In this second year of Hats For A Purpose, a community project to provide new, handmade winter hats for kids in need, I think how fortunate our communities are to have so many caring, concerned and talented people willing to jump in when called. Last year we donated over 300 hats to children in our local area as well as to children who lost everything during the floods following Tropical Storm Irene.
Whether they knit, crochet or weave, people are working on more hats for this winter. My friend, Donna, is headed to Canada this holiday weekend to weave hats with her sister, Kathy. Chances are she will bring back twenty or thirty hats and scarves for the kids. And I know that Cathie B. has another 20 to present on behalf of the Rotary Club of Northern Lake George.
Last winter was exceptionally mild but we can’t count on that this year. I believe we will be called upon for even more hats so would you like to join us and knit, crochet, sew or weave just one hat for a little girl or boy? Any color, any style, any size from baby to elementary-aged boys and girls. Let me know if you wan to be part of Hats For A Purpose.
Every day I hear about amazing things people do to make a difference. It motivates me and makes me happy to tell those stories. But what gives these people the edge? the drive? the clout? to do something to make the world a better place? Is it some special attitude or skill? Where do they get the initiative, the energy? What’s the key?
When I heard about Brad Meltzer and his blog Ordinary People Can Change the World I was curious.to find out more. A quick look at his website and I was hooked on his Heroes approach and his book Heroes For My Daughter, which I immediately ordered for my Kindle. In this book, Brad writes about 60 people he coins as heroes – from Amelia Earhart to Teddy Roosevelt to Marie Curie to Sojourner Truth, his vignettes show the strengths of what made these ordinary people great. I sensed a common theme from the beginning when Amelia Earhart says “I want to do it because I want to do it.” Other key phrases like “follow your gut” “never give up” “work hard”and “find something you are passionate about.” give us clues to a character trait I’ll call Determination.
But where do you find Determination? Can you learn it? I think we can all learn the principles of self-worth, hard work, decision-making, and resolution all of which serve to define Determination. And once you own those principles it makes it so much easier to get on with what you want to do. A short answer to a very complex process.
Brad also believes that if you want to change the world all you have to do is help one person. If you think about helping just one person, it makes it easier to figure out what to do. Brad’s video is a great way to begin saying Thank You.
Brad Meltzer is a best-selling author, funny and witty, who has given us a look at how ordinary people do amazing things. Thanks Brad.
For the over one million people whose lives have been saved the answer is easy: it’s a ShelterBox. Founded in Cornwall in the United Kingdom by Rotarian Tom Henderson, this international disaster relief charity delivers emergency shelter including a 10 person tent, blankets, cooking utensils, water storage and purification and other essential life saving equipment all wrapped in a Big Green Box.
Since 1999, over 117,000 Big Green Boxes have been deployed across the world – from Fiji to Peru to Myanmar to the Republic of the Congo and everywhere in between; from floods and earthquakes, volcanoes, conflicts, hurricanes and tsunamis, ShelterBox is poised to send immediate relief.
Since 2004, Volunteer SRT’s (ShelterBox Response Teams) have been the eyes and ears of the organization in disaster areas. Well-trained, self-sufficient, resourceful under pressure and willing to be deployed at a moment’s notice these teams offer a unique perspective into the lives of the people affected by catastrophe..
Recently, Rotary International and ShelterBox signed the first ever Rotary Project Partner agreement cementing the twelve-year bond between the two organizations. Rotarian support ranges from governance, operations and management, finance and also includes the founding of the twenty-one international affiliations.
My first experience with the Big Green Box was at a Rotary Zone Institute in Maryland. I was attending training classes and my husband was wandering the exhibits when he found a ShelterBox. He was so excited he purchased one on the spot for my Rotary Club. Later that year our Box was deployed to Indonesia after the tsunami. When a ShelterBox is deployed you receive a letter with a tracking number for the box and can find out when and where it goes – what a good idea! Over time my club has worked with other Rotary Clubs providing Big Green Boxes around the world.
Take a moment and listen to Tom Henderson talk about the Big Green Box.