Category: Worthy Causes

Water: How Important is it to You?

1 in 10 people lack access to clean water!

I was stunned by this discovery.

Last week I was attending the 2019 Symmetry Financial Group conference in Washington, DC.  A keynote speaker was Scott Harrison, a man I’d never heard of.  He turned out to be a man with an amazing story!

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Scott was a young man with a gift. People loved him, loved to be around him, and loved to party with him. He made a living as a club promoter, hired by night clubs in New York City to promote their events … parties, concerts, gatherings, celebrity appearances, etc.

Let’s say there was a lot of wine, women, and song in his life. He got lost. One day he woke up and did not recognize himself. Scott decided he needed to change. He decided he would need to do something pretty drastic to get his life turned around. Applying for work at many charities, he was repeatedly turned down. Finally, he paid Mercy Ships $500 a month to let him work as a photo journalist on one of their hospital ships for one year. He ended up staying for two.

People dying from water?

During his two years with Mercy Ships, Harrison was exposed to the conditions of the impoverished people in Liberia. He saw people drinking water from murky swamps and rancid mud holes. He talked to women who made a 7-mile trek to crocodile-infested rivers for water for their families. These women recounted the many friends they’d lost to crocodiles.  Scott saw a little girl drinking dirty water from a plastic bottle. She would take a sip and promptly throw-up. Scott took the water bottle and had the water tested. The lab technician told Scott that water was literally alive with disease and bacteria! He decided right then and there to do something.

Charity: Water

Scott Harrison founded Charity: Water in 2006. The charity is a non-profit organization that works to bring clean water to people in developing nations by raising money through donations, which directly fund water projects such as digging wells and building water filtration and treatment facilities. Scott uses 100% of all donations to provide this clean water and hires local labor to do the work. This gives each village a sense of pride and ownership in their new clean water sources; some of which have been in operation for 12 years and are still pumping clean water.

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$12,000 buys a well or filtration system including materials, equipment, and labor.

At the Symmetry conference,  there was not a dry eye in the place after his presentation, and I know several wells were pledged by agencies and these pledges were going to be matched by the corporate office. Symmetry is a big-hearted organization and one of its core values is to always do the right thing … even when no one is looking! And, this is one charity that I, personally, plan to become very involved with.

Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World

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While I have not read this book yet, I plan to. I am sure it is an amazing read after hearing Scott Harrison speak. I will post a review of this book here once I have read it. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this book go toward funding Charity: Water projects around the world.

It is available at the Charity: Water website as well as on Amazon.com

 

As we walk around carrying our bottled water, perhaps we should take a moment and think about the little girl in Liberia or Rwanda, or Honduras … drinking the poisonous water from her plastic water bottle.  Many of us have already dug in to help.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have bought wells and even went over to see them put in.

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Rachel Beckwith was  a young girl who, on her 9th birthday, pledged to raise $300 to bring clean water to kids on the other side of the world. She raised a little over $200. Dismayed, she pledged to work even harder next year.

Sadly, a few weeks later Rachel was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Word of her pledge and what happened hit the news, and people began to donate in Rachel’s name.  $1.2 million was raised and in Rachel’s name … provided water for 37,770 people. Rachel’s story is one that will bring a tear to your eye and a swell of pride and admiration to your chest.  Take a look at this video! You will not be the same after watching. I promise!

Rachel’s Gift

Matthew 25:40  King James Version

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

For more great blog post, read on!

5 Rules For Scooping Dog Poop!

Scoop Your Dog’s Poop!

With a very long history of owning dogs, often several at a time, I have cleaned up a lot of dog poop in my life! It is simply what you, as a responsible dog owner, do. So, it is frustrating to me how so many dog owners just can’t seem to be responsible enough to do the same. Do we need to institute dog poop police?  Or, perhaps task the NSA with spying on non-poop-scooping-compliant dog owners? Do we need Big Brother watching us? That’s a bit scary, so I hope it doesn’t come to that. Cleaning up after your pet is part of being a responsible dog owner. Can’t we figure out a way to promote that message without creeping everyone out?

The Five Rules of Scooping Poop!

