Posts in "Giving" category

Sharing Peace and Hope This Holiday Season

Merry Christmas to all my family, friends and to all of our supporters patiently and diligently working to improve safety and recovery for families and children.

I am so blessed to know you all!

I’m also overwhelmed with the gratitude expressed by families for the work we all do, for the sacrifices and for the milestones achieved.

What I am proposing here is a clean slate, or a fresh start to our conversations and in our approach to improving health, stability, and in dealing with the challenges we are facing as parents, grandparents, educators and advocates during high-stress times and through conflict.

We can do better now that we know more and have each other. We are inspired, motivated, resolved, and in great company!

“And the greatest of these is Love…”

There is an uplifting Christmas song that came to mind today…one you may have never heard on the radio or in church. My coach and counselor in high school sang it for us during Christmas at Florida Christian School in Miami. “Come on ring those bells…light the Christmas tree…Jesus, we remember this your birthday.” Please look up the full lyrics and listen to the song, no matter what you believe or what you’re going through. Thank you, Mrs. Martin, for your voice, for the words of wisdom shared, and for the example you and other teachers, coaches and school leaders set for us. That was Love…

Looking forward to sharing more with you all in the New Year, and engaging you in the solutions we are presenting as a team to our leadership in each state where we are involved.

If you would like to receive our newsletter and updates in January, please use this form for My Advocate Center and stay tuned for the launch of Pro Advocate Radio as well!

Thank you for being a part of this mission,

Deb Beacham

 

 

 

Deb Beacham, My Advocate Center
Deb Beacham, My Advocate Center

 

Funding: Do More with What You Have

We have an urgent and growing need for intervention and greater awareness to protect children, and to restore them to loving parents and family members. This is at the core of the work I do with My Advocate Center.

If you feel blessed to be in a better position, to be thriving in your career, your home life and to feel fortunate to be able to provide for your children…or if you are just thankful to have your health, please consider doing more with what you have!

There are people, including children, who right now are in need of your support.  Every amount makes a difference, and I hope you’ll read and respond to this request today.

What can you do?  You can contribute here, and if you have another way to help influence more positive outcomes for families and children please let us know!

Please donate here, or contact our team at MyAdvocateCenter.com to learn about making tax-deductible donations or lending other support. My Advocate Center is not a 501(c)3 organization at this time, but is a registered Georgia Non-Profit company. Your support is greatly appreciated!



If you want to know more about me please visit my LinkedIn page, and learn why this alliance is growing quickly and why professionals and business owners are endorsing this work the way they are.  Please send me a note via LinkedIn or through MyAdvocateCenter.com. There are many ways to contribute!

Thank you for being a part of something unique and helping me and this organization make a difference!

Deb Beacham

Kids and Improving Health

Why do I do much of what I do as an advocate and mother?

Because decisions and actions in our community are having a negative impact on the health of children.

How do I know?  Because I lived through watching my own children suffer unnecessarily while having the right help withheld from them – intentionally and with dishonesty – by certain members of our family court system.

The best gift we can give children this holiday season would be to step up and help resolve the confusion and uncertainty for them as their parents transition through conflict. There are several reasonable ways to do this, which we’ll be addressing in the coming months on our radio show.

As a parent can you imagine much worse than seeing that your children need help, and not being able to give it to them?  

Having your hands tied…while being lied to and made to believe that you have no choice but to let your own child suffer…when you could be providing needed care, nurturing, and psychological or medical treatment — things are ARE within your reach.  You don’t have to be a parent to imagine how terrifying or traumatic this might be… You just have to be human and breathing… And, YES, this is happening a lot, right in your own backyard.

Please ask WHY anyone would intentionally prevent a loving parent from protecting or providing treatment for their child.  Does this make any sense?

Since resolving my own conflict and gaining perspective on the family court arena, I’ve seen countless numbers of children having their health needs – including physical and emotional health – ignored and have even seen treatment withheld and denied when the diagnosis and financial resources were available.

This is child abuse and neglect, goes against the law, and in too many cases it is happening simply because of greed… and to reward foul play in a legal setting.   I’m asking you to look at this and decide where and when you can help.  It’s time.

This issue is like a cancer in our society, only we don’t know until it happens to us, and usually by the time we realize what has happened and what or why it is being done, it is too late to stop it from happening.

If you are offended by this notion, that this is going on, then I’ve done my job with this post.  But the bigger need is for you not to turn away from it but rather decide where you can lend your voice or resources or connections to help #MakeaDifference.

I’d appreciate your support – and these kids really need you.  Let’s see what we can do to ensure that your kids, your grandchildren, or your friends’ and neighbors’ kids don’t feel the impact of this problem. It “takes a village,” remember?  

