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Posts Tagged ‘community’

Mother Connie

 

I have to say that entering the fray in Babble’s Top 100 Food Mom Bloggers started out simply as a way of honoring my friend Mother Connie.  It has since become more about honoring her AND getting people aware of the impact she is making in the lives of the people who visit her Food Stamps Cooking Club Blog.  You see, Connie has always been about helping people be healthy (she teaches ways to eat healthier while on a tight budget) but she also truly loves connecting with people and encouraging them.

Her blog is one of community.  The people who visit there aren’t simply people who get their groceries from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-food stamps)…even though that is the name of the blog.  It is also written for, and contributed to by, people who receive WIC  (Women, Infants, and Children), Angel Food Ministries, Commodities, Farmer’s Market coupons or groceries from local food pantries.  Connie encourages people to participate with their cooking tips, shopping or marketing tips, health information and to ask questions that she or her readers may have an answer to.

All of this is done with the intention of helping people to stretch their food dollars and to shop, prepare and serve the healthiest meals that they can to their families.  Connie not only accomplishes this…she has been an inspiration to many.  For all of those reasons…I ask you to go here to Babble’s Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers and nominate her.  All you have to do is find her on page 1 or 2 and click on the “like” button to vote for her.   Thanks a lot.  Oh, and go visit her blog…and leave her a comment; she loves comments…tell her Write Where You Are sent you!

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I had the honor today of interviewing Connie Baum the inspiration behind the website Food
Stamps Cooking Club
about why her website is growing in numbers and with such a sense of community.  The site was created to teach people how to stretch their food dollars to purchase foods that are filling and nutritious.  To hear the interview click here:  Write Where You Are

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Have you ever met an individual that is so rare and special that you could compare them to a valuable gem?  Let me tell you about such a person, Jessica Angelique, who has a passionate mission in life to shine a light on life changing non for profit organizations.  Jessica has had an interesting life full of ups and downs and because of that she has dedicated her life to making the world a better place.  Her heart has been drawn to organizations that help build people up and educate them; which allows them to positively impact the world for the better.  She is in need of help to continue to expand her ability to impact the world by educating them through a wonderful opportunity called the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Pepsi is offering up an opportunity to win a $250,000 grant to those who win the most votes in their category.  Jessica Angelique is the creator and executive director of Definitive Voices.   She is also an author who has written of her life’s journey; navigating through the challenging foster care system into a positive, purpose filled adulthood.   She uses her voice to empower people and organizations to be aware and proactive in their communities to build up those in need.

Through Definitive Voices Jessica uses social media to shine a light on individuals and organizations that are doing their best to help people improve the world through education, awareness, and hands on action that is changing the lives of those they encounter.  Jessica needs your help by getting you to go to this link and vote for her Definitive Voices so that she can expand her ability to positively impact the lives of others.  It only takes a couple of seconds once you register and sign in using an active email and a Pepsi password.  Here is the link to cast your vote daily until the 28th of February: http://www.refresheverything.com/definitivevoices(more…)

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        Honor killings are used as a way to control behaviors typically in male dominated societies, often in the middle east.  Usually, we hear about a daughter, a neice, a sister, mother, or a wife who has been murdered for violating a traditional role in their interaction with other males outside of their family.  Unfortunately, this week honor killings are making news headlines because of a New York television owner’s death.  It is being alleged that Aasiya Hassan was killed by her husband Muzzammil under the heading of an honor killing because of her desire for a divorce after some domestic violence issues, allegedly between husband and wife.

         The Hassan’s started their television station in 2004; they did so because they wanted to combat any form of anti -Islamic sentiments that have been building since 911.  They called their station Bridges TV. (more…)

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     Ok, I am going to rant a bit for a minute.  Twice this week the news has hit us with two terrible stories about families that self-destructed through murder-suicide.  Two families that were destroyed.  One family in particular left a suicide note allegedly saying that the reason they were dead was because both the husband and the wife lost their jobs…were in debt…and were rejected by their employers.  The other family’s reasons have not yet been announced.  The family members allegedly say that there was no clues to this tragedy.  What i want to know is…can we stop families from hurting the ones that they love?  Yes we can, encourage them to seek help:  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  Each time something like this happens…those who were lost leave behind friends, family members, neighbors, acquaintances and community members who are hurt, confused and saddened.   We have to take care of each other and learn to be more in tune with those around us.  (more…)

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         Dr. Susan Love has started a massive undertaking to understand the complexities of breast cancer by organizing an army of women.  She has partnered up with the Avon foundation to get an army of women to sign up to do research on a large  cross section of women to get accurate information on genetic links as well as environmental links to help the medical community understand breast cancer better…so that we can more effectively treat and PREVENT breast cancer.  Check them out: http://www.avoncompany.com/women/avonfoundation/overview.html

        She made an announcement on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts (cancer survivor) interviewing her in October of 2008.  You can see the interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6118891.  

