Elderly Inspiration

Well friends, this story is all around fantastic. It has everything you could ever want in a story: smiles, laughs, awes and Jay Leno. I get that you’re probably pretty excited with what you think you’re about to see. This week, I’m branching away from the usual cute kids and animals stories. This is revolved around a 100-year-old woman: Dorothy.You know when you see cute elderly people in public you think, “I want to adopt them as my grandparents?” Well maybe not everyone thinks that, but I sure do. As soon as I saw this video I could help but be consumed with smiles and want to pull Dorothy from the screen.

Dorothy Custer is 102 years old, but her spirit remains young.  She’s a free-spirited comedian with an itch for adventure. She’s famous from the Jay Leno show shown below.

I’m 21 years old and I cannot even imagine having some of the adventures she has.

In May 2012 Custer celebrated her 101st birthday by zip lining in the Snake River Canyon and her 102nd birthday by base jumping off of the Perrine Pridge. She is the oldest base jumper ever. 

I find her spirit inspiring. I find her lifestyle inspiring. I find her secret to life inspiring.

He secret to life is to think positive, and exercise every morning (which I find the people in my life, including myself, failing to do. Each morning she does 150-200 rows on her machine, balance practice and arm workouts. My jaw dropped.

Following her secret to life, she shared her personal love story of her husband of 68 years, Marvin. She said she had her eye on her husband for a while, and after going on their first day, “from then on, it was just Marvin.” I won’t spoil how they met though. Watch below to find out!




Changing Lives One Football at a Time

I’m a huge fan of football. I love the Cleveland Browns and fall is my favorite season just for the football. I also love seeing people come together to make a difference. This story is perfect. A middle school football team in Michigan plotted a play to showcase exactly how teammates should treat one another. Players on the Olivet Middle School football team designed a play to change the life of teammate with special needs. The team went behind their coaches backs and planned a special moment for their teammate Keith Orr. Find out what is it below.

This is my favorite story I’ve posted about thus far. I’m proud of these boys who I don’t even know. They make me see hope in the future of our kids. What do you think of this story?

Read the full story here!

Good PR and Batman Make Wishes Come True

I love actions movies. My favorite are superhero movies. You know, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and Superman. These movies are suspenseful, not to mention I love Robert Downey Jr..

I also work at Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio. This hospital is one of the top Pediatric hospitals in the country. I have a soft spot for helping people, especially kids.

Between my love for kids and my love for superhero movies, I knew I had to share this story the moment I read it. This is the story how San Francisco will change into the coolest city on Earth.

On November 15 San Francisco will turn itself into Gotham City to grant the wish of a 5-year-old leukemia patient. For those of you who don’t know, Gotham City is Batman’s city. The little boy is named Miles. A couple weeks ago, the Make-a-Wish foundation asked Miles what he wished for. Miles’ wish was he wanted to BE BatKid.

HT_make_a_wish_ml_131104_16x9_608photo credit: Make-a-Wish


His wish surprised both his parents and the Make-a-Wish foundation staff members. The foundation made the decision to exceed the expectations of Miles, his family and the community. Taking a huge chance, Make-a-Wish asked the public to participate in changing the life of this little boy.

Jen Wilson, the marketing and promotions manager for Make-a-Wish San Francisco said changing the city for one day, is a great opportunity to spread and share the power of everything Make-a-Wish stands for. The public can see how granting a wish affects not only the children but also their families and the rest of the community.

On the morning of Nov. 15, a “breaking news story” will be aired on TV in San Francisco. The police chief will ask the public if they know where BatKid is because he is needed to bring justice to the community.

According to ABC News, Miles’ day will then include rescuing a damsel in distress tied up across the Hyde Street cable car line and capturing the Puzzler in the act of robbing a downtown vault. As Batkid eats his lunch at Burger Bar, he’ll get a special message from the chief telling him to go to the window where he’ll look out over Union Square and see a huge group of volunteers jumping up and down and asking for his help. The article also stated, a villain will kidnap a well-known San Francisco mascot and Miles will come to the rescue. The final stop is City Hall, where the mayor and police chief will thank him and present him with a key to the city and a crowd will be cheering him on.

The foundation coordinated with hundreds, possibly thousands of community members to be waiting at City Hall for when Miles arrives.

There have been countless offers of people wanting to volunteer in making Miles wish come true. Actors, photographers, videographers and makeup artists all offered services to make this day amazing.

Miles has no idea how amazing his day is going to be.

Hear the story yourself below!

PR Strategy for Make-a-Wish

Contacting local media outlets was the first step. If there is one thing people love it’s making children happy. When the foundation explained Miles’ story, everyone was eager to participate.

The press releases and news releases led intrigued readers and listeners to the website information page where they can learn all of the details of the event.

The Make-a-Wish foundation used Twitter feeds to for various characters in each scenario. The hash is #sfbatkid. The foundation encourages the community to use the hashtag whenever there is information being shared about Miles’ wish.

With the popularity of flashmobs, the foundation took advantage of that. A flashmob will warn BatKid of trouble.

T-shirts have also been designed to sell. The proceeds will go to Make-a-Wish foundation.

