Tag Archives: charity

they did it again!

i can’t believe i missed it! one of the best days of my life – the day the harley boys paid a christmas visit to the children at the ronald mcdonald house.  a friend from my old apartment on 73rd street called to alert me the harley boys were there but i missed the call.

here’s the story as it occurred on sunday, dec. 17, 2006:

December 17th may just be one of the top most exhilarating experiences of my life so far.  I was coming down York Avenue with Ivan when I saw a harley stopped square in the middle of the intersection at 73rd St.  several blocks further down York was the rest of the gang – about one hundred of them.

I love bikers. I love the incredibly loud rev of the engines when they’re out in force. Today they were out in force and it was loud.  The leader was holding traffic at bay while the rest of the gang approached 73rd St. where they all turned left  onto my block. I stood at the corner with goose bumps and a smile wondering where they were headed. It seemed to take 15 minutes to get them all through the intersection. They parked one by one lining the curb on my block. When they ran out of space on the street, they pulled right up onto the sidewalk. Following the pack were 3 trucks which turned onto the block as well. The pack leader then barricaded the street so that no other vehicles could enter.

I ran home and got my camera. When I came back outside, 73rd street was being transformed into a winter wonderland full of joy & presents!  The bikes were loaded with gifts for the children at the Ronald McDonald house. Teddy bears and games were protruding from backpacks as the bikers unpacked more goodies from their saddle bags. Some were sporting santa hats. They descended upon the RMDH with their arms fully loaded with toys for the kids – a hundred  bikers carrying dolls and teddy bears into the house. It was beautiful.  At the end of the block the 3 trucks were parked. The doors opened.  The trucks were loaded with more toys! The bikers lined up to unload the games, puzzles, stuffed animals dolls and countless other items. It was a spectacular scene.

In the lobby of the house stood a big christmas tree drenched with lights and ornaments, around which the bikers placed some of the gifts. I could see through the window the children gathering around the tree smiling and overjoyed.  Over  thirty minutes had passed since they arrived and the gifts were still pouring in. Presents were being stored in the living room as well, which I later found out were intended for children who were in the local hospitals.  No disease existed in this moment.  Everyone felt good. Everyone was happy.

I asked one of the bikers if he would take my camera inside the RMDH and get a few pictures of the kids for me.  He was dressed in leathers and a plaid flannel shirt, had sparkling eyes and wore a big red santa hat.  He asked me my name.
“Laurie,” I told him.
He looked me in the eyes and said, “No, Laurie, I won’t do that, but I will bring you inside and let you take all the pictures you want.”  He grabbed my hand and headed inside.  When we arrived in the lobby, many of the children were posed for a photograph to be taken by a professional photographer hired for the occasion. With a firm grip on my hand, my biker led me straight to the front of the room next to the professional photographer.  He announced to the entire room, “Hey everybody, this is Laurie. She’s going to be taking your pictures too.”

The children were as impressed with the bikes as they were with their new toys and soon began to wander outside to get a closer look.  What happened next was thrilling. One of the bikers lifted a child onto one of the bikes parked on the sidewalk. Another took off his leather vest and put it on the child. Then another outfitted the child with aviators and gloves. Soon a line formed – all the children wanted to be a biker for just a little while. It turned into a game. Each time a child got on the bike, he or she would then pick which accessories they wanted from any one of the bikers. They would choose one man’s vest, another’s shades – whatever they wanted! Instantly, sick children were transformed into harley boys and girls and the thrill was palpable.

Xmas 2006 RMcD 001

Harley Boys 2006 014

Harley Boys 2006 015

Harley Boys 2006 017

Harley Boys 2006 006

Harley Boys

Harley Boys 2006 003

Their exit was as spectacular as their entrance. The bikes were lined up along my block on 73rd Street side by side from First Avenue to York Avenue.  The men mounted their bikes and waited.  Once the whole gang was ready to roll, the 1st biker revved up. Then the second, followed by the third – one at a time until the noise was overwhelming.  As I stood across the street with tears rolling down my cheeks,  I noticed my biker man with the sparkling eyes and the Santa hat.  He was watching me cry.  Above the din he shouted “Merry Christmas, Laurie!”  I acknowledged him with a smile.  A hundred bikes revving, ready for take off, he got off his bike and crossed the street.  He walked over to me and kissed my cheek.  He then placed his Santa hat on my head and returned to his bike. One by one they drove off.  I will never forget what those men did for those children that day.

