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    Autism Fundraiser

    Friday, October 26, 2007, 11:53 AM [General]

    So it's the time of the year to start soliciting donations from friends and family. Here's the deal:

     

    My partner and I are participating in a walk for Autism event on November 4th. Our goal is to raise 200 dollars between the two of us. If anyone should find an extra twenty in the pocket of your winter coat this year, please consider donating it to Autism Speaks. No Pressure  :)

     

    Autism Facts:

     

    *  1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism

    *  1 in 94 boys is on the autism spectrum

    *  67 children are diagnosed per day

    *  A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes

    *  More childern will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS,diabetes &   cancer combined

    *  Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.

    *  Autism costs the nation over $90 billion per year, a figure expected to double in the next decade

    *  Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases

    *  Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism

    *  There is no medical detection or cure for autism

     

     

    Incidence vs. Private Funding:

     

    *  Leukemia: Affects 1 in 25,000 / Funding: $310 million

    *  Muscular Dystrophy: Affects 1 in 20,000 / Funding: $175 million

    *  Pediatric AIDS: Affects 1 in 8,000 / Funding: $394 million

    *  Juvenile Diabetes: Affects 1 in 500 / Funding: $130 million

    *  Autism: Affects 1 in 150 / Funding: $15 million

     

     

    Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.  Here's the link to make a direct online donation:

     

    https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=214850&lis=1&kntae214850=C37854FD72204B3DA61D8EF2A354F3C2&supId=193002080

     

    If you'd like additional information about autism, please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org

     

    Blessings to you all

     

    Dustin

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    CWG meets CVM

    Thursday, October 25, 2007, 5:11 PM [General]

    A few months back,  Eric and I got the chance to attend a sneak preview of the movie, “Conversations With God” over at Unity of Phoenix. The movie is based on the series of best selling books of the same name. On top of that, Neale Donald Walsch (author of the aforementioned) was there for a Q&A session and book signing. Seeing Neale live may have been a once in a lifetime experience for the both of us. An experience that we will not soon forget.

     

    Aside from the general metaphysical theme of the film, the movie also explored how the homeless are treated in today's society. It really made me re-evaluate how I viewed homeless men and women who ask for money. You see, Neale himself was homeless for a year before writing this book. At one time, he was a functionally employed member of society in a small rural town. It was an unfortunate (perhaps fortunate) car accident that broke his neck and started the chain of events which would cause him to lose his job, house, and dignity. In the film, he applied at every place he could. No job was too menial for him. Sadly, nobody was willing to hire a man who called a tent in the park his home. He had an adequate education and years of prior job experience, but no phone number to speak of.

     

    We’re always so quick to judge the people who ask us for money on a daily basis. So many of us grumble to ourselves “Why can’t they just get a job like the rest of us?” as we pass them on the street. When walking around downtown Phoenix, it’s pretty easy to become annoyed after the third person (in a row) hits you up for some change. Without thinking, I used to say things to them like “Ya know, McDonald’s is just up the street”. It never occurred to me that even McDonalds (especially McDonalds) isn’t looking to hire people stuck in this unfortunate position. Aside from the fact they have virtually no contact information to put on an application and no means of daily transportation, they may not have a place they can adequately clean up for before an interview. Not to mention, most of us carry a pre-conceived notion about homeless individuals. They are either lazy, drunk, insane, or junkies in our eyes. Some of that may be true, but we don’t really know these people’s stories. Who am I to judge who is worthy to receive a dollar out of my pocket? When I think back to how I’ve handled some previous encounters with the homeless, I’m appalled and ashamed.

     

    So here’s my new plan. I’m going to really try to keep at least twenty dollars in singles in my wallet at all times. I’m going to paperclip 3-5 dollars together and attach a card containing contact information for the Community Voicemail Project. If you haven’t heard of them, they are a fantastic organization who provides a free voicemail account to the homeless. These voicemail accounts are the lifelines to many homeless individuals in the valley. The best thing about them is they are ordinary individualized telephone numbers. When a potential employer calls, they are greeted with the applicant’s personalized voicemail. I realize this won’t help the person get a shower and transportation to his/her potential place of employment, but it’s a great start. For more information about the Community Voicemail Project, visit http://www.cvm.org/sites.cfm

     

    Luckily they have an office located in central phoenix and the process to set up a voicemail account usually takes under three minutes. There are offices around the country and I’m really hoping others are willing to do the same. Even if you don’t have any money to give, at least give them CVM’s contact info. The best thing you can give to someone in a bad situation is hope.

     

    Oh yeah, if you haven’t already…  go and  check out any one of the ten "Conversations With God" books by Neale Donald Walsch, they're fantastic!

     

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    My Hero

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 8:16 PM [General]

    I first became a fan of Dr. Dyer's shortly after the release of the PBS special "The Power of Intention". Since then, I've read everything of his I

    can get my hands on. Additionally, I never fail to tune in to his weekly broadcasts on Hay House Radio.

    Growing up, I never knew my father as he abandoned my mother and I before I was born. When I read Wayne's story about his father, and his struggle with

    the emotions surrounding the man, I was eventually able to forgive my own. Since then, Dr. Dyer has become a sort of father-figure in my life. Whenever I need some fatherly advice, I just pull out one his books or pop in a DVD.

    I was blessed to receive a ticket to Wayne's recent "Change Your Thoughts,Change Your Life" lecture in PhoenixArizona. During the breaks, Dr. Dyer came out for an informal meet and greet / book signing. When I approached him, I was surprised to find myself completely choked up. I cleared my throat, extended my hand and told him

    what a pleasure it was to meet him. I was so ecstatic to be standing right in front of the man, I couldn't muster any words other than the usual pleasantries. He shook my hand, signed my book and replied "God Bless" in the most sincere voice I've ever heard.

    The moment was punctuated with Wayne's next comment to the seven foot tall bald man standing right next to me. Wayne noticed this man's shiny dome and exclaimed "Ya know, if the two of us put our heads together, we could really make an a** of ourselves!". While the crowd erupted with laughter, I casually slipped to the back of the room, hoping to make my escape before anyone noticed I was about to start crying. I had just met my hero.

    It was a day I'll never forget. Thank you for everything, Dr. Dyer.

    P.S. The very same day, I was also lucky enough to have an encounter with the son and former wife of none other than Carlos Castaneda. I'll save that story for another post.

     

     

     

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