Smallest Heart Can Make the Biggest Impact – Allison Griffor (Death of a 5 Year old saves 3)

“In the shadow of death, life is given new meaning”

Allison Griffor, 5, donates heart and other organs to other children

By Brad Franko and NBC News 2 Charleston

Doctors were able save Allison Griffor’s organs to save other children in need. Griffor is the 5-year-old shot during an attempted home invasion early Tuesday morning.

A family spokesman said doctors used Allison’s heart to save a 2-year- old child. She was also able to donate to two other children. One of her donations went to a child at MUSC. Two others went out of state.

A family spokesman issued a statement Friday at Waterfront Park, in Downtown Charleston. Richard Douglas told reporters, the park was Allison’s favorite spot.

A Facebook page dedicated to prayers for Allison and the Griffor family also delivered the sobering news.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to say that our prayers for a miracle were answered, just not the way we had planned. Allison has been called home to her heavenly father. Her family made the decision to donate her organs, which will be the miracle that other children have been waiting for. through this she will live on,” the statement says.

William Griffor says, he and his wife woke up to someone trying to kick-in their front door the Tuesday before she died.

“I ran to the front door and yelled hey and was about to open the door to grab whomever it was when I reached for the lock there was a blast through our door,” Griffor wrote in the comments section of a story on Counton2.com.

He said, he grabbed his three kids and put them in the bedroom with his wife on the floor. It wasn’t until deputies came in, and turned on the lights that they realized Allison was shot.

Deputies are still searching for a suspect, and are working to see if a similar robbery is connected.

The Griffor family is asking for donations to be made to:

“Allison Griffor Fund”
Mail to: William and Allison Griffor Fund
First Federal of Charleston
PO Box 118068
Charleston, SC 29423

Why Internet Dating Won’t Find You Love

Since the first utilization of internet chat rooms and the boom of AOL Chat Rooms, online dating in one form or another has been a part of our lives. For twenty years, the idea of finding love through a series of questions and tests has given saving grace to people around this great land. Unfortunately, the system has inherent flaws that will self destruct and potentially lead to greater levels of mistrust, defeat or depression.

eHarmony, Match.com and OkCupid to name a few have developed an analysis tool to help narrow down your “Perfect Match”. Through questions about religion, sexuality, interests, hobbies, talents, education, sports and brushing habits, these databases of love are intended to help you walk away with your perfect mate.

Even niche sites such as J-Date and Christian Singles have offered specific populations based on faith and believe. The competition is heavy and the options are ample.

There are several reasons this approach has imposed flaws and concerns:

1. By opening the window of opportunity and expanding your ability to search to hundreds if not thousands of miles, there is a perception that your plate will never be empty. With the anonymous approach online dating presents, the opportunity to open your dating calendar to multiple partners is much easier. Often, if you have the basic traits of a good partner (looks, personality, money, charm) you can attract a number of possible suitors. From their perspective, they may see a date as their shot to see if a match is made and many times, the evening goes exactly as planned, but what they are not aware of is that one will not know if that date is in his/her future for quite some time as there are three other dates lined up shortly after yours.

2. Like most addictions, online dating can be its own vice. With the massive population of smartphone users, one can be at dinner, a party, the subway or the park and check their email to see if any new possible dates or out reaches have occurred. I was at an outdoor local music festival and a woman spent a good part of three hours emailing back and forth on Plenty of Fish until her battery was drained. If I were to ask her about one band or song from that evening, I am fairly confident she would not know.

3. You can sell the theoretical notion that a high percentage match is a natural fit, but human nature does not work that way. We will continue to look at pictures, physical appearance/traits, wealth and stability factors above and beyond what a score might say.

4. Internet courage. This is very similar to liquid courage at a bar, but internet courage is the simple notion that if one is not rejected you in person, they aren’t rejected at all. Depending on your characteristics, your response rate can be as abundant as 50% or higher or as low as 10% or less. If you typically have a difficult time, getting dates, why not send 100 emails out with a generic “I liked your profile we should talk” or just “I wanted to say hi” and hope they right back. If they don’t respond, you are in the clear, but maybe just maybe this could like to a subconscious feeling of being deserted or undesirable may surface over time.

