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What’s Inside Good News …………….……. Page 2 The Professor and the Birds … Page 3-5 Kids Word Scramble ………... Page 6 Word Search ………………… Page 7 Math and Mazes …………….. Page 8 I’m Possible …………………. Page 9 This Little Light of Mine ……. Page 10 AA Flight 706 ……………….. Page 11 I’m an Alcoholic …………….. Page 12 Love Your Neighbor ……… Page 13-14 Meals for the Elderly Q&A .. Page 15-17 Experience Corner ………… Page 18-19

It only takes a few moments of your time reading, listening, or watching the “news” to conclude that there is too much of the bad variety. Making matters worse is the apparent phenomenon of “fake” news. A person can spend a lot of time reading or watching it and quickly get a bad taste in their mouth, a feeling of sadness, some loss of hope. Unfortunately, this leads many to switch off, tune out, turn off and try to avoid the huge amount of negativity. Then you can hope that if something positive becomes news-worthy, you will hear about it from someone who has stayed tuned in. While that is certainly understandable, an unintended outcome is that many of us carry on in a state of selfimposed ignorance. Good news is, believe it or not, all around us! Despite the seemingly unending stream of disasters and war in our world today, good things are happening every day in the neighborhoods and businesses and lives of people around us. This paper in your hands is aimed at seeking out these hopeful, positive, uplifting events and deeds and bringing them to you regularly. Now, if you are nodding but not yet smiling, it may be that you have a reservation. Perhaps it occurred to you that this sounds a bit too optimistic and we are simply ignoring the harsh reality that is all too apparent in our own lives or in the lives of people who we know and care about. Life sometimes deals us a pair of nothing. Some of us don’t even get cards. It’s a fact. And we would be wrong to stare at a glass with a hole in the bottom and call it half full.

Here, we think, is the point at which we must each be accountable. Often, the difference between bad news and good news depends entirely on us. I might read about other people who are, through no fault of their own, less fortunate than I am. Perhaps they are homeless or, they have a place to live but can’t afford enough food. Right after I read that story, I’m presented with a choice. I can choose to shake my head and feel depressed. I can be critical of the “system” and pass judgment on the lack of resources. Worse still, I can somehow convince myself that those people must in some way deserve their problems. Another choice I can make is to decide to do something about it. If I’m wealthy I can support the organizations which provide help. If I have time, I can volunteer for those organizations to help others. If I am a person of faith, I can choose to pray earnestly and have faith that the need will be met. If we choose these ways of doing something about it are we not making good news out of bad? This is not some revolutionary new way of living. It is a gentle reminder in an environment full of negativity, and cynicism that ultimately, in many cases, it is up to us to make the good news and proclaim it. Most of us already know it. Many of us have sadly forgotten it. This paper is a vessel launched into a raging storm in hopes of finding and proclaiming good news! If it touches a chord and meets a need it may bring hope to some who have lost it and provide a place of comfort for the weary.

“And that, ladies and gentlemen, tells the true story of what Christmas is all about. It’s a fable, a fictional story, a myth based on false beliefs,” Professor Rey stated.

Minutes later, he pulled into his driveway, opened the garage door, parked his car, and went inside to the warmer confines of his house.

“The story of a higher power, or ‘God’, coming to earth as a man can’t happen, didn’t happen, and makes no sense. Why would a powerful ‘God’ need to do that? Those that believe it expect you to believe it based on faith alone, not facts,” he explained.

After a light dinner, Professor Rey went over to the large living room window and noticed that the snowfall was getting heavier.

“I prefer the factual, the concrete, the observable universe instead of the fictional faith based storytellers,” he said in summation.

“Time to catch up on some of my science journals,” he decided, as he opened up one of the magazines to an article titled ‘Rewriting the Axioms of Quantum Theory’.

“I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight, Christmas Eve, for my ‘Truth About Christmas’ lecture,” he added. “I’ll end it tonight, not with a ‘Merry Christmas’ but rather with a more appropriate ‘Happy Holidays’. Good Evening,” he concluded. The twenty or so people in attendance quickly exited the small auditorium. Soon after, Professor Rey locked the doors and left. As he walked to his car, the wind picked up and snow flurries began to fall. The drive home was uneventful except for the traffic jam caused by parishioners waiting to enter a church parking lot for a Christmas Eve service. “If these people only knew the truth,” he though out loud as he slowly passed the church.

