What can I do to help?

flyer_01I probably should do more when it comes to my blog, but as we all know, life often gets in the way of what we should do or can do. So I want to share with you a way I have chosen to help, and perhaps you could find a way as well.

Recently, I was brought onto the Board of Directors with an amazing charity, the Home Hospice Association – Hamilton / Halton Chapter. I hope to help with event planning and organization, local connections, social media, and anything else they feel I could help with. First though, a few people I need to thank.

Firstly, Terri Viola-Wilson, for seeing something in me that she felt would benefit others. Terri is the Executive Director for the Hamilton / Halton Chapter. Now onto a few other people; Chad Pilon for jumping on board almost immediately to help with performing at an upcoming event, Bill Watson for agreeing to make time to help arrange and setup sound at an upcoming event, and Tim Soules for coming on board to help plan for a series of events to benefit the organization. Thank you all for what you can do to help.

So what is all this about? The Home Hospice Association mission? “To deliver hospice palliative care in a non-institutionalized environment where compassion and culturally sensitive human connection are hallmarks.” Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped and when it is clear that the person is not going to survive the illness. 70% of Canadians want to die in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by those people and things they love. Sadly, 84% of Canadians do not have access to Hospice Palliative care for many reasons. What are you willing to do about it? What can you do about it? “Just as it takes a village to raise a child, that village is equally responsible to care for their dying. We want to be part of your village.” How is that for a statement?

HHA (Home Hospice Association) is new to Hamilton / Halton but is not completely new. They are a recognized charity. This chapter will start off with two programs, but can and I am sure will open up into others as things develop. Both these programs have meaning for me, and they the main reason I am so passionate about this organization. The first is Pre and Perinatal Hospice which will include the HOPP (Helping Our Precious Pediatrics) program. I am sure this requires no explanation, but if you want details, please click HERE. The second program is the Bello Project, which journeys with the pet along the path of their loved one’s life-limiting illness to maintain the unshakeable bond between pet and pet-owner until death occurs. So if you can’t see why I stand with HHA and behind them, you can stop reading.

What can you do to help? Financial, Compassionate, and Active. Financial support is always crucial to any charity. As non-profit, they have to have a way to cover various incurred expenses. You can donate in a variety of ways, but the one I am going to suggest first is the Moonlit Memory Walk. This will be held on September 12, 2019 at the Knights of Columbus hall on Queenston Rd across from Parkdale Park. There will be food, there will be entertainment, and most importantly their will be memories. You can register as one or as a team. You can walk for one or more of your lost loved ones. A minimum $25 fee helps the cause. Compassionate support takes an emotional commitment. Not everyone can do this, but for those that can, you are needed more than ever. Are you able to provide that comfort and support to those in need of it? Then you can help. Active is something that most of us can do, regardless of our physical or financial limitations. Do you knit or craft? Can you help circulate flyers? Can you man a table at an event? Can you make phone calls or work online?

The HHA needs volunteers in all areas. I believe we are even looking for a few new board members, but that may change. Please check out their website, and that of the walk. Just highlight the website again, Home Hospice Association.

Please follow Chad Pilon on Twitter, support Bill Watson with his Photography and Sound business, and of course Soules Classic Barbers and Ink.

I challenge ALL of you reading this far … GET INVOLVED. If not with this, then with something meaningful. No matter how bad we have it, somebody probably has it worse. Is there anything at all you can do that would make somebodies life better? Then why don’t you do it.

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#JustPreachin for Monday April 27th, 2015

#ReasonToGetOutOfBed

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.” – Gandhi

Thinking on this always brings a smile to my face. I may be a little more cynical in believing that it will truly always win in the end, but deep down I have hope for this.

#HappyBirthday

A special Happy Birthday to Marios Georgiou and Stephanie Smith. Today you share this day with Sheena Easton and Ace Frehley, so today I really hope you celebrate more than just 9 to 5 and you get to Rock N Roll All Night!

#DeaconBluesApproved

Guess what? It’s Monday. Nothing much going on but this week should be fun. I know my pals in Burnin’ Ethyl are on the Barber Shop Podcast on Wednesday night with Kevin Barber. I also know that this coming Friday night over at The Pearl Company, my friend Ian Andrews will be rockin’ it up. Will let you know more later in the week.

#JustPreachin

The reality of a terrorist threat.

First off, “Terrorism” has been defined as “premeditated, politically motivated violence, perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” Keep the terms “politically motivated” and “noncombatant targets” fresh in your mind.

I am not going to include 9-11 in this, because we all know and agree this was a tragedy to many nations. The truth is that there was more behind that attack than just an Islamic terrorist group still stirs up controversy, and in the US even discussing it can get you arrested. Since that day, which by the way, is the day that we began losing a hold on our rights and freedoms.

We really have very little statistics hear in Canada for this as of yet, I believe your chances are better to be hit by lightning… twice… Than to be killed in a terrorist attack of any kind in Canada. Something silly like that anyways. I will look mostly at the US, since they seem to be the real target of most terrorist groups anyways. Since 9-11, there have been 16 people killed inside US borders by alleged terrorists. Two Isrealis were killed in LA in 2002 (I guess we can call them American). A US Soldier was killed in 2009. Also in 2009, 13 US Soldiers were killed by … oh ya … a US Army psychiatrist who happened to be Muslim and an alleged terrorist, on a military base. So that is it inside of US Borders for people killed by outside terrorist groups (Islamic extremists).