“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.”
 – Pema Chodron

not for the jimmy choo’s

hi, friends –

quick question –  please help me out by answering this:

what is the  REAL  reason you would want to be super wealthy?

thanks in advance for answering & happy holidays to all!

“He who wished to secure the good of others, has already secured his own.”
~ Confucius

give, pray, pass it on

this tragedy is unimaginable to the mind.  i know this because i lived in nyc on 9-11.  on 55th street i was terrified and horrified but that was not nearly as terrifying as being in tribeca, just 3 miles closer to ground zero.    nearly 3,ooo people died that day.  i can’t pretend to know the grief, the pain and the fear people are feeling today in haiti – what i know is, that  no one can.  i also know they need prayers, they need money and they need everyone’s help.

i anticipate many stories of heroism, goodness generosity and kindness to flood the media.  it is good to be reminded of our true nature.

5:14 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2009 — A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck southern Haiti, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

11:45 p.m. — “Can hear people gathered in the distance singing prayers”
8:41 a.m. — U.S. was the first to offer help, says Haitian ambassador to the U.S.

9:39 a.m. — “I heard a lot of people praying, saying that Jesus is coming, saying that we need to pray, we need to save our lives by believing in God,” witness Carel Pedre tells CNN.

10:20 a.m. — People of Haiti will have full support of the United States, President Obama says.

10:35 a.m. — Twitter is playing a critical role in collecting donations to help disaster victims.
11:03 a.m. — 50-member Chinese rescue team ready to depart for Haiti, China’s Xinhua news agency reports.
11:07 a.m. — Catholic Relief Services staff member Karel Zelenka provided this account via e-mail. “Damage incredible all around … People have been screaming and chanting all over the place … It is a disaster of the century, we should be prepared for thousands and thousands of dead and injured.”

3:05 p.m. — The U.S. Coast Guard has mobilized ships and aircraft to positions where they can be quickly sent to Haiti if needed, the service says on its Web site. Standing by are: A C-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater

4:00 p.m. — The World Food Programme is immediately airlifting an additional 86 metric tons of food from its emergency hub in El Salvador, which will provide more than half a million emergency meals

4:01 p.m. — The World Health Organization is sending a 12-person team to Haiti to help with the medical response

4:02 p.m. — AmeriCares is sending $3 million worth of medical aid to Haiti, including antibiotics, bandages and other medical supplies, and is sending relief workers to help distribute the supplies

4:02 p.m. — Habitat for Humanity is sending an assessment team to Haiti and putting together resources “to address shelter solutions for low-income families affected” by the quake

4:04 p.m. — Brazil’s Ministry of Defense ordered its troops in the country to offer whatever assistance they can

4:07 p.m. — Spain is sending three planeloads of aid — two from Panama in Central America and one from Madrid

4:10 p.m. — U.S House of Representatives holds a moment of silence for earthquake victims in Haiti.

4:18 p.m. — Cuba sent an additional 30 doctors, plus medical supplies, to join the 344 doctors and paramedics it already had working throughout Haiti on humanitarian missions

4:19 p.m. — France, Haiti’s former colonial ruler, dispatched two planeloads of rescue personnel, one from Guadeloupe in the Caribbean and one from Marseilles

4:47 p.m. — The World Bank promised $100 million in emergency funding for recovery and reconstruction

5:31 p.m. — Search-and-rescue teams from the U.S. prepared to head to Haiti, among them the 72-person Los Angeles County, California, Fire Urban Search and Rescue team and the 80-member Miami-Dade, Florida, Urban Search and Rescue Team. The teams include paramedics, search dogs, communication specialists and rescuers trained in combing through collapsed structures

6:43 p.m. — Iceland is sending a 37-man search-and-rescue team and offered to help evacuate foreign nationals

7:11 p.m. — Under a U.S. State Department program, individuals with U.S. cell phones can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting “Haiti” to 90999. The State Department said Wednesday afternoon that the campaign had received nearly 83,000 hits.

