I was on the road out and about in the Community over the last number of weeks. I decided to begin headlining my 600th Post with an image of this young man who created a skateboard to encourage people to dream--he is a local orange county young man who was at the Orange County 5th District Disaster Preparedness Expo--and won on Shark Tank!! It is just simply one example of what is truly possible if one puts their mind and embraces upon the Art of the Possible!!! What was also so crucial to note was how we as a community, as a country and as a World must truly embrace the need to be prepared no matter what as it seems the focus on our climate is not as critical as it should be:
I have been reflecting upon why I began this journey over the last number of weeks. As I have written before, what led me to take to the web was to do what I could to make a difference by thinking about our World in a different way--whether it was the war in Iraq, the predicament in Zimbabwe or the plight of the less fortunate here in America-- It has been quite a journey with stumbles every step of the way. At times, I have wondered whether this journey is actually worth it as the thoughts I have written gets lost in the maze of the billions of websites out there and of course the labor of love I have had a hand in developing and nuturing--the Daily Outsider and how it has evolved. But the urge to serve and make a difference is something that continues to keep me motivated.
This month has been especially momentous in more ways than one. I reflected upon it recently note I drafted for Purdue Global for the Annual Virtual Serve-A-Thon:
I have had the pleasure to serve on the Pantry Staff at my Local Catholic Parish for the past 4 years. Over the past 4 years, I have seen a growth in the number of clients we serve which continues to be tragic and irritating to be witness to. What gives me continued hope, though is what I see at the grassroots level to solve it. As an agency of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, we are at the forefront of this work in collaboration with Second Harvest.
Hunger is a profound problem in our world and in our Country. I have seen estimates of an estimated 42 million people in the United States who are considered food insecure. In Orange County, California the figure is around an estimated 301,000 People--116,000 of them are children. I joined Second Harvest’s 35th Anniversary Open House and what they noted in how many meals they helped serve through the network of 190 agencies blew me away: 25 million. This can’t be possible unless there is a commitment by the community, by leading community partners (including Starbucks, Kroeger and
Walmart) to make it all possible. Please enjoy this Visual Essay of my visit
(and if you pay close attention, you may see someone familiar): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaodhsYbxik
My Service adventure continued later on with My 24 hours of the Virtual Serve-A-Thon as it began with helping to "staff" the annual fundraiser for Our Fathers' Table (where I serve as an OFT Angel) whereby we helped raise funds for the mission of ending homelessness. It continued as I attended the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee Meeting (where I serve as a member) as we gear up for a tribute to the military and thereafter culminating in joining the Aliso Niguel HIgh School PTSA meeting where I serve as a co-chair of the Teacher Mini-Grants Committee whereby we approved a little over $ 7,000 in grants for our teachers. I produced a Visual Essay of it all here: https://animoto.com/play/Pxolt1w5Qx6uBMHyYvFUbA
I continue to firmly believe that everyone can do what they can to make a difference through donations, spearheading food drives or volunteering at their local food drives. May we all be witness to the day that no one goes hungry in our midst.
Earlier today while on the road, I had a chance to confer with an Army Veteran. She was a retired nurse who was suffering from PTSD. She recounted how she lost so many of the kids she could not save. It stuck a cord in that whatever challenges one may have-and I have had a few continuing to be supportive of the evolution of The Daily Outsider and dealing with challenges just like any ordinary face, I continue to remain hopeful about our World. This is spite of what I have read daily on the Migrant Caravan, what we were witness to in America in the aftermath of an assassination attempt of Major Democratic Party Figures in the United States--including two Ex-Presidents. Although the facts are not known yet as I write this, I am prepared to call it an attempted assassination--had it not been for the security procedures in place. If in fact--as the right claims, it was a hoax, whomever did it must still be held to account. As Former President George W. Bush so eloquently noted, terrorists have to be right once--and Words matters. I hope that President Trump understands that. Unfortunately, indications are that he does not.
I have also been horrified by what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. His son and Uncle were apparently ushered into a meeting with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad. What was good news, though, was that their travel ban was lifted and they were able to leave Saudi Arabia. and the aftermath of the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi. This is also as I continue to see horrifying reports out of Iran as arbitary arrests continue of teachers, environmentalists and students with no end in sight. As I write this, the Migrant Caravan hit Mexico and this by Stuart Ramsey of Sky News was horrifying to say the least that dispels many of the notions that was noted by the President over the past number of weeks.
As I finish these thoughts off in between commitments, I remain thankful beyond words as I am safe, my child is safe and my family is safe. I am sure, as Vala Afshar noted so beautifully, this Father who was giving his children a bath in War Torn Syria, would give anything to have whatever challenges I or many in my shoes may have:
It will be a challenging November as I will have the privilege once again to serve as a Deputy Registrar serving in the upcoming Mid-Term Elections to be witness to Democracy in Action. This is as the Team at the Daily Outsider will be dark in the properties--although the Daily Outsider Corner at Google will have periodic updates along with the curated Daily Twitter Feed. I look forward to reflecting upon the Elections and what to expect as I wish all in the United States a Happy Halloween and a fabulous November Ahead!!