A Creator of Hope and Opportunity

A Creator of Hope and Opportunity

An Indian village schoolteacher was awarded $1 million for promoting girls’ education in tribal communities.  Ranjitsinh Disale learned their local language in order to translate textbooks, and he created a QR code for students at Zilla Parishad Primary School to access audio poems and video lectures.  And if that’s not enough, he’s giving away half of his Global Teacher Prize reward to the other nine finalists.  “They will get a chance to continue their work,” Disale said, “and we can reach out and lighten the lives of as many students as we can.”

Be Kind . Be Grace . Be PEACE

In Memory of my sweet friend Christy

In Memory of my sweet friend Christy

This story is very special to my heart.  Today is the memorial of my close friend Christy, who was truly an angel placed here on earth.  Christy was and always will be a person who inspired me constantly and who I feel truly blessed to have been able to call a friend.  She lost her battle to cancer after being a warrior for MANY amazing years; years that I feel blessed we were gifted the extra time with her for.

Christy and I developed and ran an all parent volunteer art program at our children’s elementary school for over 10 years to bridge the gap in funding for art programs in public schools.  Our program became the standard for the district and to this day many of our lessons are being used.

Christy had an unwavering determination to bring art to all and believed in the unifying power art education has on all of us – from the kids who thrived learning about art history and technique and it’s impact on culture and society throughout the ages, as well as the parents who volunteered their time to teach our lessons and learn alongside the children.

Christy believed in the power of service and the real magic of how art can bring about healing.  This beautiful story of service, compassion, and love would make her so very, VERY happy.

5-Year-Old Girl with Cancer Proves ‘Bald Is Beautiful’ in Disney Princess-Inspired Photo Shoot.

By Joelle Goldstein / People

A 5-year-old girl battling an aggressive form of kidney cancer was able to forget about her health challenges for a bit when she transformed into a Disney princess as part of one photographer’s heartwarming photo shoot.


Ryan Taft tells PEOPLE that being able to watch his daughter Arianna dress up as her favorite Disney princesses for a once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot was unlike any experience he’s witnessed as a father.


“To see her dressed as her favorite magical princess and all the other ones is just incredible,” he tells PEOPLE , “I look at the photos and I know it’s Ari, I know it’s my daughter, but it literally looks like she could be starring in her own movie, which is just super special and amazing.”


Those magical photos — featuring Arianna as Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Elsa from Frozen and Merida from Brave — were all thanks to photographer Ashley Richer, who has been donating themed photo shoots to children with cancer since 2018.


Richer says the idea first came to her after her son’s best friend Lia passed away from the disease in 2017.

 “She lost her battle right before she turned two. And after that, I just knew I had to do something like, what can I do to help these kids when they’re sick?” she recalls. “I decided to do what I know best, which is creating magic from a camera.”


“It wasn’t until I started doing these sessions that realized that this was exactly what I was meant to do,” Richer adds. “Just make other people’s lives better by something so simple as taking a photo and then just being creative with it.”


Eventually, a client of hers told her about Arianna, who was diagnosed with an advanced form of kidney cancer earlier this year.


“She had a 13-centimeter tumor on her kidney,” Ryan shares of his daughter’s journey. “They removed the tumor and the kidney, and the surgery was a success, but she still had cancer on her other kidney, her lungs, her liver, her lymph nodes.”

Though Arianna was initially shy, her family says the “silly, happy” girl was a natural in front of the camera.


“Instantly like she was a model, like having so much fun, smiling the entire time,” Seaboyer says of the shoot.


Adds Ryan: “She just looks like Elsa, when she gets her magic powers and she’s just conjuring up a storm. That is everything that Arianna’s embodied since that movie came out.”


“I know we’ve been smiling nonstop since she got to go down there,” the proud father continues. “It really is one of the big bright spots throughout her treatment process.”


The moment was equally as memorable for Richer, who notes how Arianna will forever hold a special place in her heart.


“She is just the sweetest little thing,” Richer shares. “She is now a friend for me for life. She’s awesome.”

As Arianna works towards finishing her chemotherapy, Ryan says his daughter is the epitome of strength as she uses this moment to send an important message to little girls around the world.


“You hear cancer and you think all the bad things that are associated with it, but… she hasn’t allowed a single day to be difficult,” he explains. “You can’t look at her and see what she’s going through and not feed off of that strength.”


“To see her do something that’s really like a once-in-a-lifetime experience just puts into perspective to enjoy all the little things, but also the big things, and to really focus on the positive,” Ryan adds. “She’s just representative of bald is beautiful and bald can be a Disney princess, and she’s loving on every minute of it.”

Be Kind, Be Grace, Be PEACE.

Kindness MATTERS

Kindness MATTERS

North Texas 5th-Grader On A Mission To Donate 100K Meals To People In Need By Thanksgiving

By Syndicated Local – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

A 5th grader in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District has a habit of setting very lofty goals for himself… he also has a habit of exceeding them.

So, it isn’t surprising that Orion Jean wants to continue his mission to do good for others into the holiday season.

Earlier this fall, the Chisholm Ridge Elementary student collected and donated hundreds of toys to hospitalized children in Dallas through his Race to 500 Toys drive. Now, he’s started another drive with the goal of donating thousands of meals to people in need by Thanksgiving.

