Thanks(4)giving

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Tag Archives: veterans

Week 49-Knowvember, Day 3-Who protects you

There are a few things that I have written about over and over again over this past (almost) year.  That’s because those subjects mean a lot to me.  They really touch my heart and I think they deserve to be talked about until I make you want to get out of your computer chair and act!  The men and women who work tirelessly and selflessly to serve our country are on the top of this list.  Tonight on Extreme Home Makeover (yes I am a nerd, and a loser all in one) Ty and his crew are building a new home for a veteran who is suffering severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).  I’m thankful for stories like this that touch my heart and inspire me to blog my little heart out.

Move that bus people!

The Pathway Home helps to ease the transition from war to being back home for people like Allen Hill and his family.  TPH was specifically created for those who are returning home after fighting the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They provide the respect, support, and guidance these “Warriors” need to return to their friends and family.  The beauty and tranquility that TPH is able to provide to those who need it most, is worth its weight in gold.  In a lot of cases loud noises, stressful environments, and unfamiliar surroundings can trigger PTSD flashback instantly.  TPH provides a safe and serene place where the veterans can spend their free time doing as much or as little as they want.  The comprehensive program provided by TPH addresses both the physical and mental health of these soldiers.  TPH knows that sometimes it takes a helping hand to make it achieve excellence.  Allen is also recovering well because of the help of his service dog, Frankie.  She came from the Puppies Behind Bars Program that trains inmates to raise puppies that become service dogs for the disabled and explosive detection dogs for law enforcement.  The puppies live with the inmates from eight weeks until twenty months when they are placed in their new homes.  Since they started back in 1997 PBB has trained more than 600 dogs, with 21 of those dogs going to wounded veterans free of charge.  November is also the perfect time to learn about PBB because next Sunday, the 13th, Anderson Cooper is hosting their fall benefit cocktail party.  So if you’re live around New York City or know anyone who does be sure and check it out!  PBB is so unique because it benefits such different groups of people from different walks of life all at once.  Collaboration is a beautiful thing.

Adorable and helpful

The Pathway Home Donation

Puppies Behind Bars Donation

So here’s to who protects you!  That is lots of different people, but there is one group that is always at the core of protecting and serving us as Americans.  I say this again and again, but I could never repay you or be thankful enough for all the brave things you do on a daily basis.  You protect families you’ve never met and put your life on the line for controversial causes.  Life is all about living everyday to the fullest.  Thank you for helping us do that in peace.

Week 43-Fall Favorites, Day 3-Beer

Happy first day of fall everybody!  I don’t’ know what the weather is like where you are but it was nice and brisk here in Morgantown today and I loved every minute of it!  So in order to celebrate the inauguration of my favorite season of the year I’m celebrating with a delicious Oktoberfest Leinenkugel brew.  Yes, that’s right I am enjoying an adult beverage.  I mean I am 26, I’m allowed.  Quite frankly, after a hard week of working and shaping young mind (shea right) I think I deserve one.  So let’s raise of glasses to the season of cool temperatures, hot football rivalries, and seasonal beers.

I know you’re probably wondering how in the world I am going to connect booze to charitable organizations but get ready to be surprised kids.  The Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, CA has been hosting annual charity events, like Beerfests, for fifteen years!  One of their favorite charities to raise money for is The Surfrider Foundation.  TSF was founded over 25  years ago when some very dedicated surfers got wind that their favorite wave, at First Point, was going to be destroyed.  Now, I’m gonna be honest with you guys.  I have NO idea how a wave can be destroyed forever, but I know I would be really upset if my favorite thing in the world was taken away from me.  So even though I can’t wrap my mind around the concept, I totally empathize with the feeling that motivated the three founders of TSF to take action.  They are a grassroots organization that protects what they love; oceans, waves, and beaches.  So you’re probably pretty impressed, but would you believe me if I told you that you could buy beer and 50% of the profits would go to charity?  50 Back does just that.  Paige and Kim wanted a way to say thank you to all of the service men and women who have or still serve in our nation’s military.  They wanted to establish a method that would be well received and capable of donating again and again, so they landed on crafting their own beer.  Totally makes sense if you ask me.  The charities that are supported by the purchase of 50 Back beer include the USO, Homes for Troops, American’s Vet Dogs, and more.  The only thing better than drinking to the beginning of fall is drinking to brave men and women.

I'll take a give-pack please!

Surfrider Foundation Donation 

Where to buy 50 Back Beer 

So here’s to you beer!  We’d had a chance to get to know each other over the past five (ok maybe a couple more) years.  I never thought you and charity would get together, but you’re like peas and carrots.  Thanks for being there after a long week, and giving back in a very adult way.

Week 25-Celebrity Apprentice, Day 2-Gary Busey

I. Love. Gary. Busey.  And I’m not gonna apologize for it.  I love his crazy made-up words, and his crazy googly eyes.  I love his zeal for life and the heaping dose of insane that he brings to whatever show he’s on.  Plus I got to see him in person in New York while they were filming last fall.  Don’t worry, he is just as crazy in person as he is on your flat screen TV.  Plus everybody knows that one man’s crazy is another executive producer’s gold mine.  A severe motorcycle accident that Gary was involved in over 20 years ago might explain why his behavior is a little, uh, erratic on occasion.  He’s thankful to be alive, and I’m thankful he’s found his way back into the limelight.

