Snow in Washington State & Zumba for Sandy Survivors
Not much to worry on in the weather unless you live in the extreme Northwest where a snowy preceipt is going to make it's mark. Big news around town is that Mt. Rainer might get 118 inches of snow.. (is that possible.. I'm from Miami.. it just seems that unless you are in the Himalayas you shouldn't get 118 inches of snow... ) But, hey it's up high on a mountain and that's not the biggest news in the world.
A snow storm in the Appalachians or across the Prairie might be bigger news.
I suppose if you want to know where to go to have a snowy Thanksgiving..or Christmas..or New Years...
According to the Texas Storm Chasers Online there is a chance...of snow in Texas but that's slim pickings if you ask me so I'd wait until it's a bigger chance before you start planning to build snowmen.
You can mosey on over to their website and take peek around... they are wonderful... but it's like really going out onto a limb if you ask me... a cottonwood limb maybe...
Wonderful coffee ... if you like something more than plain ole American Joe.
If you are on Miami Beach for Thanksgiving, go to the Lincoln Road Store...
Heaven... a colorful haven :)
I tried that Starbucks one in the store..was not impressed... not as intense an experience...
So...the other thing I want to talk about tonight is that I am hearing more and more stories of people giving of their time, their money and trying to help others caught in this "once in a life time" tragedy also known as "Sandy"
I've seen kids in Miami have lemonade stands to send money to groups up north. Charity drives by Chabad and Catholic Charities and even Southwest Airlines has helped relocated pets.
If there is a church or a group or a club somewhere this holiday season they are collecting money or trying to help out a friend, a loved one or just some random group they heard about.
As horrible as this tragedy is ( I could look for many words to describe it but horrible just about does it)...
the outpouring of people trying to help others and charity is heart warming.
I participated in a group effort last week that seemed easy enough at the time, but when you receive a letter back from someone who has been helped it hits you that enormity of small, simple acts multiplied over time by many people.
I go to Zumba weekly and love the Latin dance and happy vibes... good for your body and good for your mind. Nothing like a little Merengue to wake the body up..
There is this woman named Sima who has had her share of tragedy in that her husband died of cancer when her son Teddy was a baby. She's a nice lady, friends with some of the women in the group and she was living in a basement apartment like many others trying to make ends meet...except her basement was near the ocean on Long Island. It's a nice play to raise a son, enjoy the sun and live a good quality of life...except when a once in a life time hurricane arrives in your lifetime.
So, the women started a Facebook group.. they put up flyers.. got some door prizes and made raffles. Everyone involved donated their time, money and in two nights raised $800 for someone they barely knew... a mother with a 7 year old son living near West Hempstead on the beach... in a town I can't remember the name of because it's not my neck of the woods. A quiet, inexpensive place to live to raise a son on her own without his father where they could have a nice quality of life.
I hear this story over and over. The people, the families who lived in SeaGate lived there because it was affordable and a friendly place. Anywhere in Brooklyn is a fortune to buy, almost impossible and to rent is very expensive and you don't get a lot for your money even though it's fun to live in Brooklyn. Two Broke Girls are in Brooklyn because... it's Brooklyn... and they can't afford the Upper East Side or Upper West Side or any side of Manhattan.
So... women in North Carolina joined together to do something... even a little something and it netted $800 and I'm sure there is more coming. The Facebook group is linked here... contact someone (Leslie or Lilliana) if you know someone who would like to donate to Sima and Teddy... they lost everything and I do mean everything except a few friends around the country who are trying to help..
A board was made of pictures to show the extent of the destruction of what used to be their lives, their homes..their prized possessions... their memories... a board to put a face on a tragedy to know who we were helping.
And the women did their Zumba, they gave what they could... nice women and enjoying doing Zumba with them when I am in NC. It's not Zumba on the beach or in Hollywood or the great group in Miami Shores but it's a nice, caring group of women who took the time to do something... anything...to help in whatever way they could. How nice is that? Very nice I think. The link to their group is below which shows how easy it is to start a group ... and how easy it is to contact them to donate some more..
