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June 2012


In this issue:


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Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday, June 17
Race Against Hate 

The 13th annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate honoring Ricky's legacy and bringing attention to the need to combat hatred in all its forms.

Join in races, walks and more. The 10K starts at 7:30am at Long Field located at the corner of Sheridan Rd. and Lincoln St. in Evanston, IL. Click here for all races and times.


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Tuesday, June 26, Thursday July 5 and Sunday August 19

Serve a mean at the JUF Uptown Cafe.

Sunday, August 5
Sort children's books for distribution at Bernie's Book Bank

Sunday, August 12
Work the land at the Gan Project.

For more information, contact TOV

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Alex's Lemonade Stand
Maybe your family wants to help this summer. What about Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer?
 
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope.

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HandsOn Connections is for individuals interested in learning about volunteer opportunities, A portal of hundreds of volunteer opportunities are at your fingertips 24/7 when you visit http://www.handsonnetwork.org/volunteers.

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Get the entire family involved in volunteering this summer. Click here for some ideas on how to get your family involved in volunteering. And here are 10 steps to make volunteering fun

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Nominate a Woman of Worth

Chances are, you already know an inspiring woman who brings extraordinary dedication, enthusiasm and passion to a meaningful cause. Help support her—and women across the country like her—through L’Oréal’s Women of Worth Program. This year, 10 amazing women will be chosen from all nominations to win $10,000 for their nonprofit organization of choice. One national honoree will be selected from these 10 to receive an additional $25,000 towards her cause. Click here for more information and to nominate a woman who inspires you. 


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Book Recommendations 


 
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Giving Your Money Away
By Danny Siegel

This book offers a step-by-step guide to personal decision-making leading to effective and meaningful Tzedakah. This book’s user-friendly question-and-answer style simplifies the exploration of Jewish values, reasons for giving, legal and financial considerations, what criteria to use in researching organizations and much more. $12.





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Who -- Me? Yes --You!
By Danny Siegel

This book is designed to help you decide where, when, why and how you can do your best. It is a wonderful hands-on tool, filled with exercises and charts for probing self-assessment, values clarification and goal setting. It is the perfect way to convert all that you have learned from Danny Siegel into effective and meaningful action!  $15. 

These and other books we will highlight in the months ahead can be found on Danny's website

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Words to Inspire  
 
Quote to think about:
 
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.  Teach him to fish and he will eat for a lifetime." (Some say this quote is from Proverbs- some say it is Talmudic. Some say it was written in 1885 by Anne Ritchie. Whatever the origin, think and discuss what you can do to end starvation and homelessness and do something good for people.  
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 Donations

Thank you to the following people for making donations to Grandparents For Social Action:

Marilyn Sommer in honor of Babs Maltenfort's birthday.
 
Sharon Morton, in honor of Babs Maltenfort's birthday. 

If you would like to make a donation to Grandparents for Social Action on the occasion of the birth of a child, or for any special event, please send it to Sharon Morton @grandparents for Social Action, 56 Ellendale Rd. Deerfield, Ill. 60015. Make your check payable to Grandparents for Social Action.
 
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About Us:

Educating and engaging seniors to do social action;

Empowering grandchildren to make the world a better place;

And creating a legacy from one generation to another.

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840 Vernon Avenue
Glencoe, Illinois 60022 
(847) 948-5556

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A Note from Bubbe Sharon

I recently wrote my legacy to my grandchildren. I started out by thinking of 10 stories, stories that made me the person I am today, for better or for worse. I then found a quote or two that expressed my feelings or hopes as I wrote the stories, and then I wrote what I hoped each story would one day teach my grandchildren. In this issue, I share the first of the 10 stories I wrote.
 
I was born to a mother who woke up every single morning to say, “Is this not the most beautiful day that God ever made?” Her sense of spirituality and love were manifest in everything she did, to everyone who befriended her. She was kind and generous of spirit and honest in word and deed. 
 
I was born to a father who ended up with dementia. When he could not remember anything at all, we would say, “Who was your favorite teacher?” and he would respond, “Florence E. Scully, S-C-U-L-L-Y.”  When he was young, he was always delinquent from school. He was finally placed in a classroom for "bad boys" and there he found a teacher who changed his life when he was 10 years old. She was kind to every child. She recognized the strengths of everyone in her class, and at the end of the year she gave each one an award. My father received a penmanship award. From that time, he grew to love education and to appreciate teachers. He became a lawyer and a Certified Public Accountant, and he loved everyone he met. Sixty-five years after he left her room, he still spoke about that most special award and the best teacher ever.
 