There is more to what I do than challenging certain professionals around their poor judgment and lack of loyalty and honesty; this is about challenging more parents to recover faster from conflict, to take a look around and to really see how you can use what you’ve learned – and what you’ve earned.  Get out of your own situation, and find someone else to help.

If you’ve followed me in social media you know that I sometimes serve as a voice for families dealing with pediatric cancer.  My own children are involved because we are all so thankful that we are healthy and have the lives and privileges that we do, so we give back by uplifting other families and raising awareness for this issue.  We need greater funding for #PediatricCancer.  We need more heroes!  #YoungHeroes4KidsCancer (Stay tuned as we head toward March 2015 and the next St. Baldrick’s event in Atlanta/SandySprings.)

More success stories are needed to show what happens when we rally behind kids and give them what they need to overcome challenges. Check out Briana Hudson on Facebook to see what I mean!  #YoungHeroesLeague This girl and her family are making big things happen. She is one of my heroes!

Follow My Advocate Center to support us as we work to help families transition through and out of conflict, and as we advocate for policy changes that will make the legal process safer for families.  If we can #ImproveFamilyLaw then we have a better chance of letting kids receive the best that BOTH parents have to offer.  There is just no valid reason to do anything different and our laws support this mission.

Follow People Against Childhood Cancer if you want to learn more about how to help children that way.  Cancer in every form is AWFUL and deserves your attention, commitment, resources and your voice.  Please do what you can while praying this doesn’t touch your own family, neighborhood, church, business or school.

Above all, be grateful and be inspired to do more with what you have.

 

Pediatric Cancer: the Wicked Equalizer

How does your mind react when you read, “Counts are coming up”?

When you are missing the right perspective in your life, just go to a fund-raiser for kids with cancer or volunteer to help out a family in need.   Read about what Rally Foundation is doing with kids and athletes, how remarkable St. Baldrick’s Foundation is with their crazy-fun head-shaving events, or find others like them.

Subscribe to a blog about a particular child, and learn more on Caring Bridge. The little boy who taught me and my children about the journey families go through with pediatric cancer was Augustus, better known as Gus, and referred to by many as “Mighty Gus.”

http://augustusthemighty.info/counts-are-coming-up/ This was one of his mother’s blog posts to help us stay connected and aware of what to pray for.

Since I started this post a couple of years ago, Gus took a turn for the worse and his family had to let him go. It was one of the toughest things I’ve experienced, and my experience was only from a distance and over time. He touched our lives and that of many others, and his parents are examples of how to manage under stress and through grief. And then there are the medical bills.

Think about what is really a big deal in your world…and consider that your bad day or month isn’t such a big deal after all, is it?

Of course you know someone who has it worse than you do;  we all do.   But sometimes they fall from your mind or you just think there isn’t much you can do for them that will make a difference?   That isn’t the case when you get involved and start to care about any of the children around us who are struggling for their lives, fighting cancer, hoping for new treatments and for cures.

Planting seeds:

Can you think of one of the worst times in your life?   …I can.  In that moment, I consoled myself by saying, “Well, I’ve never been this scared, or this exhausted…but my CHILD does not have CANCER.   So these things I can handle – they are temporary – and we will recover.”   Yes, I actually said out loud, “My child does not have cancer, and I’m so grateful.”

Then I met Gus.  I learned from his mother and her supporters.   Gus battled cancer.   Gus had a lot of friends who have cancer, and every little bit you can give does make a difference for them.   Each of them is Mighty in his/her own way, and their parents/caregivers will stop you in your tracks, causing you to realize just how strong we are when we have to be for the sake of a child.

This video was produced last year by our friend Conn Jackson & is hosted on 11Alive’s site:
http://midtown.11alive.com/news/people/106787-help-fight-childhood-cancer

Talk:  I didn’t hear about pediatric cancer and THEN think that my life wasn’t so bad.   I knew to contrast these challenges with our own because of spending so much time in pediatric hospitals and in specialists’ offices.  This awareness came from my own experiences in mothering preemie twins, and from doing hospital volunteer work.   But not everyone has reason to come across the reality for these young patients.  It has to be revealed, and then spelled out to the average person who is super busy, dealing with their own challenges, more interested in what they are having for dinner, or cursing the traffic.

Awareness is key, and I’m asking that YOU not rely on others to do the sharing.

Please pick an organization AND a child – learn – and share.  Give, of course, when you can.

St. Baldricks and Rally Foundation are creating many more Heroes in the Fight against Pediatric Cancer, and my son Jack is one of them.  I’m so proud of him for choosing to be an ambassador in this, and his fund-raising page is just one example of how you can help. You will see a photo gallery showing more about his experience, and see that he is having fun while contributing.  You may even note what this has done for his confidence;  he is truly inspired and I believe you will be, too.

