Walking Your Talk…!

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”                              By Bobby Unser

Just within days, the Costa Rican guests will be arriving in the US and then to the Emory & Henry College campus. The results of many months planning and various people working together will soon be evident to us all.

The recent photo below is one that speaks volumes about the continuous efforts of the “Friends of Copey” as useful and meaningful partners with the Copey Learning Center.

CLC EH team

Angela, Fatima, Noelia, Celeste, Adriana, Ana Yancy

This is one of the best photos I have received from the Copey Learning Center. Shown are the past and current Executive Directors. Also shows the past students (Noelia and Celeste) who visited E&H College last summer and the current students (Fatima and Adriana) heading our way.

The community of Copey can proclaim that in a short 12 month period, four of their brightest and best students have visited the US and our college.

 

The Pathway Project Fundraising Results

There is so much praise and “thank yous” to pass around. I am overwhelmed by the

Good News

generosity and interest so many of you have for this project. As of today, we can proclaim victory and success having exceeded the fundraising goal by several hundred dollars. My previous report indicated the campaign was officially closed with several hundred dollars “below” our goal. But, I also indicated there were funds still forthcoming and they have been received.

Just Outstanding!

My desired goal was to have the Pathway Project 100% funded by my E&H College friends and affiliated members of the college.

Progress Tracking Report

The total amount ($3,065.00) raised includes some donations from donor “Friends” who did not receive my request since they were not in the E&H category. However, E&H friends and affiliates did donate enough to meet and exceed the goal of $2,700.00.

Now, two years running, let it be clear that the “Pathway Project” involving our college has been successfully funded by friends and affiliates of the college. And, if some of you still want to join in with a donation, Thank you and..send the donation in.

We are covering basic travel expenses and also want the experience to be as memorable as possible. For example, once they arrive in DC, they will spend time looking at the sites and will attend the Kennedy Center to watch the NYC Ballet performance. Then while traveling down Interstate 81, they will visit the Natural Bridge. If there are funds unspent at the conclusion of this project, these funds roll over to next year. You can pay forward as well.

As a reminder, the funding for this effort is supported in three parts. The community of Copey, parents, and friends all contribute in various way to cover the cost for the preparations and readiness needed for the students to travel to the US. The college support includes hosting and providing a wide variety of experiences for all of our guests while on or near campus. This includes finding support to cover tuition for the Young Scholars course both Fatima and Adriana will attend with other students. And, “Friends of Copey” is responsible for travel costs for all four guests as they depart Costa Rica and return to Costa Rica. There is a real joy in our ability to “Walk the Talk!”

Welcome Party

There is planned an official greeting and reception for our guests shortly after their Celebration balloons.arrival. A major supporter of the “Pathway Project” and a fellow E&H Board member has invited us to join in on the reception on June 13th at his home. This is a great opportunity if you are nearby to meet in person our guests as well as others who are also “Friends of Copey”. Because of the very wide distribution of my Blog which includes both “Friends of Copey” and those just curious, send me an email requesting time and location. This will prove to be an unforgettable reception. Join In!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Friends of Copey Accomplishments

 

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”      by Corrie ten Boom

With the Learning Center ending its 2015 season and we gear up for 2016, it is a good time to just reflect on some of the highlights and achievements we have made in partnership with the Learning Center.

Financial Support

  • Successful Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund Drive raising funds to provide tuition support for 15 plus students to attend the Learning Center in 2015.

Scholarship Recipient

  • Successful Fund Drive to raise $2500 to support the newly paid position of Executive Director for the Learning Center.
  • Provided $400 plus to support the purchase of miscellaneous school supplies and equipment for the Learning Center including a Tablet.

Non-Financial

  • Kiwanis Tri-Cities, Washington approved zzzKiwanisFriends of Copey as an authorized (recognized) project supported by Kiwanis.

 

 

Friends of Copey unveils new “Friends” banner 

zzzFriends w banner

Academic 

  • Established formal relations with Kiwanis’ K-Kids from Jefferson Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary Pen PalRichland, Washington and students attending the Learning Center. Pen Pal Program
  • Sharing a Pen Pal Program with music students attending Sugar Grove Elementary School located in Sugar Grove, Virginia with the Learning Center students.

CLC letter to Sugar Grove (2)

There are numerous other accomplishments including major milestones reached with the Blog  during the year to report and we will continue highlighting them in the next Post.

OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

Two of the many distinguished ladies in my family were recent recipients of honor and recognition. My Aunt Katherine (Goble) Johnson was one of seventeen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to her by President Obama last week. This is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian. Aunt Katherine’s life and achievements present an incredible story. You can learn more about her story by clicking on the link below:

http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20151124/GZ01/151129725

Barack Obama, Katherine Johnson, Willie Mays

Aunt Katherine is the oldest of my living aunts and her life and legacy continues to shine as a beacon of inspiration and self-determination. Her life’s passport was education and it took her to places far beyond this earth. Captain Kirk move over….Aunt Katherine is on her way!

A second recognition of importance went to my sister Pat Wright. She has been accepted as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). As a direct descendent of John “The Patriot” Broady, our 6th grandfather, Pat qualified for DAR membership. Our cousin, Gwen Huckstep, became a DAR member in 2014. Gwen resides in southwest Virginia near the area where John “The Patriot” lived and is buried.

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Membership approval is granted only after extensive and verifiable proof is provided that you are a direct descendent of one who participated in the American Revolutionary War. IMG_1071

John “The Patriot” was a slave and owned by Colonel Campbell, the American Revolutionary War commander who led an army of southwest Virginians in the famous Battle of Kings Mountain. John “The Patriot’s” life and relationship with the Campbell family has been of serious interest to historians for years and aspects of his life continues to be researched. If you are in or around Smyth County Virginia, you will find John “The Patriot’s” name included on the DAR monument located on the Court House lawn. To our knowledge, Pat is the only Afro-American DAR member residing in the Northwest.

Both Aunt Katherine and Pat represent the long line of Gobles and Broadys who have distinguished themselves in many areas such as education, the military, the Arts, in the church, business, and community. Personally, I have been lifted up by so many in my family. What a Blessing!

I feel honored and compelled to share these personal stories of achievements. Especially in Aunt Katherine’s case, in her early life someone took interest in her and encouraged her to enjoy learning and to set high goals. This is the essence of “Friends of Copey” as we strive to encourage learning and inspire young people to shoot for the stars.  As “Friends” You and I can make a difference!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING…!

“Being successful does not necessarily make you great. What makes you great is when you reach back and help somebody else become great.”  Joel Osteen

We are on the front end of Thanksgiving Week and I wish all the very best and hope we all find time to think about the many things we have as a country to be thankful for. This is “Friends of Copey’s” fourth year enjoying Thanksgiving and our list of  things to be thankful for is very long.Rodriguez photos

Spelling Bee

The results of the Spelling Bee are in and our very own Copey Learning Center student Mariana finished 5th in the National Competition. The report indicates she was among the youngest competing and performed exceptionally well. She is destined to be champion soon. We all congratulate Mariana. She is our winner and we are grateful to have her competing on the national stage bringing both honor and respect to the Copey community and the Learning Center. Also, again thank you for helping provide funds to allow her mother Lorena to attend the event with Mariana.

“Jane’s Last Quote of the Week…Maybe!”

About this time next week, Jane will have returned to America to her family and friends. Certainly she will enjoy sitting in her favorite chair, catching up on “Days of Our Lives”, and even sleeping in her own bed after three months. Jane studentsHer final official day of service is Friday when the Learning Center conducts its annual graduation services and closes for a couple of months for their summer. “Friends of Copey” will be there to attend the graduation and be among others to share Jane’s final hours. She has been one of the most colorful and amazing volunteers to hit Copey and she will be missed.

Here are my two favorite “Jane” quotes I have posted during her time in Copey. This first quote is priceless about Jane as she explains how she got involved.

“If he (Gail) hadn’t passed away, I hadn’t called you, you hadn’t made the donation on PayPal, and sent me the “Friends of Copey” newsletter (Post), I will still be at home watching Days of Our Lives and eating Chocolate.”

This quote speaks volumes about Copey and the Learning Center.

The most amazing thing is the love and respect the people have for each other [in Copey]. They all work hard and no one seems to complain. The students have never complained or said they don’t want to do anything!” 

Jane 5

For four years “Friends of Copey” has enjoyed success because this unique collection of “friends” simply desires “to make a positive difference”…to be difference makers”! Jane is the “poster child” for all of the “Friends of Copey”. God Bless You Jane!

Other Business

When the Learning Center starts again in February, there will be a new “Pen Pal” waiting to meet the Learning Center students. I will save the full details for later but an elementary school in Utah has agreed to become our educational partners to help the Learning Center get off on a great start in February. Their plans include providing other types of support to the Learning Center as well. This is very exciting and something very positive to look forward to in 2018.

