Texas Relief Efforts




**I will add additional relief efforts as I go over the list of statewide and regional services doing the best work.**

Daily Actions: August 2nd


Not gonna lie; I’m getting frustrated as hell over the way this isn’t being handled. Even worse, it is possible my brother has been exposed to the virus. He doesn’t work around people, but we’ve pinpointed the potential exposure down to one place. I’m so sick over this, I can barely think straight. 

#ExtendPUA #ExtendThe600 #FPUC #JamTheLines @extendpua @senwarren @elizabethwarren @sethmoulton @edmarkey @speakerpelosi

Give With Your Whole Heart

Tomorrow is my birthday. In honor of this occasion, I am asking friends and my readers to give back.

This is coming from a place of goodness in the request. It’s coming from MY heart, in the hopes that people will make an effort and give with their whole hearts.

I know someone who is suffering greatly due to the abandonment of family, friends, and the system, and I’d like to see this person emerge stronger, but I have immense doubts this will be achieved. 😦

If you have gently used clothing you no longer wear or that your children no longer wear, please consider finding a local homeless shelter, women’s shelter, etc., and donating those items to help someone in need. Sweaters, sweatshirts, fleece and flannel, thick socks; things that will help keep people warm. Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, coats, air mattresses, & tents are all items needed as well. If you live in a cold climate, as I do, you know the importance such items have during the cold, long months of winter. Anything you can do will be an amazing blessing you’re bestowing on someone else.

If clothes are not an option (I know for me, I can’t part with what little I physically have here with me.) then please look into local food pantries and consider dropping off some canned goods OR doing that for a local soup kitchen. Maybe donate the frozen turkey many of us earn “free” by purchasing at our local grocery stores during the holiday season. These are places that provide food to families in need and many churches and soup kitchens help feed our homeless. Toiletries are also in need, so even if you donate body wash, bar soap, or a package of wash clothes and/or towels, that would be awesome, too.

If you don’t have the time for any of these things, as many busy people don’t, then it’s easy to make small donations to various charities that truly help the homeless. Take five minutes and do some research, but leave out places like the Salvation Army who people keep telling me are NOT truly helping people any more. I’ve personally witnessed them blowing people in need off and only accepting donations, as opposed to giving back to the people they’re supposed to be helping, so I’d leave them off potential lists based on that behavior. It’s not hard to do a little homework. Churches, Temples, the YMCA, and many non-profit organizations do great work for the homeless. They provide daily meals, clothes, showers, clean laundry, and the list goes on. They treat people like human-beings, and that’s important.

Please realize that the homeless situation in this country (and many others) is dreadful. Homeless does not always equate to “uneducated”, “drug addict”, “alcoholic”, “lazy person who refuses to work”, or many other stigmas placed upon the word “homeless”. Millions of people have lost their homes due to health situations, banks defrauding people on loans, natural disasters, and they have no place left to turn. They’re depressed, devastated, and even if they’ve spent a year reaching out to different organizations, they are often still at square one. Instead of turning a blind eye, as we’ve all done at least a dozen or more times in our lives, please do something. Even the smallest gesture is huge in the eyes of someone who is hurting. It will make you feel good knowing you helped someone in need.

Nearly a year ago, I was almost homeless. Someone generously reached out with a caring heart and offered me a place to live so that I can get back on my feet, get my health in order, etc. However, I’m not special. Had it not been for this person, I’d be on the streets now. I would have had to give up far more than what I did give up, which was basically 99% of my life. Being as sick as I am; I’d likely be dead today instead of writing this. There is only so much the mind, body, and soul can take before it breaks.

A few years ago I was reading a book (and I’ll happily share the name of the book, if asked) where the “writer” had told her children that “people are homeless because they didn’t go to college”, in a scare tactic to let her daughters know that they all had to go to college, mostly because she did not, regretted it, but is now a millionaire that thinks she’s not raising spoiled, privileged children. I was appalled, mortified, outraged, and utterly disgusted by that particular statement, among many others. I cannot imagine, as a writer or editor (and I’ll use her version of “writer” loosely, because she probably dictated the entire thing to someone), ever allowing a line like that to be published, leave alone letting someone say it out loud to children, OR adults. There are ways to educate your children on socioeconomic issues without resorting to pure ignorance.

