Hot and Cold

That title can describe me on writing this blog in 2018.  I have been totally cold and this is my first Thinking on Thursday$ with Teresa in 2018.  It has been busy at work.  I love to write so why have I been such hot and cold since 2018 began?   I have no answer and I have promised myself that I’ll get back in the swing of writing this each Thursday.

This title came to me today while I was driving away from a funeral and thinking about the weather.  Our weather has been hot and cold.  How is it possible to be 70 one day and wake up to 21 degree weather the next morning?  I know that’s a rhetorical question and I also know the answer—just makes me wonder.

Emotions can be hot and cold.  At the funeral today I observed tears one moment and laughter the next.  I compare that to hot and cold. 

In the grand scheme of things, isn’t it about balance and being able to be flexible and flow like the jet stream or the memories of a dear one that hold tears and laughter? 

Enjoy the sunshine today and tomorrow and get out the heavy coat this weekend.  

#hotandcold    #wfacf   www.wfacf.org   940-766-0829    


WFACF Scholarships 2018

Since Academic Year 2000-01 through 2017-18, the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation has awarded $3,735,296 in scholarships to area students.

Scholarship Funds that have made this possible include the following:

  • Archer City ISD Windfarm
  • Jack and Jeaunell Aaron Family Scholarship Endowment
  • Carl T. Anderson Family Endowment
  • Bellevue Alumni
  • Best of Burkburnett
  • Dorothy Roberts-Burns
  • Jan Banta Vocational or Professional Education Endowment
  • Nelda and Doyle Bivins
  • Bridge Builder
  • A.P. and Christine Clark Memorial
  • Café con Leche
  • City View ISD
  • Charlye Farris—Wichita County Bar Association Endowment
  • Clyde Fillmore– Wichita County Bar Association Endowment
  • Ted and Deedy Conrady
  • Andrew Duncan Memorial
  • Pat Ehlert Memorial Scholarship
  • Felty Family
  • Buster Haas
  • Martha and Ralph Harvey, III
  • Lysle and Ken Huddleston
  • Royal B. Kinder Endowment
  • T. Edgar and Robbie Davis Johnson
  • Martin Luther King
  • James McCoy Foundation
  • Muzzie McDaniel
  • Bill and Katherine McGregor
  • Olney Education Foundation
  • Olney One Arm Dove Hunt
  • Quanah Alumni Association Endowment
  • Betty Jo Baker Ramsey Music Scholarship
  • Remember the Vietnam War
  • Richard Gaines Russell
  • Rotary Club of Burkburnett
  • Mattye and Ollie Sisk Memorial
  • The Chairman Tommy Taylor Memorial Scholarship
  • Lucia Hartgrove Waggoner Art Scholarship–MSU
  • Whiteis Family Fine Arts/Agricultural Endowment
  • Wichita County Board of Realtors
  • Wichita County Jr. Livestock Association
  • Zavala

Scholarship Funds that will award scholarships in the future:

  • Nelda and Doyle Bivins Endowment
  • John Crane Scholarship
  • Maurine Henry Endowment
  • Dr. Phillip and Susan Kelly Endowment
  • Martin Luther King Endowment
  • MWH Group Accounting Scholarship
  • The Katherine Marshall Memorial (Quanah)
  • J. Charles and Debra Carroll White Endowment

One of the most rewarding parts of this job at the Foundation is having fantastic donors that have stepped forth and realized that young ones need a helping hand and these scholarship funds offer the help that fulfills dreams and changes lives. Here are some words from various scholarship fund recipients.

“Because of your generosity, my long-time dream of becoming a dentist has become a reality. I chose to come back to this community to practice because people here supported me so much. I owe a debt of gratitude and service.”

“My family and I cannot tell you how much your kindness means to us. Because money was not such a worry, I was able to focus more on school and my GPA.”

“Often my mom and I sit down and talk about my education and the cost of it. We realize that without this scholarship, it would be very difficult. I just can’t thank you enough.”

“Education is an important factor in my life because I will be the first person to attend college. As the oldest of four children, it is very important for me to set a good example for my brother and sisters to follow. You are helping me do that.”

“I am an Electrical Engineer. I owe my entire education to scholarship donors such as you. My college experience would have been very different if I had not had the support from people like you.”

