May 5: It Was Worth the Cost

With severe weather predicted for Henryville, Indiana, Stephanie Decker picked her two children up at school before things got bad.  Once they arrived at home, Decker saw a tornado heading straight for her house and rushed with the kids into the basement.  After wrapping her son and daughter in a comforter, she covered them with her body. Decker told The Courier-Journal that when the tornado hit, debris began falling.  A large steel beam that fell on her leg nearly severed it … [Read more...]

May 4: Donuts and Prayers for the Homeless

Brenda Prohaska of City Island, New York, stops by the local diner to pick-up donuts and coffee with a purpose in mind. As she explained to a neighbor she met there, they were to be used for an interfaith prayer service on Potter’s Field, the city cemetery for the indigent and unclaimed located near her Bronx home. The donuts and coffee would serve as refreshments after the prayers. The Potter’s Field Campaign is just one initiative of Picture the Homeless, a grassroots organization … [Read more...]

May 3: Wisdom From Non-College Grads

Forbes magazine contributor David DiSalvo grew up in an extended family of people who didn’t go to college because they had to go to work instead.  Despite their lack of schooling, however, they were “steeped in wisdom.”  DiSalvo shared several of the lessons he learned: ▪ You can learn something useful from anyone. “Whenever we find ourselves ignoring someone because we’ve already determined that they aren’t ‘smart’ enough to say something meaningful, we’ve made a big … [Read more...]

May 2: Good Food, Kind Souls

Rocker Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea have opened a restaurant with a twist.  Located on the Jersey Shore, it caters both to those who can afford a good meal—and those who can’t. Known as Soul Kitchen, the restaurant is a pay-what-you-can initiative.  Patrons have two options: pay the suggested donation (or more to help cover others’ meals) or pay by volunteering to work at Soul Kitchen.  The diner is staffed by volunteers, and is open Thursday through Sunday. As reported in … [Read more...]

May 1: Wedding Gowns to Haiti

In 2008, a friend approached Diane Cornelius about donating wedding gowns to poverty-stricken areas of Haiti.  A bridal store owner from Lexington, Kentucky, Cornelius was willing to help out, figuring such events would be big celebrations.  When she traveled to Haiti herself, she discovered they were so much more. As Cornelius met and spoke with brides, she came to understand that marriages in Haiti are not just cause for a party, but rather a gateway to a better life.  Once married, … [Read more...]

Apr. 30: AIDA – A Speech, Not an Opera

Want to give an effective talk?  A national magazine for executives recommends the following, easy-to-remember formula: ▪ A—Attention.  Make a simple statement of your subject that shows your audience how they will benefit by listening.  Keep it short and to the point. ▪ I—Interest.  Ask questions.  Promise the listener that he will gain personally by listening. ▪ D—Desire.  Arrange your points so that the listener is compelled to follow you.  Sum up each idea as you … [Read more...]

Apr. 29: After Losing $800

As 77-year-old Jane Corbett drove to buy groceries for the St. Louis, Missouri homeless shelter where she volunteers, hundreds of dollars were flying out of the envelope she had accidentally left on top of her car while buckling in her special needs grandchild. Construction worker Ray Leuthauser was driving behind Corbett and unsuccessfully honked at her to try to get her to stop.  He finally just pulled over and started grabbing whatever money he could that was flying around—over … [Read more...]

Apr. 28: Laugh at Yourself

How important is laughter in one’s spiritual journey?  According to the late Charles M. Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip, it’s a necessity. “It has long been my belief,” wrote the cartoonist, “that one of the things which has enabled man to survive is the ability to laugh.  No matter how difficult the situation may be, man somehow has always been able to find humor in it…If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the … [Read more...]

Apr. 27: Peace by the Potbelly Stove

Lunchtime in New York City. Tourists rush from spot to spot, breathless from activity. Workers e-mail and text, frenetic in their daily routine. But inside the Potbelly Sandwich Shop, you’re likely to find a different world. The smiling staff welcomes customers, while a musician plays familiar songs on his guitar. Conversations take place—person to person, instead of phone to phone. The soothing smell of baked bread fills the air. The Potbelly Sandwich Shop chain began in 1977 in … [Read more...]

Apr. 26: Building a Better Workplace

When employers and employees don’t treat each other with respect, a workplace can become stressful.  The Christophers’ founder, Maryknoll Father James Keller, gave this advice on creating a kinder, more productive business environment: “If you’re an employer, show those who work for you that you respect them and don’t regard them as mere cogs in a wheel.  If you’re an employee, give your employer his due in a spirit that shows you consider your work as something more than an … [Read more...]