He settled into his easy chair in the living room next to the fireplace.

After a few pages of reading, he glanced up at the living room window and noticed the snowfall was now the heaviest it had been all evening. Not long after he returned to his journal, he was startled by a loud popping sound in the direction of the window. Then another pop, a thud, and yet another muddled pop. He quickly got up and went to the window to investigate. At first he thought that maybe someone was throwing snowballs at his window. Turning on the outside lights and looking around he saw something unexpected. A flock of birds was huddled miserably in the snow on the ground.

“They must have flown into the window during the snowstorm,” he figured. “Well, I can’t let these poor birds freeze out there. Let me see what I can do for them,” he decided.

The birds scattered in every direction, every direction except toward the open and safe garage. “What else can I do?” he questioned. “Any move I make seems to frighten them away.”

The professor put on his coat and boots and went outside.

“I think I know the answer, food will entice them in,” he reasoned.

He tried catching the birds but when he got too close they would flutter away.

He went back into the house and returned with a few slices of bread that he broke up into smaller pieces.

He tried approaching them very slowly but once again, when he got too close they scattered. “Hmmm,” he looked around, thinking about what he could do.

He sprinkled the pieces of bread in a line leading to the warm lighted wide open garage. But still, the birds did not go in. They ignored the bread trail.

Noticing the garage, he had an idea. After opening the garage door, he backed his car out and parked it in the driveway. With the light on and a small portable heater now going in the garage, he figured that should provide a nice warm temporary place for the birds. “That should do it. All I have to do is get the birds to go into the garage,” he smiled with confidence. He went back to where the birds were and tried to coax them in the direction of the garage. The birds just did not want to go in the direction he wanted. He tried shooing them in. He tried walking around and waving his arms and gesturing to them.

“I don’t get it,” he thought out loud. “I’m not trying to hurt them, I’m trying to help them.” “But I guess they don’t know that,” he sighed. “They must be afraid of me,” he realized. “To them I probably seem like a giant and powerful and terrifying creature. Someone they don’t trust and someone they don’t understand.” He spent a few moments pondering the situation. “If only I could be a bird,” he thought, “I could walk among them, speak their language and tell them that they could trust me and if they would do what I suggested they would be safe and ok.” (cont. next page)

“If I could tell them that I wanted to help them and that I was not going to hurt them,” he reasoned. “But to do that,” he paused with a sigh, “to do that I would have to become one of them so that they could see and hear and understand...” The snowfall had now stopped and Professor Rey stood there, silent, looking down at the birds. Moments later, church bells began to ring in the distance. He stood there listening to the bells, Adeste Fideles, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. As the bells continued to echo the true story of Christmas, he sank to his knees in the snow... *** Merry Christmas *** Editor’s Note: The Professor and the Birds short story is based on the classic Christmas story titled The Man and the Birds. The origin and author of The Man and the Birds is unknown. The late Chicago based news broadcaster Paul Harvey retold this story for decades on his Christmas radio broadcast. According to Mr. Harvey, “the story was originally published by United Press International by Louis Cassels, a longtime friend of mine and colleague. He and I tried for many years to trace the author of these words. We never could, and it occurs to me that maybe some things are supposed to be written without credit to any particular individual” -- R.L. Williams

“It’s too far. I can’t walk that far!” Brian exclaimed. “You won’t know until you try.” His mom tried to convince him. “Mom, you don’t understand. These braces on my legs make it hard to walk at all. Walking that far and uphill is IMPOSSIBLE!” Brian said as he was trying to hold back his tears. He had been looking forward to going out to the Christmas Tree Farm with is family. He had to miss it last year because he was recovering from surgery. The year before that, his dad pulled him in a wagon. He never realized how long and winding the path was until he was faced with trekking it. If only his dad were here, he would know just what to do. Brian missed his dad every day. His dad had been deployed with the Airforce six months ago and wouldn’t be home for another six months still. “Brian, you will never know what you can do until you try. Besides the doctor said the more you walk the stronger your legs will get.” His mom reminded him. Brian replied, “Mom, I already told you, it’s IMPOSSIBLE!” How do you spell that?” His little sister Becca asked. “What?