5. Mass production of the pick up line. If I were to walk up to a girl as a coffee shop or bar, I should have some line prepared. If I compliment her dress or eyes, it will still be viewed as a pick up line. It is an ice breaker. At that point, it is up to her after a quick glance if she wants to continue the conversation. In the age of online dating, you can type your best pick up paragraph, save it and then cut and paste into every profile within a 25 mile radius. Hopefully, you will at least glance at the profile so you can put something personal in the body of the email.

6. The disparity between women and men is very different. A typically woman will receive up to 10 times or more as many emails as a man. So if a male gets two responses in a day, he will of course respond, but if a female gets 50 a day, the likelihood is she will not spend too much time past a picture reviewing the profile and the chance of a response is quite limited.

7. There is a tendency to bump up to the higher level of attraction. How often will a 5 approach a 10? Not very often, unless there is a dare or a high level of intoxication. With online dating, a 2 can email a 10 so many take advantage of the anonymous front with no chance of rejection and reach out to those that are physically or social status by society standards out of their league.

8. Pictures lie. More importantly people lie. How many times, have you agreed to a date, got really excited, picked a nice expensive restaurant and showed up to find out the pictures were ten years old and there is less hair on top and more weight on the bottom. Misrepresented images are quite common in the online dating circuit.

9. Genuine profiles and “players” are still an obstacle that online dating has yet to overcome. If a woman or a man is just looking for a casual fling, they exist anywhere you go, even online. They will say whatever they need to in order to get that fix. This is not a knock on internet dating, but more of a warning that it is another method of finding a mate, but still has the same mind game issues.

10. Online dating can make internet stalking a little easier. How many people use the same profile name or offer up their first name and location. That is all you really need sometimes to Google search, find the Facebook page or other social profiles to learn more about a potential date. They sites aren’t as secure as we might think as we are creatures of habit and consistency especially with profile names and passwords.

I have known a growing number of people that are turning to online dating, some trying the free sites first and others joining niche or pay sites. Many have found success. In fact, I attending two Match.com weddings in one year. Many do not and grow even more frustrated at the prospect of finding that perfect mate. In the end, it is a form of communication to help you through the difficult path to love. It offers additional options that bars, coffee shops, grocery stores and dog parks cannot.

This piece is not meant to steer you away from the option of online dating but to have you walk into it with a little additional perspective and accept that there are flaws to the system.

If you are searching, good luck. There are some great people out there and with the right effort or luck, you will find them.

Is Technology Helping the Recession Along?

Last night, I picked up two VHS gems at Goodwill. Yes, I was said gems and Goodwill in the same sentence and yes I still own a VCR. Now that we got that out of the way, may I continue my story? I picked up Slap Shot and A Fish Called Wanda. Take a moment to get the “OMG, it has been so long since I saw those movies and they are so funny” out of the way. Good. This story is filled with way too many distractions.

Naturally, how could one chose between two great movies in their time or any time for that matter. I used the systematic approach and went with the one in the biggest obnoxious plastic case. Last night, John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline won over. As I was watching John Cleese do a commercial for Schweppes and admiring the aging quality of the print as it would compare today to a blue-ray disk, I had a single thought run through my head. Wait, there was a trailer for Big. Awesome! Back to the story. Yes, I am to blame for the last tangent. I recall as a child, this piece of plastic with way too many screws than it needed cost $89.99 in the last 1980’s. Yes. The prestige of owning a movie that you would watch in the comfort of your own home cost 90 bucks. Now, in today’s economy, who am I kidding, VHS tapes are worth less than bookends, these cost me a dollar each. Actually, it was discount Wednesday so I think they were even cheaper. In terms of nostalgia, they were priceless.

Since then the compact disk, laser disk, mini disk, blue-ray disk and instant internet streaming have out dated each other in a competitive frenzy driving costs down and supply up. I almost said NetFlix as the final link on the chain of advanced sales technology, but the likelihood is that if you read this in three to six months, they may not be here.

Let us take a moment of silence for the fall of NetFlix…….Thank you.

Now back to our show, with limited commercial interruption.

So I can get a retro VHS for a dollar, a DVD at Wal-Mart for 5 dollars or even a dollar at a flea market and a Blue-ray disk for $9.99 on sale. My how competition and bang for the buck has changed. Yet, the cost of movie tickets has increased in increments with inflation year in and year out. Add in the streaming technology and for $7.95 you are unlimited on the number of movies and shows you can watch. Actually you are limited given that there are 24 hours a day and 720 hours a month. That really limits us to about 370 movies if we don’t use the restroom or sleep. This is not to be taken as a challenge for some of you living in your parents basement.

