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Joli's Journal


Joli's Journal

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11 entries this month
 

18:05 May 26 2011
Times Read: 535


Remember Nina with the awesome teacher? Her teacher came by the Center yesterday to pick up some books and I had a chance to follow-up on our girl.


Not only did she get to go to the D.J. party, but she got to go on a field trip to the museum and to see a helicopter!


The teacher very quietly handled the money donation so that the mom may still go to pay what she owes. If she does, the money becomes a donation from the Center to the school.


This is what community is about! By the way...word on street is...Nina had a great time!


COMMENTS

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Vampirewitch39
Vampirewitch39
18:19 May 26 2011

:D





Areli
Areli
18:32 May 26 2011





I am glad Nina had a great time!



You do such wonderful work, Joli.





Joli
Joli
20:24 May 26 2011

That teacher is doing the real work. We just got lucky enough to lend her a hand, but just like you...that news made us so happy. I love picturing that kid with her class where she belongs, oohing over a helicopter. I hope her mom wakes up. They're little such a short time and she's robbing herself.





birra
birra
20:25 May 26 2011

Awesome! I bet it all made Nina's day, if not her year.



Children are broken hearted so easily. But the converse, it take so little to make the truly appreciative ones glow with happiness. :)





 

20:43 May 25 2011
Times Read: 552


Response back from the reporter from our local newspaper. I did an interview with her to cover the Student Sponsorship. I'm including it here to show you why I always go on and on about gratitude. Look what she did! She forwarded, with recommendation, the info to people and organizations she's connected with. She offered advice and encouragment.


I am surrounded by people who are SO good. They add their hands, backs, hearts, and minds to all the things we try to accomplish. They make my job incredibly easy, and my heart a million times lighter. One person can make a difference, but a team of people is unstoppable :)


Thanks as always for the quotes and information--you always give me "just what I need"!! I've sent the article in and it is set to run June 5. I also sent the info to contacts that I have with the Rotary, Kiwanis and with the district Boy Scouts, in hopes that maybe you could get help by their picking it up as a project. I'd suggest that we do the article even earlier next year, so that school groups could make this a project for next spring--getting rid of school items they did not use during the year/as well as getting students/clubs to possibly sponsor a drive at their individual schools.

Hope this will help your project-


COMMENTS

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19:18 May 25 2011
Times Read: 569


Look! Mommy, LOOK! Are you watching? Watch meeee!"


I miss you SO much, little high-pitched child voice. So, so, so much. I lock you in my heart, but sometimes you wisp out, so beautiful and golden. I want to slip back into my pillow and open my eyes to little a blonde girl jumping on my bed, ready for action on a sleepy morning.


Swinging from my drapes and balance-walking my sofa arms. Sall I fim or sall I fy?! Lost in adventure, often wearing nothing but your birthday suit and the regal bearing of a queen. You beautiful soul, somehow entrusted to me.


I'll be leaving for West Virginia and Washington, D.C. on Friday. Allie is graduating High School and I'm not ready. I'm proud of my young lady who has always had the world at her feet...nothing but wide open doors for this remarkable girl.


One more night of bedtime stories and messy rooms, please Lord. She is ready to walk through the first of those wide open doors, and I want to hold on so badly, even while I admire her moxie and resolve. It was just too short. I guess she'll teach me how to be a big girl. Funny that I taught her how to share yet now, I can't bear it.


Every mom worth her bandaids and cookies knows that it isn't really good bye, not THE good bye, but it is A good bye. Moms have so many good byes, and each one nicks the heart and calls for a resolve you just don't know if you can survive, from the moment they outgrow their first pair of walking shoes that you still have in a box, to the moment they walk across the stage in high heels and into the world.


God grant me the strength...yet again. Thank you for the genuine honor it has been and continues to be. I can't think of a better title than Allie's Mom.

COMMENTS

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16:52 May 19 2011
Times Read: 597





Every morning before we begin our day at work, we circle up and pray together. Most of the time, it's staff and volunteers in the circle. Sometimes clients who are early will join us. This morning I had a meeting, but at prayer time, a staff member interrupted us and asked if I could come and lead the prayer. When I walked out, the lobby was filled with men in black and white stripes...the trustees from the jail!


