Put A Little Love in Your Heart

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For all the fiery exchanges that go on here I think I can probably still accurately say that many individuals likely are giving of their time and hearts to help those in need. And while giving to Project Angeltree or tossing some coins in the Salvation Army tin are both grand ideas, few experiences work on creating a change in you so much as actually meeting the people you are hoping to help, talking with them about what is important to them, and understanding their needs enough to meet them adequately. It's one thing to dump an extra 10% into the offering plate and never have to leave your comfort zone. It's another thing to sign up to work, regularly throughout the year, alongside of the people you hope to serve. Get enlisted. Ability to speak Spanish is a plus!

SERVE, Inc.
Louden Interfaith Relief
Volunteer FIRST

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26 Comments

No Relation said:

Good call, dude.

Kathy said:

Here's something to pass along to people in Sterling: our church is hosting a FREE Thanksgiving Dinner at the Sterling Community Center at 5:30, Tuesday, Nov. 21 (that'd be tomorrow). There will also be a clothing giveaway. Spread the word!

Ted said:

If you really want to help someone for the long term, become a literacy volunteer. I wanted to be one for a long time and finally did it. It's been great helping my student improve his reading and writing so he can take some classes to move up the career ladder.

Robin said:

Thanks Kevin. This finally something I can get behind. Kudos to the literacy volunteers too!

The Loudoun Interfaith food bank is in great need of donations and volunteers. If you are so inclined, here is the info.

Wish List

* Canned fruits
* Juice (100% fruit juice)
* Cereal
* Canned corn
* Canned green beans
* Macaroni and cheese
* Personal hygiene items

Please contact Loudoun Interfaith Relief(703) 777-5911.

kevin said:

Ted and Kathy, those are great! Ted, do you mind linking up some literacy programs of which you are aware?

Also, check out the wish list of the Good Shepherd Alliance and focus on the volunteer section.

_________http://www.loudounhomeless.org/gsawishlist/view_alone.nhtml?profile=gsawishlist&UID=10002

The shelter has 32 beds. If Loudon County (which is pretty large) is anything like Howard County MD with a similarly sized homeless shelter, then GSA needs your help, and BAD (they're not asking for donations of dwelling units for couples because they have plenty of room). A riding lawnmower! Can you believe that's on their long term wish list? A van? In a community where people are paying $300,000-$700,000 a home? Isn't there a church that could donate a van? Or a lawnmower? I'm sure that the GSA would probably graciously accept whatever anyone was willing to help out with, and nothing beats volunteering your time and your own personal talents and gifts which were bestowed on you freely.

Ted, you rock! I would never ask anyone to put out there how much they are involved in or what they are doing for their community but if anyone is aware of opportunities to do more than just throw money at the offering plate or purchase things for people they won't meet, but instead get involved on a personal basis, please put up the link or phone number of who to contact.

Even if you're coming from a totally humanistic and unspiritual perspective, the critical factor is the relationship you build with the individual/individuals in need.

kevin said:

Nice Robin!!

No Relation said:

If you want to help out some American troops who are overseas, away from their homes and families, standing in harm's way so that we can have a safe holiday, this link is a good place to start:

www.anysoldier.com

My unit received many packages through this site when we were gone and it meant the world to us.

kevin said:

Very cool, NR. That's a really userfriendly site!

kevin said:

Here's a link to the volunteer section for Veterans Affairs, too....http://www1.va.gov/volunteer/

Ted said:

Here are a couple of groups in NOVA. I am affiliated with the Prince William Chapter:

http://www.pwcweb.com/lva/index.shtml

Leesburg:

Loudoun Literacy Council

The Loudoun Literacy Council needs volunteer tutors to teach literacy skills as well as
volunteers to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). Only need a one hour a week
commitment.

Contact Tara Linhardt info@loudounliteracy.org 703-777-2205

John Grigsby said:

Agreed. We especially should do what we can do to reverse the soaring rate of divorce, family breakdown/fatherless families, and related problems that are due to government welfare and Hollywood morals.

kevin said:

John if you can find a link you should post it! Being recently divorced I'd be happy to find out how that might not happen again!! Thanks!

Also, if you feel like putting up a link about how to volunteer somewhere (i.e. couples counseling, if you're a professional, volunteer mentorships for fatherless children, etc.) that might be helpful too! Thanks!!

John Grigsby said:

Kevin,

I give $12K to charity per year, at minimum, and I'm far from a fat cat. I only say that because you challenge me. I have 4 kids. Between them and work, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time.

I spend a lot of time, that I'd much rather devote to tutoring (which I did as a student in college and thoroughly enjoyed), fighting "liberal" plans to deny people their dreams.

I know many others who have had to spend (waste) time and money that could have been devoted to noble efforts such as those you listed, but instead were spent defending their rights.

The surest way to accomplish the good ends you and I support is to support property rights and a minimally confiscatory government.

All the good works you speak of are wonderful, and we should (and I do) contribute to them in some way.

However, my point is that liberalism creates the problems it claims it will solve, all the while hammering "selfish" conservatives and libertarians, such as myself, for pointing this out.

