Archive | July 2012

Aaron’s Last Wish


[photo from aaron.org on Facebook]

Man’s dying wish for $500 tip inspires charity

By Dylan Lovan, Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — As Seth Collins finished his penne pasta at a Lexington restaurant, he called over the waitress to fulfill his brother’s dying wish.

He explained to her that his 30-year-old brother Aaron recently passed away, but that he’d left instructions in his will to leave a $500 tip for a server.

Then Seth Collins handed the waitress a stack of $20 bills.

The waitress, Chelsea Powell, took the money reluctantly and then smiled and said: “Are you kidding me?” She laughed nervously and had to cover her mouth from the excitement before giving Collins a hug.

The big tip at Bella Notte restaurant was the second $500 gratuity Seth Collins has left since Aaron Collins died on July 7. And the tips will keep coming, thanks to more than $47,000 in donations from people inspired by Aaron Collins’ dying act of charity.

The family didn’t even know he’d written a will when they found the document on his computer.

It had instructions on what to do with his motorcycle, his artwork and to “leave an awesome tip (and I don’t mean 25%. I mean $500 on a … pizza).”

“It was the last thing in his will, that we do this, and it kind of took me by surprise to see that, and for that reason it kind of left a mark on me,” Seth Collins said shortly after leaving giving the $500 tip to Powell earlier this month.

Aaron Collins’ death was unexpected. His brother said the family is still awaiting a final determination on the cause, but a preliminary coroner’s report said strangulation contributed to the death.

Collins set up a website after his brother’s death to collect money for the big tip.

He raised enough from family and friends for the first tip, and then Collins posted a video of the giveaway on YouTube. The video showing Collins telling a waitress at an Italian restaurant his brother’s story and handing over the cash, instantly went viral. Since it was posted in mid-July, 2 million people have watched.

Donors from around the world, many anonymous, have flooded the site.

“When I was daydreaming I thought (if we could collect) $1,500, we’ll do it three times, that would just be unbelievable to do it three times, never thought I’d get to,” Collins said. And then after he posted the first video, “suddenly I’m thinking, ‘Oh we’re going to get to do it 20 times, 40 times.'”

Powell, who received the second big tip from Collins, works three jobs and is studying at the University of Kentucky to be a teacher.

The money will help the 21-year-old student with her bills, she said.

“I haven’t even thought about it yet, I just know I’m behind on a lot of stuff,” Powell said.

Seth Collins said the family has raised nearly enough money to do once-a-week tips for two years. So far he has given three big tips, and said he plans to travel outside Lexington for the next dinner. He has been thinking of other possibilities, like leaving big tips for coffee or pizza delivery.

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i4_ANXnhCb-nIu6imnU91PkGEz7Q?docId=cddde6930c764f86b73b3c62b1d4dccb

If you would like to donate, please visit http://aaroncollins.org/

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

Musician Gives Up Home to Keep Foundation for Homeless Going


DETROIT (WJBK) – By Amy Lange

“I need to know what it feels like to be hungry, cold, tired, no place to go,” Brian O’Neal said nearly two years ago.

He is a talented jazz musician turned advocate for the homeless.  He hit the snowy streets of Detroit with the clothes on his back and seven bucks to experience homelessness firsthand, probably never dreaming he might actually find himself in that situation.

O’Neal continued to compose and perform, but scaled back so he could lead the DO Foundation, his homeless advocacy organization on Woodward Avenue in Detroit where they help so many people get back on their feet like Michelle Deciantis, a client and longtime volunteer.

“There [are] homeless people that live on the streets of the City of Detroit that depend on the DO Foundation,” she said.

An all volunteer organization, they don’t rely on government grants, don’t deal with the red tape, just donations and O’Neal’s income.  It hasn’t been easy.  DO Foundation was burglarized more than once, wiped out, but still they persevered.

Times are hard.  Donations have dwindled, and O’Neal, who spent so much of his own money just to keep DO Foundation going, was faced with a very difficult decision — lose the organization or his own home.

“I would feel like a complete failure if DO Foundation were to close their doors.  I wouldn’t want to let down the people that we service.”

So he gave up his townhouse in Novi and is now living with his family at a motel.  He plans to spend the next 45 days composing and recording his new CD, which will be called “Do Something”.

