Led by Suzanne Deyoung of La Soupe and Julie Riney Richardson, Indian Hill High school students prepared over 5,000 quarts of soup made from rescued food.

A Soup Project For Indian Hill Students

Can a village feed a city? Absolutely! And the entire student body at Indian Hill High School has been working with Suzy DeYoung and La Soupe, and Sugarcreek (a co-packer) to prove it can happen. Led by Suzanne Deyoung of La Soupe and Julie Riney Richardson, Indian Hill High school ... Read More
Dan Marshall is a Cincinnati musician, speaker, and business consultant.

Dan Marshall Never Has Bad Days

Dan Marshall will tell you, he does not have bad days. He only has character building days. Seven years ago he stood before a packed auditorium for an Ignite Cincinnati Event, and reminded the young professionals that even when things are going bad, “you are going to learn something from ... Read More
Kathy Smith was executive director of Cincinnati nonprofit Kenzie's Closet, and shares how it helps prom dreams come true for local teens

Kenzie's Closet Is A Dream Maker

It is a dream of most girls, to step out in a gorgeous evening gown, a flower corsage on her wrist and a young man on her side as she enters the darkened space. Her peers crowd the floor, watching her enter in awe. Her smile illuminates the room. But, ... Read More
TT Stern-Enzi

Films Are His Textbook For Teaching

You may have seen TT Stern-Enzi’s film reviews on FOX 19 or in CityBeat. He also writes for the Dayton CityPaper. Several months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting him over coffee. He has such a kind soul about him and when he talks about his passions – films, ... Read More
RJ Mitte and Nic Novicki were among the celebrities who attended the 2017 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival

Cincinnati ReelAbilities About Appreciation

It has been about three weeks now since I left the Duke Energy Center, exhausted (and sick) from an incredible experience of being part of one of the hardest working teams you will ever meet, all working toward a goal of building something so powerful and important as to positively affect ... Read More

A Volunteer Helping Make Things Happen

One of the many benefits of working on the ReelAbilities Film Festival for me are the incredible people it has given me the opportunity to get to know. I will be sharing some of their stories in my blog. Caren Theuring is most definitely among them. Caren was a tireless ... Read More
Heather Seukamp is a teacher at St. Clement Elementary School in Cincinnati

Life Lessons Taught In Class

Kind, patient teachers who instinctively know how to bring out the best in children are such treasures. They are role models to young minds and their power has the capability of impacting entire journeys through life. Heather Seurkamp is among them. Her aunt, Terri Hogan, introduced us. Heather is a ... Read More
Susan Brownknight, executive director of Cincinnati nonprofit, LADD, talks about the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival

Cincinnati ReelAbilities Celebrates Difference

These past few weeks (and months) my blog has slowed as I’ve needed to focus much of my energy on promoting the 2017 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival organized by LADD, Inc. (and a project for the Countryside YMCA and mixing in pet training). The Festival is now a week away, ... Read More
Amy Delgado is a Cincinnati mother to a daughter who has Spina Bifida, and writes a blog called Ability Hacker. She shares what she learned from parenting.

A Mother's Lessons

My work on the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival organized by LADD, Inc. has connected me with some pretty incredible people in our region. Amy Delgado is one of them. ReelAbilities is about bringing people together to learn from and about each other and to celebrate our differences that together make ... Read More
Rosemary Oglesby-Henry, founder of Rosemary’s Babies, presented an award of appreciation to Dr. James Williams, president of Mt. St. Joseph University, for the school’s support.

Rosemary's Legacy

In all of my years of work for social service agencies, I have seen so many individuals and families affected by generational circumstances. There have been those who were born into environments surrounded by poverty, abuse or other hardships; and who have followed in the path of the generations before ... Read More
The greatest lesson in this world is how to give and receive love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

  I don't know who gets more out of my visits to the Kennedy Heights Montessori Center, me or the kids. Usually I read to the 3 to 6 year olds, but last week we did something different. They each made a personal, hand made Valentine's Day car that ... Read More
Melissa Milinovich is 2005 Ms. Wheelchair Ohio and volunteers for the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival. In this interview, she shares some of her story.

Melissa Wants You To See Abilities

I have gotten to know Melissa these past few months through my work with the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival. She is a volunteer whose leadership and passion is greatly furthering the cause of our Festival whose goals are for people to change the way they perceive difference, to break down ... Read More
Jennifer Grimmett is volunteer coordinator for My Furry Valentine, a Cincinnati pet adoption event

My Furry Valentine Led By Passionate Animal Lovers

To organize a MEGA animal adoption event that finds homes for some 800+ animals, it takes a MEGA crew of hard working volunteers to make it happen. That event is the My Furry Valentine, our region’s largest adoption event that finds homes for pets from about 35 different rescue groups. ... Read More
Actor John Lawson shares his story: disability does not define him.

