Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: To Reflect and Serve

Photo of MLK Monument in Washington DC

The third Monday in January is reserved to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is the only federal holiday formally recognized as a national day of service, “a day on, not a day off.” In the spirit of listening and thinking first, people are warmly encouraged to study the works of King, and to devote time to serious reflection on how we will endeavor toward a healthier, more just world for all. Here are some ways you can learn about and advance his legacy.

Continue reading

Happy New Year! Thank You, Friends for these End of Year Resources!

Photo of sparkler with heart shaped core by Katheryn Laible

Photo “New Year’s Love” by Katheryn Laible

Happy New Year! We thought you might appreciate the following:
 
Let’s start with this fascinating piece on the history of New Year’s and its traditions from History.com
 
Then, let’s reflect on our own recent history. Here’s a blog post on a 7-Step Year in Review from Strength Leader Deb Ingino to help guide us! Deb is great at quickly boiling things down to key takeaways. Here, she picks a particularly timely nugget out of a great podcast from John C. Maxwell, while offering the link to his full 7 steps. I found it well worth carving out time for!
 
Many of us are still doing year-end giving! Today, my dear friend Nancy brought this New York Times newsletter: A giving guide to my attention. There’s a lot of useful stuff in here. As we might expect, it offers resources from a much more global viewpoint than we do, but also noted that LOCAL giving — including to local news sources —  is really important.
 
Along those lines…this piece written with David Okorn of the Long Island Community Foundation,“Foundations for the Common Good — A Call to Action” remains timely. If you want to quick-update it to account for the impacts of the last few years, just underline the sense of urgency in triplicate. The article explains growing holes in the LI safety net and how we might fill them. It also shares how the LI Community Foundation itself helps givers make the best use of their philanthropic dollars, as well as how it serves issues they’ve identified as critical directly.
 
Here’s a list of JUST A FEW incredible local organizations that could use our support...use it as a starter guide. We look forward to sharing many more in the New Year!
 
We’re also going to keep repeating this: The idea that a not for profit organization should be judged primarily by the % going to admin and fundraising is just plain wrong! Find out why in this article written with Marian Conway of the NY Community Bank Foundation: “Stop the Nonprofit Budget Fantasy. It’s Not Right!”  Marian’s run a foundation for years and in one way or another served and studied countless organizations. She literally has a Ph.D awarded for her dissertation on “What are the general operating expenses for nonprofits and who pays them.” She knows what she’s talking about. Please listen to her!!!
 
Finally, New Year – New Beginnings. Let’s talk a little bit about resolutions. Considering joining the Dry January tradition? Dr. Jeffery Reynolds, CEO of Family & Children’s Association has some great tips that I think can also be applied to helping follow through on other pledges, especially when paired with this good advice from Forbes.com on how to actually keep your resolutions.
 
Among mine, resolutions tend to involve committing to lifelong learning and development. Toward that end, I find the Farnam Street Newsletter to be something I regularly open and intend to dig more deeply into next year. This week, among other things, they offered snippets from their most downloaded podcasts. As for just a few favorite sources of local guidance, I really appreciate the Fair Media Council channel on YouTube, and everything Vision Long Island puts on its Vimeo.
 
I also resolve to more deeply appreciate our wonderful local treasures. Thank you, Cindy Mardenfeld, for sharing this Newsday article on the membership perks of Long Island attractions(it’s Newsday, so, please forgive the paywall). It covers all sorts of great museums, theaters, kids places and parks. The best part is knowing they’ve hardly scratched the surface!
 
Let me know your year-end reflections and resources, and what you’d like to see focused on in 2022. Thanks!!!

Yuletide Musing: The Lore of the Holly

Holly by Katheryn Laible

Known now as a symbol of Christmas, the Druids regarded holly as a symbol of fertility and eternal life, and thought it to have magical powers. The Romans associated it with Saturn…agriculture, fertility and the harvest. Although the berries are poisonous, it’s been used as a healing plant by Indigenous Americans, who made a tea of it as a heart stimulant.

Continue reading

Halloween

Photo of Jack O’ Lanterns by Katheryn Laible

Katie’s mom always felt a main point of All Hallow’s Eve was to scare bad spirits away before winter gave them too many opportunities to wreak havoc. Given 2020, we’re all for doing anything we can!

We are thankful for all who care to take the threat this virus poses seriously while also forging creative ways forward. Halloween is a huge examples of this. Much is going on!

Some great local events are featured in this recent Main Street News (as well as other important items) including endeavors by the Greenport BID, “Nightmare on Main St.” in Huntington, and a “Trunk or Treat” in Kings Park. Their verymost recent edition also has NYS Guidelines for safe Halloweening, more great events and, we can NEVER say it enough, LOTS of other valuable information!

Mommy Poppins offers a family guide to Halloween 2020

Places perhaps a bit spookier are on LIHauntedHouses.com

We are intrigued by the History of Halloweenon History.com

Here is a brief exploration of the connection (or maybe not) between All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and Samhain. from the BBC.

Here’s a History of the Celtic holiday Samhain from Time Magazine. Which, due to it’s being an Irish word is, in fact, pronounced SAW-in.

However you choose to celebrate (or not!), we wish you all the best! Be safe, be smart, and enjoy!!!

A 4th of July Reflection on US

The 4th of July honors the US Declaration of Independence. Its most well-known passage is the foundation upon which the colonists’ grievances were justified and a bold declaration of human rights…

Continue reading

Second — An Irish Blessing

A Long Island Four-Leaf Clover. Photo by Katheryn Laible

While the Irish shutting down their pubs on the Eve of St. Paddy’s day is a sure sign that this stuff is serious, locally we’ve seen more than a few Suffolk folks find a silver lining in that they can now get cocktails to go.

For our part, we are choosing to celebrate that The Dropkick Murphys have decided, since they can’t play to a crowd in Boston tonight, they’re going to live stream it the world instead, 7PM EST.

It’s a lovely addition to these amazing videos of balcony performances in Italy.

Play on…