This letter came in my email today and I am posting it below... so you can see ... and remember that groups like this all across the country are trying to help someone, somewhere who has lost the fabric of their lives that existed just a month ago .... people that had no clue that come Thanksgiving they would be homeless..
Hello Zumbalicious Group
I just want to take a minute to thank everybody that was part of our Zumba FUN-raiser to benefit victims of hurricane Sandy. Sima and Teddy are deeply grateful and so am I for all your love and support, donations and for giving and participating in this classes with such an open heart. We all have gone through though times and we all know that sometimes those that we least expect are the most willing to help us through these times. You as a group have showed me again how wonderful you are and I cannot express how much love and appreciation I feel for you all. We collected around $800 all together.
A note from Sima:
Thank you for joining Leslie and Lilliana for Zumba!
I am deeply touched by the kindness of all of you who have reached out to help my son, Teddy, and me.
The love and generosity that we have witnessed in the days since Hurricane Sandy have far exceeded all the storm took from us.
It is a great comfort to know that there are still people who will give of themselves to help others rebuild. As we navigate through the days and weeks ahead, we will be thinking of you, and hoping that the kindness you have shown us will be returned to you tenfold.
Have fun tonight!
With love and gratitude,
Sima and Teddy Matthes
I want to give special shot out to:
-Our D.J. Cesar Merlos with Salsa Xtreme and Pro-Green Company for providing the sound for both Monday and Wednesday classes.
If any of you ever have a benefit party and need a D.J.. Cesar provides his services pro bono and doesn't charge when the event goes towards helping somebody else.
-Liz Miller with Artful Endeavors for donating the beautiful paintings for the raffles.
Liz Miller CDA, decorative artist and teacher,teaches classes in acrylics and mixed media at her studio, Artful Endeavors. Liz teaches weekly art classes and workshops at Artful Endeavors. Liz has taught in the triangle area since 1984, sharing her artistic knowledge and spirit for creating. If you are interested or are looking for the best art classes in the triangle, please contact Liz at:
Rachel DuBois with Moondance Soaps for donating all the wonderful smelling soaps for both classes, I am in LOVE with the fragrances and want some more. If you share my feelings, let me know and I will find her contact information this week and give it to you all. I also think that her soaps make wonderful Christmas and any holiday gifts, so keep that in mind.
Last but no least, a BIG thank you to the Toyota dealership for donating two $150 car service and maintenance certificates, Leslie's friend for donating her book and training on advertising, the person or business who donated the I-Pod shuffle (please forgive me for no having all the information, I will ask Leslie about it and post it on MeetUp and Facebook) and all of my students/friends that always with us at all our classes, parties and events, you guys make life so much fun and I am grateful and blessed to be able to share it all with you.
Now...isn't that beautiful... it is to me. And, more so because I've spoken to so many people since Sandy who have told me of similar small acts of kindness they participated in..
Sending coats and sweaters to survivors.
Preparing to give Thanksgiving Dinners..
Helping people clean up what is left of their lives..
An endless list.. and when you multiply random acts of kindness and charity by all the people around the country and the world.. that's a lot of good will and it is one of the few silver linings of wake of tragedy left behind by Sandy.
The UJA is collecting money for helping out with a larger than normal Thanksgiving program..
They have been providing meals, support... however they can but they can do it better with more donations.
Even my granddaughter in Crown Heights helped donate books and toys to children who lost theirs in Sandy. She's on the far left ;)
So, next time someone asks you to donate whatever you can... or to collect toys or sweaters or show up at a Golf tournament, a Zumba class or some such program where the monies collected are going to help others... get up, get out, go out and participate! Dig into your pockets, empty a charity box you may have around the house and donate the proceeds.. do something and help make some one's world a better place!
Ps..We spend a lot of time on Thanksgiving thinking on giving thanks.. if you have a home, someone who loves you or you love, friends, clothes and all those little things that make life important... if you have any of those you are lucky... and you have what to give thanks for... many do not and this year they are on the receiving line not the shopping line. I think if we all put aside a good part of what we would normally spend on Black Friday and give it to our favorite charity to help the people who lost everything in Sandy ... the world would be a better place and there would be a whole lot more thanking going on..