7:15 p.m. — Former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton urged people to donate to www.clintonfoundation.org/haitiearthquake

7:50 p.m. — The Jolie-Pitt Foundation announced it would contribute $1 million to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières’

8:29 p.m. — One of two U.S. miltary planes carrying a 30-man assessment team arrived at Port-au-Prince airport about 5:30 pm

8:36 p.m. — A unit of U.S. Air Force Special Operations Forces left Hurlburt Field in Florida, with the unit including airmen, search-and-rescue experts and equipment to set up temporary air traffic control systems

9:00 p.m. — The Dominican Republic was the first country to give aid to Haiti in the aftermath of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake

9:45 p.m. — The New York Yankees announced a donation of $500,000 in support of rescue and relief efforts.

4:09 a.m. — Doctors, medicine and more rescuers were scheduled to land in Haiti on Thursday as nation after nation pledged to help the earthquake-battered country.

6:30 a.m. — Chile was sending 20 doctors, a rescue team, 12 tons of medical supplies, food and 3 tons of medicine to Haiti

6:42 a.m. — A 60-member rescue team with three sniffer dogs arrived from China on Thursday, the official news agency Xinhua reported. Taiwan also sent a team of 23 rescuers and two dogs late Wednesday, according to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

6:45 a.m. — A four-member rescue team from Israel was scheduled to arrive Thursday morning, followed by two more jets carrying a field hospital and 220 rescue and hospital workers
cnn story

what will you do?

  • CARE, which have deployed emergency team members to Port-au-Prince to assist in recovery efforts. They’re focusing their efforts on rescuing children who may still be trapped in schools that collapsed.
  • Oxfam has four offices in Haiti and over 200 highly-experienced aid workers on the ground. They are already responding to the situation where assistance is most needed.
  • AmeriCares has already committed $5 million in medical and humanitarian aid, is sending emergency response experts to Haiti, and is currently preparing an emergency airlift to their partners in Haiti.
  • Action Aid’s Strategic Crisis Fund, which coordinates immediate disbursement of funds for rapid or slow-onset humanitarian response, such as providing medicines, food and shelter to people in need.
  • MADRE has activated an emergency response through its partner organization, Zanmi Lasante Clinic.The most urgent needs right now are bandages, broad-spectrum antibiotics and other medical supplies, as well as water tablets to prevent cholera outbreaks.The doctors, nurses and community health workers there are working to get bring medical assistance and supplies to areas that have been hardest hit.
  • B’ANI B’RITH DISASTER RELIEF FUND, the most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization. Since 1843, BBI has worked for Jewish unity, security, continuity and tolerance.

Of course other important groups are doing essential work:

Doctors Without Borders operates one of the only free trauma centers in Port-au-Prince as well as an emergency hospital in the capital for pregnant women, new mothers, and newborn children. All three of its primary medical centers have collapsed, but DWB has already set up temporary shelters and is offering emergency care on the ground.

If you want to do something super immediate, Text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti charged to your phone — Famous musician Wyclef Jean (@wyclef) created this foundation to permanently improve the lives of the most impoverished in his home country of Haiti. The L.A. Times reports Wyclef has already helped raise $400,000 through Yele Haiti for the disaster.

Donate to Partners in Health— PIH (@pih_org) is already on the ground in Haiti and mobilizing their relief efforts. If you have heard of Paul Farmer, this is the organization he co-founded. Working to provide health care and education to the poorest of Haiti.


Support Disaster Relief in Haiti

On January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Join recovery efforts mobilizing around the world to assist earthquake victims. Your donation will help disaster victims rebuild their lives and their communities. We’ll donate $1 million to help organizations provide relief.

Donate to UNICEF

  • UNICEF has been the world’s leading international children’s organization, working in over 150 countries to address ongoing issues that affect children, such as clean water, education, and emergency response.
  • 100% of your contributions will reach the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support emergency relief efforts.

Donate to CARE

  • CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.
  • Our mission is to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world. Drawing strength from our global diversity, resources and experience, we promote innovative solutions and are advocates for global responsibility.

we can all do something.   give,  pray,  forward this link.


 “If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.”
 Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama