A Homeless Teen’s Amazing Journey

An inspiring and heart filled story that I wanted to share with you.  Proof again that we do live in a world of kindness.

September 17, 2013

Getting into Howard University was a bittersweet moment for homeless teen James Ward.Despite all the odds, Ward managed to get good grades and get admitted while living in the Union Rescue Mission on Los Angeles’ Skid Row, but he was denied the loans he needed to go to the esteemed District of Columbia school.

It doesn’t help that college costs are out of control. Tuition and fees are more than $22,000 a year at the historically black university.

Through crowd-funding and a $25,000 donation from JCPenney, Ward headed to D.C. this fall to start pursuing his degree in physics.

There are more than 1.7 million homeless youth in the United States. Many are exposed to violence, addiction and a broad spectrum of social ills that most children never have to cope with. The result is that few finish high school, and even fewer finish college.

Ward had to deal with a chaotic uprooting brought about by his mother’s alcoholism, all while helping his younger siblings stay engaged and safe in LA’s epicenter of homelessness, where drug use and violence are common.

“Being homeless isn’t something to be embarrassed about, because it’s not in your hands. It’s just a circumstance, there’s always a way out as long as you’re willing to push through it,” Ward said on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

Ward knows that there aren’t many people who are able to push past struggles like his, but he has some advice: Don’t try and do it all alone.

“As long as you’re able to step out your comfort zone and take the initiative and ask someone else for help, there’s always someone who is willing to help you,” Ward said.

People Are Really Nice…Here’s Some Proof

Some stories from readers of Ladies’ Home Journal Magazine sharing the random acts of generosity they’ll never forget.

That’s The Ticket!

I was stuck in traffic in Times Square when a policewoman waver me over.  I was sure I was going to get some kind of summons.  Instead she gave me her tickets to see a Liza Minnelli concert that night, which she couldn’t attend because she had to work.  She told me she had tried to stop other people, but they just kept driving.  The tickets were probably worth about $100 each.  I went and had a fabulous time!

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Tina Mosetis, 48/Great Neck, New York

All Expenses Paid

My husband, Adrian, who’s in the navy, once took me on a weekend trip to Chicago.  As we were checking into the hotel we started chatting with an older man who was also staying there.  When he found out Adrian was in the military, he told us he was a veteran–and he paid for our weekend stay at the hotel to thank my husband for his service.  No stranger had ever done anything that nice for us.

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Erica Grajales, 33/Mundelein, Illinois

A Key Move

One evening I went out grocery shopping with my young sons while my husband, Dan, was working late.  When I got back to the car with two tired boys, I realized the keys were in the ignition and the doors were locked.  “I’ll call AAA,” I thought.  Then I noticed my cell phone was on the passenger’s seat.  It was 8:00, the temperature was dropping, none of us had a jacket, and my 3-year-old, who had been riding in the shopping cart, wasn’t wearing shoes.  When a woman standing nearby overheard me explaining the situation to the boys, she immediately offered her cell phone and her AAA membership number.  She waited 45 minutes with us, and even got a jacket and blanket out of her car to keep us warm.

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Colleen Clemens, 38/El Toro, California

Stolen Moments Returned

Shortly after our third child was born, someone stole our camera.  It had all of the precious pictures of her birth and her first weeks home.  We were heartbroken.  Then, two years later we received a package in the mail.  It was our camera, with every single picture still on it.  Apparently someone had found it, recognized our older daughter’s former preschool teacher in one of the photos and tracked her down.  Because we had moved, the teacher asked around to get our new address.  What a blessing to have our once-in-a-lifetime pictures back!

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Lean Chamberlin,31/ Excelsior Springs, Missouri

Snow Angel

I was working a second job as the night supervisor in a pharmacy when it started to snow really hard.  I was dreading the prospect of digging out my car and navigating the snow-covered roads to get home.  But when I got out to the parking lot, I saw that someone had cleaned all of the snow off of my car and scraped my windshield.  In the small bit of snow they left on the hood, they had written, “Get home safely!”

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Jerri Green, 52/ Cincinnati

Pay It Backward

I was at the drugstore picking up a few little gifts for my grandmother, who was in the hospital, and was talking to my mom on the phone about what to buy.  Obviously, someone overheard me because when I reached the front of the line the cashier told me the woman ahead of me had paid for my things, about $50 worth.  I don’t know who she was, or where she went– or even how she knew how much to pay.  I’m still baffled!  download (10)

Julia Stone, 41/ Narbeth, Pennsylvania

 

These stories were provided by Caitlin Kelly/Ladies’ Home Journal

Press Play, Smile: Celebrate Life (3:22)

Celebrate Life! Press Play and SMILE! Enjoy this video and share it with everyone! Peace, love, bliss. Tammy

In Memory and Honor

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We all remember that on this day, twelve years ago, we were invaded and innocent lives were taken from us.

A tragedy that will never be forgotten.    We miss the loved ones who have passed, and bless those who are

still with us.   Honor those who fought for our freedom and helped those in need.   No, we will never forget

this day for many years to come.   Let’s take a few moments of silence to pray for all  the families, wives,

husbands, sisters, brothers, children  and the men and women who have served this great country to keep us

safe and bless them all!

Please Help Prevent War in Syria

Please join me in preventing the war in Syria.  Click the link below to see what you can do.

