Thoughts for the month
Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results. — Denis Waitley, author
Man plans and God laughs. — Yiddish proverb
It’s that time of year again...time to “spring forward” when we set our clocks ahead an hour this weekend. I guess that’s all the springing I’ll be doing for awhile yet, though.
I'm writing this from my 6th week in bed in rehab following my bicycle accident at the end of January. I was told today that I shall be here for another two weeks, making this a total of an eight week saga.
The whole experience has been a good lesson in planning plans, not outcomes — both personally and for the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund. For example, my accident occurred out of love for Arlene. I hadn't ridden a bike for 35 years and didn't have any intention to ride her bike that day. However she wanted to ride a bike and when we met up, I saw how exhausted she was so I volunteered to ride the bike back to where we were staying. I certainly was shaky getting on the bike and my balance wasn't that great, but I was determined that I was going to make it back. I planned to help out my wonderful wife.
The outcome was a different thing. I am reminded of the Yiddish proverb, “Man plans and God laughs.” My lack of reflexes on the bike probably caused me to turn into another bike and I fell badly on the cement road. Since then I have been in the hospital or rehab. I've been blessed with Arlene and my son Jed who both have been totally available for me. I've gotten many get well cards and calls which I really appreciate! And gradually I’m finding I have more patience with people. But it seems my life is on hold — except that I am really working in rehab to get better, and and I am getting stronger each day.
AHRF plans and update
Prior to this setback, I had planned to do a lot of work on the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund this year. Given this turn of events, we shall see what the outcome will be…
I’m encouraged that despite my limited ability these past months, some donations have come in, bringing the total up to $183,681 raised since I started the fund. (Thank you!)
I will have to rethink my plan to accommodate my decreased ability to work, but I will still keep my goal of getting the fund to $230,000 this year. I like to dream big!
As soon as I get home I will quickly try to catch up, and I’m hoping maybe you can help me with one of my plans while I am still in rehab: increasing my reach with social media.
Many of you who receive this newsletter are my Facebook friends. If you are willing to go to my AHRF Facebook page and “Like” it — and share my posts about hunger and the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund on your own timeline — that could make a big difference! The more we increase awareness about the hunger issue here in Atlanta, the more help we can provide.
Here’s the link to the AHRF Facebook page:
Thank you for your support and your patience. I'll keep in touch as I slowly improve.
News in Dan's World
AHRF Goal for 2016: $230,000
Together, in 2015, we raised $32,000 for the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund. That is enough to:
• Buy $288,000 worth of groceries for food pantries
• Supply food pantries with 160,000 lbs of food
• Provide food for 128,000 healthy meals
Thank you for your generosity.
This year, my goal is to raise $50,000 and bring the fund total up to $230,000. I will continue to do all I can to raise awareness about the crippling effects of hunger and to raise money for food-insecure people here in Atlanta. I’ll keep performing at concerts and special events, fundraising, and spreading the word. With your help, we can move even closer to a community in which everyone has access to the food they need to thrive.
You can help by sharing my newsletter, liking and sharing AHRF on Facebook, and following me on Twitter.
You can make a difference by DONATING TODAY.
May your new year be blessed with good health, love, and abundance.
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man
can sincerely try to help another without being helped himself.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thoughts for the month
Thought for the month
What a strange machine man is! You fill him with bread, wine, fish, and radishes, and out come sighs, laughter, and dreams. — Nikos Kazantzakis, poet and novelist (1883-1957)
What a strange machine man is, indeed. Here is the story of what happened to this machine (me).
On February 4th I was scheduled to give a lecture which I had named "Retirement, What If..." at Northside Hospital here in Atlanta. My "what if" has happened. I was riding a bicycle for the first time in 35 years on January 25th and my cousin was riding a bike to my left. For whatever reason I turned my front wheel to the left, hitting his back tire, and I went flying over his bike and onto the ground. I felt okay - just a little shaken - but within two days my left knee swelled and I had so much pain in my thighs and legs that I couldn't get out of bed. I also had developed an infection of the skin on my left leg. I had so much pain that I was hospitalized for nine days at St. Joseph's Hospital and since then I have been in rehab at the Jewish home.
Never before had I experienced such pain. I was on high-dose narcotics while in the hospital and now am on a lesser dose, but still I need help getting out of bed and I need help standing to use a walker. When I walk with a walker, it is only for a few minutes and then I have to stop. What is the lesson? With the severe pain I had a definite loss of appetite, but now that the pain is somewhat less I am eating normally. I now know short term hunger. That helps me stay committed to my work for the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund.
