Dream Makers

20130511-180612.jpgI heard someone use the term “dream maker” the other day, as in: everyone needs a dream maker. It immediately resonated with me and, of course, I agreed completely. We all need a dream maker, a champion, a partner-in-crime…

To me, a dream maker is someone who helps me see beyond the physical and non-physical obstacles that come between idea and actualization, between a seed of belief and full-on faith, between “this could be” to “this will be..and here’s how.” I thought about the dream makers I’ve encountered in my life–family, teachers, friends, bosses, colleagues–and I have a list of about five so I am fortunate that each one taught me something different adding to the tapestry of actualization, faith, this will be and how… But the biggest piece, the final piece (and–for me at least–the hardest) is more ongoing: knowing my value.

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Giving Back: Hurricane Sandy

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The city I love was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy. I’ve lived here my whole life and never have I seen anything like this before. The entire tri-state area–New York, New Jersey and Connecticut–as well as areas from North Carolina all the way up north through New England saw devastation and damage, loss of lives, homes and personal property.

I feel incredibly lucky that my family is safe, warm and together having weathered the storm unscathed. Not everyone was as lucky and my heart goes out to those who have woken up this morning to a life phenomenally different than it was just 48 hours ago. If you too were fortunate, please join me in donating to the Red Cross-no amount is too small.

Related Links:
NYTimes.com: Tracking The Storm
RedCross.org: Sandy Forces Cancellation of About 100 Blood Drives
I Love New York: Gifts For My City
Giving Back: Gift Shopping For Good

Giving Back: Gift Shopping for Good

20120804-205603.jpgI hate to admit it but a hefty shopping trip is often times my cardio for the day–hey, don’t judge lest you be judged. I do live in the city so walking 40 blocks with 4-5 bags in tow is no easy feat, so I can get an elevated heart rate and break a sweat especially in the August heat but recently I’ve been hit with a wave of gratitude that has me looking for more ways to give back and it’s so much more fun to do so when it involves something you enjoy. For me, it’s shopping and gift-giving.

Here are some ways to do both while also giving to others in need.

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Giving Back: Operation Backpack

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I’m very lucky. I try to count my blessings often and every once in a while I am reminded of just how blessed my life truly is. For example, back to school shopping means accompanying my children and their 2-3 page lists of teacher-mandated items to Staples and Target, filling their carts and getting ready for the year ahead. This activity fills them with anticipation, excitement, probably some anxiety… and they get to exercise some control over the future (yes I want that pencil box, no not that book bag) and that’s cathartic in some way, I’m sure (ok, maybe it just is for me). It’s easy to take these things for granted: that I have the ability to provide for them, that they are happy, pretty well-adjusted kids living a safe, relatively normal life and that this is time we get to spend together.

It’s not like that for everyone.

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