I think that was the most joyful prayer we have ever shared. They have come to work with us before and they always work very hard. Many have shared that they would rather work with us than the rest of their details, even the really hard work we had when we were rebuilding a vandalized church and clearing the grounds so it could serve the community again. We don't have much to give back, sneakers at the most for those without families to help.


I am so grateful and I feel honored that they added their prayers to ours today. In our prayer, I was able to express thanks that their handprints are on so much of this ministry and that the fruits of their labors are helping to make a difference in people's lives. They are SO good to us.

COMMENTS

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Sulks
Sulks
17:08 May 19 2011

:)





 

21:29 May 18 2011
Times Read: 613


We are at $2000.00! Thank you to everyone who has generously sponsored a child. We can already give 26 students three uniforms, a pair of shoes, and all their school supplies. That's a classroom of children - and we just got started!


If you'd like to sponsor a child, please message me so that I can get the information to you. This ministry is a 501(c)3 non-profit. All gifts are tax-deductible.


COMMENTS

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23:29 May 10 2011
Times Read: 644


Here's a story for you:


Little fourth-grader, we'll call her Nina, loves her teacher and her school. She participates in the school candy sales and sells $100 in candy. The teacher verifies this. Nina is excited and thinking about prizes like the rest of the kids. On the day the money is due, Nina is bereft...she has none to trun in. She informs her teacher that her mother used the money to "buy shoes." Parent refuses to return money, even a good faith $20, to school and stops answering her phone. (Mind you, no shoes were purchased for the little girl)


Here's the part you'll love. Nina is punished at school. She cannot attend the field trips. She misses two end-of-the-year trips, even the big one to the alligator farm. The teacher even paid her $20 fee and tried to sneak her on the bus. She was pulled out of line and sent away to sit in a classroom.


The teacher says the child cries every day. I guess so. What is she learning? That it's wrong to steal? No. She is learning that you can be punished for the wrongs of others even when you try your hardest to do something good. Nina lives at the poverty level and this is probably not the last or the worst of the lessons she will learn in her environment. I worry about the Ninas.


We met the teacher because she comes personally to pick up children's books we cannot sell. The books are below the grade level of her students, but she talks about how much they mean to her students. She said, "You wouldn't think that a big tough boy is going to want to take home a Barney book. But he does." She explained why. "He wants to read it to his littl brother."


There's a heart-breaker and a heart-warmer all in one. Her students are low-level, but they get to go home and be big brothers and sisters, showing that they can read. That feels good and they can keep the books. So many kids with so few books in their homes. Hard to believe.


So...back to Nina. I asked my assistant to code it under "Director's Discretion rather than to a client." We paid her fee and asked that the school still try to get the mother to return the money. Tomorrow is a D.J. Party and Nina will be there. The budget column we coded it to is called "Jesus Would Do It." Sometimes it's just the right thing to do, even when there is no label.


COMMENTS

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Vampirewitch39
Vampirewitch39
23:38 May 10 2011

Nina and I are very glad people like you are in this world. :)





Joli
Joli
00:22 May 11 2011

I let that teacher load up those books and drive away. Then I said to my coworkers, "I wanna pay that bill." One said, "You have my blessing." The other said, "I'm calling her cell phone."



The teacher came back in tears. God, those students are SO lucky to have that teacher. So so so lucky. Teachers like her are the heroes out in the trenches with these poorly loved kids. God bless them.





Morrigon
Morrigon
00:38 May 11 2011

It breaks your heart and soothes the pain at the same time. People like this teacher are pure hope.





Joli
Joli
02:53 May 11 2011

No question. I wish all students were lucky enough to have a teacher like her.





birra
birra
04:38 May 11 2011

Hope exists everywhere we look...



...my heart breaks for kids like Nina.



I know no one person can fix the whole world, but each of us can make a huge difference in our own little corner of it...





Nightgame
Nightgame
02:27 May 19 2011

There's some very lucky kids with a teacher like that and you all at your organization to care and help.





