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Tag Archives: Non Profit

veterans

Life happens. People fight battles every day and show their truest and most vulnerable selves. However, not everyone returns or as they left, and those are to whom Honor Flights offers comfort, praise, encouragement, and surrounds them, as well as their friends and family, with support.

While waiting in Reagan National Airport, in Washington DC, to fly to my own father-in-law’s funeral, I witnessed an amazing thing.  As flights came in and out of the gates and people streamed to their destinations, people around me began to stand.  They moved closer to the center of the waiting area.  They began to clap and the noise of applause swelled as older men and women moved between them.

It was not a celebrity, although I certainly wondered what was going on and drawing so much attention, but more and more people moved to the middle of the space and lined several deep.  A long line of veterans filed past.  Some walking on their own, some in wheelchairs, and most accompanied by a family member or guardian.  Each wore a t-shirt that said that “Veteran” and the war that they had fought in.  Most had been embattled in Vietnam, but there were some from the Korean War as well as a few from World War II.  Personnel from all levels of service were present, and as I watched, hundreds and hundreds of soldiers continued to stream from the gates bringing them to Washington D.C. to tour Arlington Cemetery and the many memorials and museums.

Honor Flight ( https://www.honorflight.org/ )is a non-profit that brings veterans to Washington to see the war memorials, honor the fallen, and find comfort with their comrades, their brothers and sisters-in-arms.   They flew almost 21,000 veterans to the Nation’s Capital in 2016 and fly out of 131 hubs in 45 states across the United States.  Their waiting list is 28,000 strong.

I was unaware of their mission or organization.  Yet, standing there, observing the emotional and physical energy of those around me, it occurred to me how many of these men came home from Vietnam broken and dishonored.  The country did not support the war as a whole and many who fought were not welcomed kindly.

What a look of disbelief on the faces of those people almost fifty years later!  Applause and smiles surrounded them, the clapping and cheering growing in pace and sound.  It was such a moving experience to be a part of and feel the surge of pride and grateful thanks to those whose service has changed our country in profound ways.

Perhaps the experiences are heightened in Washington D.C. of every political downturn and bitter partisan expression.  This was a unified group of citizens, undefined by any distinguishing factor, who rose in a wave of compassion and gratitude for so many unsung and unheralded.

This was a homecoming most never experienced and a privilege for those of us who did not live in those times of conflict and fear.  It was a precious opportunity to thank our veterans, and their families, whose sacrifice was so acute and whose lives were forever changed.  I stood there for more than 30 minutes observing this crowd arriving, moving through the airport, and accepting the love and gratitude they had to wait almost fifty years to receive.  It was a powerful moment for these veterans and for those of us who stood to honor them.  It was indeed a privilege to thank them for their service and wish them well on the next part of their journey home.

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Thank you so much for stopping by.  Your visit means so much to me.

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “An Extreme Tale.”

keep calm and give charity

Seeing the devastation that nature and man can create upon another is the very worst of times. Seeing the joy and gratitude of someone whom you have helped, or comforted, in the most elemental, heartfelt, and selfless way, is one of the best feelings that you can experience.

Working in the non profit field, or as a volunteer, always exposes you to the best that people can do for each other and the worst that they have.

Part of giving charity is the empathy attached to it.  No one wants money thrown at them (well, Ok, a few) because we each try to maintain dignity in a situation that leaves little room for any.

Getting to know the people to whom you give your charity means listening and hearing them express the pain that they have lived.  You may only spend 15 minutes with someone in need, but listen, with ALL of you. Truly Listen.  The unburdening is a part of the kindness in that interaction.  You may not be able to change the situation, but your empathy can give strength and encouragement, a sliver of hope, and a small light at the end of a deeply dark tunnel.

We must remember that it is merely for the Grace of G-d that we are not on the other side of this equation.  Giving charity, with money or your time, raises endorphins and serotonin in the brain. Another hormone surge some people experience is oxytocin; this is the chemical of love.

Jobs may end but volunteering never does.  There will always be people in need of whatever support you are willing to give. Please consider giving your heart, your patience, and your generosity as often, and as much, as able.

charity_volunteering with the elderly

#Giving Tuesday

This link can lead you to some terrific charities http://www1.networkforgood.org/

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Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you enjoy your visit.

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charity giving

Tuesday, December 2nd

Finally after Black Friday and Cyber Monday there is #GivingTuesday™

Started by the 92nd Street Y in New York, and the United Nations Foundation, it is a campaign that builds on the American tradition of giving back, but uses technology to give those efforts greater impact.

Created as a national day of giving, at the start of the annual holiday season, it is designed to encourage all Americans to reflect and give back.

This year over 8,000 nonprofit organizations are participating.

Be a part of this celebration of our country’s tradition of generosity.

Read more here:

http://community.givingtuesday.org/News

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