Disability Does Not Define John

Through my work promoting the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, I have gotten to know some pretty amazing people who have impacted me in very meaningful ways. Actor John Lawson is among them. I met and got to know John when I was promoting the 2015 Festival. He was a volunteer ... Read More
Quote about life by Nora Roberts

In Life, Just Go For It!

A reminder...let's focus on going for what we want in life.   Read More
Kate Lopez is a volunteer with the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival. She talks about what having a disability has taught her.

What Disability Taught Kate

I am so fortunate that my work allows me the opportunity to get to know some incredible people who are so passionate about their cause. Kate Lopez is definitely among them. She and I met when I coordinated the marketing/public relations for the 2015 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival organized by ... Read More
Grace DeGregorio, editor of Cincinnati's Hyde Park Living, shares her story

Grace Shares Life Lessons

Today I have such great pleasure in sharing the story of a very dear person and friend. Grace DeGregorio has been editing Hyde Park Living for 20 years. And, for about 15 or 16 of those years I have been writing a pet behavior column for her. I love that ... Read More
King Records Cincinnati landmark

Saving King Records

I can’t think of a more relevant day to be thinking about a Cincinnati landmark and treasure where some of the greatest music originated, and where civil rights and inclusion was modeled at its best. I hate to admit, when I was first hired to work on the Hidden Treasures ... Read More
quote by Martin Luther King Jr

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we celebrate a man of courage, wisdom and vision. In his lifetime, Martin Luther King Jr. devoted himself to bringing people together in harmony. He was about giving people wings to soar above inequality and find their inner strength and passion. He was about giving people eyes to see ... Read More
Amanda Broughton and Michele Hobbs founded Cincinnati pet food company, Pet Wants. They and their customers donated 4000 pounds of pet food to the Stray Animal Adoption Program.

Pet Wants Donates 4000 Pounds Of Food

“Giving is not just about donating. It is about making a difference.”  -  Kathy Calvin, CEO & President of United Nations Foundation That is so true. My friends at Pet Wants, all natural pet food company, truly believe in giving back. I have seen them at adoption events giving food ... Read More
Choose to be happy.

Choose To Be Happy

No special reason. Today, let's make a conscious decision to choose to be happy. Read More
Isabella Noe, a Cincinnati students, talks about kindness

Isabella's Lesson In Kindness

My intern, Isabella Noe, a senior at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati is a very special person. It gives her such satisfaction to reach out and help others. Below is her story, in her own words, of how a simple acts of kindness touched her; and how she thinks ... Read More
Elizabeth Truitt is director of public relations for Broadway Cincinnati

Elizabeth's Work Is Her Passion

I can’t remember how Elizabeth Truitt and I first met, but I know this. She has an effervescent smile that lights up a room and having lunch with her can be a ton of fun. Her passion for her work and life is contagious. It is what I enjoy so ... Read More
#kindflash Cincinnati is organizing a hat and coat drive for the homeless

Volunteers Needed For Clothes Drive

It is that time of year again. Liz Wu and others of #KindFlash, a group of Cincinnati area volunteers doing acts of kindness, are organizing their annual clothes drive and they need help. During last year's #Kindflash clothes drive, they collected 3,700+ warm clothing items and distributed them across 51 Greater Cincinnati ... Read More
Mike and Chrissy Boehmer

Thoughts For Living A Fulfilling Life

Tami and Mike Boehmer If you follow my blog, you may recall a few posts written by Tami Boehmer, known to many as a brave and inspirational cancer warrior who took on the disease not only through her own fight but the fight of so many others. She was an ... Read More
Karyl Cunningham is executive director of the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Black and Latino Achievers Program

Remember Karyl As A True Friend

It had been years since Karyl Cunningham and I had last seen each other. In fact, admittedly we had a hard time remembering where we met, but that didn’t seem to matter. Within in minutes I felt as I was sitting across the table from a very close friend. That ... Read More
Nick Jackson inspires students through his speeches

Nick Champions Lives

Today I wanted to introduce you to someone who has championed the lives of more than 265,000 high school and college students. Nick Jackson commands the stage. When he gets in front of audiences he lifts them to a higher place, gets them excited and inspired. It truly is a ... Read More

This Coach Loves His Work

Written by my Good Things Going Around intern, Isabella Noe, a senior at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati   I recently had the pleasure of meeting Coach Mike Holmes.  He first started playing basketball in 1996, and is now in his fourth year of coaching basketball both for Swish ... Read More
Margaret Kastner of Cincinnati learned a lesson of kindness at dinner

How A Dinner Changed Her Life

Margaret Kastner and I met at a meeting of the Cincinnati Blogger Network many months ago, and she has become one of my Good Things Going Around followers. We have kept in touch and talk when we see each other. She has always struck me as someone very easy to ... Read More
Quote: The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.

