Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Best Sermons Are Lived

1. Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I'm
working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in
her own words, she said, "Success is when you look back at your life and
the memories make you smile."
2. Today, I asked my mentor - a very successful business man in his 70s-
what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said, "Read
something no one else is reading, think something no one else is
thinking, and do something no one else is doing."
3. Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to
me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she
realized I didn't recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her
eyes and the most sincere smile and said, "On 9-11-2001, you carried me
out of the World Trade Center."
4. Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the
side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he
licked the tears off my face.
5. Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money,
so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a
flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too.
A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he
offered me a job. I start tomorrow.
6. Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my
mother's hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before
she died. She simply said, "I feel so loved right now. We should have
gotten together like this more often."
7. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small
hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the
first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
8. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start
recycling. I chuckled and asked, "Why?" She replied, "So you can help
me save the planet." I chuckled again and asked, "And why do you want
to save the planet?" Because that's where I keep all my stuff," she

9. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter's antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
10. Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on  crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, "I hope you feel better soon."
11. Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, "Thinking of you today. If you need me, I'm a phone call away." It was from a high school friend I hadn't seen in 10 years.
12. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe.
He said he hadn't eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, "We can share it".

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March: National Child Life Month; Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" Video by children

Taylor Swift's 'Shake it Off' Video by Children's Hospital Patients Is an Inspiration

March is National Child Life month — and one hospital wants to celebrate it with a bang.
That’s how the idea of having the patients and staff at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) perform an epic lip syncing of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” was born, Andrea McGinnis, specialist in the Child Life Creative Arts Department there, tells Yahoo Parenting.
Taylor Swift's 'Shake it Off' Video by Children's Hospital Patients Is an Inspiration
“Shake It Off is a catchy song and we love the idea of really shaking it off,” McGinnis says. “The kids here in our hospital are sick, going through very challenging things — everyone wishes kids wouldn’t have to go through [this]. Let’s have some fun, shake it off and forget about the hard stuff!”
“We’ve seen other hospitals that have done lip syncing videos that have gone viral, so we thought, why not do that?” McGinnis adds of the video, which has indeed been streamed more than 250K times since it was posted on YouTube on March 12.
“Quite a few patients in the video are inpatient, but are keeping track of the YouTube hits and they are posting it on their social media sites,” McGinnis says. “They are very excited!”
The hospital’s take shows nurses in bright scrubs dancing on a handrail like the ballerinas in Swift’s video and doctors showing off moves “choreographed by child life specialists that have dance backgrounds,” McGinnis says.
But the real stars are the kids, who got a much needed dose of good cheer by performing.
“The child life creative Arts Department helps kids cope with the hospital setting overall,” says McGinnis. “That can be helping them understand [medical] procedures, to making sure they are having a lot of fun — and we try to make this place as normal as possible.”
As the video pans we get a real sense of the magic that goes on every day at CHOP — and not just in March. Children are dressed up in costumes, painting, reading, playing video games, riding in little cars down the hallway, and playing musical instruments. Homemade painted posters, SpongeBob pillows, flashlights, and pink cushy blankets make things look and feel homey.
Swift is no stranger to the children’s hospital, either. Last summer, she donated $50,000 to support and create specialized programs for teens being treated at the hospital’s cancer center.
Hannah Stetson, who lost half her colon, said it was “really fun” to be in the Swift video — she thinks the musician is “amazing.”
Halim Smith who is awaiting a liver transplant, joined in on the fun, telling CBS Philadelphia, “Even though we’re in the hospital we can still have fun you know.” He says Swift’s song has an important message: “Shake all the bad stuff off and think [of] everything in a positive way, don’t think of everything as being bad.”
Please follow @YahooParenting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Have an interesting story to share about your family? E-mail us at YParenting (at)

Monday, March 16, 2015

STOP BULLYING NOW: Take a Stand, Lend a Hand: DVD

ISBN:  3-0300-01180-9330

DVD Tool Kit includes:

-Webisodes: a series of 12 animated episodes depicting a group of characters at a school who experience bullying first-hand and what they do to help resolve the situation.

-Public Service Announcements: five television and two radio PSAs to promote the campaign in your school or community

-Video Workshops: videos developed for professionals in the education, health, and safety, mental health, law enforcement, and youth serving fields

Materials created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Bullying Prevention Campaign  provides more information


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Awareity's 2014 Student Safety Report link:

Awareity’s 2014 Student Safety Report - Preventing Liabilities and Improving School Climate

Thirty-four percent (34%) of students say they are aware of an individual who poses a risk to their school, according to Awareity’s 2014 Student Safety Report.

The 2014 Student Safety Report unfortunately validates that many of the same overall risks and liabilities identified in last year’s report still exist. The results reveal students observe and know about things most school administrators don’t. Students are talking about concerning behaviors (hurting others, self-harm/cutting themselves, suicidal ideations, bringing weapons to school, drugs/alcohol and other risks) among themselves, but unfortunately these valuable pre-incident indicators are not being shared with the right people – school threat assessment and prevention teams.
Awareity’s online student survey is designed to gather current data on school climate, and responses from nearly 6500 K-12 students (from across 14 states and Canada) revealed numerous gaps in schools and painful challenges facing youth today. The 2014 report highlights the most critical findings and outlines the top 6 stepsevery school administrator should be taking to proactively prevent mounting liabilities related to student safety concerns, bullying, online behaviors, incident reporting failures and school response efforts.

The report can be downloaded in full at


A Prevention Gapidemic: Part One

May 2, 2014
Twenty-eight innocent students and staff members were killed in 44 U.S.A. school shootings in the 14 months following the tragedy at Sandy Hook.