Category Archives: family

Holiday and Every day kindness

Something easy we all can do is give a gift to everyone you meet. I’m not talking about a formal, wrapped-up present. Your gift can be your smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, a gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod. And never pass beggars without leaving them something. Peace of mind is worth the spare change.

Happy Holidays to one and all and many blessings in the New Year!

Random Acts of Kindness Day celebrated worldwide Feb 17

February 17, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness Day is the name of an unofficial holiday increasingly celebrated around the world on February 17 in order to encourage acts of kindness.

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, just smile at some passers by, look people directly in the eye when talking to them, give people some extra time to listen to actually how they are, help a coworker, take a friend to lunch, pay for a stranger’s bus ride or toll……

smile

These are just a few examples of simple little things to do today that could change someone’s life forever. And science has shown that it will change yours too!

Research shows that there are strong links between random acts of kindness and improvements in the health of people, so do not forget to do something kind today.

Post what random act of kindness you did today in the comments section! I want to hear from you!

Valentine’s Day – Go out and spread the love

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all mushy romance. While that’s certainly the traditional meaning in many cultures – it can just be a day to really celebrate Love. To connect with the special people in your life and really let them know how much they mean to you.

I’m a big believer in “as within, so without.” When we have peace, joy, love and harmony inside – that’s what we put out into the world at large. And it makes a difference. A BIG difference. You can make a difference to someone.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons I really love social media so much. We have a chance to connect with people all over world and let some folks know that they are not alone.

If you see someone today, give them the gift of your full attention – if even for a brief moment. A genuine smile and eye contact can make a person’s day — you’ll see them suddenly light up, because they’ve really been seen!

When you see someone in a store, restaurant, at the checkout, or you’re passing by a colleague today, really see the person and connect from the heart.

I truly hope this is a magical and special day for you and others around you that you impact!

heart

Act 158 – Spread the Holiday cheer

Thursday, December 8, 2011, Act 158

If you’re cash-strapped, that doesn’t mean you can’t help others this holiday season.  Here are a few Web sites where you can give without a lot of green.

GoodShop.com & GiveClicks.com:  These sites donate a portion of proceeds to charity as you shop.

IDoFoundation.org:  Helps couples create gift registries, invitations and party favors that benefit charitable groups.

Soles4Souls.org:  Distributes shoes to poor and the disaster-struck around the world.

StuffedAnimalsForEmergencies.org & LovingHugs.org:  Gives your gently-used stuffed animals to children in need.

HandsOnNetwork.org & VolunteerMatch.org:  Pair you with local volunteer needs.

Act 157 – Babysitting cats

Tuesday, May 31, 2011, Act 157.

Yes it is true, people will do anything for their pets. Last night with the summer heat coming out in full force. My wife and I noticed some ants were making their way into our kitchen through the sliding glass door.

the cats

 

 

I had been out two days before spraying continuously around the back of the house, the sliding glass door, and all windows. But those suckers were still getting in. I reasoned that I couldn’t just spray all over the kitchen because of our two cats, their food, and their healthy well being. So we strategized what to do.

I figured we had to spray the ant kill inside to end this pestering. So we took the cats downstairs and locked the downstairs door to keep them away from the drop zone of spraying. I then continued to spray around the door inside, the floor in front of the door, the cabinet corner, and below the cabinets where little insect critters would try to hide. I felt comfortable spraying the insect killer because the cats were well away out of harms way.

After the spraying session, it had to dry before the animals could come back up stairs. I didn’t want them locked down in the basement alone, I mean they might get bored or something. Or worse tear up something down there.  So I spent the next two hours down in the basement babysitting the cats. They sure are a crazy animal. I enjoyed watching them, playing, and learning more about how they act (good and bad)!

Hopefully no more ants……

A boy and his goat

This was an act of kindness that was recognized in the West Virginia newspapers.

By Gary A. Harki

The 4-year-old who lost his pet pygmy goat after police found it dead in his neighbor’s bedroom now has a new goat, thanks to two New Yorkers originally from West Virginia.

Mark Taunquin and his wife, Laura Schmidt, read the news story and contacted the Gazette about getting in touch with Lisa Powers and her grandson, Morgan Powers.

Pigmy goat

“We thought about how funny and wonderful it would be to grow up with a pet pygmy goat and how awful it’d be to lose it in such a senseless and cruel manner,” Taunquin wrote in an email.

“So instead of being bummed out about it, we decided to give the family the money to buy another one. We just hope Lisa’s grandson has as much fun with his new goat as he did with Bailey.”

Mark Thompson, 19, of Greenview Road, is charged with animal cruelty after police got a call from the Powers family claiming he stole their goat, which was named Bailey after a female character on the Disney Channel television show “The Suite Life on Deck,” at about 3:15 a.m. on May 2.

When police came to look for clues as to how the boy’s goat ended up dead in his neighbor’s bedroom, Lisa Powers said she knew she couldn’t tell him what happened.

Lisa Powers said she was very grateful for the $150 sent by Taunquin and Schmidt for the new goat.