 

21:47 May 06 2011
Times Read: 692


My oldest daughter has been living the last 10 months in West Virginia, finishing her senior year of high school there. some of you may remember reading a letter I sent to her recently to encourage her. I miss her VERY much.


I call my kids "pumpkin" or sometimes, "pumpkin pie." Not sure why or when I started doing that...just a mom thang. Once when Allie was a little pumpkin, she noticed that I save the crust for last when I eat pie. She asked why and I told her it was my favorite part. From then on, she wanted to be my "pumpkin pie crust."


Today, she sent me flowers at work. Beautiful tulips of all different colors. But best of all, a card with her words written on it:

From a thousand miles away,

In my heart is where you stay.

Forever warm in my embrace

Pumpkin pie, I think I taste...

Missin u mommy...



She signed it, "Ur sweetest pumpkin pie crust ever, Allie"


You made my day, kiddo. I love you very much, my pumpkin pie crust.


COMMENTS

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birra
birra
22:49 May 06 2011

*sniff*



So sweet...





Whimsical
Whimsical
22:54 May 06 2011

That is so incredibly touching. :]





Vampirewitch39
Vampirewitch39
00:15 May 07 2011

*wipes a tear*





 

19:30 May 06 2011
Times Read: 708


My staff just called me to meet with them in the kitchen. Their somber faces suggested that we had a difficult client they wanted me to weigh-in on. Instead, they sang Happy Birthday to me and had THIS in the table.

Photobucket


It's a Sushi Birthday Cake! How awesome is THAT?!


COMMENTS

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Sulks
Sulks
19:34 May 06 2011

awesome! A very Happy Birthday to you!





Joli
Joli
19:36 May 06 2011

Thanks. They completely fooled me. I showed up in the kitchen with pen and notepad. They were very pleased with their sneaky little selves :)





birra
birra
19:52 May 06 2011

I want!



Happy Birthday!





Vampirewitch39
Vampirewitch39
19:57 May 06 2011

Happy Birthday dear Lady. :D *hugs*





Whimsical
Whimsical
22:55 May 06 2011

Happy Birthday. :]





faeriemoon
faeriemoon
02:24 May 07 2011

Happy Birthday fellow Taurus! (mine was yesterday. :) )





LiamK
LiamK
11:52 May 09 2011

Oh you contrary bleedin'... here's me logging in to send the "happy birthday" VR earlier declined to deliver for me, and there's you over there eradicating any chance of points for thoughtful un-forgetishness. Did you even think about how much it inconveniences other people when you share your happiness in your journal?



;) congratulations on your successful orbit around the sun. Next time I'll race ya.





 

15:03 May 05 2011
Times Read: 735


I thought this was wonderful. Even if you don't share my faith, I think it speaks to everyone about perspective and gratitude. Let me know what you think.



"MY CUP OVERFLOWS

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows (Psalm 23:5).


With the last phrase in verse 5, David said, “I have more of God than I can contain. I have more blessings than room to hold them. My life in God is a life of abundance.”


Here are some areas of my life in which “my cup overflows.” I have more sermon ideas than I could ever preach in my lifetime. I have more ministry opportunities than I can possibly pursue. I have a family that supports me and encourages me in my work; I’m never lacking here. I have more books on my “to read” list than I can possibly read in the next six months. I’ve experienced more answered prayers in my life than I can remember. I’ve been forgiven more times than I can count.


The truth is that there are probably a couple of areas of your life in which the cup isn’t quite full. You may be tempted to spend all your energy focusing on what isn’t there – focusing on what’s missing from your life. Though you can ask God to provide anything you lack – He encourages us to bring all of our needs to Him – don’t get in the habit of defining your life according to what you don’t have. Instead, make it a point each day to think about all the abundance in your life, and the areas in which God has provided more than enough. As you think about these things, you will come to see that it’s true for you, too: Your cup runs over.


-Ken Schroeder"


COMMENTS

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Sulks
Sulks
15:09 May 05 2011

So true. We often focus on what we dont have, rather than be thankful for the things that we have.



