I googled the word “tolerance”. According to Merriam Webster it means the “willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own, the ability to accept, experience, or survive something harmful or unpleasant, and/or your body's ability to become adjusted to something (such as a drug) so that its effects are experienced less strongly.”
Tolerance is something everyone has to measure on their own whether it be physically, mentally, or spiritually. Everyone is different. Some people have a strong tolerance to stress, while others may feel crushed by even a small amount of stress. Tolerance can be attributed to those that work out and learn about their body’s limits. We even have to learn to tolerate each other as people, like those that are introverted and those that are extroverted.
Tolerance is also something we have to learn to change and challenge in ourselves as human beings. Sometimes we must learn to tolerate negative things in our lives and know when it is time to speak up or change the things around us. An example-- How long can you tolerate someone yelling at you? How long can you tolerate others ridiculing you? How much can we tolerate before we speak up?
I am Native American with some French ancestry. I am Navajo, Sac & Fox, and Prairie Band Potawatomi. I have had to tolerate the ignorance of others about my Native culture and heritage. But because of my high tolerance to ignorance, I don’t get mad or upset, I use the moment as a time to educate others about my Native background. I am also an artist so I have learned to tolerate criticism. Not everyone is going to like my work, and that is ok. We have had to tolerate many things this year with sickness and other stresses. With tolerance, we learn how well we can handle various situations, but also how to grow to be better human beings. Tolerance can be a good and bad thing but it depends on how we perceive it. Because of tolerance I have been able to take a deep breath and learn to look at the situations around me.
Because of my tolerance, I know when I need to improve myself and when I need to speak up. Sometimes there are times to be silent and humble, and other times when words need to be spoken to stand up for something that is right. We all must learn to tolerate many things, but we can work together to learn what each other’s limits are and how we can help each other to grow. This is what tolerance means to me.
This week's blog writer, Amber DuBoise-Shepherd, is a Native American artist and has participated in various exhibitions and shows across Oklahoma. DuBoise-Shepherd is the Manager of Education and Outreach at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art since April 2019. She currently lives in Shawnee, OK with her husband Josh Shepherd.
Covid-19 has even impacted common courtesy. Yesterday, as I was leaving my voting precinct, I held the door for a woman who was about to enter. She stopped short, as it was impossible to keep six feet apart. She finally motioned for me to move on, so the door closed and I took a wide detour around her. I felt awkward and sad that courtesy has also suffered during these strange times.
But as I reflected on the changes, I thought of a time in the past when my offer to hold a door was not accepted, but for an entirely different reason. The time was about 1969 (yes, I am old), and I was visiting Mobile, Alabama. As I was entering a department store, an elderly black woman was coming from the opposite direction, so I held the door. She said, “Oh honey, please don’t do that. You will get me into trouble”. This was my first introduction to understanding discrimination, a lesson learned through an attempt at courtesy. My commitment…Be more aware, empathetic, and observant.
Also, now that I have retired and time is not at such a hectic pace, I realize that in driving I often sped up to keep someone from cutting in front of me. And what did that get me…I arrived at the next stop light one second ahead of the other car. My commitment…Be more courteous as I drive.
Some form of courtesy that was made aware to me as a child, was the importance of calling people by name. I have three sisters, so the four of us were always referred to as “The Sheward Girls.” People rarely called us by name, as they probably couldn’t remember who was who. It became important to me to address others by name, especially children. These days it might take longer for me to recall a name, but my commitment…do my best.
The local Sonic had a wonderful young lady who worked the drive-through window. She always said “Good Morning” and then “Have a great day”. This is not all that unusual except she said it as though she meant it. She made a difference in my day with only a few well-spoken words. My commitment…no automatic responses, but honest, meaningful statements.
And, have you ever been to Chick-fil-A? The employees often say “My Pleasure”. This obviously is something the company teaches and stresses. Recently, I was in a store and after I said thank you, the young employee responded with “My pleasure”. I did not ask, but my guess was that he had previously worked at Chick-fil-A. The important aspect of the encounter was that his response appeared to be heart-felt. My commitment…remain mindful of the manners I have been taught.
So much of courtesy is an interconnection of the words and lessons we have learned from Living52. Let us all be kinder, more loving, more gracious by being courteous.