My parents both taught me about goodness through their examples from the day I was born. I tried to follow their example of patience and generosity of spirit. I was divorced when my children were very young and found a job as a Director of Education.  It was a very demanding and a very rewarding position. Sometimes I was less nurturing than I could have been. However, for the regrets that I have, my three daughters turned out to be wonderful people who married wonderful people and have absolutely fabulous children.  
 
From this story, I know that I must remember where I came from. The following quote sums up what I've learned: "Know from where you came, where you are going," Pirke Avot.
 
So what do I hope for you, my dear grandchildren? I hope that if you feel that your parents were like mine, then you have a head start in being a parent that will love your children every day, in the good times and in the bad, and you will teach them to be good citizens of the world. When your life gets difficult and you have needs of your own, please remember that the children who are entrusted to your care are the future of the world and it is your job to help to ensure that future. Look for the good experiences that teach you to be the best you can be and let go of the others where you weren't nourished. Forgive those who were not able to answer your needs. And begin each day of your life with a blessing. 
 

Websites to Inspire

“Grandpa, your legacy: Always leave your campsite better than when you found it. Be helpful; sometimes a minor loss for you could be a tremendous gain for someone else. Never be afraid to look stupid. Before you get insulted, let me clarify: never miss an opportunity to learn from someone simply because it could be awkward or embarrassing…Take the time to do the job right. (Whenever I do shabby work, I hear your voice in my head.) It is possible to wield phenomenal power without rubbing it in people’s faces. I’ve learned this by watching you interact with employees and friends, and run family meetings…”   Ethan W.  New York.  
 
To see more letters like this one, or to see A guide for Grandparents on Strengthening the Bonds with Grandkids (and Their Parents), go to grandestlove.com
 
by: Jerry Witkovsky
 
“Grandparenting is a sacred trust. It is my deepest passion and greatest joy!”

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Each Child is an Important Part of the Future

As adults, we must help our children and grandchildren build confidence, self-esteem and caring for themselves and others. Through these actions, we can help every child understand where they come from, and as adults they will understand where they came from. This is the starting point for each child to understand the importance of social action in their lives and the difference it can make for themselves and others.
 
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50 Ways to Praise a Child

Sometimes praise is all that is needed to help build a child's confidence -- even an adult's confidence. It's all in how your phrase your words. Tell the child, "That's incredible," or "You figured it out." For more suggestions, see the Department of Children and Family Services website.

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HOW TO REALLY LOVE A CHILD
 
Be there. Say yes as often as possible. Let them bang on pots. If they’re crabby put them in water. If they’re unlovable, love yourself. Realize how important it is to be a child. Go to a movie theatre in your pajamas. Read books out loud with joy. Invent pleasures together. Remember how small they are. Giggle a lot. Surprise them. Say no when necessary. Teach feelings. Heal your own inner child. Learn about parenting. Hug trees together. Make loving safe. Bake a cake and eat it with your hands. Go find elephants and kiss them. Plan to build a rocket ship. Imagine yourself making magic. Make lots of forts with blankets. Let your angel fly. Reveal your own dreams. Search out the positive. Keep the gleam in your eye. Mail letters to God. Encourage being silly. Plant licorice in your garden, Open up. Stop yelling. Express your love a lot. Speak kindly. Paint their tennis shoes. Handle with caring.
 
CHILDREN AREMIRACULOUS 
 
By Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (also known as Sark)

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Stories to Inspire

Helen Keller was an inspiration-- but so were her parents who believed in her-- and her teacher -- teaching her with wisdom, patience and love.  

A Helen Keller Story for Children

 
Our story today is about a girl called Helen. When Helen was very young, not even two years old, she became very, very sick. She was so sick that she almost died. She didn't die but she lost her hearing and her sight. Yes, she became deaf and blind.
 
Can you imagine what it would be like to be both deaf and blind? If you close your eyes tight and put your hands over your ears so you cannot hear, you will have an idea what it would be like. When Helen got over being sick and was feeling well again, which took a long time, she found she couldn't do very many things for she was bumping into things and tripping on things. Her mother and father couldn't tell her where to walk or play because she couldn't hear them, and they couldn't show her because, of course, she couldn't see them. Helen wanted to do things but it wasn't possible so she would get very angry and upset and would fight and hit people. She couldn't talk because she had not learned before she was sick, so she could not tell her parents what she wanted or what she was thinking. Her parents tried to teach her things but it was very difficult.
 
