Archive for October, 2011
Who said Halloween is just for the kids? Here are a few recipes and party ideas – to add some spooky flair to your weekend.
Set a festive mood with Halloween-themed music. Standbys include Thriller, Monster Mash and the Addams family theme. You can also find some less conventional favorites by checking out “Top 10 Halloween song” lists published by the Washington Post, Paste Magazine and Amazon.
At VoiceQuilt, we’ve been highlighting movies, books and articles about inspirational women as part of our effort to honor National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, I was so inspired by an event last night that I’d like to share a quick story about an inspirational man and his family.
In 1983, oncology surgeon Dr. Arthur S. Booth, Jr., MD, decided that Atlanta needed an in-patient hospice facility. He came to this conclusion after seeing the contrasting lives of two patients at the end of life.
One patient enjoyed his final months making memories and died surrounded by family and friends; the other patient died under very stressful circumstances, alone and in pain.
Seeing what these patients went through changed the course of Arthur’s life. He became committed to the “soft landing and gentle exit” for his family, friends, and patients, but the hospice philosophy was not yet well understood….(Source: Visiting Nurse/Hospice Atlanta Feature, 2011 Iss. 02)
Inspired by this need. Dr. Booth and his family raised money for an in-patient hospice facility known today as Visiting Nurse/Hospice Atlanta. Dr. Booth later served as Medical Director of this facility, recruiting medical talent and providing a vision for quality care at the end of life. After retiring, he and his family stayed involved in fundraising, ensuring that Visiting Nurse/Hospice Atlanta remained one of the leading non-profit hospice and palliative care facilities in the Southeast.
Last night, we donated a VoiceQuilt Keepsake Box created by the Visiting Nurse/Hospice Atlanta community for Dr. Booth and his family. There were over 35 minutes of heartfelt toasts, tributes and favorite memories. We invite you to listen to the first VoiceQuilt message here – to get a sense for how a family with vision can touch the lives of others.
I’m attending Stanford Business School’s Social Innovator Showcase today. The event will celebrate a subset of graduates who have worked in non-profits or have created social enterprise firms. Many have achieved impressive results by creating partnerships with non-profits, corporations and government.
At VoiceQuilt, we’re focused on helping families celebrate a loved one with voice-based toasts, tributes and favorite memories. Although we’re traditionally focused on happy events, we know that VoiceQuilt messages can be a powerful tool for families under stress – either because a loved one is sick or deployed overseas. A playlist of favorite memories, encouraging words and music reminds a deployed soldier that they are not forgotten. The VoiceQuilt becomes a virtual cheering squad, an emotional reminder of how much a soldier is loved, appreciated and missed.
Similarly, “Get well” VoiceQuilts provide comfort to those in pain. Some are serious prayer chains; others are intended to make the patient laugh. Either way, VoiceQuilt allows a group to provide emotional support during a difficult time.
We love the idea of working with more military and get well families. As a result, I’m looking for inspiration from these amazing Stanford men and women. How can VoiceQuilt partner with non-profits focused on these families? In the process of creating these VoiceQuilts, can we help raise funds for these non-profit organizations?
Should be a thought stimulating day. Wish me luck!
At VoiceQuilt, we’ve been highlighting movies, books and articles about inspirational women in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Kathy Kelley, founder and CEO of HysterSisters, is one such woman. After a hysterectomy 13 years ago, she founded a leading online site that educates, inspires and builds camaraderie among women who are facing — or who have faced – hysterectomy surgery.
When a woman registers at HysterSisters, she provides information about the type of hysterectomy she is contemplating – as well as the date of her procedure. Guided by that information, HysterSisters provides helpful pre-op and post-op information or “checkpoints”. The site also provides women with information about the types of questions they should ask. Kathy is adamant about women seeking second opinions. Check out her amazing video here.
Thanks to HysterSisters, thousands of women share information about hysterectomy procedures, alternative treatments, hormone replacement therapy, and personal experiences with gynecological illnesses. In short, Hystersisters.com is all about connecting and empowering women to make better health decisions.
A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life. — Isadora James
VoiceQuilt salutes Kathy Kelley.
At VoiceQuilt, we’ve been honoring National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by highlighting stories, books and articles about inspirational women. Last week, we spoke with Reverend Ann, a VoiceQuilt recipient. We were so inspired that pulled together the story below. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Like others called to hospital chaplaincy, Rev. Ann has a heart full of love and compassion. As director of pastoral care for a major hospital, Rev. Ann ministers to the sick, their families and friends, as she and medical staff work to ease pain and improve quality of life. So, it was an ironic twist of fate 5 years ago when Rev. Ann’s own heart began to give out and she found herself on the receiving end of prayers from family, friends and colleagues.
Seven months ago, she was the recipient of another gift – a new heart. Now healed from her transplant, this inspirational woman is back at work, focusing on the well-being of hospital patients and their families. As her first birthday since the transplant approached, her friend, Dee, thought it would be wonderful to show Rev. Ann how many people continue to pray for her ongoing well-being. Dee knew about VoiceQuilt from friends, and knew how profoundly Rev. Ann would be affected by hearing the loving messages from those who had kept her in their own hearts and prayers.
At VoiceQuilt, we’ve been commemorating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a product donation as well as movies, books and articles about inspirational women.
As luck would have it, we’re able to celebrate yet another way: the winner of VoiceQuilt’s September “Win a Kindle” contest is a breast cancer survivor!
It gets even better. Last year, Michelle C of New Jersey received a VoiceQuilt keepsake packed with encouraging messages, prayers and music while she was recuperating from breast cancer surgery. Her friends and family had recorded prayers and scripture readings; Michelle’s sister had uploaded religious music corresponding to the voice messages from callers. In effect, Michelle’s family created a musical prayer chain.
When I spoke with Michelle, she mentioned the biggest surprise was not only how many people called in but also there were many who she did not know. “It was encouraging that people I don’t even know are praying for me.” Read more here.
This reminded me of one of the quotes we’ve been highlighting in our contest:
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart. — Helen Keller
3.) Walk to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Or, find a race near you and cheer walkers on!
If you’re female and over 40, the most important way to honor the month is to schedule your own annual mammogram. Just get it in the calendar. Remember. The best way to beat this disease is to catch it early. Please. Go ahead and do it now.