Journey 353: Chase the Chill – Joplin

What a great opportunity today to take part in a first in Joplin. Chase the Chill is an event hosted in many cities throughout the US and Canada in which donated scarves are hung in trees or tied to lampposts in public locations throughout town. Each warm wrap is tagged with a label that lets the recipient know that the scarf is free for the taking. The Joplin scarves had these tags:


My friend Ann Leach created the Joplin event. The idea is to provide warmth for our fellow citizens. There is no income requirement or other criteria to receive a scarf. Anyone who wants a scarf is free to take one. Drop off locations included Spiva Center for the Arts, The Joplin Public Library, Homewood Suites and Unity Church of Joplin. More than 300 warm and colorful scarves were collected. 

Twenty one volunteers met at Homewood Suites on 32nd Street, to distribute scarves. I attended, along with my sister Debbie. We grabbed a bag of 10 scarves and headed to our assigned destination, Rex Street behind Walmart. It was a beautiful afternoon to contribute to the well being of others. 

We found a row of young trees growing along Rex Street. Working together, we moved from tree to tree, tying the long scarves to branches or trunks. 

There was a strong breeze that fluttered the scarves of many colors, creating a festive look. Traffic was heavy along the street, as holiday shoppers drove to their next stops, and we saw curious passers by peering out their car windows. Although the temps were warm today, cold weather is coming. I trust that the scarves will all go to the right recipients and will bring warmth and joy and hope. 


As we tied the last scarf to a branch, we looked back to check out our work. What a cheerful sight, those long scarves decorating  that row of trees. I appreciated my sister Debbie taking the time to accompany me and help out. And I’m grateful to Ann for bringing the Chase the Chill event to Joplin. 


May each person who selects a scarf be blessed, feeling the warmth that it offers, and the loving embrace of the kind souls who purchased it, tagged it, bagged it and lastly, tied it to a tree or post. Our high energies and good wishes go forth in Joplin and will return to us in like kind, blessing us as well. I look forward to Chasing the Chill again next year. 


Journey 335: #GivingTuesday

I discovered another yearly event today. I really am wondering how I’ve missed all these special days. As my awareness shifts, I discover so many new things. There’s Thankgiving, for expressing gratitude for all of my blessings. There’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday to  purchase gifts for my loved ones. And now I find there’s #GivingTuesday, a day set aside to give back to my community or my favorite charity by way of volunteering my time or making a financial donation. 


#GivingTuesday was created in 2012, the idea of the 92nd Street Y in New York City. According to the GivingTuesday website, “#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”

For my first #GivingTuesday I made the following contributions:


Chase the Chill Joplin. 

My friend Ann Leach brought this event to Joplin. Scarves are donated, by dropping them off at one of three collection centers, and will be tagged. They are then hung in public places and are free for the taking for anyone who needs a scarf for warmth. Cities across the US are participating and I’m so glad Joplin is joining in for the first time. 

I purchased five scarves today, one in honor of each of my grandchildren. I’ll volunteer as well, to help tag and hang the scarves. 


The Salvation Army Joplin

This is a national organization, however I chose to donate locally. I picked this organization because about .96 out of every $1.00 goes toward helping others. The Salvation Army offers assistance to adults for rehabilitation, veteran affairs services, provides ministries to prisons and the elderly, and combats human trafficking. For children they offer hunger relief, Christmas presents, camps and programs, and housing and homeless services. On an international level, they offer emergency assistance services. Joplin certainly benefitted from relief efforts by The Salvation Army after the 2011 tornado. 


Joplin Humane Society

I care for mankind. I care for animalkind.  The needs are great at this Joplin shelter, which operates at full capacity most of the time. I’ve sponsored animals here before, paying the adoption fees to make the chances of selection for those animals greater, and I’ll do it again. My sister Linda has a dream of opening a shelter as well, someday, that specializes in fostering and adopting out dogs and cats. There’s room in Joplin for more kind people helping animals. I hope to be able to donate to her organization at that time too!



On a global level, I made donations to two organizations. BlinkNow is located in Nepal and is the creation of Maggie Doyne, who founded this non-profit at the age of 19. Their mission is to focus on building community, through caring for children, education, healthcare, empowerment, and sustainability. Maggie has adopted 50 homeless children and built a children’s home and school that provides shelter, medical care, education…and love. 


Mary’s Meals

Headquartered in Scotland, Mary’s Meals slogan is, “A simple solution to world hunger” and their mission is to provide every needy child with one free school meal. To accomplish that, they have set up school meal projects in some of the world’s poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education. Mary’s Meals was founded in 2002 and has grown from its first feeding operation of 200 children in Malawi, to a world-wide campaign, providing free school meals in hundreds of schools and feeding over 1 million children a year. 


I am very thankful for the opportunity to give back, on a local and global level. I share my experience, not for praise, but to live openly and transparently as I journey and to encourage others to follow their hearts. Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor by giving”. Such a true statement. Indeed, I am enriched.