November 2006 Archives

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Volunteers needed for the Girl Scout Cookie Rally! - November 16, 2006

Get involved with the Girls Scouts Heart of Florida annual cookie
rally, being held Saturday, January 6, 2007 from 9:00 a.m. * 2:00 p.m.
at Without Walls Central Church (formerly Carpenters Home). This
theme of "Step It Up!" focuses on health and fitness. Girl Scouts
ranging in age from Brownies through high school will rotate through
workshops, spending 15-20 minutes at each station. Volunteers are
needed to lead 15 minute workshops on dance aerobics, healthy food
choice and nutrition information, outdoor games, and arts and crafts.
Want to help but aren't ready to lead a workshop? Volunteers are
to guide each group from workshop to workshop - and the guides get to
dress up as Girl Scout Cookies! To volunteer or for more information,
contact Toni Jones at 863.688.7648 x. 121.

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

EMERGE Book Drive a Success! - November 13, 2006

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

VISTE Thanksgiving Meal Delivery - November 13, 2006

Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE) will be delivering Thanksgiving meals to those in need on Wednesday, November 22. If you are interested in helping, please go to The Lakeland Center entrance #2 (NW side of building) at 1:00 p.m. to help pack the meals or at 3:00 p.m. if they would like to deliver. Volunteers may request a specific zip code to deliver and VISTE will accommodate as best as possible. If you have any questions please contact Alice O’Reilly at


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Posted by Kristin Carlson

Veterans' Day and Post Election Message - November 13, 2006

Veterans Day is our nation's commemoration of the sacrifices made by those whose lives were put on the line for the freedoms we hold sacred. Whether our veterans survived their military service, or were lost on the field of battle, our country owes each of them, and their families, a debt of gratitude.

I am not a veteran. In the Summer of 1970, the year of the second draft lottery, my birthday, June 26th, had number 308 drawn. For those not aware of the significance of that, my birthday could have come up Number One or number 365. I was fortunate to be so far down the list, and therefore assured to be free from the call up to the Vietnam War.

One of my closest friends drew number six, another the low 20's. Both were ineligible for student deferment and were drafted. One was sent to duty at a NATO base in Europe because he had strong language skills, the other was deployed to Vietnam where he was seriously wounded in 1971 and sent home. He never fully recovered from his neck, shoulder and arm wounds.

As we look back at the wars promoted by presidents, declared by Congress, and supported to varying degrees by our citizens, let's remember that none of these conflicts were or, to this day, are immune from political and social controversy. But we should never confuse debate over military policy with the need to be respectful of those whose lives are at risk on the battlefield, in the air, or on the seas.

Our nation has been the destination of choice for great waves of immigrants from the world's most frightening and freedomless nations. My father and maternal grandparents were three of those immigrants, and perhaps your family has its story of freedom-seeking relatives. Even for our African-American neighbors, whose ancestors came shackled in the holds of slave ships, and Native-Americans whose ancestors were slaughtered or subjected to racist cruelties, the children of most American families enjoy the opportunity to be free from the threats of oppression and terror. That freedom was earned, bled for, and in many cases, died for.

Veterans Day presents the chance to gather our thoughts and honor the military service of our parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. Individuals who either volunteered or were drafted, wore the uniform of our armed forces, and gave all or a portion of their lives in service to our nation and its allies.

In our veterans' name, let's not be passive about the importance of their sacrifice. In their honor, let's pledge to participate in the following advocacy activities:

· Actively communicate with our elected officials about issues affecting families.

· Share your thoughts in the media by writing letters to the editor and interviewing with reporters. Media is our most cost-effective megaphone.

· Motivate youth to exercise their voice in matters which affect them. The next generation of advocates needs good role modeling.

· Confront those who think that complaining about problems is all they should do. Whining is not as good as winning!

· Compliment community leadership and promote active involvement by friends, colleagues and neighbors.

· Support causes which focus on advocating positive change, and invite others to join you in supportive activities. Spectatorism doesn't produce progress.

· Contribute your time, talent, and treasure to make our community a better place for children and families across the generations.

My Post-Election Day Thoughts......

Whether you're feeling celebratory or shell-shocked from this week's pivotal election results, I think you'll agree with me that democracy is not simple or easy. And I trust you do share my pleasure to not have to be subjected to the flood of political ads....for now!

I've been through many victories and disappointments in observing politics for most of my life, but I hold to my belief that all candidates deserve to be honored for their willingness to run for office. Who among us is courageous enough to step across the line and commit to being a candidate? Representative democracy depends upon those few who consider elective public service as an important expression of leadership. While I may disagree with some of their policies, I never forget to thank them for their willingness to serve.

While some of us take the step of congratulating the victors, how many of us send messages to those who were defeated....this time around? I urge you to let those who did not "win" know that their effort is appreciated. Please remember that many candidates do choose to run again, and today's "loser" may well be a "winner" in the future.

Every election is a multiple choice test.....the candidates are the focus of attention, of course, but what amazes me is how many qualified citizens choose to let others make the decisions. To me, not voting is the most inexcusable act of neglect in a democracy.

One ideal for all of us to strive for, no matter our political leanings, is to inspire greater participation in our process of government at all levels. Informed voting is one step, but keeping in touch with our public officials is a key to effective advocacy. Winning an election is only the first step in public service. Acting to bring positive change is the job description for all of us, and each of us is obligated to be vocal advocates for the policies and programs we believe need attention.

Anonymity is the antithesis of effectiveness in a democracy. Knowing our elected officials, and having them know us, is our obligation and greatest opportunity to exercise influence.

I am committed to be in touch with you as opportunities arise to send new messages and develop new partnerships. There are strategies to contemplate, skills to hone, and plans of action to be implemented. We have work to do and challenges to face.

It's time to unify as much as possible, and pledge to work together to create a positive future. I trust you will continue to exercise your rights and take your responsibilities seriously as we move forward to improve our nation.

Jack Levine, Founder
4Generations Institute

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

November Luncheon and Book Drive Re-Cap - November 8, 2006

On November 8th, members are guests gathered for lunch at Grasslands Country Club. They were greeted by a choir ensemble from Kathleen High School, accompanied on the piano by Regina Register. During lunch we heard from Terry Worthington and Penny Borgia of the United Way of Central Florida. EMERGE also held a book drive to benefit Success by 6 and Family Fundamentals, programs coordinated by the United Way, and happily accepted 47 new and gently used childrens books from our members. Thank you for your contribution to this community endeavor!

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

*All blog posts and comments are the opinions of the blog author or comment poster and do not necessarily represent the views of EMERGE Lakeland.

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