Building great people, because great people build great families and great families build great communities.
To God be the glory!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

ARK Part 2 of 8

Daily Ocean: For as long as Sara Bayles could remember, she's loved the ocean. When she took a trip to the big island of Hawaii, Bayles leapt at the chance to swim with the sea turtles and spinner dolphins in the warm Pacific waters. After her trip, though, she was taken aback at the contrast between the stunning Hawaiian sunsets and the Santa Monica beach, where birds pecked at plastic bags and rubbish was strewn along the sand.

After more research, she was shocked to discover the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area in the Pacific Ocean where the currents swirl together, collecting about 10 million tons of trash.
Of her home beaches, she says, "I saw so much trash on the beach and thought, What could I do?"

The act: In between book writing and teaching art for a local nonprofit, 34-year-old Bayles set a goal: pick up trash for 20 minutes a day for 365 (non-consecutive) days.
Collecting, weighing, and blogging findings on her website, the Daily Ocean. Every blog includes a tally: garbage weight and a countdown to day 365.

The ripple: More than 165 days along, Bayles has collected more than 665 pounds of junk. Across the country, Danielle Richardet started collecting cigarette butts in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, for 20 minutes at a time and posting the results on her own blog. She writes: We all impact each other. Sometimes we don't even know we've made a difference in someone's life.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Abby's Lemonade

Eight-year-old Abby Enck frequently accompanied her 6-year-old brother, Cameron, born with cerebral palsy, to Lutheran General Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. Abby noticed that the other pediatric patients liked to color, but many of the crayons were broken. She wanted to buy a few new 24-count boxes of crayons. Her parents agreed to match any number she could buy herself.

The act: Abby, with help from a friend, decided to raise the money through a lemonade sale. Abby loved the idea of creating bottled-water lemonade kits with a packet and homemade tag. Her slogan: "When life gives you lemons, color!"

In that first summer selling to her Chicago neighbors, she raised enough money to buy 18 boxes of crayons and donated 36 to the hospital. This summer Abby gave 1,000 crayon boxes.

The ripple: Abby assembled 52 water-bottle lemonade kits and recruited family and friends to sell them for $1 each. The local press publicized Abby's efforts, and the response was sweet.
Abby exceeded her goal, raising a total of $551. She and her parents purchased 1,009 boxes of crayons,140 boxes of markers and 125 boxes of colored pencils.

Educational magazine Weekly Reader wrote about Abby's project, sharing her message and method with more than 250,000 teachers and 8 million students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. Other children in the community, including Abby's Brownie troop, are brainstorming ways to give next summer.

An important life lesson: "Everyone can make a difference," Her mom has learned from Abby too, saying, "Children don't see the obstacles. Adults create obstacles that stop them from achieving their goals."

Changing Your World

This past Sunday morning we talked about Changing our world – “What man is a man who doesn’t change for the better the world he lives in?”

Changing the world starts with one simple act. Everyday acts, things so simple that we could easily contribute. Everyone, after all, has the power to give kindness.

We talked about people who saw an injustice or a void or someone down-and-out who needed a little help. Micah 6:8 He hath shown you, O man, what is good; and what the LORD requires of you, but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

If their stories which will follow in future postings inspire you, let God know that you are willing to take action and encourage others. Who knows your ripple of kindness might become a wave of change.