Saturday, October 31, 2009

rest in peace

300. rest in peace
Originally uploaded by heathre
One of my work colleagues - Rob - committed suicide this week. It was a huge shock to all of us. He worked with one of our programs on a part-time basis while in the PhD program at PSU. He moved to Colorado last year to work as a mediator with another company, but was contracted on one of our projects. He was in Portland working on the project when it happened.

I didn't know him really well but hung out with him at several work social gathering. We worked on some contracting and grants administration together - one particularly long and painful one - and he was so appreciative. He swore he would take me out for beers as a thank you, so one evening after work we hung out, grabbed some pizza and a beer and talked. He was such a vibrant, energetic, enthusiastic and engaged person. He was training for the Kona Ironman and was constantly looking for some new athletic exploit.

We also had a great chat at the xmas gathering a couple years ago about our Australian romances - he was engaged to an Australian women but things didn't work out. And this was around the time I was realizing Dave and I would not be able to stay together.

And I can only imagine how his girlfriend, parents and friends are feeling right now. My thoughts are with them as they try to cope with this loss. We learned he had struggled with severe depression for over 20 years. I hope he has found peace.

His friends set up a wonderful facebook page in his memory.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

288. India!

288. India!
Originally uploaded by heathre
My official fundraising pitch :)

Next March, I’m going to Bangalore India on a Women Build/Habitat for Humanity volunteer trip. Along with 100 other volunteers from around the globe, I’ll be working with Indian families to help build safe and affordable homes. The project kicks off on March 8th, which is International Women’s Day. We will be building in partnership with
rural and underprivileged Indian women who have formed microfinance self-help groups so that they can save money to build better lives for their families.

Most of you know that Women Build is a cause near and dear to my heart. Over the past five years, I’ve been volunteering at Portland Women Build alongside some truly amazing women. We have built four homes and most importantly, have helped four families reach their goal
of owning a safe, affordable home. I’ll be traveling to India with two other awesome Portland Women Build volunteers – Mel George and Katie Hughes. And of course, I’ll be bringing my camera and I’m really looking forward to documenting our journey and experiences.

Sounds fabulous, right? Here’s how you can help!

1) Donate online through my Habitat for Humanity Global Village webpage:
Heather's Women Build Trip Fund

I need to raise $1,950 for the trip fee, which covers my trip fees like food and lodging, but also includes a donation toward the IndiaBUILDS program. These donations will be paired will be paired with the savings of women’s self-help groups to help some of India’s poorest families gain better lives. And your donations are tax deductible!

2) Donate toward my airfare fund at my paypal site
Airfare will be around $1,700 – I’m still on the lookout for a great deal, but that’s a realistic figure.

At the risk of sounding like a bad infomercial, if you donate $50 or more, I will send you an 8x10 print of your choice! Here’s a link to some examples: prints for india

Please consider giving if you can. And if you can’t, all your good thoughts, positive energy and fund-raising tips are also greatly appreciated! (Or India travel tips!)

Take care,