For weeks, it feels like I’ve been waking up to bad news.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, now yet another mass shooting.  At times it feels hopeless – what’s the world coming to?  I can’t solve all of the problems, and neither can you.  Sometimes this feeling of helplessness leads to paralysis.  Individually we can’t fix what’s wrong or we don’t know who, where, or how to help, so maybe we do nothing.

I’ve been here before.  Some of you may remember that I had a friend with cancer, who desperately needed a new roof on her house and some emotional comfort in leaving her family with a safe and secure home.  She was at the point of choosing to discontinue treatment in order to save her family from (larger) mountains of medical bills.  About 9 months after I started organizing and encouraging everyone I knew (and people I didn’t know) to pitch in and help, Kris died.  A few weeks later, the roof of her home was replaced at no cost to her family.  They had a nest egg in the bank, and the support of their community.  I saw first-hand what can happen when people are given an opportunity to help and a little guidance.

I’m working with our kids’ school to use crowdfunding and social media to connect people who want to help with the people who need it.  I’m learning as I go, teaching the kids, and hopefully making a difference in the lives of people who will pay it forward when they can.  The kids now realize that they can have a big impact – even though they’re “just kids.”  Throughout the recent natural disasters I have been touched by people working side-by-side – not just the emergency responders who do this every day, but the citizens who are digging through rubble one bucket at a time, and the kindergarteners who donate the contents of their piggy banks.

When it comes down to it, this is all we can do – small things done individually which can collectively make a big difference.  It’s what we MUST do in order to ease the suffering of those in need – overcome the paralysis and extend our hands to help.  If everyone focuses on the little things we can do to make the world better, share what we have individually, and lighten the load of others, we can move mountains.  It’s true!

What does this have to do with doors?  Not much, really.  I read the news about the senseless and horrific shooting in Las Vegas and I just couldn’t get inspired to write about locks.  I know there are a lot of you out there reading this, so today I am using my voice to spread a different message.  I can honestly say that I do something for someone else every day – often multiple somethings.  I know that many of you do the same.  All it takes is a shift in focus and a little thought about where we can all lend a hand.

Think about it…how will you make today a better day for someone – anyone!?

Thank you to Alan Lillie for reminding me of the wise words of Mr. Rogers (actually, the wise words of his mom :D).  “If you look for the helpers, you’ll know that there’s hope.”


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