Impossible?” asked Brian. “I don’t even know. Why?” Brian wondered why Becca wanted to know. Pen in hand, Becca asked her mom to spell it for her. I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E. Becca slowly and neatly wrote each letter on a big tree leaf she had just picked up. I’M POSSIBLE she wrote. “Here Brian. Now you’ll always know how to spell it!” When Brian looked down and saw what Becca had written, he realized he had been looking at it all wrong. It made him remember what the school football coach had told him, “People never try for what they think is impossible.” He knew if he thought the trail was impossible, it would be. Brian fastened his braces tighter to his legs, took his crutches firmly in hand and said, “Let’s go!” What once seemed impossible was now becoming more and more possible with each step. He had to stop a few times along the way, but he made it. He picked out the most misshaped tree he could find. It reminded him of himself. Different from all the others but beautiful and unique. He knew it would make the best Christmas tree ever.

“There she is! My favorite young lady!”

Mr. Stevens exclaimed when he saw me in the doorway of his hospital room. As I made my way through the maze of medical equipment Mr. S began to sing “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…” I joined in “Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine.” Visiting my dear friend always brought back so many great memories from childhood. I once told him of my first time to see Santa Clause and he never let me forget that story! He brought it up at every visit. Barely 5 years old when my grandma took me to the mall to see Santa, I remember being fascinated by the bright lights and the elaborate colorful decorations that surrounded Santa’s Workshop. Equally exciting was the crowd of Christmas shoppers waiting expectantly for Santa’s arrival. I made it a point to learn the names of everyone around me, sometimes to the chagrin of my poor grandmother. Taking my grandpa’s words to heart, “Strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet.” I was determined to meet all the friends I could, everywhere I went. One of my new friends was a little boy nearby who was crying because he was scared. Being older than him, I thought it was my job to comfort him. “Santa is like Jesus!” I confided, “He loves the little children.” “Who is Jesus?” the little asked and I’m not sure why, but and my grandma cried as I shared the story of how Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Having comforted the boy sufficiently, it was time to console my grandma. I was not sure why she was crying. She knew that Jesus had risen and was in Heaven.

After all, she is the one who taught me about Jesus. The long line gradually disappeared, and it came my turn to sit in Santa’s lap. “Sweetie, I love the light you carry!” He must have seen the confused look in my eyes because he had explained to me that he was referring to a light inside that burned so bright that others could see it. I explained that it wasn’t my light but that it was Jesus in my heart. I proceeded to explain that he could have Jesus in his heart too and then Santa had tears in his eyes too! I just couldn’t figure out why all these grownups were crying about Jesus. After I helped Santa wipe away his tears, he explained to me that the light I carried was mine! That because I made the choice to let Jesus in my heart, the light belonged to me. To illustrate his point, he sang to me, “This little light of mine...” From that day on, I tried to let the light of Jesus shine through me! That included the time I went to visit Mr. Stevens, my English professor from many years ago. He was always so kind to me and he had the patience of a saint. I never forgot him and when I heard he was spending Christmas in the hospital, I had to go see him, even if it was a day’s drive away. Sitting next to his hospital bed we sang together, and the true joy of Christmas and Jesus filled the room. And, like Santa and my grandma all those years ago, there was a glistening in Mr. Stevens’ eyes too. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine Let it shine, shine, shine Let it shine! Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine Out there in the dark I'm gonna let it shine...

At first, the number four engine began to lose thrust. Slowly, the dial started declining, showing a loss of maximum available power. “No matter,” I thought, “I’ll just compensate and add thrust elsewhere.” I had three other engines, flawlessly churning. Thrust fell to zero in engine number four, but it wasn’t a big worry; my aircraft could fly on three engines at present weight nearly as well. Flying through some ever-present but never-seen turbulence, the aircraft lost two thousand feet of altitude. As I began struggling to maintain control, I noticed that the third engine’s thrust indicator had started to fall to zero. It was then that I knew something was seriously wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it, as I hadn’t been trained to deal with this inflight emergency. Briefly forgetting the engines, I traded airspeed for maintaining altitude, just hoping I could stay aloft without stalling to figure this out. The copilot, nearly incompetent in my opinion, began to murmur something as he watched me wrestling with the jet. “Quiet!” I barked at him. “I’m concentrating!” What could he possibly know that I don’t?

