Globalizing September 11th

ReBlogged from Cristao408. I think this is a wonderful view of one way our global society can unite in our pain and progress forward, together.


2011-09-11 Remembrance

In remembrance of the 9-11-2001 attacks, I humbly suggest that we need to move beyond thinking of ourselves in terms of our nationality, our religion, or our race. We need to start thinking of ourselves as human beings. Only then will peace truly be possible. Easier to say than to do, but let’s use today as an opportunity to move towards that goal.


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Don’t Try to Move Mountains

I stumbled upon this wonderful interview with John Paul Lederach on Speaking of Faith on American Public Radio. In the interview, Lederach speaks about his life experience with what Krista Tipit calls, “a lived commitment to peace building” as well as global peace mediation. I must also recommend the book by Lederach and his daughter Angela, titled “When Blood and Bones Cry Out.”

Here is the link to the interview, which I strongly urge you to listen to. (I sat and made bracelets while I listened, it’s amazing the amount of things you get done when you multi-task!)

At the very end of the interview, Lederach discusses some of his Haiku describing peace-building. Here is one that touched my heart.

Don’t ask a mountain to move
Just take a pebble
Every time you you visit
-John Paul Lederach
I encourage you to listen to the interview, or check out where you can find more of his haiku. Find one that you enjoy and leave your favorite in a comment below, I would love to hear what words move your soul!

Thanks for reading, you wonderful people!


My Two Hands in March

AAAHHHHH!!! I am way too excited for words. I just booked my plane tickets back to the Dominican Republic for March. I get to spend a week with my favorite people in the world! My two hands will be teaching English and helping the children write letters to their pen-pals here in the United States through my Coloring Countries program. What a beautiful world we live in!!

If you would like to donate to the program, or support us by purchasing a piece of art work, please visit proceeds help purchase shoes, vitamins, and books for the children.

Please, please, please contact me if you are interested in the program, want to learn more, or have any comments about the program!

Thanks for reading, my wonderful followers (and new readers)!!

I Have a Mission For You!

I was browsing through an old book store yesterday morning, when I stumbled upon a fantastic book. “Start Something That Matters,” by Blake Mycoskie, is a book for anyone who wants to begin making a positive impact on the world. Blake Mycoskie is the Founder, or “Chief Shoe Giver” as he likes to call himself, at the revolutionary company, TOMS Shoes. Blake started the for-profit company after his visit to Argentina where he saw the children who suffered from infection because they walked on dirt roads without shoes, and were also unable to attend school because they did not have the money to purchase the appropriate school shoes. Blake set out to change this problem by creating a company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every shoe that is purchased, One for One.

Blake’s book, “Start Something That Matters” boosts people who have an interest in changing the world, and gives them a guide to starting a non-profit, bettering an existing non-profit, getting involved with philanthropy, and/or incorporating philanthropy into a for-profit company. Here are some of my favorite ideas from the book:

-Passion is important. “It’s increasingly easy to lose touch with our true passions- sometimes because we get distracted by everyday living; sometimes simply because in the usual stream of small talk or transactable business, no one ever asks us about our dreams. If you are not sure about your passion, here are three questions I sometimes ask people:

1. If you did not have to worry about money, what would you do with your time?

2. What kind of work would you want to do?

3. What cause would you serve?

– Simplicity will keep you sane.”Own as little as you can get away with. The fact is, the more you have, the more effort and money you have to spend time on taking care of it.” Blake also says, “Don’t let technology enslave you. Too many people take what’s good about technology- the convenience- and turn it into a form of oppression.” Tim Ferris is quoted in another part of the book, recommending the website, RescueTime, to track the amount of time you spend wasting away on the internet. This site will actually block sites like Facebook, during certain hours of the day to increase productivity!

-Be the change you want to see in the world. In order to build trust with the people inside AND outside your company or group, you must act as you would like to be treated. Blake quotes Robert K. Greenleaf’s 1970 essay, “The Servant as Leader” when he describes “The Servant as Leader” phenomenon. According to Blake, “the term refers to someone who uses qualities like empathy, listening skills, stewardship, and awareness rather than power to assert his or her authority to lead.”

-It is never too early to change the world. “There is no need to wait anymore. Give until you are sixty-five, and then give some more.”

-Creating change does not have to be a HUGE deal. Start small with just one thing that you think you can help with. ” If you look at all the terrible troubles the world faces, you may feel helpless to do anything. So simplify things and just one issue, even one person.”

-Live selfless. Blake describes a new campaign with Charity: water, where people can ask their friends and family to forgo presents on their birthday and instead ask their friends to give their age in money to the charity.

Toward the end of the book, Blake quotes Mahatma Ganghi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” So. True.

So my mission for you guys is to check out this book, and to start something that will impact the world. My mission is Coloring Countries, ( Even if it is something small like running a night at the local soup kitchen, you can feel great that you have impacted someone’s life… and doesn’t that just make life worth living??

Thanks for reading everyone!