The charity that Gary was playing for in the boardroom was The Center for Head Injury Services.  Clearly life after a head injury is never the same.  CHIS help those who have sustained injuries by providing in home services as well as group activities and rehabilitation services.  The services they provide are worth their weight in gold, but the relationships that are built through the CHIS community are really priceless.  Gary was lucky enough to be able to return to a career he loved, but there are thousands of people who suffer head trauma ever year who aren’t so lucky.  Gary even managed to win $40,000 before he was fired by The Donald.  Gary is also an avid supporter of disabled veterans.  Disabled American Veterans Charitable Services Trust was formed back in 1986, and has consistently worked hard to honor the brave men and women who fought for our country.  This great charity also supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs of veterans with specific needs and disabilities.  DAVCST also takes in veterans who are homeless and helps them get back on their feet.  It is so true that our freedom isn’t really free, and I could never express enough how lucky I feel to have thousands of people, I have never met, sacrifice their lives for me.  Thank you veterans.

The Center For Head Injury Services Donation

Disabled American Veterans Charitable Services Trust Donation (that is a mouth full!)

So here’s to you Gary Busey!  Your crazy eyes and your non-stop mouth have landed you a special place in my heart.  You are entertaining, philosophical, and even lovable.  You show us what it’s like to totally be yourself and truly disregard what everyone else thinks about you.  You may elicit a big ‘ole belly laugh from me more often than not, but I am truly thankful that your antics have made people stop and listen to what you have to say.  Carry on Gary, carry on.

Real life Gary Busey!

Week 19-Letters, Day 3-W

ork, watermelon, workouts, wishes, water, and wildflowers are all great things, that obviously, start with W.  I started my day this morning with a snazzy little leg workout from Cosmo.  It may not be P90X but it’s been a while since I worked out and it felt good.  Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  I also worked a couple extra hours at my new job today.  Everyday I go to work I think about how lucky I am to have a job, and how doubly lucky I am that I like the people I work with.  I’ve heard that Americans live to work, and that European work to live.  I strive to stay somewhere in the middle of those two and enjoy my time on and off the clock.

In my opinion, nobody works harder than the brave men and women of our country who protect our freedom.  That is one job I am positive I could never do, and can’t even imagine the things they go through for their work.  Carolina Patriot Rover is a non-profit that is enhancing the lives of servicemen and women who have been diagnosed with PTSD by giving them a trained golden retriever.  CPR is committed to giving veterans a life-long companion who provides tons of love and therapy free of charge.  CPR also has a long-term goal of growing their organization so they are able to help employ veterans returning home and re-entering the workforce again.  Working with adorable golden retrievers and great people who have sacrificed for our freedom sounds like a job I’d like to have!  The HOPE Program in New York helps give those living in poverty “a way to work” and “a way to grow”.  THP was founded in 1984 in a time when homeless New Yorkers were being given hand-outs and THP was doling out hand-ups that help them find, keep, and advance in their jobs.  1 in 5 people who live in New York city are living in poverty, and over 300,000 New Yorkers are dependent on soup kitchens and food pantries in order to feed their families.  There may not be W in hope but they are giving some down and out New Yorkers a big W.

Carolina Patriot Rovers Donation

The Hope Program Donation

So here’s to you W!  Where would we be without you?  Let’s see, that last sentence wouldn’t exist, there would be no waterfalls, wigwams, or Washington Redskins.  No kids would be plagued by wet willies or enjoy Willie Wonka candies after school.  The world would not be the same without all the Williams, Walters, or Wandas.  So remember to be thankful the next time you see a weeping willow or take a juicy bite out of a watermelon.

I feel the same way buddy

Week 18-Potpourri, Day 1-Ruby

My girl!

Yesterday we added a new member to our family.  No we didn’t get another dog, and no I did not pop out a kid, but we did buy a beautiful Ford Escape named Ruby.  She’s three years old, she has automatic windows and locks, warm tan interior, a sleek maroon paint job, and six cylinders under her hood.  She’s roomy, quick, and she’s plays a mean version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”.  I am truly thankful for all of the different subjects that I write about everyday, but after being a one car family for a year and a half, I am really, really, really thankful for Ruby.  I feel like I’m sixteen again in my very first car.  You know that saying good things come to those who wait?  I’m gonna have to agree.

That year and half without a car of my own might have seemed like a long time, but it was the best decision for our family.  The non-profit Yellow Ribbon Fund is helping out the families of disabled veterans by providing lots of great services including free car rental and cab vouchers.  Even though YRF has only been around for six years they have already provided 1,400 car rental and 18,000 taxi cab rides free of charge.  YRF doesn’t stop there, they help veterans and their families with job mentoring and internship programs, free lodging, and free tickets to different sporting and cultural events.  I that think taking care of our veterans when they come home is so important, because they have taken care of us by serving while we were able to stay in our homes.  You might expect that Ruby with her nice V6 engine would entice me to speed a little, but I think I’ll leave the fast turns to the pros like Kasey Kahne.  Kahne may have a serious need for speed but he channels that energy into cool fundraisers for his charity the Kasey Kahne Foundation.  The money that KKF raises through sprint car races, concerts and drifting challenges (think 2 Fast 2 Furious) helps chronically ill children and their families, as well as disadvantaged youth.  The KKF has raised and given money to The Ronald McDonald House, Make A Wish Foundation, Victory Junction, and the Red Cross to name just a few.  In 2006, Kahne was even appointed by President Bush to serve on the President’s Council on Service & Civic Participation, which was only one year after he started the foundation.  You can also bid on some pretty sweet schwag on eBay to help support KKF.  Keep up the good work Kasey!

Yellow Ribbon Fund Donation

Kasey Kahne Foundation Donation

So here’s to you Ruby!  I haven’t known you very long but I have a feeling you are going to be there for me through thick and thin.  You are pretty, you tell me what songs are on the radio, you automatically lock the doors to keep me safe, and you’ve got some get up and go.  I see furniture, road trips, jam-out sessions, dog hair, airport shuttle missions, traveling games, and car seats in your future.  Welcome to your new home and thank you for making our family complete…for now 🙂