An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scofted. "You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 68-, 73, 77, 80, 86 and 87-Letters to LEO Familes

As a wife of a police officer it makes me sad and scares me at the same time that so many officers have been killed in the line of duty this year. An overwhelming amount of officers this year have been shot. If you have read my early posts you will know I made a commitment to write letters to every family of a law enforcement officer who was killed in the line of duty. On days 68, 73, 77, 80, 86 and 87 I wrote letters to the following families:  California Highway Patrol Officer Adams, ICE Special Agent Zapata, Uniontown PD Captain Stiles, San Carols Apache Tribal Officer Peru, Stow City Police Officer Bastock, ST. Rosenthal, Deputy Marshall Hotsinpiler, Detective John Falcone, Officer Crawford, Officer Pounds, Officer McDonough, Park Ranger Nickel, Officer Thornton, Park Ranger Julie Weir, Deputy Sheriff Wright, Officer Sheridan, Officer Newman and Deputy Cammon.

I have been delighted that since I have been sending these letters I have received several letters back from either the officer’s agency or the family.  Their letters have touched my heart and have put them in my “Making a Difference” file folder. I started this file folder several years because I wanted a file to look through that would make me smile when I was having a bad day. It is a file to remind me that many days when I am feeling sorry for myself that others have it way worse than I do. It is a file filled with the kindest thank you notes from people I have help and it reminds me that one person can make a difference.

Being married to a police officer and being a former officer myself I understand the dangers and sacrifices men and women of law enforcement make on a daily basis.  I have seen and heard of heroic acts these brave officers have performed that most turn and run the other way than risk their life for another human being.  One of the letters I wrote was to Detective John Falcone’s family. This detective died to save a 3-year child. Here is his story:

“Detective John Falcone was shot and killed after responding to a shot fired call on Main Street. He was just over a block away when he received the call and when he arrived at the scene he encountered a man holding a 3-year-old child and waving a gun. The suspect fled, still holding the child, with Officer Falcone in pursuit.
Detective Falcone was able to rescue the child from the man and handed the child to a bystander before engaging in a struggle with the suspect as other officers arrived at the scene. During the struggle Officer Falcone was fatally shot in the head before the man committed suicide. The subject's wife was found in a nearby car with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Detective Falcone had served with the Poughkeepsie Police Department for 18 years. He is survived by his parents. Detective Falcone was posthumously promoted to Detective by the Poughkeepsie Chief of Police.”


Please remember your law enforcement officers in your prayers and thank an officer the next time you see one.  To learn more about the officers on today’s blog go to http://www.odmp.org/.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 67-Taking care of the pets

Growing up as a child I had all kinds of pets. My first pet was a kitten named Sugar Babies, and then I had a dog Daisy, a turtle Norman, a bird Kiwi and too many rabbits to name, but my favorite was Thumper or was it Oreo? 
The first four years of our marriage Mike and I didn’t have a pet and if I would have had my way we never would have owned a pet, but my husband had other plans.
Since he was a child he not only dreamed about being a police officer, but a K-9 handler. He loved dogs but when he graduated from the police academy in 2000 the Indiana State Police did not have a K-9 program.  Around 2006 a new Superintendent, a former K-9 handler, started a K-9 program and my husband was ecstatic. He had an opportunity to finally fulfill his dream. It would be a lot of hard work, time and dedication.  He applied for the position and in September 2006 he left for 17 weeks for K-9 training.  Prior to him going to training we had a deal. This was his dog, not mine and I wouldn’t be responsible for feeding, bathing or really anything that had to with the care of the dog. And to this day my husband kept this commitment he made to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this dog, Boss, and he is a part of our family. If I am outside he is right beside me. If Mike is gone I feed and let Boss out to go potty, but 90% of the time Boss is my husband’s responsibility.
On this day, actually for this entire week, my husband was going to be gone to training so I would be in charge of the pets. I fed Boss twice a day, let him out to go potty every couple of hours and played with him. Besides Boss my husband also has four Piranhas in one tank and then another tank that has a fish my niece bought that will not die. The fish are in the basement and I actually forgot to feed them for a couple of days. Yikes! My husband would have not been happy to come home to dead Piranhas. He has been growing these fish for months.
Anyways, I feel in life, especially for the people we live with and love there are sometimes things we don’t want to do but since we love the ones we share a home with we need to help out when an opportunity presents itself.
I am very proud of my husband and Boss. My husband has committed countless hours to caring and training Boss. Boss isn’t just one of the best K-9’s in the region, but in the state. To see one of Boss’s tricks click on the video below. Enjoy!
video

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 64-Three Gifts

On this day I gave several gifts.  My first gift was to my husband. He was getting ready to leave for a week of training so I picked up his favorite snacks at the store as a surprise for his trip. I know how he likes to have munchies in his hotel room, just like I do!
My second gift of the day was creating the facebook page the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club. I recently joined this organization and noticed they didn’t have a facebook page. I thought this might be a great way to get the word out about the good things this organization is doing for the community, but also use it as a way to thank our donors and weekly guest speakers. I approached several members in the group and they thought it was a great idea.  Many times we see a need but avoid stepping up and taking action.  If you have the time and know that you can help, step up and volunteer.
My third gift for the day was attending an event for The Caring Place. I have talked about The Caring Place on several prior posts. They are an organization in my community that provides a variety of support services, including shelter for victims of domestic violence. Since this is an organization I believe in, I try to support any events and fundraisers they organize.  On this date I attended an event which featured speaker and bestselling author Betty Mahmoody.  She wrote the book Not Without My Daughter, which was later made into film featuring Sally Field. If you have not read the book or seen the movie, I highly recommend both.  I believe in not only supporting organizations financially, but attending events they host. I have almost always found I probably benefit more from the information I receive at the event then the organization does by me attending.  Betty Mahmoody made me believe sometimes the impossible is possible. She talked about her life in Iran and the lengths she went to keep her daughter. It was a story of courage, faith and hope….something we all can use a little more of in our daily lives.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 63-Make-A-Wish Foundation

My gift started with a gift that I had received from a friend, a 30% off coupon for Old Navy. I was in need; okay more of a want, of new spring clothes. I am not what you would call a Fashionista, but more of a Frugalista!  I don’t need a designer label and to spend $100 on a pair of jeans when I can go to Old Navy, find something trendy and pay a reasonable price.
As I entered Old Navy I was greeted by a friendly lady sitting at a table obviously promoting an organization.  Prior to my gift giving mission I would usually avoid these tables and try not to make eye contact with anyone who might be selling or promoting something (I am sure you have probably done the same thing), but today was different. I actually walked over to the lady and asked what she was promoting. I was hoping this was my opportunity to give a gift and it was.  The young lady worked for Make-A-Wish Foundation and was collecting donations.  I shared with the young lady that my cousin had benefited from a Wish many years ago and I had a friend from college whose family was selected as a Make- A-Wish family.  I gave her a donation and wished her good luck!
About a month after making my donation my friend and her family went on their Wish to Walt Disney World. My friend is a fellow blogger and blogged about what an impact this experience had on their family. I sat at my computer crying as I read about their trip. What an amazing gift this organization has given a family and a little precious boy who has been through so much.   To hear firsthand about their personal Wish experience you can read her blog at http://braydenandmommy.blogspot.com/2011/03/our-make-wish.html
After reading my friend’s blog I am sure you will be touched like I was and more than happy to donate to this organization when given the opportunity. To learn more about Make-A-Wish Foundation and how to support this wonderful organization visit http://www.wish.org/