought me back time and time again is the support system I find at United Way. I have become close to some of my sweetest friends through serving together. Some may ask why in the world I would take the time to fit this into my already crazy life juggling kids, school, lessons, business endeavors and more. I have one thing to say. I used to think that when I was successful in business, I would take the time to give back - but now I realize that taking the time to give back now is what will make me successful.
What is success you ask? A lot of people have asked that question, and I think it is a very personal answer to each of us. To me, it is feeling that I have done all I can - when I can. Sometimes it's a lot, and sometimes it is nothing. The key for me is keeping service at the core. True service brings happiness and changes my outlook on everything else I set out to do.
My current endeavors are sitting on the board of United Way, acting as "Parent Champion" for "Help me Grow" (another piece of United Way), and helping to plan the Women in Philanthropy Gala. My heart is in all of these areas, but let me tell you, we are in for the biggest party of the year coming up on November 2nd!
Women in Philanthropy has collected a load of fun stuff for a live auction, gong auction, and silent auction! We are all going to be putting on our best dress (and making our significant other do the same thing, man style of course), eating divine food donated by Mary Crafts (a culinary artist, if you ask me. Or anyone really.) We are being treated to an evening of beautiful piano music by Kurt Bestor, and we are doing our best to raise funds for Women in Philanthropy, who in turn gives it to amazing services such as The Women's Shelter, Help Me Grow, Welcome Baby, and other agencies supported by United Way that serve the needs of women and children.
We would love to fill the Gala to capacity with men and women who are excited to help our cause. It is a once a year opportunity to put on the ritz and mingle with like-minded people who have hearts as big as their dreams, and believe that hard work and service go hand in hand.
You must experience for yourself the kaleidoscope of successful, always poised and proper ladies in flowing gowns jumping up and down and waving their arms like teenagers at a rock concert. You must experience the energy of a roomful of people who truly care, who are dedicated to giving their time and money to make the world a better place to be, and are having a fabulous time doing it!
Join us on November 2 by registering HERE, and if you can donate something, no matter how large or small, give us a call at United Way and we will pick up your donation.
See you on November 2nd!
Today’s EveryDay Learners’ post tells Provo resident Daniel Booth’s story of mentoring a young man for the past three years. Sometimes things aren't quite what you planned for, but the results are still wonderful.
on the far right: Allen and I
Have you ever been to Color-Me-Mine? That vibrant, cheerful place that people all too often dismiss as being a cliché place to take a date? Well it’s not cliché, I’ll tell you that. I’ve taken a date there once and it was one of my most memorable dates to date!
I told him the date was a surprise, and when we arrived at Color-Me-Mine, he instantly said, “This better not be a girly date.” All I could do was sheepishly grin and hope that he’d enjoy painting.
Once we got started there were so many decisions to make! What kind of vessel did I want? A bowl? A piggy bank? I chose a vase, hinting at the possibility that he might someday by me flowers to accompany it. My date chose a mug so that he might sip his morning coffee in it.
Then we had to decide on a design and colors. My choice was long green, pink and yellow swirls to represent the flowers I’d already anticipated. My date’s choice? Pure black.
Thinking he wasn’t getting into the whole colorful spirit of Color-Me-Mine, I worried he wouldn’t enjoy himself. But he continued to paint. And paint. AND PAINT. Pretty soon the store was closing, and he had to wrap up his project. I’d never seen him so giddy as when he finished his masterpiece!
To make this date even better, I got flowers the next week to fill my new vase. :)
If you’ve never been before, Color-Me-Mine is a wonderful place to get those creative juices flowing and have a fun, not a “dinner & movie” date. On October 16, Color-Me-Mine is sponsoring Paint for Profit, where a portion of your studio fees will go directly to the Grandfamilies program which strengthens families in which grandparents or aunts and uncles fulfill the role of a parent in a child’s life.
By having fun yourself, you can help out others at the same time. Put on your Picasso face and paint for a better Utah County this October 16th.
Last week I said something to a neighbor as a joke that got me thinking. But before I tell you my joke, let me set the stage. My roommate’s car struggles. A lot and in so many ways. You may remember the flat tire diabolical of President’s Day weekend 2012. Well, now her front brakes were going out. Our friend and neighbor is great with cars so he put the new brake pads and rotors on the car. After spraying a new rotor with brake cleaner a neighbor came over to her car. She commented on the very strong smell in the parking lot and I made the joke that it was our handyman friend’s happy place. Now this was a joke but slightly real. Working on anything with a motor is his happy place. But what I’ve been wondering is where is my happy place?
First, I did my research. According to Urban Dictionary happy place is defined as:
- A place inside all of us where we are happy and get the warm fuzzies
- The mental state achieved when one wants to avoid the unpleasant or uncomfortable. Everyone’s happy place is different, and usually consists of things that make them joyous.