Final Words…!

When I depart for Costa Rica tomorrow, I will be carrying all of you…”Friends of Copey” in my pockets, my luggage, and most of all…in my heart. No one could possibly feel more blessed and honored than me to go to Copey and represent this entire collection of people aka “Friends of Copey”. Without exaggeration, this unconventional approach to offering and providing needed educational support to a community is most unique. The ability do something meaningful and successfully for others because we believe we can in this fashion is “service to humanity” at work. Thanks to All!

 

 

A Veteran’s Thanks…!

“For the veteran, thank you for bravely doing what you’re called to do so we can safely do what we’re free to do.”   Author Unknown

This past weekend we focused on thanking veterans for their military service . I am veteran-daysespecially proud to have served my country and to be affiliated with others including many of my closest friends, who have also served. There are numerous childhood friends who served, several college brothers, and of course many of my current friends are included. One of my best friends, Curtis “Duck” Montgomery (age 101) a WWII veteran, who passed away last February is one veteran I will always remember and thank.  Thank each of you for your service.

Correction!

rodriguez-photos-e1508184931340.jpg

Mariana

In last week’s Post I incorrectly reported the “Spelling Bee” was scheduled for this past Tuesday.  I was informed my dates were wrong and the competition is actually tomorrow. So, we remain on pins and needles until we hear the results, hopefully tomorrow or Wednesday.  Mariana…Best Wishes on a successful contest!

 

Jane’s Quote of the Week! 

“Just rode the bus to Santa Maria. A mother with her little girl sat beside me. The little girl Jane buscouldn’t have been more than three and she started talking to me in Spanish! She spotted my phone and continued talking! I just nodded and asked her if I could take her picture! You should have seen the look on her face when I showed her the picture! She gave me a soft high-five and kept caressing my hand! Occasionally words aren’t necessary!”

Jane is counting down her remaining days in Copey. She is scheduled to depart the country on November 25th. As mentioned before, she and I will be attending the Copey Learning Center’s graduation next Friday and it will also serve as a kind of reunion for Jane and me. How strange life is…!

This has been a true joy sharing this journey with Jane! Just as Jane’s quote says….Occasionally…words aren’t necessary! Thanks!

The New Education and Cultural Center

I have been informed that a decision on the application submitted a couple of weeks ago will not likely be issued for several months. There will be an extensive review/evaluation of our application which likely will include a visit to the Copey community before we know if we successfully get through this stage.

I will continue to ask for prayer support for an outcome that will be beneficial to us all. Our hopes are for a positive response and we believe our chances are good. BUT, this is a tremendous challenge for us. Keep in mind that “sun standing still” message and believe all things are possible, if you keep the faith! As you may be so inclined, take a moment each day and provide this a prayerful or positive thought. Thank you.

 

 

 

“Friends…Still Difference Makers!

“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

THANK YOU!

We were successful raising the $200.00 we pledged to support some of Lorena’s (Mariana’s mother) travel cost to accompany her daughter on the trip to Limon, Costa Rica, where the National English Festival…aka “Spelling Bee” is being held tomorrow. The thank you .3response time for some funding support was very short and in typical fashion, enough “Friends” responded to make the deadline. Now, we only have to wait to hear the final results. We all are pulling for Mariana to bring back to Copey the National Championship for the entire community to share.

Texas Church Shooting

As most are now aware, we have another tragic event to endure involving the senseless killing of innocent people. Our prayers and condolences extend to those closest to those who lost their lives and were injured yesterday. I pray we keep mindful there is evil ever-present…but so is good all around us. Evil finds a home among those who lack a positive purpose in life, fail to see in most cases there is a choice to do good or evil, and do not understand the same energy that is required to take a life can be used to help a life. God be with us all!

Jane’s Quote for the Week!

Jane cutie“I have dubbed this little cutie “Hello Kitty!” She is no bigger than a minute and is always smiling! Today she brought me a flower! She is so full of energy and so happy!  Life is Good!”

This very young student is benefiting from an early start on becoming familiar with the English language. But, it is much more than that. It is the relationship and the sense of being valued outside of the immediate family…it is the impact of a student/teacher relationship that can last a lifetime. The flower Jane received was only a symbol of what the little girl feels inside. It is also a symbol representing what many Learning Center students and the community feels about all the support “Friends” provides. “Friends”, do you realize how much positive impact your interest is having on both the young and old in Copey?