I booted the copilot out of the cockpit as I prepared to navigate my way to the ground, alone. The jet listed to the right and nosed up, achieving a full stall condition, left wing engulfed in fiery inferno. The jet fell, deliriously spinning uncontrollably to the ground as I stared out the cockpit window, plumes of smoke sporadically blotting out a view of the ground rushing up to meet me. There was nothing more that I could do. Helpless, I closed my eyes. Bewildered and lost as to what had happened and hands glued to the yoke, I cried out my last words, “GOD HELP ME!” “Hello, I’m Chris,” I stammered, unsure of what I was doing. Filled with a lifetime of self-absorbed shame and guilt, I barely got out through a flood of tears, “and I’m an alcoholic.” I don’t know when the first red flag was thrown in my life, as I compensated the headaches, nausea, late mornings, and testy attitude with procrastinated haste and a secluded disposition, feigning happiness.

Airspeed fell so rapidly that I was on the point of stalling out. I pushed on the yoke, sending the jet screaming down. The altimeter started reeling off the thousands of feet that we had before we slammed the ground. 25,000 feet, 20,000, 15,000, finally coming to rest at 10,000 feet as I nosed it slowly up. Airspeed was incredible at first, and I had reprieve. “Whew,” I muttered, “that was a close one,” momentarily forgetting other problems.

I had my share of scary moments- a wife ready to leave, a complete loss of friendship, and miserable employment. Days of drunkenness would go by, then weeks, and finally years. It wasn’t until my life had become completely unmanageable that I sat, bewildered and perplexed as to what had occurred, that I cried out for help. Instead of dying though, I was caught. I was graciously given friendship, companionship, a mentor and a way out of this nightmare.

I glanced back at the airspeed indicator; to my horror the jet was decelerating again. Quickly losing airspeed, I knew that we were going to die if something didn’t change soon. The jet pulled hard to the left as the number one engine burst into flames. I made the decision to fly it out myself; after all, I was in charge.

Most importantly, I was taught that there was a Higher Power that could fly the jet if I only ask and release. As I try to figure out life and my position in His great plan, I get to watch the master pilot take the yoke and direct me, if I only ask for His guidance and the power to carry it out.

Rum cookies, rum cake, rum eggnog, rum everything is all around me! It must be the Holidays. While everyone around me is letting the booze flow from Thanksgiving until well into the new year, I am finding new and different ways to say, “No, I’m an alcoholic in recovery.” or “No thanks, I’m driving.” or my favorite, “No thanks, I’ve already had too much to drink!” Hi, my name is anonymous and I am an alcoholic. I attend AA meetings and I work the 12 steps to stay sober one day at a time. I listen in meetings while others share their experience, strength, and hope. On page 58 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it says, “our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now.” Here is my story. In brief, I drank too much, even when I didn’t want to. Once I started drinking, I could not stop or predict how much I was going to drink or what stupid things I would do while drinking that I would have never done sober. Alcohol caused me all sorts of problems and cost me a lot of money. What started out as social fun ended up creating unbelievable chaos in my life. I didn’t know how to stop. I didn’t think I could stop, honestly. I told everyone else I could stop whenever I wanted to. I lied to myself and said my problems were not because I was drinking. It was my family, my job, my neighbors, even my neighbor's barking dog. Everyone and everything was to blame, except alcohol. Because alcohol was my best friend. Or, so I thought.

