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FROM COMMUNITY TRAGEDY TO COMMUNITY STRENGTH BUILDING LOVE
It’s easy to get caught up in personal drama and woes and forget to look out for others. The tendency to focus inward is part of human nature, and, unfortunately, it can take something devastating to remind us of what really matters. This past summer, a teacher from my youngest daughter’s school drowned while chaperoning a class trip. He taught my daughter last year when she was in third grade, so I had the opportunity to meet in a few times. I won’t use names, to respect his family’s privacy, but he was a good man and a highly respected member of the community. His loss was devastating. The trip was to a wildlife refuge in a remote location at the beach. Although it was a clear day, the waters were rough. Also, while there were apparently red flags up at other locations, there were no such warnings at the location where the trip took place. Unfortunately, some of the boys decided to go swimming, not realizing there was a rip current under the waves. One of the boys started to struggle and, because there were no lifeguards on the beach, the teacher and a bystander rushed in to save him. The boy and the bystander survived, but this teacher was pulled under by the rip current and was lost. The Coast Guard quickly began calling it a recovery mission when it became clear he hadn’t survived. Many volunteers from the
community got involved with the search, my family included. Everyone dropped everything to help. It was extremely important for us to find his body so he could be put to rest with a proper burial. People came in from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Georgia to look for him. Volunteers walked up and down the beach or searched the waters in their personal boats. Someone even brought in helicopters and a private plane. A representative from the Coast Guard remarked that they’d never seen anything like it, the outpouring of support. In the face of this tragedy, it was inspiring to have so many people come together to help bring closure to this man and his family. The Coast Guard called off the search after two days, but friends and family continued the recovery mission. Five days after he went missing, his body was found. We were finally able to hold a funeral, and I’ll never forget seeing the pain and grief of this man’s wife and their five kids. To have a family member yanked away from you like that is truly devastating. But I’ll also never forget just how many people came together and answered the call to help. The whole community came out to the funeral, including 40,000 people who attended via conference call. A fund was started to help this man’s family and has since raised almost $1 million.
stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing outward. Love is built from giving it to other people; that’s how we create more love in the world. This isn’t new, but witnessing a community tragedy turn into a story of community strength really brought the message home. In the face of tragedy, it’s okay to feel pain and depression. The big question is how we respond to tragedy. Do you turn inward, cut people out, dwell on your pain, and fall back on harmful coping mechanisms? Or do you reach out to others who are in pain, donate on behalf of someone who’s lost, and try to make a difference? Terrible things happen every day, but in the aftermath, there are always people trying to help. We are called upon to do things for others, and it’s by answering the call that we become better human beings.
There is a man I respect greatly who often talks about how much we can do when we If you belong to a union or other labor-related group and want to schedule my presentation at your group’s speaking arrangement, you can do so by calling 888-667-8295 . The presentation is free of charge, offers important information for taking appropriate action in Virginia workers’ compensation cases, and everyone in attendance gets a free copy of my book, “10 Traps and Lies That Can Ruin Your Virginia Workers’ Compensation Case.” Education is the best way to protect yourself from making a mistake. Call now, before it’s too late. –Joseph Miller
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Engage Your Kids on Thanksgiving
WITH THESE GRATITUDE-THEMED GAMES
Thanksgiving is an excellent time to teach children about gratefulness. By planning some fun, gratitude-themed games, you can impart a valuable lesson and spend some quality family time together. Get your kids in the holiday spirit by adding a Thanksgiving twist to these classic games.
Want to bring out your kids’ creative sides? Pictionary is the perfect way to encourage artistic expression and grateful thinking. Try adding a rule where players have to draw something they’re grateful for. This will get your kids thinking beyond turkey and stuffing and give them an imaginative way to express their gratitude. Plus, who doesn’t love a good art contest?
To play gratitude-themed Guess Who?, have each participant write down their name and something they’re thankful for on a slip of paper and put it in a bowl. Then, at the dinner table, have each person draw a random slip and read what it says without saying the name while everyone else tries to guess who wrote it. While Pictionary may get your kids talking about what they are thankful for, Guess Who? will tune them into what others around them are thankful for too.
colored sticks that represent different kinds of thankfulness — such as places, people, or food — you can make players think outside the box. This will ensure you get a wide range of creative, thoughtful answers whenever the kids pick up a stick. These modified games are great for helping your kids realize how much they have to be thankful for. Use these to spend some fun, educational, quality time with your family this Thanksgiving.