Speaking of social dysfunction, todays "liberals" want to turn codependency from a psychosocial phenomena to public policy.

All that said, thank you for your list of links.

Best regards,

John

kevin said:

John,

That's great! I'm glad you've stated how much you give, as I've said, I wasn't asking. I'm sure God knows anyways.

As far as my challenging you, I can't tell if you mean that I actively affronted you or if what I wrote was personally challenging to you. I don't recall stating that you personally didn't give or that you personally weren't volunteering your time. I think the post and ensuing comments were pretty explicit in that.

I do want to continue to encourage you in your efforts! It sounds like you're giving a lot and that it's affecting the time with your family, which is important, to be sure.

Tutoring is a great venture. If you know of any programs that you believe in and would like to promote, well, this is the post for you. There certainly is something to working one on one with the people you are hoping to help (or change). Changes lives, huh?

Best regards,

Kevin

kevin said:

John,

OOOOHHHhh my disillusionment with language! I lament it nearly every moment. Forgive my assumption that you were in attack mode. Now that I've reread what you wrote 6-7 times and thinking back on history, I think I understand what you were saying. My apologies. As for anyone's list of links, they're only useful if you find them useful.

Only human,

Kevin

Robin said:

Another good cause that will allow people to pull themselves up is Computer CORE. This Alexandria based group helps people develop computer skills. Here is the link to their web page.

http://www.computercore.org/index.php?sec_id=1

John Grigsby said:

You're being nicer to me than I deserve, Kevin. Thank you for posting the list of links, seriously.

Coming off the recent back and forth regarding the treatment my family received during and after the parade, I'll confess I probably would not have made a posting with a philosophical point otherwise.

I would like to recommend a charity that we support, Lifeline Pregnancy Crisis Center, understanding that won't appeal to all, and hoping that we all can dispense with a flame war over the abortion debate or abstince education.

http://www.pregnancylifeline.org/support.php

Lifeline counsels pregnant and possibly abortion-minded women of pro-life options. If a woman chooses to give birth, they are there to support her. If a woman has had an abortion and needs post-abortion counseling, they are there for her as well.

They are a very positive, loving bunch. If "love the mother and the child" encapsulates your position, then I heartily recommend them.

Central Union Mission is great too. Fighting homelessness is often about fighting what often are, at their root, spiritual issues, so they don't just feed and shelter homeless people.

Still, even if I didn't buy into their notion of the answer to spiritual questions, I'd still support them, as they have a big heart, and are really effective.

http://www.missiondc.org/

Thanks again, Kevin, for the original posting. We both wish we had more time/$$ for good works. Sorry if I jumped on my soapbox.

John

zimzo said:

I welcome Mr. Grigsby's hope that we can dispense with flame wars so in that spirit I recommend some charities I support:

GLSEN--Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network. This charity has done a lot of work to fight bullying in schools, especially bullying as a result of perceived sexual orientation, which is one of the top two reasons students are singled out for abuse. Their mission statement: "The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression." I know some of the people who work here and they are good-hearted people.
http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.html

Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood health centers offer high-quality sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning, gynecological care, STI/STD testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, and abortion services.
http://www.plannedparenthood.org

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries. I have met some of these amazing doctors during my travels and they certainly deserve support for their work in many troubled and dangerous areas of the world.
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

Jack said:

Does Planned Parenthood help with HAVING children, or just with NOT having children?

John Grigsby said:

As a former "abortion rights" activist, I would encourage folks brave enough to state their support for Eugenicist Margaret Sanger's Planned Parenthood to also bravely examine the results of an abortion.

I know how angry I was when first confronted with these images --- angry at the persons who showed me them, which is really strange, looking back at it.

Here are the pictures. I am only suggesting that advocates of abortion develop a complete understanding of what they advocate.

If you are afraid to do so, or angry at me, it's because you know on some level that you are advocating the choice to kill an innocent human being, and it bugs you.

That's my best guess at what bothered me, back when I volunteered for the local NARAL affiliate, and was confronted by pro-life protesters.

If abortion is just another operation, or a "regretable but necessary choice at times", then this shouldn't bother you, and vice versa.

http://www.uklifeleague.com/pictures.htm

Jack said:

Apparently, the liberals are not as caring as they let on (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2006/11/28/who_really_cares). Very generous with other people's money, but not so much with their own.

zimzo said:

Gee, Mr. Grigsby, I took you at your word when you said you wanted to avoid a flame war about abortion. I guess you are not a man of your word.

And, yes, Jack, Planned Parenthood does help with HAVING children. They offer a wide range of services for pregnant women as well as family planning resources.

John Grigsby said:

Wow, Zim, I wasn't flaming anyone. You provided info. on Planned Parenthood, and I did as well. I did not flame you. I shared my experiences. Relax, my friend.

Jack said:

So Planned Parenthood clinics also provide fertility treatments?

zimzo said:

You're right, Mr. Grigsby, why should I take offense at being called an advocate of baby killing? I guess when you come right down to it being an advocate of baby killing really isn't such a bad thing after all. Thanks for helping me see the light.

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