While our older daughter Trina and her husband Paul are shoveling snow in the midwest, Sondra has been enjoying the sunshine with us in Florida and now Nashville. She’s also a spokesperson for Soles4Souls and plans to get her college, Azusa Pacific University involved in a massive shoe drive this spring. In the meantime, she’s happy being with her goofy dad, giving goofy smiles to the world.
Archive for December, 2009
Sometimes we forget how easy it is to make a difference in the world…in a positive way! I’ve talked to people who have cut their hair and sent it to Locks of Love to be made into wigs. www.locksoflove.org
Small children can collect newspapers and give them to a Humane Society for puppy pens.
And lets not forget how easy it is to donate gently-used shoes to Soles4Souls. Simply ship them to our warehouse at 315 Airport Rd, Roanoke, AL 36274-8011
It finally happened. After having the same website for eight years, I got my favorite “website guy” to give me a new, easy to use website. I love that even I can make changes or additions to the site. Since I’m traveling full time for Soles4Souls, it’s easy to give updates about what I’m doing for the shoe charity.
Take the quiz on www.silvanaclark.com and see if you get a high score!
For the last 8 months, Allan and I have been traveling in the Soles4Souls RV, promoting the shoe charity. People always ask where we’ve been. Now we simply point to this map posted on the inside of the RV door and can show the states we’ve visited.Our goal is to fill in the entire map! Well…maybe not Hawaii.
Ever since we met Wayne Elsey, founder of Soles4Souls, I’ve been impressed with his charity towards others. Let him know that someone needs a pair of shoes and those shoes are soon on the way. Wayne believes in giving back to others, personally and through his shoe charity, Soles4Souls. Yesterday we toured the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. I was struck with the way John and Mable Ringling also had an attitude of sharing with others…on a large scale. Upon his death in 1936, John left his art collection and estate to the people of Florida. The art collection alone is valued as one of the top 20 museum collections in the US. We visited the complex and were amazed at the Circus Museum which is a replica of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus from 1919-1938. The whole model takes up 3,800 square feet. After seeing the small scale circus, we toured the Ca d’ Zan, the dream mansion built for John and Mable. It rivaled many castles we’ve seen in Europe. How wonderful that this couple enjoyed their wealth while also sharing it with others. www.ringling.org
While I love looking at pictures of a Currier and Ives Christmas, staying home with a large tree and home-made cookies doesn’t happen too often in our family. We spent one Christmas snowmobiling on a glacier at midnight. Another year we awoke to giraffes outside our hotel in Kenya and another year we did skits at a nursing home in Costa Rica. Through all these years, we’ve learned that being together is more important than lots of gifts. As we meet people around the country while distributing shoes for Soles4Souls, we realize how lucky our family is. The shoe charity gives away shoes at homeless shelters, churches and schools to people who are grateful for a pair of basic shoes. That’s why this year we “downsized” even more with “Christmas in a Bag”. As you can see from the picture, I packed our entire Christmas in that bag. Including our tree with lights! The little Santa suit is what Sondra wore when she was one month old and I use it every year as a decoration. So our tree, some decorations, some special ornaments and a few gifts easily fit in our bag. Who needs anything else?
As we travel the country for Soles4Souls, promoting the shoe charity, we’re fortunate to be able to stop at attractions along the way. When it comes to aquariums, we’ve visited some of the “major” facilities such as the Atlanta Aquarium, Tennessee Aquarium and several others. Yet those large facilities didn’t have the personality that we found at the Mote Marine Laboratory. Every exhibit felt truly child friendly, with plenty of helpful volunteers assisting with information. I loved how the exhibits took you inside, outside, across the street, inside again, etc. Of course they had a manatee exhibit! Our favorite stop was viewing Molly the Mollusk, a 23 foot long giant squid. She is one of the few giant squids on exhibit, so it was fascinating to see her close up and personal. If you are in Sarasota, don’t miss a stop at Mote. www.mote.org
I make no claims to be tech-savvy…my family is amazed I can send an email from my Blackberry. The only video game I played (if you can call it that) was a few games of Pong when Allan and I were dating. In 1981, our daughter Trina had an Atari. That, in a nutshell, is the extent of video games in the Clark household.
So you can imagine I rolled my eyes when Allan and Sondra raced to the Immersion Cinema program at the Mote Marine Laboratory. I had no desire to take part in the event that required me to touch some sort of video screen. Ahh, the grouch that I am soon became totally engaged. A huge 40-foot-High-Definition screen played a movie that was both entertaining and educational about the plight of dolphins. We all had interactive consoles that we used to help search for Claire, a missing dolphin. Now I know this was a game, but my competitive nature took over when I saw I could get more “points” if I found more dolphins on my screen than the rest of the audience. I was racing my speedboat through the waters, searching for Claire. (All right, I also crashed on land a few times because I didn’t know how to make my finger touch the screen in the right place.) I touched one dolphin on my screen and got the notice, “Claire”. I FOUND CLAIRE! To my family’s embarrassment, I announced “I FOUND CLAIRE” much too loudly for their comfort. Later Sondra told me, “Mom, almost everyone else already found Claire. They just didn’t announce it to the entire theater.” Nonetheless, I totally enjoyed my experience with Immersion Cinema at the Mote Aquarium. I may even try out that Wii thingy that Allan bought to use as part of our Soles4Souls events.
As the new year approaches, many parents make a resolution to get their children involved in volunteering, but don’t know where to start. Afterall, it’s not practical to take a six-year-old to serve soup at a homeless shelter. Without bragging, that’s where Sondra’s latest book comes in handy. When she was 16, she wrote “77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve” (Wesleyan Publishing) The book gives steps by step directions to fun and easy volunteer projects. And yes, of course, she includes Soles4Souls also! Kids can donate shoes to our shoe charity, which is a great way to recycle shoes. Here’s what Ladies’ Home Journal had to say about her book.