It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: New York

Week 41-I can’t live without, Day 5-Heroes

I’ve thought a lot about what I would write for today’s blog.  It has been ten years since the tragedy of 9/11 shook our nation to its core.  I will always remember where I was, and that feeling of helplessness that overwhelmed my heart and my mind.  Thinking about that day still gives me goosebumps.  What I’ve realized over the past ten years is that you have to keep living for those who that precious gift was taken from.  So even though I know my words won’t do justice to what this day really means, I’m going to try my best and hope that at least one person is as moved as I am by the heroism of our nation.

When Scott and I lived in NY we talked about going to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, but unfortunately we didn’t make before we packed up and moved down to WV.  The Intrepid is a stunning air-craft carrier that we could see sitting in the Hudson River all the way from our side of the river in NJ.  It seems fitting that such huge ship would take on the equally huge mission of honoring our nation’s heroes, educating the public, and inspire the next generation of heroes.  The Intrepid was founded back in 1982 and was officially sanctioned as a National Historic Landmark in 1986, and opens its port holes to over 1 million visitors every year.  The virtual A6 Cockpit Simulator and the Virtual Flight Zone are only a couple of the unique gems that sets this museum apart from all the others in New York.  New York will forever be synonymous with heroism, and I love that the Intrepid only helps the cause.  The relationship that New Yorkers have with their city is part of what makes it one of the most magnetic places on Earth.  The New York Community Trust makes sure that all the charitable New Yorkers out there make a real difference.  The spirit that pulled the Big Apple together during tragedy, is the same spirit that keeps them together as they’re rounding the corner to healing.  Those beautiful community gardens that you randomly see as you’re walking through the asphalt streets of NY (like Miranda and Steve were married in if you’re a SATC fan) are more than likely there because of the Trust.  NYCT knows first hand how busy people living in the city are, so they make it easy for them to give, and easy for charities to benefit.

Intrepid Museum Donation

The New York Community Trust Donation

So here’s to all the heroes out there!  You were the first people to respond this day ten years ago.  I really don’t have the right words to thank you the way you deserve, but I’ll leave you with these words that are printed outside a 9/11 memorial in London.


Week 31-Ramblin’ Roads, Day 2-New York

Ok, ok, I’m not in New York but tonight I wish I was.  Today is my friend Karen’s birthday, and I’m not there to help her celebrate.  Insert sad face here.  Plus I just really miss all the sights, sounds, smells, and people of New York City.  I never knew how much I would love the city before we moved up to NJ.  I had always fantasized about what it would be like, but it far surpassed my expectations.  I’ve been a lot of places, but I definitely left a chunk of my heart on that island.  It is a big concrete jungle where dreams are made of, but it’s also a place where you can be thankful you have seen, even after you leave.

What a beautiful city

I have driven to New York, flown to New York, and even taken a water taxi to New York.  Even though I’ve traveled there by road I definitely didn’t make the road, but Make the Road New York has paved the way to justice for many New Yorkers.  Back in 2007 MTRNY was created when Make the Road by Walking and the Latin American Integration Center, two of New York City’s most innovative and effective grassroots organizations.  MTRNY calls Bushwick, Brooklyn home and they strive to help New York’s low-income and immigrant majorities.  Built from the ground up they have served countless residents of Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.  They use community organization, leadership development, adult education, youth development, and legal and support services to promote equity, opportunity, and economic justice for all.  New York also does really care about its people from the city to upstate.  New York Cares was founded by a group of friends who wanted to take action against the pressing social issues NYC was facing back in the late 1980’s.  NYC is the city’s largest volunteer organization, and their volunteers share the vision created back in 1987 that we all have to chip in to make the city a better place.  They run volunteer programs for 1,200 nonprofits, city agencies and public schools.  Over 53,000 people volunteer each year to help over 400,00 New Yorkers, because they know the work they do with NYC really matters.  God, I miss the city.

Make the Road New York Donation

New York Cares Donation

So here’s to you New York!  You have kept my friends hostage from me for way too long now.  Of course, you were also the place where I met them, so I guess I forgive you.  If you can make it where you are, you can definitely make it anywhere.  Thank you for showing me how to live and love life in the fast lane. 

Week 28-When I grow up… Day 1-Firefighter

Do I have to?