Like regular pick-up sticks, the goal is to remove a stick from a haphazard pile without disturbing the others. However, by using
“When I was looking for a good attorney to handle my case, I did read a lot of reviews on attorneys. I can say that after choosing Attorney Miller, I was not disappointed. From the first phone call, they were friendly, professional, and very helpful. Everyone in the office (Lisa was terrific) kept me up to date every step of the way. They made me feel like my case was the most important case they had. I would highly recommend Attorney Miller and his staff to any one who needs their services.” –Bruce Our Clients Say It Best
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Too Busy to Work Out? 5 Simple Ways to Stay Active Being active doesn’t have to mean going to the gym every single day. An active lifestyle can be as simple as going for a walk around the neighborhood for a few minutes a day. There are plenty of ways to exercise during daily activities like shopping, spending time with your kids, or hanging around the house. Park farther away. A lot of people will spend several minutes trying to find a parking space as close as they can to the entrance of a store. However, parking a little farther away will help you score a better parking space and make sure you get your steps in for the day. Do some yoga. You don’t have to push yourself to your absolute limit in order to stay active. There are other, gentler ways to exercise than running 5 miles a day. Tai chi or yoga are excellent low-impact alternatives to keep your body fit and healthy. Reduce TV time. It can be tempting to plop down in front of the television after a long day at work or after dinner, but you can also use this time to be active. Get the family together for a walk around
the neighborhood, take a few minutes to dance to some of your favorite tunes, or do some light cleaning around the house.
Put a spin on date night. Forget dinner and a movie. Instead, try taking your date out for a round of miniature golf, indoor rock climbing, an evening stroll, a bike ride, or dancing. You’ll have more fun while doing your body good. Grab a leash. Having a dog gives you plenty of opportunities to stay active. If you don’t have a dog, try asking a neighbor or friend if they would like their dog walked, start a dog-walking service, or volunteer at a local animal shelter. There are plenty of ways to make staying active a part of your daily routine! With enough creativity and motivation, you can turn any activity into an active one.
Vegan Biscuits With Maple ‘Butter’
Joe’s Monthly ‘SOUL SNACKS’
Ask any of your vegan friends and they’ll tell you it’s impossible to detect whether bread has dairy simply by looking at it. That can be tricky on Thanksgiving when ingredient labels aren’t always ready at hand. These biscuits solve that problem deliciously.
“Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us.” –Anne Frank “There are two ways to live. You can live as if nothing is a miracle. You can live as if everything is a miracle.” –Albert Einstein
Ingredients For the Biscuits • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface • 1 tbsp baking powder • 3/4 tsp salt • 1/2 cup vegan margarine, plus extra for brushing 1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. 3. Cut in margarine until you achieve a mealy texture with a few large margarine clumps. 4. Add milk and stir until just barely combined. Directions
• 1/2 cup nondairy milk, ideally soy, almond, or rice For the “Butter” • 1 cup vegan margarine, room temperature • 1/4 cup maple syrup
5. Spread out on cutting board and cut dough into rings. 6. Place on baking sheet, coat with margarine, and bake for 10–12 minutes. 7. For butter, fold together margarine and maple syrup. 8. Serve biscuits alongside butter.
Inspired by The New York Times
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Inside This Issue
Turn the Focus Outward page 1 Gratitude-Themed Games for Kids page 2 What Some of Our Clients Are Saying page 2 Simple Ways to Stay Active page 3 Soul Snacks page 3 Teaching Kids the Power of Voting page 4
Your Vote Matters, and, Someday, Your Kid’s Will Too! The 2020 presidential election is heating up, but Election Day 2019 still requires citizens’ voices to decide the fate of their cities, counties, states, and judgeships. As the U.S. enjoys a relatively quiet election day on Tuesday, Nov. 5, use the opportunity to teach your children about their civic duty and the power of voting. For the Young Kiddos There’s no reason why children can’t be involved in local elections. Let your kids tag along to the voting area, and ask for help from city workers and local representatives to answer your kids’ questions. You can even set up your own family election by holding a vote over what to have for dinner or where the next family vacation should be located. If you’re looking for bedtime books to feed their curiosity, try out fun reads like “O, Say Can You See? America’s Symbols, Landmarks, and Inspiring Words” by Sheila Keenan. Various websites, like KidsVotingUSA.org, also have ample resources for educators and families. For New Voters Turning 18 comes with the newfound responsibility of voting for our country’s leaders, and, for new voters, the system, ballots, and restrictions can be confusing. Start by walking your teen through the registration process, which can be done in person at your municipality’s office or online at USA.gov or Vote.org. Next, talk with
your teen about what’s at stake in the upcoming election. Be careful not to seed your language with opinions so your teen can develop their own view. Direct them to resources like Ballotpedia.org, where they can find information, practice voting, and see local sample ballots. And, of course, when Election Day rolls around, celebrate their first vote! Don’t Forget About You! Voting is a right and privilege that comes with U.S. citizenship. Don’t miss your opportunity to have your voice heard. Learn more about your local election by visiting Ballotpedia.org or contacting your municipality, and be sure to register to vote if you haven’t already. Remember, your kids learn by watching what you do, not just by listening to what you say. Inspire them to get involved and, when the time comes, exercise their right to vote!
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