Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good Deed #4: Running for Roz

Good deeds are done nearly every day. Every hour thousands of Americans are sharing their good will to support the victims of the earthquake that devastated Haiti. Teachers, nurses, soldiers and social workers equally do their part to go out each day to do a mission that they are committed towards. These good deeds are rarely noticed on a daily basis nor are they recognized the way that they should be.

It would be very naive for me to think that I could keep pace with doing a new good deed every week without sacrifice, planning or thought. Although good deeds often happen seemlessly and without preparation, great deeds require forward thinking and an offering of something much greater than the day to day sacrifices. In fact the best deeds often come with a heavy price and a simple promise.

It may seem odd that I give myself credit for this deed that will not have an impact on anybody this week or the next. However, it is the promise that in 233 days I will have made a difference.

On September 18th, 2010 I promise to cross that finish line in Dayton, Ohio after 26.2 miles to honor the memory of my friend and comrade 1st Lt Roslyn Schulte. My goal is to raise $1,000 for a Memorial fund at the United States Air Force Academy in her honor. I will be supporting a group called "Running for Roz" which is composed of friends of Roz's who too are participating in races across the country in order to carry on her legacy.

My preparation began yesterday, my sacrifice will be tomorrow, my promise starts now.

On May 20th, 2009 Roz was killed by a roadside bomb near Kabul Afghanistan. She had been stationed in Kabul for about three months, with the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. As an Intelligence officer, her job was to help teach Afghan forces how to handle military intelligence. While off duty, Lt Schulte spent three hours nearly every day organizing a charity for Afghan refugees. Today at Camp Pawan, (a U.S. training facility in Afghanistan) a building has been named the Schulte School and Clinic in her honor.

For Roz, she too made a commitment and that was to her Country and the mission in Afghanistan. Her devotion to duty and compassion for the Afghan people was her promise. Her life is what she sacrificed.

I don't think any of my good deeds across the my lifespan will equal to her sacrifice. She is what inspires me to be a better person. I am running for Roz and by that I am running for everything that she represented. I will cross that finish line, this much I promise.

If you would like to make a donation please email me at I intend to run the marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes. If I do not succeed I will personally donate the money that you had pledged to contribute and in return give you back your money. For more information check out

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good Deed #3 Letter to My Little Brother

Like conversation, writing a letter is a lost art. With email and text messaging, who really takes the time to write an old friend? Are our lifestyles getting that much more busy that we require a blackberry, ATMs at every corner and instant coffee? Or, are we just getting lazier, better at procrastinating and worse at maintaining the basic social skills? I think that if we look internally, we will see that it's more of the latter. With the advent of technology, cell phones, zip drives and blue tooth everything, computers aren't enabling us to manage our fast pace lifestyles easier, they're just giving ourselves excuses to seem more busy. Afterall, is the world really working that much harder? Probably not.

Almost two years ago to the day I met Noah and his Mother for the first time at a Starbucks. At first I was a little cautious since I wasn't really sure what to say. After a little while I couldn't help but notice the permanent smile that was sparkling from ear to ear on Noah's face. At that moment I knew that we were going to have one heck of a journey together.

Being a Big Brother mentor was one of the best experiences that I could have had in Hawaii. Noah became one of my best friends on the island. I never had to worry about him judging or criticizing me. He wouldn't sugar coat things or be afraid to speak his mind. I often thought that if only adults could communicate the way that he did, that we'd have a lot less arguments over petty and insignificant topics and more discussion on real topics that affect people. He was the best little brother I could have asked for and ever since I've been in North Carolina, I've missed him terribly.

Today, I decided to call him after nearly 5 months from the last breakfast I had with him in Hawaii before I left. It was so great just to hear his voice and to know that he was doing alright. I followed it up with a letter which I wanted to initiate as a way of correspondence. I don't know when the last time I wrote one myself or when I even received one for that matter. What I do know is that taking the time to write to him was time well spent and made me feel closer to him just by writing and thinking about him. After all of the many outings that we shared together where he was so great at communicating with me, I hope that my letter is clear to him that no matter how far a part we are, that I'll always be his Big Brother.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Good Deed #2: Reaching Out to Haiti

Last week the outdoor temperatures at night dropped below 20 degrees. It was a no brainer that I agreed to give a mother and her two children a ride from the gym to her home that was 4 miles away. For the past several days I considered hanging on to this one as my "good deed" for the week, but after hearing about the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti, I couldn't reasonably turn my head away and pretend that this incident didn't touch me.

My first exposure to Haiti was through several of my college football teammates. Through them I didn't see a small creole speaking Caribbean country, but family oriented people who had brought much perspective to my life.

Ordinarily I don't believe in monetary donations as doing a "good deed," but in this instance, I decided to make the exception. With our own government making a massive military response for humanitarian aid, the only way that I felt that I could contribute was a donation for the victims of this earthquake which registered 7.0 on the richter scale.

With 80% of the population of Haiti already living under the poverty line, there is lots to do.

Join me in donating to the American Red Cross!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Good Deed #1: Coaching Youth Basketball

My Father was hands down the best coach that I ever had There's not coincidence that he has also been my greatest role model. My favorite teachers in life haven't necessarily come from the classrooms but on the football fields, baseball diamonds and basketball courts. It is there that I believe I learned more about integrity, competition, teamwork and inner strength then any book I could have read or lecture I could have heard.

For my first good deed of 2010 I have chosen to coach youth basketball. Basketball is a sport that I grew up playing with great passion. I believe I owe it to my community to pass on what I have been taught along the way. My father has a saying that goes, "there's a reason why gyms were built in schools, it's because we want to teach you something." There was much truth to that statement when I played for my Dad and an equal amount of it now. This past fall I coached flag football. My team lost in the Championship game. I recall telling them that "If all I ever taught you was how to throw, catch and run with the football, then I didn't do my job. This season was about a lot more than football and hopefully you will remember those things above everything else."

Our first practice was Jan 5th. We will have practice every Tuesday and Thursday with games on Friday night and Saturday mornings. In many ways I feel that this deed is more for myself then for my players. I almost feel guilty for posting this!

My Dad always said that community service wasn't about grant money or donations, it was simply about the time you spent helping others. I think I could very easily pick a charity each week and give a donation, that would satisfy my standards for my resolution. However, it wouldn't fill that empty void within me that knows that I can do so much more.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome to my New Blog

Welcome to my new blog which was created in reaction to my New Year's Resolution to do 52 good deeds for 2010. Please continue to drop by and see how I'm doing. If you have any suggestions then please send me an email

Thanks for checking in, here's to a great New Year!