When Helen was about seven years old her mom and dad hired a teacher to come and live with them. The teacher had a very difficult job and tried many different ways to get Helen to understand.
 
If you had a friend who could not see or hear, how would you get them to do things and learn about things? You would have to get them to use their hands to see and hear with.
 
That is what Helen's teacher did. She would lead her to something like a tree or a horse and she would get her to touch it so that she would get an idea of what its shape and size was. Then she would spell the word that represented the object in the palm of Helen's hand. Well, she did this for months and months, and Helen did not seem to understand what was happening, although she loved going out for walks with her teacher and touching the leaves and flowers and buildings and animals. And she was feeling much more content and happy. Then one day Helen's teacher was trying to teacher her how to spell water but she wasn't having much luck with it. So she took Helen out into the yard where there was a water pump and she pumped water onto Helen's hands and arms and face and head, and she kept spelling the letters W-A-T-E-R in the palm of Helen's hand. All of a sudden, just like a miracle, Helen realized that the letters being made on her hand meant the stuff that was being washed over her arms and face. Then she understood that all the other things her teacher had been spelling on her hand represented the things that the teacher had gotten her to touch. From that time on Helen learned very fast. She had discovered what words were even though she could not see them or hear them.
 
When Helen got older she learned to read books that have special letters that are called Braille. These are made up of little bumps that can be felt with the fingers.
 
She later went to college and learned how to write. She wrote many books and she traveled all over the world teaching and helping other people who were blind or deaf. One of Helen's favorite books was the Bible, and by reading with her fingers she came to know all about Jesus and she learned to love the Lord and to live by His word. She was given several books that were written by Emanuel Swedenborg that a friend had transcribed into Braille. She read these books with great interest and became a firm believer in the teachings of the New Church. She said that these teachings helped her a great deal in understanding the Bible and also about the nature of her spirit.
 
Helen's life was not wasted because she could not see or hear. Her life was very rich and very happy and productive. Her life is an inspiration to all of us to do the best we can with the blessings that God has given to us.
 


Stories to Inspire 

Rabbi Charles Kroloff wrote a book, 54 Ways You Can Help the Homeless. According to the publishers of the book, all profits from the book were donated to organizations serving the homeless people of our nation.
 
Each chapter is only one page long. There are some very fast, very easy suggestions and some ideas that are more difficult to do to help. Some of the things we do are just plain kind, some are helpful, and some are indeed helping to transform the lives of the homeless.
 
One chapter tell us What to Do when Confronted by a Homeless Person.
 1. Respond with kindness
 2. Carry Fast Food Certificates
 3. Buy Street News.
 4. (and more)
 
One chapter suggests we might give to the homeless
1. Give proceeds from a craft sale.
 2. Give clothing
 3. Give toys
 4. Do something for the homeless at your birthday party.
 5. (and more)
 
Volunteer to Help the Homeless
 1. Volunteer at a shelter
 2. Volunteer your professional talents at a shelter.
 3. Volunteer your hobbies.
 4. Organize a shop where the homeless can get new clothes free.
 (and more)
 
Help to end homelessness
 1. Join Habitat for Humanity
 2. Write to organizations
 3. Contact your government officials
 4. Push for state homelessness prevention programs
  (and more)
 
And there is so much more that Rabbi Kroloff wrote - and so much more that you can do too.
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Quick Ideas

A Kindness a Day 

Put your leftover change in your tzedakah (charity) box before Shabbat.

Give encouraging words to someone going through a difficult time.

Volunteer to coach a special needs little league team.

(Borrowed from Areyvut.org. Thank you so much to Daniel Rothner for always being willing to share ideas to help the world.)

Last month we told you about Danny Siegel, a dear friend of mine. He has many thoughtful ideas, which we started sharing with you last month. Here are a few more. 

Invite a veterinarian to speak at the synagogue to explain the
full range of human-animal interrelationships and benefits
and set up a subcommittee of the synagogue Mitzvah committee
relating to human-animal interactions

Inform your local shelter for survivors of domestic violence of
Face to Face Surgeons who repair battered women’s face free of charge, www.FACETOFACESurgery.org. Thank you so much to Daniel Rothner for always being willing to share ideas to help the world.)
 
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