“You all have been a blessing from God. I cannot describe the feeling of joy I felt when I opened the letter and read the words about the scholarship I had been awarded.”

“I refused to surrender my dreams to circumstances. I choose to do only my best and use this education as my way to make the changes in the world that will benefit those who come after me. I hope I’ll leave a glimmer of light to follow.”

Learn more about all the scholarships, click here, or call 940-766-0829

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day: Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.—Lao Zi


IMPROVEMENT

Last week while involved in a group activity we were talking about change.  One group member added this pearl of wisdom to the group think:  “Most people don’t like the word change or the thought of going through a change.  When talking about change now I use the word improve.”

I love that.  A colleague is seeking a new career opportunity and in visiting with her, I heard the word change many times.  I used the newly learned concept of substituting the word improve for the word change.  It was amazing how the mood of the conversation shifted from one of dread to one that for her had a glimpse of hope when I said, “This improvement in your life will….” 

It’s not time for me to write down those 2018 resolutions.  I want to get through Christmas first.  I do write my goals each year and this year if I see the word change in any of them, I’m diverting to the newfound word “improve.”

#wfacf  #merrychristmas  #happynewyear #notchangebutimprove

Questions about Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation, Burkburnett Legacy Foundation or Texoma Gives?  tpontiuscaves@wfacf.org  or 940-766-0829


Songs of the Season

Yesterday was a day of singing for 10 year old grandson.  His grade school choir had four concerts during the day and his city-wide honor choir had a concert in the evening. 

I attended two of the concerts during the day—one at an assisted living center and the other at the Teachers’ Credit Union.  The choir director gave so many children a chance to be in the spotlight.  Each number was introduced by at least three children.  One gave the name and history; one gave the composer; and one gave an interesting fact.  At the credit union, there was a dedication made and grandson got to deliver the surprise.  The choir director’s sister worked at the credit union and the concert was dedicated to her.

It was most joyful watching these grade school children as they filled the venues with heavenly voices—so pure and sweet.  Some of the singers added an extra flair of tapping feet, swaying bodies, bobbing heads, or smiles almost bigger than their faces.

It am glad I made time and was able job-wise to go to the daytime concerts.

At the evening concert, the venue was packed!  This program was filled with singing and some piano solos.  One happy song that had the audience moving included hand jive motions.  I was doing my own hand jives and grandson saw me and had a look of surprise that Grammy would know about this.  It was a day of singing and I’m glad my grandson can express himself through song.

Whatever songs of the season are in your heart during Christmas and New Year celebrations, I hope it fills you with joy and smiles.  If you remember the hand jive and can fit the motions to one of your songs, I bet you’ll have fun.

#wfacf  #merrychristmas  #happynewyear

Questions about Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation, Burkburnett Legacy Foundation or Texoma Gives?  tpontiuscaves@wfacf.org  or 940-766-0829


Ten Ways to Celebrate and Say “Merry Christmas”

Would you please take a look at this top 10 list of suggestions and perhaps one or two of them will speak to you as the holiday season goes into overdrive:

  1. Clean out those drawers, closets, storage units and DONATE now to any of the thrift stores in our area, i.e. Burkburnett Boys and Girls Club, First Step, Faith Mission/Refuge, to name a few.
  1. Help your children clean out their toys. Have them pick good used toys and take them with you when the donation is made to the church nursery, a resale shop, a woman’s shelter, a homeless shelter.  Purchase new toys and take your children with you when you deliver them.
  1. Make your gifts to charitable causes in honor of those on your gift giving list. The charities/nonprofits send you an acknowledgement and also your gift honorees will receive cards telling of your lovely holiday remembrance.
  1. If there’s not much money for gifts this year, how about looking in your cupboards and having kids or grandkids help you take canned goods to your church food pantry or to Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, Grace Ministries, or Interfaith?
  1. Have your kids and/or grandkids go with you to buy big bags of dog food and cat food and then head over to an animal shelter and make the donation.
  1. Take some time to contemplate what really matters in this life—things vs. people. A heartfelt note and a visit to a widow, widower, or shut-in is far more precious than a material item.
  1. Seek out a single parent, a neighbor without close family, a military person and “adopt” them for not only the holiday, but for many holidays.
  1. Spoil the children still at home, in college, and of course, the grandchildren. But, help them learn too.  Instead of filling those stockings, use the amount you usually spend on all the items in the stockings and replace it with a card that tells them what donation you made in their name and for what purpose.  It gives a different feel to the whole evening/morning when their honor is revealed and you talk about blessing an organization that gives tirelessly year in and year out.
  1. There are “Angel Trees” in the vast majority of communities. Take those angels off that tree and become an angel to a child you’ll never know.  Teenage angels are usually the last to go—please consider taking those first.
  1. Don’t forget that Times Charities begins each Thanksgiving and runs through Christmas. This is a charitable endeavor championed by the Times Record News and serves unmet needs through the year for Faith Mission/Refuge, Interfaith, Grace Ministries and Salvation Army.  The Times Charities fund resides at the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation and you can give all year long. 