The next event we’re involved in is at Meehan’s Public House, Sandy Springs in March of 2015. I’ll update this page before then, or search for it online.

Come on out if you’re in town and join in; it’s a great way to have FUN while you learn and support:

http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/JackBeacham

jack and gus big smile

 

 

 

 

 

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Your Take-Aways

What am I about?

We may have met through friends, at the radio studio, by introduction on LinkedIn, or you may have found my name in a search about resolving conflict or addressing ethics issues that are causing harm to children and families.

What I do is not just for the sake of building a blog or about making noise; what I write and say on Pro Advocate Radio is meant to encourage transparency, debate, and the development and funding of SOLUTIONS. Ethical solutions that leave our families, children, businesses, schools and our state in a better place than where we found them.

Moral principles highlighted in green under the heading Ethics.
I’m a Peace-Keeper and Problem-Solver.  Marketing and promoting are secondary, a means to an end.  I’m after quality of life, solid mental and physical health, productivity and enjoyment. For all of us and especially for our children.

Children and our Community. If it is good for kids, then it is good for me and for you as parents, as educators and coaches, as financial, legal, healthcare professionals…and as leaders.

Here is where we may differ: I chose to take some risk by challenging bad practices and explaining how damages are being caused – avoidable damages – and daring good people to do something about it. Sometimes that means I’m not popular or politically correct in certain circles, and I take that as a compliment.

Also, there is a notion in some areas of “leadership” and governance, including governing boards of companies and agencies, that “Doing the Right Thing” by children, families and the public has to be difficult and expensive. Some have said, that’s just too big of a problem, that’s just how it is and has been for decades…so there’s nothing we can DO about it; but others are asking, how can WE make a difference?

I’m asking you to help create more voices who will ask that last question, to see how it is possible – not just IDEAL – to do the right thing as you pursue a career, a better quality of life, more influence and opportunity for yourself.

Many seem to think those don’t go together, that they are mutually exclusive. They are not.

Would you like to see the How and Why?  Yes…I can show you.

I am so grateful to be in a position to build profit and show returns on investments, while lifting others up. We can and should do more to protect and uplift people who need it, and we can be profitable and efficient while being effective. We can enjoy this work and even have fun doing it. I hope you agree!

Profit is not a bad word, so I would peacefully challenge anyone who speaks as if being an entrepreneur, investing for a return, or working like a capitalist is a negative thing, and ask them to look at our work, to look at the results and to see what scaling this work can mean for many more. This is why I use the #IDareYou hashtag on some of my posts. Why not take a hard look at how we can do better?

To those who are uncertain about supporting Social Enterprise, is there a way to meet in the middle? I believe so and also ask that you not label me or ask me to color inside the lines. It’s time for new attitudes and something different…both are needed to disrupt the status quo.

If you can relate to terms such Social Enterprise, Civic Venture, and can relate to being conservatively compassionate or a compassionate conservative, then you might already understand why I work and write the way I do.  If you saw the news coverage that included my work with My Advocate Center, then even better!  You are one step ahead in understanding the urgency of this work, and in knowing why I and others on our team ask for support.

The bottom line I ask everyone to focus on:

Where and how are you making a difference, and for whom? What does your power and influence or status do for others?  Specifically how are you using what you have and can do for children and families fighting for stability, health and to protect their relationships?

If you talk about the healthcare industry, the burden on our healthcare system, or on schools, law enforcement, the housing industry, etc., but you are only looking at it from the perspective of your insurance costs or shareholder value, then I’ll challenge you to rethink this a bit.

…Because the Damages to Children are having an impact on your bottom line. This has a lot to do with trauma, and addressing how we can prevent more injury and help victims recover faster. We have been covering this on Pro Advocate Radio, and I will address this topic in more detail in the white paper being produced for My Advocate Center and community leaders.

When you’re ready, let’s open up this conversation and see if I can help you learn what you need to know to make a difference in your own way!

What else should you know about me?
Well…I’m certain and confident in this work, in the advocate I’ve become and in the team we’ve built.  I am patient but impatient at the same time because of what I see daily. When blazing trails and taking on tough subjects, you also have to be bold, creative, persistent. Being inclusive is the only way we can really drive lasting change, so please join us!

Thank you for reading, for listening to Pro Advocate Radio and, as always, I’d love to have your feedback and your support in this mission,

Deb Beacham

Musimbi on Building Movements

Musimbi Kanyoro, Ph.D., is Power in a small package.  Make sure you capitalize the “P” in Power here.  Look her up.  Go ahead…

Her big voice leaves you no choice but to pay close attention — don’t look away to take notes, because you want to understand her and not miss something, not even a single thought.  My highlights are not complete here, but the feeling she left me with is.

