4th Annual Chemo Care Tote Campaign

As part of “Giving Tuesday” I am kicking off  my “4th Annual CHEMO CARE TOTES” Campaign.

When I began my journey with Thirty One in 2011, I wanted to make a difference.  Actually, I have been making  difference all of my life – from collecting funds for MD as a child to working in soup kitchens and food pantries to bringing a smile to those who are struggling.  I want to share my spiritual gifts of “helps and encouragement” so others know someone cares when they are struggling.

Here is the message I received from past recipients:

Wanted to let you know I have handed out all of the beautiful bags you had donated for women battling breast cancer. Each person loved the bag and it put a smile on their face to know someone was kind and providing a sense of support as they started their chemotherapy treatments. Thank you again for supporting our patients.

Yes, I cried the first time!… Now, I get goosebumps every time I read it.  Cancer has touched each of us in some way – a friend, a family member, a sister, a mother, a father, a child, and the list goes on.

This project is near and dear to my heart.  It is a tribute to my family who fought a good fight against this dreaded disease and lost: Edythe (kidney cancer), Elsie (breast cancer), Pop-pop (lung cancer) and my dad (prostrate cancer). I spent many hours in the Oncology Units with Elsie and Edythe as they underwent chemo treatments.  I held their hand when they struggled with the insertion of the needles.  I was there when they were sick from the chemo and sat by their bedside when they were too weak to go out.  As a friend said #cancersucks.  It takes many from us long before their time.  It ravages families.  It leaves children parentless.  It has parents burying children.

With my own health struggles, I have spent many hours in the infusion units of local hospitals.  I am blessed to only have to be there a short time – time for blood work and special testing.  The many women I have seen are not there for a one time visit, they are there for weeks of painful treatments.  They smile and carry on conversations  while encouraging each other.  My heart breaks and the tears come each time I leave the unit for I know what their struggles are like.

Your gift/ sponsorship of $25 will pay for the bag.   I will use 100% of my commission to fill them with a variety of things like a blanket/scarf, notepad, pen, bottle of water, lotion, warm socks, chap stick and crossword puzzle book. Donations will again be delivered to the local Cancer Care Center at Southern Ocean Medical Center to bring a smile to the face of those who are fighting this dreadful disease.

chemo bagsLast year, we delivered 31 bags BUT this year, my goal is 50.  I know it is a HUGE jump but I am confident we are up for the challenge. Yes, I know it is the holiday season.  Yes, I know money is tight.  STOP for a moment and think how you would feel if someone handed you an unexpected gift – no strings attached – when you were feeling your lowest.  Let the love of this holiday season shine through with your help.

For $25 you can bring a smile to someone who is fighting the cancer battle.

You can sponsor a bag in memory of someone, in honor of someone or just anonymously. Payments can be made via check, credit card or through Paypal at hopesgiftcloset@comcast.net as a friend/family.   If you see me at a vendor event, I will be happy to accept your donation.

Won’t you help us to make a difference today?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Use What Your Daddy Gave You

dadHappy 85th Birthday Dad!  Thank you Sharon Jaynes and Girlfriends in God for today’s message…

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him ~ 2 Peter 3:14

Did you know that you’ve got what it takes to do all that God has prepared for you to do? The Bible says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3, emphasis added).

But that doesn’t mean we get to sit back on our haunches and do nothing. Peter wrote: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness . . .” (2 Pet. 1:5).

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election” (1:10).

“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:14)

Theologian Mark Buchanan said it well: “Those who do not make every effort are like the blind man whose sight is restored, but who never adjusts to that. He remains in his old ways, tapping his cane on the sidewalk, rattling his cup at the curb, reading by Braille, groping and shuffling, turning light into darkness, day into night.”

You have everything you need. You’ve got what it takes to do all that God has called you to do and to be. So now, make every effort to do so—to take advantage of who you are, what you have, and where you are in Christ.

Don’t waste time comparing yourself to anyone else. Sharpen your skills. Practice your trade. Exercise your gifts. Grab hold of the truth and be on your way.

God had given Moses everything he needed for the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt.

· He orchestrated the Pharaoh’s daughter to walk by the Nile at the precise moment baby Moses cried out from the floating basket.

· He choreographed Miriam to witness the love-struck princess’ rescue.

· He made sure that Moses was raised in the Pharaoh’s household, learned the Egyptian culture, and mastered the Egyptian language.

This was the Holy Ghost prep school, and Moses was pre-enrolled before he was even born. But when he failed and bailed in Egypt, Moses left bits and pieces of his confidence strewn along the path as he fled into the desert. By the time he reached Midian, it was all gone. And he gave up.

Oh, friend, the devil would like nothing more than to steal your confidence so that you won’t make every effort. Jesus reminds us, “The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy” (John 10:10). There is no more perfect time for him to make his move than in a season of failure.

So remember, His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3, emphasis added). So now, it’s up to you to make every effort to use what your Daddy gave you!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers; celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Today’s blog is in honor of my Pop-pop, my Dad and my hubby, Rob.

13175-poppopwestonPop-Pop worked long hours as a typesetter for the Asbury Park Press but always had time for his family. The story is told that he was the one who taught me to walk.  How?  A round hassock and a chocolate chip cookie.  Traveling with my grandparents was always an adventure. I always came home with lots of souvenirs and MORE money then I left with.  My grandparents always drove me back to college in Rhode Island after a visit home with the camper loaded with snacks and Mom-mom’s applesauce cake. Pop-pop made friends with EVERYONE, everywhere. A kind spirit, a loving smile and generous man.  On his final days fighting lung cancer, he was still sharing words of wisdom and worrying about those who would be left behind.  Pop-pop, I miss you every day but I know that you are one of my many Weston angels.

aae4e-dadLife with my dad has its ups and downs. Growing up was filled with of memories of family vacations and holidays. My junior year, he and my mom, cooked breakfast for the ENTIRE Junior Class of Ocean Twp HS after the prom. There were some hard years mixed in there too as dad battled with alcoholism and all of the demons that came along with it. When my parents divorced, I was angry and hurt.  I wanted nothing to do with my dad. On Pop-pop’s death bed, he told me “it is time to forgive your dad”. It was many years later before I would start to heal and forgive. Who would have thought that my drug addiction would be the gift that brought us together.  My dad came to visit which was the first time that we had spoken in YEARS! I don’t know how he knew where I was, but he traveled to Pennsylvania to see me. That is when the healing began. What a blessing it was to have him walk me down the aisle the day I got married.  I love you Dad!

belinda and rob No, Rob isn’t Belinda’s biological dad but over the years, he has become dad.  Growing up, Belinda’s father made the choice NOT to be a part of her life.  Her idea of what a dad should be came from her best friend’s dad, Bill Loder and from my dad.   To this day, she will readily admit that she has a hard time communicating with men.   The relationship between Rob and Belinda is special.  I will never forget the first time that Belinda text Rob the words “love you”.  Such a small gesture that brought a tear to his eyes.  When Belinda announced she was getting married, Rob claimed “this is Belinda’s year” and life has centered around the magical event.  Belinda has found her own way to let Rob know that she loves him.  “I think of him the same way I think of Pop-pop” says it all.  So Rob got the daughter that he always wanted and Belinda got a dad.  Their relationship may be different but they each know in their hearts how special it is.   I love you Rob and thank you for being DAD to Belinda.

Take a moment today and thank the “fathers” in your life.  Some may be your biological dads, your adopted dads, some may be your friends dad’s, some may be a man who helped to shape your life – whoever it is, THANK them.  They have given you many blessings.  Remember that blessings are sometimes in the form trials and it is all of those things that make you the person you are today.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.