This year when asked “What do you want for Christmas” a teaching, touching reply could be, “Please donate to one of my favorite charities.”


Earnest Hearts

I have two stories to share about what I’m calling “earnest hearts.”  I heard and/or saw these two stories in the last 24 hours.

Story One

I was making my last minute Halloween candy purchase.  On the aisle next to me I heard…

Voice 1:  My grandma has the kids today. My little girl can’t go back to pre-K until I have

               a doctor’s order stating a medical condition causes her accidents.  

Voice 2:  Well, just get her to the doctor and get the order written.

Voice 1:  How do I get off work to do that and I have to wait until payday.

Voice 2:  Doesn’t their dad help?

Voice 1:  No—just grandma.

Voice 2:  Go to the Community Healthcare Center.  They have a sliding fee scale and a

     pharmacy if your little girl needs medicine. 

Story Two 

I had a 7 a.m. meeting downtown this morning.  I arrived 20 minutes ahead of the building’s doors being unlocked.  I drove around listening to music while I waited.  As I passed a corner streetlight, I saw a mom in a fast food uniform pushing two small children in a plastic wagon.  Both of the babies had to be under 3 years old.  I drove a couple of blocks and then decided I would turn around and give them a ride.  After rounding the corner, I saw her taking the two children into the daycare center.  I bet after she came out of the daycare center she was walking to her job.

Two women with children– both I bet have earnest hearts.  Hearts for their children and hearts that know work is needed to be able to provide.  How can I help?  I can donate to Community Healthcare Center and Child Care, Inc. so moms and dads who get up each day and get to work either by feet, bicycle, or car can have a safe place to take their children for daycare and a sliding fee scale clinic when that is needed for their babies.  One can’t possibly know the stories of each child or parent.  One can know that it takes earnest hearts to help make children’s lives better…and sometimes that means making the parents’ lives better.   

 #earnestheartsinwichitafalls    #wfacf   www.wfacf.org   940-766-0829    


Dogs, Dolphins, and Differences

On a recent beach vacation, the opportunity presented itself to go on a dolphin cruise.  I’m glad I was part of the trio of friends who embarked on this adventure.

As we got onboard, our captain asked what we wanted the 4 hours to be—snorkel, dolphins, shells, or swimming?  We picked dolphins and shells.  As we sped away from land, the search for dolphins was first on the list.  There was the occasional sea turtle and some fish in that turquoise see-through water. 

When we happened on a fisherman with two dogs in his boat, it was apparent something was in the water because spotted dog would not stop jumping around and barking over the edge of the boat.  Our boat stopped and we watched as the dolphin would jump up to the side of the fisherman’s boat.  After about three jumps up, the dolphin stayed up, the dog came to the boat’s edge and licked the dolphin on his spout/nose or whatever that pointed part of the dolphin is called.  The dolphin swam quickly around the fisherman’s boat and came back up to visit his new friend.  The dog again licked the dolphin.  Dolphin had some happy moves as he swam fast and came a bit closer to our boat. Just as quick as he said hi to us, he was back over to see the dog.

Dogs and dolphins sure look different.  Dogs and dolphins have very different living arrangements.  Dogs and dolphins probably have very different food sources.  With all those differences, the world stood still long enough for our trio to watch the dog and the dolphin look at one another, have some fun, and even give a warm hello. 

With all the differences in the world today among people of all walks, maybe we could learn something from the dog and the dolphin and perhaps learn from our differences.  

