Thursday, December 26, 2013

That Week Between Christmas Day and New Year's Day

This is that week, the one between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Sort of an unofficial holiday in itself. We won't talk about the resolutions just yet, those can wait till the New Year has started, so what to do with this week?

Are you home for the holidays? How about that local food pantry, they could use your help sorting and handing out. Serving meals at the local soup kitchen, or going through all the things you have no need for and giving it away. You can even still get that tax deduction! How about a visit to the local nursing home?

If you are with your family this week and have some extra time to spend on your kindness goals, go and print this poster: (SPPRAK Random Acts of Kindness Checklist poster) and see how many acts of kindnesses you can do between now and the New Year. If you are just you, well, print and see what you can do.

This is not a favorite season for some and there are many reasons. We all know at least one Grinch! But this week in between Christmas and New Year is a week to change some of that. There is really nothing that has to be done, it is a little slower. Grab your Grinch and our list and spread some kindness! Our list and your help might just change the holiday season into one of joy for that person, along with the people who are touched by the acts of kindnesses they are shown.

SPPRAKing knows no season, so today is a good day to join us on our mission to build a culture of kindness! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

Well, Christmas is just a few days away and time is winding down to do what we each can to make this season brighter for someone else. Instead of the focus of spending to help, let's change it up and think of ways to help others that don't cost us money, time or burden us in anyway. Wait, doesn't giving have to make us hurt a little in order to make it count?

Short answer is no.Good news, don't you think, since this time of year we are short on money, time and in some cases patience? How about we help that person juggling packages and hold that door for them? Definitely would brighten their day. Throw a quarter in the red kettle, that costs yes, but very little and shameless plug for this program since they are behind on their goal this year and if everyone just gave one quarter when they passed the kettle they could get so much closer to that goal. Smile and say hello to everyone you pass, it may be the only friendly greeting they have had all day. Now let’s get into some acts of kindness that you may have to seek out, but they will be worth it! Elderly (and not so elderly) neighbors that are alone, coworkers that have family far away, how about an invite to spend Christmas with you and your family? Or spend a few extra minutes with them, just talking.

There are many things that cause people to be alone and that is not the way that this time of year should be spent. It is meant to be shared, not with presents and all of that hoopla, but with each other. Send a note, or make a phone call to encourage someone you know is going through a particularly rough time this holiday season, especially those who have lost a loved one and this is the first Christmas without them. Each one of us has the power to change this Christmas season for someone else, with our time, our money or just ourselves. Seek out intentional acts this time of year, they are all around us. And, instead of stopping on Christmas day, let’s make this a season of kindness that lasts a little longer.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Season of Giving

So here we are at the gift giving season! Oh there are other gift giving occasions the whole year long, but none of those have the requirements attached that this season does. And no matter if you believe in the reason for the season, we can all get caught up in the frenzy to get that perfect gift for everyone on our list. Why do we do this to ourselves, to each other? Do you even remember what gift you received last year? How about what you GAVE last year? Did it impact your life, or someone else? Ok that is a pretty tall order for a gift, but it was THE perfect gift! We expect a lot don't we? Well, this season can be a different one for you, your family and the people that come in contact with you! SPPRAK is dedicated to building a culture of kindness, it is, we believe, the perfect gift. How do you say to someone less fortunate than you “Merry Christmas”? You can't solve their life’s problems, but you can make today easier. A warm smile and a few dollars won't change either of your lives in the long run would it? Wait, maybe it would. Because as humans we remember a kindness done for us and by us, even more than the perfect gifts we have received. Because unlike gifts that are things, kindnesses are feelings and those feelings have an impact on our lives. If you need a few suggestions to get your kindness giving season started, SPPRAK has an 11x14 poster, perfect for framing, that lists close to 40 gifts of kindness to share this holiday season. You could even make it a new holiday tradition for your family. Yes, we are hoping on the perfect gift train, with a difference. Change your life and change someone elses and make this a season of giving kindness, a gift that keeps on giving and one that you will remember all year long! Check out spprak.com for details!  



