My 8-year-old niece Katie is really putting things into perspective lately! The other day she told her friend, "I haven’t learned to ride my bike yet. I’ve been too busy living my life!”
Right on Katie Kelley!
This time of year is the perfect time to be reminded to live your life and not get caught up in all those things you "should” be doing (like learning to ride your bike if you’re 8 or running around with your head chopped off for the holidays!)
I admire people who really have their priorities straight ---- they get it! Like the elves (yes, elves) that I’m surrounded by at Miles Perret. They don’t have funny little green outfits, but they have hearts of gold and find time to share their talents with us.
This week, those elves will wrap 326 gifts, which will go to 163 kids who either have cancer or have someone in their family who does.
Another group of elves adopted those kids and bought exactly what was on their wish list. The employees at Stone Energy are making 35 wishes come true. Then there are people like Angela Sistrunk who took some of the kid’s wishes, then came back for more and ended up buying 14 gifts.
Last night, more elves! You’d think I was Santa --- I’m surrounded! Since 2002, the year Miles Perret Cancer Services opened its doors, the Cosmetology School of Acadiana has been making our clients feel beautiful. The owners, Anna Peck and Versie Schwartz, have put on more than 40 spa nights with the help of more than 200 of their students.
During Christmas, they host a spa night and party at their school. When I asked Anna where they get all the food and door prizes (Paul’s Jewelry! Tri Running!), she looked at me and said, "We beg, like you!” This year, she’s volunteering her time and talents while fighting her own battle with cancer. How blessed we are to have such dedicated volunteers!
All of our elves are on to something.
· New research from the Mayo Clinic shows that people who volunteer have lower rates of heart disease and live longer.
· Previous studies have shown that people who volunteer are overall more physically and mentally fit than those who don’t.
· Researchers say to get the health benefits, aim for 40 to 100 hours of volunteer time a year – which adds up to a few hours a week.
Here are some tips on how to get started:
· Be open-minded: Do something that you enjoy!
· Make realistic commitments: Spend the amount of time that makes you feel good and doesn’t burn you out.
The next shift of elves just arrived to wrap gifts! At Miles Perret, we know that Christmas is not the same when someone you love is fighting cancer. But, we do everything we can to make it feel as special as possible (with a lot of help from our elves)!