So then I wondered, what is my happy place? I mean, I guess it could be when I daydream of the things I love most or the things I most want to do. But sometimes it’s reading my book. Or eating at a restaurant. Or catching up with friends. Or exercising. Or at a really loud party. Or a vacation. I couldn’t decide what made me the most happy or what mental state was better than the awesome things I like to do with my life. Luckily I continued to read the other definitions found on Urban Dictionary and came across this little gem:
- A destination, location, world where all your friends and loved ones are together. This “place” is not one, but many. It is anywhere you feel the most “at home” and yourself. It is where you can have fun, smile, laugh, and get excited
We have a winner! It’s not one place. It’s wherever you have fun, smile, laugh, and get excited. Well that changes every day. So are you wondering why I’m writing about this? It’s because I think it’s important to know what makes you happy. When you have those long or lousy days you need to know what will help you unwind and rejuvenate yourself. You need to know where your happy places are. Once you figure it out, figure out who you can share it with because there’s nothing better than a group of happy people. It’s infectious.
Improve your relationships by improving your communication! Learn from two bestselling authors, Ron McMillan and Steven M. R. Covey present. Come for a good cause!
VitalSmarts has done it again! One of our many community supporters is putting on an annual “Date Night” reinforcing how to build relationships of trust. I’ve been to this before and let me tell you how fun and interactive and it is. Ron and Steven are both great teachers and presenters. You’ll learn a lot and have an excuse to get out with that someone special. ESPECIALLY if you’re needing an excuse to get that DTR or Define The Relationship taken care of with your significant other, this is the PERFECT opportunity!
To make it the complete date night, those that REGISTER will receive coupons for local restaurants redeemable on the 19th and 20th of October. How awesome is that?
Date: Friday, October 19, 2012
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: Covey Center for the Arts, 425 West Center Street Provo, UT 84601
Cost: Suggested donation of $5/person. All proceeds are given to United Way of Utah County
Today's EveryDay Learners post comes from a mom of four in Spanish Fork. Kristie Carlson shares some of her ideas for teaching and learning.
I share because I care. I love this phrase. For some reason it makes me laugh. I like to say it to my nieces and nephew when they want something I have. Children always want what you have and it always seems to be what you love. For me, it’s always my drink when I’m the thirstiest. Or my food when I’m the hungriest. They always hint cleverly by telling me, “boy that sure looks good!” They’re right. It does look good. And it tastes good too. I always (or so it feels) smile at them and say, “I share because I care. Do you want some?” So this, ladies and gentlemen, I share because I care.
Day of Caring is a unique day. It’s a day where companies join together and send their employees to the people here at United Way. We’ve found projects for them to work on to help improve our community and advance the common good one project at a time. This year we have projects from Payson all the way to Eagle Mountain and over 1,700 people have RSVP’d. Lots of elementary schools can expect to see volunteers donning LIVE UNITED t-shirts painting hopscotches, US maps, alphabet caterpillars and other playground games.
Walk your neighborhood to see if that incredible neighbor of yours has LIVE UNITED decorated volunteers cleaning their yard and painting their home. Drive to some of our partner agencies Thursday morning and look for the LIVE UNITED workers pulling up old tile floors, replacing sprinkler systems and sprucing things up both inside and outside.
It’s coming folks! Companies are LIVING UNITED this Thursday through out the county. I share this because I care. I think it’s amazing that so many people are willing to put off their work for one day to improve education, income and health in Utah County. Look for them. And if you are one of them, share your experience with others because clearly, you care.
One super fun thing that I get to do at Help Me Grow every so often is attend various playgroups around the area. Usually these moms want us to come and do the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) with them.
NEWS FLASH: The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a developmental screening tool developed for parents to use to track their child’s development. It focus on the areas of communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving and personal-social skills. It’s a valid and reliable tool used in many pediatric offices. If you want to try it for YOUR children….call Help Me Grow!
Ok…back to the story. So I was at a playgroup last week and did all the usual spiel…talked about Help Me Grow, how we connect parents to resources and information about child development…laaa ddeee daaa. The mom’s loved it! Then we started the ASQ. They were going through the questions, playing with their babies or older kids, asking them to do each activity and it was so fun!
After talking with one of the mom’s about some of the questions and her concerns that she had with her son, she told me that just the day before, her pediatrician had told her that her son could have Autism and that she was afraid and uncertain of the unknown because she had no idea what “autism” was. She was just afraid because of the unknown.
Diagnoses like that ARE always scary. And they always change a parent’s original idea of how their child would grow up and how their family would be to something completely different. Sometimes that “different” idea is SUPER hard.
The great thing is that there are SO many resources available to help educate and support these families. That’s one thing that we do at Help Me Grow!
I want to share just ONE resource that I pretty much always give to a family who is beginning this new journey. It’s an Autism Fast Start Check-List. This checklist includes items that tell you “what to do now??” and lists of reliable websites that you can use as you begin learning about Autism.
Hopefully for all those that are just curious about autism, have a child with autism or know of a child with autism, can learn a little bit more and advocate for those around them. Enjoy!
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