GR9: Paid Forward 1x

GR9 moves on from Santa Barbara, CA to Coral Springs, FLStacey paying it forward by donating bloodStacey K held up her end of the deal, paying GR9: Chez Magnifique forward to Matt L by donating blood in South Florida. Thank you, Stacey! Still working to get Samantha’s wish to come true. Also, a couple more Pay It Forward resolutions to fulfill, so open to more ideas.

 

 

 

 

GR9 (PIF3): Chez Magnifique

Giving Resolution #9 is a Pay It Forward that came in from Stacey K. via the request form.

Samantha of Food Hurts“There is a teenage girl named Samantha who suffers from an Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease (Eosinophilic Esophagitis).  She is allergic to food.  Samantha is fed formula through a tube in her stomach, her only safe food is white potatoes.  Although Samantha can’t eat, her dream is to become a chef.  She loves cooking for others, it helps her feel connected to meals which are such a central part of our lives.  Think of how much of our lives revolve around food – imagine if you or your child was permanently isolated? Samantha had wanted one of the cooking shows like an “Iron Chef” or “Top Chef” to challenge their chefs to prepare food eliminating the Top 8 Allergens.  I think it would be amazing for Samantha to get to see her dream become reality while spreading awareness for EGIDs.  As an orphan illness we receive $0 in government funding unlike other gastrointestinal disorders.  Many children have few if any safe foods and live on formula; no cake at birthdays, no eating in the lunchroom or family meals, repeated doctor visits, tests and hospital stays… it is truly heartbreaking… Samantha wants a cure so she can taste the food she cooks.  I would love to at least see part of her dream come true by one of the cooking shows doing the Top 8 Elimination challenge, but how much greater if she could actually BE there and meet the chefs?!  She is a brave girl who has done numerous YouTube videos to spread awareness, I would love to see her given an opportunity to spread awareness even further.”

WOW!!!! How could I not try to help this courageous and inspirational young lady?

There are a few ways I may be able to help and I will try every one of them.

  1. I have contacted Samantha’s family to let them know her efforts have not gone unnoticed and that people like Stacey and I are working alongside her. (I encourage you to do the same via her Facebook page.)
  2. I will try to promote Samantha’s cause via this blog and all the social media tools I have at my disposal.
  3. I am forwarding her request on to every contact I have in television, particularly those at Bravo, which airs Top Chef.
  4. Posting links to her cause wherever I think it may gain traction.

I have no idea if my efforts will make her dream a reality, but nothing would make me happier than seeing Samantha on TV.

Food HurtsPlease add your name to Samantha’s Change.org petition. It only takes a second.

Make a tribute donation via CaringBridge.

Make a donation to CURED. Get this, 100% of your donation goes into researching a cure. 100%!!!

Visit her Facebook Page.

Watch her videos on YouTube

GR8 (PIF2): Learning Adventures

Pay It Forward #2 was requested by a teacher who has given up the confines of the traditional walled classroom in favor of experiential learning. Her new venture has exposed kids from around California to some of the great wonders of the world, not the least of which are the extraordinary cultures of Southeast Asia, via Friendship Tours.

From the Friendship Tours website…

Educational travel and community service programs for students and teachers. Experiential learning and volunteer projects create diplomacy and mutual prosperity for a more peaceful world.

We invite you to…

  • Transcend ordinary tourism.
  • Experience living history.
  • Join meaningful learning adventures.
  • Support global communities healing from war.

Teachers Travel Free!

Lead students on life-changing discoveries.

Friendship World ToursMy job is to review the educational material she has created to ensure that those joining her tours gain as much perspective and historical knowledge as possible. She wants the kids, and teachers, to maximize the intellectual returns on their investment of time and money. I love it!

There are 5 Units, each one broken down into 5 or so sections, plus quizzes, powerpoint presentations, worksheets and best of all, “Simulated Activities” for me to review. I am to go through it all looking for typos, to make sure lessons are clear, formatting is correct and essentially, that the material fulfills its intended purpose.