Is this all a result of the the recession, competition or the poster child for a new society. I myself relish my $5.00 VCR I got on Craigslist and my wide assortment of VHS tapes including Strange Brew, Youngblood, Sixteen Candles, Beavis and Butthead Do America, The Way We Were, Youngblood, Dead Poet’s Society, Star Wars and Pump Up the Volume. There is something about the cracking of the tape and the feeling you get that takes you back to the innocence and comfort of youth. If it takes a recession and mounds and mounds of vendors and suppliers to drive down the cost of media, so be it. As a consumer, thank you. I am just glad my retro days have not been buried.

To all those that hang on to the memories of a good classic film on an even more classic media, we salute you. Bring out the VCR, pop some of that Orville popcorn and kick back.

What Kind of Employee Am I? Personal Marketing Strategy 101

What is a personal marketing strategy plan?

It is a blueprint for success. This document, will help you look at yourself a little closer and determine your professional vision. Through a series of evaluation tools, this document will identify the type of work, culture, values and ideology of the organization and environment that you will thrive in.

During the period of career transition, often we fall into a sense of panic or fear. Part of the work experience is the expectation of receiving payment for our contributions. When those payments dry out, the financial burden of lifestyle changes drive us to rush the process and settle into a situation that is less than fulfilling. Also, for those that are dissatisfied with the current work situation, we can be blinded by other opportunities comparing them only to our current situation but not looking deeper into the role, company and long term affects of the opportunity in play.

Making professional choices in life is a mentally straining activity that asks us to not only look at our own future, but those that are a part of our circle. The goal, by creating a marketing strategy document/doctrine is to provide yourself with a cheat sheet to your own happiness.

What type of information should I have in my personal marketing strategy document?

First, state your mission or objective:

Clearly indicate your expectations on what is your ultimate goal. Make it simple and clear. What are you trying to accomplish as the end goal of this initiative? Once you define the meaning of this activity, you will have the passion and motivation to see it to completion.

Determine your basic logistics/needs:

1. Pay/Compensation – Base Pay, Bonus, Stock/401(k), Benefits. Focus in on a monetary and benefits plan that will be most comfortable for you, your family and your lifestyle.

2. Work Life Balance – How many hours a week do you want to work? How much annual vacation are you seeking? Do you want an office based role or virtual home based role?

3. What type of product/service/industry do you want to be a part of? Do you have convictions against a certain product/service? Do you feel more comfortable in a design and development company vs. a manufacturing company? Do you want to work in a small boutique firm or Fortune 100 organization?

4. What level of responsibility are you looking to attain? Do you want a strategic leadership role? Do you want a people management role? Do you want to be an individual contributor?

5. What type of community value do you want your next employer to have (Volunteer work, charity work, green workplace)?

What are you key skills (technical and soft)?

List out all of your technical skills and be as specific as possible including software versions and expertise level (Beginner/Novice, Intermediate, Advanced).

List your soft skills – Leadership, communication, adaptability, teaming…

What are you current professional areas of improvement?

List all the areas you feel you could further develop in your professional career and focus on training or academics that could help you achieve those goals. Also, indicate the type of training that is most effective for you (classroom, web based, book learning).

Time line for acheivement

Based on current situations in your life and transition time, set out an approximate time frame to complete your transition into a new career opportunity

Company and Location

Now is the time we begin to get more specific. I know, many of you are saying to yourself “I don’t want to limit my search” but this exercise is all about finding your true happiness in a place where you will be spending almost half of your awake hours each week. Think about how selective you are with your choice of mate, home, entertainment, social life and friends. Why should a career search be any different?

If, you are willing to move, chose the Top 5 places you would consider a move. If you are not, how far are you willing to commute?

List the Top 5 or 10 companies you have a desire to work for. Have you always dreamed of working for Apple or Google or maybe want Best Buy for a great associate discount? Perhaps helping the environment is your passion and a solar energy company is your dream home. Think really hard about the company that would truly bring you inner peace and outward excitement each morning you drove to work.

What tools do you have for your plan execution?

List out all the tools you have at your disposal to help achieve your goal of identification, attraction and securing of your next career opportunity?

