full circle

. . .from an upward battle of struggles and emotions to a journey of healing, growth, and laughter. . .


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charitable purpose

It’s easy to blog when I’m unhappy. My posts are poignant, funny, and frequent. Or, maybe I actually suck at blogging because my posts are nearly a year apart. You decide.

In November, 11 months after submitting my application, the tax agency denied awarding charitable status to my rescue but gave me 60 days to respond to their concerns. Over the next four months, I once again worked my ass off {it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats} going back and forth with them trying to prove that our purpose was “charitable.” At one point, they even re-wrote our charitable purpose and added something that we didn’t even do. In the end, we received our charitable status in February. While that was wonderful news, it just brought on more work for me. Setting up tax receipts and accounts to various online donation platforms and grant writing were added to my daily tasks of managing our spay/neuter program and EVERYTHING ELSE. I’m getting a headache just remembering the last five months!

{it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats, it’s for the cats it’s for the cats…}

 

 

 

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first world problems

Yes, that little phrase puts everything into perspective. So does the cliché “life’s too short.” While it took me years of severe depression (The Breakup), three months of stress leave from work, and a few years without a man in my life (aftermath of The Breakup), I have learned that you can control only your reactions to negative situations. You cannot control other people nor the circumstances. But you can be a grownup and stop sulking about unimportant things. Life is too short to worry or dwell on something that doesn’t involve your health or ability to live, your family, or helping the community.

+++++++++++++++++++++

I started writing the above post in December, and I see now that I never finished it. It was about M, with whom I am no longer friends effective May 20 due to unrelated reasons.

 


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i don’t have a dream

Yesterday, I learned that a friend of mine has a dream to move to Fiji and open a B&B. She mentioned it again today, and I realized that I don’t have a dream. I have goals and priorities (many of which I’ve achieved), but I don’t have that one big dream that “one day, I’m going to do.” Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever had that one big dream. Why? I don’t know.

Well then, I guess I’m overdue to create my dream. It definitely has to involve cats (lol)—that’s the easy part. And I always joke that I wish I had space for all the cats we rescue in Vancouver. So, I guess 2 + 2 = 4.

My Big Dream: To own a large property (land) where there is no limit to how many (spayed and neutered!) rescued cats can live. I want to save them all.


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destiny

this story first came across my desk at work in december, but being so busy with other content, none of us three newsletter editors got around to following up. until now.

one of our program managers had gone to calcutta (india, for those of you who are geographically challenged) on a vacation with her friend. her friend was a university professor working in public health and introduced her to a group called destiny productions.

destiny helps survivors of trafficking and high-risk women. immediately after being rescued, the women are brought to government-sponsored shelters. one of the biggest problems confronting these shelters is that the survivors have no opportunity to move on in their lives. they are often not welcome back in their own communities, especially if they were sold into prostitution.

destiny arranges for many of these women to get skills training, so they can make a better life for themselves and their families. some are saving money to protect younger sisters from the horrors of the sex trade, while others send money back to their impoverished families.

the skills they learn include cutting and stitching, block printing, jewelry production, and batik dyeing. they handcraft a variety of items such as:

  • jewelry
  • napkins, aprons, cushion covers, quilts
  • bags and wallets made from leather, silk, cotton, satin, and even recycled materials
  • paper products
  • scarves, t-shirts
  • child backpacks

they also make special patient skirts and hot water bag covers for patients in two of our programs at work.

the items are beautiful, and the women truly inspirational. read more about their story, and while you’re there, buy an item or five!


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in the company of royalty

people often wonder (and those who are interested ask) what i do at my job. well, i’m in health care communications, and that can mean a lot. today, it meant being prepared for a media event involving a special visit for the patients… steven seagal and the princess of ghana were scheduled to visit the kids to present them with “kissed bracelets” made by children in africa.

steven seagal and the princess of ghana, you say? what an odd combination. the skinny is that mr. seagal is in vancouver filming a new movie, and he is also the co-founder of Save A Million Lives, an AIDS project in Africa that supports over 752 children in Ghana who are orphaned because of HIV/AIDS, working to reduce (ultimately prevent) HIV transmission from mother to child.

the princess presented each child (who was able to come out of their rooms and into the playroom) with a bracelet, kissed it with love, and gave them kind words of healing. the bracelets are normally sold to fundraise for the orphans’ school and uniform fees and school supplies.

while the princess was making her impression (i met her, too… nanananapoopoo), mr. seagal was delayed at the movie set. those of us hospital staff who were told he was going to “helicopter in” (i can’t make this stuff up) wondered exactly *where* he was going to helicopter in! but alas, he only managed to call one of the charity reps on his cell phone. most of the kids had gone back to their rooms by then, but a couple remained and were excited to talk to mr. seagal by cell phone speaker. i was a little disappointed that mr. seagal didn’t make it, but probably not as much as the moms there!

so, that is what my work entailed today… i met the princess of ghana… what did YOU do?!