The Gift Gap

(Guest Post by Catherine Whitworth, MPA)Some time ago, my husband Steve and I served as Peace Corps volunteers in the enchanting Central American country ofGuatemala.  It is often said that Peace Corps volunteers gain more than they contribute in the countries where they live and work.  Some of the most important lessons I have learned in my life were from the children ofGuatemala.  One child, Maria, who visited us frequently, taught me the true meaning of giving.   Maria was 12 years old when we met.  She was ...more

It’s Time to Think About Helping Others

Today be grateful for your ability to help others. Remember that there is always someone who is having a harder time than you are. As the holiday season is underway, it’s time to start thinking about charitable giving. Keep in mind some guidelines suggested by Charity Navigator: Be a 3-D giver: There are three components that a wise donor must consider before selecting a charity....more


Just got an email from my credit card company asking me to pledge to “shop small” this holiday season. My first thought was that this is a clever way to endear people like me: you won’t catch me lining up outside WalMart at 5 a.m. to fill my cart.On closer reading, however, the company wants to reward you for…spending money. That’s right: show your support of the anti-Black Friday crowd by buying something.On the face of it, you support the community by “spending small.” Just plunk down $25 on your credit card to be part of the cool crowd....more

Friday's heroes:Good neighbors indeed

@Denise Denise you are welcome!!! The kindness of others gives us hope, eh?more

She Finally "Saw" the Homeless

I watched as Puff walked the few steps to the homeless man. She shyly placed the dollar in the baseball cap. Before Puff could sneak away the man uttered, "Thank you honey." Puff smiled, ever so slightly, and walked back to me. It was obvious those few moments with the homeless man had affected her....more
When particularly cold weather hits, I make a huge batch of beef stew and go downtown with my ...more

Giving God

Holy Qur'an is the instruction manual for the human being:Similarly, our Lord and Creator Allah (swt) need not take human form to know what is good or bad for the human being. He chooses to reveal the instruction manual. The last and final instruction manual of the human beings is the Glorious Qur'an. The ‘dos' and ‘don'ts' for the human beings are mentioned in the Qur'an....more

Hug like you mean it

Have you been hugged by another adult lately? Atrocious.As children, we hugged indiscriminately. Nothing like the half-hearted, one-armed, you-call-that-a-hug we give and get as adults.What we've forgotten is that hugging is a gift in its purest form. Recently I've been thinking about what I could give away. I have the time and the desire, but have yet to find an opportunity or a charity that motivates me to say yes. The big yes with my heart singing....more
@Lauree Ostrofsky LOVED the speech on Youtube! The TV link isn't working, though.more

Lenten Series: Living Love

As Lent approached, I had many plans on how I was going to use these forty days for my spiritual growth.  I knew at what time I was going to go to the Ash Wednesday service and had decided on the retreat I would attend the first weekend in Lent.  I had already decided what needed spring-cleaning (Lenten Series: Spring Cleaning) and I knew where I wanted to worship (Lenten Series: A Place to Call Home).  I was geared up and ready to go on my inward journey during Lent.  Little did I know that my plan was not what was planned for me.  A higher being had als...more


A couple months ago I literally stumbled into my closet to find that I had (surprise, surprise) “nothing to wear”. As I rummaged through the ridiculous amount of shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, scarves, shoes, underwear etc, I realized that 50% of those items had not been used in over a year. I had shirts hanging in my closet that were never appropriate to wear in public at the age of 27 and somehow I managed to keep since high school. Was it the memories?...more