Another reminder: It is courteous to wear a mask, maintain social distance, and wash hands. Thank you for reading my meanderings and blessings to each of you.
Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. --Henry Clay
Written by Ann M. Way, former Senior Program Officer and Interim Director of Sarkeys Foundation and Executive Director of Mary Abbott Children’s House which provides forensic interviews of physically and sexually abused children. Her greatest joys in life are her children, Tonya and Michael; her son-in-law and daughter-in-law, David and Laurie, and her grandchildren, Braden, Ethan, Andrew, Alex, Kate, and her grandson, Taylor, who resides in Heaven.
Let me start out by saying what we do know…
Things are hard.
We are resilient.
We can change.
I want to open with a prayer to Jesus, for giving us everything we’ve been given.
Thank you for your joyous abundance that we see,
and then unsee sometimes.
Thank you for your gift of an offering,
an experience of life and death.
The same treasure we are all given,
yet seem to forget about.
Distractions. They are everywhere.
Anything that exists can distract us from The Source of everything.
Life altering abundance,
in a simple whiff of a feeling, of thanks.
The most powerful energy comes from this moment of praise.
An offering, the only one we are equipped to send up.
Thank you, Alleluia!
You are righteous, we are not and yet: This.
A feeling shoots up my fingertips, my toes, my spine.
A force inside of me purrs and reminds me,
The offering of contentment you only feel,
when you are humbled in a moment of deep gratitude.
We don't think of gratitude as an offering,
mostly thinking of it as a state.
A place to be in to give ourselves pleasure,
because pleasure surely comes.
A pinging of emotion opens up inside of us,
when we look around and feel awe.
A burden leaves our shoulders
for as long as we can cover ourselves in this thanks.
Dear Lord, you are righteous,
we are not and yet: This.
Thank you, God for the gifts we’ve been given at every single moment.
Thank you for this, here, now.
It never stops.
He never ends.
Thank you for allowing us to feel GLORY,
whenever we praise you tickling the insides of our arms, our legs, our scalps.
He is good.
Matthew 10:27 - “The things that I say to you in the evening, speak ye in the light.”
Okay, I’ll start: I NEED you God. I need you Jesus. Thank you!
Erinn Shaughnessy is a writer and painter living and working in Oklahoma. She graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2016 where she studied Philosophy. She is interested in natural health, art, family, friends, and dreaming of her childhood donut shop that is no longer in business. She loves to write letters and has big plans to single handedly save the US Postal Service.
Originality bubbling up
Appreciation, heart swelling
Inside out living
Optimistic ideas swirling
Never dull, together unfurling
Cooperation. The process of working together to the same end. What in our day could get accomplished without the cooperation of others? Whether getting children ready for (virtual) school, completing objectives for a project at work, or ordering lunch in the 6 mile long line at Chick-fil-A, we need each other to uphold agreements in order to move forward and make progress. Appreciating the cooperativeness of others can help us feel more grateful and connected throughout our day. Being in relationship with cooperative people enables us to build trusting relationships and take on complex, out of the box tasks and ideas. Cooperation gives all voices a chance to be heard and allows people to work within the skill sets with which they are most adept, which builds confidence and future collaborative opportunities. Cooperation makes the world go round.
Alicja Carter, MHR, LADC, BHWC, has been working in the behavioral health and addiction treatment field for over 13 years at Gateway to Prevention and Recovery. Alicja is passionate about wellness and collaborating with others for the purpose of stimulating positive change in her community.
Hebrews 2:6-7 Amplified Bible
It has been solemnly and earnestly said that in a certain place, What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You graciously and helpfully care for and visit and look after him? For some little time You have ranked him lower than an inferior to the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor and set him over the works of Your hands.
In this scripture it reminds us how much God has invested in us. When I researched the word mindful, I discovered that it means to be thoughtful, attentive, aware or careful. Just the very thought that God was thinking of me, is reassuring in itself. I realize that thoughtfulness always causes a person to be singled out. The man that was healed at the pool of Bethesda was simply a man who was singled out. There were hundreds or even thousands of impotent or lame folk waiting for the troubling of the water. So why was this man chosen amongst so many? It is very simple, God was simply thinking of him. This man had spent the last 38 years being disappointed by his inability to get to the pool first.
