Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Indy Walk to Cure Diabetes

The Doyles are walking to cure diabetes on October 18th in Indianapolis. We need everyone to get behind this effort to find a cure for diabetes. The two-mile walk at Military Park will be a few steps for our family, but could mean huge leaps for mankind in the fight against diabetes.

Get beside us or behind us by going to the Team Doyle page:

http://walk.jdrf.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=extranet.personalpage&confirmid=87203756.

You can join the team and take the two-mile walk on Oct. 18, or you can donate $10 toward our family goal of $350. Just follow the link above and join us in this worthy cause.

Thank you.

P.S. You can help spread the word by including a link on your blog or web page.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Help for Houston Area

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, it's good to see businesses and community organizations stepping up to help people in need. You don't appreciate a hot shower anymore than when you've been without power and hot water for nearly a week. And how would you contact relatives without working phones and no way to power a laptop or recharge your cell? Well, thanks to AT&T, Little Caesars, the YMCA and area businesses, Texans displaced by Ike are finding ways to recharge more than just their cell phones. See how in the Houston Chronicle.

You may live hundreds of miles from the Texas coastline and wonder, "How can I help?" There are many, many ways. Of course, you can always pray for victims, relief workers and their families, but you can also put your faith into action. The Christian Emergency Network is calling for the following supplies and volunteers:

  • Many, many forklifts – the spider kind that move easily across rough terrain (forklifts cut down on manpower time unloading supply trucks, moving trees, etc. by hand)
  • Computers for temporary Internet Cafes – for victims and relief workers
  • Refrigeration trucks and drivers
  • Hot food facilities (victims and relief workers long for hot food)
  • Shower facilities (for relief workers in the work zones)
  • Doctors & nurses
  • Giftcards to nationwide stores (Target, Wal Mart, etc.)
  • Gas cards
  • Generators
  • Bulk donations of: ice, water, non-perishable food, diapers, baby formula, ensure
  • Trucking hauls (can anyone donate trucks with drivers for several days at a time?)
  • Cash donations online to Somebody Cares (the easiest and quickest way for SCA to meet needs as they come across them)

    Contact: Jodie@somebodycares.org (contact her for details regarding anything you can supply…even beyond this list)

As always, the American Red Cross will accept donations to help in their relief efforts. One of the best donations you can make is not monetary, though, it's your blood. If you're interested in helping save someone's life, you can find out more here. You can also volunteer to serve as a phone operator at your local Red Cross call center. I know the one here in Indianapolis is taking calls from the storm-ravaged areas of the Gulf Coast. You can volunteer in Indy for a 4-hour shift by calling 317-684-4309.

Sitting idly by and doing nothing is not an option.

You have time you can donate. You have blood. You have compassion. Put those things to good use and help your far-away neighbors in need. Follow the example of the businesses and organizations in Houston and do what's right.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Savoring Childhood for My Girls

Philip Gulley, a contributor to Indianapolis Monthly, penned a superb article titled "Poor Sport" in the September 2008 issue. It attacks with razor wit and sage insight youth sports organizations and the adult participants who support them.

The underlying message is that too many parents, in the name of sports almighty, are sacrificing the childhood of their offspring. Isn't society forcing children to grow up at warp speed already?

I am not against organized sports altogether, but as Gulley points out, much is to be gained by letting children form their own "leagues" in back yards and community parks. Much more is to be lost by shuttling them all over the country to compete for vain prizes and glory.

Kids need time and space to grow. They don't need adults micromanaging every minute of free time, pushing them to compete or serving as their "agents."

I remember countless kickball and wiffle ball games in my parent's yard where trees, bushes, buckets, frisbees and sometimes, stumps served as the bases. I can remember being picked last to play 3-on-3 blacktop basketball in the neighbor's driveway. Hey, I'm short, white and slow...but that didn't stop Larry!

The point is, I live in Fishers, youth sports capitol of the Midwest (maybe not it's official title, but one I'm happy to designate). And I could have my 7-year-old daughter in a myriad of after-school activities, including competitive soccer, swimming, diving or gymnastics. She's asked about participating in most of these, but I've made her pick ONE. She's naturally prone to water. I think her biological mother must have been a mermaid. So, I've enrolled her in swim lessons at the local high school. No, not the travelling swim team, just the plain old, swim lesson twice a week for three weeks. From there, we'll see where it goes.

Maybe she'll show a real knack for the breast stroke, and compete one day in AAU, but I'm not pushing it. At this age, I think it's best to let them try a few things first, and then choose. And if they choose not to compete, there's still the neighborhood kickball league.

I'm doing my best to let her and her 4-year-old sister enjoy their childhood. I see enough of their competitive side in day-to-day sibling rivalry. I don't need a bunch spectators and over-zealous parents to enjoy that sport.

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