Always pick it up

This seems obvious enough, and yet we all know dog owners who choose not to exercise this common courtesy.

One important reason to pick it up is simple cleanliness. Then there is also the fact that parasites like giardia, roundworm, hookworm, and all those other intestinal worms can accumulate in areas where dog feces are not picked up. Pet waste also has a nasty effect on groundwater.

But mostly, I say pick it up because dog crap is disgusting. I don’t want to walk down a sidewalk or trail and smell an offending odor, only to realize I’ve stepped in your dog’s poop and will now have a reminder of your lousy dog poop etiquette for the rest of my walk.

Responsibly dispose of poop

poopHonestly, most of us will be very happy if you simply pick it up. Where it goes after that is of little concern to many people. One way to dispose of your dog’s doodoo might be to simply flush it down the toilet. But I’m afraid with the amount of poop some dogs produce, you might need  to have a plumber on speed dial. However, if it is properly bagged and sealed, trash cans work fine. Also, there are poop disposal stations in may parks today.

Deal with diarrhea by preventing it

The best way to deal with loose doggy stool is to prevent it to begin with by keeping your pet on a healthy diet.  However if it is already too late for that, you can certainly sprinkle a little dirt, sand or mulch on it before scooping it up.

Pick up and dispose of poop even in the great outdoors

When you’re out communing with nature, that old adage “if you pack it in, pack it out” still applies … even to pet waste.  And, please don’t just hang the full poop bag on a tree branch like some people do. That’s just plain crude and disgusting.

Continue reading “5 Rules For Scooping Dog Poop!”

A Superhero Who Fights To Beat Cancer!

A Superhero Who Battles Cancer …

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Billy Austin of the NFL
10 February 2013
Photo by Sugarmamaland

Dominic “Billy” Austin is a former cornerback for the Indianapolis Colts. And he is also a real superhero!

Austin was born on March 8, 1975, in Washington, D.C.  Billy graduated from Kempner High School in Sugarland, Texas where he stood out as an outstanding scholar and athlete. After graduation from high school, he received a full scholarship to play football for the University of New Mexico and was named all-conference defensive back his sophomore, junior and senior years.  Austin also has ten years of professional experience in the oil & gas industry. But, this is Austin’s alter-ego. His life has another mission. It is one he devotes a great amount of time to. And, it is one that is near and dear to his heart.

Dominic ‘Billy” Austin maintains a superhero approach to life.

In fact,  Dominic Austin really is a superhero.  Austin witnessed firsthand how the lives of kids are turned upside down when they learn they are diagnosed with cancer. Active in youth programs since he was a kid, Austin has seen the importance of helping young children overcome this horrible disease.

Austin, a cancer survivor himself, is now a creative philanthropist.  A few years ago, he received a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. Like a superhero, Austin fought back. During his battle, he decides to launch Tackles4Cancer, a non-profit organization with two primary missions;  assisting young cancer patients with transportation to and from their lifesaving treatments and infusing young readers with the faith that they have what it takes to beat cancer. Austin helps these young kids find their own inner superhero to help the win the battle against cancer.

Now cancer-free, Billy Austin has hosted over 20 event s with celebrities and has been featured as an inspirational figure for Beyonce’s BeGood Foundation. Austin currently resides in Houston, TX.

The Tackle Cancer Series

The Tackle Cancer series by Dominic “Billy” Austin tells the powerfully inspiring tales of young children who use their  own superpowers to defeat cancer.  Writer, creator, cancer survivor, and former NFL star, Austin wants every child to be a superhero.  He wants them to win their battles with cancer. He understands that probably the most important things we can is to provide hope, faith, and love for kids battling this horrible disease. Dominic created the Tackle Cancer series as a means to infuse young readers with the conviction that they have what it takes to beat cancer. Their stories can inspire other young children to find their inner superhero and go on to win their own battle!

If you are looking for a great cause to make a donation to, I would find it hard to find one I think is more worthwhile. I will be making a donation myself!  Click here if you would like to help Dominic Austin with his mission to help young children win their battles against cancer. They will even send you a cool T-shirt!