Saturday, October 8, 2011

Speaking of things that bring happiness....

There are few things that cost nothing but truly make you feel good. Doing things to help others is definitely one of them. You can never understand the positive effects on your own life that stem from giving your time to help others and and expecting nothing in return. This is what we call volunteering. Sometimes those that we choose to help are our friends and sometimes they are people we have never met. Sometimes our efforts reach people and become a blessing in their lives without us even knowing. 

"In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it." ~ Marianne Williamson

The selfless people who take the time out to do volunteer work are special angels to those that they help. These people are never doing the work that they do in hopes of receiving compensation. It's the simple pleasure that comes from knowing that you have helped another that needed it that fuels these special people. In the process, you gain much in the way of knowledge and friends. 

An all time favorite quote...

I was lucky enough to have met, through an elaborate string of events, a gentleman who has become a very dear friend to me. I could have never known that travelling to a show in West Chester with friends would lead to the type of friendship that I have developed with Mr. Dan Mangini. The show I met him at was one of his many volunteer projects. Even knowing that he had organized the event that I attended, did not give me a clear knowledge of the extent of his work. A great deal of the work I have seen Dan do is for Siloam. Not only has he organized fundraisers to benefit this organization, but he is also there several times a week helping out in whatever capacity they need him to. For more information on Siloam or to make a donation please visit:

As the months have gone by, I have seen Dan face numerous devastating events. The type of things that he has endured recently are events that have the ability to weaken spirits. The ability to break people. I have seen it happen. Remaining in close contact with Dan at these times and having many heart to heart conversations with him, has shown me just how alike we are in our beliefs and the strength we posses to put one foot in front of the other, no matter how hard the next step seems. Our desire to share what we know with others about how to view things and the effect it has on your mental well being, is another common bond. I got a message from Dan one day asking me to help him find something to share and discuss during a group meeting. I was honored that this man would look to me for suggestions on something that obviously was very important to him. The kind words of gratitude that I receive from Dan, no matter what I share with him, lets me know that he enjoys our friendship as much as I do! 

Recently, there were nominations announced for the 2011 5th Annual Philadelphia Rainbow Awards. Dan was nominated in two categories; Humanitarian and Volunteer. As I said earlier, recognition is never the motivation for volunteering. That being said, it sure feels good to hear that your selfless efforts to benefit others have been noticed and appreciated. Dan was shocked by his nomination and will, without a doubt, be even more shocked to wake up this morning to the news that he has won the Rainbow Award for Volunteer. I am so proud to call Dan my friend and could think of no better way to express that pride than to give him his very own post in a blog that he, through our conversations, had inspired without even knowing. Before I invited others to read this blog, I sent the link to this man who's opinion I have learned to value so much. I am happy to say that this post has been the easiest to write :)  

Dan and I at Outfest 2011

I <3 you, Dan! Congratulations!!


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