I’m looking forward to learning from the material and hoping this resolution will call attention to the great work Friendship is doing. To learn more about the tours, click HERE. If you are a teacher, you should definitely look into this. Teachers travel free!

Considering the work she is doing, asking her to pay this forward almost seems redundant, but she has agreed to do so. I’m hoping this PIF will reach across the globe following her travels.

GR7 (PIF1): Musical Mold

The first Pay It Forward giving resolution, sent to me via FB, is officially set.

“I was trying to think of a way for you to help the music programs here. But I can’t get past the ‘not in a financial way.’ I’ve been trying to come up with another way for you to give to that program. I need a few more weeks. Brain is fried. Maybe that’s what you need to give me–some new brain cells!

Maybe some sort of instrument drive? Or if I had the time and skills to research and apply for grants, that would be great too. Both the middle school and high school my kids are zoned for are Title I schools. There is little money in the county and state for music to begin with. Because we pull from a lower economic bracket, there isn’t much in the way of fund raising and personal donations. Our middle school band director said he wouldn’t recommend any of the school-owned instruments to the kids because they are full of mold. Gross! But for many families, renting a school instrument is the only option.”

So, how can I help the music program without writing a check? Well, if I could find a way to rid the instruments they already have of the mold, that would go a long way toward improving the music program. That way, more kids could play an instrument, the school won’t have to come up with funds and I’m not an enabler of financial waste.

UltrasonicAfter doing some research, I found out that mold in instruments is not a unique problem. The most common and effective way to get rid of the mold is by dipping the instrument into what is essentially a giant ultrasonic vat. There is a company out there that manufactures one big enough to dip an entire tuba. It holds 36 gallons and costs about $3,000. There is an instrument shop called All-County Music in Andrea’s area that has one, but they charge about $150 per instrument for the service.

Then I had an epiphany. I know someone who used to have a large ultrasonic machine in their factory, for a completely unrelated purpose. They’ve since retired, but I thought it worth a call to see if (a) he still has it and (b) it is big enough to fit a musical instrument. The answer to both questions was, “yes!” It’s only a 10 gallon version, so it won’t fit a tuba or trombone, but it will certainly do the job for almost all the other instruments when broken down. To make matters even better, the gentleman offered to deliver it to the school..

Andrea put me in touch with the music director so that I could work out the logistical details, but of course nothing is that easy when a bureaucracy is involved. While he was incredibly grateful for the help, he informed me I would have to seek approval from the county before we could proceed. I have moved it up the chain of command and as of this moment am awaiting a response.

However, as per my definition, even if they refuse my help, I have satisfied my resolution and look forward to seeing how Andrea pays it forward.

GR Resolution 7-11: Pay It Forward – “Success or failure for the GR will be determined solely by what I can control, namely that I carry out a favor, get confirmation that the favor will be paid forward and pass along the information for tracking it.”

GR7-11: Pay It Forward

I’m going to take a slightly different tack with giving resolutions 7-12. For the remaining GR’s I am asking people to tell me how I can help them or someone they know, directly. In return, all I ask is that they pay that favor forward to someone else with the same stipulation. I will select 6 “favors” and we will track each one independently over their life. The hope is that a competition of goodwill will develop, we will see some interesting acts of kindness and meet some fun people along the way.

Success or failure for the GR will be determined solely by what I can control, namely that I carry out a favor, get confirmation that the favor will be paid forward and pass along the information for tracking it.

It all begins with you. Keep in mind how I have defined my Giving Resolutions when submitting your request, for that definition still holds for these.

Do 12 charitable things that don’t involve writing a check. I’m looking to inspire others and myself to be more caring and considerate by gaining a new perspective.

I’m hoping for some outlandish requests that will really make me push my limits physically, mentally or even socially, but I have a feeling it will be the really simple requests that are likely to have the biggest impact on me. If you can’t think of anything please share my request with someone who might.