Category Archives: Kate’s Causes

Small Town Holidays

I love living in the tiny village along the Mississippi that I’ve called home for over twenty years!

I don’t miss the traffic, the noise and the lines found in larger cities.  I can walk through our streets without feeling threatened anytime day or night.  I get to soak up the beauty of my surroundings without driving anywhere.  In fact, I can walk from one end of the village to the other a couple times without tiring.

Thanksgiving weekend is a popular one here.  The population increases dramatically as all of the children and grandchildren return for the holidays.  Not only is it the start of deer hunting in the area, but there is an alumni basketball tournament at the school over the weekend.

My oldest son has played in it since he graduated, and it has been a tradition for over a decade.  The players reunite with their high school teammates to play against both younger and older teams.  Generations of family members come to cheer on the teams.  At halftime break of each game, the court overflows with children dribbling basketballs and shooting hoops until the teams return for the second half.

I sit in the stands greeting the mothers and fathers of my son’s team.  It’s a bit of deja vu from days past when our high schoolers ran up and down the court.  Our hair has more silver and our faces a few more lines now, but the enthusiasm and goodwill are still abundant.

In the evening, a Christmas parade with lighted floats, fire trucks, horses, music and Santa is followed by fireworks over the Mississippi River.  It is a fitting end to our weekend.

I saw a post the other day where someone wrote that they didn’t understand why Americans had a “day” of Thanksgiving.  The tradition is one of being thankful for the harvest, especially in the rural communities so dependent on a good harvest before the long winter.  It is also an acknowledgment of our country’s early beginnings, and how the generosity of the local Native American tribespeople helped the early settlers survive their first winter.

But, Thanksgiving is about more than remembering to give “Thanks” on one specific day.  For me, it is a time for gathering as a family and a community.  It is a time to realize the shared blessings of being a part of something so much larger than yourself.  It is a time to reinforce the importance of giving of my time, talents and resources to those less fortunate and to those I care about.

Our small town holiday weekend reminds me of what is good in the world and how crucial it is to be an active participant in the world around me.  To recognize and speak out against inequality and injustice while doing my best to be a positive force in the world.

This work doesn’t happen on just one day, but every day.  It all starts with you, your family and your community.  Make efforts to improve each of these areas and the blessings will continue to spread.

Heartwarming Story of Holiday Spirit

Listening to the news this morning, I heard a wonderful story about a homeless vet outside of Philadelphia who had assisted a young woman stranded after running out of gas.

Johnny Bobbitt, Jr. is a homeless vet who saw Katie McClure pull her car over to the side of the road.  He advised McClure to get back into her car and lock the doors.  He took the last twenty dollars he had and bought gasoline for the young woman.

Bobbitt was a flight medic in the military and wanted to go to college to be a medevac flight nurse after he left the service, but issues with substance abuse and money problems kept him from his goals.

His selfless deed touched McClure and her boyfriend.  They have kept in touch with Bobbitt and recently set up a GoFundMe page for him.  As of today, it has raised over 306,000 dollars in response to Bobbitt’s good Samaritan act.

Each of us has the ability to change another person’s life.  Johnny Bobbitt, Jr. helped countless of wounded service members when in his military role overseas.  He helped a young woman in her moment of need so she could get home safely.  Katie McClure and numerous donors are hoping to help change Bobbitt’s life.

Make today amazing by helping someone else in need.

I have a GIF for that…

I posted my blog on the #OneMillionProject blog in response to all of the GIF messages and emoticon ridden messages I receive.  I mean they are cute and funny.  I use them.  But it got me to thinking about social media and how it drives our culture.

Read ” Will Imagery Replace the Written Word” via Blog Posts

#HelpPRchallenge

It’s hard to believe it has been 52 days since Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island of Puerto Rico with Category 4 winds.  The hurricane was so large it covered the island leaving no area untouched by its destructive force.  Puerto Ricans are in survival mode and spend hours each day procuring basic needs like clean water and food.

I am donating the proceeds of Exodus (Clare Thibodeaux Series, Book 1) from October through November to help in the Hurricane Maria relief efforts, and I encourage my readers to consider helping by donating through the various charities and relief funds to help with our fellow citizens on the long road to recovery.  ~ Kate

OMP E-Zine Online

The summer issue of the One Million Project e-zine is out. Lots of stories, awesome cover and more about our authors and their new projects.

The Living Church at Work

I get inspired when I go to church on Sunday.  The readings, homily, music, and traditions speak to me.  I am a part of something much greater when I’m at Mass.  Anyone who believes the Church is just a building misses the real truth that the Church is its people.  It lives solely through them and their works on Earth.

This Sunday, we had a guest priest, Father Paul.  He grew up in the area of Wisconsin where I live, but he has spent most of his life in Tanzania, Africa.  His mission is to bring healthcare to the Nkololo, Tanzania people.  The Songambele Health Facility serves a community of 250,000 people, who wouldn’t have access to quality health care without its existence.

Father Paul told us that when they created the site plan for the Songambele Hospital their road to get there seemed like a trek up Kilimanjaro Mountain.  Each year, he returns to the United States to speak to parishes about the  Roads to Life Tanzania, Inc. and raise funds for their ongoing projects.

They have been able through the generosity of donations to build a Reproductive and Child Health Facility, a Clinical Testing Center, and a Chaplain’s Office.  Still under construction are an Imaging Pavilion (Xray, Ultrasound, etc.), Latrine,  and Mortuary.  The Clinical Testing Center has been chosen as a site for an HIV testing and treatment program by Dr’s with Africa.

Plans for 2017-2018 include an Intensive Care Unit, Administration Building, Private 30 bed Ward and the first phase of a Nursing School.

To find out more about Roads to Life Tanzania, Inc.  98% of all funds collected go directly to Songambele.

This is the living church in action.