Make-a-Wish did such a great job involving the community, a Facebook page called, “BatKid Photo Project” was created in honor of Miles.

I think this is amazing PR on the foundation’s behalf. They took a great idea and came up with great ways to raise awareness within the community while allowing participants to have fun! Well done Make-a-Wish. What do you think of the PR strategy? Thoughts?



A Family “Pays it Forward” With Pumpkin Spice Lattes

This story is full of my favorite elements: inspiration, togetherness, international and Starbucks. As much as I love a good inspirational story, I’m not a sentimental person, so when this story of Alyssa O’Neill brought me to tears I knew I had to share. This post is going to be a little different from my others. Instead of drowning your brains with information, I’m just going to share this story and share what I took away from it. This story deserves the un-dividing attention of those reading it.

A few weeks ago 18-year-old Alyssa O’Neill passed away from a epileptic seizure. O’Neill was diagnosed one year ago with epilepsy. On the day of her death, she asked her parents to buy her a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.

Alyssa never got her latte, but a few days after her funeral something amazing happened. Her parents wanted to honor her wish so they went to Starbucks and not only bought pumpkin spice lattes for themselves, but also for 40 strangers.  They asked the Starbucks employees to put the initials “A.J.O” on each of the cups in honor of their daughter.

In return for the O’Neills “paying it forward,” Starbucks purchased an additional 50 lattes for customers. This story didn’t take long to make it social media sites and inspire others to do their own acts of kindness. Facebook and Twitter accounts were created in honor of Alyssa O’Neill. Soon after, pictures overwhelmed the accounts by strangers all over the world performing random acts of kindness in honor of Alyssa.


According to Desert News, messages have been received from locales as varied as Iceland, South Korea, Mexico and England. Stories range from strangers purchasing lattes to an anonymous note left at a restaurant table stating: “I’ve covered your bill tonight (tip too). All I ask is that you ‘pay it forward’ — a random act of kindness in memory of Alyssa O’Neill.”

Watch this amazing news story from ABCNews:

Being a music fanatic, I automatically tied this story to a song. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” was the only song that popped into my head after reading this. Journey is one of my favorite bands. This song brings people together. As soon as it comes on, people can’t help but sing, just as people can’t help but join the “Pay it Forward” movement.

Listen to “Don’t Stop Believing,” and try not to sing along. I dare you!

I took away the most from this story, so much that I “Paid it Forward” myself. Every Tuesday and Thursday I have class at the crack of dawn. As you guys know by now, I’m a coffee addict, so walking past Starbucks and NOT buying anything would be a sin. Today, I bought two pumpkin spice lattes; one for me, and one for the third person behind me. I chose the third person because I wanted to attempt to remain anonymous. Needless to say, it didn’t work. The stranger came up to me and asked why. I explained the story, said you’re welcome and went on my way. Now, I don’t know if the stranger performed a random act of kindness in return, but I imagine he did. His facial expression while I was explaining the story showed compassion. In that moment, I saw how addicting Alyssa’s story is. People can’t help but smile and join the movement.


How You Can “Pay It Forward”

  • Buy a pumpkin spiced latte for a stranger.
  • “Like” the Facebook page
  • Follow on Twitter, spread the word
  • Donate to the cause

If you want to follow Alyssa’s story more, follow this wonderful blog!  AJO forever

A “Tic” to Success

Today’s topic is going to be a little out of the box. In honor of leading into the live shows of “The X Factor,” one of my favorite television shows, I’m sharing a story of a contestant. For those of you who don’t know what “The X Factor” is, it’s a singing reality show premiering on FOX.

Guevara is a 16-year-old freshman who has an amazing voice, but that’s not the only thing special about him. He also has Tourette Syndrome. Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder where a person has both motor and vocal tics. They are hard to control and can happen at any time. He was diagnosed with the disease at the beginning of his freshman year. After countless failures of medicine, Carlos finally found a remedy to control his symptoms: music.

During “The X Factor” auditions, Guevara said music was the only thing that helped his turrets and didn’t make him tic. Guevara auditioned with the song “Gravity” by John Mayer (one of my favorite artists). After blowing the audience away, he received a yes from all four judges, and during the second round of the show, he made it to live performances. Watch his amazing audition below!

I find this story incredibly inspiring and humbling. It’s moving to me seeing a young adult overcome such a difficult struggle with a smile and so much optimism. I feel like I can lean a lot from Guevara. I feel like I’m constantly worrying about every aspect of my life and instead of bettering it, I let myself stay stressed out. Hearing Guevara’s story makes me want to better myself and find a hobby that can help me find peace in my hectic life.

Being a music lover, it’s intriguing how popular music therapy is. I always thought music can heal any bad moment, mood or event, but I never looked into physical healing.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals by; free improvisation, singing, songwriting, and listening to, discussing, and moving to music.

How Can Music Therapy Help?

  • Physical health
  • Emotional state
  • Mental health
  • Social interactions
  • Spiritual inspiration

What Can Music Therapy Help With?

