Sunday, November 28, 2010

Matt Lauer, Child Life and St Jude

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

St Jude is a wonderful hospital that is on the cutting edge of researching for cures to all sorts of childhood cancers, Child Life is what I did my internship in after college and Matt Lauer is just awesome for the support he is giving Marlo and St Jude's!

For more information about St Jude's and the research that they are doing please head over to

Thursday, November 25, 2010

WATER FACTS (from Compassion International)

Water Facts

Get the facts about safe water and adequate sanitation and how it affects children and their families.
  • Depending on living conditions, including climate and physical activity, drinking-water needs for individuals vary, but the optimal amount is estimated at 2 quarts per day for a 130-pound person and 1 quart per day for a 22-pound child.
  • Roughly 12 percent of the world's population, or 884 million people, do not have access to safe water.
  • About 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation — roughly two-fifths of the world's population.
  • Approximately 1.8 million children die each year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. This is around 5,000 deaths a day.
  • Diarrheal diseases can be reduced by more than 40 percent through the simple practice of washing hands with soap and water.
  • Water-related diseases are the second biggest killer of children worldwide. Number one is acute respiratory infections, such as tuberculosis. 
  • Approximately 97.5 percent of the water on earth is saltwater. If all the world's water could fit in an average bucket, only 1 teaspoon would be drinkable. 
  • Nearly 90 percent of water-related diseases are due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene; and most victims are children in developing countries.
  • The average person in the developing world uses a little more than 2.5 gallons of water each day for drinking, washing and cooking. Whereas the average person in the developed world uses 13 gallons per day only for toilet flushing. 
  • Agriculture uses more than 80 percent of the world's total water consumption. 
  • Worldwide, approximately 425 million children under 18 do not have safe water. 

Operation Awareness (Supporting The Troops and Fighting Childhood Cancer)

When you buy a CD Thru Operation Awareness, $4.00 will be Donated to Max Nunn, and the St. Baldrick's Foundation, an additional $1.00 will be donated to The Lamia Afghan Foundation, and a copy of Raymond Harris’s Heaven Sent album will be sent to a soldier currently serving overseas. 

To make this even better when you buy a CD thru Operation Awareness you will also receive a Digital Download of the album
We thank you for supporting Raymond, Max Nunn, Cancer Awareness, The American Service men and women, and the Lamia Afghan Foundation

 #1 Country Billboard Artist Raymond Harris (Michigan Native)
Raymond Harris has formed Operation Awareness in the hopes that thru his music and hard work he will be able to sell 500,000 cd’s thru his Operation Awareness program, which will in turrn benefit Max Nunn, and St. Baldrick's Foundation, "a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

Raymond has pledged to Donate $4.00 dollars from each CD sold to Max and the foundation His goal is to generate 2 Million dollars in proceeds for Max and St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
This however is not all Raymond has pledged to do. With his heart worn on his sleeve Raymond has also partnered with the Lamia Afghan foundation, Three Sergeants Brewing, Boots on Ground and Adopt a Soldier Program donating $1.00 per CD sold under Operation Awareness, "The Lamia Foundation is dedicated to helping the people of Afghanistan, especially orphans and mothers, and to supporting the humanitarian aid missions of US military and civilian personnel. Through your donations and their support, we can make a difference in the lives of the next generation in Afghanistan.
If this wasn’t enough for one man to do, Raymond has also chosen to send for every CD purchase under Operation Awareness a copy of His newest release album "Heaven Sent", to a Soldier Serving Overseas, and you will also receive a Digital Download of the Album yourself.