“Hoping and praying … that CD takes off.  If I get at least one hit song from there, we’ll be able to open at least two other DO Foundation offices,” O’Neal said.

As for his current situation, living in a motel, O’Neal is trying not to think about it.

“We consider ourselves doers, so the more we do, the better things are for you mentally, emotionally,” he said.  “When I come into the office every day and see the clients that walk in frowning and leaving smiling, that’s all I need.  That confirms that decision.”

To learn more or donate to the DO Foundation, visit www.dofoundation.net.

Below is a link where you can go to view the video for this item.

source: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/19151401/2012/07/30/musician-gives-up-home-to-keep-do-foundation-going

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

Brian O’Neal explaining plight of the homeless and the DO Foundation

A  little taste of Brian O’Neal’s music

The Other 4-Letter Word


The word “hate” has always been my least favorite word.  Obviously, there is nothing positive about it. Who has ever smiled while using the word?

To most, the word in itself may seem innocuous, given that it is used in every day speech; however, it can be destructive and in regards to others, it is divisive.

The older I get, the more and more I strive to surround myself with as much positivity as possible. As such, within the last year, any time I’ve used the word to express my displeasure – “I hate that blouse”, “I hated that movie,” I’ve noticed that there was an uneasiness that came over me, after making the statement. Currently, if I were asked to comment, I would phrase it this way – “That blouse is my least favorite,” and “I didn’t really enjoy that movie. ”

It may seem as if there is no getting around the word, If you don’t like something, the first thing that comes to mind is – “I hate it”.

To a certain extent, we cannot control our thoughts; however, we DO have control over our actions.  Once you make a conscious effort to try to delete as many negative words from your vocabulary as possible – such as “hate, ugly,” etc… you’ll notice that it doesn’t enter your thoughts so readily. If you don’t think it – you cannot act upon it and put out negative energy. I truly believe that the less “negative clutter” that is in your mind, the less you express it, the more at peace you become and the less “negative clutter” you will experience  in your daily life.  Try it. The next time you need to express displeasure regarding anything, do your best to censor yourself.  Excise the word “hate” from your vocabulary, and once you’ve mastered that, work on removing other negative words from your vocabulary.  Remember, if you need to use a 4-letter word – LOVE is always available. 🙂

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

Self Love


Everyone is flawed – everyone.  However, it’s interesting to see how some people either address what they consider to be their flaws, in a positive way and carry on with their daily lives, while others focus on what they consider to be their flaws – or magnify minor flaws they may have – in a negative way, and it hinders them from enjoying  their lives. Notice I stated, “what they consider to be their flaws”. That is because often times, a person will think less of themselves regarding something that others barely notice, or notice at all.

If you start off with a defeatist attitude, that is where you will stay. If you don’t believe in yourself, or think you are worthy, then how do you expect others to? A person is more approachable when they exude confidence. If you tell others  – or yourself – that you’re NOT ‘this or that”, then you NEVER will be.

I’ve said this time and time again: do not compare yourself to others – their looks, their job, their accomplishments , etc. I truly believe that one of the main reasons why people get sad, lonely, depressed…is because they think of themselves as less than the next person. Why do that to yourself? Don’t worry about being like the next person or trying to impress the next person. We’ve all been blessed in one way or another. Focus on that! And, if  there is something about yourself that concerns you, take the steps to improve upon it – instead of talking about it.  When you look in the mirror, tell yourself you are just as worthy as the next person. It must start with you.

How do YOU see yourself? Confidence is the key.

Regardless of your physical appearance, education, wealth, circumstances, you can truly enjoy your life if you first start by practicing self-love.  It’s all in how you see yourself.

“If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible.”  ~Bruce Lee

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

This is video is old, and you’ve probably seen it before,  the message is still important for those to see, who compare themselves to others.

Stand


written by: Lenny Kravitz

Don’t give up,
You’re gonna see tomorrow
That you’ll be on your feet again
Sometimes the world’s gonna knock you over
But you will see who are your friends

Come on, stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you’re gonna run again

Your faith and patience will be your soldiers
To guide you through your troubled times
Just put one foot in front of the other
The battles are inside your mind
You have the power to face your demons
No matter how they go at time
And rid yourself of your fear and weakness
So you can start to live your life

Come on, stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you’re gonna run again

Come on, stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you’re gonna run again

Pick up your will
And put on your face
If you need to, just take my hand
It’s time to demonstrate, don’t hesitate
Just get up and say “Yes, I can”

Stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you’re gonna run again

Stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you’re gonna run again
Stand, you’re gonna run again
Stand, you’re gonna run again

Free Money – Random Act of Kindness


By Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Fri, Jul 13, 2012 1:44 PM EDT

Doug Eaton wanted to celebrate his birthday on June 11 in a big way, so he turned to his friends for ideas — ended up marking the day with random act of kindness, including handing out free money to people passing by.