Colorful Bracelets to Fund Education

Check out our new product at Coloring Countries. These colorful bracelets are made from glass beads and safety-pins. Help us fund education in El Mango, Dominican Republic with this purchase, and be reminded of the little faces you helped every time you look at your wrist.

This is Why I Go Abroad

When I was a little girl, I complained because my teacher made me read too many books. I grew up in a five-bedroom home in a small mountain town in the middle of Colorado. My Christmas mornings were plentiful, yet I cried when I did not receive the correct color of new shoes as a gift.

I travel abroad because I have seen the little faces of children who have never owned a pair of shoes, but walk two miles each day to school, wishing they had more books to read.

I travel abroad because I am no longer content living this world where I have everything.

I travel abroad to drop shoes, vitamins, and school supplies to the village where I volunteered this summer. The program I developed called Coloring Countries, helps fund these donations.

I travel abroad to show the children in this village that they can achieve every one of their dreams.

I go abroad for them.

Crayon Products For Sale to Fund Education!

New Crayon art for purchase to help fund education in the community of El Mango in the Northern Mountains of the Dominican Republic.100% of proceeds help fund education.

Place an order on the website to receive your custom piece of art! Please don’t hesitate to email with and questions about the products or with any special requests. I make all the products myself, so I would be happy to add anything in for my followers!

Thanks for reading today! Here is the link to the ColoCo site:

Custom Crayon Canvas available for purchase

Hanging Wall Art! Order in a variety of shapes and colors!

2012 New Years Resolution: Change Yourself, to Change the World

How to become a better person for 2012

If you are anything like the Me that I once knew, you see awesome programs and ideas for changing the world all the time, but pass them up because you don’t think you have enough time, or it seems like a lot of work. What I realized in 2011 is that helping is easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, you just need someone to push you off your procrastination pedestal.

Here’s my step-by-step guide to changing your life, so you can change the world.

Step 1: Find your passion. Any trade or skill can be put to use to help someone in need. Construction? Find a project that has been stunted because they are lacking a construction manager. Knitting? Find a program where you can knit hats for children going through chemotherapy. Love being outdoors? Find a ‘Walk for the Cure’ for a disease that has affected your life. If you don’t want to walk or run, they are always looking for volunteers to help with events.

Step 2:  Find a program or company that will allow you to put your skills to use. My favorite placement company is Just type in what your “thing” is, and they will connect you with various volunteer programs in your community. Another brilliant idea… GOOGLE! Type in, “Volunteer with (Insert skill here).” Bada-bing, bada-boom, helping.

Step 3: Get Up. No one can make you change if you don’t want to. If you see something that you can relate to, want to know more about, or you want to help with, then JUMP ON IT! Take the first step by contacting the person in charge of the event or program, and get on the mailing list! They will tell you how you can get involved.

Step 4: Experience Euphoria. There is no better feeling in the world than giving your time away to someone who is in need. When you get the opportunity to see change occur after you have given your time and effort, you will receive the greatest reward. In the psychology world, this is known as the “Do Good, Feel Good Phenomenon.” (Check it out, please!)

By changing the lives of others, you will actually be changing yours as well. According to The Happiness Project, a book about the “Do Good, Feel Good Phenomenon,”

“When it comes to happiness, it’s very important to remember to ACT AS YOU WANT TO FEEL. People believe they act because of the way they feel, but in fact, we very often feel because of the way we act.

So to change your emotions, change your actions. If you want to feel like a caring person, act in a caring way. If you want to have more loving feelings toward someone, perform loving actions for that person’s benefit. Doing good makes you feel good.”

Note: It is important to take a step-by-step approach to the transformation from being selfish to self-less. TAKE that first step, each step gets easier after you have gotten your hiney off the procrastination station. Soon you will be thinking of the rest of the world before any thoughts about yourself even arise.

“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment; we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make a contribution toward introducing justice straight away.” -Anne Frank

Recycled Crayons… I Need Ideas!!!!

I’m not sure that I have let you guys in on the program I have been developing. When I spent my summer to the northern mountains of the Dominican Republic this past year, I found a huge need for educational assistance within many of the communities. During the three weeks I spent in the DR, I taught an educational summer camp for the children, and has the chance to see the conditions of the school the children attend. After speaking with the principal of the school, I was informed that the teachers attempt to education mass numbers of students each day, with minimal resources. Thinking of all the resources we waste here in the US, I knew I could help with this issue. So I began to develop a program that would provide teachers with resources to educate, and students with shoes and vitamins so they can better learn.

Here is our web-page at the moment (please be patient, it is still in progress).

Today, I need your creativity and ideas! In order to send the recourses that we gather, and have donated, we need roughly $90 per box to be sent. My idea is to use the old, broken crayons that we have collected through various drives, and make products that we can sell at very low prices.

Here are some ideas I have already covered:

1. Crayon candles (don’t burn very well)

2. Crayon jars (melt in the sun, but work very well otherwise!)

I need more ideas!! Anyone? Comment below and help us out!

As always, thanks for reading!