“Imagine all the people living in peace.”  John Lennon

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For those who live in Florida, I am listing the members of Congress below:

Senate:

Bill Nelson- (D)

Marco Rubio- (R)-

House:

Jeff Miller- (R)

Steve Southerland- (R)

Ted Yoho- (R)

Ander Crenshaw- (R)

Kathy Castor- (D)

Dennis Ross- (R)

Vern Buchanan- (R)

Tom Rooney- (R)

Patrick Murphy- (D)

Trey Radel (R)

Corrine Brown- (D)

Ron DeSantis- (R)

John Mica- (R)

Bill Posey- (R)

Alan Grayson- (D)

Daniel Webster- (R)

Rich Nugent- (R)

Gus Bilirakis- (R)

C.W. Bill Young (R)

Alcee Hastings- (D)

Ted Deutch- (D)

Lois Frankel- (D)

D. Wasserman Schultz- (D)

Frederica Wilson – (D)

M. Diaz-Balart- (R)

Joe Garcia- (D)

l. Ros-Lehtinen- (R)

 

 

http://www.winwithoutwar.org/sites/winwithoutwar/

Facts and Figures

The American Public’s Views on U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

The American people agree with the experts and expect the worst if the U.S. launches military strikes against Syria.

  • 6 in 10 Americans (61%) say that U.S. airstrikes in Syria are likely to lead to a long-term U.S. military commitment there. [Pew Poll, 8/29/13-9/1/13]
  • 3 in 4 Americans (74%) say that U.S. airstrikes in Syria are likely to create a backlash against the U.S. and its allies in the region. [Pew Poll, 8/29/13-9/1/13]
  • 7 in 10 Americans (68%) are following the news story very closely or fairly closely. [Pew Poll, 8/29/13-9/1/13]

 Military strikes are unpopular with the American people, even when the use of chemical weapons is invoked.

  • Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) oppose the U.S. launching missile strikes against the Syrian government, even after learning that Syria used chemical weapons. [ABC News/Washington Post Poll, 8/28/13-9/1/13]

Military strikes are unpopular with the American people, especially when given other options.

  • When told that the U.S. is taking diplomatic and economic measures to try to stop the Syrian government from taking military action against its citizens, the plurality of Americans (40%) say humanitarian assistance is the best method of U.S. intervention. [NBC News Poll, 8/28-29/13]

Military strikes are unpopular with the American people, even if allies participate.

  • The majority of Americans (51%) oppose the U.S. and its allies launching missile strikes against the Syrian government even if other countries such as Great Britain and France participated. [ABC News/Washington Post Poll, 8/28/13-9/1/13]
  • Strikes against Syrian military targets with air missiles are a deeply unpopular option with our core European allies, including the United Kingdom (16% support military intervention) and France (32% support). [CNN Poll, 8/30/13]

Military strikes are expected to make the situation in Syria worse.

  • The majority of Americans (51%) say U.S. airstrikes in Syria are NOT likely to be effective in discouraging the use of chemical weapons. [Pew Poll, 8/29/13-9/1/13]
  • Only 1 in 4 Americans say military force will help improve the situation for civilians in Syria. [NBC News Poll, 8/28-29/13]

Military involvement in Syria is viewed as not in the national interest.

  • Only 1 in 5 Americans say taking military action against the Syrian government is in the United States’ national interest. [NBC News Poll, 8/28-29/13]

 

Note: President Obama’s announcement that he would seek Congressional authorization occurred on Saturday, August 31, 2013. This fact sheet was updated on Sept. 4, 2013.

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The Healing Power of Silence

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One day I disappeared into Silence…..

It was more than grace, and epiphany or a mystical union; it was my soul’s homecoming, my heart’s overflowing love, my mind’s eternal peace.  In Silence, I experienced freedom, clarity and joy as my true self, felt my core identity and essential nature as a unity-in-love-with all creation, and realized it is within this essence that we learn to embody healing in our world.

This Silence  belongs to us all–it is who and what we are.  Selfless silence knows only the present moment, this incredible instant of pure life when time stops and we breathe the high-altitude air we call love.  Let us explore Silence as a way of knowing and being, which we know, which we are.

Silence is within.  It is within our breath, like music between thoughts, the light in our eyes.  it is felt in the high arc of birds, the rhythm of waves, the innocence of children, the heart’s deepest emotions that have no cause.  It is seen in small kindnesses, the stillness of nights and peaceful early mornings.  It is present when beholding a loved one, joined in spirit.

In Silence, we open to life and life opens to us.  It touches the center of our heart, where it breaks open to reveal another heart that knows how to meet life with open arms.  Silence knows that thoughts about life are not life itself.  If we touch life through Silence, life touches us back intimately and we become one with life itself.  Then the mystery, wonder, beauty and sanctity becomes our life.  Everything but wonderment falls away; anger, fear and violence disappear as if they never existed.

Knowing Silence is knowing our self and our world for the first time.  We only have to be still until that Silence comes forth from within to illuminate and embrace us, serving as the teacher, teaching and path, redeeming and restoring us in love.

In this truth-filled moment, we enter our Self fully and deeply.  We know our own beauty, power and magnificence.  As the embodiment of Silence, we are perfection itself, a treasure that the world needs now.  Right now the Universe needs each of us to be our true Self, expressing the healing power of our heart, in Silence.

As a lifelong mystic, Robert Rabbin is an innovative self-awareness teacher and author of The 5 Principles of Authentic Living.  Connect at RobertRabbin.com. 

 

When I return from silence I am less than when I entered: less harried, fearful, anxious and egotistical.  Whatever the gift of silence is, it is one of lessening, purifying, softening.  The “I” that returns is more loving than the “I” who left.   ~Rabbi Rami Shapiro