“I asked a bunch of my friends on Facebook what should I do on my 65th and I got a whole long list of stuff,” he told KFOR-TV.” And one of my friends said, ‘Why don’t you do 65 random acts of kindness?'”

So that’s exactly what he did, spending 65 minutes standing on the corner of NW 39th Street and May Avenue in Oklahoma City, handing out $5 bills to people who passed by. He told his Facebook friends that he handed out more than $375, but the response — and the amount of good cheer he shared — was priceless.

From a distance, Eaton looked a bit like any other panhandler holding a sign at a street corner. But instead of a plea for money, his sign read: “I have a home… and a car… and a job. Do you need a few bucks for some coffee?”

Some people drove by several times, wondering if they read his sign correctly. Many people murmured “I can’t believe this” or “bless you” as he handed them the cash. Others were reluctant to take his money, and he had to tell them “It’s OK, it’s just a blessing” and explain that this was his way of celebrating his milestone birthday. “One obviously needy truck holding a family came around the second time after misunderstanding the first time, to give ME $2 just to bless ME for what I was doing,” he told his friends on Facebook.  “I took their money AND gave them a $5. We kind of traded blessings.”

“I think this is the craziest guy I have ever seen in my life and it’s fantastic!” one driver told KFOR. “I am enjoying the moment out here.”

“It’s just been fantastic,” Eaton told the TV station. “Some people who don’t take the money just say, ‘Man, I love what you are doing. I won’t take it but would you give it to someone who needs it’.

Eaton’s birthday inspiration echoes that of Robyn Bomar, who in 2010 celebrated her 38th birthday with 38 random acts of kindness and asked her family and friends to join in. “I planned out 38 things ahead of time, just in case, but really was praying for opportunities to present themselves throughout the day,” she wrote on her blog, Mix Mingle Glow. “My husband, three daughters, and my husband’s parents joined me in the most favorite birthday of my life!”

She was so moved by the outpouring of support that she started The Birthday Project, an online community of people who celebrate their special days by paying their good fortune forward.

The 65 minutes spent handing out money wasn’t Eaton’s only random act of kindness for the day. According to his notes, which he posted to Facebook, he also said “keep the change” when he paid $50 for his $12 haircut and $10 for his $1.09 cup of coffee, bought lunch for several diners at a local restaurant, and gave bus fare to a stranger and his daughter, among other things.

“This day has been one of the biggest blessings of my recent life,” he told his Facebook friends. “I don’t know if I can wait until another birthday to do this again. But what if it became a habit? Or what if everyone or a lot of people did their birthday number of random acts of kindness on their birthday? How good would that be?”

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.

source: http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/man-celebrates-65th-birthday-giving-away-free-money-174400395.html

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

Laughter is the Best Medicine


Surrounding yourself with great people who keep you smiling and make you laugh does wonders for the spirit.

It’s sad that some people get out of bed in a bad mood and either huff and puff, or grumble their way through their day. They not only bring themselves down, but those around them, whether it be intentional or not. 

Did you ever notice that you could be in a great mood, however, someone comes into your orbit in a bad mood and suddenly your mood changes?

If you are one who wakes up in a bad mood, perhaps its residual moodiness left over from the night before, due to unresolved issues. Try your best to resolve any and all situations possible before closing your eyes for the night. You will have a better nights sleep and have a greater chance of  being in a better mood the following day.

Keep laughter in your life as much as possible. It is conducive to living a happier, healthier life. Did you know that it’s been medically proven that having a sunnier disposition, has a positive effect on a person’s health.  Here’s an article on one study: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=laughter-proves-good-medi

The energy you surround yourself with is the energy you exude. So, surround yourself with happy, positive, people who make you laugh…and spread that joy to others. Laughter is the BEST medicine!

“The most wasted of all days is that in which we have not laughed.” ~Nicolas Chamfort” [translated from French]

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.