This week is all about celebrating those wonderful career dreams we aspired to as children before we lost our innocence and chose our job based on salaries and retirement plans.  When this idea first came to me tonight I bounced it off Scott first because no one else was around, and I trust his opinion.  “Hey, what did you want to be when you grew up?”  And before I had even finished the sentence he blurted out, “Fireman!”  He then proceeded to tell me about his imaginary friends when he was little named Roy and Johnny, who also happened to be starts of the sitcom Emergency!.  Even though I had to look  up the show to have the slightest idea what he was talking about, I realized how thankful I was for my own childhood dreams.  We’ll get to those later this week.

Lots of little boys and girls want to be firefighters because they are real life super heroes.  They’re fast, they’re strong, they’re smart, and they save lives.  If being a real Batman or Robin doesn’t sound like the funniest job on Earth I’m not sure what would.  The New York Police & Fire Widow’s & Children’s Benefit Fund embodies the phrase “New York takes care of its own.”  Since its inception in 1985 the fund has given over $123 million to the families of fallen New York City heroes.  The fund provided almost 700 families with financial assistance each and every single year, not just for a short period of time after they lose their loved one.  A lot of people believe that New York is the greatest city in the world, and there is no doubt they have the greatest heroes in the world.  It makes me heart swell to know that an organization like the fund is taking care of the families of the great men and women who took care of New York through triumph and tragedy.  Firefighters are also such great heroes because they are everywhere, and many of them volunteer their time to save others.  The Star City Volunteer Fire Department is one of the local chapters in our area that keeps us all safe.  This may not be news to some of you out there, but volunteer fire departments are non-profits.  Their ability to perform daily tasks and protect those in their community is based on donations they receive.  SCVFD was also recently in the news because of their newest addition to the team, an adorable Dalmatian puppy named Pierce.  Obviously another really fun perk of being a fireman.  Local volunteer fire departments are also great resources for fire education and safety for children, and really people of all ages.  You’re never too old to learn about how to protect your own life.

New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund Donation

Star City Volunteer Fire Department Donation

So here’s to you firefighters!  You wear those heavy oxygen tanks and hot uniforms even though you’re running into some of the hottest temperatures imaginable.  Your big muscles and your even bigger heart are they key to you saving so many lives.  You do so much more than rescue kittens out of trees and pose for insanely cheesy calendars.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still thankful for those calendars.  Especially when they’re half off at Barnes & Noble.

Yes, this will be hanging up in my office next year!

Week 21-Go Green Week, Day 1-Parks

What a great idea!

Get out your reusable bags and Nalgene water bottles cause it’s Go Green Week!  Spring has finally sprung here in West Virginia and Friday just happens to be Earth Day so there’s no better time to get your green on.  There are lots of ways to be more Earth friendly but I can’t think of a better place to start than protecting all the great parks we have across our nation.  Whether they are big or small, national or local, parks give us a place to remember how amazing nature truly is.  I’m so thankful that parks give us a place to picnic, throw a Frisbee, take a nature walk, or go camping.  Sure there are lots of trendy ways to go green, but sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that make the biggest impact.

The National Parks Conservation Association was founded in 1916 to help protect and enhance America’s National Park system for both present and future generations.  NPCA values the history and culture that our national parks are steeped in.  Americans expect their parks to have clean air, healthy wildlife, and well-preserved land marks.  NPCA has been fighting back against air pollution, climate change, and underfunding to make sure these natural gems survive.  NPCA is unique because it is the only private non-profit organization in the nation dedicated solely to protecting our National Parks System.  I don’t know about you but there’s some national parks I still want to see in my lifetime, and definitely want my children to see one day.  Growing up in the South with a huge yard we didn’t have to go to a city park to see grass, but kids in New York city do.  City Parks Foundation helps support over 750 parks in all five boroughs in NYC that don’t have access to private funding.  CPF helps to revive parks by creating free creative arts, sports, and educational programs that the communities around the parks flock to.  Over 600,000 New Yorkers are reached through CPF’s programs which revitalize and rejuvenate some of the most under served areas in the city.  CPF also has a great program called SummerStage where they present a diverse line-up of free performances that introduce the people of New York to budding new artists.  They have held outdoor performances for all ages, races, and backgrounds for over 25 years, and the people just can’t get enough.  Seriously, what’s better than live music, good weather, and a beautiful park to experience it in?

National Parks Conservation Association Donation

City Parks Foundation Donation

So here’s to you parks!  You are the heartbeat of America.  Children can run, play, collect bugs, and get dirty all within your boundaries.  Sometimes you are extremely vibrant, lush, and  green and other times you’re full of red rocks, dust, and scorpions, but both are equally as beautiful.  You help us remember that a little dose of nature goes a long way, and provide a haven for us to think, talk, and be thankful.