On The Bricks

January 23, 2020

There are many groups in our community that help you out when you need a hand up. They are all good. They all serve their purpose. We need each one of them.

Some of these groups are very specific in what they help with like Oklahoma Panhandle Partners who helps people who are fighting cancer. And Loaves and Fishes who helps put groceries in empty pantries. And Love Does that pays for school lunches for students who get behind.

Catholic Charities is a special group that helps in ways that many others are not able to help in. When you give a dollar to Catholic Charities, 82 cents is spent on direct client services. And 78% of those clients are non – Catholic. Thirty – seven percent of those clients are under the age of 18 years. Seventy – eight percent of the clients have an annual income of less than $15,000.

Those are statistics nationwide.

In the Oklahoma Panhandle, the office located in Guymon, last year they served 294 clients with 73% non – Catholic. Receiving information or referrals were 2,403 clients. Half the clients have an annual income of less than $15,000. Client assistance and emergency rent and utility assistance given was $17,013.

The $121,593 needed for the Oklahoma Panhandle services, goes for Family Case Management, Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance, Refugee Resettlement Services, and Immigration Legal Services. This amount is garnered with 16% from foundation grants, 30% from regional parish support (money from donations in the Panhandle), and 54% from non – regional parish support.

We are lucky to have Catholic Charities working with us in our community. It is good that we have so many people devoted to making this world less harsh, to being helpful and caring.

Now, it is true that taking care of others is important and it gives our lives meaning when we do such things. There is also the fact that we must not neglect ourselves. Maybe you have determined you will make some changes in your life in 2020. It is good to do so. Stand true because it is good for you to do so.

Thought for the New Year: Start by doing one push up. Start by drinking one glass of water. Start by paying toward one debt. Start by reading one page. Start by making one sale. Start by deleting one old contact. Start by walking one lap. Start by attending one event. Start by writing one paragraph. Start today. Repeat tomorrow.

On The Bricks

January 2, 2020

Did you miss a chance to make an impression over the holidays with a wonderful insightful toast?

When you do a toast, you don’t want to embarrass yourself. So, here’s a few tips for the perfect wedding toast taken from Toastmasters magazine. You can rearrange them a little to be a good toast for almost any event, including Christmas or New Years Eve or Day, a wedding or even a divorce, maybe a child’s baptism.

Where there is a gathering, there could be a need to celebrate the occasion with a heartfelt toast. These proven tips are geared to help you deliver a memorable toast with confidence and finesse.

  • Identify yourself. Open with a brief explanation of your relationship to whomever is being celebrated before beginning the toast.
  • Be prepared. The best toasts include an opening, a body, and a conclusion.
  • Stay on topic. Although you may be nervous, stay focused on the person and their special day. The toast is not about you.
  • Get personal. A toast should be original, heartfelt, and customized for the occasion.
  • Use humor but avoid telling potentially embarrassing stories and using offensive language.
  • Be creative. Avoid clichés and consider using a relevant quote to illustrate your words.
  • Be brief. A toast should last no longer than three minutes.
  • Stand; lift your glass by the stem and say, “I’d like to propose a toast.” Pause to allow guests to shift their attention toward you and give them time to lift their glasses. When you start speaking, lower your glass to about waist height.
  • Practice makes perfect. Rehearse your message in advance in front of a group of friends.

Maybe at your next social event you can toast the party host or the those in attendance.

It certainly beat the old “Here’s to you and here’s to me, in hope we never disagree. And if we do, then to heck with you, here’s to me.” That old stand – by doesn’t make you many friends.

Thought for the New Year: I’m walking into 2020 with a clear heart and mind. If you owe me, don’t worry about it – you’re welcome. If you wronged me, it’s all good – lesson learned. If you’re angry with me, you won. I’ve let it go. If we aren’t speaking, it’s cool. I love you and wish you well. If I’ve wronged you, I apologize. It wasn’t intentional. I’m grateful for every experience that I have received. Life is too short for pent up anger, grudges, extra stress or pain. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself. Make 2020 a year of forgiveness and a season of positivity.

See you on the bricks!