Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category

During World War II, over 250,000 young men learned to read in Special Training Units in the Army. One of the resources used to teach reading was a newspaper, Our War, which was published monthly from June 1942 through September 1945. Each issue of Our War included a cartoon strip about Private Pete and his buddy, Daffy. The February, 1944 issue discussed Valentine’s Day. It has a message pertinent to today’s times and circumstances. Following is a synopsis of the strip:

Our War, February 1944, Private Pete: Cupid Goes to War

The strip opens with a panel showing Private Pete and his buddy Daffy standing outside the Post Exchange.

Daffy says, “Pete, I think I’ll buy some valentines, will you help me?”  Pete says, “Well!! What’s up? Who is he?”

Daffy: “ I need one for Mary Lou. And that girl I met at the U. S.O. dance. And one for your mother, too.”

Later, Pete and Daffy get back to the Day Room where they see Joe making some valentines. Joe draws a picture of Cupid and Daffy says, “What’s cupid doing with the bow and arrow?” Pete says, “He shoots people full of love with his arrows.”

On Valentine’s Day, Pete and Daffy got a valentine from Pete’s Mom which said:

“Dear Pete and Daffy: Today we want to show our love for you, as you are showing your love for your Country. Think of us while you are eating my cookies and the fudge Sis made for you. – Mom”

Pete says: “Now that we’ve read Mom’s letter, how about reading yours from Mary Lou?”

Mary Lou’s valentine said:“Here’s taffy for Daffy on Valentine’s Day. How much we all love him is too hard to say. – Mary Lou”

Then Daffy opens a valentine with a picture of Cupid wearing a soldier’s uniform and holding a gun. Pete says, “Cupid does a lot for our country, too.” And Daffy replies, “ I sure am glad Cupid’s in the Army now.”

Send a Valentine to those in harm’s way serving our Nation in distant lands today!

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A Note about Tucson

This is not a post about politics.  We appreciate that ElderChicks come in all political stripes and sizes.  We’re about other things, like meeting the present and future with spirit, and learning from and supporting each other.  But we also are mindful that younger people do look to us as role models.  Can we show them that we are concerned about their future and the future of their children?

I want to help make America a safer place to live for the beautiful little children I see walking into the preschool on my block, and for the police who risk their lives every day to protect us.  I don’t want just anyone to be able to carry a concealed weapon into a bar, restaurant, or onto a college campus.  And I definitely don’t want the kind of gun used in Tucson so tragically to be available to anyone.

Like you, I feel the need to do something specific and practical with my sorrow on this awful occasion.  The nonpartisan Brady Campaign argues for sanity, not for taking away any sane person’s rights.  I hope you’ll join me in donating to their work.  You can link to their site:  www.BradyCampaign.org/donate.

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As I get requests throughout the year for donations, I now save them and in December I decide to which 10 or so organizations I will donate.  Over the years my list has changed, but currently, the following are the 11 for December, 2010.  It always includes local, national and international organizations.  It’s not easy making a choice as so many are worthy.

Since my son was diagnosed with Schizophrenia about 30 years ago, I donate to:

NAMI (National Alliance of the Mentally Ill) – a wonderful organization recognized for helping to change laws to benefit the mentally ill.  I remember going to their first meeting in Washington, D.C. about 30 years ago.

NAMI-NJ – I started the NJ chapter about 22 years ago and it has evolved into a wonderful resource for parents as well making an impact on NJ legislation.  My son is now one of the speakers of their “In Our Own Voice” program.

NAMI-Middlesex County, NJ – 30 years ago, it was called Concerned Citizens for Chronic Psychiatric Adults (CCCPA) and this was our first experience in being part of a support group of parents that absolutely saved my life.  Its focus became creating housing for the mentally ill, which was so successful that another organization was created to handle the housing.

TRIPLE C HOUSING – is now a growing organization that currently oversees about 12 homes/apartments and counseling for about 60 people in Central NJ.


YIDDISH BOOK CENTER – has been rescuing Yiddish literature since 1980.  Started by Aaron Lansky because he had trouble finding books in Yiddish for his Master’s Degree.  Look at their website to see how they have grown.

JEWISH FEDERATION OF MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ – Focus on physical and emotional needs of the Jewish population in Central NJ.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY – Brand new museum in Philadelphia.

ZIMMERLI MUSEUM OF RUTGERS UNIVERSITY – Art and creativity have always been a passion for me so this is my way of helping to support in a small way.

DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS and AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – Two wonderful and much needed global organizations.

MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ VOLUNTEER FIRST AID SQUAD – Their work needs to be supported.  They are caring and dependable.

Making donations once a year was an idea that a friend gave me.  It helps me to focus on what I can afford to give and helps me be more organized about it.

Hope all you ElderChicks out there have a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and fun 2011. [Please leave a comment here.]

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I started a new volunteer assignment this week.  I’m visiting a 90 year old woman, who lives independently and is very alert.  She was never married, and of course has no children, so she’s essentially alone.  She’s quite excited to have a visitor.  I guess that fits into the Elder Chick’s topic of giving, but for me, I feel I’m getting as much as giving.  In fact, after I saw how absolutely clean and immaculate her apt is, and learned she does all her own cleaning, I went home and scrubbed my place.  I guess I see her as a mentor on healthy aging.

Other than that, I socialize with friends. I go on lots of long walks on trails in the area, I go to Socrates Cafe meetings (philosophy discussions), and to Philadelphia Folk Song events.  I tend to be addicted to computer games, and I read a lot.  I’m still trying to find my new life-  after retirement and widowhood.  It’s a bit of an adjustment. [Please leave a comment here.]

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