Thursday, December 27, 2012

Four More Days to Help a Hungry Child

NO KID HUNGRY - SHARE OUR STRENGTH - End Childhood Hunger. Your Gift Will Be Matched.

Help Kids Like Austin. Donate Now. Dear Friend,

Ending childhood hunger is so important to me that I needed to send you this reminder.

If you've been waiting to make a tax-deductible gift to the No Kid Hungry campaign, the time is now. There are only 4 more days until we kick off the New Year, and we're counting on you to make sure we hit the ground running in 2013.

You don't have to take my word for why ending childhood hunger is a priority; hear what 17-year-old Austin has to say about his struggle with hunger:

"Childhood hunger in America is important to me because it happened to me. It hurts and I hated it and all I wanted was to eat. Too many kids today go home from school and are not sure if they will have a meal that night. It is no joke and we need to do something about it because no kid deserves to go without food."

Austin's right: we must end childhood hunger. Too many of our kids are facing hunger. How can our nation's children succeed if they continue to suffer?

That's where you come in. I urge you to make your tax-deductible gift to the No Kid Hungry campaign today and take advantage of our special matching gift offer.

A generous Share Our Strength donor is personally matching all gifts, up to $500,000, making your gift go twice as far in making a difference in the lives of children struggling with hunger. For example:
  • $46 can connect a child with a summer of meals and a year of school breakfast. Your $46 becomes $92!
  • $100 can help deliver mobile meals to a child in need for three months. Your $100 becomes $200!
  • $250 can help provide meals to a child in an afterschool program for a full school year. Your $250 becomes $500!
When you give to the No Kid Hungry campaign, you do more than connect a child with healthy meals. You bring hope to children like Austin who are struggling with hunger. Thanks for all that you do for No Kid Hungry.

Best wishes,

Jeff Bridges

P.S. Please give as generously as you can today — and remember every dollar you give will be matched dollar for dollar to make twice the difference.

No Kid Hungry
©Share Our Strength, 1730 M Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

This Thanksgiving, folks can help hungry children by setting a place at the No Kid Hungry Table. This table is not physical, but it exists on playgrounds and in classrooms, kitchens, and cafeterias, where hungry kids are being fed by the No Kid Hungry organization. They do this not only at Thanksgiving but also all year long.

This organization has fed millions of kids by funding school breakfast programs, expanding summer and afterschool meals, and teaching families how to shop for and cook affordable, healthy meals at home.

To make this possible, they need help from everyone who can afford to spare some money. Their goal is to raise 300K by Thanksgiving. A donation of $46 will provide 220 meals in the coming year for a hungry child.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Away Longer

My Syrian friends gave me two weeks of rest and relaxation, much needed and much enjoyed. Now, they are on their way back to Scotland where they have acquired some work and probably won't return to Syria until and unless life calms down. Well, maybe they will visit friends and family during the less troubled moments...much prayer needed for them and all Syria.

As for me, after one day back to work and, seemingly, life going back to normal, things took a not-unexpected twist. My sister-in-law who has been suffering from Stage IV lung cancer was hospitalized and then immediately hospicized for a pulmonary embolism. My brother called and said that if I wanted to see her while she was still alive, I should come back home immediately, which is what I am doing. That is easier said than done. I come from rural Maine farm country where there is no public transportation, so the trip will be an all-day one from San Francisco to Boston by plane, followed by a bus trip to New Hampshire, where my brother can pick me up in his car and take me the final hour's drive home. Once a travel agent told me "you can't there from here," so since then I have been my own travel agent on trips home. I do know how to get there from here. It just takes a lot of time and a lot of conveyances.

I am hoping that I will be able to share some of her final hours with my sister-in-law and then help my brother post-funeral with whatever I can help. Being the oldest of the eight of us, I find that there is always something with which I can help and for which I am wanted.

Rural Maine is not entirely on the Internet grid yet, so please bear with me as a remain silent probably until nearly the end of October. When I am back, you all will know. There will be a post, the first in a long time!

Prayers for you all in my absence, and please pray for those in my life who need God's solace.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Taking a Break

I will be taking a break from blogging for the next 2 1/2 weeks (until October 5). I have friends arriving tonight from faraway Syria, and I really need to be able to spend undiluted time with them. They will not be here for long. So, while I regret not being able to post the Monday Morning Meditation (the other posts are of lesser importance), I know that you will be able to scroll down to the last MMM and click on Fr. Austin's link and have a nice cup of Monday morning coffee and reflection with him.

And I wish to all of you who stop by in the interim a blessed day, week, month. Thank you for dropping in and being a part of my life.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Eat at Denny's to Help the Hungry...Seriously

My husband and I stopped into Denny's a couple of days ago for breakfast and learned that we could buy a coupon book for $3. The book contains $5 worth of coupons for a dollar off any individual meal. Sound like a good deal? It is!

