Jingle All the Way

One of my favorite movies of all times just happens to be a Christmas movie called “It’s A Wonderful Life”, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.  I’m pretty sure that everyone has seen it at least one time in their lives.  When I first watched it, I had to be in the first or second grade and, although the subject matter was a little above my comprehension, I connected with the premise that no matter how difficult life can be at times, it’s still a gift to be treasured and that angels come into contact with us every day, if we just pay attention.

In my blog today, I want to focus on the line spoken by George Bailey’s youngest daughter, Zuzu, who says, “Teacher says, ‘Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.’”  In my role at Alpha Media Group, I have encountered a number of those angels – people who use their lives to better the lives of those around them.  Although it would take me longer than I have to devote to this blog to mention each one by name, I do want to highlight a few of them.

Shelly Martin, director of Circles of the Heartland, has become one of my favorite people.  Her agency empowers individuals and families to rise from the depths of poverty to achieve whole and happy lives.  She gives of herself to so many and, in her own special way, challenges me to want to go outside of my bubble to do more.  Shelly, thank you for all that you do to make all of our lives better…especially my own.

Michelle Peck is the director of Big Brothers & Big Sisters in town.  If you have ever met her, you know what a fireball she is!!  Her enthusiasm and passion for making children’s lives better through mentoring relationships is a calling and not just a job.  This summer, Michelle and her team took on the challenge of getting “100 Bigs in 100 Days” to increase the numbers of “Bigs” involved in Big Brothers and Big Sisters.  Not only did they get 100 “Bigs” in 100 days, they knocked it out of the park by getting over 125 people to commit to building relationships with each of these deserving kids.  I know that Michelle was the heart and soul of this campaign and one of the reasons that Big Brothers and Big Sisters is such a success in this community.

Lori Johnson Blake is a new friend who I admire so much for her commitment to helping children through her program called CAPS – Child Advocacy & Parenting Services.  This program helps children and families in a variety of ways.  From working with children who have been in abusive situations to providing education and support for parents, CAPS plays a major role in this community.  Lori has a lot on her plate with the agency demands and those of her family.  But, she still finds time to be a blessing to those who know her.  Thank you, Lori, for all that you do!

Lastly, I want to highlight Debbie Rivers, director of Salina Shares and Laundry Love.  What a superwoman she is!! She has taken grassroots efforts and turned them into several campaigns which serve the poor and underserved in our area by providing food, resources and even money for people to have clean laundry. “Laundry Love” and “Salina Shares” have helped hundreds in this community.  She accepts no glory for all of her hard work.  But, she is one of the angels who continually touches my life and, for that, I am grateful.

So, to all of you “angels” out there who are “ringing your bells” by touching so many lives with the work that you do, thank you!  May your bells continue to “jingle all the way” every day.