There are veterans who are homeless; people who defended our freedoms and should be taken care of when they return, but often aren’t. There are plenty of college-educated people who lost their homes, cannot find work (because despite what you read and get told; employment opportunities in this country are still very bad.), and end up homeless. It’s not a choice; it’s a reality. Yes, plenty of these people are sick, but a great many of them didn’t start out that way.

Ultimately. the good we send out into the world returns threefold. If we do it again, it returns in ten. Do something good. Look people in the eye when you do it. You’ll be glad that you did.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Today Doesn’t Feel Like A Monday

Hello everyone! I haven’t been around much of late, and for that I am sorry, even though I know apologies aren’t necessary.

I am dealing with a family crisis and quite frankly, I’ve lost my temper and I’m one of the most unpleasant people at the moment to deal with (not that I’m all that pleasant on other days ending in Y). I’m about 0.1 seconds from utterly snapping. I’d love to be able to blame that on PMS, but the truth is, my first reaction to things isn’t always the perfect reaction, which is why I like to step away from a lot of situations, if I can, before I react. When they say stress is the leading killer, whoever “they” are, they’re right. I thought I was going to have a stress-induced heart attack last night. 😦

After apologizing to the person I yelled at, I realized that I truly see the world differently than others. I’m not a “There are so many good people in the world.” kind of person. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at the world, even as a child, with that level of naiveté. I see evil walking around disguised as “people”, and on occasion you come across a few angels looking out for others, but on a whole, this world is not chock full of good in every direction one turns in. If it were merely me, I would keep on keeping on, but when it affects someone close to me; I go ape-shit.

For those who’ve asked: Yes, I did find my brother. He got in touch with me late Tuesday morning and explained what happened, as well as his nearly two-week absence. I would like to thank the Falls Township Police Department for their assistance and to the cop that assisted me personally, who was 100% nicer to me when I called to let him know I’d found my brother. His entire demeanor changed after that, and he told me to get in touch with him if I ever need anything in the future. That was a nice moment. Not many cops send you an e-mail and include all of their contact information in case you ever need something in the future. Major points were scored for that one.

On the downside, finding my brother “safe & sound”, sort of, didn’t even last a full three and a half days before something truly horrible happened, something I’ve been concerned about for months now. All I can do in this moment is be supportive and help him get medical care because his heart isn’t good, despite having had bypass surgery last year. He is in pre-kidney failure and requires a supplement to help it (I’m not 100% sure that even he knows what it does or doesn’t do. I just know that it’s expensive and he needs it.), and his insurance chose the absolute worst time to cut him off. He is now without much-needed medication (roughly 10-12 prescriptions that must be taken daily. He has already been without these drugs long enough for damage to re-occur.) that keep his heart functioning and other things at a normal rate. I have no idea when the insurance company will start paying for his care again. Because of this, I will be posting an online fundraiser ASAP for emergency assistance. Every penny will go towards his medication and doctors visits until he has insurance backing him again. Unfortunately, they’re not very speedy, it took several months for it to be processed last time, and despite reaching out to pharmaceutical companies and various charities, no one is willing to assist him with what he needs, mostly because, despite the older ones being generics, a lot of these medications add up. This is life or death. I don’t ask for myself, but I do ask that if you can help in any way, however large or small, it is going to someone who truly needs it. If the link doesn’t go up this week (My mind can barely concentrate on the paint on the wall, much less the logistics required for this sort of thing, so bear with me.) and you are able to contribute something immediately, I will provide you with the direct information if you leave a comment or e-mail me. If you require more information, just ask. I won’t violate his privacy, but I can elaborate for those who are afraid of being scammed (Unfortunately, this does happen and I am all too aware of it. I think that is disgusting, because so many people are truly in need. I’ve never understood the scamming mentality.). For my brother, I am willing to swallow my pride and ask for much-needed help.

And now, I am going to try catching some desperately needed rest because today really IS a Monday and I can’t afford to lay in bed all day. Naturally, I wish I had better things to say as well, but I’m doing my best.

I will be back soon, and hopefully get the fundraiser going the second my foggy brain allows it.



copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

You Can’t Help Everyone

“You can’t help everyone, but you can help someone. There are people in your life that are connected to your destiny. As you help them rise higher, you’ll rise higher.” —Joel Osteen

Believe me, there are days I wish I wasn’t as selfless as I am and that I forced myself to be selfish. However, there are certain people in my life who I will not allow to suffer, even if I’m only doing what I can in the moment. I’d rather do something than be ashamed that I did nothing.

If You Know Someone…

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.” ―Stephen Fry