In fact, it is an even better deal than saving a dollar here and there. The $3 we paid for the coupon booklet goes to feeding hungry kids.

Since that day, I have learned that other restaurants are also participating in this campaign. Here is fuller information, replete with links.

Find Your Nearest No Kid Hungry Restaurant - NO KID HUNGRY - SHARE OUR STRENGTH

DINE OUT For No Kid Hungry. Find a Restaurant Dear Friend,

Starting Sunday, you can help fight hunger with your fork.

Now through the end of September, join thousands of other supporters in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry, a nationwide event dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America.

Find a restaurant using our interactive map and invite your friends and family to join you for a great meal.

Every time you, your friends and family eat at one of our partner restaurants, you will help raise funds for the No Kid Hungry campaign and its work connecting kids with the healthy food they need, every day.

Click here to find a participating No Kid Hungry restaurant.

Thank you for all that you do to make No Kid Hungry a reality.


Billy Shore
Founder and CEO

P.S. Can’t make it? Make a contribution now to support the No Kid Hungry campaign and help end childhood hunger in America.
No Kid Hungry
©Share Our Strength, 1730 M Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No Kid Hungry - Congress Needs to Know

Another appeal from No Kid Hungry; if you agree with the need to resolve this problem, please help.

TAKE ACTION! Speak Up for Children.

Dear Friend,

This morning, the USDA confirmed that 16.6 million children are at risk of hunger here in America. This latest release of our country’s official hunger statistics shows that 1 out of every 5 children lives in a household that struggles to put food on the table.

Contact Congress.

Unbelievably, some in Congress are looking to solve our nation’s fiscal problems in a way that could penalize our nation’s low-income children. Proposals in Congress right now would kick 280,000 low-income children off free and reduced-price school meals — a devastating proposal given that many of these kids rely on school breakfast and lunch as their primary source of nutrition.

Hungry children don’t have lobbyists. But they do have you. Will you contact your members of Congress and ask them to protect at-risk kids?

These potential cuts are part of the ongoing reauthorization of the Farm Bill. Some of these proposals could cause millions of Americans to lose access to the SNAP program, and would lead to 280,000 kids losing access to free school meals when their eligibility is tied to their receipt of SNAP benefits.

If you don’t act today, our nation’s kids will suffer — kids like Joshua, a growing boy who loves playing sports and gets his breakfast and lunch at school thanks to the federal school meals programs. His family also relies on SNAP and local food pantries to supplement the food they purchase with their small income. If Congress approves drastic cuts to the Farm Bill, it will leave millions of families like Joshua’s even more vulnerable to hunger.

We need to speak up for the children affected by these changes now. Please urge your members of Congress to protect children and ensure they get the healthy food they need every day from the school breakfasts and lunches served daily in schools across the country.

Thank you for taking action today on behalf of the No Kid Hungry campaign.


Billy Shore
Founder and CEO

No Kid Hungry
©Share Our Strength, 1730 M Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Opus Bono Sacerdotti

Only a few years ago, I never dreamt that I would posting a blog note like this one: among the homeless and hungry are priests. With the growing bandwagon of individuals bringing accusations of misconduct against priests, many fine priests are now being flasely accused by those who see the opportunity for some very fine ill-gotten gains. In fact, an investigation into the situation in California indicates that approximately half of all allegations are false. When allegations are made, most priests find themselves immediately without a job, without an income, often without a vehicle, and, sadly, often without the support of their diocese. Sometimes the trials drag on for months, if not years, before the priest is cleared, and the priest can end up both during the process and even afterward on the street, hungry and homeless.

We had two priests in our parish, both proved innocent (seems to be against the law of the land that one has to prove innocence rather than an accuser having to prove guilt) who went through this difficult period. One ended up with no food at all at one point. Our parish helped, but not all parishes are wiling or able to do so.

One organization, Opus Bono Sacerdotti, helps priests in these circumstances. Currently, though, more than 1000 priests have turned to Opus Bono for assistance, and there is not enough money to go around. I learned this weekend that a new supplicant, Fr. Francis, has just been released from the hospital and has no food or medication. This is just one example of many. If you can help Fr. Francis or any other priest or contribute even a few dollars on a monthly basis to this good cause, please visit the Opus Bono website. You will find more information there about what Opus Bono does and a mechanism for donating. Similarly, if you know of a priest in desperate straits, please refer him to Opus Bono. They turn no one away and provide help with food, shelter, and, in extreme cases, safety.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

No Kid Hungry: A Follow-Up

And a follow-up to the last post:

Watch Principal McElhaney’s firsthand view of hunger in the classroom and share it with everyone you know.

Dear Friend,

Millions of America’s children head back to school this month where they’ll focus on reading, math, history and, well, just being kids.

