Faith, Love and Respect for ALL

Archive for May, 2013

Why Help a Stranger

Every time there is a devastating event in our country, there seems to be two extremes among people. You have those who jump right in and give 110% to help; and then you have those who cannot fathom helping strangers. Thankfully, most of America seems to be somewhere in between these two extremes, which allows us to come together and help people in need nationwide, when they need it the most.

The most recent natural disaster in the United States left thousands homeless in Oklahoma.   Normally I would not get involved beyond praying, because we live paycheck to paycheck, and there never seems to be enough money for things around here. Then I realized something: waiting to have enough money/time to help those in need, is just like waiting to have enough money to have children; if you wait until you have enough you will never do it, because there never seems to be enough these days. You do what you can, and you have pride that you did something from the heart, simply to help someone in need.

Mary Carroll, who is an amazing inspiration, just returned from a supply run to Oklahoma where she met and helped many extraordinary people, puts it perfectly:

I’m really touched and thankful for all the messages of encouragement I’ve received the past few days. But truthfully, I am not anything but an AMERICAN that believes that in time of need we have to take care of each other. We have a badass military that will go all over the world to ensure our safety, but when disaster happens here, it’s the responsibility of every one of us to look after our AMERICAN brothers and sisters. Not everyone can get up and go, with no notice, to assist physically, but everybody can do SOMETHING. From donating a couple cases of water or food, throwing in $20 for gas, sending a mom some diapers, and DONATING BLOOD. It may seem like just a small contribution, but if everybody did the smallest thing, collectively we can make something really big happen for some people that lost absolutely everything.

The people affected by the storms and tornadoes in Oklahoma have lost their homes, and many of the day-to-day essentials, which most of us tend to take for granted. They may have lost all their material possessions, but they are survivors and have an abundance of faith. Even as they sit amongst the rubble of their communities, they are filled with an appreciation for the simple things in life and a willingness to help their neighbors; which matches nothing most of us have ever witnessed. Mary reported one day: The hospitality and graciousness of these OK people is second to none.”

If you think you cannot make a difference, please know that you can, and it does not have to be a grand gesture. You can pray, share resources such as donation sites, donate $1 or $5, collect items needed, etc… It is not about the quantity of help, but the quality of love behind it. In the words of one resident from Oklahoma City: “How much can you thank somebody? The generosity is unbelievable and it just brings you to tears to know so many people care. We are just thankful we are alive.”

This is why we choose to help strangers, because it is simply the right thing to do; and it reminds us that every little bit of positive, loving energy we put out into the world helps perpetuate the change we want to see in the world.

Oklahoma Relief Run

If you would like to help, please visit Oklahoma Relief Run on FaceBook, or you can make monetary donations on their site at GoGetFunding.

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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TAWL ~ Oklahoma Recovery Project

tawl ok project list

To Autism With Love is doing what they do best, they are helping families in need.  One of their admins lives very close to the devastation caused by storms and tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma.  She has committed to helping those effected by the storms and their path of destruction.  As part of their Oklahoma Recovery Project, TAWL is requesting assistance to collect desperately needed items to aide families who are displaced by the storms.

Normally, I am not one to volunteer or jump in to offer help, because our life is not conducive to such things. Every time I have attempted to organize or assist in something to benefit others, I have had to back out before completion, and end up feeling like I failed everyone. I vow to make this time different, and I will complete the task, because the families in Oklahoma deserve it!

Fortunately, there is already an extraordinary group of people in Chicago, who go out and help those in need after natural disasters. They left for their first run to Moore today, but will be back to collect more donations before leaving again on June 10th to return to Oklahoma and deliver fresh supplies. They have agreed to take all that I can collect, on their next trip.

The group here in Chicago, as well as TAWL and all their supporters, are truly Angels who walk among us. Please help them give the gift of love, support and hope to the many families living amongst devastation.  If you are in the Chicagoland area, I am willing to pick up donations, and deliver them to this wonderful group, before they head out for their second run. I will need all donations by Friday June 7th, so that I can deliver them on Saturday June 8th. You can contact me at Jest_Tu_Positive@yahoo.com or via our FaceBook page.

