#22 Days To FASDay – What One Person Can Do?

What can Only One person do?

From Deb Fjeld – a mom of four children with multiple complex issues and webweaver of www.toolboxparent.com

I was feeling frustrated the other day when I was listening to myself complain about the recent funding cuts going through our state. I realized that I have become so obsessed with trying to find grant moneys for programs that I have lost my focus like I had lost my paying job.

I had the “I’m Only One Person” Syndrome.
I felt that if I don’t find grant money for programs, that nothing good can happen and I can’t make a difference.

Then, I re-framed my thoughts. (My favorite thing to do next rationalization)

What can one person do to help a family who is struggling?

One person can (without a lot of money or no money which we sometime have):

  • be a mentor for a child
  • offer support to another parent who is struggling
  • create a blog to support other parents
  • phone a friend who has tough kids and say I appreciate what you do
  • operate a web site to help others
  • bring a meal to a sick friend
  • offer respite for a family who needs a break (even an hour makes a difference!)
  • pray for another who needs help
  • join a list serve and share ideas
  • call a church, school, government center to ring some bells on 09.09
  • get a little assembly together on your county courthouse on 09.09 to talk about FASD
  • hold a pregnant pause event at a local restaurant, hotel or bar
  • send an encouraging email to one, or all on your email list
  • write a book!
  • invite a few girlfriends out for coffee and relax!
  • read our articles on http://www.toolboxparent.com/
  • join a disccussion, ask a question, post a great idea to help professionals and parents of complex kids and intense adults at http://toolboxparent.ning.com/
  • write a review for an author who raises tough kids – your input really counts
  • HAVE FUN FUN FUN – pay attention to the little miracles every day
  • start a 501c3 (then you add a few board members and maybe get a grant)

These are things that don’t need a grant.
These are things that make an actual difference in another’s life, without costing any money.

I have noticed, though, that I receive much more in return than the effort I gave out.

What else can one person do to help another?? Any ideas we would love your comments.

Deb Fjeld and Jodee Kulp

Look what three parents with a single idea pulled off ten years ag0 and it is still continuing to ring our warnings.

FASDay 1999 began in Auckland, New Zealand, where “Minute of Reflection” bells rang at 9:09 a.m., at Mt. Albert Methodist church. Then it moved to Adelaide, Australia, and then to South Africa, where at 9:09 a.m., Cape Town volunteers gathered to hear the War Memorial Carillon that rang when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. Volunteers in Italy, Germany and Sweden held events — and then FAS Day crossed the Atlantic. Volunteers staged events and bells and carillons rang across Canada and the U.S. The westernmost activity was the community breakfast on the tiny island of Kitkatla, B.C., near the Queen Charlotte Islands, where the village bell rang at 9:09 a.m. followed by prayers in the native tongue by village elders. We missed a few international time zones.

We did it all on $100 in donations, plus thousands of hours of volunteer labor.

It was a labor of love and passionate commitment. We generated as much media attention as a million-dollar public relations campaign, and we made many new friends and supporters in the process. Many women of childbearing age learned for the first time that no amount of alcohol in pregnancy is safe.

All of us knew that in one magic minute, we really did begin to change the world.

Yeah, but…
What can one person do to fight FASD?”

You’d be surprised — if he or she is working with a world community of people equally committed to eliminating this tragic and totally preventable disorder!

The Million Mind March starts with a single step.

Daring to Live – He Won The Million Minds Race Without Ever Taking A Step

Jim Grimm never joined our Million Mind March, he died yesterday quietly in “his” home. He was 42 and he Dared to Live with Cerebral Palsy that captivated him to rejoice in a life few live so strongly. He never uttered a word, yet he profoundly and joyfully touched the lives of all who came to know him. He was an inspiration to all who met him.

Born with cerebral palsy and unable to communicate verbally or move of his own volition, Jim turned his severely isolating lifelong disability into a gift of connecting deeply with others. The community of Chisago Lakes rallied around the family while Jim was in preschool, little Jim went to school and graduated with his class in 1986. He was a friend to all. Independent and strong spirited, he moved into his “own” home as an adult and was surrounded by care givers who became his “Friends.” He climbed the first Liberty Ridge.

His Award Winning “The Heart’s Alphabet – Daring to live with Cerebral Palsy.” Won National Mom’s Choice Gold Award for Adult Memoirs. The Heart’s Alphabet is Jim’s self-told story, painstakingly spelled out, letter by letter, with the assistance of an interpreter is a tale of personal perseverance, a tribute to loving families, and-most of all-a testament to the possibilities that lie within each of us.

  • Jim ran the race of life wearing a wheelchair.
  • Jim taught life living independently hurdling barriers other placed before him.
  • Jim climbed Liberty Ridge – he scaled the impossible as a man
  • Jim spoke letter by letter with his tongue – his words and life live on in his book
  • Jim loved life, people, concerts, vacation, travel, sports & his dogs.

His dogs was how I was reunited with Jim last year. Jim was looking for a dog and he knew what “he” wanted. After visits with my large size puppies, he clicked with his tongue “No.” For Jim his No has always meant no, and his Yes has moved him forward. He never settled for I Can’t. For Jim has always been able to work with his family, love with his family, and do with his family and the community he became a part of – He expressed his needs – as a child and as a wholesome and loving man.

His parents, his sister and brother and the community he embraced can rejoice in a life lived with courage and strength. He won the race, he finished his life and I am sure on both feet this man raced into heaven – his job well done! For Jim death was his first step – and knowing him his body free he can now run and jump at last.

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me.
Your right hand will hold me fast.”
Psalm 139:9

His website is http://theheartsalphabet.com/

May his family be blessed in their remembrances.