#wedidfindshells                 #taketimetolearn             #wfacf 940-766-0829


Times Charities 2017

Times Charities was formed more than 25 years ago by a group of area philanthropists who wanted to find a way to help those less fortunate. Times Charities initially established its own non-profit and later initiated a fund at the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation. Since 2010, Times Charities Fund has begun its holiday season as part of the Wichita Falls Area Community.

Donations to the Times Charities Fund help three partners: Faith Mission/Faith Refuge, The Salvation Army,  and Interfaith Outreach Services in Wichita Falls and Burkburnett’s Grace Ministries. Overhead expenses are not paid from donations.

The Times Charities funding requests are verified for need before grants to the partners are dispensed. Those seeking help at Faith Mission/Faith Refuge, the Salvation Army, Interfaith Outreach Services, and Burkburnett’s Grace Ministries are blessed with loving care from donations made to Times Charities Fund.

Donations can be made in the form of cash, checks, debit/credit cards, and appreciated stock.

MAIL: Times Charities/WFACF, 2405 Kell Blvd, Ste. 100, Wichita Falls, TX 76308
ONLINE: Click here to donate online
PHONE: 940-766-0829 and we’ll take your debit /credit card information
APPRECIATED STOCK: 940-766-0829 for wiring instructions

The annual fund drive starts Thanksgiving Day and ends Christmas Day. The annual fund drive donors will be showcased each day of the drive in the Times Record News (TRN). Additionally, there is a daily story about the needs and the people served from Times Charities during the year. Donations during the fund drive come at the “giving time of the year.” Gifts to Times Charities are not limited to just this short span of time. If you so choose, donations can also be made throughout the year.

Questions:  TRN 940-720-3490 or WFACF 940-766-0829


Being Outdoors

 

Growing up in the country with a houseful of siblings and lots of cousins on both sides of the family was fun.  God only knows how we escaped major bodily injuries when I think back on all the antics, e.g. walking across the log that had fallen over the rising creek, tearing up the beaver dams, swimming in the creek after having dropped from the grapevine, jumping from the hay loft onto the barn floor, the list goes on!

What made me think of this today?  I went by a school during lunch time and there weren’t children out playing.  It’s 80 degrees, sun is shining brightly—where were the children?  Was it too early, too late, too muddy (it’s been raining)? 

What I know is that kids and adults need outdoors in large doses.  I believe that when there is rain and mud then it’s a great time for mud pies.  I recently bought granddaughter sidewalk paints—were those for her or me?    Colored toothpicks were always on the shelf at my house—everyone needs to have toothpick races on a rainy day.  When there is sand or water, my toes need to be in the sand and the water beckons every minute I’m around it.

I hope recess is still a great part of school, that outdoor play helps make up each child’s life, and adults never lose their kid part that needs outdoors.

#outdoors    #wfacf  www.wfacf.org  940-766-0829


Hearts and HOPE

 

I saw a sign once that read, “When you become a mother, your heart moves outside your body and you are never the same.”  I am writing this from a mother’s perspective and want to be sensitive to all the fathers out there.  I can’t write this from a father’s perspective but I’d imagine there are a great many similarities.  I know that my heart lives with my three children, the spouses who helped bring my three grandchildren’s hearts to life, and the “growing too fast” grandchildren.

I am friends with several mothers who have lost children way too soon in their children’s young lives.  My heart hurts for these mothers each year when a birthday or other special days come around bringing with those days a flood of feelings, perhaps a bit more healing, and a lot of memories. 

I do not know the mother of #24Strong Robert Grays.  I cannot begin to feel what she is feeling right now upon losing her son at age 19 because of an injury that occurred during a college football game last Saturday 9/16/17.

I only know what this mother feels for Robert’s mother and all the mothers who have lost children.  I feel sad, sympathetic, empathic, loving, and hopeful.  My heart is heavy for Robert’s entire family.  My heart is sad for the University that I love.  My heart is sympathetic and empathetic to Robert’s fellow football team, classmates, professors, administrators who have the charge to carry on and be hopeful for better days to come—never forgetting Robert—but being better for having known this young man and all he represented. 

Each day of any of our lives is truly a gift. Love every day.  Hug your babies, no matter their ages.  Hug your babies’ babies.  When given the gift of life, cherish all the moments and fill each day with hope for tomorrow.

#24Strong  #MSUtexas   #mothershearts