I just sadly read about the death of Terry Ryan, author of The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. Her wonderful book captured the spirit of her mother Evelyn as one of the Universe’s premiere natural conscious creators. Evelyn, portrayed by actress Julianne Moore in the movie by the same name released in 2005, was the supreme optimist, a woman who lived her life in a state of constant joy, despite having an abusive alcoholic as a husband and ten children. While her husband squandered the family livlihood on drink, leaving them often without food and even nearly homeless, Evelyn wrote contest jingles, slogans and limericks in the 1950s for such products as Beech-Nut gum, Purina Dog Chow and Dial Soap. She loved her "hobby," the winnings from which ultimately fed, clothed, provided transportation for her family and even covered the mortgage in desparate times. By staying in her state of joy regardless of what happened around her, envisioning herself winning, and confidently knowing that the Universe would provide, Evelyn attracted the success and money that helped her raise 10 children in a home filled with her love. Hats off to this incredible woman and the daughter she raised who would tell her amazing story!
I was truly impressed to see reports in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times on the growth of Big Sunday, begun 8 years ago by David Levinson, a Hollywood writer who started it as a "Mitvah Day"–(translation Good Deed Day) at his synagogue. That event has now grown to include 50,000 volunteers in Southern California, volunteering their time over a designated weekend in the spring to help others. Volunteers coordinated more than 300 projects which included planting, painting, cooking and cleaning for those in need. One woman thought she’d help by setting up a lemonade stand for her daughter’s brownie troup and instead managed 400 volunteers pouring 2,000 liters of lemonade at 50 stands around the region! Parks and school grounds were beautified, women’s shelters were cleaned and renovated, etc. It is expected that Big Sunday will continue its exponetial growth next year. We applaud David Levinson! He shows the power of one man’s vision coupled with action. If you’d like to volunteer for Big Sunday, we urge you to go to www.bigsunday.org to get more information.