Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Neighbors

Last night I was watching the evening news and saw that homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth will be able to get modified loans from their banks, with the government’s help. Banks would only get a portion repaid, but that’s better than having to foreclose, which would get them nothing and put another family out on the streets. That sounds good to me, but some homeowners who have been able to make their mortgage payments are upset about this, saying it’s not fair. While I do understand their point of view, I disagree.

If my block is full of empty, foreclosed homes, my property values go down, so keeping families in their homes helps me, even if I’m not one of those families. Banks are stronger because they’re able to recover more of their funds this way than if they foreclosed, and it just might be my bank that doesn’t fail because they did this. What happens to these families makes a difference to me.

Last night I also watched “Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC. This is the show Lisa Kudrow is producing about celebrities tracing their family history. I confess that I’m a sucker for shows like this. I was a history major in college and I love anything that makes us feel more connected to the history we’ve only read about in books. We often discover that we are more connected to each other than we may have thought because of the history we have in common.

If it is true that we are connected by our common history…if it is true that my present impacts your present…then maybe we should consider that as we make decisions about our future.

I have a stake in your success, whether we’re talking about health care or home loans.

Jesus said “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 19:19)

Makes sense to me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Doing The Math...

Have I mentioned that I really don't like math? It's like there's a hole in my head where the numbers were supposed to go. Never had a math class I enjoyed, took the bare minimum required to get out of high school and college and never looked back.

I'm sure my old math teachers were spinning in their graves years later when I was standing in a darkroom trying to calculate the adjustment required in development times to compensate for the fact that the "cold" Texas tap water in summer is quite a few degrees warmer than the directions given for processing black & white film. (I worked as a freelance photographer and darkroom technician in a former life.) And they probably did it again when I was at a fabric store trying to figure out how many 2 1/4 inch squares could be cut from a yard of fabric so I could finish making a quilt, too.

Recently, when announcing an end to my fund raiser for Doctors Without Borders, I was tweeting frantically as matching pledges were coming in, trying to make notes as I went along and keep track of it all. Apparently, I didn't do a very good job, particularly where the math was concerned. Did I mention that I didn't have a calculator handy?

At any rate, the bottom line (ugh - math anology!) is that instead of bringing in $915 as I announced on Twitter and in this blog and on Facebook, what we actually ended up with was only $799.50. I just jotted something down in two different places and then added it up twice and...well, I'll spare you the details. I trust that everything was donated to Doctors Without Borders as pledged, I just didn't add it up right.

So here's what I'm going to do. First, I apologize for any confusion and resulting disappointment that the number is a bit lower than I had hoped. Second, I'm going to donate another $20.50 myself so we end up with a nice even total of $820.00.

Now, having said all that...if anybody else out there wants to make another pledge...I would be happy to add it to that total. Wouldn't it be fun if we could say that soap opera fans gave $1,000....?!

Edited to add:

Please note the comment below from DocT (aka @DrLisaThompson on Twitter) pledging another donation of $80 which now brings our total up to $900!

Anybody else...?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Aude Aliquid Dignum ("Dare Something Worthy")

A few weeks ago I wrote about a friend of mine who went to Haiti with a medical relief team in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. I was inspired to find a way to help and decided to donate my proceeds from my "My Life Is A Soap Opera..." Zazzle products to Doctors Without Borders in her honor.

Since I posted that blog entry I've been tweeting links to those products daily with information about this fund raising effort.

Crystal Chappell was kind enough to show her support by retweeting my links to products featuring her character, Carly Manning, from Days Of Our Lives, one I did for her husband, Michael Sabatino's character, Alan and others. I was also retweeted by Kim Turrisi, Nadia Bjorlin, and other members of Team Venice.

My links were also retweeted by Eden Riegel (ex-Bianca, AMC & new Heather, Y&R), Carolyn Hennessy (Diane, General Hospital), Martha Byrne (ex-Lily, As The World Turns and creator of the webseries Gotham), and Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, General Hospital) and then retweeted by people who follow them on Twitter.