  • Cognitive functioning
  • Motor skills
  • Emotional and affective development
  • Behavior and social skills

The positive effects of music therapy lead to the national campaign, Play For Life. Play For Life raises funds through creativity. The Play For Life auction platform teamed with Clear Channel Radio’s network of music stations and websites to raise funds and awareness for City Of Hope’s pioneering work in music therapy, which provides an outlet for cancer patients called “The City of Hope Campaign.” Artists, producers and directors come together to raise money for music therapy through a music websites and a series of online auctions.

Some Artists Involved:

  • Taylor Swift
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Keith Urban
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Justin Bieber

A “Special” Kind of Dining

“God only gives special children to special people.” — unknown.

I work in a restaurant and I have for three years. I’m a waitress at a little restaurant called 3 Brothers Corner Tavern. Most of you probably have never heard of it, but it’s a small, family-owned restaurant similar to a Buffalo Wild Wings. We have wings, burgers and people. Working in the restaurant business and serving people makes me come into contact with a lot of interesting characters.

I have five types of customers:

  1. Teenagers– I rarely enjoy spending my night waiting on them.
  2. Regulars — who are always a hoot!
  3. Unpleasents — who no one enjoys.
  4. Talkers — they’ll talk my ear off if I’d let them.
  5. Inspirationals — who always have a story to brighten my day.

Sometimes, I’ll have a table that leaves me a cute note, and sometimes, I’ll get a table where they pick up the bill for an elderly couple or friend. The reactions when I tell the receivers is always priceless and makes my day. It was no different for the England family in North Carolina.

Ashley England went to dine out for a family dinner with her husband, mother, grandmother and two sons, Logan and Riley. Riley is eight years old and because of his epilepsy, he is autistic.

During dinner, Riley started to get frustrated and started making screaming noises while beating on the table. Some people were staring so the England family was just about to leave when something truly inspirational happened.

A waitress went to the England family and told them their meal has been paid for by a customer who chose to remain anonymous. With this good news came a note that read, “God only gives special children to special people.”

Later that night, England shared the news and a picture on her Facebook. Within hours, the story traveled nationwide. Watch the interview with Ashley England below. It truly is inspirational.

What is Autism?

Autism is a complex disorder of brain development.  It causes difficulty in social interaction, repetitive behaviors and verbal and nonverbal communication. Autism can also be associated with intellectual disability and motor coordination difficulties.

According to Autism Speaks:

  • Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism



How Can You Make a Difference?

Autism Awareness Month is in April, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to give back. There are charities and walks nationwide where YOU can make a difference.

April 2 is always Light It Up Blue day to start Autism Awareness Month. Famous monuments, retail stores, bridges, sporting events and concert venues take part in Light It up Blue.

Every year between the months of September and October, Autism Speaks hosts an annual 5K walk.


Want to Learn More?

Autism Speaks broadcasts a radio show, “Autism America,” every Saturday from 6-8pm on Sirius XM’s Family Talk Channel 131.

Waking Up to Love

“May you fall asleep in the arms of a dream so beautiful, you’ll wake up crying.” Michael Faudt

I believe in love. I believe in the power of love. I believe love is a special gift to share with someone, and I am lucky enough to be in love.

I’ve never been one to have a boyfriend or be completely infatuated with the male species growing up. I was never interested in dating, and the thought of a relationship made me cringe. I saw the pain and suffering my friends went through with their boyfriends and I thought to myself, “why would I ever want to put myself through that?” However, in the back of my mind, I was a hopeless romantic. I’m the person who thinks when you meet the right person, you’ll know right away. In my circumstance, I was right.

I met my boyfriend through mutual friends at a birthday lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Chipotle.  As soon as I saw him I was immediately drawn to him, and it only took one sentence to intrigue me more. I was getting butterflies while talking to him, and I know I had the most embarrassing smile on my face during our entire conversation. Even though there were five other people around, our conversation was just for us. I wasn’t paying attention to anything surrounding me. He was funny, sarcastic and adorable. When I left, I knew I was going to be hooked. That was last May and I still have him in my life.

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Every time I see him, I fall in love with him all over again. I became that sentimental girl who likes to hold hands and kiss in public while everyone else is on the verge of puking from all of the cuteness happening. I love every minute of it.

Luckily, I’m not the only crazy-in-love person in this world. Recently, a video of love and hilarity has gone viral. Jason Mortensen went to the hospital for surgery. When he woke up he was still on anesthesia and temporarily lost memory of being married. When he sees his wife, he falls in love with her all over again. Watch!

This video made my heart melt. I like to think this can give people hope. When people go through relationship trouble, especially my friends, I hear a lot of “I’m never dating again,” or “I’ll never find anyone else.” This video is a sign to me that love is amazing and when you meet the right person, it’ll never go away. I hope this video gives you hope or at least makes you smile. It’s amazing.

Love is more than just cute couples. In January 2013, Discovery Fit and Health published an article called, “5 Ways That Love is Good for Your Health.

  1. Love lowers your blood pressure.
  2. Love decreases the likelihood of depression.
  3. Love boosts the body immunity.
  4. Love leads a longer life.
  5. Love can keep you in shape.

Like the power of love, I also believe in the power of music. So, I share with you some of my favorite love songs of all time. Listen and enjoy friends!