(Nashville, TN) Nashville - based country recording artist Raymond Harris has released a new album titled, Heaven Sent, featuring the title track,  which was written by Garth Brooks and Jennifer Pierce. High energy, classic country makes Heaven Sent a perfect fit for both military and country audiences. A passionate supporter of our troops, Raymond Harris has visited over 90 US military installations in the past five years, more than any other artist of any genre, and isn’t planning to stop anytime soon. The Billboard Artist is currently in route from Offutt AFB in Bellevue NB to Robins AFB in Macon Ga. where he will be selling thousands of cd's and signing autographs for an estimated 20,000 troops. Harris has signed over 1,000,000 autographs and has sold over 550,000 cds while supporting the troops. A complete list of military installations the artis has visited is available on Harris is also using Heaven Sent to further support the troops and their families with his "Buy a CD for a Soldier" program, where for every album purchased on his website (, a second copy will be delivered to a soldier for free. In addition, a portion of sales from the album will be donated to The Lamia Afghan Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on building schools in Afghanistan. "Our military service members and their families sacrifice so much for our country,” says Harris. “They don’t get enough credit and it’s a difficult job. I want to thank them for all they are doing -- it’s the least I can do.”
Heaven Sent is the follow-up to Harris’s 2004 album, Hurt By The Best, which simultaneously debuted on three Billboard sales charts, ultimately climbing to #37 on the Top Country Album chart, on the Top Independent Album chart and went #1 on the Top Internet Album Sales chart. In 2011, Harris will return to the studio to record a new album co-written with songwriters David Wills and Bill Shore, who will also be producing. Wills and Shore are responsible for selling a combined 100 million albums with country stars Garth Brooks, George Strait and more.
The newest release by Nashville-based artist Raymond Harris enters three sales charts simultaneously in the May 8 issue of Billboard. Hurt By The Best, debuted at No. 6 on the Top Internet Albums chart, No. 45 on the Top Independent.

Raymond Harris " Hurt By The Best" # 1 on Billboard Charts

Music Row: The newest release by Nashville-based artist Raymond Harris enters three sales charts simultaneously in the May 8 issue of Billboard. Hurt By The Best, debuted at No. 6 on the Top Internet Albums chart, No. 45 on the Top Independent

Harris is a perfect fit for military's and Country Radio's audiences. "PHIL SWEETLAND, Country music and Radio contributor, The New York Times

CMT NEWS: Raymond Harris debuts Hurt by the Best at No. 50 on Top Country Billboard Chart.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Stark Reality of Cholera in Haiti

This is a post that I found on another blog. It is a post that I feel needs to be shared...esp for those of us who have an intense love for the people of Haiti

It is the stark reality of what the cholera outbreak is doing to the people of Haiti and how they are dealing with it.

Due to the graphic nature of the post and the pictures that accompany it I am only post the link to the original blog here in order to give my readers the opportunity to opt out of not reading it....The author of the blog also gives readers away to read teh blog post without seeing the accompanying pictures.

Regardless of whether or not you go to the original blog entry , I would like to ask that you please pray for the people of Haiti as they continue to  deal with the outbreak and for the elections coming up Nov 28...that God will put the people in power that will want to do what is right for the people they will represent.

Loving God, Loving Haiti

Kelly D <>< :)

Colorado actress with early onset Parkinson's makes her big screen debut in ""Love and Other Drugs"

Colorado actress with early onset Parkinson's makes her big screen debut in ""Love and Other Drugs"

From KUSA -TV:

DENVER - Lucy Roucis (pictured) story is a tale persistence, hope, and never giving up.

In the mid 1980s, she was a fresh-faced young actress from Colorado perusing a dream in Los Angeles. Then she was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson's disease when she was 27. She returned to Colorado to find success on the local stage with PHAMALy: The Physically Handicapped Musical Artists League. She also turned her illness into a subject for her comedy routine.

By the summer of 2007, the disease had totally robbed her of any self sufficiency. She traveled to the Cleveland Clinic for surgery on her brain. Deep brain stimulation can help some patients with the symptoms of Parkinson's, but it is not a cure.

Roucis' surgery was successful and she returned to Colorado and continued to win the hearts of audiences through her local stage work. In the summer of 2009, she received a phone call from an acquaintance in Los Angeles. A casting notice for a major motion picture had caught the friend's eye.

"'They are looking for a woman, 40 to 60, with real Parkinson's to do stand up comedy,'" Roucis recalls her friend telling her. "I said, 'What? You are kidding me!"

The film "Love and Other Drugs" is a romantic comedy starring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal. In the film, Hathaway's character is diagnosed with young onset Parkinson's.

Roucis quickly put together an audition tape and sent it to the casting office. Then, for three months, she waited.

"One night I got so frustrated I threw out the casting director's phone number, thinking they have obliviously hired someone else," she said. "Then when I let it go, it came to me."

The next day, the phone call came: she had gotten the part. It is a small but pivotal role in the movie. Two weeks later, she was on the set in Pittsburgh shooting her scene.

