Snip snip… snip!

locks 1I have wanted to donate to Locks of Love for 10 years. I remember my first year of college, learning about Locks of Love, chopping off all my hair, and then … having had long hair for as long as I remembered, I was oddly attached to my tresses and didn’t donate them! (This is the first time I’ve admitted this to anyone, and no, I’m not proud of it.)

Several years later, one of my favorite people on the planet donated her locks … and later still, my little cousins donated too!! I feel genuinely lucky to know such generous, loving people… and finally, in some small way, I feel can now join their ranks!

locks 2

I feel lighter, cooler in the LA heat, a little sassy, and, I feel good. Donating is as easy as it could be, snip, print and fill out a super simple donation form, and send it on in!
Cutting off my hair was a huge decision, I was SO nervous my best friends were all on standby for disaster relief … and I was doing it voluntarily.
When I thought of the kids that my hair might go to, and that they don’t have a choice, that they don’t have the dilemma of how to style what’s left once their hair is gone … that there may not be anything left to style at all… I felt silly, and it made the whole process more real for me … but, this post is not about me. It’s about doing something good.

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If a 7th grader can do it…

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 3.24.29 PMI remembered myself in 7th grade: a latch-key kid, trudging home, and hitting the couch with my back pack and snacks for an hour+ of homework. I was reading Seventeen and starting at a new school. … not so much thinking about getting out and volunteering.

 

When I came across this article, I was thrilled!

As Blake Kernan, a 7th grader from New Jersey so eloquently points out:
It’s fun and it’s free. The fun part is that you will do something that truly
interests you. Maybe animals are your thing, then volunteer at an animal shelter, or cooking, then head to your local soup kitchen. It can be anything — even helping out your neighbors with errands that they can’t do on their own. Identify what you really like to do, and there’s a pretty good chance that some organization associated with your interests is going to want your help. And if practicing your cooking skills at a soup kitchen is what you want to do, or learning how to bathe a ferret at an animal shelter (yes, I’ve done this), you can get all the practice you want for free.”

As I mentioned last week, I work at a school.
One of my jobs at the school is to coordinate our high schoolers’ Service Learning (community service) hours.
It’s not always easy … If only I could have Blake talk some sense into them:
“Volunteering can have an enormous impact on the volunteer also. Research shows that students who volunteer have improved reading, math, science and history scores. Also, students who volunteer are 19 percent more likely to graduate from college than those that don’t.
Who knows if more students at my school will sign up to do community service next year — it may not be for everybody. But until you try you’ll never know.”

Kids these days … they’re amazing.

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Best Smile, Biggest Gossip, and Cutest Couple

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 2.35.44 PMI work at a school, and the murmurings of this year’s yearbook winners are all over campus.
So-and-so won most likely to succeed – yawn.
What’s-his-face won biggest gossip – SHAME!
Who’s-it won best smile – boooooriiiiiing.
THEY won cutest couple – aaaawwwww…..

Really it’s all terribly boring as an adult. There’s nothing like THIS happening on my campus, but I’m warmed and reassured to know that high school students around the country are accepting themselves and one another in ways that would have been too hard for some of my classmates to understand just ten years ago.

 

Congrats to the Grads out there!
and here’s to love, in it’s many varied and beautiful forms!

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Street Art and Discourse

IMG_2427For the past couple of years I’ve lived in Echo Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles that has long had the reputation of being “ghetto” apparently.

Echo Park lake is almost through it’s rehabilitation, houses are being restored (like everywhere these days), gardens are being landscaped and restaurants, boutiques and bars are popping up left and right, and street art is finding its place as well…

Some call it development, others call it “gentrification” and it’s not necessarily positive for everyone concerned.
IMG_2426A few weeks ago, I noticed a guy on a ladder painting a mural. He was there all weekend and on into the week, and when the mural was gone, so was he and the next day “development = gentrification” was scrawled across the length of the piece in black spray paint.
The guy came back, fixed his mural and was gone again that night. Just as quickly the black spray paint was back. . .

This time, a small white box appeared to the right of the mural. The artist left his name and email address and a note inviting people to contact him if they wanted to talk about the piece. . . For days the black paint remained and the quiet invitation did too.

Finally, a little disappointed, I walked to the mural to maybe get the email address, maybe just stop and look … and to my pleasant surprise I realized that the black had now been incorporated into the piece, and the email was gone, only now there is a note: IMG_2425

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Wo Ai Ni

I spent several awe inspiring weeks in China a few years back – and of the little mandarin I picked up while I was there, I remember this phrase: wo ai ni “I love you” (Please, forgive my terrible pin yin.)

This story brought tears to my eyes, at my desk, in my office with my colleagues. I’m an emotional person, but this is an amazing story.

An 88 year old woman, has spent her entire career collecting and sorting recyclables and trash, and in the process has saved and cared for over 30 babies from the garbage.

amazing graceShe reminds me of my mother and of the good that people are capable of. Let’s all be reminded and thankful for  such goodness.

Enjoy your weekend.

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Post Revolutionary Egypt – of, by, and for the people

The first phrase of this New York Times report says it all to me:
“The telltale signs in post-revolutionary Egypt are not just the riots and rapes, the
mega-traffic snarls and sectarian battles. There is also the highway ramp in Ard El
Lewa. …”

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 11.14.06 AM

The NY Times journalist covering the story is clear, she’s not indicating that this kind of initiative on the part of the people is good, or bad … I’d be intersted to hear what you think.

I’d venture to say that it’s good … if not right now, in the long run at least. Perhaps with the people taking matters of establishing infrastructure into their own hands, officials will be obliged to follow suit and get to work themselves.

Who knows – maybe it’s not safe, maybe it’s not sustainable, but hopefully this will amount to something good for the people of Egypt and their sense of community and self worth.

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They can achieve greatness.

As I’ve mentioned before, empowering the youngest of our global citizens is critical. Impressionable young minds crave information, guidance and fun!

I spotted this on my facebook feed today and it gave me pause.


I thought: what if little girls wanted to be Amelia Earhart instead of Cinderella and little boys were fascinated with Martin Luther King Jr instead of Harry Potter? What if in my dress-up trunk growing up I had goggles, stethoscopes or UN helmets?!

Let’s encourage our kids to dream about the greatness of reality and what they can become as well as the fun of fantasy, princesses and sorcerers.

Just a thought…

(Thanks, laughing squid and my sweet cousin for putting this out there and sharing!)

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