Sunday, May 17, 2009

Paying It Forward...One Step at a Time...

There is an old Chinese Proverb that goes something like this:

If you want to be happy for an hour,
Take a nap.
If you want to be happy for a day,
Go fishing.
If you want to be happy for a year,
Inherit a fortune.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime,
Help Someone....

Yesterday I particpated in Tennessee's very first Walk4Hearing held in Chattanooga along the beautiful Riverwalk at Chattanooga State Technical Community College. I've participated in many walks for different causes over the years. But, this walk was a very special one for myself and many others because we live with the challenges of dealing with a hearing loss or know someone who has one. I loved this particular proverb when I heard it because it doesn't take much to help someone. A person doesn't need to be rich or famous to make an impact on another person's life. There is research out there that shows that one lives a happier, healthier, and longer life when they live selflessly and give of themselves unconditionally.

For the last 30 years, HLAA has made a difference for the deaf & hard of hearing. HLAA works behind the scenes and advocates, educates, and focuses on issues that are important to individuals with hearing loss. All proceeds from this and other walks held across the U.S. this year will be used to fund local and national programs to help people with hearing loss and to raise public awareness of the challenges that they must confront each day. I wish I could name all the accessibility programs and standards that they are responsible for that benefit so many deaf & hard of hearing persons but that is another post for another day. Recent health statistics say that more than 36 million persons NATIONWIDE are affected by hearing loss.

Over the years, I've been very fortunate to have a wonderful support system with my family, friends, health professionals, coworkers, and even from strangers. Not everyone has that and that is where HLAA comes in at the national and local level. I am PASSIONATE about HLAA and it is no accident that I am in a position to "pay it forward" and help others with the challenges that they face every day dealing with hearing loss. This walk was so dear to my heart and with the help of family, friends, and even people who read this blog that I haven't met yet, I was able to meet BOTH of my fundraising goals!!! My original goal was $1,000 and I met that quickly in a few weeks. So, I set a new goal of $1,500 and surpassed that last week! Our HLA of Knoxville Chapter had a goal of $3,000 and we were able to raise $2,235, which is 75% of our goal! THANK YOU!!!!

You can see pictures here and here and here!

I'm still tired and on a "high" from seeing everyone and participating in this event. I've been busy this year traveling with my husband for our business, advocating for the deaf & hard of hearing, working with my local HLAA chapter, and working with Nashville and the National HLAA to prepare for the HLAA Convention in Nashville next month. But, my schedule is starting to slow down a little and I hope to resume my regular blogging again. Thanks again for all you do for the deaf & hard of hearing, for when you help someone, you make a difference for a lifetime!

More pictures to come soon!


Anonymous said...

What an awesome walk, Laurie! I'm so glad TN had one this year! Congrats on all the wonderful outreach and awareness that happened!

Sam said...

Congratulations on a great job! The pictures can tell you had a wonderful time too.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Laurie ! You do such a great job at bringing awareness to hearing issues and helping so many people. You are a jewel and I'm so proud of you.

olivialynne said...

Laurie, I thought you were Sarah Palin! You have done so much to bring awareness of the deaf. I am a nurse and work with babies, and so many new strides have been made. Congrats on your implants. My reason for writing is your daughters missing upper incisors. We have just found out that my grandson Ben has no permanent upper lat. incisors. Do you have pix or info. He is 9. How is Marissa doing?

Laurie said...

Hello Olivia,

Thank you for your sweet comment. Yes, I've been told a few times that I resemble Sarah Palin (and proud of it because I admire her.)

Marissa is doing do you know about her teeth? She got implants for the upper teeth and we are starting the process for the bottom ones. I do have pictures of her but not sure if I have ones for her teeth.

Please leave me an email address where I can reach you privately!