Everyone Likes To Be Appreciated

Just a little reminder, everyone appreciates being appreciated. 'Thank you', 'Great Job', and 'You are important to me' are sentences that can go a long way to brighten someone's day and life. Read More
Heidi Jark is managing director and vice president, The Foundation Office, Fifth Third Bank

Heidi Jark Shares Inspiration

Heidi Jark, senior vice president and managing director of The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, has long been someone I have admired. A 2013 YWCA Career Women of Achievement Honoree, Heidi has learned some mammoth lessons about life and the strength of her will from her own personal experiences. ... Read More
Faith Maynard is program manager of LADD's Community Connections

She Helps Others Achieve Victories

I am so fortunate that my work gives me the opportunity to get know and be inspired by some truly incredible people. Faith Maynard is among them. Faith joined the team of Cincinnati nonprofit organization, LADD, Inc. (Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled) 14 years ago as a direct support ... Read More
Keith Maginn is a Cincinnati author

Cincinnati Author Writes To Inspire

I just recently learned about one of Cincinnati’s hidden treasures…a very talented writer who brings others strength by sharing openly, vividly and passionately his own journey through deeply rooted personal challenges and experiences. Keith Maginn was born and raised here. He moved to Knoxville, Tennessee just after college to work ... Read More

Karen Is A Happiness Officer

It is not often you meet someone with a job title of chief guest happiness officer, so, when you do, you absolutely have to pause and learn more. That someone is Karen Smith, who, after retiring from a successful career at Procter and Gamble, purchased with her husband a breathtaking ... Read More

This Cincinnati Pilot Transports Dogs

Derek Hassenpflug (left) and Jack Finke (right) Derek Hassenpflug, CFP®, ChFC® is a certified financial planner and branch manager for the Kenwood Ameriprise office, but on weekends, you may very likely see him if you look to the sky. Derek earned his private pilot certificate in May of this year ... Read More

Their Passion Is Helping Kids In Peru

Now I know where my intern, Walnut Hills High School student Isabella Noe gets her generosity and her drive. Her father, Bill Noe, is sharing his story below of a cause that is dear to his heart. In Bill's words... "The Paul Lammermeier Foundation helps children-in-need reach their full potential ... Read More
Traci Stewart and Rachel Lawson began a Disabilities Resource Care Group at Kroger in Cincinnati

Two Kroger Managers Begin Disability Support Group

Rachel Lawson, fresh meat and seafood planogram manager for Kroger, and Traci Stewart, deli category manager for Kroger, have more in common than simply their busy careers. They both happen to also be mothers to children who do things differently. I met them both the other day when I visited ... Read More
former Cincinnati Enquirer editor met with President Nixon

Ruth Voss Was A Voice For Youth

Many years back and very early in my career, my mentor, Bill Mefford, told me about an organization for whom one of his friends was looking for a public relations contractor. Long story short, that woman was Ruth Voss and the organization that became my first long term PR client ... Read More
quote about work performance and leadership by Lisa Desatnik

Power Is A Beautiful Thing

I joined the Toast of the Town Toastmasters Club earlier this summer and have been loving the experience. It is such a positive, supportive group that I hate to miss our Tuesday meetings. This week I gave my first speech. I have so appreciated the positive support I received from ... Read More
Ric Urban is chief conversation officer for Newport Aquarium

Penguins Are His Passion

When Ric Urban walks into the area of Newport Aquarium where the African Penguins are housed, they all waddle over to him…especially one little girl, Paula. It is yet one more reason why this man who has been doing his work (Newport Aquarium is his fifth employer) for 35 years ... Read More
Billie Mendoza, owner of Cincinnati Paw Joggers, talks about her inspiration for creating the Paw Joggers Run

Running For Animal Causes

It was in November of 2008 when Billie Mendoza retired from a long career with Delta Air Lines, a move that propelled her into a new line of work. Billie’s Paw Joggers dog exercising and pet sitting business has grown into one of the region’s premiere services of its kind. ... Read More

A Night of CINspiration

Thank you so much to my speakers Kilee Brookbank and Vickie Mertz, and to everyone who attended my September A Night of CINspiration for making this another very special night. Below is a link to the photo album. Please click on the image to begin viewing the photos. Hope to ... Read More
quote by Morrie Schwartz