New Educational and Cultural Center

“Friends” has officially submitted its application to an organization we want to become a partner with us on our journey to help build a replacement facility for the current Learning Center. Without question, this is an extremely important time for us as we wait for some response.

I am calling on all “Friends” to take a minute this week to say a prayer for a positive response. We know “Friends” can make a difference in the outcome of our efforts. For those “Friends” more inclined to be great “positive” thinkers, please also join in. Together, we can all impact in a positive way the outcome as we have done many times before, especially by accomplishing results many thought unattainable. Please take a minute this week and become involved in this important decision on our application. This is one of those “sun standing still” miracles I mentioned in last week’s Post.

 

 

 

 

The Sun Stood Still…!

Spelling Bee Update

We have great news!  Out of the three students, we were successful in placing one student in the finals. Mariana has again demonstrated her excellent English skills and for Spelling Beethe second consecutive year, she is heading to the final competition…The Nationals.

Both Celeste and Margaritas placed very high and came close to winning their competition. Congratulations to both of them as we recognize being among the top three finalists is a huge success in view of the extremely tough competition they both faced.

mariana-5

Mariana

The Nationals are scheduled for next Tuesday and “Friends” plans to provide some financial assistance to Mariana’s mother (Lorena) so she can attend the event to support her daughter just as she did last year. The rules of the competition only allows one family member to attend and no Learning Center staff are permitted.

Last year, we provided $200 to help offset some of Lorena’s travel and living expenses. We want to do this again so I am putting in the first $50.00 and invite others to voluntary match or chip in if you want. The funds need to be in Lorena’s hands by mid-day Friday in order for her to have access to the funds in time. So our response is urgent to get the funds to her.

The two methods for donating are still the same. Anyone can use the Copey Learning Center’s PayPal system which is available by using the link provided. Please indicate you are affiliated with “Friends” and that the donation is for “Lorena”. Find the “Donate Button” in the upper right-hand corner. http://www.copeylearningcenter.org/

Or, due to the short notice, it may be more convenient for some to contact me directly via email with a pledge. I will submit the pledged amount to the same PayPal system on your behalf and will provide a PayPal receipt to you. I can be reimbursed at your convenience. Just send me a note at atbroady@aol.com.

Being in Southwest Virginia

Emory PhotoI just returned from southwest Virginia, the area I grew up in. I really enjoy seeing some of my childhood friends, spending time with my family, working with my colleagues on campus, and visiting some of the “Friends of Copey” who reside there. All of this was squeezed into a five-day visit.  Emory & Henry College and “Friends” are committed to continue the “Pathway Project 2018”. This is a great relief knowing we are on track for another year having students engaged in this unique educational exchange opportunity.

Jane’s Quote for the Week!

Jane

I was in Jane’s hometown area this past week and while on campus, several folks indicated their awareness of Jane’s volunteer service in Copey. She is highly regarded and admired by those following this Blog. Many feel she is representing one of the key values of our college…“service to others”. She is now in her final month as a volunteer in Copey. I will be in Copey to attend the “graduation” service with her later in November. This will be a very special time as two E&H graduates will be very happy to represent “Friends” and our college. There will be much to write about when we return to the US.

Final Words  (Joshua 10:13)

I attended church with my son and his family while I was back east. The essence of the minister’s message was to have the faith and expect prayers to be answered. Be “BOLD” in your prayers and ask for miracles…and expect that “sun standing still” event to happen. Although there has been some scientific debates regarding whether or not the sun once actually stood still, as with many Biblical accounts of this nature…it simply boils down to “Faith”. For me, I believe in being bold and expecting the unexpected to happen. And, I never get tired of witnessing the unexpected happening with “Friends”. Stay encouraged! There are more “sun standing still” miracles to be prayed for.

 

Faith, Hope, and Charity…Friends

GraduationThe Learning Center is moving quickly towards its end of the year destination aka “Graduation”. It is scheduled for November 24th. There is still some time available to get your plane ticket to join us for this very special occasion.

Go to your favorite source where you usually go to check on flight schedules and ticket costs and see how inexpensive a ticket to San Jose can actually be. If you know anyone who has traveled to Costa Rica, ask if it is worth your time and money to visit this country. I have not met anyone who has reported a negative experience. Check it out and contact me if you want more information.

I had planned to delay this Post until I received the news/outcome of the upcoming Spelling Bee“Spelling Bee” contest scheduled to start today. But, I decided to not wait since the results can come today, tomorrow, or later. I can assure you there will be a follow-up Post as soon as the news hits my desk.
We are very eager to wish our Learning Center students well as they begin their competition. This could be a very significant achievement if all goes well.  Noelia, Mariana, and Margaritas…“go forth and conquer!”

