Being swallowed by the essence of life…


It is considered on of those important things to do to lead a happy life.

I would agree, though if you are one of those who claim it is about (solely) reciprocal altruism… I would disagree. But that might be good for another post. 

I recall conversations with my mother when I was a young girl in her pre-teens. Growing up in a third world country where poverty is very much in your face, and you are most definitely on the “haves” end of things can be distressing. My mother volunteered often and I recall asking her about poverty. She counseled me by telling me that it was our duty to help those who needed our help. That has stuck with me ever since.

On Friday I attended a work related conference and was fortunate to have an organization that I work with represented at their program fair. I shared the organization with people I had met throughout the conference that had mentioned they wanted to work with a good character development program.That organization is called Release The Fear

Saturday, I got to help another organization that I belong t,o a women’s membership organization (JLP), and we do really wonderful things in the community. Squink and I spent yesterday morning helping the committee tasked with training our brand new members what things we have done in our community. Here I am at the Arizona Science Center overlooking the Rosson House Museum (both projects the League has worked with):

We followed that with another volunteering excursion by taking Squink out for his first ever fundraising effort by setting up a popcorn sales table at a local Safeway.

I was/am so proud of him! The other scouts that were supposed to show up, didn’t. Though the city was deluged with a rather amazing rainstorm (floods and downed trees kind of storm). As Squink and I drove tot he location we talked about not going, but we also talked about fulfilling our obligations and we decided that it was best to go and see what the store said.  They obviously told us to go ahead and set up.

Squink had one marvelous experience there. He met Keith. Keith was a retired photographer from the Arizona Highway department. They used to use his photographs of ruins and petroglyphs to create papier-mâché reproductions of them and how they were often featured at the sate fairgrounds. He also told Squink about his years as a door-to-door salesman in Indiana. Keith spent some time giving Squink pointers on how to be a better sales person. Keith did not have cash and we couldn’t take credit cards. So he said he would get cash back after his grocery purchases. Sadly, the rain had caused problems with the credit machines and the cash-back option was not working. When he came back, he told us that he could not do it, but that he had been planning to go out to dinner and had decided that he would now stay home and eat what he had on hand and watch a movie and use the money he was going to use to eat to buy a bag of popcorn. Keith used the scooters that the grocery store has to get around and had walked in using a cane. When Keith parked the scooter as he got ready to leave, Squink went up to him and asked if he could help him to the car. Here is a picture of the two of them walking out the door.

It was such a sweet experience, two friends (thank you Ronnie and Angie) stopped by and purchased some pop-corn too!


You can help him meet his goal of selling a minimum of $1500 by clicking on this link:

If you are prompted to select whom you will support these are the things you need to know to make sure Squink (aka Josef S) gets credit.

Type in the council zip code of 85016

Look for the following once the scouts name field populates:

Josef S – Blair – Pack 0324 – Villa Montessori School

Make sure that you click to support Josef S – Blair – Pack 0324 – Villa Montessori School
 (you might get the option to choose the Grand Canyon Council (but Squink wont get credit)

If that is too complicated, just leave a comment or get a hold of me and let me know what you would want and I can work with you.

Now, this reminds me of a few other things that are coming up.

Biltmore Prep Hermosillo Exchange Program

Squink has decided that he wants to participate in an exchange program with a school in Hermosillo. It will be the second year this occurs and he is so excited about the opportunity. However, as a part of that he has committed to securing $1000 in tax credit donations for the program to help offset the costs related tot he program.

Here is the Facebook page for the program:

And you can contact me (again by comment or email) if you have questions or want me to email you the form in another format.

For information from the school about this tax credit go here:  There is a link to download it in PDF form or the link to the online donation.

The link for the on-line donation is:

PLEASE Make sure to enter Biltmore Prep and also to specifically mention the Hermosillo Exchange Program

Amount: * $
Any amount up to the maximum allowable 2014 tuition tax credit as follows:

Single or Head of Household: $200.00
Married Filing Jointly: $400.00
Married Filing Separately: $200.00

School Recipient: *
Biltmore Preparatory Academy

Program Preference:
Biltmore Prep Hermosillo Exchange Program

If you do donate, please (please, please, please)  let us know so I can let the program organizers know that you are donating as a direct result of his efforts so he gets the credit for his efforts. I don’t need to know the amount if you don’t wish to share that information, but please make sure I have the name you put on the donation form (so that they can cross check).

For the above fundraising efforts, please feel free to share this with people whom you feel are inclined to help Squink raise money to go to scouts or his exchange program.



So, I have mentioned a few of the programs that I work with that if you want to support, I would be grateful.

One of the more exciting is that in addition to the School tax credit above you can also do a Working poor tax credit (yes, I believe that you can do both but check with a tax accountant/specialist!!!!)

Release the Fear qualifies as a provider of services to the working poor. Which means that you can use the following tax table:

Taxpayers filing as “single” and “head of household” status may claim a maximum credit of
$200. Taxpayers filing as “married filing separate” may claim a maximum credit of $200.
Taxpayers that file as “married filing joint” may claim a maximum credit of $400.
DONATE to Release The Fear ON-LINE HERE: or get ahold of me for other ways. Make sure you mention in the comments that you want the tax credit and that Blair sent you.

And for that Women’s organization, you can make a charitable donation here: or get ahold of me if you would like to donate another way.

What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good. ~ Aristotle

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