The Bible says whosoever would enter the pool first, after the angel troubled the water would be instantly healed. Year after year this man was robbed of his opportunity to be healed. How could people be so insensitive and thoughtless of this man’s faithfulness? Every year he was forgotten about and treated insignificantly. I am so grateful that God remembers when people forget. You may even feel forgotten and feel devalued, but God will always show up to let you know that he has big plans for you. My job as a Pastor is to inform everyone that God has not forgotten about you. As a matter of fact, God is very much aware of your situation. Jesus was aware of this man’s condition and had plans on visiting him. No matter how busy Jesus was, he always made it clear how important one person was to the Kingdom of God. We’ve heard the parable of Jesus talking about how the shepherd left the 99 to go find the 1. He left the secure to find the insecure. He left the stable to find the unstable. So today I want to remind you how much God thinks about you. Now the enemy’s job is to make you think that God doesn’t care about your issues, concerns or condition, but I want to share a personal story with you to assure you that God is always thoughtful of his children.
One day I had to go to the store to purchase some items and my girls were with me. So I told Victoria and Kennedy, “come on lets go to the car.” We all were buckled up and ready to go, all of sudden I heard crying and sniffling in the back seat. I turned around and Kennedy was crying. I said “what’s wrong, she replied I left my baby doll in the house.” Well, for the size of those tears that were falling from her face I thought it was something way more important than that. I told her, “baby it will be alright because we’re not going to be gone long, we will be right back.” Well, why did I say that? She really broke down and cried even more. So I had a choice, either I could let her continue to cry or do something about it. I decided to go back in the house and find this baby doll and deliver it personally to Kennedy. She immediately wiped her tears and said thank you Daddy.
God taught me a very important principle that day, no matter how small or insignificant that baby doll was to me it was still important to Kennedy. Her problem immediately became my problem because of the love that I have for my children. Then God said, “don’t ever think your problems are not important to me because whatever is your problem becomes my problem. You are my children and I hate to see my children in tears. So whatever bothers you bothers me.”
Do not think that God is insensitive or thoughtless because anyone who is willing to die for you clearly has you in mind. There is not anyone who is more thoughtful than Jesus. A man who was thinking about you while he was being crucified on the cross. A cross that became an intersection for our heavenly Father to have a relationship with his earthly children. God is not only thinking about me, about you, and all of us, but he has also invested in us by giving us his son, Jesus. So tell the devil, I know God loves me because he gave me the greatest gift a person could ever receive. He gave me, himself!
This week's blog writer is Pastor Orrick Quick. Pastor Quick, the son of Bishop Alber Oliver Quick and the late Mother Rosetta Quick was born and raised in the city of High Point, NC. He has been married to his lovely wife Ashley Quick for ten years. To their union they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters: Victoria, Kennedy, and Taylor. Pastor Quick is a prolific teacher, preacher and motivational speaker that helps people realize their God given potential. Pastor Quick has taught in the foreign country of Belize, Central America on various mission trips which has impacted thousands of lives. His slogan is, “You must be able to convert your pain into passion, so your passion will fuel your purpose.”
His mother Rosetta Quick was diagnosed with Lupus during her pregnancy. Even against the doctor’s recommendation to abort this child, his mother had faith to proceed even while her life was threatened. Pastor Orrick Quick had to overcome many obstacles in his life such as: being in a coma, learning to walk all over again three times, being temporarily blind, remaining in the hospital for a total of 8 weeks, and being confined to a body cast for 13 weeks. All of the above injuries were a result from two deadly car accidents that Pastor Quick encountered.
In 2016, Pastor Orrick Quick was a TV Co-Host for the FOX Daytime talk show, “The Preachers.” As a result of the 15 episode showcase, Pastor Quick was selected as one of EBONY’s Power 100 honorees which can be revealed in the December 2016/January 2017 edition of EBONY magazine. Pastor Quick was a featured guest on the Dr. Oz show twice and appeared on the television show, “The Real” showcasing his Forever Candles.
As of 2017, Pastor Quick has released his first book entitled, “Your Reign is Over” which deals with discovering your God given purpose while overcoming depression. It also teaches you how to overcome the enemy's greatest tactics such as manipulation and intimidation. In addition to the book, Pastor Quick has a brand new album entitled, “Spiritual Warfare.” The album has a fresh new sound guaranteed to inspire the world. “Spiritual Warfare” is an album that incorporates Christian hype music to keep you invigorated for your lifetime goals.