Jane’s Quote for the Week!

Jane Chlid“This little cutie did not want me to take her picture, so I did the next best thing! She really is precious and I had walked passed her house at least twice a day for almost 60 days! Friday I heard “Hey Jane!” Music to my ears!!!!!” 

While having a conversation recently with a “Friend”, my Friend commented that “Jane really gets it!” I thought a moment about the comment and then responded “yes…she really does get it”. I often read the comments on Jane’s Facebook page written by many of her personal friends. It is obvious Jane has had the love and respect of her friends for a very long time and all this has continued while Jane has been doing her volunteer service in Copey. She has a passion for education, for teaching, and learning. And, this passion is all wrapped up in her great love for kids. Friday when Jane heard the little girl call out to her, Jane knew right then that the little girl “got it”…she got what Jane is all about.

Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.                    Anonymous

“It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye…To Yesterday!”

Last week a dear cousin passed away and I wish to call attention to his life and celebrate his “home going”. William “Yimmy” Goble, Jr. passed away on October 16th. He was born

photo (2)

“Yimmy” and Anna

in St. Louis and lived his entire life there. Since his early childhood, he had been physically disabled as a result of an unfortunate car wreck. Even though the physical disability provided a life-time full of physical challenges, his mental abilities allowed for and provided love, joy, meaning, and purpose for him and for all those who knew and loved him.

“Yimmy” was blessed with family and many friends and was especially blessed with his sister Anna who became his primary caretaker throughout his adult life. His family in the Northwest and the many “Friends” from one end of this country to the other end and beyond, we extend to Anna and her sister and brothers our love and condolences.  “Yimmy”…go with love!

Final Words…!

“Friends” I firmly believe we practice faith, hope, and charity in our efforts to make a difference in Copey. We pray…(faith), we are positive thinkers…(hope), and we demonstrate our service with the heart of a servant…(charity)!

“Thank you Friends!”

 

 

 

Candles Made for Light…!

“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”   by Robert F. Kennedy

I appreciate the comments I received pertaining to my grandson’s (Mykel) participation in his church’s Candle Light service on behalf of the victims of the recent Las Vegas shooting. I enjoy sharing my pride and excitement for my grand-kids. And, it means a lot to me when others understand where I am coming from.

In Copey…!

Apparently, the community of Copey and the Learning Center are returning back to some levels of normal living after last week’s confrontation with Hurricane (Tropical Storm) Nate.

As things get back on track, the semi-finals for the Spelling Bee has been rescheduled for October 24th. I want every “Friend of Copey” to get on board and become involved in this very special event. We have three students competing for the opportunity to go to the National Spelling Bee contest and we need to encourage them and pray for them to do their very best. We have enjoyed so much success because of prayer and this is just one more challenge and opportunity to join forces. Together, we can help bring one more major accomplishment to the Copey community. For those who pray…pray! For those more inclined to exercise their “power of positive thinking”…get busy!

Previous “Pathway Project 2016” student Noelia, along with sisters Mariana and Margaritas (all AGB Scholarship Fund recipients) will be competing with many of the country’s best students and they will be ready without doubt.

Jane’s Quote for the Week!

“Today one of my students came up to me after church and asked what time class was tomorrow! I replied the usual and she said no, the knitting class! Knitting before English, life is Good!!!

Each week I am for some strange reason…AMAZED…at what Jane is doing in Copey.student knitting Truly, Jane is a high energy, free giving, and loving person. The local folks are very excited about her willingness to become part of the community and share herself on many different levels. Jane knew somehow that a knitting class would be popular among many adults. She has become much more than a star volunteer teacher. She has a passion for knitting and a willingness to share that will last far longer than when she leaves that community next month.

Jane reminds me of Eve Solomon. Some of you may recall Eve and her passion for kids which extended beyond her volunteering to teach English. Her passion included teaching ballet. Eve, with many years of formal ballet training, took on the challenge of introducing ballet to her students.ballet-line-up.jpg

This involved many night classes and rounding up ballet slippers from places far from Copey. “Friends” who were around three plus years ago, will remember Eve’s efforts resulted in her students being invited to participate in the Christmas “Nutcracker” Nutcracker 3production held on the big theater stage along side professionals in San Jose. The opportunity for these young students to actually learn basic ballet and be ready to participate only happened because Eve dared to dream. Her acting on the “why not” caused many life-long memories for her students. And, the parents of these young performers witnessed on that stage something remarkable that no one ever imagined could happen for these students from Copey.

