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Posts tagged inspirations
Last week I did a series on some very special kids from Kids Are Heroes. During that week I had the opportunity to meet (via Twitter) another very special young man by the name of Jason. At the age of 15, Jason has a remarkable bio. These are just a few of the impressive things he has accomplished the list goes on:
- Started his own business at the age of 9
- Ranked as one of Forbes Top 10 Role Models
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2007
- Young Philanthropist Award 2006
- Donated over 2000 toy bears to a Children`s Hospital
- TEDxRedmond Speaker
- Wrote his first book on being an teen entrepreneur
Jason started his own business at the age of 9 called Pencil Bugs. Since it`s conception he has always donated a portion of his proceeds from the business to charity. We should all be learning something from this remarkable young person!
Watch the video, read his story and share it in every way you know how. Email it, tweet it and FB. If you need to be inspired today I guarantee Jason will be the person to do.
Day 257: Give 257 Guest Post by Jason O`Neill
Even the smallest contribution, whether it is monetary, in the form of gifts, or the gift of time can make a big difference in someone else’s life.
I never dreamed that I could have made such a positive difference in other people’s lives as I have up to this point. I am fifteen now and started my business, Pencil Bugs, when I was nine years old. Pencil Bugs are hand crafted, bug-like pencil toppers that come on top of a #2 pencil, individually packaged with a Certificate of Authenticity. From one simple idea, my business expanded into multiple products. In 2010, I also became a published author with my business book, “Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur.” Through public speaking and many interviews, I am able to share my story and inspire others.
Since the beginning of my business, I have always donated a portion of my proceeds to children’s charities. The first few years I donated to a local foster care agency. As my business grew, I realized I was able to help out kids in other ways. I set up a program with Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California to buy toys, games, books, and I also donated my Pencil Bugs products. In addition to that, I have held an annual fundraiser to buy teddy bears for the kids in the hospital at Christmas. In 2009, with the support of many people around the world, we raised over $5,000 which was enough to buy 1800 teddy bears for the kids. 2010 wasn’t as successful, in part due to the economy, but the hospital appreciated our efforts just the same. I will be starting my 2011 teddy bear fundraiser for Rady Children’s Hospital in July. Please check my website for details and how you can help.
Giving and helping others can become a good habit. If kids learn how to do this when they are young, hopefully it will carry into their adulthood and make the world a better place for everyone.
Time Commitement: For Jason giving is a way of life
Cost: A portion of each sale for his business is donated
Earlier this week I sent out a request for your favourite post of 2011. I got some great responses and every Sunday I will share a post that is sent to me in hopes to inspire us all to give a little more in our lives. Do you have a favourite post that you have written or you have read that has inspired you to give more in your life? Leave a comment with the link and watch on Sundays to see if your favourite link is featured.
The first post I have chosen was sent to me by Shelly aka “Dancing’ Momma.” Her site is called Sun Dance, Moon Dance. Shelly suffers from a condition she talks about openly on her site called Pelvic Organ Prolapse. (POP). She suffers from chronic pain every day but still finds it in her heart to give to other women that also suffer and need her help. Women around the world suffer silently for so many reasons and just maybe this story will inspire you to give to a women in need today.
Give 256: Day 256
It is a sad truth that in many parts of our world, people truly struggle to survive their day to day lives, and with that struggle some have lost their dignity and their hope. The future for many is so very bleak.
How do we help empower people? How do we help them find their dignity? How do we help them have hope for the future? How do we make a long term impact, and not just a temporary fix? How do we change the world?
I am far from an expert on this topic, but it is something I am interested in, have read about, thought about, and studied for many years. My gut and my heart tell me that it always comes back to education.
“Young women with access to education not only vastly improve their own lives but also bring change to their families, economies, and societies. Providing girls and women with a quality education is a highly effective tool to address poverty and fight disease.” (sourced fromUnicef)
- Education empowers people.
- Education gives people hope.
- Education gives people a sense of self worth and dignity.
- Education makes for a better future.
- Education for women is especially critical to helping improve conditions in impoverished situations.
” ‘Women hold up half the sky,’ in the words of a Chinese saying, yet that’s mostly an aspiration: in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and it’s not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos…focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution.” -NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF (take a moment and read this article, it is very powerful!)
In the majority of cultures and families, the women are the main caregiver of children. By educating young girls, you not only change the future of the girl, but you change the future of her children. She will have the skills to better educate her children, and she will likely have her own source of income and the ability to send her children to good schools. Women who are educated live their lives according to their terms. They get married when they are ready, they have babies when they are ready. Their family and children are healthy because the family income is spent on items like food, healthcare and education. They often have their own careers, and they make their own choices.
“One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in developing countries each year.” United Nations Population Fund, State of World Population 2005
We have talked in the past about how pelvic organ prolapse and fistula are so prevalent in developing countries. These girls are having babies long before their bodies are ready. Imagine not only having a baby in your teens, but then literally having your insides fall apart. Imagine the shame, the fear, the loss of hope, the loss of dignity. Then imagine if these women had an education?
“When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.”
(United Nations Population Fund, State of World Population 1990.)
At times I have found myself so overwhelmed, so overcome with feelings of helplessness. I want to help, but everything seems so insubstantial, so temporary.
- Except education.
- Education is the one thing that will bring about long lasting change and benefit.
There are many organizations that have education as a key component of their programs. My personal favourite is SOS Children’s Villages, but there are so many.
Maybe, just maybe, if we all helped one child get the education they deserve, we could change the world.
Thank you Dancing’ Momma. On your behalf I made a donation to SOS Children’s Villages. What will you do today to support women in the world?
Time Commitment: 5 minutes
Cost: $10.00 donation
This story was recently sent to me . I did a search on the story and came up with all kinds of information on the internet about it both good and bad. Junk email, chain, delete, crap, were just a few of the choice words. I think personally the point was missed. Read the story and see how it moves you. You don’t have to email it around, you won’t receive a special gift for sending it to 10 people and you won’t be cursed if you don’t tweet it to 20 of your friends. Read it and see how you feel. Think of one time in your life when you have gone out of your way to give back to another human being when they really needed it. Be inspired to do one thing in your life today that will show kindness.
Day 254: Give 254
What would you do? … you make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?
A story of a father and his disabled son:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.’
Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first! Run to first!’
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team, who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.
Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third! Shay, run to third!’
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.
‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.
Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:
We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.
The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.
If you’re thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you’re probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren’t the ‘appropriate’ ones to receive this type of message. Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.
We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the ‘natural order of things.’
So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them.
You now have two choices:
May your day, be a Shay Day.
Time Commitment: Being human everyday