“My grandson was heartbroken when the little one was gone,” she said of the goat. “We started calling around … It was really hard to find a goat.”

But by Saturday, the Powers family had found Trixie, their new pygmy goat that they bought from a farm in Putnam County. It was already named and fully grown, Lisa Powers said.

“He’s a little afraid of her sometimes. He’s not sure about her horns,” Lisa Powers said of her grandson.

On Monday at the family’s farm near Alum Creek, Morgan Powers fed the goat and talked about how he thinks it got its name.

“They call it Trixie because it trips you all the time,” he said.

Taunquin and Schmidt, who now live in Brooklyn, both have family in the Charleston area.

“I realize that won’t resolve the trauma they’ve suffered, but it really breaks our hearts that this kid lost a pet and all everyone seems to be focusing on is the dark absurdity of Mark Thompson’s grotesque crime,” Taunquin said.

Prosecutors are still looking into Thompson’s actions with the goat, said Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants.

A preliminary hearing in the case was postponed at Thompson’s lawyer’s request so that Thompson can have a psychological evaluation, Plants said.

Thompson remains in jail on a $50,000 surety bond.

Powers’ nephew, Joshua Pollis, and two women went to Thompson’s house on May 2 after getting a call that he had the goat. They say they found him wearing a bra and panties, standing over the dead goat with his pants down and blood all over the floor.

When police entered the house after being called to the scene, they found fresh blood near the front door of the bedroom and in Thompson’s bedroom. Inside the bedroom police found the small gray-and-white goat wearing a pink collar lying dead on the floor, blood coming from its neck, according to the criminal complaint filed against Thompson in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. There was a pornographic magazine photo laying a few feet from the goat, according to the complaint.

Thompson was found several hours later after police searched the house and the surrounding woods.

Thompson allegedly told police he was high on bath salts, a synthetic drug that mimics the symptoms of cocaine and can cause hallucinations, for about three days. The goat was taken to a veterinarian for a necropsy.

Plants declined to disclose the results of the goat’s examination.

“At this point all possible charges are being investigated, including larceny of a goat and animal cruelty for sexual assault,” Plants said.

Lisa Powers said she’s very thankful to the police, Taunquin and Schmidt, and everyone who helped the family since Bailey was killed.

“There’s still kindness in this world,” she said.

Reach Gary Harki at gharki@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.

Kindness knows no bounds

This is a blog article from a good friend of mine. It talks about her experience when she was the Public Information Officer on site during the Sago Mine Disaster. This post was published on the 1 year Anniversary of the Sago incident:

The first time I saw the 29 crosses lined across a stage I froze. Not one represented anyone I knew personally, but each represented the families I had spent five, long agonizing days with a couple of weeks prior.  When I saw the same scene repeat itself again on the one year anniversary I was immediately taken back to the events that took place that horrible week.

At the time of the April 5, 2010, mine blast I was the public information officer for West Virginia’s Mine Safety Office. I can’t tell you what time I received the first call, but I can tell you that it set the stage for what was to come – life changing news that no one was prepared for.

The drive to the mine site was long. Longer because the loss of cell service isolated me from what was going on. Even the director of mine safety couldn’t get updates as we made our way to the scene. I don’t know how one can prepare for something like this. I had been with the mine safety office for about two years at the time of this accident, and had to deal with many mine accidents that involved the loss of life. But this was the first time I had actually been onsite at the place of an accident. I knew what my role was, but those responsibilities where momentarily overshadowed by the events unfolding around me, as they would a few times during that week.

The first night the governor met with the families. I couldn’t help but study their faces. I wanted to know their stories. I wanted to know more about their loved ones buried deep inside that West Virginia mountain. I wanted to comfort them and make it all better.

Throughout the week I got the privilege of meeting some of those family members. I listened to them talk about their husbands, fathers, uncles, and brothers. I even watched how some braved the media to tell their stories. I grew in awe of their resilience and held out just as much hope as they did that we would bring survivors to the surface.

When the governor broke the news that the miracle we had been praying for didn’t happen, I painfully watched as grown men sobbed like babies and adult women screamed for their daddies. I had heard the news prior to the governor’s announcement, but it wasn’t until that moment, to witness these reactions, that the realness of this event hit me.  And for the first time that week, I cried.

The first memorial service reopened the fresh wounds and memories of this nightmare. I wore my emotions on my sleeve, unable to hide the pain I felt for the families who suffered great loss. For me, the most emotional part of the ceremony was watching the team of miners I recruited turn on the lights of each hat one by one. These brave men took great pride in this task, but I know their hearts were heavy with sorrow. I can not imagine the pain that the miners’ families went through reliving those painful memories. Because as I sat recounting memories and precious stories of miners long lost, my heart was broken all over again.

Even though one year’s time has passed, many are still grieving. The losses can never be replaced. But as West Virginia pride is rooted in each of us, we continue to move forward. West Virginia pride and passion for a job well done and an honest day’s work is the comfort most in the coalfields seek. West Virginians will never forget, but will move forward into the future because we’re too proud and maybe just too dedicated to do otherwise.

written by Jama Jarrett,
jama.jarrett@charlestonwv.com