I was privileged today to meet Bill Swank. Perhaps you’ve met him, too. Since 2002, Bill has been the volunteer Santa Claus at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during Balboa Park’s popular December Nights. He’s a friendly good guy who effortlessly spreads cheerfulness and joy.
Bill Swank is probably best known for being a leading expert on baseball and the San Diego Padres. He’s written numerous books about baseball history. His knowledge is so deep, the San Diego Historical Society has called him our city’s top baseball historian.
His most recent book, published earlier this year, is titled Christmas in San Diego. If you love both Christmas and San Diego, I know you’ll treasure this book. It’s loaded with history, local traditions and hundreds of fun, very unique photos. (Five photos from Cool San Diego Sights are in the book! How cool is that?)
Bill “Santa” Swank believes the true meaning of Christmas is found in the Golden Rule. His excellent book also proves another important truth: that human hearts are warmed when we are generous and kind. In the book you’ll see community-spirited Santas through the decades bringing joy to many generations, lifting the spirits of all.
From Christmas Eve way back in 1775, to the present day, Christmas in San Diego covers over two hundred years of local history. You’ll find out how both famous and ordinary San Diegans have celebrated the holiday season, and learn a good deal about many historical places and events. Personally, I love the parts concerning unselfish Santa Claus volunteers who’ve participated in a surprising range of charitable activities. Touching young and old alike, with a twinkle-eyed smile and merry Ho, Ho, Ho!
I was privileged to shake the hand of Santa Claus today. Read Christmas in San Diego, and you will be able to peer into Santa’s heart.
I’d like to propose a new informal organization. Anyone can join. It exists in our spirit. It’s called B.L.O.G., which stands for Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.
We bloggers have amazing power. Our presence on the internet is enormous. We have significant and increasing influence in the world. Together we can make a huge positive difference.
So why not flex our muscles and use that growing influence to do good?
To be a self-appointed member of B.L.O.G., one must make a conscious effort to help nonprofits, charities and unselfish individuals who tirelessly work to improve our world.
Bloggers Lifting Others Generously will help these deserving folks by providing them with publicity.
From time to time–when opportunities arise–members of B.L.O.G. will publish posts about charitable efforts. One might write a post to help publicize an organization’s food drive, or a community’s environmental cleanup, or neighborhood students trying to raise money, or a walk to find a cure…
Every member of B.L.O.G. will use the power of their passionate words to support those who work to improve our world.
Will you join me? I even made a big blue B.L.O.G. graphic as you can see at the top of this post! Make your own or use mine if you’d like! It’s all about a spirit of giving and doing things that are meaningful. Isn’t generosity what’s ultimately important in life, anyway?
Let’s make this world (and the internet) a better place!
Today was Union-Tribune Kids’ News Day in San Diego! I can’t believe this is the third year I’ve blogged about the special day. Time flies!
Every October, smiling Chargers football players and cheerleaders, kids and volunteers station themselves at busy intersections around San Diego. Waving at folks in cars, they hold up special edition newspapers, printed just for this day, which motorists eagerly purchase. The proceeds go to help our local Rady Children’s Hospital.
In the morning I happen to walk through one of the key intersections while heading to work, so I had to take a few photos. This year I’d like to say thank you to the San Diego Chargers, Union Tribune and all the volunteers who make this possible. Over many years, millions of dollars have been raised by Kids’ News Day for Rady Children’s Hospital, helping to save thousands of young lives.
Do you want to donate? There’s no better cause. I urge you to click here!
Do you love animals? Would you like to adopt a rescue cat in San Diego?
I met three nice ladies during my walk through Balboa Park, and they have a cool organization called Guardian Angels Animal Rescue. They work to save homeless cats and kittens in San Diego. The more fosters they have participating in their program, the more lives they can save. Please check out their website and perhaps you can lend a hand!
Follow this blog for more random fun stuff, and various ways to help others (even those with fur) in need! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.
Today is Coastal Cleanup Day! This huge environmental undertaking, involving thousands of energetic volunteers, is I Love A Clean San Diego’s biggest event of the year!
Over 7,600 people participated in San Diego County last year. Over a hundred tons of nasty garbage was removed from our beaches, bays and inland waterways!
This year, in Ocean Beach, a small army of volunteers fanned out along the shore looking for litter and other debris. The items they collected were carefully recorded. I saw many families, organizations and community-minded businesses participating. Everyone was having a great time.
San Diegans, who feel fortunate to live in such a beautiful corner of the world, are very keen on maintaining a clean environment. What’s good for Mother Earth is good for us, as well!
Follow this blog for more photos of cool stuff! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.
The huge SDCCU Super Shred Event is underway right now as I type! The event is an attempt to break the world record for paper collection in a single location during a 24 hour period!
San Diego County Credit Union already holds the official Guinness World Record. Today they’re trying to break it. So why was I there taking photos? I collect my old records in a box at home, and whenever SDCCU offers free shredding, I head on down to take advantage of the service which is available to anyone. This morning the annual event, taking place in Mission Valley’s gigantic Qualcomm Stadium parking lot, is bigger than ever. So I brought my camera!
Not only does shredding paper documents protect against identity theft, but recycling paper is good for our environment. So this event is pretty cool for a whole variety of reasons!
Do you love to be out in the San Diego sunshine, among friendly people and fragrant fruit trees? Do you hate to see delicious, nutritious fruit just lying there on the ground, beginning to rot? Do you, perhaps, own fruit trees in your backyard and struggle to give the abundant harvest away? Would you like to help some hungry people?
If you’re looking for a fun opportunity to volunteer and make a positive change in the lives of San Diegans, read on! Some fantastic ladies whom I met at EarthFair need your help! They’re the Glean Queens!
The Glean Queens have undertaken a very important project. It’s called CropSwap. The perfectly named CropSwap (part of their organization ProduceGood) solves a huge problem. The problem of tragically wasted food–locally grown fruit, to be exact.
Sunny Southern California is thick with citrus and other fruit trees. Many residents have them on their property. Many of the established trees provide more fruit than a family can possibly use. Why should the excess become useless garbage?
According to the USDA, a whopping 40% of crops go to waste. And here’s another shocking statistic: 20% of San Diegans have difficulty getting enough food to eat.
CropSwap coordinates fruit tree owners and volunteer pickers, and arranges the collection of excess fruit that would otherwise be wasted. The fruit is then delivered to San Diego food banks. An excellent (and common sense) idea!
So all you fruit tree owners and future volunteer pickers in and around San Diego! Click here to visit the ProduceGood website and learn how you can personally help, in a very tangible and rewarding way, to fight hunger!
Spread the word!
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