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another Kind of Kindness

Today our blog is about another kind of kindness. We know about the intentional and random acts of kindness, they are the ones that we talk about, as SPPRAK. They are important and make a difference in the lives that we live, the people who we touch through these acts. These are fun, mostly comfortable acts of kindness. Today we add to that list: the uncomfortable act of kindness.
We know what you are thinking! An uncomfortable act of kindness? Really? Don't we only do what we feel is in our comfort zone? Or maybe just a little out of it? So maybe an explanation is in order!

A few weeks ago on a trip to downtown Chicago there were the usual suspects on the streets, it was the same a few months ago on a trip to downtown Indianapolis, and one to Nashville TN. You know where this is going don't you? Street people, the homeless, the victims, a lot of times, of their own making. These are the uncomfortable to be around, uncomfortable to make eye contact with, the ones that we all, even if secretly, judge by standards of our society. We are all afraid to be taken advantage of, what if their Lexus is waiting for them around the corner?

So here is the thing, we don't know if the Lexus is waiting, if everyday they pull in a few hundred dollars, or if this is the job they choose. We don't know if this is the only choice they feel they have. Can you imagine any of these scenarios? When they get up everyday and suit up, it means dressing like a bum and depending on other people’s kindness to end the day, probably about 10 hours later, sorting through trash to see what your take of the day was? After of course all the judgmental looks and most who avoid looking all together. Not really the greatest career choice, at least for most of us.

And what about those others? The homeless who depend on the kindness of those who will throw a few coins their way. Granted, most of those are there due to the poor choices they have made in their lives. We get that. They are dirty, pleading. And they might use the money given to further pursue the poor choices they have made.
Then there are the aggressive street people, who chase after you begging for just a few dollars, maybe they have a quota to make and want to get a good start early in the morning, or have to make it before the end of the day. The ones who yell about needing help, carry signs fashioned out of cardboard and marker. Help Us they plead. Real? Fake? Who can tell? And they aren't going to!

So here is the thing, it’s called uncomfortable kindness because it makes you feel uncomfortable to give it, because in the end does it matter why they are there? Of course they come to where the people are. And as we pass by in our groups of friends or colleagues does it hurt to share change or dollars with them? These are the people who test our reasons for being kind. Everyone of us needs an act of kindnesses done for us and by us. Our job, as spprakers, is to build a culture of kindness. These uncomfortable acts of kindness test our commitment to this culture. Are we really what we say? Or are we just kind when it is easy for us? In the end it would only be a few coins for us, a smile, a nod, maybe a silent prayer for the recipient if you feel inclined. Or a cup of coffee, a sandwich, you get the idea! Uncomfortable kindness explained.


***side note: please keep your safety in mind when practicing acts of kindness. If your intuition tells you do not do it, do not do it. You will be forgiven for letting an opportunity go by, and a chance to make up for it later, there are always more opportunities to practice all acts of kindness!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Day Like Any Other

After the visit to Trinity Lutheran and meeting and visiting with Jesse, his family and the other great and giving people there, we had already decided that a trip to the museum in Oklahoma City was next on our agenda.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is located in the west end of the former journal record building that withstood the bombing on April 19, 1995. It is a must see, we were told when we announced we were going to be near Oklahoma City, we are now saying the same thing. One of the sayings on the walls of the museum is the title of this blog, a day like any other. The people who were in the federal building that day were going about their day just as each and every one of us do. Showers and breakfasts, dropping our kids off at daycare, planning our day...when the unthinkable happened. This was not a natural disaster as we had come to help the Moore OK heal from, but a man made act of terrorism. A decision by a few men changed the course of hundreds of people's lives. Words on this page cannot do justice to the museum, it is one of a kind. And as each of us walked through it taking pictures were not even an option. You hear the voices of the survivors, of parents who lost children, of rescue workers. To snap pictures seem irralavent to the experience. And what would you do with random pictures without those stories? In addition to the inside, the experience continues on the outside, called the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, is a special place. Among the must sees: the Field of Empty Chairs, 168 chairs that symbolize the lives lost, with smaller chairs representing the 19 children killed; the Survivor Tree, a 90+ year old American Elm that bore witness to the violence of that day, and now stands as a profound symbol of human resilience. There is a place where children who visit can draw, writing messages in chalk. The Fence, which was installed to protect the site of the Murrah building, where since the moment it went up people left and are still leaving mommentoes and messages to the victims of that day. As you walk through the entire memorial and museum you are reminded how senseless violence in any form is, how evil exists right before our eyes.

