We can all inspire

Cleaning productsA Christchurch schoolboy whose gritty determination to defeat cancer inspired many, has just named those who impacted him most during his successful treatment.

There are the normal people you would expect in such a list: family, friends, his school, medical staff, blood donors, strangers who wrote encouraging messages after hearing his story.

He also mentions a nurse who encouraged him to get out of his sick bed and deliver his head boy’s speech at the school’s prizegiving. But there is one on Jake Bailey’s list less likely to be mentioned by most. Read the rest of this entry »

Quilts for Kids

 When she couldn’t bear the thought of a pile of fabric scraps going to the tip, Linda Arye wondered “What if…”

What if she could find some willing volunteers to turn the piles of material into quilts for children who needed some comfort? Her nearest and dearest thought she was dreaming. Who would spend hours creating a work of art just to give it away to someone they didn’t even know?

Linda’s detractors didn’t realise who they were dealing with. Quilters seem to have a reputation for being serial gifters. One person has called them the ‘best slices of society’ for precisely that reason – typically they will give away three out of every four quilting projects on which they work.

It was just that generous-hearted attitude that has transformed Linda’s brilliant idea for recycling into an international charity called Quilts for Kids. About 13 years old now, it has 96 chapters in the USA, Canada and the Bahamas. Volunteers sew the quilts, which are given away to sick and abused children in those countries and also further afield.

It just goes to show what can happen when you ask “What if…” rather than “So what…?”

It’s not easy being blue…

…but I like it!

blueWell done to Marilyn Paston, a boss who is prepared to give people a go. When looking for someone to work alongside people with disabilities, Paston was impressed with a young woman candidate. The 19-year-old job-seeker exuded self-confidence and cheerfulness, qualities you’d think would be useful in any work environment. But Paston seems to have been the only one in a long line of prospective employers who saw the young woman’s potential. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting old is not a life sentence!

It’s time to let the grey hairs shine

oldWhen the $35 hairdresser I visited recently commisserated that her handiwork would remove all my fake hair colouring, I wasn’t entirely upset. In some ways it was quite refreshing to see what hue my locks really were under all that dye. As it turns out, a bland shade of silver-streaked mouse. Oh well, it’s all my own.

Probably as I’ve dipped over the hill of 50, I’ve got more interested in things of an ageing perspective. And I’m pleased to say there are enough positive, active and inspiring role models ahead of me in age to reassure me that there’s plenty still to live for. Read the rest of this entry »

The Global Cardboard Challenge

One out of the box

6 October 2012 is Global Cardboard Challenge day. More than 20 countries will be participating in this event, which was inspired by Caine Monroy. When he was just nine years old, this young Californian entrepreneur made an amusement arcade out of cardboard in his dad’s auto parts store, and charged the public to come and play. Caine’s Arcade became famous, and Caine has become an international speaker and all-round inspiration.

The Global Cardboard Challenge celebrates innovation by inviting participants to build objects – arcades, rockets, mazes, etc – out of cardboard. It also aims to raise funds to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in children.

See a short film about Caine and more information about the Global Cardboard Challenge at the Caine’s Arcade website.