"When it came time to shoot, that's when it gets good!" she laughed, her hands beginning to shake. "I'm shaking talking about it right now because it means so much to me. After I did my takes, I've never heard laughter like that from all the crew. I can't repeat my lines because there is some swearing."

"When I told my mother, she about fell over," Roucis said.

She was also encouraged to ad lib and use material she had written in her own stand up comedy routine.

More than a year later, she found herself on the red carpet at the premier of the film in Hollywood.

"My friend in Los Angeles let me go through her closet to find a dress, but I ended up liking the one I had brought with me," she said. "It was $10 at Ross."

"A publicist met me and then it was time, all of these photographers were yelling, 'Lucy! Over here! Lucy!' And lots of flashes!" she remembered.

Next came watching the actual movie.

"I really, really liked it. Anne Hathaway nailed it!" Roucis said.

Then came the moment she had been waiting for her entire life: her scene up on the big screen.

"I heard my voice, and I will tell you something, I don't really remember much of it, because I was so in the moment, but I do remember the laughter from the audience, and feeling very small compared to how big I was on the screen," she said. "I felt really accomplished and I was crying and the casting director of the film who was sitting next to me held me as I wept."

"That was not a Hollywood moment. It was a person-to-person moment," she said.

She hopes people see the film and leave knowing a little more about Parkinson's disease and knowing more about relationships in general.

Roucis plans to see the film, which opens on Wednesday, again with a group of friends. She also continues an outreach program for PHAMALy, educating people on her disease. She is hopeful Hollywood will do a better job of hiring people with disabilities in the future. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cereal Boxes = Hope (from SIT A SPELL Blog)

It's an amazing thing to watch a cereal box...

become a beautiful piece of art.

What was meant for the trash pile and deemed worthless...

repurposed and given new life.

The first time I made the short drive down the road to visit The Apparent Project, I was not expecting to see my own story, your story, creation's story, and the gospel come to life through the process of making jewelry.  I wasn't expecting to be reminded of how God redeems worthless people and with loving, skillful hands, fashions us into a masterpiece, useful and beautiful. And yet, walking through the artisan center, I was overwhelmed by God's grace, His goodness, and mercy.

At The Apparent Project cereal boxes are transformed into treasure, and the lives of Haitian families are restored and redeemed.

"The Apparent Project was birthed out of a desire to see impoverished Haitian men and women be able to raise their children with dignity and not have to consider giving their children to orphanages because of poverty.  It can cost as little as $50 a month to keep a family intact.

The Apparent Project exists to provide creative means for families to earn a living.  Our jewelry program started as a small operation of four women making simple earrings from native seeds in Haiti.  Today it is a full scale operation employing approximately 50 men and women." (from the Apparent Project)

The number of orphans in Haiti has been labeled an "Orphan Crisis."  Oftentimes, mothers do not want to give their babies away to orphanages.  What they need are jobs, education, and skills so that they can provide for their children's basic needs.  Places like The Apparent Project and Haitian Creations are giving families the skills they need to be able to keep their children.  Organizations like these are fighting the orphan crisis at its most foundational level.  They are preventing children from becoming orphans.

The Apparent Project considers itself an "Un-Orphanage."  Isn't that beautiful?

Each woman and each man employed by The Apparent Project are working to learn a trade and produce a quality product in order to help their families escape the brutal poverty that sits on this country like a thick, heavy blanket.

Each artist has a story.

Over the next few days I'll be talking about The Apparent Project.  I'll let you know how you can buy jewelry, have a jewelry party (much like Heartline's Purse Parties), and how you can turn your empty cereal boxes into a way to help Haitian families.

Will you start saving cereal boxes?  This is one of the easiest ways you can help keep kids in Haiti where they belong...with their parents.  Will you dream big dreams with me for these families?  Will you ask God to give you vision, passion, and show you places where you can use your voice and your contacts to redeem cereal boxes from the trash and get as many as possible to this program?

Will you spread the word for this ministry, and ask your friends, your schools, college campuses, churches, soccer teams, and neighbors to start saving their cereal boxes?

I won't lie.  I get a little excited when I think of all the cereal boxes that will be recycled and repurposed.  Isn't it always a joy to be a part of something redemptive?  As image bearers of a God who longs to redeem this broken world, I think it's natural to rejoice when we get to imitate Him in this way.  Suddenly, recycling is more than recycling, for God's children it's a montessori lesson for our soul, a visual of what God has done in each of our lives.