But for 1 in 5 of our kids, an obstacle stands in their way: not having enough nutrition to live up to their full potential. Too often, the only meal that these children receive is a school lunch.

Please join the No Kid Hungry campaign and educators across America to help end childhood hunger and create a nation of healthier, smarter children. We can’t let them do this alone.

Principal McElhaney, from a middle school in Maryland, has seen the effects of hunger firsthand, like when, one morning, a student failed a test and told him he just didn’t care because he was too hungry to think about his school work. Like many of our heroes in the school system, he knew he had to do something.

Educators like Principal McElhaney and the No Kid Hungry campaign know that one critical solution to fighting hunger is offering school breakfast. Today, Principal McElhaney’s school offers breakfast to all their students, making sure they start their day with the nutritious food they need — so when it’s time to focus on instruction, hunger doesn’t stand in their way.

Please take a minute to hear Principal McElhaney’s story and make a donation to the No Kid Hungry campaign. Your donation helps connect more kids to school breakfast. For every dollar you give, you can help provide up to 10 meals for a child, including a nutritious breakfast.

By supporting the No Kid Hungry campaign, you can bring us one step closer to helping millions of hungry children across the nation feel better, learn better and reach their full potential.

Thank you for all that you do to build a No Kid Hungry America.


Billy Shore
Founder and CEO

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No Kid Hungry
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

No Kid Hungry This Summer

The No Kid Hungry foundation is running a special campaign this summer. Here is the information:

Out of school, out of food

Donate to help make No Kid Hungry This Summer

With school out for the summer, 17 million children across America are at greater risk of going hungry without access to the vital breakfast and school lunch programs they rely on during the academic year. And if we don’t act now, these kids will be facing missed meals and hungry stomachs instead of the fun childhood summers they deserve.

You can make a difference for hungry kids this summer by making a tax-deductible gift to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Every dollar you give can connect a child with ten meals — and when you give today, the Arby's Foundation will match your gift, dollar for dollar, to double the impact of your donation.

With your help, the No Kid Hungry campaign can surround kids with healthy food where they live, learn and play. Thank you for making a gift to Share Our Strength today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Krystal and the Panhandler

The following story was shared with me by a young lady named Krystal. I am posting it here as an example of a random act of kindness in support of someone in need. (Thank you, Krystal, for sharing this.)
Hello, my name is Krystal,  I came across your blog, and I wish to share my story about helping a panhandler:

One day, my mom and I were on our way to my psychotherapy session around (at the time). As we were walking down 23rd St and heading towards 5th Ave,we've noticed the regular panhandler (he's in his 20's) and his brown Labrador Retriever. Mom had a conversation with him and things so far have been difficult for him, and I've felt a nudge from within to offer him something to eat, so I did, despite lacking time to buy him something to eat. On our way home, we saw him again and I asked him if he wanted anything from the 7 Eleven that was two blocks away from his location, and he said yes. So, with the spare $10 in my wallet, I've bought him a Big Gulp cup of Coca-Cola and four slices of cheese pizza. We gave him said food and he said that we didn't have to do that for him, but he really appreciated it.

* I didn't reveal his name to protect his identity

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Hungry Man and Mass

A week ago Wednesday, I had a 9:00-12:00 meeting at headquarters that I hoped would not last all the way until noon, since noon is the time of Mass at the little chapel near my office, about twenty minutes from headquarters. I squirmed as one hour turned into two. After all, I don't sit still readily, so these three-hour meetings, of which I have had many recently, are killers. Then, two hours rolled over into the start of the third hour. 11:00, 11:10, 11:15 ticked by. It seemed like all we were doing at that point was wrapping up AND wrapping up AND wrapping up. Of course, I could not sneak out of the meeting. I was supposed to be leading it! However, I was working together with our Human Resources folks, and, of course, I could not ride ramshod over their input. So, we continued to wrap up. 11:20, 11: 25. At that point, I just assumed I would not make Mass and starting to plan on lunch over the noon hour, followed, sigh!, by another 3-hour meeting from 1:00 - 4:00.

Right before 11:30, though, we finished our work. Yes! Not only would I be able to catch Mass, but I would be able to do a quick drive-through McDonald's to pick up lunch. Yippee! It was going to be a better day than I had imagined.

So, I headed to my nearby car, hopped in, and took off. As I came to the intersection by McDonald's, there was a man holding a sign, asking for help. Oh, oh! I knew I had no cash in my wallet. So, I looked around the car. Nothing laying around there, either -- not even the spare McDonald's gift card that I usually keep on hand. I did not remember giving out the last one, but apparently I had. Hm...