Pastor Quick plans to use his voice and his experience as a witness tool, to help this younger generation overcome any situation that they may encounter. “Too many times we allow our mistakes to define our destiny.” Therefore, Pastor Quick believes that you should “never allow your past, to have a meeting with your future, without your potential being present!”
Even one second of peace is difficult for most of us, but now more than ever, we must find it. Shared grief, trauma, and anxiety hang heavy in the atmosphere.
I practice yoga to dig up my peace.
There are 8 sacred limbs of yoga. Achieving them takes much time and much practice. To find them is to find peace. I believe it. I practice it. I also mostly do yoga to un-sacred punk rock music, while I bang and stomp on my mat and sing and fire breathe at the top of my lungs. This isn’t popular or “correct” according to most enlightened yogis, and I’m all the way cool with that because this is my peace. Here’s my punk-rock yoga playlist… it fluctuates. https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/punk-yoga/pl.u-DdANxxNCg6JoWM
Your peace doesn’t look like mine, or anyone else’s. Respecting others’ space for peace is vital in this climate. Bare in mind, if there is hate present, peacefulness will not be achieved.
Some phenomenal females weighed in on their peacefulness point of view for me. The running theme is calmness with a side of relief.
Find your peace and rock it. Help others find their peace.
Stop judging people.
We must strive for freedom from disorder, war, commotion, strife, and violence.
I implore you to take this as a call to action. Find peacefulness in yourself. Whether it’s through God, creativity, physical activity, meditation, or your own special blend of weirdness, find it! Then spread the love, patience, empathy, compassion, joy… share the burden of the heavy.
To The Indifferent Women
BY CHARLOTTE ANNA PERKINS GILMAN
Yet you are mothers! And a mother's care
Is the first step toward friendly human life.
Life where all nations in untroubled peace
Unite to raise the standard of the world
And make the happiness we seek in homes
Spread everywhere in strong and fruitful love.
all around weirdo
This week's blog writer Natalie Hogan is a mom, wife, writer, yogi, and outdoorsy.
Looking around our world today and its state of affairs, compassion for one another seems to be absent. At least, it seems so on the surface. But what does it really mean to show compassion? Compassion is the feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another, particularly if they have experienced a hardship or misfortune, and includes the desire to help alleviate that circumstance. So, compassion is not just a feeling or emotion, but includes the instinct to take action, to help, to console, to comfort.
Why do we fail to show compassion? Perhaps it’s because showing compassion requires us to put ourselves out there, to show vulnerability, to feel, to sacrifice something. Sadly, the side effect of shutting ourselves off from our fellow human beings is a sad, ugly world.
My faith requires me to be compassionate, to learn more about compassion and how to show it to others. The greatest example to me of compassion is Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan. Through this example we learn that when we see someone suffering we are to recognize that one, the person is suffering and two, we are to help alleviate their suffering. We are to help our neighbor. And who is our neighbor—everyone. Our fellow human beings. Not just our own family, not just our own countrymen, not just those like us—but everyone. Because we are all part of the human family. In other words, we are to treat others the way we would want to be treated.
We can reach beyond our efforts of individual compassion. As a society, we can practice collective compassion. We can support programs in our communities that lift up others who are experiencing difficult life situations, whether those situations be temporary or perennial. At the state and federal level, we can support policies and statutes that reflect the value of compassion. We can advocate for programs and services that meet the needs of the most vulnerable—those who are unable to advocate for themselves.
The most important place to start, however, is right in our own heart. Mother Teresa reminds us that, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” The next time someone cuts us off in traffic, we can offer them a little grace and not yell ugly words at them. The next time we see someone without a basic need, we can offer what we have. When we know someone is elderly and lives alone, we can take them a meal. There are so many places to start and so many needs to meet. Maybe, if we all just practiced one act of compassion each day, the world could become a kinder, more compassionate place.
