Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Go Big Blood Drive!

As you know, one way to "Go Big" is to give blood.  It is a relatively simple way for each of us to give back to those in need.

If you are interested and able to donate, please go to the:

American Red Cross
2201 Charlotte Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203

Call 615-250-4300 to make an appointment.

If you are not in the Nashville area, check out giveblood.org to see where you can donate.

Please write "Go Big" as your organization when you check-in and post your good deed on this blog to help inspire others to go big as well.

Thank you!!!


Monday, April 28, 2008

One way to GO BIG is to GIVE BLOOD!

As you know, the way this whole "GO BIG movement" started was because I was told to "hang onto my blood" while I was dealing with surgery and recovery.  For me, giving blood is such a small thing to do and it has such a huge impact on the lives of others.  If you are able and willing, please join me in this cause.

I met with Jim Walsh at the Red Cross last week and we have several ideas in mind of how to get you involved:

1. Have a GO BIG Blood Drive.  I will post more details about this soon.   If you are interested in donating as part of this drive, please leave a comment to this post and/or contact me at gobigforjenni@gmail.com. 

2. If you are unable to participate in this drive or are not in the Nashville area, you may want to check out: giveblood.org to see where you can donate.

3.  As always, please post about your experiences with donating and/or receiving blood donations.  Hearing about the moments in which y'all are touched or are touching other people's lives continues to be such an inspiration for me.  I hope it is for you too... :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Acts of Kindness

"Once you begin to acknowledge random acts of kindness - both the ones that you have received and the ones you have given - you can no longer believe that what you do does not matter."
--Dawna Markova

Post your acts of kindness here.  I am so inspired by all of the acts--the big ones and the small ones-- that each of you has written about.  They all bring a huge smile to my face.  Thank you for that joy!

Shameless plug for making GO BIG even BIGGER!

Many of you have had great ideas for how to make this GO BIG thing even bigger, please use this blog for ideas about how to spread the word and raise awareness about all of the good that is going on.  The sky is our limit...

My Vision for Go Big!

On March 7, 2008 my life got turned upside down.  I was unexpectedly diagnosed with a brain tumor which was so not on my to do list!  Equally unexpectedly, I had neurosurgery on March 20 and the results of the biopsy indicated that the tumor was benign.  Thank God!  Along this journey, I have taken solace in the fact that this is a huge opportunity for us all.

I am a clinical psychology doctoral student at Vanderbilt University.  For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to make a huge difference in the world.  For a couple of days, I actually feared that I had wished this scary and chaotic experience on myself and my loved ones, but then I was reminded that "life prepares life" and it all started making a bit more sense.

In a whirlwind of pre-operative appointments, Dr. Kyle Weaver, my neurosurgeon, told me that I should "hold onto my blood" which was a huge blow to me as I try to be a regular blood donor.  Without skipping a beat, however, my advisor, Dr. Bruce Compas, made me an offer to "pick up the slack" which I believe was the impetus for this whole GO BIG challenge as it struck me then that perhaps we can all be doing just a little more.

As a person who hopes to make a profession and a life of helping children and families, I'm committed to helping others in the best way I know how.  Consistently, I work with parents and children teaching them to praise the good and ignore the bad.  Not my idea, but it is a behavioral principle that works.  Now, don't get me wrong--I'm not blind to the evil in this world.  In fact, I'm struck by our culture's fascination with drama, hurt, despair, and scandal.  It absolutely blows my mind that these negatives suck so much of our attention that we can relatively easily forget all of the 1000's acts of kindness that are going on right this very minute.  

My hope is that this website can be a central location for all of us to capture all of the really awesome things that we are already doing and that we can all be inspired by each other's goodness.  It's not an original or courageous idea (although some have called it that), it is just an opportunity to do something that I've always wanted to do.  And, I'll bet that if I'm anything like you, I'm just doing the best that I can in this moment.  Sometimes that means that I offend people.  We are all imperfectly perfect and I know that that is where the true beauty lies.

There are no absolute rules because I couldn't possibly predict the creative and imaginative ways that we can each help one another.  Well, that's a lie.  There is really just one rule:  do what you feel in your heart!  Try not to feel like what you do doesn't matter.  It does!  If you don't believe me, read the postings for yourself and see what you think.  To somebody in that moment, you will have made a difference and for that I am eternally grateful.

So if you feel it in your heart or your head or whatever pushes you to act, try to do something.  Nothing is too small and nothing is too big.  Just put one foot in front of the other, and if you wish, take a risk.

Overwhelmed with a sea of emotions and an outpouring of support from our community, Austin, the love of my life, and I have felt so very blessed.  I believe that there is always meaning out there in this precious world of ours, sometimes you just have to squint to find it.  This past several weeks has been a truly rock ride and my guess is that life always will be.  So, step aboard if you are up for the challenge and let's see how far we can get this good to spread.

With great gratitude,