There were more lessons with this incident. In the past, even if I had mild pain, I was still able to see patients and to function. Now, I also know what it is like to be totally unable to function, though four days ago I was to use the walker to finally go to the restroom and use the toilet, which was a true victory. Whatever plans I had made for February just went down the tube. I had wanted to start doing my income tax, but I have no ability to look at numbers and concentrate, even now, a month after the accident.
This experience has reminded me again that I'm so blessed having loved ones such as my wife Arlene, and my son Jed, and so many friends and acquaintances who are praying for me and wishing me well. I am hoping that I shall overcome this side trip in my journey of living. For those who have donated to and are following my work with the AHRF, I have not done anything during this time of illness, but I shall ultimately get back to the work I have to do. I appreciate your help and support for that work.
I have waited to send this to you until I was feeling a little better and today I felt I was ready to share my story. I wish everyone good health and I'm okay being selfish by wishing myself a speedy recovery!
P.S. Today I was told I'd be in rehab a minimum of 3 more weeks.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, our thoughts often turn to love. I’ve been thinking about sharing love and the different ways we do that. This week, I’ve had an unexpected opportunity to experience some of that love first hand.
A few days ago, I had a bad bicycle accident. I’m in the hospital right now and won’t be able to work on on Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund business very much for awhile. Instead I will spend the next few weeks recovering from the accident. I’m disappointed that I’ll have to hold off on my AHRF work for a bit while my body heals, but I feel very blessed to have my family and friends around me, sharing their love and concern.
This month, I had hoped to help the AHRF leap ahead (in honor of Leap Day) and move closer to our 2016 goal of raising $50,000 to feed Atlanta’s hungry. I hope you can help! Sharing this information with your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ will help increase awareness about hunger and food-insecurity in Atlanta. Together we can make a difference! Here's the link: http://eepurl.com/bPdsTb
For many food-insecure families, holidays can be especially challenging. Valentine’s Day might not include a candlelit dinner and a box of chocolates -- it might be just another day of wondering where the next meal is coming from.
You can share your love by making a donation to the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund today.
Thank you so much for your continued support.
Searching for a perfect gift? This year, why not give a gift that fights hunger and feeds hope - a gift donation to the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund.
A gift donation in honor of your grandchildren, children, or friends is easy to make and benefits everyone involved. Giving is good for the giver (more about the benefits of giving HERE) - and the donation is tax deductible. The honoree will receive a heartfelt acknowledgment from me and the AHRF. And most importantly, your gift donation will help the food-insecure people of Atlanta have holidays that are brighter, happier, and just a little easier!
Here’s an example of the personalized thank you your honoree will receive:
Dear [Honoree’s Name],
[Donor Name] has made a significant donation to the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund in your honor. He told me that he considered this gift, at this time of year, very important as so many people are helped and you are significantly validated. Every $1 donated to AHRF can provide enough food for 4 meals for Atlanta’s hungry. With 28.8 percent of Georgia's children living in food insecure households, it is true that every dollar really does help.
I have known [Donor Name] for over 30 years and he champions whatever cause he feels he can make a difference. This year, you are part of making that difference.
With his love he sends you this recognition.
Dan Appelrouth, M.D.
Founder and Administrator
Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund
May we have healthy and safe holidays and may the lights show bright in our homes.
Monthly donations are the best way to help food pantries provide meals all year round - especially when donations are low. Setting up your monthly donation saves you time and postage, too, since you just set it up once and don’t have to think about it again.
Here’s how your monthly donation can help real people:
- $10/month provides food for 40 meals each month
- $25/month provides food for a family of 4 for one week each month
- $50/month provides 200+ lbs of food to food pantries each month
- $100/month feeds a family of 4 for the month
Click HERE to set up your monthly donation to Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund and help Atlanta's hungry all year round.
I’m excited to share my latest CD with you - just in time for holiday gift-giving! It features me singing favorite Broadway tunes with a full backup band. As a special treat, my sons even joined me on a few of the songs!
This holiday season, you can give the gift of music - and hope - since the money from my CD sales goes to the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund to help feed Atlanta’s hungry.
You can order CDs HERE
Me with Nosson Tzvi Appelrouth, my 8 day old grandson. I was a happy camper!
We all understand that donating to our favorite cause is helpful to the people in need. But did you know that it is actually good for you, the giver, too? Here are 5 reasons giving is good for you.