Special thanks to soap opera bloggers We Love Soaps, SoapTown USA, and Soap Opera Network for helping to spread the word, too. And a special shout out to Destini of the Big Purple Dreams message board and for her many retweets in support of this project!

My proceeds for "My Life Is A Soap Opera..." products came to a total of $80 and as I tweeted about that last night I began to get tweets from others who wanted contribute, some with matching donations. Within just a couple of hours, the total amount gathered in this fund raising effort came to $415! If you'd like to see what this money can do, read this.

There were many, many individuals who helped spread the word about this fund raiser on Twitter and other places, too, and I couldn't possibly name them all. I hope that you will accept this collective "Thank you!" from the bottom of my heart! My friend who inspired all of this in the first place is currently unavailable for comment but I can't wait till she hears how it all turned out!*

Stay tuned...maybe I'll do another fund raiser someday!

*My thanks to @drcrusher39 for her sacrifice and service and special thanks also to @DrLisaThompson for who helped encourage this effort from the beginning.

ADDENDUM, 3/20/10

I got the following message from my friend, @drcrusher39 on Twitter, who inspired this fund raiser:

@donnadpool thanks for all your efforts! I made a $500 donation to match. Luv u!

She also mentioned that she's back in Haiti for a while " help a friend." She took her sisters and their husbands with her this time.

Did I mention that she's an amazing lady?

So, that brings the total for this fund raiser to $915.00! Just a few soap opera fans, trying to make a difference in the world!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Making a Difference ...One Soap Viewer At A Time

Time for my report on my fund raiser for Doctors Without Borders! During the month of February the "My Life Is A Soap Opera..." sales totaled $349.35. Now I only get 10-20% of that, since the rest goes to Zazzle for the cost of producing the products themselves. So the total of my proceeds for the month comes to $62.94. I'm going to round that up to $70.00. This may not sound like much money to some of you, but it's $70.00 more than I would have been able to give without your support! And a little bit can go a long way. According to the Doctors Without Borders website, here are some examples of what even small donations can do:

$35 Two high-energy meals a day to 200 children

$50 Vaccinations for 50 people against meningitis, measles, polio or other deadly epidemics

$70 Two basic suture kits to repair minor shrapnel wounds

$100 Infection-fighting antibiotics to treat nearly 40 wounded children

Because Zazzle offers a 30 day return policy, I have to wait until the end of March before the money for these sales is cleared and comes to me a couple of weeks later. But I don't want to wait that long to send it in. I've decided that once I get my next Zazzle paycheck (which is actually for my December sales), on or before March 15th, I'll go ahead and send the donation on to Doctors Without Borders.

So, as long as we're waiting, I'm going to extend my fund raiser those two extra weeks! My proceeds for any "My Life Is A Soap Opera..." items sold through March 15 will be included in this fund raiser! Also, if you're interested in pledging a matching donation, please let me know!

I've added a lot of new items to my Zazzle shop, more of your favorite soap opera characters for all your favorite shows ... including the men, too... and there are more to come, so please keep shopping! Oh, by the way, I do take requests if there's a character or product you want that's not already in my shop.

And a special thank you to all who retweet my links!! I love you!! Feel free to share them with all your friends on Facebook, soap opera messages boards, any where you like!

Who says watching soap operas doesn't make a difference in the world?!

Edited on 3/16/10 to add:

My total now comes to $80! As soon as I tweeted this news, I got another matching pledge to go along with the one you see in the comments here. Then another one came in. And then somebody pledged 10% of the final amount, too! More donations are still coming! I'll continue to tweet about this tonight and in the morning I'll post a new blog entry with the final total!

How about that... just a bunch of soap opera fans, buying some fun stuff about their favorite characters, and Doctors Without Borders is getting over $ far!

(To read my original post about this fund raiser and get the whole story, click here.