This week's blog writer is Sabra Tucker. Sabra Tucker is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association, representing the interests of over 62,000 retired teachers, support professionals, and school administrators. She has been with the association just under two years. Prior to serving at OREA, she spent a number of years in education as a National Board Certified teacher, curriculum director, and school administrator. She has experience in all levels of education from early childhood to college. She also has worked in state government at the Oklahoma Tax Commission and the Oklahoma Office of Personnel Management. With degrees in both education and business, she now focuses on the public policy that affects education professionals, retirement issues, and public pensions. She specializes in assisting retirees and in protecting the benefits they have earned as school professionals. She and her husband of 31 years, Mike, a retired air force officer, live in Shawnee. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
To be grateful when the world feels hateful.
Ah yes, to be grateful... we hear it all of the time, don’t we? Be thankful, they say, be positive. The glass is half full, now drink up and don’t complain! But, what does it look like to be actively grateful? Is there special formula? And if so, can it make me happier, more content, and less impatient while waiting in any kind of line?!
The truth is, gratefulness comes in every shape and size. You can be grateful that you caught the bus, made the team, or aced the test. You can also be grateful that your mother’s cancer is in remission, or that you didn’t lose your job during the pandemic. It may seem boorish to value the former as much as the latter, but in my opinion, both are equally important. There is an extreme power in being mindfully thankful— for everything. This simple yet courageous act can absolutely change your life and that of those around you.
There are a plethora of studies that reiterate this fact to me, and yet I still forget the power of gratitude. I heard an interesting study about the neurological implications of practicing gratefulness on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast (which is amazing and you should totally check it out). Shawn Achor, a Harvard graduate and happiness research expert, conducted a study where his team took “high level pessimists” from the ages of 10-80 years and made them think for 2 minutes about 3 things they are grateful for in life. They continued this practice for 21 days. After just a few short weeks, these super sad folks turned into some “low level optimists!” Basically, they reported happier outlooks towards themselves, their relationships, and their livelihoods. In addition, they found that by slowing down the brain and focusing on the present, the subjects experienced lower levels of stress and higher levels of focus. Interestingly, those around the subjects also experienced lower levels of stress. This indicated that contentment, gratitude, and happiness are somewhat contagious. Now, I’m no scientist, but anything that can turn a “get off my lawn” grandpa into a “get off my lawn, but have a nice day” grandpa sounds effective to me.
So, you’re saying that you can take a mere 2 minutes out of your day to be grateful and reap all of these wonderful benefits? Seems like a no brainer on paper... But at times, this simple act proves to be more difficult than we imagine.
It is hard to appreciate and accept our lives for what they are right now- at this very moment. Messy, crazy, uncomfortable, anxious, angry, gassy, pissy, and all. But, it is looking at the mess and choosing to create a kinder path amid the storm. This path may not have all of the answers or prevent any suffering, but it has far more flowers and sunsets along the way. It is a path paved with stones made from the gravel of our guts that we’ve spilled out in times of pain. We work with these painful moments. We scream, cry, and cuss. We reflect, nurture, and heal. And it is through thankfulness, that we are able see the value of our mistakes, accept the broken pieces, and truly grow. We turn those pieces of gravel into something useful- a lesson to inform our journey. By being gracious in a world that thrives on discontentment, we take our power back. We are able to recognize our humanity and grow in humility. It is only then that we are able to feel more warmth, inspiration, and love as we pave our winding paths of life.
Along my journey, I’ve found that human suffering is inevitable. It is the dichotomy of good and evil- the yin and the yang. You cannot recognize the face of one without staring directly into the eyes of the other. That is part of trying to be a wholesome individual— knowing both pain and sorrow and choosing goodness anyway. It is through the acknowledgement of our brokenness, that we will be able to cultivate a different consciousness. A consciousness that values human life. Our priorities will change from getting a promotion to healing the sick, lifting the marginalized, and recognizing one another in a deeper way. Radical change starts by looking at ourselves and taking action— big or small. During these heartbreaking and unprecedented times, we need this skill now more than ever.
I encourage you to sit down 4 times a week and think for two full minutes about everything you are thankful for. The shoes on your feet, the food in your belly, the hair or absence of hair on your head, the relatives you have that are still alive, the house you’ve made a home, the car you drive, the smile you exchanged with a stranger, the laugh you shared with a co-worker, and the fact that an asteroid hasn’t destroyed us all... think of everything you can!! Another popular gratitude practice is to keep a journal of thankfulness. This works for some, but for me it feels like a chore. Thinking and reflecting is much easier and more tangible for my life... ha-ha, I’m lazy. But hey, I’m thankful for these lazy bones!
