text CHILE to 20222 or 25383 to donate relief funds and aide for the earthquake ravaged country of Chile!

Chile was hit five days ago by a massive 8.8 earthquake. Half of the country is completely ripped apart including my brother’s wife’s home town. The city of Concepcion got totally demolished.Please help by donating here: text “CHILE” to 20222 or 25383 to donate $10 to Habitat for Humanity or World Vision.The donation is tax deductible and is charged directly to your phone bill.

You can also make donations here by credit or debit card: http://www.bancochile.cl/webchile1/Teleton/index_tarjetas_ex.html

See some arial photos of damage, here: http://www.emol.com/especiales/2010/fotos_AD/terremoto_chile_aereas/index.htm

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April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

In these tough economic times, the financial stress that is put on so many families increases, and in turn puts many children at a raised chance of being abused or neglected, national and state agencies report. The month of April is an chance to gain awareness over national and local efforts taking place to prevent child abuse and how we all have a part to play in helping support families so they feel safe asking for help before a child is abused. Many parents in our country are doing a spectacular job raising and supporting children; however there are families, particularly nowadays with economic imbalance, that are feeling stressors. These families need help to keep children from becoming vulnerable to abuse. Annually, there are 5 million reports of abuse and neglect nationally,” stated Bill McGuire, director of Child Abuse Prevention Services. “One in five children will experience some form of abuse or neglect, and half of them will be younger than 6 years old” Acknowledging the staggering rate at which children continued to be abused and neglected and the demand for programs to prevent child abuse and help parents and families affected by maltreatment, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives decided that the week of June 6-12, 1982, should be assigned as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week, and the following year, April was declared the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

2009 is also the 50th anniversary of the child abuse advocacy group, Childhelp,  click to visit Childhelp.org and learn how you can help., or if you need report a case of child abuse you may call the national child abuse hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

For even more on helping to fight child abuse, click here.

VOLUNTEER. HELP YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY BECOME A BETTER PLACE.

FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO DONATE YOUR FREE TIME TO IMPROVING YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY, VISIT VOLUNTEERMATCH.org OR ANY OF THESE GREAT SITES.  HAPPY HELPING!!!!!  🙂

Given so much, time to give back.

So, the boy came with no hitches and so far so good. Having a son really makes you reflect on your place in the world and changes how you see yourself. It is one thing to leave home and graduate college and get a job and get married, but it is something entirely different and more important to have a child. It is the true gateway to “real manhood,” in my opinion. It has me thinking a lot more about my local community and how I can start to participate more. My new hobby is looking for community service opportunities and getting to know and understand the local institutions. I think we could all benefit from worrying less about national and international news and focusing more energy on getting to know our local community and it’s needs.

boy scout logoOne organization that I am sure always needs volunteer help and that really helps a community is the Boy Scouts of America. Though I certainly did not fully appreciate it at the time, Boy Scouts gave me countless opportunities to test myself and learn to be an effective leader and follower and about how to be a good man. With that thought in mind, I looked up the local boyscout district and found this great website for West Tennessee Boyscout troops and their ongoing scheduled events.