Examples:

Do you have a LinkedIn Profile?
Do you have an About.Me or Google Profile?
Do you have a URL / Web Based Resume?
Do you have publications / White Papers / Volunteer Work to support your career background?
Do you belong to any networking groups?
Do you have referrals?

There you have it, you initial Personal Marketing Strategy Plan. But you are not done yet.
The final step is review and edit. Take your plan to two or three people you trust in your life both personal and professional and have them review the document. Ask them to be candid and critical. You can be honest with yourself, but sometimes others see you a little better than you see yourself.

Once you have completed the final step, your blueprint for success is ready. Print it out, tape it on your desk, wall, refrigerator or bathroom mirror so that every day, you are reminded of the goals you are going to achieve.

You will be successful and more importantly you will find happiness at the end of the rainbow.

Just When We Needed a Hero – It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Super Tebow

Tim Tebow, throughout his collegiate career with the Florida Gators was a sweetheart and/or role model to all. He was a heart throb to the girls on campus and a legend to all men, fraternities and even professors. Every Saturday, during football season, Gainsville, Florida become Gator country and to some Tebow Country. Tim Tebow was a celebrity who could create an instant classic with his arm and legs.

Look at the numbers:

Winner of the Heisman Trophy in 2007, and 26 of 28 wins his final two seasons, he was destined for greatness. In his collegiate career, in the air and on the ground, Tebow amassed 145 touchdowns. A remarkable feat for any athlete. His respect for family, his morals, and his passion on and off the field made him a role model for children and adults. Before he even had a chance to throw a football in the National Football League (NFL), Tim Tebow Denver Broncos football jerseys became the fastest selling professionals jersey of all time. It was just a matter of time before a bronze statue would be erected in his honor.

Unfortunately, it was a difficult transition for this natural athlete as he struggled in pre-draft camp to transition to the more conservative flow of the professional game. Just when the sun could not shine any brighter on Tim, he saw himself on the sidelines, without fan fare and without a chance to prove his value to his fans and his new home, Denver.

Life has a funny way of turning on people and bringing even the most deserving to its knees. A man with such amazing conviction would not be let down. During his first season in the NFL, this 6’3″ 236 pound quarterback played in nine games, starting three with a quarterback rating of only 82.1 and completing 50% of his passes. Not a terrible inaugural year, but not numbers worthy of a champion.

Yesterday, something happened. The global economy did not completely turn around, natural disasters had not seized to exist and world peace welcome us in celebration and song, but something that gave us a reason to believe once again in the good of humanity. The Miami Dolphins were leading 15 – 0 over the Denver Broncos with 7 minutes and 34 seconds remaining in the game. Then Tim Tebow reached deep inside his soul and found the strength to once again raise himself to the levels that brought fans to their knees in Florida week in and week out. With 2 minutes and 44 seconds remaining, Tebow found Demaryius Thomas in the end zone to make it a 15 – 7 game. With only 17 seconds remaining in the game, Tim once again found the end zone this time a three yard pass to Daniel Fells. Now the score sits at 15 – 13. A two point conversion is the only thing that stood in the way of potential overtime. With fire in his eyes and wings on his heels, Tebow ran the ball into the right side of the end zone to force overtime and one of the most amazing comebacks of the year.

With 7 minutes and 24 seconds left in overtime, Matt Prater put the nail in the coffin with a 52 yard field goal and the beginning of a Mardi Gras celebration in honor of our newest hero, Tim Tebow.

It may not be a peace cry, but the sounds of Te-bow, Te-bow, Te-bow could be heard long into the dark hours of the night. It was a time for celebration in Denver, in the NFL and throughout the country. Tim Tebow is a patriot, not in the tradition of the military, but a person we want to look up to and a role model we can believe in.

He makes us want to be a better person and shows the world that hard work, strong ethics and a good moral foundation can result in success and accomplishment.

In the shadow of Dan Wheldon’s tragic death last weekend, unemployment, poverty, the tragedy in Turkey and a general mood of despair, Tim Tebow, showed us in 7 minutes and 54 seconds that miracles do happen and for a brief moment, a hero would come out from the rubble, smile at us and tell us that everything will be alright.

The faithful Miami Dolphin fans aside, Tim Tebow, we needed you to bring a little heroism into our lives.