Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today is my brothers birthday

Well Happy Birthday Tim!
I now officially didn't forget his birthday. The problem is that I really have no idea where he is or where he's living these days so I'm not sure I'll be able to reach him to wish him a happy birthday. I'll give it a shot tonight. I think I'll have to try the younger brother to see if he knows where the older one is.
So January is almost done and it's time to do a reality check! What did I accomplish this month. Time seems to fly by so quickly that if I dont' do this often then I'll lose track of time and I won't get where I want to go.
So what did I accomplish this month.
  1. Followed up with all the organizers to confirm who is on board for 2008. Still waiting to hear from 17 of them so that's not too bad.
  2. Sent out some requests for corporate sponsorship. I have over 300 to send out and I think I've sent about 60 or so. Not as good as I'd like.
  3. Started a blog.
  4. Opened a Facebook account and started a Scrapping 4 Inclusion group.
  5. Kept up contact with Memory Makers Magazine, working on building our partnership.
  6. Received products and made final decisions on promotional items.
  7. Started another business - this took up some of my time I must admit but it's kinda exciting.

So what do I want to make sure I finish before the month ends - in like 2 DAYS!

  1. Send out more corporate sponsorship requests - at least get to the half way mark
  2. Try to confirm the other 8 pending organizer leads I have.
  3. Open up account for promotional items and let all organizers know about it.

The good thing is that I did accomplish something and I'm excited to say that we have had one event completed this month, we have two more events with dates and I have confirmed 3 sponsors for prizes so I'm excited about that. I will announce who the sponsors are once they confirm the sponsor level that they are joining us at.

OK, full speed ahead. I want to accomplish TONS in February!

Have a great January 29th everyone.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday already!

Where on earth does the time go.
I can't believe it's Friday and I think I only managed to blog once so far this week. I really must get better at this. I guess it's not a big deal right now because I think I'm still pretty much talking to myself :)
These past couple of weeks have been very busy for me. I decided since I didn't have enough on my plate that I should also start a business. Wow, why do I do this to myself. I think it's cause I really believe in this product and it will sell itself (for the most part) and it's just something that happened. One thing I have learned in the last couple of years is that these things happen and sometimes instead of ignorning them we really must take a good look and take a chance. There is a reason this kinda happened when it did.
Actually I had hoped to find a way to make an extra $5,000 per year so that I could travel to at least a couple of Scrapping 4 Inclusion events every year. This little business I think will do that for me and potentially alot more. I'm looking forward to having the flexibility to really get out there in the field and attend a couple of events every year. I'm excited!
We have a new organizer on board that found us through someone else's blog. That's very exciting. I just love to find out how people are finding us and to see that the internet really can help spread the word. I'm sure that when that blogger put up my link they never really thought that it might lead to a new event. One simple thing really can make a difference. Just like one person can make a difference.
Hopefully soon my blog posts will be a little more informative. Right now we are just really getting started for 2008 so look for many more exciting things for the future.
Have a great weekend and Happy Scrappin! (tonight is scrap night with my neighbour - wooo hoooo).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Here’s to 2008

Wow is all I can say. I can't believe that it's January 23 already.

2007 passed with a blink of an eye and now January is almost over too.

Time really does fly when you're having fun!

Today I am very happy to report that we have 2 more event dates for 2008.

March 8 - Rio Rancho, New Mexico

May 17 - Wilson, North Carolina

I'm so excited about what Scrapping 4 Inclusion can accomplish this year and we are off to a great start already with one completed event taking place in January in Lovetsville, Virginia.

The goal for 2008 is to hold 100 Scrapping 4 Inclusion events across the USA.

Right now we have almost 60 volunteer organizers communicating with us about doing an event in their community. Out of that we have 36 confirmed locations for 2008. Still working on confirming the others and I'm always trying to find more.

The statistics show that there are millions of scrapbookers in the USA and I know that there are plenty of those who would just love to get involved and help the Foundation bring inclusion to ALL children. The problem that I see is that they don't know about us yet. You can't help a cause that you know nothing about, now can you?

You're thinking to yourself, what can I do to help? TALK, TALK TALK.

The more people who talk about Scrapping 4 Inclusion and The Bubel/Aiken Foundation the more word will spread and I know for a fact that eventually it will lead right to that person who is looking for something just like Scrapping 4 Inclusion. That 'perfect fit' where someone can take their hobby and do something really good with it.

How can you help TALK, it's easy…… put a link to my blog on your website or blog. If you have a Facebook account go find me Laurie Weishar and add me as a friend and join the Scrapping 4 Inclusion group. There are so many people on Facebook and if we can get just some of them TALKING then we can really make a difference.