In addition to the work Orion is doing on his own, the Race to 100,000 Meals food drive will be be accepting food donations from the public on October 24. Those making donations are asked to bring packed meals containing 1 bottle of water, 2 tangerines or 1 apple in a zipped sandwich bag, 1 applesauce cup or tuna pouch, and 1 packaged granola bar. The contents should be inside a brown paper bag with a positive message written on it.

“I’m asking everyone to join me in a race to kindness,” Orion said. “This has been a rough year for everybody, and now it’s more important than ever to show support and love to anyone who needs it.”

Orion began collecting donations earlier this week and has already received nearly 4,000 meals.

Over the summer, Orion won the Think Kindness National Speech contest, where he urged others to show compassion through action. As champion, he was given $500 to start his own kindness project where he went on to collect toys for hospitalized children.

CLICK BELOW to help Orion reach his 100,000 meal goal by Thanksgiving!

Be Kind.  Be Grace.  Be PEACE.

Gratitude and the Gift of Color

Gratitude and the Gift of Color

After living his entire life with colorblindness, one Northern California man was brought to tears by a generous gift from his coworkers that allowed him to finally see life in full color.

Jeff Dishmon, a correctional deputy who manages a work-study program at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, received a pair of specialized glasses Nov. 14 from his longtime coworker Samantha Freese. A fellow correctional deputy, Freese has worked alongside Dishmon for eight years, and the two had become close, calling one another “grandpa” and “granddaughter.”

Dishmon’s colorblindness had “sometimes been a source of frustration for him and others around him,” the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said, so Freese and other coworkers pitched in to buy him glasses designed to help those with colorblindness see color.

In footage shared by the sheriff’s department, both Dishmon and Freese were visibly emotional before he even put the glasses on. “(It’s) a different world,” Dishmon said through tears as he stared into the distance, spellbound by the landscape.

Freese then introduced Dishmon to a set of purple, green, blue, red and yellow balloons to test out his new specs, and the two longtime coworkers shared an emotional hug.

“You’re unbelievable. Thank you so much. Thank you, everybody,” he said, adding that he was excited to watch the sunset with his wife.

During a subsequent phone call with his wife, Dishmon broke into tears as he talked about his gift.

“You wouldn’t believe this place. This whole place is lit up. The whole world is lit up!” he told her.

The glasses Dishmon received were EnChroma glasses. The glasses, which retail for several hundred dollars, have optical lenses designed to selectively block certain wavelengths of light that contribute to colorblindness.

This beautiful story can be found HERE.
By:  Danny Clemens/ Channel 6 ABC, November 16, 2018

To learn more about EnChroma Glasses click HERE
(FYI – their website says they are having a big Black Friday sale!!!)


Wishing you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.  I am grateful for all of YOU!

Brewing a Cup of Opportunity and Support

Brewing a Cup of Opportunity and Support

In beautiful Portland, Oregon, where amazing coffee is a staple of life, a little coffee roaster, Happy Cup Coffee Company, is pouring up opportunity, joy and delicious brews for customers and its employees.

I recently visited a friend and came across this business and its lovely story. Happy Cup Coffee is an artisan roaster based in Portland, Oregon with a clear and beautiful goal: to offer employment and opportunity to adults with disabilities and to deliver an OUTSTANDING cup of coffee.

Their Mission statement:

  • Offer employment, a competitive wage and full life to adults with disabilities in our local community – our People with Potential.
  • Help create a better future for the disabled by donating a percentage of our profits to vocational and recreational programming for this community.
  • Deliver a responsible, great tasting cup of coffee that is ethically traded and Kosher.

Founder Rachel Bloom holds to the idea that customers will want to purchase the goodwill her coffee brings in addition to the great taste.   Bloom has created an encouraging environment that allows employees to not only be an integral part of their product production but also represent the company at local stores like New Seasons and Whole Foods by expanding sales skills and providing samples to customers.

Rachel Bloom was a high school special education teacher who grew concerned about the future of her students, not sure what would be next for them when they aged out of publicly funded programs. She wanted them to live happy, productive lives but once they turned 18 and graduated she found that most faced a shortage of vocational and recreational options. She decided to create a business that would give back by addressing the challenges adults with disabilities face every day. Happy Cup and Full Life – Champions for People with Potential, provide opportunity to thrive to many adults who might have otherwise been overlooked. At a time when 75% of people with mental challenges can’t get a job Happy Cup is making a difference.

“It’s a dream that comes true in a new way every day”, says Rachel.


The Happy Cup team of employees ranges in age and skill but what they all share is a love of working, a dedication to their jobs, and a passion to help Happy Cup grow. When asked what the most challenging part of her job is, employee Keyona Martin says it’s that she “learns at a different level, but that doesn’t stop me”.

I just ordered my box of Happy Cup Coffee in time for the Holidays and it arrived in 2 days perfectly packed and deliciously fragrant and ready to brew! Each individual coffee bag was stamped with the name of the packer and I even received personally written and drawn notes in the box thanking me for my purchase. I want to say thank you to my coffee packers: David, Ace, Marvin, and Christina for so lovingly preparing my shipment.

At a time when myopic division is growing at an unsettling pace it is lovely to see people filling the needs within their communities and providing support, love, and encouragement … along with a great cup of coffee! Cheers to that!

Purchase some Happy Cup Coffee HERE
(click on the Store button at the upper right)

Learn more about:
Rachel Bloom
Happy Cup Coffee
Full Life 


What's NEW, Fun Stuff

& Peace Posts

Whoohoooo! You've successfully subscribed!