           I sort of envision an army of women all decked out in pink camouflage uniforms as they take up the challenge.  Breast cancer has stolen too many wonderful people from our world.  We have lost sisters, mothers, friends, lovers,aunts, daughters, grandmothers; as well as sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends!   If we can understand how it starts…then we will be able to figure out ways to prevent it.  If we can prevent it…maybe we won’t have to subject our loved ones to such difficult times during treatments.  It is a win-win situation.   You can learn more about Dr. Susan Love and about breast cancer by going here:  http://www.dslrf.org/breastcancer/content.asp?L2=1&SID=119

        Many people want to help…but, if they dont have money to give; they may say how can I possibly help?  This is an excellent way.  You can sign up to be a part of the army.  If nothing else….you can get information to help arm yourself in the war on breast cancer.  You can go here to sign up:  http://www.armyofwomen.org/  Surely you would like to see an end to breast cancer as we know it!

See possibly related stories here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/stand-up-to-cancer/ or, https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/

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        Finally, there is a person who has been named as a suspect in the murder of television news anchorwoman Anne Pressly.  On Wednesday evening, Little Rock, Arkansas police have named Curtis Lavell Vance of Marianna, Arkansas as the suspect.

         Not much was announced about him except that he is thought to be armed and is possibly driving a 1998 Oldsmobile Aurora.  Curtis may also be traveling with a woman and three little children.  There was no announcement about where they may be traveling.

        There has been much speculation since Anne was murdered…some say it was a random act of violence; but many believe otherwise.  There was so much violence in the attack from news reports that i have ran across.  Anyone who expends that much anger/violence in such a crime is generally not a random attacker…it is usually someone who feels they know the victim or does indeed know them and holds a grudge.

          From all accounts since her passing; Anne was a beautiful woman both on the outside and inside…she was a loving, caring person who treated others with respect and concern.  It is such a tragedy to have such a person taken from all those who loved her. 

         If Curtis Vance did indeed murder Anne Pressly…he will likely be a danger to all he encounters.  Regardless, it is good to finally hear that some headway has been made in the investigation of this well loved anchorwoman, Anne Pressly.   No one deserves to die in the manner in which she did. 

         Whoever brutalized Anne deserves to be caught, prosecuted; and, put away for life so that they can never harm another citizen.  Anne was loved by her family, friends, co-workers and her community; they are all grieving their loss.   Let’s hope and pray that Curtis Lavell Vance is apprehended soon without further harm to another person so that the investigation can continue.  Rest in peace Anne.

Breaking news:  Curtis Lavell Vance has allegedly been captured.  No further details at this time.

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      This week we celebrated two very special things here in the United States: one was Monday, November 10th which was the Marine Corps Birthday…and yesterday, which was Veteran’s Day.  Both dates give honor to our military men and women.  We should celebrate our armed forces because they sacrifice so much for us.  We have men and women who are seperated from their families, often in dangerous situations; defending our country and those in other countries who need defended.

       We have some pretty awesome troops who need support.  I have heard about a wonderful program that does just that.  It is a program that would be a wonderful project for school children or teen youth groups across the nation.   Activity directors in nursing homes would also be a great source for this project.  Even former Veterans can continue to serve their country by reaching out to those who presently serve our great country in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Marines. 

       The idea behind http://www.make2tell2.com is to make 2 cards of love and tell 2 others about the project.  They can be holiday cards or just cards that express respect and caring.  This is a great way to lift the spirits of those serving our country when they need an emotional pick me up.  These cards can express patriotism, faith, gratitude, caring, support, encouragement, and communicate comfort to those who need it!