Talking myself into thinking that I had no way to help (which, of course, I did; I could have invited the man into McDonald's and paid with a credit card, which is how I planned to pay for  my own meal), I drove into line at the drive-through, ordered, and started to drive away when I noticed the man was still there. Now, I seemed to have a dilemma, and I was aware that I did have options: (1) give the man my lunch (but he probably would not like it -- I never get anything except meat on my hamburger -- no fixings and no dressings -- and that would not be very filling for him); (2) go to Mass and ignore the man; (3) go back and get a gift card (probably would take too long, having to wait through line and all); or (4) invite the man in and blow off Mass.

Mass or man? The verse where we are told that what we do "for the least" among us is what we do for Jesus kept coming to mind. Was I being given some direction? I took a step back and looked at the real choices: (1) do something for myself -- going to Mass was at some level for me, to allow me the opportunity to worship, to continue to develop my relationship with God, or (2) do something for God -- feed one of His children. Seeing it in that light made everything clear. So much for Mass, I thought, and headed toward the man. When I reached him, I explained that I had no cash on me but would be happy to take him inside and buy him a meal. He responded that he was not really hungry at the moment but that he would love to be able to eat later and would appreciate a gift card. OK, that would be option #3.

I headed back to McDonald's, parked, and walked inside. Amazingly, there was no one in line. I quickly purchased a gift card, returned to the car, and handed it to the man.

Happy that I had done what seemed to be the right thing but somewhat saddened at the loss of opportunity to attend Mass ("daily" Mass is offered only twice a week at this chapel, and it is the only church near where I work), I headed back to my office. As I drove, I noticed the time: 11:48. Not quite enough time to make it all the way back, or was it? As I came to the intersection where I needed to go straight to the chapel or make a left to my office, I looked at the clock in the car: 11:58. How could that be? It was like time had stood still for for a few minutes. Since the intersection is only a minute or two from the chapel, I drove straight, arriving at the chapel exactly at noon.

Sometimes discernment comes slowly, but when it is right, it is obvious. And, often, I have found, when right, it gets rewarded. After all, I got both options: helping a child of God (something for God) and attending Mass (something for me). Lunch never tasted so good!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homeless Hotspots

Saw this in the news. Thought I would share. (Yes, I know --- little new posting this year; I have been traveling and when not traveling, recently got laid low in the wake of an immunization that was supposed to prevent that very thing.) Anyway, here goes:
In the bygone days of print, homeless people made money selling "street newspapers," publications created to promote entrepreneurship. Now that the world has gone digital, the New York-based advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty agues, it's time to update the model.

Such is the rationale behind Homeless Hotspots, a program the company's BBH Labs is debuting at this year's SXSW Interactive in Austin. It works just like it sounds: During the convention, homeless volunteers walk around downtown with MiFi devices. Attendees wishing to partake of their Internet connection can pay what they wish, either via PayPal or with cold-hard cash.

All Homeless Hotspots participants are enrolled in the case management program at Front Steps Shelter, a local nonprofit, but even with that organization's endorsement, the project is proving extremely controversial.

"It is a neat idea on a practical level, but also a little dystopian," wrote David Gallagher of the New York Times. "When the infrastructure fails us ... we turn human beings into infrastructure?"

Defending the idea to Jon Mitchell of Read Write Web, Saneel Radia of BBH Labs said the main priorities are "social engagement" and "daily income."

"Somehow, our intent has been lost in here," Radia said. "What we're trying to do is say the street newspaper model works. It's the output of it that ... We fear for its future, and there's no one working on solving this problem."
This question was posed at the end of the article I read on Spinner, which has a video interview that you might like to watch. I think it is a good questions: "What do you think -- is this a new twist on an old idea or the first step down a slippery slope?"

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! Weclome, 2012!

Wishing one and all a blessed 2012, which has dawned bright and sunny here in San Ignatio. Along with it has arrived my first decision of the new year: whether or not to take revenge on Donnie.

As usual, Donnie and I had made plans to welcome in the new year with a mini-party. Some champagne. A few snacks. And Doah.

As usual, I feel asleep and became nigh onto comatose around 10:30. Doah lasted another hour, then toddled off to bed, emerging, according to Donnie, around 12:30 in the morning, like a groundhog on Feb. 2, saw his shadow, and scurried back to the bedroom.

As for me, I never did wake up. Donnie, ever the photographer -- and, in this case, as is typical of our New Year's eve celebrations, the lone celebrant -- took a picture of me zonked out on the couch and pasted it on Facebook. Of course, that brought it a lot of comments!

Now, he is sleeping in after all his heavy partying, and I am wide awake, greeting the sunny day and new year. Doah is dancing about, demanding breakfast, and I am ever so tempted to take a picture of Donnie, zonked out in bed, and paste it on Facebook!

Happy days and interesting decisions, my friends, I wish you in 2012!

(note: image from -- it stunned me; hope you like it)