Do What Comes From Your Heart

    A reminder to do what comes from your heart in life. You will be overwhelmed by what comes back. Read More
Loveland twins, Hannah and Alex Laman, won a national award for creating their Cincinnati nonprofit, Adopt A Book

Loveland Twins Honored Nationally

Way to go Alex and Hannah Laman, now 13, who began (with their mom, Angela) their own Cincinnati area non-profit, Adopt A Book five years ago! They have collected and donated nearly 110,000 books for over 100 organizations that serve other kids in need throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky. And ... Read More
Bobby Harrison inspires with words and actions

Bobby, You Just Made My Day!

On the other end of the phone, I hear “Lisa! You just made my day!” It is the kind of welcome that I have come to expect when I call my long time friend, Bobby Harrison; and pretty high up there on my list of reasons why I value our ... Read More
quote about life by Lisa Desatnik

Choose Thoughts That Will Uplift You

You always have the power to choose to focus on thoughts that will move you forward, uplift and inspire you. Read More
Isabella Noe, a Cincinnati senior at Walnut Hills High School, shares her friendship gained through CISV and AFS international student exchange programs

An International Friendship Reunited

Written by Good Things intern, Isabella Noe, a Walnut Hills High School senior in Cincinnati. "Typically on Good Things Going Around, I have the pleasure of telling other people’s incredible stories.  Today, however, I get to tell my unbelievable story of how I met one of my dearest friends.  When ... Read More
Holly Young founded Cincinnati nonprofit, New Life Furniture, which provides furnishings for people transitioning out of homelessness

New Life Furniture Is Her Calling

Holly Young walks to a map of Greater Cincinnati hanging on the wall behind a front desk where there are many hundreds of blue and red dots, so densely populated as to obliterate entire blocks, even neighborhoods. The blue dots represent homes were lasting memories were created on or around ... Read More

Two Cincinnati Heroes Celebrated

Last week, I got to meet someone who in my book is a true hero. You may have heard about a horrific explosion this past June in an Oakley apartment building that killed a mother and her son. The reason the rest of the residents lived to talk about it ... Read More
Jennifer Crowe (third from left) was honored by Cincinnati nonprofit LADD

LADD Awards Honored People Who Take Flight

Through my public relations work, I love spending time with everyone who is involved with LADD (Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled) and its mission. If you are unfamiliar, LADD is a Cincinnati nonprofit organization that works side-by-side adults who have developmental disabilities to assist them in experiencing independence through a ... Read More

A Lesson In Giving Back

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When it comes to making a difference, every little bit helps. Thus was a valuable lesson kids, ages 6 to 12, in the Gamble-Nippert YMCA’s homeschool program learned recently.

For three months they’d been asking their parents to come a little early so they could complete laps around the gym, all on their own initiative. They walked and skipped and hopped, sometimes as much as 10 times around before they started the day’s lesson.

However, this project wasn’t just about getting in shape and having fun, it was about doing something good for other people. For each lap the kids counted, their friends and family pledged them a penny, or contributed a non-perishable food item. Step-by-step, coin-by-coin, the donations added up. By the end, they had collectively raised 10,300 pennies (and 75 pounds of food).

Judy Haverkos, co-coordinator for the Gamble-Nippert YMCA program, said the students chose to give their earnings to Santa Maria Community Services. The food went to the Manna Food Pantry. H.A. Musser, Jr., Santa Maria president explained to the group why their efforts were so important.

Did the kids understand they were doing a good thing? Absolutely! “I like helping people,” said Aiden.

“Community service helps teach them character values and teamwork. Coupling that with having fun while being active is really a great teaching tool,” said Cindy Klopp, the other co-coordinator.

The coin project was just one of many enrichment activities for children in YMCA homeschool programs. Haverkos said their group is studying artists, helping the branch ‘go green’, and learning American Sign Language.

Pictured are kids who helped raise money – Victoria Freudiger; Hannah Musser; Oscar Allen; Aiden Bezdek; Samuel Musser; Nathan DeVoe. David and Rose Homelle; Adriana and Alexandria Norton; Mary Nerswick; and Joe Dupont also helped fund raise but weren’t available for the photo.

We Can learn A Lot From A Child

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If you haven’t yet heard about Mattie Stepanek, let me tell you about him. In June 2004, three years before he would have been old enough to drive, he lost his brave battle with a rare and fatal neuromuscular disease.

In his life, he experienced the difficult loss of three siblings. He endured physical, emotional and spiritual pain. But Mattie was an astute young boy who had profound wisdom about things that matter most. He celebrated life every day. He recognized the beauty in everyday circumstance and he lived knowing happiness is never out of reach, if you just look with your heart.

