Archive | May, 2012

A meal that nourishes the soul

31 May

Just think about the following questions…

When is the last time you missed a meal?

When was the last time you were truly hungry?

Did you know one in seven people will go to bed hungry tonight?

 Feeding Children Everywhere, a global charity based in Orlando, has shipped meals all over the world, but through its Love Local program, meals are being packed locally by our friends and neighbors and shared locally at food pantries and schools.

Hundreds of volunteers organize for ‘packing events’ to pack meals for the hungry in Central Florida. In April, “Osceola Connected” volunteer groups put thousands of meals together fast at a packing event in Celebration.

The meals from FCE are made up of a special balance of protein, vitamins and carbs and they that can be shipped just about anywhere.

“When we come to make a difference in other people’s lives and help other people, many times it’s in our hearts and our spirits that we get fed,” Kile Riggs, director of global logistics for Feeding Children Everywhere, said.

June 5th is National Hunger Awareness Day. Consider grabbing a group and rolling up your sleeves to pack some healthy meals for people who really need them. To find out more about the meal packing event on June 5th for Feeding Children Everywhere, click here.



A Feminine Focus on Art

31 May

Recently, I went to Deland to visit the Florida Museum for Women Artists.  It’s the only one of its kind in the Southeast. The exhibitions there change every 10 weeks, so there’s always something new to see.

The artwork on display right now is collectively called ‘Expanding Visions’. All the artists featured have ties to Florida. Among the pieces on display: 3D works, photographic mixed media and mobile sculptures. My favorite pieces were tied between Amy Miller, Carolina Cleere and Candice Knapp

While you’re in Deland, there’s so much more to see in addition to this museum.  There are great restaurants, a variety of shops and more museums. Here’s a quick link to Discover Deland to help you plan your visit. 


Vote for The Shine Center

25 May

Shine Center’s Grand Opening in September 2011 credit: West Orlando News

This week, I put together a Making a Difference piece on Shine Pine Hills Performing Arts Center. This is a relatively new outlet for an economically challenged neighborhood in Orlando. It provides art, drama, dance, and music classes for youth.

The center just opened last September and it still needs a lot of renovations including a new stage and lighting for performances. The center also needs designated areas for a dance studio, art displays, workstations for educational classes and office space for the administrators.

The center has an awesome shot at $50,000 through the Maxwell House Drops of Good Community Project. The center is competing with other centers across the country for the funding award. You can help Shine Center win that prize by voting every day up until June 8. 

 Vote for Shine Center here!

In addition to funds, the center is also looking for teachers and volunteers to help with programming.

For more about Shine Pine Hills Performing Arts Center click here!

Worth a thousand words

23 May

Today’s blog actually takes you to another blog. I wanted to share some more wedding photos with you and thanks to my wedding photographer, I won’t need to upload each time-consuming, high-res image manually. Thanks Tim




And thank goodness for pictures and videos that act as a small looking glass back to fleeting moments we hold dear. Whether it’s birthdays, vacations, baby pictures or loved ones who’ve passed, we all get some sense of comfort and joy in looking back at preserved snippets in time! But don’t misunderstand me, even in our digitally advanced world, the most cherished place to hold those memories remains the heart and soul.

“You know what I mean?”

Oh yeah, this blog was supposed to be about the link to the photos. To see more details like the rings, the bridal party, and special moments with family and friends…click here! 

Thanks for stopping by my blog to show your love!

See you in the morning!



Making a Difference: Life Without Limbs

17 May

Sometimes it’s what we don’t have in life that helps us appreciate what we do have even more.  I recently put together a story for our Making a Difference franchise that really resonated with me. It was about Nick Vujicic, pronounced ‘voy-cheech’. The name did not immediately ring a bell, but I had heard his message before.  You may have seen his motivational message on YouTube.

He recently spoke at  Northland Church in Longwood to inspire more houses of worship to include people with disabilities in ministry. Here are some excerpts from our interview with Nick.

“It’s not me, god came up with this story of my life. He’s the author and I’m so privileged that if one is touched in some small way, I’m forever thankful,” Vujicic said.

Vujicic has been beating odds since he was born without arms or legs. At a young age, he taught himself to do things some with his disabilities never learn, but it wasn’t easy. Nick battled bullies and depression, even attempted suicide, but his faith led him down a different path.

“At age 15, I committed my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. That was after seeing how god had a plan for a blind man. Then thinking if god’s got a plan for a blind man, god’s got a plan for me.”

Now at 29 years old, he is a world renown evangelist. Nick started his ministry “Life Without Limbs” 10 years ago in Australia after overwhelming response to his testimony. So far, he has visited 43 countries in 5 years.

 “My message is to know that if god has a plan for me without arms and legs to be his hands and feet, that god’s got a plan for them. And it’s not about a positive attitude, it’s about finding your true purpose. Deep down within our souls we know there is more to life than meets the eye,” Nick said.

Nick was just married in February and has a new book about his journey coming out in October.

To find out more about Nick and when he’ll be speaking somewhere near you, click here.

Join us this Saturday

17 May

What are you doing this Saturday? Could I encourage you for one moment to set your alarm clock to join us for a good cause? The 17th Annual AIDS Walk Orlando will take place at Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando and we want to see you there. You can join the Local 6 walking team too!

AIDS Walk Orlando benefits the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida. The center provides testing, education and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. Did you know there are about 12,000 Central Floridians living with HIV/AIDS? The Hope and Help Center has 8 locations throughout the region and provides 12 different services for neighbors in need.

For more about Saturday’s walk, how to make a donation and Hope and Help, click here.

Put on your walking shoes! I hope to see you there!

See you in the morning!


Making a Difference ‘Hand In Hand’

14 May

By now, you’ve heard multiple stories about Trayvon Martin’s shooting death and the investigation. It’s a story that’s been hard to avoid, especially here in Central Florida.

No matter what you think about the story, the families involved or the community it happened in, there’s no denying it will all be talked about for generations. When things like this happen, they tend to be polarizing for people looking for quick, judgemental answers. Many people have chosen to take sides and make it a racial issue. 

For many living in Sanford, there is a longing to heal and find a path back to normal. In that spirit of improvement and unity, some local artists and businesses have collaborated to create the Hand In Hand art project. The effort to collect the hands was organized by Mary Shaw, Marjorie Branchaud and Yvette Comeau.

 As you can see from the photo below, it simply consists of paper hands strung together, decorated with powerful, yet simple messages. Hundreds of hands have been collected at local venues, businesses and schools across Sanford.

ImageThe hands will be on display at businesses across Sanford.


As you can see from the messages on these hands, many neighbors are hoping that out of painful darkness, there will be a stronger more peaceful community brought to light.