If you are not in the Chicagoland area, but would like to donate items or funds, please visit TAWL’s Website or FaceBook Page. Also, if you are a page admin and would like to get involved with TAWL’s efforts, please contact them at tawlawarenessproject@gmail.com.

Also The Oklahoma Relief Run crew is in desperate need of gas cards. They are hoping to take several trucks on the June 10th run, which will require thousands of dollars in gas to get them there and back, while helping with clean-up efforts. **Fundraising link is live**

May God bless all those affected by the destruction in Oklahoma. May His Angels watch over and guide all the wonderful people who are willing to help these families rebuild their lives; and move forward surrounded by love, support and hope.

tawl ok project

**Additional Note: Donations of gently used clothing will also be accepted. Please wash it before donating, and I will gladly come pick it up.**

***Link added for Oklahoma Relief Run, the group from Chicago who will be delivering items from all the generous people in the Chicagoland area.***

 

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Prayers and Love Nationwide

The past week was filled with immense tragedy for the Autistic community. Three children, Mikaela Lynch (age 9) in California, Owen Black (age 7) in Florida, and Drew Howell (age 2) in Ohio, died due to wandering and subsequent drowning. As their devastated families try to come to terms with their tremendous loss, there have been many ignorant people who dare to cast blame on them, and it is sickening. My heart is heavy with sadness for the loss of three young lives; and it is filled with outrage for those who carelessly judge what they cannot know and do not understand. Today I am joining hundreds of other bloggers to support these families by showering them with prayers and love via cyberspace.

 

Rest In Peace Sweet Angels * Mikaela Lynch * Owen Black *  Drew Howell

As a parent of an Autistic child, who is a wanderer, I know the terror you feel when you realize your child has slipped away. We have had several close calls with Beth in the past 2 years. I have learned the hard way that I cannot control people, places, or things; therefore, I do the best I can and pray that it is enough to keep her and Anne safe. Although, I have stopped blaming myself for past events, I relive each one of our close calls every time I hear of other families who were not as fortunate. I grieve for all the wonderful parents who have seen their worst nightmare come to life. In the blink of an eye, any of us could lose our child due to wandering/elopement and the dangers they face while out of our care.

For the Lynch, Black, and Howell families that is exactly what happened, in less than 30 seconds, their lives were forever changed in the most tragic of ways. They are NOT bad parents; they are NOT inattentive parents! They are humans, who did all that was in their power to keep their children safe. They LOVE their children, and probably blame themselves for the horrible accident that took them from this world, even though they are NOT to blame in anyway. They lost their Autistic Angels under the worst of circumstances, and are grieving their loss in ways that most us will never know or fully understand.

 

 

Please keep this in mind when you share and comment on posts regarding them and their Angels. Please attempt to put yourself in their place, and imagine how you would feel, then decide what you want to share. A general rule of thumb I use is the acronym THINK (T – Is it Thoughtful? H – Is it Honest? I – Is it Intelligent? N – Is it Necessary? K – Is it Kind?). If I can answer Yes to all those questions, then I hit submit/share; if the answer to just one is No, then I must step away and pray for guidance before I put my thoughts out in cyberspace. I am pleading with you to stop the spreading of cruel misinformation and judgment, instead help spread love and support for families in crisis. Please keep the Lynch, Black, and Howell families in your prayers today and in the future months. May Angels surround them in love and light as they grieve; and bring them hope that tomorrow it will hurt a little less.

 

 

If you would like to read some of the other wonderful posts that are part of An Outpouring of Love for the Mikaela Lynch Family, please visit the ever growing list of  amazing, informative  and touching blog posts.

If you would like more information about wandering/elopement and how to help keep the Autistic children in your community a little safer, please visit theNational Autism Association and the AWAARE Collaboration.

 

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Water Danger for Autistics

Water Danger for Autistics;  **The background image is property of Lindsey Schultz, who graciously granted permission for use to Jest_Tu_Positive.**

Another sobering statistic from National Autism Association: “Roughly half, or 48%, of children with an ASD attempt to elope from a safe environment, a rate nearly four times higher than their unaffected siblings.”