On a wall here, a plague there, there are words of encouragement to visitors. Among those, the words that greets visitors near the Survivor Tree: The spirit of this this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us. And so it does, and so it will.  


Friday, September 20, 2013

Meeting Jesse Warren

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When SPPRAK travels we like to visit churches. On this Sunday, we choose a church based on a couple of criteria: late start, due to the previous days fourteen hour journey and easy to find in a new city. Trinity Lutheran it would be, seemed a good fit, and, lets face it, it is not the church that makes the difference it is the people. Lucky us, we picked the right church with the right group of people!

As soon as we arrived and stepped out of our car we were greeted with a good morning! Remember our back window was painted up for our Moore trip, we weren't what you call inconspicuous. Someone held the door as we walked in to more greetings, a minister that shook our hands hardily, we could tell everyone was genuine. When Pastor Roger asked what brought us to Oklahoma City, we were happy to tell him. One of the alter boys was Jesse Warren, an eleven year old who attends school in Moore, as did his friend Abigail. In fact, more than a few in the church had ties to Moore. A counselor, a teacher, students. We also just happened to come on 50's and 60's day. Dressing up optional but encouraged and of course there was a lunch after the service. Complete with music we had a pretty good time with this great group of people.

While we were there, we asked Jesse's parents, Winnie and Jesse, if we could speak to him about the day of the tornado. When asked about that day, Jesse is forthcoming, he said he was scared, but that the tornado missed his school. His teacher allowed students to contact their parents so Winnie and Jesse knew their son was safe. As was their neighborhood. However, once they were home, Winnie discovered that the only family they knew at Plaza Towers, the school that had been destroyed by the tornado, was not so lucky. Jesse said he remembered his mom screaming as she read a Facebook message. Jesse's friend Christopher had been one of the 7 children killed that day, his brother, Jesse's good friend, and little sister were badly injured. Their father had run to the school to help and had pulled his children from the rubble. As a parent it is hard to imagine, but Jesse is a child, and when asked how he felt about this, he is silent for a moment. “Sad. I played football with him, I liked him.” It is football season again, but Jesse and Christopher's brother play on different teams now. Winnie, Jesse's mom, fills in that Christopher was not where he was suppose to be, he was down the hall playing with a little girl that he was friends with. When the storm comes, Christopher covers the girl with his body as the wall collapses on them. The little girl survives. It seems like something he would do, Jesse says. When asked if he feels strange about starting school with all that has happened he says he is a little nervous. And while he did lose a friend, his school, home and normal day to day life was not affected by the tornado. How does that feel? Jesse shares that it is a little strange sometimes. Jesse's father is an officer in the Air Force and the family moves around a lot. They came to Moore only a little more than a year ago. They had not lived in Moore that long before the tornado and had not lived here when the May 3, 1996 tornado happened.

Jesse, like most eleven year olds enjoys attention, but you can tell he is caring, friendly and open.
The talk with Jesse was encouraging, he was excited about our program coming to his school. His parents were very kind, in letting Jesse tell his story, and agreeing to have it in our blog. There are not a lot of details, and that may disappoint some, but Jesse is a child, his personal experience with that day is different than others. His school was spared, he returned to his home and had his parents with him. And that is okay. It is more than okay. And when they hang the banner in his school, he will be able to say he talked to SPPRAK, and that they wanted to bring the SPPRAK Pack program to Moore to help ease the pain and encourage the school children effected in Moore to be OK.

