Chris Abraham

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thank You For Supporting the Fresh Air Fund

Thank you to all of the bloggers who have blogged about the Fresh Air Fund on their blogs over the last couple weeks! Please explore the posts below:

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Final Days of Sharp's Life Changing Box Game

Sharp’s Life Changing Box Game

Don't forget -- there are two more prizes coming up! One big one and one really big one -- please add the app, play the game, and then check out the Facebook Group and the Facebook Page! The game ends on July 14th!

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jerry White: How to stop the violence: Feel the pain

Our client, Jerry White, co-founder of Survivor Corps, just guest-blogged over at the Anderson Cooper 360 blog, How to stop the violence: Feel the pain, check it out:

The morning papers and nightly news are filled with reminders the world can be an unpredictably dangerous place. Earthquakes in China, cyclones in Myanmar, tornados in the heartland, war in the Middle East and gang violence in our cities. There are fundamentally three types of threats to human survival and security: disasters, disease or violence. The third is the most disturbing—deliberate victimization and cruelty.

We are at war, and the number of people engaged in violence is growing daily. At the moment, there are 39 armed conflicts raging, and more than 80 percent of those injured and killed are civilians, not soldiers. To stop this man-made epidemic, we must work together. No one survives alone.

I’ve wrestled with the issues of how to overcome crisis and suffering throughout my life. When I was 20, I stepped on a landmine while hiking in northern Israel. I lost my leg, and spent months recovering in an Israeli hospital, learning firsthand what it takes to overcome. I wrote about what I have learned about survivorship and resilience in I Will Not Be Broken: 5 Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis.

There are five basic steps a person must undergo in order to complete the cycle of recovery from trauma. First, we must face facts: this awful thing has happened and we can’t turn back the clock. Second, we must choose life. It is still worth living, but we must actively choose and hope for a better future. Third, we must reach out – isolation will kill us; we need each other. Fourth, we must get moving – no one else can do our physical or emotional rehab for us. Finally, we must give back. Turning around to help those who are struggling alongside us will boost our serotonin levels and complete the cycle of our own healing. Givers, not takers, end up thriving.

It’s hard to read the papers and watch the news at times… tempting to turn the channel. But empathy is key to our personal and global survival. Only by recognizing the pain in ourselves do we begin to see others in pain as our brothers and sisters. As we work through our own pain, we find it satisfying, and even healing, to reach out and help others, replacing the cycle of violence and suffering with one of growth and peace.

–Jerry White, cofounder of Survivor Corps – a worldwide network of people helping each other overcome the effects of war and violence—and author of I Will Not Be Broken: Five Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis. All net proceeds from sales of I Will Not Be Broken benefit Survivor Corps programs to help survivors recover worldwide.

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Congrats to the Winners of the Life Changing Box Game!

Congratulations to Jason H Smith & Mike Goldberg who have won our fifth prize, an all-expenses-paid trip to see the Yankees play in the old Yankee Stadium in New York City!

Jason H Smith & Mike Goldberg won a trip to see a baseball game in New York City

Congratulations to Richard Shallenberger who have both won our forth prize, a home theater system.

Richard Shallenberger won a home theater system

Congratulations to Kristie Lake &Adrienne Lamond who have both won our third prize, a 20" Full HD LCD Sharp Aquos TV!

20-inch HDTV

Congratulations to Christian Jolicoeur &Katie Merle who have both won our second prize, a 52" Full HD LCD Sharp Aquos TV!

Christian Jolicoeur

Congratulations to Marcus Baskerville of Sacramento, California, who has won our first prize, a 32" Full HD LCD Sharp Aquos TV!

Marcus Baskerville is the 1st Prize Winner of the Life Changing Box! Marcus won a 32" Full HD LCD Sharp Aquos TV

Just join up yourself directly! I have a feeling that you can add the app to your Facebook Pages as well — check it out! The game launched at 10AM, June 12th. Prizes include 52″ flat screen televisions, exclusive tickets to sporting events, international trips, home theater systems — 20 prizes in all — with values ranging from $400 to $14,000. There are two of everything so everyone who wins a prize wins its twin for the person who invited him or her. Lowe’s client doesn’t want to be revealed just yet, so please plug some words into the query box on the teaser site,

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

The American Revolution of Overcoming by Jerry White

This is an op-ed written by Jerry White, founder of Survivor Corps and author of I Will Not Be Broken: Five Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis, on the Fourth of July, 2008:

My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” These are not the words of a pacifist or peacenik. General George Washington, the canny military strategist and first leader of the American army, recognized that war is a horror. While we bask in our independence today, let us also recognize the price paid by those—then and now—who fight for it. After the Revolution, 25,000 Americans lay dead. About 25,000 more were seriously wounded or disabled. That is a high price, indeed, for our freedom. Since 1776, the world has fought more than 300 wars, and nearly 40 conflicts still rage. The cost remains steep.

