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Love is enough!
We don’t know our future. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. There are no guarantees it will come. But we have today. So, what are you doing today? How are you spending your time? Are you so wrapped up in what’s going on in your life that you never see the people around you? Are you taking time to love and share your light?
We all have responsibilities, jobs, bills, children and spouses that demand our immediate attention. In reality, we have to go to work, take care of the kids and pay the bills or there will be very undesirable consequences. It’s easy to fall into a mode of reaction rather than one of planning and action. Sometimes we feel it’s all we can do to take care of those basic things but it’s essential that we find the way to shine our light on others as we go about our days.
You may think; how can I possibly spend time shining my light on others when I’m left in darkness at the end of the day? Sometimes it takes giving away your light to realize that there are endless reserves if you just look in the right direction.
If you are in a place where you feel you have no light to shine then you are probably in a hole. You have sunk into a pit where you can’t see past the things that occupy your mind. All you can see are the walls that surround you.
It’s only when we escape that pit and get out of our own heads that we understand that we had the abundance of light all along. It’s inside us. We all have it. It was always there, within us! All we need to do is look up to see it.
Recently a friend shared with me how a brief conversation we had almost 2 years ago helped her. She was going through cancer treatments at the time and something about our conversation inspired her. It’s interesting because although I do remember talking with her, I can’t recall what I said. To me, it didn’t seem all that significant, but to her it’s a good memory. I had no idea that it was something that helped her. I am so thankful that I took the time that day to speak with her.
Take the time for seemingly insignificant acts of kindness because simple things can generate untold inspiration and encouragement. Sometimes it may be the pure act of sharing a warm smile, opening a door, giving a warmhearted hug or even having a short phone conversation with someone that makes a huge difference their life.
Look up and find your light! You have experiences and perspectives that nobody else has ever had and only you can share your journey in the way that is uniquely yours. You may never learn how much you help someone by shining your light on them but I promise, if you do it, you will make an extraordinary difference in someone else’s life.
I feel like birthdays are the one day that it’s okay to let it be about me. So many of us are motivators for others. It’s what we love and what we spend our lives doing. We seldom allow others to give to us. It almost feels selfish if we do. I think on our birthday, it’s allowed! It’s our time to be loved on, motivated and inspired.
One of my favorite things that I do every single day is to reach out to others on their birthdays and wish them happiness. It isn’t just an exercise that I go through. I really do think about people on their birthdays and truly wish them the best. Social Media has made it really easy to keep up with people as it has also expanded my circle of “friends”.
On my journey over the last 6 years, I have been honored to connect with so many special people who I now call friend. So many of you have been there for me with kind words, inspiration, advice and motivation just when I needed it. You may not even be aware of how much you’ve helped me but you have kept me going.
Today I am blown away by all the wishes I have received. I’ve gotten a love note, cards, phone calls with Birthday songs in more than one language, texts, emails, Facebook posts, private messages, LinkedIn messages and tons of love. All the positive vibes and energy coming my way truly overwhelm me.
I am very aware that some of the messages have come from people who are hurting, lost jobs, lost loved ones, are stricken with disease and suffering in so many ways. The fact that they have taken a moment to think about me on my day is so very humbling. It is an honor to have friends like this.
I say, “thank you” to each of you. You have inspired and touched me and all I can hope to do is somehow reciprocate. I sincerely care about all of you and wish you the best of everything in your life! You are INCREDIBLE!
Today, I was just arriving home, when my good neighbor, Grandma Janet, as we call her, called me to take a look at her new curtains. I had plans to go straight to my home office and tackle my “To Do List.” I thought I’d go for just a few minutes. She asked if I wanted something to drink and I said; “why not?” We sat, we talked, we looked at pictures and we enjoyed the moment of a rainy day viewed through her breakfast room window. It was time well spent!
I have to say that I love going to her house! Let me tell you why. I once had a Grandmother who loved me very much. I was the apple of her eyes! The thing is that we lived together and even though I have great memories of her, I never got to experience “going to grandma’s house.” Going to Ms. Janet’s is what “going to grandma’s” is. Every time I go to her house, I’m not particularly thirsty or hungry, but she always has something we can sit at the table with. What I love the most is enjoying her cookie jar collection, her “Gone with the Wind” collection and her nursery rhyme characters collection. All these things are proper of a grandmother.
It is easy to talk to someone when you have time, but sometimes we need to free our time to talk to someone. It’s not about having time. It’s about making time.
Those are the little things that matter! Making time to enjoy someone’s company, a cup of coffee or just a conversation on a rainy day.
Never be too busy for the people you love. Never allow pursuits or possessions to become bigger priorities than our relationships.
Note from the publisher: This information provided by my friend, Terry Arnold, is very valuable as we are all touched by stories we see from our friends on Social Media. I personally know of many instances, some VERY recently, where people have been helped tremendously by fundraising efforts set up by friends in times of need. Social Media is a great way to let people know that help is needed but it also provides an easy way for us to reach out and give.