Beauty from ashes.  I've had the sweet pleasure of getting a glimpse of God do His age-old work through ministries like The Apparent Project and Heartline.

Will you save your cereal boxes?  Will you spread the word?  Will you ask God how you can take this simple need, this simple request, use your voice, your connections, advocate for this ministry, and bring hope to families in Haiti?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Veterans Report (from

Print & Post: Week of November 01, 2010

Applebee's Salutes Veterans 
Once again this Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar will thank our nation's veterans and active duty military by inviting them to their neighborhood Applebee's for a well-deserved free meal. A selection of complimentary entrees will be available for veterans on Veterans Day as dine-in guests at all Applebee's restaurants throughout the United States. For more information, including the proof or military service that is required, visit the ( Applebee's website.

View other great Veterans Day discounts and free offers for military servicemembers on the ( Veterans Day Discounts page.

Use it or Lose it: GI Bill Benefits 
Your GI Bill benefits expire, and the clock starts ticking as soon as you leave the service. That's the bad news. The good news is that as of October 2010, the GI Bill rate increased to more than $51,000. Many schools and programs accept the GI Bill as payment for tuition -- ( start your search today.

Still Confused about the GI Bill and what you are entitled to?'s Benefit Expert, Terry Howell, has a set of five videos that can walk you through getting started to the do's and don'ts of using the GI Bill on active duty. ( Click here to start watching these free videos.

Spouse Tuition Assistance -- MyCAA Update 
According to the DoD, the response to the reopening of MyCAA has been "great." So great in fact, that the DoD is asking spouses to use the MyCAA online messaging system due to demand and volume of calls. The downside is that it may take up to 5 business days to get an answer to their questions. ( Read More.

Day Off for all Vets in Iowa 
The State of Iowa is honoring all veterans this Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2010, by requiring every one of its employers, public and private, to grant veterans holiday time off if they would otherwise be required to work that day. The requirement is in Iowa's Veterans Day law, House File 2197, which was signed by Gov. Chet Culver on April 27 and is available on the ( Iowa Legislature's website.

Find ways to support and honor U.S. military servicemembers and veterans who protect our security and freedom. Visit the ( Support our Troops web page.

Medical Study of VA Surgical Procedures 
A Department of Veterans Affairs study published Oct. 20 in the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that a concept called Medical Team Training improves communication, teamwork, and efficiency in VA operating rooms, resulting in significantly lower mortality rates. The nationwide study involved the analysis of more than 100,000 surgical procedures conducted at 108 of VA's hospitals from 2006 to 2008.  MTT had been introduced at 74 of these hospitals. An abstract of the study is available on the ( JAMA website. To find out more about Medical Team Training, contact VA's National Center for Patient Safety at 734-930-5884.

South Dakota Veteran Bonuses 
South Dakota offers a bonus to members of the Armed Forces and veterans who were legal residents of the state for no less than six months immediately preceding their period of active duty and who served on active duty during one or more of the following periods: (1) Aug. 2, 1990 to March 3, 1991 -- All active service counts for payment; (2) March 4, 1990 to Dec. 31, 1992 -- Only service in a hostile area qualifying for the Southwest Asia Service Medal counts for payment; (3) Jan. 1, 1993 to Sept. 10, 2001 -- Only service in a hostile area qualifying for any United States campaign or service medal awarded for combat operations against hostile forces counts for payment; (4) Sept. 11, 2001 to a date yet to be determined -- All active service counts for payment. In addition, Veterans with qualifying service before Dec 31, 1992 and after Jan 1, 1993 may receive two separate bonuses of up to $500.00 each!
Veterans may apply through the nearest County or Tribal Veterans Service Officer. Those living outside of South Dakota may apply by e-mail at ( Be sure to include military branch and dates of service. Veterans may also request an application and instructions by calling 605-773-7251.

Watch Videos on Updated Look, More Explosive Videos's Shock and Awe section is now easier to navigate with a cleaner look and better organization. Check out the new look and feel along with the huge library of video content -- member submitted and original content. If you have some video that your fellow members might be interested in, it's now easier to submit that too. ( Visit the new Shock and Awe.