Once the audio is posted on the Womenetics site I will add that link here.

“We want to work with women who are leaders, who are digging deep.”  She is speaking of the Global Fund for Women.  They support organizations that advance women’s rights all over the globe.  She anchored the talks for me at the the Global Women’s Initiative hosted by Womenetics this month in Atlanta, GA.

“We have the knowledge.  We have possibilities for government policy.  And we need behavioral change.”  

“Privilege comes with responsibility.”

Her potent words on resiliency, specific to those in difficult situations…and the spirituality of not giving up,  left me spellbound.  Even more motivated than I thought I could have become, prior to this event.  She was talking to ME, as if she knows what we are up to with My Advocate Center in our behind-the-scenes work.

 

 

Marching Orders from a Media Guru

There is no better way to launch a new venture than to hear your marching orders from some true world leaders in the women’s empowerment movement.  So attending the Global Women’s Initiative event hosted by Womenetics  this month was perfect timing for laying the groundwork for My Advocate Center.

“Better solutions have to come from us,” was one of my favorite validating statements from Pat Mitchell, the President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media.

Another strong theme of hers that excites me is “transforming…with transparency and accountability.”  Being able to relate to a speaker named by the Huffington Post as one of the Powerful Women Over 50 left me feeling I was in good company with the objectives we have outlined for M-A-C.  Okay, I thought, we are on the right track…

If women can take charge and make momentous changes for the citizens of the Congo and for Kenya, using new technology, including mobile technology, then what should we be able to do with it here in the U.S.?  What should I be able to do with the privileges and comforts and connections that I have?  (I’m not daring you here; I’m daring myself.)

“When in the hands of women, we do so much with it.”  I hear you, Pat.

“Create change we want to see, but not for ourselves alone.”  For me in founding M-A-C, that would mean other parents, both mothers and fathers, and for our children.  It IS possible to interrupt harmful cycles, for example as in family violence, if we know where to look and what to do with what we’ve learned.

Carrying her message out the door, we remember these principles:

1. Find a mentor, and be a mentor
2. Take risk.  Worth repeating: Pat’s Native American grandmother said, “Falling on your face is at least a move forward.”
3. Be fearless
4. Be impatient

     I think I started with number 4 and am working my way up the list!  Actually I have found a couple pretty amazing mentors – so thank you if you are reading this.  Nothing is lost here.
     We appreciate Womenetics for lighting up Atlanta, Georgia with the minds of women like Pat.  And, for the great door prizes such as the one I happened to win – tickets to another thought-provoking event which I can’t wait to attend.  So look for another post like this one following the Chic-Fil-A LeaderCast in May, 2013!

 

Compassion vs. Practicality

Empathy sometimes misses the point.   And that point is that we all need to evolve, to change for the better.

If you are too empathetic you don’t inspire or motivate the person desiring your empathy to change or find a way to help themselves.

If you lack empathy and rather want to be seen as practical and pragmatic, you can miss opportunities to improve your community and can even do harm.

True compassion is PRO-ACTIVE.  It is forgiving, invites tolerance, but leads with a spark or an intense desire to see someone else’s outcome improve.

The best form of compassion takes that spark and feeds it with some practical measures or steps and actually lends a hand in building something better — something the recipient can work with and carry themselves.

One of the biggest lessons I had to learn was how to NOT do too much too soon for others when I was asked for help.   It took a few too many times to figure out why I was doing that, so yes…painful, but the real challenge was to remain compassionate and open while modifying my reaction.  It led me to a new service offering for parents involved in legal disputes, or what we describe as, “How to Be Your Own Best Advocate.”

Helping others learn how to advocate for themselves is rooted in my many failures, personal ones as well as the gestures made to others.  While it does take more time, patience or flexibility, and often creativity, once you establish this pattern of empowerment and accountability, it will become easier, so think about your world:

~ children and step-children ~ married couples or single friends ~ clients ~

~ facing conflict / abuse, divorce, addiction, money / housing issues ~

We leave our world a better place by empowering others, especially our children, to create solutions and fix things themselves with tools we possibly provide or with tips we reveal.  Then we watch them carry their new and improved self over the finish line.  If you haven’t done this I suggest you try it – it is quite rewarding all around – and it creates confidence while decreasing co-dependency.

So, the next time you are tempted to JUST DO something for someone you feel sorry for, consider taking the extra time, using the extra creative effort and your last ounce of patience, to coach and coax them into figuring out a way to help themselves.   This way compassion doesn’t have to collide or conflict with practicality and PROGRESS.

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