Last weekend while attending a conference, I heard one speaker say…”a great idea is only worth about ten cents…a great idea implemented is priceless”. Of course, this is true. And of course, such thoughts reminds me of wonderful folks like Eve and her great idea to teach some ballet. Then Jane’s idea to share her knitting talents, and the many others who dare to go beyond the limits and boundaries of just a great idea can help change lives for the better. A great idea “implemented” is magic in motion!  Who knew that one day an adult in Copey would be asking Jane when will her class start?…for knitting?

As a kid waiting to leave for church with my family each Sunday, a television show would come on during my wait. The show began with these words…“If everyone just lit one little candle…what a bright world this would be!” 

“Friends” we all have a candle to light. When we do so collectively as “Friends” in Copey, things get brighter there…and a little brighter here as well. And, when our work is done in Copey…whenever that comes about, all involved will know we were among those who dared to dream and were willing to ask “why not”.

 

Be Ready to Care…!

Las Vegas Update

A week now has passed and the tragedy in Las Vegas is still in need of our thoughts and prayers for comfort and support. There are still many in the hospital and several remain in critical condition.

Mykel, my “second” oldest grandson, participated in a Candle Light service last week at his church in Las Vegas and was called on to read the scripture (Psalms 23). He is a Junior in high school and this was his first time speaking in front of a large audience.

Mykel church
Mykel Broady

The size of the audience was estimated being close to 3,500 in attendance and another 13,000 plus streaming the Candle Light service on-line. Mykel stated afterwards that he was nervous speaking…but as he says in part…“I did not know what I was getting myself into [when asked to speak], but ‘HE’ did. I did not know how I would contribute to the service but ‘HE’ did

Mykel is a fine young man learning early the power of faith! For me, I appreciate Mykel’s empathy and concern for those in his community, especially the younger members, his peers who have the need for spiritual support. I also appreciate his willingness to respond when asked to serve. As a result, he experienced doing something uncomfortable and finding what “faith in action” means. He says he is ready to do it all again whenever call upon!

Jane’s Quote for the Week

“I have learned to appreciate Costa Rican time! No matter what, they stop to talk and it is just not being polite! They are interested in everyday happenings! The bridges have been stabilized enough for foot traffic and motorcycles! I still hear the river and know it is there. The sound is comforting! I realized in church this morning that Dr. Seuss is consuming my thoughts!

“I can worship here…..I can worship there”
“I can worship anywhere!”

Other News In Copey!

Jane washed out roadThe latest news in Copey pertains to the heavy rainfall that has come about mostly due to Hurricane Nate. Although Copey is a more centralized location in the country, the conditions of the hurricane have been very intense. Roads and bridges have been washed out and landslides have made traveling around and near Copey impossible. The Copey Learning Center has been closed since last Tuesday or Wednesday and remains closed today and probably tomorrow. Even the Spelling Bee scheduled for this week has been delayed since the area is on “Red Alert”.  Jane put it very well when she reported that local folks do not have the luxury of FEMA or some other organized agency showing up to help. Everyone in the community shows up to work and help each other out.

Janes suitcase

Jane’s Packed Bag for Copey

At last report, even with the problems caused by the rain-fall, Jane expects to see some of the parents today for knitting class. You do know she carried a suitcase full of yarn to Copey to introduce the world of knitting to her new friends?  That’s Jane!

Closing Message

The closing message today is one of hope. We can all see the multitude of natural disasters and of course, “man-made” calamities that cause needless pain and suffering. Today it is very difficult to imagine the glass can be anywhere close to half full…just plain empty. We are often reminded on an hourly basis how horrible it all is and one problem has two more problems waiting to be added.

Frequently, I observe when the bad things happen, typically it does not discriminate. Fires, floods, hurricanes, mass shootings, and the rest comes calling for us all. I also frequently observe those who respond and find their willingness to help seldom discriminates. First responders and others arriving to help save and to protect do so without concern for color, race, sex, ethnicity or anything else we spend so much time arguing about. I call on some of us to be ready to respond and to care because if and when that time comes, some of us will be surprised how unimportant our differences are when a crisis hits.

These tragic stories of recent events all end with stories of unimaginable acts of kindness and compassion…and serve as reminders there is a better side to most of us…and Thank God for that. I will never be convinced the glass is only half empty…but always half full!