Wow, as morbid as this might sound, my mom is likely rolling over in her grave right now at the fact that me TALKING is actually making a difference in this world. Ever since I entered the world of "school" I don't think I ever got a report card that didn't say "Laurie talks just a little too much with her classmates"……… STILL DOING IT AND LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

OK, enough talking for today! Off to get some work done.

Have a great one!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

How it all Began:

You guys are going to get the full, unedited version of this story. The "REAL" story, not the abridged 'professional' version.


In early 2006, I experienced an especially difficult event that dramatically changed my perspective on life.  I had been in a job that I was very unhappy at and had been there for 3.5 years at this point. My mom got sick in January of 2006 and passed away in February just before her 64th birthday. I wasn't ready for that (like we are ever really ready for it).


I will admit that the months that followed were likely the beginning of a depression for me and I thank God that I emerged from it quite quickly as it's quite a scary place.  Every day I said to myself "there must me more to life then this". Life couldn't just be about going to a job I hated (yes I hated it and I don't hate many things). I didn't want just another job and had no motivation to look for one. I was searching….. searching for my purpose in life.


On Wed May 24 I watched the finale of American Idol. I usually watched the show every year but in all honesty I never watched all episodes. I usually missed some along the way. I started following the show at the end of season 1 and watched most of season 2, didn't really care for season 3, then watched probably 70% of season 4 and 5. However I was watching the final show from season 5. Out of the 5 seasons I had 2 favourites, Clay Aiken from season 2 and Chris Daughtry from season 5. Honestly I was very upset when Chris was booted out of season 5 so I'm kinda surprised that even cared enough to watch the final show. I'm very glad I did because that very next day was the turning point in my life. I hadn't seen Clay Aiken since season 2 and I was happy when then brought him out for the finale of season 5 during those 'awards' they were doing. I found it quite entertaining and boy had that boy changed in 3 years. Little did I know that 2 minutes of a show would somehow spark the events that would take place in the days following.


Anyways, it's pretty amazing when life takes a total turn and you can actually pin point when it happened and how. Not that it makes any sense but at least I know when these life changing moments happened for me so I can share them with all of you.


So, on with the story. That very next day I woke up with those same depressing feelings and searching for my 'WHY' in life. What was I here for? What was I to do with my time here on earth? Too many questions without answers. Have you ever woken up with a song in your head that you find yourself singing all day? Usually it's one that you don't really like but none the less it happens to people all the time. For me on that Thursday morning it wasn't a song, it was Clay Aiken talking to me. This is what he said…….


"It's important that I make a difference in some way. It's not necessarily about how I make a difference but I want to make sure that I do." - this was something he had said early in season 2 of Idol 3 ½ years before.


Over and over again, all day long and then the next day and the day after. It was like that song that never ends.... he wouldn't get out of my head. In order to stop this voice I decided I would listen to him and go find out what it was that he did to make a difference. I very quickly found The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and the work they were doing with Children with and without disabilities. What the Foundation was doing was amazing and make total sense to me. I wouldn't have thought for a minute that expecting ALL children to be able to play and enjoy life together would have been such a challenge.  To be honest I hadn't noticed before and was quite shocked to find out just how often children weren't included in simple things like summer camp.


Moving on……


OK so can you picture it…… slightly depressed, lost woman searching for her purpose, going to a job she hated every day and now on top of everything else I felt like I had become a stalker looking into what Clay Aiken had done with his life. Looking back, it was quite funny.


So now on Friday June 2 I was sitting outside at my van during lunch, listening to Clay read me his book (I got it on CD to listen to it on the way to work) and I was crying. I looked up into the beautiful blue sky and I said "OK GOD, I get it, I'm supposed to do something with my life. I just don't know what you're trying to tell me. I need a sign of some sort, something, anything".


Note to Self: Be careful what you ask for.


Not more than one and a half hours later I was laid off the job I loved so much (NOT!) and I was given a severance package that allowed me to take some time off and figure out my life. WHAT A GREAT GIFT FROM GOD. Must have been from Him cause I asked for something. Talk about a sign. It still gives me shivers when I share this story. I'm amazed at the turn of events in such a short period of time.


So after much soul searching, questioning, research, planning, and lots of faith I started Scrapping 4 Inclusion. Putting scrapbooking with the Foundation just make perfect sense for me.


Now 1 ½ years later I'm working with the Foundation helping to include children with disabilities into LIFE! I'm working with some great people and we are all getting to scrapbook our way to making a difference. I've never enjoyed life like I do now and it's all because I was strong enough to listen to Clay talk to me. God picked him to send me the message, who knows why, who really cares..... I listened and that's all that matters.


