While stumbling, I came across this image. It prompted me to contemplate my 17,000+ stumbles and the resulting bookmarking of my favourites.
StumbleUpon is addictive. There are so many great, informative sites out there and it is very easy to press the Stumble button on the toolbar to seek yet one more page without thoroughly exploring the site.
My New Year resolution for 2009 is to go back and explore all those pages that moved me to bookmark them. My intention is, in addition to stumbling, is to 'go out and play' and start implementing the knowledge into my life. All those pages peaked my interest; perhaps you will enjoy them too.
1. holiday lights 2. John McDermott Christmas special on CBC 3. watching Bad Santa and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 4. listening to The Three Tenors and Gloria Estefan's Christmas Through Your Eyes 5. eggnog 6. eggs Benedict for Christmas breakfast 7. opening up the ornaments before I trim the tree and telling my husband the story of each of them (year after year after year) 8. sipping Tassimo cappuccino 9. sending holiday cards 10. playing with my craft supplies and producing less-than-perfect gifts 11. cinnamon and cloves 12. Voortman's gingerbread men 13. curled up on the chesterfield with my dog bathed in the soft glow of the tree lights 14. Christmas crackers - wearing the silly hats, reciting the stupid jokes, and playing with the cheesy toys 15. champagne for Christmas breakfast 16. getting the parcels ready to go 17. getting excited about checking the progress of the parcels on Canada Post's web site 18. German rum cake 19. chocolate brandy beans 20. holiday phone calls to family and friends 21. taking lots of pictures 22. smiling at and talking to everyone in the stores 23. seeing my husband's happy face 24. spending the holidays with people I love 25. decorating my dog (not his favourite holiday thing)
I received the following email from a friend recently who felt moved to support the non-profit organization, Okala Foundation, which is run by a group of mutual acquaintances. If you would like to make a large difference in someone's life, I would happily encourage you to support Okala Foundation. It is run by reputable, dedicated people who truly care about the plight of the needy in this world and strive to give them tools to support themselves. It takes surprising little to affect a huge change.
This is a photograph of a small group of children in Cameroon, Africa. There are two villages that Okala currently supports, Meyenne, and Ngombe. The children of Ngombe village now attend a new school that was built through funding from Okala Foundation, a non-profit organization put together by a group of women on Facebook, and through sponsorships of $85/year for one child which provides them with a year of schooling, supplies and one meal a day.
Many are orphaned by their parents who either died or are dying from Aids, and many of the children carry the same fate. For most, that one meal is the only one they will have that day given they have no food and no clean running water in the villages where they live.
One day I decided to go through my boxes of things that were in storage and I came across 2 that were filled with stuffed toys and about 80 of my most precious Beanie Babies that I had collected many years ago. My first thought was to list them on ebay, considering the amount of money that went into building my collection. After I decided to sponsor one of the children I heard that the founder of Okala Foundation was going to Africa to visit them in November. I thought about those beanie babies, and my plans to list them on ebay changed. As I carefully placed each one in the large box I would be sending to Montreal to the Okala founder, Tamara Davy for her trip to Africa, I envisioned the look on the children’s faces as Tamara opened the box and told them they were for them.
In this photograph, the children are holding their very own beanie baby or stuffed animal that they got to choose. I put aside 2 of my favourite beanies along with a card especially for my sponsored child, Therese and I hope to have a photo soon with her holding them.
I am not sending this because I want or need a pat on the back. I wanted to share something with you that has made me very happy. I have realized how much of a difference just one person can make with one small act. If I ever had any doubts that even I can have that kind of an impact, I no longer do.
No amount of money could have brought more satisfaction than knowing that a small group of children will go to sleep at night clutching a little toy that may bring them some comfort and HOPE for a life without the pain and suffering they have lived through and continue to endure…