The Warren family and Pastor Roberts
 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A visit to Joplin, Missouri

Next up on the trip to Moore OK blog? A visit to Joplin. It has been approximately 2 ½ years since Joplin MO was hit by an F5 tornado, on May 22, 2011. There were 161 lives lost that day, who cannot recall the day it hit? It was graduation day for high schools, just the beginning of summer break for others. Spring is a beautiful season in Missouri, a season of new growth. And the start of tornado season. No one takes that for granted. Even here in Indiana,that time of year tornado watches and warnings are common. In retrospect any town hit by a devastating tornado can come up with what ifs and plans for what could, should, would happen. The future is just that, the future. When we decided to stop at Joplin we did so to see Cunningham Park. It is a beautiful place, a place to honor those who died, those who helped rebuild and those who's lives changed forever. There is a fountain, with spigots that represent the date the tornado changed everything. Five on top, twenty two in the middle and 11 on the bottom, signifying May 22, 2011. The fountain has a plaque in front with the names of each person who lost their life that day. The plaque is large, you can run your fingers over the names imagining the life that went with it. You follow a path that leads to a tribute to the volunteers that came to help. It was designed to honor the many that have changed Joplin, not for money or fame, but because they felt called to help recover the town from devastation. There, a mosaic of pieces of people's lives. A fork, a piece of plastic which was once a bowl or glass, keys and trinkets. Memories in cement. There are work tools set in cement, gloves, a hard hat, sledge hammer. The volunteer tribute is moving in a different way, it tells the story of people who could have easily “let someone else do it” and continued on with their lives. Only they didn't, Joplin called them in. As you continue along the path, there are playground areas, picnic shelters. Toward the end is a small water feature, a shallow pond with gold fish and a water fall. This is a tribute to the children who will never play at this park, who's lives were cut short by the tornado and those taken too soon. While we were there two boys were playing, surely they did not know the significance their playing meant. It was as though life, once stopped on that horrible day, now goes on. Along this journey that SPPRAK took in route to Moore, OK, we felt called ourselves to check on what had happened to this town, how do you come back from such tragedy? Do you even want to? The answer here is yes, you do come back, yes you do want to. But it is not without struggle, and lessons learned. You will see later how these lessons impacted the town of Moore. Joplin was a stop SPPRAK happened to make in our journey, we took a piece of the town with us, not in something tangible, but in spirit. 
  
Memorial Fountain

Names of those that lost their lives May 22, 2011
Mosaic

A tribute to the volunteers
Articles from tornado
Volunteer hammer

          Volunteer Hat



Reflection Pond
Ring at Cunningham Memorial Park









Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thank you Epoch Awards

This year SPPRAK was honored to be nominated for an Epoch Award. Being nominated is an honor, humbling and exciting! Epoch exists to honor unsung heroes. Groups that are quietly going about the business of making life better for others. That is what we believe SPPRAK is about. This past year our mission has seen such an expansion by means of the SPPRAK PACK. This program uses sticky notes to let children write acts of kindness done to them by others, the notes are then posted on a banner for everyone to read. We just returned from Moore OK, where we presented the SPPRAK PACK program to counselors of that school system. What an unbelievable blessing that was to all of us! SPPRAK believes that even the smallest act of kindness can make a huge impact on someone’s day. We want to change the culture in our world, not by yelling and demanding, but by showing kindness toward others. Epoch is giving away a $500 Visa gift card, and SPPRAK could use this to expand the SPPRAK PACK program and our cause to spread kindness. What this would mean to the thousands of school children who participate in our program remains to be seen, however, we believe that if you touch a child, if you cause a change in a child, you can change a family and a community. Thanks Epoch for noticing our work through our nomination!






Epoch Nominees 2013



















Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This summer SPPRAK has been busy getting ready to SPPRAK Moore, OK. A project to bring our SPPRAK Pack program to the Moore OK school system. The plan was to drive the banners over and present them to the counselors in the school system.