Veterans Resource Fair - Chicago 
Roosevelt University's Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program office will be hosting a Veterans Resource Fair on Nov. 19, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at their Chicago campus located at 430 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL. All veterans are invited to attend this free resource fair. The event will feature resources and information on veteran job training, health care, education, and housing.
For more details visit: (

Get DIY Brake Tips in the Auto Center 
You don't have to take the car into the shop and pay labor costs. The Auto Center has "Do it Yourself" tips and step-by-step instructions on: ( checking brake fluid, ( checking and replacing brake lines, ( bleeding your brakes, ( inspecting and replacing discs and brake pads, and more.  -- Sponsored by AutoZone.

What Comes After SGLI? 
SGLI coverage ends 120 days after you leave active duty service. Do you have plans for how you are going to meet your life insurance needs once your SGLI expires? Get $800k of coverage for just $35 a month (to age 50). ( Contact AAFMAA to learn more.

10 Years of Serving Our Members is celebrating its 10-year anniversary by saluting the military community. ( Click over to our Celebration pages to learn about featured members, archive of the most popular stories of the last 10 years, slideshows and more.

GI Bill Reform Too Costly? 
The CBO cost estimate on S 3447, released Oct. 6, is $236 million the first year, $2.3 billion over the first decade. The big hurdle to passing GI Bill reform will be finding money to pay for enhancements. Because this is an entitlement program, lawmakers theoretically can only pay for ( GI Bill reform by reducing other mandatory spending programs or raising taxes.
(,15202,221753,00.html) Read more in Tom Philpott's Military Forum
( Let your elected officials know how you feel about GI Bill reform and offsetting the cost.

Featured Job: Military-Friendly Employers 
Employers are actively seeking veterans and those with military experience. For a complete listing of an organization's available job opportunities use's ( Veteran Job Search. members have access to CareerExpos. Events where members, like yourself, have the opportunity to talk face to face with recruiters from military-friendly employers such as Northrop Grumman, Mac Tools and more. ( Sign up today for one of the remaining 2010 Expos or the newly announced 2011 CareerExpos.

Deal of the Week: You Serve, You Save 
Save up to 20% on all your calls with new reduced rates on AT&T Global PrePaid Cards. It's for you and all you. ( Click here to buy yours now.

Grand Canyon Waives Fees for Vets 
Grand Canyon National Park will be joining other national park units around the country as they waive entrance fees on Veterans Day in recognition of current and former servicemembers. Visitors and commercial tours that arrive at Grand Canyon National Park on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2010, will be allowed free entry into the park. "User fees" and fees for other activities will not be waived. For more information, call 928-638-7951 or -7954 or visit the ( Grand Canyon National Park website. For information on NPS sites that commemorate the service of American veterans, visit the ( NPS website.

National Veterans Creative Arts Festival 
Held in La Crosse, WI this year, the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is a culmination of talent competitions in art, creative writing, dance, drama and music for Veterans treated in the VA national health care system. ( Watch video from the event.

Veterans Day Discount in Tennessee 
Tennessee State Parks are offering veterans a discount on camping and golf on Veterans Day every year. The offer applies only to Tennessee residents who are veterans. The policy will allow the Tennessee veterans to camp for one night free of charge and play one 18-hole round of golf free of charge on the Veterans' Day holiday each year. To find a Tennessee State Park, visit the ( Tennessee State Parks website.

VA Claims Process Streamlined 
The Department of Veterans Affairs has released three new disability benefits questionnaires for physicians of Veterans applying for VA disability compensation benefits. For Veterans who receive their care from private physicians, VA has placed the disability benefits questionnaires on the ( Department of Veterans' Affairs website with instructions for physicians to submit examination results on Veterans' behalf. For additional information on the VA disability compensation program or additional presumptive disabilities for Veterans exposed to herbicide agents, contact VA at 800-827-1000 or visit the ( VA website.

For more on veteran benefits, visit the (,14972,,00.htm? Benefits Channel.

SpouseBuzz Live Coming to Schofield Barracks, HI 
Every year SpouseBUZZ LIVE brings hundreds of military spouses together to celebrate the women and men who serve on the home front. Join us in 2010 for a day of celebration and share your experiences, make friends and win incredible prizes. ( Register Now.