Overall, gratitude is the golden ticket to the chocolate factory. It brings you to a place where you feel happy and proud of your journey. In that space, you are able to own your faults, shame, and guilt, and realize it’s those very moments of brokenness that made you who you are today. So, go, be grateful! Sing with the Oompa Loompas! And see how a tiny thought can bloom into a more beautiful reality.
This week's blog writer is Ellis Jones. She is from Shawnee, Oklahoma and recently graduated with a Psychology degree from Abilene Christian University. This fall she is headed to the University of Texas at Arlington to complete a master's of Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Commitment…the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. Is commitment scary? Is commitment rewarding? In my opinion -- yes and yes!
What have you been committed to in your life? A marriage? A job? A long-range goal? A group of friends or your community? A sense of personal calling?
As I ponder my commitments over the years, my first thought goes to accepting my marriage proposal. The initial agreement to commit was easy for me because I loved him and was hoping to spend the rest of my life with him. We enjoyed each other’s company and had fun together. However, keeping this commitment—through all of life’s ups and downs—hasn’t been easy, but well worth it.
Another commitment I have made more than once was to train for an endurance race. This has included five marathons, two half-ironman races, one Olympic distance triathlon, and numerous half-marathons and sprint triathlons. The decision to participate was easy. One reason I made these race commitments was to spend fun training times with amazing friends, who provide a life filled with joy and fun. However, keeping this commitment was not always easy with many early 5am training runs and four- to five-hour Saturday trial races before the actual race. Do I feel these commitments were worth it? Yes, the feeling of accomplishment and finishing alongside friends provided many memorable moments.
As I was researching for this blog, I came across this quote by Maya Angelou, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Reading this reminded me that you can also commit to a specific way of living life. As I approach turning 50 years old in less than a month, I feel like this is a commitment I want to reexamine. How do I want to commit to live my next 50 years? Like Maya, I desire to focus on having more passion and compassion, laughing regularly, and doing so in the style of Jesus.
Committed to you,
This week's blog writer is Tonya Ricks, co-creator of Living52.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
--President John F. Kennedy
Trustworthiness is defined as “the ability to be relied on as honest or truthful.”
In this day, where there is so much chaos and concern around us, we need to seek and be able to find comfort in people and environments we trust. As the famous quote from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address states, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I am relating this quote to “trustworthiness” because we need to be able to have trust in our own communities and surroundings in order to have faith in our country, but also within ourselves and others.
Whether you find yourself to be comforted through the news outlets, social media, or rather by steering away from those mediums to find your comfort during these challenging times, that is your own prerogative. The world around us is changing daily, or more less hourly.
For you to have peace of mind and to overcome the uncertainty of what the future holds, find someone or something that is reliable, truthful, honest, open, and unbiased towards you, your beliefs, your faults, your strengths, and your weaknesses, but also be able to reciprocate that in the relationship. Find sources that will hold “trustworthiness” to them. It may not always be an easy task to let your guard down and let your complete self be shown--but once that happens, there will be a new greatness and feeling in your life. Once you know there is someone/something you can depend on to keep you safe, hold your secrets, talk out your fears and worries and to hold accountable, then you will know peace.
Trustworthiness is a vital characteristic for a human being to experience. So, going forward in the days to come I hope you are able to find someone or something that gives you the feeling of trust which then brings out more and more positive feelings for you and also those around you, which can then lead to a more positive impact in the community, the country, and the world! This is what we can do for our country, ourselves and all existence!
This week's blog writer is Kaily O'Connor. Born and bred in Shawnee, Oklahoma, she is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Communications. After graduation she worked for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, submerging herself into the not for profit world and seeing the impact that all of those great organizations around the state provide for others. In 2017 she moved to New York City in support of her long-time boyfriend who is currently in his 3rd year of Podiatry School. She currently is the Marketing & Sales Coordinator of the East Coast US for Valmont Cosmetics, a luxury Swiss skincare brand. Exercising her social skills as well as organizational skills implementing and executing in-store and off-site events, charitable partnerships and more.