Well, the time has arrived, bright and early September 7th we were off! Robin styled up her back window  for the occasion, we packed up the 30+ banners, made a stop at Regional Hospital to pick up one SPPRAK Moore banner, which was signed by people in our community who donated, and well wishers, and a last photo op. When you head out on an adventure you have an idea of how it will go, but as usual things come up. It's funny that when SPPRAK heads out, we do try to catch others performing random acts of kindness, the first act of kindness was done to us! A truck driver guided us through the traffic stopped at St. Louis. And as much as our desire was to bless a community because of what they have been through we ended  up the ones who were blessed. This blog starts a series of several blogs about our trip. The reason for more than one blog? There is too much for just one. The stories are too important to just slightly mention. Now our trip is winding down, but we want to share the beginning, when we were so sure ours was the gift, that our program would hopefully mean something to the counselors and administrators, and ultimately the children. These things we will share with you right now. The people of Moore are friendly, welcoming, and ever grateful for the support that they have received and continue to receive. They are amazed that people in Terre Haute, IN and London, France care about something that happened to them. On the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum wall is a statement: "A Day Like Any Other" and that is what May 20th was. It started the same way for all of us, however, it ended very differently for the people of Moore. This fact is the thread that holds us all and begs our attention. Come back and meet Jesse, W and his family, a student at Fairview Elementary who lost a friend at Plaza Towers. Gail S., who is the Director of Student Services, who helped bring the SPPRAK program to Moore, Dr. Robert R, the Superintendent of Moore Schools, Brenda who lost her home, it was the last one standing before "ground zero". You will see that these people are just like us, this could have happened anywhere, we can only hope that our faith and tenacity would help us come back as well as Moore has. Everywhere you see signs that Moore will be OK.

                                                                                                        





                             



                         
         

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Random Acts of Intentional Kindness

Today's subject? Random acts of intentional kindness! You and I hear all this talk of random acts of kindness, but what does it really mean? According to the internet, random is an adjective, meaning: made, done, happening or choose without method or conscious decision. Synonyms are haphazard, accidental and chance. Which brings us to the randomness of what we, and others like us, perform regarding kindness. Everyday there are ample opportunities to perform acts of kindnesses. You happen upon a mother juggling toddlers and groceries and offer to lend a hand. Random act. The person in front of you in the grocery line is short a few dollars, you offer to cover them. Help a person who is having car trouble, buy a co-worker a coffee, pick up the lunch tab or even gather trash you see on your daily walk. All random, all unplanned, all acts of kindnesses. All this talk gets us to thinking about the non randomness of these and other acts. Is it really random to head out on any given day and if you see a way to help someone you do it? These kindnesses do not seem so randomly given, but they are randomly received. No one with the toddlers expects the help, but they certainly appreciate it! Lunch on a co-worker or friend, hey we will take that any day! And on the grander scale of our lives and the planet we share with others should we be doing acts of kindness randomly? What of the stone that we skip across the lake, causing ripples of happiness? What if instead of random acts, we performed intentional acts? Before dismissing this as not as feel good as random, lets see what intentional means. It is an adjective meaning done on purpose, deliberate. Synonyms are deliberate, willful, purposeful, intended. That pretty much blows random acts out of the water, because, as we performers of goodness in the lives of those around us, we ARE intentional. We are intentional about our showing others both kindness and the art of being kind. Our SPPRAK Pack is not a random program, it is intentional, designed to show others how to be kind. However, on those banners in an increasing amount of schools are many many random and intentional acts of kindnesses. How about that? Now we are intentional about the acts of kindnesses, with randomness thrown in! And does it really matter about which sort of kindness you are performing? That would be a resounding NO. Because everyday you should have a kindness goal, smile at five people, get some flavored coffee for the office to share, hug a fireman/woman. You know, be nice! Does it really matter how we interact with people? We SPPRAKers think indeed it does. We are looking forward to the day when, instead of being shocked and surprised by acts of kindness, people will be shocked and saddened when people are unkind and hurtful to one another.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

SPPRAKing Moore OK

Today's blog? All about SPPRAKing Moore OK. SPPRAK has been invited to share the “Be Part of the SPPRAK Pack” program with the schools in Moore OK. After the devastating tornados on May 20, 2013, SPPRAK asked ourselves what we could do to help. Because of the schools and children and families that were affected that day, it made sense to share the program that has been so successful in the Vigo County Schools. This brings us to our latest “fun” raiser! SPPRAK and the Terre Haute Rex have teamed up for a day of family fun! The event, called SPRRAK Moore, OK, will take place at Bob Warn Field, which is the home of our Terre Haute Rex Prospect baseball team. There are vendors and events scheduled for family entertainment, along with the Battle of the Shield ball game between the Terre Haute Police Dept and Terre Haute Fire Fighters. The Terre Haute K-9 Unit will be doing a demonstration, and the Terre Haute Rex have a double header with games at 1 and 7. It promises to be a great day!

