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This week I was reminded of the power of love and belonging.  The need to have family, friends, co-workers, any kind of relationship that accepts us, without judgment, just as we are.  While talking with a group of individuals who want to learn how to live with their disabilities more effectively, they shared their heartfelt discouragement with a belief that they are judged and not accepted by others because they have a disability.  As I reflect on my experiences this week, I am also aware that Valentines Day is approaching.  When Valentines Day first began, it was associated with romantic love.  By the 15th century, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering chocolates, and sending Valentine cards with hearts, doves, and the figure of winged Cupid.

Love’s a big word in many ways, but the true nature of love is beyond romantic love.  It is caring for others.  Love is a way of being present with and for others.  Love has tremendous power to transform people, families, and communities; and there is always room for more love and understanding.  Whether we realize it or not, relationships are all interconnected.  When we are open and welcoming towards others, we begin to demonstrate, model and share the power of love and belonging.  Every time we add a drop of love, of caring, of deeper understanding, we are establishing and building friendships and openness toward one another.

Valentine’s Day is February 14.  February 14 is also Giving Hearts Day.  Giving Hearts Day is a chance for you to add a drop of love, of caring.  It’s a chance to cultivate a sense of belonging, of making a difference in the lives of individuals who want to learn how to live with their disabilities more effectively; so they have the chance to discover the power of acceptance and understanding.

Giving Hearts Day is a 24-hour online fundraising event created by the Dakota Medical Foundation and the Impact Foundation.  Freedom Resource Center has been selected to participate in this event, and we are fortunate because your donations on February 14 will be matched by the Dakota Medical Foundation.  For more information on participating in this one day event, call Freedom Resource Center at            1-800-450-0459

One word, one action, or one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring them joy.

Online donation can be made here: Giving Hearts Day.

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