Friday, January 18, 2008

More on Jason McElwain's Amazing Game

Last week I linked to a Jason McElwain video about his amazing game on Feb 15, 2006. Here are two more videos (~6 minutes each) that give more of the story.

- This one points out that he was the high scorer of the game.

- This one spends the last 3 minutes about other people who have been inspired, including a family whose son has autism; Jason comments about how their story touched him.

It's nice to see a story that keeps on giving. They say there will even be a movie based on it. Fun.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

They just might surprise you!

You've got to watch this video (~3 minutes) of a young man with autism who surprised everyone in a basketball game. What an awesome story!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Great Christmas Gifts

Christmas is a grand time of goodwill and an unavoidable reminder to pay attention to one another. The best gifts are the happy surprises: they demonstrate that someone really was paying attention and cares, and that's one of those indescribable feelings that are the reason for the season. Unfortunately, this is rare; it seems like every company under the sun is telling you that their product will make "the perfect gift!". It's good any time we make an effort to show we're thinking of someone; it's great when those small gifts are things that take time, effort, and thoughtful consideration.

Here are seven of the gifts from this past holiday that left an impression on me.

  • A cookbook, containing the giver's favorite recipes. Many of them are family recipes, and her family probably appreciated them most. But she's well known as a cook in our neighborhood, and it's a very personal gift.
  • A lesson book for family nights. This one must have taken some time: she put in a lesson for every week of the year (in plastic inserts for every page, with a recipe index and a table of contents); each lesson looks like it will keep the attention of our kids for at least a few minutes. And it has our family's picture on the cover, nicely done.
  • A homemade DVD containing a religious song with pictures and video. It's not as personal, but I know how much time it takes to create one of these, so I definitely appreciate this.
  • A tiny nativity scene. My wife mentioned off-handedly to someone how she collects nativity scenes, and so this person gave her one. That is one of those pleasant surprises.
  • Cookie dough! OK, so this is our neighbor gift to others, but it's my personal favorite. You can give it as a lump of dough, or you can spoon it out into balls that they can cook immediately or freeze and use later. (It's very cool: you can pop frozen cookies into the oven and follow the same instructions!) Just remember that instructions are a nice touch (oops). What can I say? Warm, home-baked cookies turn me on. And it seems like there's a bit more love involved when you know someone put it together in their own kitchen.
  • Holiday cards, especially newsletters. These are small things that take time to put together, but they're nice; and although I don't remember many of the details from the newsletters, I do recall who sends them with special fondness.
  • Almost four days' worth of meals cooked by my father-in-law when we visited them in Arizona! He's an executive chef, so you can imagine how we enjoyed them. But you'll always appreciate any effort that a host makes to make your visit enjoyable.
What were your especially enjoyable gifts?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Youth LINC for local AND international projects

I just stumbled on Youth LINC (, based in Salt Lake City, where youth can get into projects here locally and then participate in international projects; it's always a challenge to earn money for trips, but after doing some number of local service they earn credit toward their international trip. Very nice.

What drew me to learn more is The Young Humanitarian Award.

Go there to see what I mean, because there are pictures of young people who are obviously putting their lives to good use. Isn't it great to see such faces? Then click on the "Current Programs" for the local and international efforts and see the pictures for each country's program. Doesn't it make you want to go out tomorrow and pound a nail for someone who could use some help?

But be sure to take a minute to read each of the amazing things that the Young Humanitarian winner and runners up have done with their time. You can see what your work might turn into if you start spending some time with an organization like this.

"My goal in life is to help spread the fragrance of love everywhere I go." - Kimberly Gallegos


What is my intent for this blog?