One of SPPRAK's goals for this event is to have the people of Terre Haute and surrounding area share words of encouragement with the Moore OK school children, staff and families. There will be a banner near the entrance that day, along with post it notes, for this purpose. There will also be students from Terre Haute North Vigo sharing what the banner has meant to them.

Please consider coming out and helping to SPPRAK Moore with us, not only will you see a great game with the REX, have some fun with your family, you will be part of helping a community heal, you don't even have to leave town!

Below are current pictures from Moore, OK. Still so much work to be done.

This is where Plaza School Elementary once was.

 A neighborhood in Moore, OK.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Different direction blog...

Taking this week's blog in a little different direction! We are going to talk about dreams.
You might want to check out these couple of books written by Jon Acuff: Quitter and Start. Quitter tells you how to quit your day job and live the job of your dreams, and Start gets you going. Both books are big in the SPPRAK world. Our dream and goal is to spread kindness, to make our community a better place. We are excited every day to talk about SPPRAK, and spread the SPPRAK philosophy to everyone we meet. And some we won't ever meet!

Here is an example of part of our journey, the short version:
Read Quitter, book by Jon Acuff.
Attended Jon Acuff’s workshop of same name (well, two SPPRAKers did!). That started some excitement about the SPPRAK goals and gave us a big picture mentally.
Attended book launch for Start: well, we got started! You can plan and plot and make goals all you want but until you START you’re STUCK!
Launched “Be Part of the SPPRAK Pack” program: our philosophy in action!
NBC Nightly News picks up the story and BAM across the nation we go!

We have not gotten to quit our day jobs, still working at those! But we have made HUGE strides toward our goal to spread the SPPRAK word. “Be Part of the SPPRAK Pack” is our latest project toward that goal. Over the last four years we have done many “FUN” raisers and other projects within our community. A few of them have been to help people in other communities. Like many of you are probably also finding out, to reach your dream you will have many steps along the way.

We have also gotten to witness a few dreamers realize their dreams too.  Jon Acuff, START makes the best seller list. Sheri Bertolini writes “My Intentional Life” and starts workshops of the same name. How about you? Want to share your dream with us? Trust us, we will not laugh, we believe in those dreams that make you sweat, that make your heart beat fast and bring on that butterfly feeling! Those are the dreams that you should be dreaming! Feel free to leave your comment!  



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NBC Nightly News and SPPRAK


It has been a week since our SPPRAK Pack national debut on the NBC Nightly News. In case you missed it here is the link: nbcnews.com, and some additional footage from their website that didn't make the news but includes interviews worth watching: nbcnews.com web only video clip. When we started this project we did not know that it would gain national attention. It was just something simple to get students and staff  involved in acts of kindness. Teachers, principals and students alike have gotten on board the Be Part of the SPPRAK Pack Program. Simple gestures such as opening a door or tying someone’s shoes for them can change their day and make it brighter. While it is too soon to tell the success our project will have on a broad scale, we know we have made an impact. There is a universal appeal to children being kind. The students that were interviewed, and all that participate daily in the program, are so optimistic, and give us hope for the future. People from across the country (and some from outside our country) have contacted us for additional information. They want the chance to make a difference for the children in their community. What is it they say? And a child shall lead them? Watch the clips and you will hear from Martin, age 6 and a half and one-quarter, why being kind is important. And become part of the SPPRAK Pack! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Guest Post: Sheri Bertolini

Today we have a guest blogger, our first! Sheri Bertolini of My Intentional Life fame, has kindly agreed to post. Enjoy! .


I’m normally the assistant at work but that day I was in charge of the bookstore. I was spiffing up the displays when three women came in. I greeted them and realized immediately they were different. They were fun, happy, bubbly, and encouraging. We fell into easy conversation and before they left, we had exchanged stories, laughter, business cards, and hopes of seeing each other again.

I had no idea that we’d connect again, in ways I had not imagined.

What I knew of SPPRAK (Special People Performing Random Acts of Kindness) was very little, at first. I knew they were on a mission—to change the culture of their community through kindness. They were three women from Terre Haute, Indiana.