         Please spread the word…get involved…support our troops today.  It doesn’t take much effort and it can mean so very much to the individual who receives it.  After you make the cards…please send them to:  Make 2 Tell 2, 991 Road
325, Harvard, NE 68944  This is also a great way to teach young people about service and about community.  We all need encouragement at times…this is a wonderful way to do that for our troops overseas; it can have a tremendous impact on our military personel.  Thank you!

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       Sad news tonight, Anne Pressly, the Little Rock Arkansas news anchorwoman who was found, by her mother, severely beaten this past week in her own home, has died.  Just earlier this week, the reports that we heard on the news, was a little bit more encouraging because some of the swelling, in her brain, was shrinking…and, it was looking as if she would survive; albeit with a long recovery.  She was beaten in the head, face and neck.  I heard someone say that almost every bone in her face was broken. 

       It is hard to imagine that one human being could do such a thing to another.  It is terrible that she will not be able to survive and help find her attacker.  At this point, it is being considered a random attack; others disagree because of the savagery with which she was beaten.  Some say there was too much violence for it to have been a random attack; and because of that…someone who knew her; or felt they knew her, caused this terrible attack. 

       Anne was only 26 years old..but, she had already been making a name for herself on television and more recently in the movies.  She had achieved much success.  She had a small cameo in the new movie, “W”.  Anne was on the morning news show, Daybreak, at the Little Rock affiliate news station KATV.

        Last week on Good Morning America, Anne’s father gave an update on her condition.  He seemed guarded, yet hopeful…all the while, thanking viewers for their thoughts and prayers.  They are a family of faith.  Robin Roberts seemed visibly moved as she expressed the fact that she had only just met Anne recently.  I am sad for the Little Rock community of viewers; for Anne’s family and friends.  I pray that the person is caught who caused her death.

        After the attack, Anne’s purse was discovered missing and someone used one of her credit cards.  I can only hope and pray that there is video of the person who was using the credit card and that it can be traced to the person responsible for this beautiful young woman’s injuries and death.  Please keep her family in prayer at this time of loss.  They will need privacy and healing time and lots of support.

For update see:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/11/27/finally-a-named-suspect-in-the-murder-of-anne-pressly/

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       The principal at Gloucester High School, John Sullivan, has resigned his position; if you remember he was the principal that made news headlines a few months back by allegedly, claiming that there was a pregnancy pact at his school when pregnancy rates climbed to four times the norm, in his school…17 young women were pregnant, during the school year.  To the best of my knowledge the idea of a “pact” has not been proven; in fact, some of the girls actually denied the claim.  The former principal says that he often relied on information gathered through his staff and from monitoring student chatter which when put together was generally reliable and he chooses to keep that information confidential. 

        John Sullivan appears to feel somehat betrayed by the mayor of the town because when all of this hit the media…he made some statements that criticized the principals ability to “remember” who told him about the alleged plan to become pregnant.  He also says that the superintendent remained silent in the rush of public opinion to condemn him for alluding to the girls deciding to become pregnant.   He feels that both the mayor and the superintendent allowed him to take the brunt of the news reports without standing up for him. 

         He says he does not remember using the word pact…however, he still is convinced that the young woman became pregnant on purpose.  He resigned he said because he does not feel that he has the confidence or support of the leadership in his community.  John Sullivan was at a place where he could have retired, so he did.  However, he did so while at the same time encouraging the students “to continually check their moral compass and do what is right even when swimming against the tide”.

           Regardless of whether the young women became pregnant by choice or not…the school system and community leaders would do well to increase it’s preventative educational programs.  This trend is one that we all pay a price for…with our taxes, with our young people, with social services, and in the short and long term with our families.   The school system is review it’s policy to ban distributing contraception in school. 

          In my opinion, the school system should work closely with parents groups, clergy, health care professionals, school counselors, and the students themselves while drafting a plan to combat the increased numbers sexually active students and occurances of teen pregnancies. 

           With the recent culture of movies that tend to gloss over teen pregnancy and all of the complications that go along with it; we need to examine how our environment/culture encourages our young people to engage in sexual activity, and begin to discuss ways to educate and combat all of the mixed signals that our youth are exposed to in this area of life.  Exposure to STD’s is rising in certain parts of our population, the AIDS numbers are climbing; and with the difficulties in the economy, and cut backs in programs that help to educate and help prevent exposure for our young people; we are waging a war for the health and well being of our children. 

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