Posts tagged ‘hope’

April 12, 2013

Charity Miles: Interview with William Lambers

The following is an interview with William Lambers, whose vigorous work with addressing global hunger has now reached international proportions.  RED! contributing writer, Le’Erin Watts, conducted the interview.

RED!: What is it about The College of Mount St. Joseph that interests you and why are you so connected?

W.L.: I went to school at the college as an undergraduate and also for my master’s degree. Over that time, I have gotten to know teachers on campus, many of who are also authors or journalists. That personal interaction you have at the Mount with the teachers keeps you connected.

RED!: People around the country know you for your fight against and work to address hunger, especially hunger around the world. How are you able to involve the younger students at Mount St. Joseph in the work you do?

W.L.: I get the opportunity to speak at Mount classes and also take part in some events on campus. This gives me the chance to talk to the students about global hunger and ways they can get involved, including one way I will talk about in the next answer.

 

RED!: What interested you about Charity Miles?

W.L.: I used to see these tweets from the World Food Programme about Charity Miles so I asked what was this about? The World Food Programme office in New York filled me on the details, which I could use in a story. Charity Miles is a free app that you just download onto your cell phone. For every mile you walk, run, or bike you can raise money for a charity like the World Food Programme or Feeding America. Since I also walked and since I am a former runner, I thought I could maybe get involved myself. I just needed to get the cell phone, which I did.

RED!: Have you started the program? How many miles have you logged?

W.L: I announced to Jeffrey Hillard’s Cincinnati Authors class in late 2012 that I would attempt to start Charity Miles. I started it almost right after that class and have logged well over 100 miles mostly running and some walking. I was around 100 miles when I tried to count them in early December and have logged many miles since. I was told I am the 4th ranked runner in terms of miles for the World Food Programme.

RED!: Are there any other charities or organizations out there that are using creative ways to raise money?

W.L.: The World Food Programme has an online game called FreeRice which I talk a lot about in classes and speaking engagements. I even wrote a few of the questions for the game. Every time you get a correct answer ten grains of rice are donated to the World Food Programme. Some charities like the Feed Project sell merchandise to raise funds. There are creative ways that come right from the College of Mount St. Joseph, too. A student, Elizabeth Paff, who was recently in the Cincinnati Authors class, has started hunger fighting initiatives including launching a FreeRice team and collecting funds for life-saving Plumpy’nut food, which treats malnutrition, and gradually I believe she also plans to help faciliated a hunger walk to raise awareness to helping provide food to those in great need.

William Lambers is an author and historian. Visit his sites: http://www.williamlambers.com  Author page at Amazon.com http://www.twitter.com/williamlambers

September 29, 2012

Winfield House: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

At Winfield House this month and October, we are collecting new or gently used outer wear for men. Those items include: coats, vests, sweatshirts, gloves, hats, and boots.

To all of the knitters and crocheter’s out there, we need handmade scarves and hats. If you are inclined, blankets, too. All items are collected and given in love to the men who live under the bridges in Cincinnati.

Why?

Because they need you!

Have you ever driven a car and accidently lost control? It can be likened to the downward spiral of homelessness or poverty. Sometimes we are driving through life without a care, all of the sudden something comes at us, or perhaps we were not paying attention, and we need to move the wheel quickly to avoid an accident. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Life is that way, hard to predict. If, when driving, we are startled, we jerk the wheel, and over-correct ourselves, as our adrenaline is heightened; we either miss the object or we are hit from the oncoming car.

If we swerve and still hit the object, we are now off the road and perhaps in an undesirable position. The car is tilted to one side, half on rock and half in the dirt.  Last night’s rain has made the dirt mud, so our tires are quickly sinking. We are somewhat immobilized by the shock of the accident, wondering if we have killed a person or animal we hit. Afraid of the tilt of the car, we try to examine our options. There don’t seem to be very many. We try to call for help, but find we have no phone service.