I was writing my first book. I had a vision for teaching women how to build a value-based culture in their homes, and then organize it accordingly. I was one woman living in Franklin, Tennessee.

A few tweets, lots of posts, and number of Facebook “likes” later...

My book was about to be published so I did some giveaways as part of my book launch countdown. Robin ended up winning one of my books.

And then I got the email: “Would you consider coming to Terre Haute to do a seminar about your book?” My first invitation! I was thrilled, and had no clue I was about to be “SPPRAKed.” Putting us all together in the same room for a day was like a hope makeover on steroids. I walked away as encouraged as the seminar attendees, because SPPRAK their poured into hearts into all of us.

Four women living in different states, hundreds of miles apart. All doing what we love, pursuing our visions for making a difference. After a few emails, texts, and one Skype conversation, our shared hearts of compassion created a bond that doesn’t require living in the same city. The passion of our joint dream -- to help others -- multiplied instead of doubling.

One plus three doesn’t equal four. Not in God’s kingdom, anyway.

One plus three equals endless opportunity.

Pay attention to chance meetings. Listen to the nudges you find in new connections and friendships. You never know how God may weave hearts and opportunities together that will make a difference for many.

And you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

MIL Workshop with Author Sheri Bertolini!


SPPRAK is sponsoring a workshop featuring author and speaker, Shei Bertolini! She is the author of a little book called My Intentional Life, featured at the workshop of the same name. SPPRAK is very excited about bringing her to Terre Haute on April 27th. The workshop is 9 to 4, and tickets are just $39. Don't wait for the day of the workshop though, tickets may not be available! A copy of her book is included in the ticket price, and the women's group at the church will be providing lunch for a donation, so no one even has to leave the building. Oh, and did I mention door prizes? This is being held at Mount Pleasant Church, 3050 Davis Drive. All the details are on a facebook event here:  (https://www.facebook.com/events/425557034203063/). 

Are you wondering if this is something worth your time? Maybe you have small children, or no children, or just married, not married, share your home with roommates, live alone, empty nesters, well you get the idea! This workshop is for everyone! Here is a short youtube trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOR_7GjU7RQ). And some of what you will learn:
  • Who you are and where you're headed
  • What's important to you – your values and passions
  • How to kick guilt to the curb
  • How to find self-control at the checkout counter
  • How to organize and create calm where there was chaos
  • How to change the culture in your home, bringing you joy, and offering visitors a glimpse of who you are
  • Much, much more
Having read her book, we can say that for sure, there is a lot to this little book and the author, Sheri who has a heart for helping people organize their life! Oh, and she is a professional organizer, check out her website: sheribertolini.com.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Welcome to our blog! Come visit to see what is going on with SPPRAK! The last few weeks have been crazy! Our SPPRAK PACK program in the Vigo County Schools has begun, and in the process attracted a lot of attention! There are so many people, and businesses that have shown their faith and belief in what SPPRAK is trying to do, spread kindness through our schools and our community! The goal with this project is to change the culture of our schools, one kind word at a time! Check out the launch here: (http://mywabashvalley.com/fulltext?nxd_id=295712 ) and (http://www.wthitv.com/dpp/news/local/group-hopes-to-encourage-good-deeds ) WOW is all we can say right now, but there will be more to come! While we are waiting for the official announcement of that BIG news, how about you sharing your story with us? Our SPPRAK group is looking for your story, a kindness that was done by you or for you! Don't have a story? Well, what a great day to make one! You are in charge of the kindness shown to others, it can even be a family project! We hope the links work, you can also Google us, the stories are right there along with more information about what we do!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We asked the community for help in collecting Easter items for Ryves Hall and Bethany House and they responded!

Thank you to employees of the TH Street Dept, Regional Hospital and VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley staff. 

You are all Part of the SPPRAK Pack!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mail a picture to a friend of a great time that you both shared. Include with it your memories of that time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Don't confuse your path with your destination.
 Just because it is stormy now doesn't mean you are not headed to sunshine.

Where is your destination?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tickets are on sale now!! 
Tickets can be purchased at The Open Door. 
For more details, you can email SPPRAK@yahoo.com.