When I got to AA, I found out I had a living problem. Life is hard, and it has dealt me a bad hand. AA has shown me a way to live without alcohol and has given me a way to live life on its own terms. Now, I have peace and joy in my life but most importantly - I have a new way to live! Hearing how others came to AA always gives me hope and it lets me know that the 12 steps do work. I personally know people who have 20, 30 even 40 years without drinking. I also see a lot of people with 1 or 2 months. Once, I even sat next to someone who smelled of alcohol. One of the traditions of AA says “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.” That was music to my ears at my first meeting because I was not sure I was an alcoholic. For others, they are glad to hear they do not have to be sober to come to a meeting. As a matter of fact, anyone can attend open AA meetings. Even those who never drink or don’t have a need or desire to stop. Many of the meetings are “open” meetings which means anyone wanting to know more about AA can attend. Some meetings are “closed” and attendance is limited to people who think they may have a problem with alcohol. Below is more information on how to contact AA and how to locate a meeting in your area.

Tucked away in a neighborhood near Fort Concho is a place where love rules daily. A Godly love that touches and changes lives for the better. This is a challenging story to tell as new chapters are written daily and we can only get a glimpse. But what we will see is truly inspiring! Before cell phones were everywhere, over twenty years ago, a small group of teens from the Johnson Street Church of Christ went on a mission trip to Atlanta, GA. While there, they were inspired by a clothing distribution ministry operating out of a bus. Unable to text or email, they used a pay phone to call church leaders and say, “We want to do something like this in San Angelo!” Out of this request, a thriving, growing, ministry has risen to touch thousands of lives each year. “The more we give away, the more God keeps giving us!” says Bryan Jarvis, Director of Rust Street ministries. “We simply serve our neighbors. We care about them, body and soul regardless of their background, the color of their skin or age. We focus on the need, not the cause. We love them with the love of the Lord. CN: What is your personal motivation for being involved? Bryan: “The Lord. Serving people.” ‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ (Mark 10:45) CN: What’s something you would like to say to our readers? Bryan: “San Angelo is a wonderful place to live. I have served in ministry in different states, but this town, as a whole,

has the heart to help and serve our hurting and struggling neighbors like I have never experienced. The community works together, prays together, and cares from the heart. San Angelo is the ‘real deal’.” Rust Street Ministries’ operation is efficient, well organized, and busy. Recognizing that Bryan is likely needed elsewhere, I thank him for his time and we shake hands. Smiling he says, “Let me give you a tour of our services.” With this, my whirlwind tour of Rust Street begins. “Our neighbors sign-in on this sheet…” Bryan points to a desk in the welcoming lobby. On a clipboard there, a sheet full of names is indicative of the number of neighbors who need and receive some help. “…then each of them receives individual attention to determine what their needs might be.” We move to the spacious food pantry area. Bryan continues to explain gesturing to a couple of volunteers as he speaks, “These folks bag the groceries then weigh and distribute them. Based on our neighbor’s family, they get the right amount of food to feed their family for a week.” Continuing to an area where clothes racks fill the large open space and a dozen or more volunteers at different stations sort, tag, and hang clothes up, I’m struck by the scale of this operation. A spirit of teamwork exists everywhere we go. Furniture, clothing, food, hygiene and household items are organized neatly and made easily accessible in the 33,000 square foot facility.

Reaching the dock where incoming donations arrive, we’re greeted by another enthusiastic volunteer, another high-five, teamwork, purpose. Bryan explains that donations are sorted into bins on palettes which are moved indoors where the team processes and prepares them for giving away. The facility bustles and every person I make eye contact with smiles. It occurs to me that this must be how neighbors feel when they stop by for some help. Welcome. Important. Rust Street Ministries partners with Young Life, a youth and college ministry, La Esperanza Medical clinic, a diabetic lifestyle class instructor, and a recently added kitchen which serves hot meals three days per week.

My tour comes to an end back in the waiting area. I’m left with a couple of assignments. The bicycle ministry is in desperate need of more adult bikes (26� or larger) to repair and give away freely to those who need them. Getting to and from work at a new job on two wheels is much easier and faster than on two feet. Finally, if you feel the tug, the nudge, the intuition that you, too, are being called to serve, please contact Rust Street Ministries and set up an appointment on Wednesday at 2:00pm. Janet Branham will assist you in finding your special place beside the many other volunteers helping our neighbors.

