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Posts Tagged ‘Gift of Hope’

Outside there’s nothing but rain. But, metaphorically speaking, rain falls inside too – it falls into each of our lives, sometimes in “drizzles” and sometimes in “downpours.” How we weather our storms depends on our outlook. We can choose to simply drown or we can let the waters cleanse our perspective and refresh our purpose.

#1 – Gift of Hope Update
My friend Laura, whose inspirational story I wrote about in Laura’s Gift of Hope, just received the most wonderful and miraculous news – she is in remission! Thanks to all who sent prayers and positive energy her way! But let’s not forget about the others who continue their fight against cancer. For as little as $25.00 you can spread cheer and give hope by donating a Gift of Hope (a bouquet of daffodils) or a Bear of Hope (a Boyds Bear stuffed animal for pediatric cancer patients), both of which are delivered anonymously to someone undergoing cancer treatment during the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days, the week of March 22nd. Mahatma Gandhi once stated, “Be the difference you want to see in the world.” The last day to donate online is Monday, February 28th. To be the difference to someone, click here to donate.

#2 – Words and Images
More photos with food-for-thought quotes – check out the slide show at Pix Placcebo. My favorite slide? It has to be, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” Mother Teresa

#3 – Oatmeal at McDonald’s?
Since I eat oatmeal every morning and know that it’s been a factor in lowering my blood cholesterol, I was happy to see that McDonald’s is advertising and selling “healthy” oatmeal for breakfast. Then I read this article, How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong and was shocked to learn that “. . . the McDonald’s product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin.”

#4 – Baking Soda Is Not Just for Baking!
One of the major ingredients in my Fizzy Bath Bombs recipe is baking soda. It’s the component that softens the water. There are many, many other uses for baking soda – 57 to be exact, according to an article in Everyday Wisdom. For example, entries 1, 2, and 3:

1. One of the most popular uses for baking soda is to deodorize your refrigerator. Just place an open container inside, stir every couple of weeks, replace it every couple of months.

2. After you have used the baking soda in the refrigerator, don’t throw it away! Put it in the sink drain or garbage disposal. Add a cup of vinegar and let it stand overnight. Run hot water through it in the morning; it will help keep drains clean and smelling fresh.

3. One of the more important uses for baking soda: Keep a box of baking soda near the stove. In case of a grease fire, you can sprinkle baking soda on the fire to extinguish the flames. This will not damage counter tops or the pans. It is safe for use on electrical fires.

#5 – Two Quotes That Make a Difference

The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.
~Leo Rosten

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Linnell’s Notes on Her Design Concept for Laura’s Layered Necklace
In order of bottom layer to top:

The Swarovski crystal: Pink represents the color of breast cancer awareness.
The base layer: “Hope is an anchor for the soul.” Hebrews 6:19
The oval ring: Faith is constant and frames our hope.
The heart: Love makes us whole.

Make a difference to someone this weekend!

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Can numbers tell a story of courage and inspiration? Consider the staggering numbers in this story and the incredible story in its numbers.

The house is peacefully quiet and broad bands of sunlight stream into the room through large windows as my friend Laura eases herself into a comfortable recliner that is her safe haven for most of the day. An eight-inch scar races down her abdomen and painfully reminds her of her sixth cancer-related surgery. With her aging dog lying at her feet, she shows me colored photos of the cancerous “stalactites” that peppered her peritoneum, the membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity. I am in awe of her while she calmly reminds me about the details of her eleven-year fight against three primary forms of cancer. While most of us would be daunted by the prospect of a single round of chemotherapy, Laura is about to begin her fourth – she has Stage 4 peritoneal cancer. Saying that Laura is one of the most courageous and inspirational people I know is clearly an understatement and is one that I wish I didn’t have to make.

“What do you say to yourself every morning when you wake up? What gives you the strength to get through the hard days?” “What words keep coming back to you as you go on this journey?” A couple of weeks ago I asked Laura to think of several words that answer these questions. Because she is a gift to me, I want to make a gift for her. I want to know what “her words” are so that I can make an indelible version of them for her to wear close to her heart – in a necklace. The words come easily to her: “Faith, Hope, and Love.”