Seeing that the tilt of the car could be dangerous, rather than abandon the vehicle, we try to restart and maneuver the car into a better position.  In doing so, we have now sunk the tires deeper into the mud. The spinning noise is bringing us to hopelessness, and we realize the vehicle is truly stuck.  To leave the vehicle may not be safe as we are in now unfamiliar territory. Worried about the other vehicle, we pray, try 911 again, and are wracked with fear.

It might occur to us to now look for our own wounds, as we feel a sharp pain in our side, and see the oozing of blood on our forehead. The dizziness of the whole event has now brought us to a paralyzed state. We need assistance!

So, it can be with life circumstances. We sometimes need assistance. Whether we are brought to a low place by another, our own decisions, or a pervasive lifestyle, we have spun out the tires in exhaustion and cannot find hope for our circumstance. There seems to be no one to help us dig out from the accident.

At Winfield House, we are dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Poverty is defined as a state of mind or financial situation where there is lack to sustain life and/or a healthy emotional condition.

Anyone can be affected at any time of their lives by poverty. Either one is born into it, or somehow brought low by circumstance.

For 20 years, Winfield House has helped individuals and families strive to become independent, self-reliant, and successful in both public and personal life.

Here is a three-pronged approach to helping:

Dignity- helping with basic needs, food, clothing, and life-sustaining supplies.
Discipline-helping with life skills to help avoid future problems, and to create a new life.
Direction-spiritual help to bring richness to our souls.

Regarding the poor, I hear this all the time, “Why don’t they just get a job?”
In responding, I have to have as much mercy on the giver as the receiver. Understanding poverty and homelessness is not as easy as it seems. The dynamics are as diverse as the people. In the Bible, we are mandated to take care of the widows, orphans and the poor, so I am especially honored to be part of the restoration team.

Please open your hearts to our friends under the bridge. You, too, may swerve off the road one day and need assistance. You never know.

 
by Karyn Alexander

Voice of the Nations column for RED!
Executive Director, Winfieldhouse.org

Winfield House brings the good news of Jesus in a practical way, bringing hope to God’s people.
Voice of the Nations, Rev.5:19 “With your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe, language, and nation.”

July 30, 2012

HEARTBEAT

Something awesome happened to me very recently.

It began with this remark: “Karyn, I could feel your heart beating so fast!”

What a comment!  How many of us are close enough to someone who could have that said?

How many of us can feel another person’s heartbeat?

If given the chance, who would you choose to  “feel” your heartbeat?

I was at dance class.  I agreed to do a spotlight with my teacher. A spotlight is when the entire studio stops dancing, everyone sits down, and only you, the dancer, are on stage.

Gulp!  For a chicken like me, this is a big deal.

My teacher led me to the floor. All eyes were on us. My heart began to beat quickly. My mind was racing. I was thinking about the potential for dance calamity.

Jeff offered his left hand. I took it. We entered our “frame.”  Arms wide, chest meeting chest, my hips joined to his thigh.

Tango! Off we went, around the floor.

“Huh!”  It’s a loud grunt Jeff makes to punctuate the staccato of the move. Heads tilted back, angled body movements, we made it.  No calamity.  Applause from the crowd; we bowed and gracefully moved from the floor.

Jeff hugged me and said, “Karyn, I could feel your heart beating so fast.”

I got home and thought it so remarkable that we were close enough in movement to feel one another’s heartbeat.
I thought about the Bible scripture in Psalm 37: 4 in which God tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your “heart.” It seemed awesome that, if God offers this great gift, He must know what is beating in our hearts.  I thought it beautiful, just like the dance, that our God would hold me close enough to feel and understand my heart beat.

Take a dance lesson with the Lord. Do a spotlight and allow Him to feel your heartbeat.

Tango!

Karyn Alexander
Executive Director, Winfield House
Winfieldhouse.org
Winfield House brings the good news of Jesus in a practical way, giving hope to God’s people.
Voice of the Nations:  Rev.5:9 “With your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe, people, language and nation.”