Q) How did the Meals for the Elderly program get started here in San Angelo? Who was the person that got the ball rolling? A) Meals For The Elderly was founded in 1974 by Mary Alice Rogers. She saw a need with seniors that were homebound needing nutritious meals but also needing personal contact with people who are genuinely concerned about the recipients well-being. Q) Is it affiliated with what a lot of folks think of as “Meals on Wheels”? If not, why is that? A) Meals For The Elderly is a member of the national Meals on Wheels association. However, we are not a government funded entity like the national program. Meaning we do not receive government funding for our program here in San Angelo. Q) Since the program got started here in San Angelo what has changed? What has remained consistent? A) Meals For The Elderly continues delivering hot, nutritious meals every week day to over 700 homebound seniors and disabled residents in the Tom Green County and Miles area. The program has grown to incorporate the Pet Program, Weekend Sacks, Frozen Meals, Daily Bread and Emergency Meal Boxes. We learned that many of our elderly and disabled clients were not eating all their nutritious meal, but actually sharing it with their pets and this prompted us to start our separately funded pet program. Clients who have difficulty adequately feeding their cat or dog may receive supplemental

pet food for up to two pets at no charge. The Weekend Sacks are delivered every Friday to all recipients and have snacks and food to help during the weekend. Frozen Meals are also available for those who rely solely on our meals for sustenance. An Emergency Meal Box for all recipients delivered once a year that contain three days’ worth of shelf-stable food to be saved in case Meals For The Elderly is ever unable to deliver because of inclement weather conditions. We also send out fans (summer), heaters (winter), microwaves, smoke alarms, door bells and various assistive devices thru client services, when available. Q) About how many meals are served by Meals for the Elderly each (week, month, year)? A) Monthly – Approximately 26, 442 Annually – Approximately 317, 304 Based on Sept. 2018 delivery count This includes Hot Meal (Monday-Friday). Frozen breakfast sack on Monday, sack lunch on Friday and extra frozen meals for the clients needing them. Q) How many volunteers does that volume require to accomplish this task? A) Currently with 50 routes daily we utilize about 55-60 volunteers each day and about 300 volunteers on average weekly. Q) Are the groceries used by the program purchased? Donated? Both? Where do they come from? A) Both. Meals For The Elderly receives food drive donations from several of our

local businesses. The bulk of our food is purchased directly from a distributer. Q) In addition to preparing meals and delivering them, does the program offer any other services? A) Meals For The Elderly does it best to meet any needs our recipients of our meal program may have. Our volunteers that deliver meals are often the only personal contact our recipients may have on a daily basis so we encourage the volunteers to notify us if there is a potential need that might need to be met. We also have a social worker that goes to the recipient’s house and maintains a relationship so that as needs arise we can hopefully meet those needs or refer them to someone who can. We also have a “Seniors Still Believe” event which allows local individuals and/or businesses to adopt a senior for Christmas. We have ornaments that have a senior and their wish list for Christmas on it. You take the ornament and buy the items so that our seniors have something to open on Christmas. Q) Can you share an instance or story of a volunteer who did more than deliver a meal? Perhaps someone who just went the extra mile to help a neighbor out? A) We have several drivers that have been volunteering for many years and they build a relationship with their recipients. They will help take them to doctor appointments, bring them treats throughout the year, discuss their family members. The volunteers get very attached to the recipients and vice versa. The recipients become very attached to their drivers, the volunteers. They are all near

and dear to Meals For The Elderly of course. We are able to facilitate relationships, a secondary family, that may not have developed had it not been for our program. Q) What was it about the Meals for the Elderly program that motivated you to get involved in this “labor of love”? What do you like most about your role here? A) For me personally it is a labor of love that has evolved over the years. My grandmother raised me and as her health declined I learned about Meals For The Elderly. I began to deliver meals with my children when they were very young so they could learn an appreciation and the joy you feel when you give back. My daughter is 19years old and still drives a route when her schedule allows. I started volunteering again when both my kids went off to college and it just so happened the Marketing & Event Director position came open. The director approached me and I became an employee at Meals For The Elderly. I love getting to know the volunteers, recipients and donors. My position is just icing on the cake. I get to do what I love with great colleges that share the same compassion and meet new wonderful people that give so generously. It’s the best of both worlds. Q) What is your primary source of funding for the program? A) Meals For The Elderly of San Angelo relies completely on the communities support. Donations, sponsorships, grants and fundraising are how we continue to provide the services we provide. Without (cont. next page)

