Archive for August, 2011

CASA and Stepping Stones

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

8-30-11What a powerful visit to a facility which houses four agencies under one roof. Becky McIntire Goff, Bridget Howland, and Brooke Larson helped to better understand all the various services these agencies provide.
Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, has been in existence since 1977 and uses community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children. There are over 900 CASA programs nationwide with over 70,000 advocates. Over one million children have been helped since its inception. The local Riley county Sunflower CASA project now serves children in three surrounding counties. It is based on the principle that each child deserves a safe, permanent, nurturing home where they can thrive.
Stepping Stones is a Child Advocacy Agency with a group of professionals who are dedicated to providing child-sensitive interviews and compassionate services to children and their families.
Traveling the country it is so good to see so many dedicated individuals with a passion for helping children in need. The passion the 3 women today had for helping children is incredible.
Today’s high of 104 degrees limited my riding to early morning hours. A couple more days of this type of heat are predicted until, hopefully, summer loses its grip.

Fathers Teaching Daughters

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

8-30-11A father who teaches his daughter to respect herself, to be loving, to choose healthy relationships, to not abuse drugs or alcohol, to receive a marketable education and to stand on her own two feet is a father who gives his daughter a very good chance of not being a victim of Domestic Violence.
A father who isn’t around enough to teach his daughter the meaning of respect or love, he doesn’t care about the choices she makes, he brings around friends who often times drink and do drugs, he has no interest in her schooling or her future and doesn’t care how she lives her life is a father who most likely is guilty of Domestic Violence.
The weather in east-central Kansas is once again becoming a challenge. Temperatures are near or above 100 degrees for the next 4 days, limiting my riding to the early morning hours. The sun hasn’t quit shining down on The Kindness Bicycle Tour for nearly 2 months and is hard to escape at times. Today’s ride of only 25 miles is about half of what I was scheduled to ride. I’m going to have a lot to make up after these 4 days.

Respect for Women

Monday, August 29th, 2011

8-29-11Many children are born into this world and then very little attention is paid to them.  Core values of kindness and love need to be instilled over time, by role models, through words and actions.
Respect for women, is one of the greatest gifts a father can show to a son.  Violence by men toward female partners could quite possibly be the most damaging action witnessed by a son as well as a daughter. Men teaching boys at a young age, kindness toward all living things will give them a much better chance of respecting all living things as an adult.
Today’s weather was unbelievable and a sign of beautiful weather to come this fall. My ride of more than 40 miles was a joy.

Bikers Against Violence

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

8-28-11I see all sorts of things as I ride The Kindness Bicycle across the country. Today as I rode on a “day off”, I heard before I saw. A group of 4 stunt motorcyclists were practicing all sorts of unbelievable feats. I never saw anything like it and I assure you, they never saw anything like The Kindness Bicycle. Travis, Mike, Angry Mike and Tim were so interested that they all immediately rushed over to check out my ride. This was one group of talented individuals and after talking with them I realized that they are big believers in ending Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse. They did a stunt with me for the documentary about The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour which made me wish I had extra life insurance. My heart still hasn’t stopped racing.
The weather is starting to cooperate somewhat as the evenings are cooling off, although later this week high temperatures of over 100 degrees are predicted.

A Ride for Cancer, Too Much Sun, and 51 PTAs

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

8-27-11The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour to raise awareness about Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse met with Maintaining the Legacy ride for cancer for an early morning bicycle ride today. Nearly 200 sisters from the Chi Omega House on the KSU campus came out on Friday night and this morning to support Maintaining the Legacy of an alumni and fellow sister Laura Kleysteuber who lost her battle with cancer in 2006. Joshua Wolf, an elite Ironman participant, is riding across Kansas for Maintaining the Legacy, took one look at The Kindness Bicycle and I think he thought “oh my, 8,400 miles on that!” Nathan and I rode part of the “sprint” this morning which is just an average speed for Joshua. What a nice way to raise money for cancer research in this part of Kansas.
Today’s ride of nearly 50 miles was in the full Kansas sun. It seems like nearly every day in the last 6 weeks have been primarily sunny days. There is no way out of it at times, especially days with longer distances scheduled. Lots of SPF is the answer.
Schools are back in session or very close to being in session. I called all 50 state and DC PTAs. These organizations are the umbrella agencies in each respective state. All state PTAs now know about the Kindness Certificates on the homepage of One Million Acts Of Kindness. I hope that word spreads to schools across the country about this great goal for students.

Protect All Children at All Costs

Friday, August 26th, 2011

8-26-11Kids shouldn’t be allowed to witness Domestic Violence. Seeing and hearing the sights and sounds of the pain from years of abuse of a mother is certain to be indelibly marked forever in a child’s mind. Sadly, behavior like this is learned in millions of homes across our country. Eighty-four percent of children from homes like these will be in an abusive relationship as an adult. It is a continual training of a new generation of abusers.
Over fifteen million children in the United States each and every year watch and learn, with their own eyes, violence that is forcibly rendered by a loved one to a loved one of the child. There seems to be no answer, as this epidemic has become woven into the very fabric of our society.
Domestic Violence is a male problem, ninety-nine percent worth. Men need to take a lead role in addressing how to put an end to this cycle which travels from generation to generation in families. Men talking to men about their actions is a good starting point to creating an awareness of how very wrong Domestic Violence is. The victims are our mothers, our sisters and our daughters. Come to their defense so another child will ever have to see this happen again.

The Crisis Center

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

8-25-11Today I visited The Crisis Center in Manhattan, Kansas. My meeting was with Executive Director, Judy Davis and Diana, an advocate for families. This center serves the needs of 5 counties including 2 metropolitan areas, Fort Riley Army Base and KSU. With the University beginning its new year and many soldiers returning to base, they are going to have their hands full.
Thank you to Karen Ingram for such a well written article in The Kansas State Collegian, so many students mentioned that they read her writing. It was a very good way to spread my message across a campus and a nice way to start the beginning of the school year. Having some great literature from The Women’s Center to  hand out on campus, helps to make students aware of healthy relationship choices talked about in Karen’s article.
Darla from Fort Riley stopped by The Kindness Bus before my evening ride to talk about how many nice sayings were written on its body. She brought some dog treats for Bogart and a donation for gas. Bogart now has about a years worth of treats waiting for him upon his return.