Sometimes we underestimate the “power of we” when setting goals. For the past four years of the Bring Smiles to Seniors program, we have set goals that we hoped were attainable. When running a nonprofit, there are a lot of unknowns and setting a goal is not necessarily a science, but rather sometimes a gut feeling that leads you to a number. While that part may seem easy, it is bringing all the pieces together to make that goal become a reality where the real work lies. For Bring Smiles, it involves volunteers, cards, donations and time.
In 2016, our first year of operation, we didn’t set a goal and wound up delivering 7,719 cards. We went on to exceed our goals in subsequent years but every year got tougher. By 2019, we had delivered 71,586 cards and had no idea what the goal should be in 2020. Based on the effort required to achieve the 2019 number, we decided that the goal should be to do one more card than the year before. This would put our 2020 goal at 71,587. No one could have imagined what we would be facing in 2020. As the COVID situation unfolded, we were fearful that not only would that goal be unachievable, but we might be shut down all together with the country shutting down with us. What happened was quite the opposite.
As seniors were isolated in their communities and were not allowed to have friends and family visit, the need for our cards became even greater. The stars aligned to bring us a volunteer community outreach coordinator as more community requests came in. Our private Facebook groups grew and expanded. Companies like Cigna, Experian, Target, UnitedHealth and others reached out to get their employees involved. We found ourselves not only open for business, but all coming together for a common purpose to ensure that seniors were reminded that they are loved.
One would think that all of this effort would get us close to hitting that lofty goal of 71,587 cards delivered this year. Well I am here to tell you that not only did we hit it, we surpassed it. We announced on May 31st that we had delivered 74,373 cards so far this year….and we are only in the month of May. While this is an extraordinary year, where we go from here is the million dollar question.
Goals are meant to drive success. What has happened in the Bring Smiles to Seniors program is a true example of that. Goals motivate people to do their best, give their all and work in partnership to achieve a common objective. Goals are powerful, scary, exciting and necessary. When you not only meet, but exceed them, the possibilities become endless. A big thank you to each and every person involved in making this milestone a reality. #morningswithron
It is the times when you can’t be with your family that you remember things that happened in your life that remind you how special your relationship is. Things that may not have entered your thoughts for years, suddenly seem like they were yesterday.
My first assignment in the Air Force was in Turkey. I was allowed leave to come home and I had not seen my parents for some time. I was originally supposed to fly into one airport and I wound up being changed to another airport on my trip home. This was the days before cell phones so we had to get word to my parents over the airport loudspeaker that I would be arriving in a different city.
When I got to Orlando, I was taking the shuttle from one terminal to the main and during the ride we passed the shuttle going the other way. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my mom on the other shuttle and it was the oddest feeling as we were being separated in opposite directions, watching each other get further and further apart. Of course my mom got back on the returning shuttle and we were finally reunited with a big hug and a lot of tears.
Today in this Covid situation, it is those moments that we use to feel the hugs and the love that has always existed. It is those remembrances that remind us how important our family and loved ones are to us. It is those moments that wrap us in the hug that we need to remind us that time and circumstances can never separate love and caring. #morningswithron
One of the things I miss most in this pandemic is the power of touch. Seeing someone you love or have missed and not being able to run into their arms or shake their hand is hard.
Last week, I finally drove to see my mom and dad about three hours away. My dad has been battling Lymphoma for the last couple of years, so I wasn’t taking any chances and maintained severe social distancing. The desire to hug them and hold them was so overpowering that it reminded me just how important human touch is to our psyche and well being.
Somewhere out there today, someone you love needs that touch. While actual touch may not be possible, there are many ways you can take that moment and show them you care. Send a text, email, FaceTime, call or send them a card. We all need that touch, now more than ever. Sometimes all it takes is that virtual hug to get us through. #morningswithron
We got up this morning, started our daily chores, had our morning coffee and took a look at our calendar. There wasn’t an empty space to be found. From morning to night, every one of our waking minutes was filled with something to do. Suddenly, we realize that nowhere in that day is there time for us. At that moment we have a choice. Take out an eraser and block out some time that we can claim as our own. Or, live in a perpetual state of racing to the finish line without ever getting there. The decision is ours to make. #morningswithron
A big thank you to Bella Home Market in Lutz, Florida for carrying my book in their store. Post COVID they are planning a wine and book signing evening. I am most appreciative of your support. If you’re ever in that area, stop in and check them out. It is a beautiful store with lots of beautiful things. #morningswithron
Writing a book is tough. Getting people to buy it is even tougher. However, when you get an email from one of our senior communities in our Bring Smiles to Seniors program telling you that they are going to be reading your book to sight impaired residents, well that kind of makes your day. #morningswithron #bringsmilestoseniors
It’s easy to complain. It is our mind’s way of letting off steam when something is bothering us. However, how often do we complain without ever offering solutions? Complaining while offering up alternatives increases the possibility that others will see our complaint as valid. Always complaining without ever having alternative solutions often causes us to just be seen as an annoying person. #morningswithron
The United States spends billions of dollars annually on mental health services. How much of that spend would be unnecessary if we were all just a little kinder to each other?
Good morning. It is often hard to be unselfish with our time. Yet, taking a few minutes to responsibly social distance with a family member or friend, Zoom, FaceTime or even simply pick up the phone is necessary. It is not only good for our heart and soul it is good for those on the receiving end as well.
In a world where there are thousands with loved ones in seniors communities that don’t have the luxury of holding a hand or feeling a hug, it is now even more important than ever.
In my Calm meditation this morning on comparing ourselves to others, I heard “the behavior of others should not be the yardstick by which we measure ourselves”. So many times we judge ourselves by what other people have and it’s so unnecessary. Discovering our own value and what we bring the world is really all that matters.
Have a great day. 🤗😁