Friday, July 29, 2011

Clay Aiken's Somalia Appeal Makes Headlines

Clay Aiken visited Somalia in 2008. - Clickable graphic by claystruck.

Happy Birthday, NIP and Sally!

Singer Urges Support for Somalia

When Clay Aiken writes a blog, it's front page news!

His article -- Support Somalia (Because Mother Nature Ain't) -- is a featured post on the Huffington Post and AOL websites.

In the blog, the UNICEF Ambassador outlines the famine and water crisis in Somalia and across the Horn of Africa.

More than 2.3 million children are acutely malnourished, including half a million at immediate risk of death. Thousands of families are crossing the border from Somalia as emergency therapeutic feeding centers are being set up by UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies in neighboring countries. [SNIP]

UNICEF is using every means possible to reach these children. Their unrivaled expertise in responding to the unique needs of children affected by emergencies of all sorts is precisely why they have saved the lives of more children across the globe than any other humanitarian organization.

But they are entirely dependent on donations. They urgently need more than $300 million over the next six months alone to meet the basic needs and save the lives of countless children.

The average family spends about $100 a month on watering their yard in the spring and summer months. That $100 dollars can feed a child for 100 days! Three months!

I challenge us all to consider reallocating our watering allowance to a cause so much more important than fescue.

I'm sure we can all agree that we would rather our grass die than a child.

Rise Up from the Ashes - UNICEF
Montage by SueReu can be viewed full screen at YouTube.

To lend your assistance, text "FOOD" to UNICEF (864233 to give $10, which can feed a child for 10 days, or visit Help Save Children in the Horn of Africa at the UNICEF site.

Canadians donating for Somalia should do so through UNICEF Canada as donations through that site are being matched dollar for dollar by the Canadian government.

A Week for Special Birthdays

The National Inclusion Project celebrated its eighth birthday Thursday. Today we not only commemorate the Inclusion Project's anniversary, but also the birthday of Sally -- friend, CA fan, photographer, graphic artist, and mentor for many whose designs are published in this blog throughout the year.

For me, Sally is a sister-friend. To my grandchildren, she has become a "fairy godmother," spearheading an online baby shower and celebrating Kai and Lia through creative graphics and photo edits.

Sally's party continues below the fold with five of her classic Clay Aiken graphics.

Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel, Inclusion Project co-founders.

Aiken, Bubel Form Foundation

The National Inclusion Project, originally The Bubel/Aiken Foundation, grew out of the relationship between Clay, Diane Bubel, and her then 13-year-old son Mike, who had been diagnosed with autism.

While pursuing a career in special education at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Clay met the Bubels with whom he shared a vision of a world where children like Mike could be fully immersed in society.

Having witnessed children with disabilities repeatedly turned away from activities open to others, they believed that with the right support system, doors could be opened to these youngsters and an organized effort would facilitate community inclusion and empowerment of individuals with disabilities.

Diane Bubel and son Mike in 2003

The goal became a reality when Clay and Diane co-founded TBAF. The official announcement was made on July 28, 2003, in New York City. For a timeline and much more, see TBAF Events at the Clay Aiken Kids site. Below is a clickable wallpaper by Fountaindawg commemorating the foundation's beginning.

The Inclusion Project serves to bridge the gap that exists between young people with special needs and the world around them, supporting communities with inclusive programs and helping to create awareness about the possibilities that inclusion can bring.
We are, as they say, the product of the choices we make. I challenge each of you to make the choice that leads to full access, celebrating the human rights we all deserve. When you see a child in a wheelchair, will you choose to see the child? Or the chair?

When you stand in the presence of someone who cannot speak, will you choose to hear only silence? Or will you choose the tapestry that is found in the language without words?

When you’re facing parenting or teaching a child with a disability, will you choose to be overwhelmed by the challenges? Or will you choose to recognize a different kind of hero who brings you one of life’s most precious gifts – hope? -- Clay Aiken

In the past eight years, the NIP and its supporters have participated in a variety of fundraising and volunteer projects to insure a world of inclusion for all children.