As bright as the sunlight that streams into the room, so is Laura’s hope. The mere fact that Laura is involved in fundraising for three major cancer organizations while in the throes of her own battle is proof. As an eight-year active volunteer for her county’s American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days Campaign, Laura has an ambitious goal. She hopes that during Daffodil Days as many cancer patients as possible will be able to receive a Gift of Hope. A Gift of Hope is a bouquet of daffodils that is donated anonymously and is delivered to someone undergoing cancer treatment during Daffodil Days. She vividly recalls the day, more than a decade ago and during one of her chemotherapy sessions, when a stranger walked into the room and handed her a bouquet of cheerful yellow daffodils. That person was a cancer survivor and an ACS volunteer. Laura’s eyes light up as she explains to me how much receiving that bouquet meant to her that day. Her emotional words and her dedication to this campaign make it clear just how very much that bouquet means to her even now.

Last September Laura and nine of her friends participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Walking thirty-nine miles over a two-day period can be a grueling task, but for Laura, who had just finished her third round of chemotherapy, and her friends, each step gave them another measure of hope. With Laura by their side as an inspirational guide, they all completed their 39-mile journey and raised almost $40,000 to go towards breast cancer screening, support, treatment, and research.

Laura is a gift to all who know her and is a gift of hope for all cancer patients that she tirelessly raises money for in an effort to find cures. If her story inspires you or if you want to bring hope to people facing cancer and help save lives through cancer research, please consider donating a Gift of Hope during the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days Campaign. You can access Laura’s Daffodil Days donation page by clicking here. Online orders can be made through February 28th. Laura and I thank you.

“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”
Lin Yutang

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Despite the soggy weather, my daffodils are beginning to bloom. These beacons of cheer brighten the dreary landscape. Read about how your gift of daffodils can help brighten other people’s lives.

#1 – Daffodil Days
Proceeds from the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days program not only raise funds, but give hope to people facing cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, Daffodil Days “is about more than just giving beautiful flowers: it is everyone’s opportunity to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays where cancer never steals another year from anyone’s life.” Please give a gift of hope by donating to this worthwhile event.

#2 – My Most Requested Recipe Update
This information just in from one of my co-workers! A few months before I posted My Most Requested Recipe in September, a co-worker asked me for it so she could prepare it for her husband. He’s been eating steel cut oatmeal for breakfast every morning since then. Says my co-worker of her husband, “He was waving his lab report around like it was a medal.” The eighteen point drop in his cholesterol was quite significant. His current cholesterol levels have gone back down to his 2006 levels!

#3 – A Produce Tip from Bob
When buying bananas, look for medium-sized ones without any bruises. Avoid those that have a greenish-purple tinge as those will never ripen to a golden yellow. The greenish-purple tinge indicates that they have been refrigerated at some point in time. They are okay to eat, but will not taste as good.

#4 – Recycling: By the Numbers
I read an article on the Planet Green site called Recycling: By the Numbers and was impressed with the information. Here are the numbers as stated in the article:

* 544,000: Trees saved if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber paper towels (70 sheets) with 100 percent recycled ones.

* 20 million: Tons of electronic waste thrown away each year. One ton of scrap from discarded computers contains more gold than can be produced from 17 tons of gold ore.

* 9 cubic yards: Amount of landfill space saved by recycling one ton of cardboard.

* $160 billion: Value of the global recycling industry that employs over 1.5 million people.

* 79 million tons: Amount of waste material diverted away from disposal in 2005 through recycling and composting.

* 5 percent: Fraction of the energy it takes to recycle aluminum versus mining and refining new aluminum.

* 315 kg: Amount of carbon dioxide not released into the atmosphere each time a metric ton of glass is used to create new glass products.

* 98 percent: Percentage of glass bottles in Denmark that are refillable. 98 percent of those are returned by consumers for reuse.

* 51.5 percent: Percentage of the paper consumed in the U.S. that was recovered for recycling in 2005.

#5 – A Quote on Hope
Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
Lin Yutang

Bring cheer to someone’s life this weekend!

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