There are some popular 3rd party platforms online, making it fast and easy to raise funds for causes. This article is a brief overview of a few things to consider when thinking of using an online funding site, for a personal need or charity, often commonly called “peer to peer” fundraising. We are a very mobile society and sometimes physical distance is a blockade to being able to help a friend or relative. Also with the popularity of online banking, and a check book is a thing of the past, every charity depends on the web to collect funds. Online peer to peer services allow for a way to help that is very effective.
However, the donor needs to understand that all platforms are not the same with Peer to Peer (Third party) platforms. There are an endless number of services available. Let’s start with two popular ones: Go Fund Me, (www.gofundme.com), and Give Forward (www.giveforward.com). These services are fast, easy and can be ready to go in just minutes. All you need is a bank account (not necessarily your own), a story, a few pictures and a funding goal.
The cause can be for anything you can imagine. Wish to have your friends donate for a honeymoon instead of buying wedding gifts? Easy, just go on one of the many available sites, set it up and blast it to your peeps and hope they give via the site the $25 that they might have used to buy you a toaster! Or it could be used for more serious needs, like medical expenses. I have personally suggested third party platforms to help fill a sudden need to newly diagnosed patient facing a large deductible or the possibility of needing travel funds for non-local or specialty care.
When in need, a peer to peer platform can be just the ticket to get cash in hand, allow friends and family an easy way to chip in. Sounds too good to be true? No, but there are somethings to consider. It is really free? No, it is free to set up, but there are some small usage fees. Each transaction has a small handling fee, much like a traditional credit card transaction online. The fees cover the services of the platform. This is how it works. You have a need and a goal. You set up a page stating your need, post a few pictures and you have to give a bank account number for the donations to be deposited. For the first few days, (time depends on service used) the funds are held at the service, then after set up, deposits are made in real time into the account, minus a small credit card processing fee. Again, the fees are not usually high, and the convenient factor can far outweigh way the cost.
So what are the drawbacks? Well, there are a few things to think about. Anyone can set up an account. Peer to Peer fundraising is based off the honor system. There is not a qualifying system in peer to peer. Also one other thing to consider is if your goal is a large one, the IRS might contact you and want their percentage as taxable income. So if you are the one setting up an account, you might need to seek professional financial advice first. Also donations to peer to peer are not tax deductible, as you are not donating to a charity but to an individual.
Remember I mentioned a qualifying system in peer to peer? General peer to peer platforms do not have a way of qualifying a cause but there are peer to peer sites that are only allowed to be used by an IRS approved charity. One example is FirstGiving (www.firstgiving.com). What makes FirstGiving different from general peer to peer is Firstgiving only allows 501c3 charities to use their services, giving a level of qualification to the appeal. The charity has to register with the site, giving proof of their IRS status. Of course a charity can use their own charity site to collect online donations. Since I have outlined some of the differences you might wonder why would a charity use a service like Firstgiving?
Well, there are some social aspects that come into play. Let’s use the American Red Cross for example. They are a well-known charity, with the ability to collect donations on their site. However, if I want to have some ownership in a project or need, I could go to the American Red Cross site on Firstgiving, (www.firstgiving.com/AmericanRedCross) citing a personal example of why I would like to see my friends join them in support. I could set a small (or large) goal and go for it. The donations are tax deductible and the funds are placed directly to the charity bank account. A page like Firstgiving can give the driver of the cause a voice to share why this is cause is important to them. Also another feature is potential donors can see the mission statement of the charity, address and contact details and even a direct link to donate to that charity, allowing you to bypass the Firstgiving site all together. This ability only adds to the trust factor of the site.
A page on any of the websites I am discussing all have a meter feature, allowing excitement to grow as the meter hopefully moves to the goal. This excitement factor is powerful reason a charity might use Firstgiving in addition to or even instead of their own website for a campaign. All donations are tax-deductible. That is an important feature if you are planning to use this deduction on your taxes or wish to have your employer match your donation.
I personally donate to peer to peer sites, as well as Firstgiving and also directly to my favorite charities. I think peer to peer online fundraising is a great service. For an individual or for a charity, there is a place and time for each. I hope this information will be of help to you as you make donation decisions.
Terry Arnold was diagnosed with IBC in her right breast in August of 2007 after months of misdiagnosis. As if an IBC triple negative diagnosis was not enough of a blow, she discovered her left breast had traditional cancer as well. In treatment for almost a year, six months of chemo, double mastectomy, and daily radiation for 6 weeks. Outside of being the best wife possible to her husband Calvin of 35 years and mother (5), mother in law, (3) and grandmother (6 and one more arriving November 2015), she is focused on educating every person to learn more about IBC, its symptoms, best treatment plans, and funding research. She has her sights set on funding more research by as fast can donations will allow via.The IBC Network Foundation, a 501c3 she founded in August 2011, She looks forward to the day we can all remember than once, long ago, there was a disease called IBC that is now filed under an archive of past diseases because we have a cure. Hope always.