A year ago at this time, a tragedy befell my community. A lone shooter pulled into the parking lot of the Jewish Community Campus and murdered Dr. William Corporon and his grandson, Reat Underwood, as the young man was preparing to audition for a high school singing competition being sponsored by the Jewish Community Center. From there, this madman turned south and drove about a mile more to Village Shalom, a retirement community, where he shot and killed Terri Lamanno who had been visiting her mother. His intention was to kill as many Jews as he could; in a sick twist of fate, on that day prior to Passover, no person of the Jewish faith was hit. But the impact of this devastation was certainly felt community wide. That said, the perpetrator of this hate crime did not win… instead of instilling fear, as he had hoped, the community banded together, propped up one another and unified to show its metal and support for our diverse city.
In an incredible show of faith, community and determination to not let hatred “win,” beginning today, with the partnership of a number of organizations, including the Jewish Community Campus and Village Shalom, the families of the victims of the April 13, 2014 shooting have spearheaded a week-long series of events and activities called SevenDays. SevenDays is a challenge for young and old, to embrace diversity across races, religions and cultures. This group of caring individuals hopes to promote understanding and encourage kindness to “Make a Ripple to Change the World.” Count me in!
Starting today, we can all make an effort to Change the World. Per its website, here’s what the SevenDays’ organizers have in mind…
Day 1 – Love: Reach out to those you care about today.
- Give a Hug
- Treat Someone
- Show Kindness
Day 2 – Discover: Take time to broaden your world view.
- Explore a Different Culture/Religion
- Plan/Attend a Cultural Event
- Connect with Someone New
Day 3 – Others: Give of yourself to others, whether an individual or a charitable organization.
- Do a Good Deed
- Donate Your Time
- Be a Mentor
Day 4 – Connect: Gather together with family/friends to re-connect.
- Explore Your Heritage
- Gather at the Table
- Reach Out to Others
Day 5 – Go: Choose an activity that benefits your physical well-being and mind.
- Enjoy the Outdoors
- Plan/Attend a Physical Activity
- Take a Field Trip
Day 6 – You: Remind yourself that you are special.
- Take Time for Personal Growth
- Be Proud of Yourself
- Do Something for You
Day 7 – Onward: Let the change begin with you. Make a Ripple to Change the World.
- Act Beyond Today
- Make Kindness a Habit
- Change the World
YOU CAN PARTICIPATE, too, no matter where you are on earth! Will you join me? Please take a moment to leave a comment below this post to share how you will make a difference and/or visit www.GiveSevenDays.org to learn more and post your remarks. You can also share your acts of Love on social media with the hashtag #sevendayschallenge.