1. Giving brings us closer to creating the kind of world we want to live in
Donating to causes we chose because of the work they do, the people they help, and the values they promote is a way each of us can extend our reach to the larger community and play a part in creating the kind of world we want to live in.
Generosity contributes to the greater good and creates more success in the long run than selfishness, according to a University of Pennsylvania study by Alexander Stewart and Joshua Plotkin. Researchers found that in a strategic game involving multiple people, “generous strategies, in which players favor cooperation and even allow their opponents to maintain higher payoffs, found great success.”
2. Giving increases happiness
Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton and two colleagues from the University of British Columbia, Lara Aknin and Elizabeth Dunn, found similar results in three different studies: giving money to someone else (even as little as $5) increased participants’ happiness more than spending it on themselves.
And, it turns out that the good feelings that come from giving are reflected in our biology. In a 2006 study, Jorge Moll and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found that giving to charities activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. Scientists also believe that when people contribute to the lives of people around them, it releases endorphins in the brain, producing a warm, positive feeling sometimes called the “helper’s high.”
3. Giving is good for our health
Numerous studies link generosity to better health. In his book, Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Stephen Post reports that giving to others has been shown to increase health benefits in people with chronic illness, including HIV and multiple sclerosis.
Giving can lower stress and help people live longer. In Liz Dunn’s study about how cortisol (sometimes called the stress hormone) levels are affected by giving, she found that cortisol levels were higher in subjects who kept more money for themselves than in participants who gave more of their money away. Furthermore, according to Post, active involvement in giving activities seems to give people a longer life.
4. Giving promotes cooperation and social connection
Several studies, including work by sociologists Robb Willer and Brent Simpson, suggest that when you give to others, that generosity is likely to be rewarded by others — sometimes by the recipient and sometimes by someone else. In her book The How of Happiness, UC Riverside professor Sonja Lyubomirsky writes, “Being kind and generous leads you to perceive others more positively and more charitably,” and that this “fosters a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in your social community.” And, according to research to be published in the International Journal of Happiness and Development, people feel happiest when giving to a charity via a friend, relative, or social connection instead of making an anonymous donation.
5. Donations to charitable organizations are tax deductible
You probably already know this, but it can be of great benefit. Donations to qualified organizations might can lower your tax bill! *Note: the rules for deducting charitable contributions are complex, so please speak with a qualified tax preparer for advice.
Are you ready to feel happier and improve your health?
DONATE to the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund today!
Huffington Post: 7 Science-Backed Reasons Why Generosity Is Good For Your Health
U Penn: Penn Study Finds Generosity Pays
Berkley - Greater Good: 5 Ways Giving is Good for You
Best Health: 5 Ways Giving is Good for Your Health
Wise Bread: 5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You
Stanford Business: Spending on Happiness
On World Food Day people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eliminate hunger during our lifetime. “Because when it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number in the world is zero.” (from worldfooddayusa.org/what-is-wfd)
How You Can Help
Donate! A $25 donation can feed a family of four for a week. Perhaps you have already made a donation, and want to do more to help. Here are some simple things you can do.
Host a World Food Day Meal. Raise awareness by inviting friends and family over for a meal on World Food Day to get people talking about the issue of food insecurity and hunger.
Talk to people in your daily life about the issue. Lots of people don’t know that hunger is everywhere - including their own backyard. They don't realize that their neighbor or colleague might be struggling with food-insecurity.
Like and share posts from the Altanta Hunger Relief Fund Facebook page: facebook.com/AtlantaHungerReliefFund. More likes and shares mean that more people are aware of the issue!
Provide unique entertainment for your guests with an All-Broadway concert in your home during the upcoming holidays. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September is an important time for people working on hunger issues because it is Hunger Action Month. Feeding America established Hunger Action Month in 2008 to remind everyone that hunger exists - throughout our nation and in every community.
Help During Hunger Action Month
If you’ve been thinking about contributing to the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund, September is a great time to do so! You’ll be adding your voice to thousands of others who are raising awareness about and money to assist in feeding Atlanta’s Hungry! This has been a year filled with health issues for me. I prayed a lot over the Rosh Hashonah New Year holiday for a year filled with good health for me and my family. I have slowed down a bit with the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund due to my health but I am still hoping to reach our goal of $175,000 by October 1, 2015 and $200,000 by December 31, 2015.
Whether you make a donation or buy one of my 3 CD’s of Broadway songs, share posts from and like the AHRF Facebook page, or donate time at a food distribution center, your contribution matters. Thank you so much for your continued support!