make a difference

Sarita McCaw
This is a guest post by Margot Seay. Margot is AARP's first National Volunteer Director. 
Nolan Harrison coaches the kids during NFLPA Former Players Fitness Challenge
Of all the things that we get to do as former players in giving back to the community, in my opinion, the most fun is  giving time to the local community children. Last weekend, the NFLPA former players, as part of the NFLPA One Team One Community initiative, visited Monroe Elementary School in Oak Brook Illinois  for a day of fitness, fun, and football. The mission of the One Team One Community initiative is to improve the quality of life of the communities that support our players by encouraging healthy lifestyles, positive choices, teamwork and commitment to service.
community garden 2
Here's a loaded question for you. How many of you knew last week was National Volunteer Week?  Hmmmm ...how many people said, "Well, I knew it was in April" or "I have heard of it before" or as I would imagine the vast majority had absolutely no clue.
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One of my kids, I won't mention which one, recently saw a news report that stated there have been new studies revealing that household cleaning supplies have a greater possibility of a carcinogenic effect on individuals than originally thought! This news flash instilled immediate fear in this child and "SHE" said I've got to call the other two siblings; we're going to die!
Basketball
If you get caught up in all this March Madness then you have to be just as stunned as the rest of the world that Lehigh beat Duke. According to ESPN there were over 6 million brackets filled out this year and not a single one picked some of these upsets. You have all these statisticians and prognosticators who just babble nonstop about who is going to win, and who is the best player and the best coach, and they think they are all that and more when it comes to predictions. They put on their fancy suits and slap on a big smile and lights, camera, action, and they just start spewing predictions to anyone who will listen.  
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Last week, my blog was about New Year's resolutions, but it had a Tuohy twist. I wanted to drive home the point that I had hopes many people would make declarations that weren't so self-centered and went beyond their own desire to better just themselves. Many of you liked it, and some of you did not. One reader declared it lame. Of course, I wanted to tell her to pick up a pen and see what she could come up with and then let me critique it, but I decided to be my kinder, gentler self and not go there. Honestly, it took all I had not to go there, but I didn't. Aren't you proud of me?
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Let's start 2012 out on the right foot, the correct path, a good mindset, have the best intentions, etc etc, etc. No, I'm not going to talk to you about personal resolutions. I'm not going to give you five steps to healthier living or have you add blueberries to you daily food pyramid. Nor am I going to tell you to drink more water, eat less red meat, walk faster or sleep more. However, all those are excellent recommendations; I should try them myself.
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Do you remember when you were a child and the Sears catalog would arrive right before the holidays and you, or at least I would, go through and circle everything you wanted for Christmas? It had all the presents you could want in one place. I can hear my father right now saying, "Did you leave anything for anyone else?" I would always have a split second of guilt, but it quickly passed.
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Shock, disbelief, fear, guilt, and empathy...you ask what is she talking about now. Those are the emotions that went through me as I sat this week in the Chicago airport mindlessly gazing up at the TV waiting for my delayed flight to board.
Tuohy Family Super bowl
Updated on Nov. 12, 2013
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