Currently, you can register, login, and vote five times daily at TWBE The Best Charities Ever to help the Inclusion Project earn funds.

In previous years, Sally shared her talent for graphics and photography in an OFC blog. On occasion, she included instructional entries about how she obtained certain effects.

A couple of years ago we surprised her with a birthday bash in her journal. I "picked the lock," and several graphic artists supplied the decorations. The above birthday banner was created by ABeautifulMind.

Sally also started the Paint Shop Pro Forum at Clayversity in which her step-by-step lessons for various aspects of photo editing and creating designs provided excellent references for many novice graphic artists.

Students Make Teacher Proud

A teacher, I understand how proud Sally is of her "students." In some instances, she opened an AIM account just to guide novices through the initial steps of graphic design. She proudly admits that some long ago surpassed their teacher.

In other entries, the Carolina blog has featured examples of Sally's floral and landscape photographs. Today I thought it would be an exceptional treat to let her bring her own party decorations.

The five graphics below represent earlier Clay Aiken tours and performances -- Jukebox, Joyful Noise, and Singerman's "confetti moment" at the AI5 Finale. In addition to screen caps, photographers represented include Tasapio, 1, and Invisible926, 3.

Thank you, Sally, for being such a special friend. Everyone, enjoy the party!

Happy Birthday to Sally and the National Inclusion Project! Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!


Today's entry is #600 for the Carolina On My Mind blog, which began with The Real Rebels of Music to July 13, 2006. A year later, ClustrMap and Feedjit were added to note visitor locations.

To date, you have come to this corner from 169 countries. Thank you for your visits, comments, and support of this blog.


Anonymous said...

Love that blog and wish Sally Happy Birthday!! NIP too. Thanks for the info and always looking out for Us to be updated! Clay is useing his voice and that is always good to see. Have a great wk.end, bet those gkids r enjoying the summer! :) Wi.

katy said...

Let's do this for the children who need clean water and food. Thanks, Clay.

SueReu said...

Happy Birthday Sally!!!!!!

What a great blog - congrats to you, congrats to National Inclusion Project.

Love it when Clay uses his voice for such worthwhile causes.

Ginger Scarlett said...

Have the greatest of birthdays, Sally! You share so much of yourself so generously with those around you and it's wonderful to look around the various boards and blogs and social network pages and other sites all over the fandom, and see the fruits of the seeds that you planted. You are such a treasure to the fandom!!! Hope you're having a birthday that's just as wonderful as you! HBD!!!

Caro, thank you for another outstanding blog! You always find the best pictures and videos: Marvelous job, Sue!!! And multiple Guhs to Sally and claystruck!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro, and a Very Happy Birthday to Sally and the NIP.

CONGRATULATIONS also to you for #600....Wow! that is amazing.

Have a Great weekend.


ACA said...

Happy Birthday dear Sally! There's so many things happening right now and I'm glad that I got the chance to greet Sally. I'm a huge admirer of her work. Sally, enjoy your special day and wishing you all the best.

Caro, many thanks for your blogs. It brings a smile always.

Take care and have a nice weekend.


Sally said...

Thank you my dear sister-friend Dianne, for this amazing birthday celebration. And thanks to your readers who took the time to add their good wishes. I remain deeply touched.

I created graphics and taught so many wonderful Clay fans as my way to "give back" something to this incredible man who continues daily to enrich my life. Clay's fans are some of the best people I've ever known, and the artists (whatever the medium), continue to dazzle me with their work.

Again Dianne, thank you. I felt like I was hugged all day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro..just want to say ... I am a loyal visitor to your blog & I am one of those 169 countries :).
Just want to say ... I love it so much. So please keep writing about our Mr. Clay Aiken.. thank you so much.

***Puteri from Indonesia

Anonymous said...

uups... forget to say.. happy birthday Sally, I love you your 'art work' ;) (collecting them a lot) & happy birthday as well for NIP.


CCOL4HIM said...

An excellent birthday blog! Congratulations to Sally and the National Inclusion Project on their birthday! Congrats to you, also, on your 600th post. Take care & God bless. Love always, Cynthia