Autistic individuals are drawn to water. Parents of Autistic children do all they can to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, our kids have the ability to figure a way around almost every safeguard, and it only takes a few seconds for a child to disappear. Once they are on their own they follow whatever catches their interest, which usually leads them to water and danger. Please do not judge or attack the broken-hearted parents who just lost their beloved child.

Praying for the Lynch, Black and Howell families as they mourn Mikaela, Owen, and Drew; may they find solace in their loved ones, and know that the Autistic community is sending them love and support during this tragic time.

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Graduation 2013

On May 17, 2013 my husband will graduate college with an Associates of Applied Science degree and an Associates of Art degree, both in Criminal Justice. He started his College journey a month before his 18th birthday, and he will be 31years old when he graduates. It has been a long road for him, laden with countless obstacles and many scenic routes. He has been discouraged, felt like a failure, and assumed he could not do it; however, he yearned to finish college and obtain a degree. Eventually he found his courage, began to feel successful, and determined that he could do it; and now he is graduating with not one, but two degrees.

The last few semesters have not been easy; honestly, they were more difficult than we ever imagined. Being a father of 2 young children (one with Special Needs), working 40+ hours a week to support our family, and going to school proved to be quite the challenge. However if there is one thing I know about my husband, it is that he ALWAYS rises to a challenge and finds a way to CONQUER it.

On Friday evening I will watch him graduate; while taking lots of pictures to show our girls what an AMAZING man their daddy is. I am so very PROUD of him and all that he has accomplished. He is showing our girls that when you have a dream, you should pursue it until you have achieved your goal. He is teaching our girls that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to fulfill your dreams; what matters is that you do it with integrity, and in a manner of which you can be proud. He is proving to our girls that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE, with determination and hard-work; which is truly one the GREATEST gifts a parent can give a child.

CONGRATULATIONS to my Husband, who overcame his doubts and fears, and is obtaining his degrees in 2013.  This is a GREAT year for you, and a major building block in the foundation of our life. You are an AMAZING inspiration, and a source of tremendous PRIDE to many! Our girls are truly BLESSED to have such a wonderful, hard-working father who embraces dreams and turns them into reality. Our family will achieve many EXTRAORDINARY things in life, because you will always be there to help us make our dreams come true. Thank You for all that you are, and all that you do! I LOVE YOU!

Graduation 2013

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Mother’s Day 2013

As Mother’s day has approached, I have seen people speak out about things that others have said which hurt them, on what should be a joyous day of celebration. Mother’s Day tends to pigeon hole the definition of a Mother and what people consider a traditional family.

In this day and age, the term Mother applies to so many, who touch a child’s life. There are a variety of Mothers in the world, and some children are fortunate to have several Mother figures in their life. Traditionally Mother’s Day is only thought of in terms of celebrating birth Moms, but there are so many more Moms out there who deserve recognition for the unconditional love, support and direction they provide in a child’s life. So I decided to make a list of all the people I see as “Mothers.”

Birth Moms

Adoptive Moms

Step-Moms

Foster Moms

Grandmas

Aunts

Cousins

Older Sisters

God-Mothers

Caregivers

Teachers

Doctors

Nurses

Therapists

Another part of our beautifully diverse world is that the family unit can be made up of so many different dynamics. So here is my list of lovely families I see celebrating Mother’s Day:

 Moms who live with Dads, and their children

 Moms who are single, and are therefore both Mom and Dad to their children

 Moms who live with Moms, and their children

 Dads who are single, and are therefore both Mom and Dad to their children

 Dads who live with Dads, and their children

 Grandparents raising their grandchildren

 Aunts raising their relative’s children

 Cousins raising their relative’s children

 Older Siblings raising their younger siblings

 Godparents raising their Godchildren

 Caregivers at Orphanages and Group Homes raising children

 Foster families who provide a safe place for children until they find their forever home

 Families who rescue children through adoption

 Teachers and Therapists who form special bonds with children and love them as their own

 Doctors and Nurses who care for and bond with children who need them

However your family unit looks, and whatever type of Mother you are, I wish you a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Take pride in the fact that you make a child’s world brighter and better just by being you. In the words of Rudyard Kipling: “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”

May your day be filled with many blessings, much love, and endless laughter as you celebrate being a Mother to the future generation.

Happy Mother's Day Rainbow Heart

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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