Mattie began sharing his thoughts when he was just three years old. His poems and essays are among the most beautiful I’ve ever read. They are his legacy, his heartsongs.

Believing in Someday

Maybe,
Someday,
We will all join hands
And live together…
Helping each other,
Loving each other,
Maybe,
Someday,
We will all make the world
A much better place…
And be like a gigantic,
Smoothly rushing river of peace –
A loving circle that nothing can break,
Maybe,
Someday,
We may start with just one person,
And one permanent peace agreement
Within one’s self, within one’s world.
Personal peace can then spread
Within and between the families,
Then within and between communities,
And then within and around the whole world.
Maybe,
Someday,
We can become
As close to perfect
As anything and anyone can get.
Let us each join our own Heartsong
With this old song of the heart, and believe…
“Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.”

Written in 2000 when Mattie was 9

Sensitive Santa Coming to Children’s Hospital

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For parents of children who have physical and/or cognitive disabilities, they know visiting Santa in shopping centers can unfortunately have its challenges. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is helping to ensure all children have the opportunity to enjoy a favorite holiday tradition. CCHMC has brought in a sensitive Santa – straight from the North Pole – who is comfortable talking and interacting with children of all abilities. The Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus event will have entertainment, punch and cookies, and of course photos with none other than Ho Ho Ho himself.

What a wonderful idea!

The event will be Saturday, December 13 from Noon until 4 p.m. at Children’s Hospital (333 Burnet Ave) in the Fifth Third Bank Auditorium. (location D) It is a totally free event with free parking as well. To learn more or pre-register, please call the Family Resource Center at 513-636-7606.

Note: Children attending this event will not be interacting with hospitalized children.

Building Blocks for Kids Helps Kids With Medical Needs To Thrive

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They say friends are those who remain by our side through the good times and the hardships. They’re our crutch when we’ve been knocked down, and our wings when we’re ready to soar. They’re people like Dynette Clark – and Suzy Hummel, Liesl Roeder, and Bridget Kleinhenz, the co-founders of a unique foundation that provides funding for the medical needs of children when parents or guardians don’t have the financial resources or insurance coverage to pay for it.

The idea for Building Blocks for Kids Foundation evolved from one parent, Dynette, wanting more than anything to find $25,000 in assistance for a little girl’s necessary therapy not covered by insurance. The little girl’s mom, Judy, happens to be a close friend of Dynette’s. And, as friends do, Dynette wasn’t about to give up until she had the money in hand.

With the help of Suzy, Liesl, and Bridget, about $12,000 was raised in a 2002 fund raising event. One year later, the foundation had been created to help other kids as well. Seven children where given assistance in its second year, 21 children received funds in the third year, and about 50 kids are being helped annually now with much larger requests.

Some of what the Foundation funds are therapy, modifications to the living environment, programs and devices to help a child interact with his/her world, and mobility such as transportation adaptations. During the holiday season, Building Blocks for Kids has an Adopt a Child program. Pictures and information of children are posted on their website (the first 15 or so kids are those who are on the waiting list for funds) and individuals or groups can help pay for the child’s needs.

For more information on Building Blocks for Kids and their Adopt a Child program, you can visit their web site at www.bb4k.org.

(Pictured: Dynette Clark holding Syndi, standing with Syndi’s mom Judy at the Foundation’s 2003 benefit)

Quotes to Give You Thought

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Award winning photographer Andrew Zuckerman traveled to seven countries to ask people over age 65 what they’d like others to know. In his new book, Wisdom, you can read about what they said. The October issue of Reader’s Digest included a few examples, and of those, I have my favorites.

Desmond Tutu (antiapartheid activist, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Price and winner of the 2005 Gandi Peace Prize)

“Each one of us can make a contribution. Too frequently we think we have to do spectacular things. Yet if we remember that the sea is actually made up of drops of water and each drop counts, each one of us can do our little bit where we are. Those little bits can come together and almost overwhelm the world. Each one of us can be an oasis of peace.”

Nelson Mandela (civil rights leader, prisoner for 27 years for his antiapartheid work, co-winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Price, elected South Africa’s first freely chosen president)

“Wounds that can’t be seen are more painful than those than those that can be seen and cured by a doctor. I learned that to humiliate another person is to make him suffer an unnecessarily cruel fate. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers fear. Where people of goodwill get together and transcend their differences for the common good, peaceful and just solutions can be found, even for those problems that seem intractable.”

“Happiness is when I see others happy. Happiness is a shared thing.”

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