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tis the season, part 2

As Iíve mentioned before, and you can see over in the sidebar, my good friend Shel is running his second annual Penny Drive for Charity. This year, Shel has expanded it to include causes as well as charities.

Shel has asked that the people participating in the drive write a little bit about the cause or charity they chose and why.

There are plenty of causes I support, but the one I chose is not a worldwide cause or a well-known organization. Itís just one person doing something wonderful.

Rachel Lucas has recently recently started the Quiet Heroes Project:

What happened this weekend to make me reevaluate my goals in life? Some introspection, to be sure. But the catalyst was Mr. Morseburg. He sent me some articles he's written about the war, the Pacific theatre in particular. I read his first-hand account about the feelings of American soldiers when Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Japan, and I realized these men were younger than I am now when they were risking their lives and losing their friends and brothers in the most atrocious ways.

He also wrote to General Tibbetts about me and about what my professor said about the atomic bombings, and Tibbetts asked for my mailing address so he could send me a book. He is 87 years old now.

So I ask myself, What next? Do I just take these stories and these gifts and then write another rant about Barbra Streisand? Do I hear Mr. Morseburg's stories and decide that's enough, and go back to watching my site meter and hating Al Gore? Do I write off my dream of recording as many stories as possible from the elders and continue to play with my web site and watch The Osbournes on Tuesday nights?

No. I don't. It's time to do what I need to do, because time is running out. Starting with my own grandparents, I will begin to collect their stories.

This might be a pipe dream and a hopeless endeavor. But I don't think it is. Even if I have to fund it myself, I will. A few hours each evening for as long as it takes, I'll visit nursing homes and retirement centers, and do e-mail interviews with men like Mr. Morseburg. I have no idea what the final form will take. Documentary? Book? My own personal scrapbook of history? I have the feeling it will reveal itself.

This blog will not die, not yet. But for now, I am going to turn it into a tool for this project.

But my focus has shifted and I know in my bones that it's time for me to do what I've wanted to do almost my whole life. It might not change the world, but hopefully, I can accomplish something worthwhile.

I admire Rachel for taking this on and for having such a passion to do so. Before long, all the stories of WWII will be taken to the grave with the veterans of that war. What Rachel is compiling is not just a history of that time, but a collection of personal histories that should never be forgotten.

So I'll be rolling up my pennies - and trust me, there are a lot of pennies to be rolled - and sending the money off to Rachel to support her wonderful project.

If you have a favorite cause or charity, please think about participating in the Penny Drive. Spread some holiday cheer. Last year, over 80,000 pennies were donated. Let's help Shel reach or exceed that total this year.

I mean, what were you going to do with those pennies anyhow, besides stick them back in the couch cushions?


Michele, thank you again, so much. I really appreciate your support in this.

I sent you an e-mail last week but it came back unreturnable, so I sent it again. I hope you got it! Just wanted you to know I'm grateful and you're sweet.