Now, going to break this part off a little, and you will see why. In late 2001, five US citizens were killed in Anthrax attacks. Two were killed on an attack of a Knoxville church in 2008. In 2009, two were killed in Arizona but nobody is sure if it actually an official terrorist act, also an abortion provider was killed in Kansas, a guard at the Holocaust Museum, two in Austin when a plane was crashed into a government building over a tax dispute, and a man was shot by police during a hostage situation in Maryland (the man was a terrorist). This is 14 more people killed by terrorism inside of US borders. Only 2 less that I mentioned earlier in the above paragraph. So why did I break it up? The first 16 were alleged terrorist activities of Islamic groups. The last 14 were all US citizens and it had nothing at all to do with Islam or any other religions. All these were domestic terrorism.

If we take a look outside of US borders it is a little different. I am only mentioning “noncombatant targets”, since soldiers killed while engaged in futile policing practices, and mostly un-justified military actions are bound to get killed at some point. To date, about 158 US citizens have been killed in terrorist attacks since about 2005, about 16 per year. Most of those by the way, were in war torn countries like Iraq. Not sure about you, but if I was living in a country that had sworn death to all those of my nationality, I think it would be time to … go home.

Islam is a faith. Not all Muslims are the same. Religious law and cultural beliefs are two totally different things. Islam is a very inspiring religion but it also a very violent one. I have been hear many people propagating hatred towards Muslims over the past years. Pointing fingers and shouting rhetoric from the rooftops. They kills “this many” Christians. They bombed “this many” people. We, as the “civilized” western world and alleged Christian based nations, should not be so quick to throw those stones. Our whole civilization here in the western world, our entire Christian faith (and I mean ALL of it) has been built on the bones and blood of those who stood apart and against us. The Christian world terrorized the rest of the world for hundreds of years. After we became dominant in this global society, we only then, began to become civilized. Our human rights, equal rights for women, equal rights for all races, equal rights for gay people, all of this is a NEW thing. Only the last 50 to 100 years have been “civilized” at all. We can do this, because there was nobody acting like Big Brother and sticking their nose into our business every five minutes. We reached the top of the food chain, so to speak, and in our comfort zone we began to soften. But have we? Are we not still that same blood loving and brutal animal that charged forth in hundreds of battles under the guise of Christianity during the Crusades? We view ourselves as righteous. The rest of the world must do as we do and believe as we believe. They can’t be allowed to develop and grow on their own. Only we can show them the way. Our inner nature has not truly changed, maybe for some, but the mass of our society is still the same only with a more “civilized” face.

We have already influenced Islam in a positive way. We don’t need to be involved in their wars and their ways. Let the Middle East solve its own problems. However, when we open our borders in let people in, we need to be clear with them on what is expected. We can’t promise them prosperity only to have them live in squalor. If we are going to be truly a free nation, we have to allow them to express themselves in a manner that they are accustomed, so long as does no harm. This idea of banning their clothing, the long dress (Burqa) has people complaining that they might be hiding weapons under there. How many domestic terrorists have hidden guns under trench coats, hoodies, etc. Guess we should ban all of those too. The face veil is big concern to some. I agree that in secure areas they must show their face, at least to someone, to be allowed access to certain places (ie. Boarding planes). However, in general is they want to have their faces remain covered; let them. NO they are not all forced to wear them, especially here in this country. And to be 100% clear, face veils are not only an Islamic thing. Period. They can be worn for any number of reasons. So if we are to ban them, they we must ban anything with a hood, any type of hat that even partial conceals our face, even surgical masks must go … only BAD people cover their face you know.

Anyway, I have said my what I had to say. You may not agree with everything I said but you can NOT argue with the facts that I have listed. If you simply disagree without backing up your position with facts, not propaganda then you are a reactionary. An extremist. No better than those you point fingers at. Think first … then react.

#SeeYouOnTheBSide

#JustPreachin for Sunday March 22nd, 2015

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#JustPreachin

Well, using my blog for this seems to work ok. If any of you have comments or suggestions, please let me know. Found myself extremely irritated by people yesterday. I get like that now and then, as I am sure we all do. I listen sometimes to the ignorance of people and it slowly gets under my skin, and as you all know, ignorance is like a plague. It spreads to almost everyone around the source. When it comes from youth, which some of this did, I can excuse it. However, some people should know better. The reality is, some of this was coming from people in the same profession I am in, although I think I have been doing it far longer than most, but hearing their opinions and explanations of things just made my skin crawl. I must say this, you need to embrace what you do and make it your own. You need to take responsibility for your actions and your work, good and bad. If everything is just a matter of chance, does it really make sense? If it is all about luck then when you do well, you do not deserve praise or a bonus. You were just lucky. Many of you know, I have been a salesman of sorts for many many years. Every contact is a sale, either you sell them or they sell you on an excuse. Ok, a small fraction of the result is the luck of the draw, a portion of the result is skill, but most of it is attitude and that can be the hardest part of the job. If you act on it, then own it.

#HappyBirthday

Guess what? I dont seem to know anyone with a Birthday today. Hmmm. If I have missed you, or your not on my radar … I apologize. No, not really … put yourself out there. I do however, wish you a Happy Birthday.

#DeaconBluesApproved in #HamOnt

A few things today. There is of course the Sunday Blues going on at Bay City Music Hall, with Jack de Keyzer. Tonight however is my pick of the day … beginning at 6pm at The Casbah is the 2nd Annual Bands for Boobs hosted by Ginger St. James. About 17 different performances .. all for a great cause .. and only $20.

My new Facebook cover above also brings to light a quote from John Lennon, “I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”. I love this quote and have felt like this most of my life. Sometimes it has hurt me, but it helps to keep hope alive. Hold on to all your beliefs. Let the world and the universe disprove them.

I wish you all a great Sunday…

#SeeYouOnTheBSide!