OCTOBER IS SPINA BIFIDA AWARENESS MONTH (AND HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH!).
I find it intriguing that I received a reply from Kimberly-Clark in less than 24 hours. Unfortunately (there’s that word again!), they said they would not commit to any other sponsorships at this time. At least, they were prompt, if nothing else.
I just sent a Facebook message to a man who has been an accomplished and famous actor for many years, but is just now getting his due attention– Peter Facinelli, who portrays the benevolent Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the extremely popular “Twilight Saga.” Facinelli is currently keeping busy, flying back-and-forth between the sets of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” which is the franchise’s third installment, and the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie,” where he plays (again!) a doctor. (Does he have like a really good bedside manner or something?)
Aside from the acting, Facinelli shows he has a charitable soul by his real-life actions. In September, he made a bet with his good friend, Rob DeFranco. If Facinelli reached 500,000 followers on Twitter, Affliction clothing would donate $10,000 to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and DeFranco would have to dance around Hollywood Blvd. to “Single Ladies”– in a thong bikini.
Today, I attended the Osceola County Correctional Department’s 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration as a guest speaker! It was an incredibly humbling experience to be invited. My new friends, Sgt. Victor Ruiz and Cpl. Jeff Feliciano, took it upon themselves to organize this intimate yet festive gathering. To be honest, I had no idea of what to expect– I mean, it was a jail! But, if there’s anything these boys know how to do besides serve and protect, it’s how to throw a gran fiesta.
We were all treated to pernil (roast pork– yum!), barbecued chicken, arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas), tres leches (a traditional cake), and café con leche. Another speaker, who is a language professor at Valencia Community College, shared her personal account of a recent trip to Cuba, which she supplemented with beautiful, colorful photos that really captured the flavor of the Latin-American culture.
I was really pleased that the audience seemed to appreciate my story, and their expressions while I spoke told me that they were probably just as surprised by the statistics about spina bifida as I was, when I first read them. I was able to print out some awesome new flyers this morning, and it made me happy to see many of the people there leaving with a copy or two. After a few hours, I was sorry to have to bail! Still, this was one of those truly unexpected opportunities that seem to pop up out of nowhere. They invited me, on a whim, and I accepted– on a whim. Apparently, to God, it was more than just a “whim.” It’s part of His plan. He wants us to succeed in spreading this message. And, with His help, succeed we will.
Well, it’s been a long day for me! I went to bed at 2 a.m. because I was finishing my speech, and I got up at 7 a.m. But, it’s all worth it. And, it’s part of the big picture.
Love to all,
P.S. Facinelli won.