I know, WOW! that's quite a story. Makes you shake your head sometimes. It still amazes me when I look back at things and realize just how I got to where I am today. Faith is a very important thing. Faith in yourself, Faith in God, Faith in the world and people around us…..I have always felt that everything that happens in life, happens for a reason even the bad stuff. Life's up and downs put you where you need to be the next day. You need to have strength and faith.  Sometimes you just need to close your eyes and move forward. I'm very thankful every single day that I followed where I was being led to, even if it didn't make sense to me. Maybe, just maybe it's not supposed to make logical sense.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Bubel/Aiken Foundation

Sorry I didn't get back here over the weekend but somehow life took over and I spent time on other projects.
I actually spend Friday night scrapping with my friend/neighbour Jean. We try to do this every Friday night. It seems it's the only time we get to scrap and sometimes it's the only time we get to catch up with each other. I love my Friday nights!
Now on to The Bubel/Aiken Foundation. I want to share with you some information on the foundation that we are supporting so that you understand just what Scrapping 4 Inclusion is all about.

The Bubel/Aiken Foundation was co-founded by Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel in 2003 to serve children with special needs.  Clay had the experience of working with children with autism both before and while he was attending University for his Special Education Teachers Degree. It was the relationship that he developed with a then 13 year old autistic boy Mike Bubel and his mother Diane Bubel that the basis of this foundation was started. Both Clay and Diane felt strongly that if they could open doors and open minds to the value of inclusion for all children, with or without disabilities, this world would be a better place.


Here is what Clay and Diane had to say about the Scrapping 4 Inclusion Program:


"I am excited about the possibilities of Scrapping 4 Inclusion. Through doing something that people love, people have the opportunity to find out about the need for inclusion. It gives us the opportunity to build our presence in local communities and inspire people to make a difference in the lives of children with developmental disabilities," Aiken says.


"Scrapbooking is a hobby that many people enjoy and a wonderful way to preserve your memories.  How nice and fitting it is that those who cherish and wish to preserve their memories are giving children with disabilities a chance to create memories of their own. My thanks go out to all those involved in these wonderful events!" says Diane Bubel Co-Founder of TBAF.


The Foundation provides services and financial assistance to promote the full integration of children with disabilities into the life environment of those without. The Foundation strives to create awareness about the diversity of individuals with disabilities and the possibilities that inclusion can bring.  ALL children deserve the opportunity to learn, live, and play together.


Scrapping 4 Inclusion and the Foundation organized a pilot program called Let's ALL Scrapbook this past summer involving scrapbooking with over 250 children with and without disabilities.  This program can be included as part of the existing Let's ALL Play inclusive summer camp program or run independently as a small-scale inclusive activity. Development of the Let's ALL Scrapbook program should be completed in the next month or two and at that point anyone and everyone can implement a similar program in their community. Look for more information on this topic later on.


To learn more about The Bubel/Aiken Foundation visit their website at www.bubelaiken.org


Friday, January 11, 2008

Testing the system

This is a test.
No it's not a test of the emergency broadcasting system as I don't know how to make that annoying beeping sound on a blog. Even if that was possible I don't think I'd want to do it.
I'm actually just testing to see if this becomes a blog post with utilizing the blog by email. If it works then I'll be back with a real post soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wow - I have a BLOG!

This is cool. I've thought about doing a Blog for a while now but just never got it going.

This is my first blog post and essentially I'm talking to myself lol. I should be used to that, I talk to myself all the time. I really do love to talk so blogging I'm sure will become second nature.

For the first few blogs I'll spend a little time telling you what Scrapping 4 Inclusion is about, how we started, what we are doing and why.

Today I'll tell you what Scrapping 4 Inclusion is and then tomorrow I'm going to try to send a blog by email and I'll share with you how it all started. Sound good?

Well here it goes........

Scrapping 4 Inclusion is a nationwide awareness and fundraising campaign that solely benefits The Bubel/Aiken Foundation.

We are developing a network of volunteers across the USA who are organizing a fundraising scrapbooking crop in their own community.

In 2007 we raised over $12,000.

Our 2008 goal is 100 events and we have over 50 locations on board right now so we are already halfway there.

The mission of Scrapping 4 Inclusion is to combine one of the fastest growing hobbies in North America with the need for creating awareness and raising funds on behalf of children with disabilities and their advocates at The Bubel/Aiken Foundation (TBAF).

In a nutshell we are a growing group of volunteers who are having fun scrapbooking while raising money for The Bubel/Aiken Foundation. What could be better than doing something we love to do while making a difference for children all over the country.

Until tomorrow......


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