them we would not be able to deliver meals to our seniors. Q) What can our community members do to help Meals for the Elderly? A) We always need volunteers! That can be individuals, organizations, and/or businesses. There are a lot of local organizations that will sign up to drive a route once a week and send different members of their staff each week to rotate driving. Sponsorships and/or donations from local business or individuals. Every little bit helps, nothing is too small. Equally important, our recipients! If you know a senior or disabled person that is struggling to get a nutritious meal, please recommend them to us or us to them. No senior deserves to go hungry! Q) What is the process of volunteering like? Requirements or restrictions? How can someone get involved?

A) A valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle. Personal auto insurance. Patience and understanding with seniors and individuals with disabilities. Agreement to a background check. Must be able to pick up meals by 11am. Q) Is there anything else you would like to add to share with our readers? A) Do what you can, when you can! There are seasons that affect us all and as your seasons change so might your ability to give. If you are able to donate monetarily, donate. If you are able to give of your time, volunteer. If you have gently loved or new items that you know could be used by someone, bring them. If you know a senior in need of a hot meal, call us. Just take action, our seniors deserve to be taken care of. For more information please contact Dannielle Dunagan (325) 655-9200

Once upon a time… If you’ve been around long enough to appreciate those four short words I want you to do something for me. Stand up and say “Hurray!” and if you can’t stand up then raise your hands in the air and say “Hurray!” anyway! Remember when story time always began with “Once upon a time…”? Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “What kind of nonsense is this stand up and say ‘Hurray!’ business?” I share that with you for a reason and I believe it is a good reason. Experience counts for something. If we’ve survived the various perils of youth and arrived where we can look back and appreciate some good things, shake our heads at some ill-advised decisions along the way (also known as lessons), and smile at the years behind us we need and I believe we deserve to celebrate and take a moment to appreciate our status as a “senior”. There are various tests to determine whether we belong in that category I suppose. The numbers on our driver’s license, an insurance company’s actuarial tables, the IRS. The list goes on… I reject those classifications categorically. Here is my test for determining whether you can rightly call yourself a “senior”. 1. If you remember that there are ‘magic words’ and they go like this; a. Yes Ma’am b. No Ma’am c. Yes Sir d. No Sir e. Thank You f. Please

You earn the right to advance to question #2. 2. If you’ve learned that the person across from you may, and quite likely does, carry a heavier burden than you can possibly know, and you treat them accordingly. You earn the right to advance to question #3 3. If you know that the number of zero’s behind whatever figure represents your income has absolutely nothing to do with how rich you really are you. Please advance to question #4. 4. If you are having a conversation with someone and you know exactly what they are going to say next, and you realize that they need to say it much more than they need to hear you say it. You earn the right to advance to question #5. 5. If you know that an apology is only worth the willingness you possess to make the necessary effort to set right whatever it is you are apologizing for, you’ve earned the right to advance to question #6. 6. If, in the span of your years, you’ve come to realize that the sum of all that you know is far less than the sum of what there is to know, you’ve earned the right to advance part way to question #7. If, upon realizing the limits of your own knowledge, you learn to be at peace with the fact that there are things you will most likely never know or understand and are doing your best to keep an open mind, you’ve made it the rest of the way.

7. If you’ve learned that the greatest joy you can have in this life comes not from acquiring or having but rather from offering and giving, please proceed to question #8.

9. If you’ve come to realize that if you want others to show you respect, you must first learn to respect yourself, by all means, proceed to the final question.

8. Considering the context of question number six, if you recognize you can learn something, even if it is what not to do, from everyone you encounter while here, so long as you are willing to observe and truly listen, then by all means go on to question #9.

10. If you’ve successfully navigated life thus far then only one thing is between you and the distinction of being able to call yourself a senior. If you know what a Sears and Roebuck catalog is then my friend, please, stand up and congratulate yourself with a big “Hurray!”

final pub 20  
final pub 20