Today, 1.6 million Americans have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over 4,000 are dead. Those who return are missing limbs, are disfigured, are coping with traumatic brain injuries. Still others have less visible wounds. Over 300,000 now exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress and alienation here at home. They have broken marriages, unchecked anger, thoughts of suicide. Their military service may be over, but they and their families (including over two million children) remain profoundly affected. The costs related to stress and depressive disorders may reach $6 billion over the next two years, according to a recent study by Rand.

And that’s where we, as civilians, must activate. We must commit ourselves as everyday people to reach out to these wounded warriors to help them overcome. Because I am here to tell you, nobody survives trauma alone.

I have spent the past twelve years building a global network of people helping each other overcome the terrible cost of war—helping “victims” become “survivors.” In over 116,000 peer visits across the war-torn regions of the world, we have learned a few things about what separates those who lie down and embrace their suffering, and those who rise above, rebuild their lives, and rejoin their communities.

Survivors who successfully overcome traumatic injuries follow five basic steps. First, they Face Facts. These people don’t run from the truth of what’s happened to them. They don’t deny injuries, or disfigurement, or anger. They look at them, and incorporate them into their lives.

Second, they consciously Choose Life. It is crucial to remind ourselves and each other why life is worth living. Rising suicide rates must be addressed head on, because most of these individuals don’t want to die as much as they want their pain and despair to end.

Third, true survivors Reach Out. They reject isolation and divisiveness. They know that, to move out of a war victim mentality and onto the path of positive survivorship, they must drop their shell of anger and resentment.

Fourth, survivors have to Get Moving. Those traumatized by war, whatever the condition of their bodies, must get active. We all must take responsibility to do what it takes to “get in shape” for whatever the future may hold.

The fifth—and perhaps most crucial key to resilience and recovery—is to Give Back. Survivors recognize that it’s better to be a benefactor, not just a beneficiary. Everyone can have a role to play and contribute in big and small ways to our families and neighborhoods. To the veterans who served in war, I say learn to serve again. Become active members of your communities. Show your strength, creativity and work ethic to your friends and neighbors. You may look different, you may feel different, but you can still contribute.

And to the United States, as we struggle to recover from the war trauma we experience as a nation, I offer the same practical advice: Face Facts. Choose Life. Reach Out. Get Moving. Give Back. Families and citizens remain divided over whether we should have gone into Iraq in the first place. The Revolutionary War was no different—many wanted to avoid war or align with England. (Benjamin Franklin's own son, William, the Governor of New Jersey, remained loyal to Britain throughout the war, as did nearly 20% of the colonists.) But at the end of the war, then as now, we emerge as Americans.

When we can admit our imperfections and share our strength as survivors, as Americans, we are united. Certainly, as victims of war we have pain. We know loss and sacrifice. But we are still strong. Because it is more than just pain that unites us. It is our shared hope for humanity—our ability to overcome—that binds us together.

I am convinced that within each human being lies an inextinguishable flame, an irrepressible voice whose refrain is unmistakable: I choose freedom. I will not choose to hate, to wallow in self-pity, to retaliate. I instead choose to live, to thrive. I believe that this is the American way. Some say we are becoming less resilient and more cynical as a nation. And, if we keep making excuses and pushing our responsibilities to each other away, that is the path we will be on. But, I think we are better than that. I believe strength and generosity can be found within each and every one of us.

So, let’s honor our Day of Independence by uniting in empathy and support for families struggling with fresh wounds. In our mutual survivorship, there is no “us” and “them”—no civilian versus military, democrat versus republican, victim versus survivor. We are united in our commitment to one another. Choose resilience and optimism. Choose to reach out to those who are suffering. Let our lost loved ones, and their memories, cheer us onward and upward. And as fireworks explode behind the Washington Monument this July 4th, let it commemorate and shout out America’s characteristic optimism and can-do confidence that we can and will overcome this “plague of mankind.”

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