I am happy with what I do have - anything else that comes my way is a bonus :D





Nightgame
Nightgame
15:47 May 05 2011

I've been blessed with the ability to work and meet my needs since I reached adulthood and everything else is my wants. I always figured the creator knew us better than ourselves and some of us need the challenge of going after those wants and made it possible for us to do so. Our greatest gift is life and our second the ability to recognize that fact.





Joli
Joli
19:21 May 05 2011

Of all the places we can live our lives, in gratitude has always been my favorite.





 

17:01 May 04 2011
Times Read: 772


First donations already in!


A certain VR lovely genius donated her web design skills to help us get the word out.


Another VR lovely responded that she'd like to help.



The local Jr. League pledged $850!


This is when I start to get REALLY excited. Real people will see what real dollars can do. Each $75 equals one kid receiving 3 school uniforms, a pair of shoes and their school supplies. Even our advertising has been free thanks to the web design help and the local paper. There's no fuzzy math...just real, measurable help and THAT makes a difference!


I continue to believe in the hearts of people. I'm walking on air. :)


COMMENTS

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imagesinwords
imagesinwords
22:16 May 04 2011

I've just linked to the site on Facebook. Maybe more locals will see it and want to chip in.





Joli
Joli
04:09 May 05 2011

awesome!





NocturnalMistress
NocturnalMistress
18:17 May 05 2011

I linked it to both of my Facebook accounts, that way it reaches out to more people and opens more to the possibility of helping out this wonderful cause.







 

Student Sponsorship Challenge

19:47 May 03 2011
Times Read: 788




As families are getting ready for summer vacation, our center is gearing up for its School Supply and Uniform Program. Each year, parents come in during the month of June to apply for assistance for their school age children. We can help a limited number of registered public school students in our local area. Last year, 136 children received school uniforms, shoes, and school supplies from the Center to begin their school year!


As a parent, I have always enjoyed taking my kids shopping for the new school year. We make a day of it, hunting up and down aisles for notebooks, paper towels, markers, and loose leaf paper. We drive to the uniform shops and try on pants and skirts, pointing at matching hair bows and belts. Then we have lunch, drive home, and look at everything again as the kids get everything ready for the first day of school. It’s fun and exciting as everyone imagines a fresh start in the fall.


Sadly, for a child living in poverty, the first day of school can be more daunting than exciting. As hard as it is to believe, in the parish (county) where I live, over 30,000 children from the ages of 0-17 live in poverty. Many of them live in homes with a single parent struggling to make ends meet. For most of them, school shopping is overwhelming or even unattainable. A gift of fresh, new uniforms, new shoes, and bright new school supplies is a gift of tremendous love and joy. It uplifts parent, child, and all of us who pitch in to lend a hand.


The children approved in this program get fitted by a local uniform shop and a local shoe shop. Much of the school supplies are donated by individuals, churches, and organizations. We schedule distribution days and they are filled with volunteers, parents, children and great joy. As Director, I am so proud of the many people who help to make this special ministry a great success. I am looking forward to this year with great enthusiasm.


This year, we hope to help even more children. We want the program to grow and to involve our community in this great cause. We were approached so many times last year by families wanting to help. This year, I’m excited to announce our new Sponsorship Challenge. We shopped and worked very hard to get this incredible value. In 2011, you can sponsor one child in our community for only $75! This will purchase THREE school uniforms, a pair of shoes, and the grade appropriate school supplies on the School Board’s list.


This is a great opportunity for us to ensure that no child has to do without in our community. You can sponsor a child as an individual, a group, a business, or a family. Talk with your neighbors and challenge your colleagues. This gift can make a difference in the lives of parents and children. How we treat our neighbors who are struggling with poverty speaks of our heart as a people.


Let’s show our love as we respond to the needs of our youngest citizens who are seeking an education. It’s very easy to be a part of this ministry. Just message me or comment here that you'd like to help and I'll send you the address and instructions. That’s all it takes! Each gift of $75 dollars will make sure that all of our children have a bright and beautiful start to their school year.


We are a 501(c)3 ministry and all donations are tax-deductible. Our center serves the northshore region of Greater New Orleans.


COMMENTS

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