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Service to Humanity

What Inspires You? Webinars

TOS-USA - Sun, 01/07/2018 - 18:03

What Inspires You? is a series of four webinars in which the Theosophical Order of Service in America (TOSA) explores what inspires and helps strengthen our practice of service. The format is an inspiring five-minute video screening followed by a short discussion among participants.

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

November 2017 Coming Soon!
Categories: Service to Humanity

A Month Of Kindness

TOS-USA - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 23:08
November 27, 2017

In October 2017, the TOS ran a “Campaign for Kindness” in which members were invited to perform extra little (or big) acts of kindness. The results are in, and they’re awesome:

  1. I rescued two worms that had washed onto the sidewalk after a heavy rain. Had they stayed on the sidewalk in the sun, they would have baked to death. I put them back in the grass—within a few seconds, they had wriggled to the ground and began burrowing into the dirt.
  2. I carried a heavy box for a pregnant coworker and loaded it into her car.
  3. I let another driver into the lane in front of me.
  4. I found a bug in my house and gently took it outside.
  5. I watered my neighbor’s flowers while she was away.
  6. On my days off I provide free plumbing and electrical help to whoever needs it. My community has many elderly people and I've been busier than busy.
  7. I collected new socks and donated them to the homeless.
  8. I assembled ziplock bags of essentials like water, snacks, and socks and gave them to the homeless.
  9. Despite the fact my daughter is in dialysis she is pushing herself to start a kidney support group to help others…she is one awesome young lady!
  10. Every Fall since 2002, I’ve donated dictionaries to 3 rd graders at 27 schools in Chicago’s western suburbs. I do a 35 minute talk to teach them how to use their new dictionary. It’s so important to get the kids to start using this book while they’re still young.
  11. During a conference, I brought a wedge cushion and an exercise mat from home to one of the participants who is 8+ months pregnant because I could see she was uncomfortable. She was very grateful and used them all weekend.
  12. My co-worker cleaned his girlfriend's garage so she would give me a free massage when I desperately needed one.
  13. I work at a school. A lady called and asked how to pay off a lunch balance account. I asked her the name of the child, and she said she didn't have a name in mind. She wanted to pay it forward to the most delinquent account.
  14. Several years ago I started to carry in the empty garbage cans of my neighbors on garbage day. I figured that would make life a little easier for both my elderly neighbors and also those who work. Once they realized what was going on, they seemed appreciative, which was a nice reaction but not necessary. I did it because it helped the people around me, and that was rewarding enough.
  15. In October, I raised $1,764 for St. Balderick's, leaders in funding research for childhood cancers. I also raised $200 and donated my hair to Hair We Share so they could make a wig for a child who lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
  16. When I see Facebook posts by rescue groups about animals in need of emergency care, I am not always able to send money, so I have started doing the Ho’oponopono Prayer as well as long distance Reiki on the animals.
  17. My friend was having lots of medical problems, and his birthday was near. I alerted his friends and asked them to call him, not just post on Facebook. He was thrilled to talk to so many friends that he normally wouldn't have. I think those things really matter—I’m sure he felt the love.
  18. I dropped an anonymous card to a Veteran today. I walk by his house at the lake and appreciate listening to his music, looking at his garden, chickens, dog, and all of the flags he has out. So I just sent a note of appreciation.
  19. I frequently call my US Senators to ask them to vote NO on any horse slaughter language and keep the horses wild.
  20. I helped a baby cockroach out of the bathtub (and later off the floor) so I didn't step on him.
  21. I shut off the shower while soaping up to conserve water.
  22. I helped a spider move to a better location in the kitchen.
  23. I loaned a former Lodge member some emergency money.
  24. I sent daily thoughts of healing to the Caribbean and to Mexico.
  25. I gave the bus driver a little wave goodbye every evening.
  26. I sent my indoor houseplants thoughts of love and appreciation most days.
  27. I helped shuttle a lodge member who can no longer drive back and forth from meetings.
  28. I deliberately use humor and teasing in my office most days to foster good feelings among coworkers and refocus attention from insignificant annoyances to loftier things.
  29. I sent hope for compassion/wisdom to leaders and members of the TS, TOS, and ES every morning in meditation.

Thanks to everyone who makes the world a better place with their little (and big) acts of kindness! As Dr. Seuss famously taught, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Categories: Service to Humanity

Bradenton TOS Takes On Massive Library Project

TOS-USA - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 06:09
November 16, 2017

The TS Study Centre in Bradenton, FL, has enjoyed holding their meetings at the Mitreya Center, an interfaith meeting place. A few members of the TS, however, saw an unmet need at the Mitreya Center – its library needed some TLC. Five members of the Bradenton TS/TOS group decided to take on the massive project of reorganising the Center's library, so it would be more accessible to the centre's many visitors. The group is creating a library catalogue, which will be available to the greater Bradenton community, as well.

TOS Liaison, Alec Grae, who has been volunteering in libraries since the 4th grade, explains, "TS materials are interspersed with other topics of interest, because of the other groups that also meet here. But the vast majority of items are of interest to the TS as well."

From left: Alec Grae, Judith Snow, Donna Lobdell and Ann Willig

The main contributors to the project are: Donna Lobdell, Ann Willig, Judith Snow, Alec Grae and Jeannette Rothberg. Jeannette is not in the photos.

In addition to cataloguing the entire library contents, Alec says, "we will be converting a large collection of Krishnamurti's VHS lectures to DVD," so the lectures will be more accessible. Alec found appropriate equipment and software for this aspect of the job for about $40, paid from the Bradenton TS group's funds.

What's behind the group's desire to spend such an incredible amount of time and effort on this library? Alec explained, "We feel the library will be more user-friendly for our group, as well as others, who meet at the centre. Maybe we will be able to connect with other, likeminded seekers, who will also enjoy the library, and bring more interest to the group and TSA as a whole."

Hands in the air for the Bradenton TS/TOS!

Categories: Service to Humanity

Donate to the Golden Link College

TOS-USA - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:09
October 12, 2017

Donate $20 or more to the Golden Link College. Here’s Why:

Since its inception fifteen years ago, the Golden Link College (GLC) has provided quality education to disadvantaged children. In an environment that encourages theosophical principles such as no discrimination of any kind, peace, harmony, compassion, and a sense of well-being, children (and the adults who teach the children and work at the school) become “socially responsible, morally upright, and spiritually sensitive individuals.” These are qualities many children do not receive in regular educational settings which is what makes the Golden Link College such a rare gem. GLC is theosophy is in action.

In 2008, John Kern approached the TOS with a challenge. If we could raise $30,000 for the Golden Link School (known at that time), the Kern Foundation would match that amount. In early 2009, $60,000 was granted to GLS. The funds came just in time as the school was going to open to a division of college so children from the high school could continue their education. The following year, the Kern Foundation offered $20,000 and since then, each year the TOS has worked to raise the money worldwide for the Golden Link College.

The College has now reached a population of 642 students. This is the first time since its inception that the college has exceeded this number. The college has four (4) schools affiliated with it now: the Philippine Lumen School, the GLC Bohol Campus, the Sunshine Learning Center and the TOS Learning Center. The combined population of these students with the College has brought the total population to over 1,000 students.

One of the major factors that is important regarding the work of GLC is that it is inspiring other countries to start theosophical schools. Two visitors to GLC earlier this year were Laura Rodriguez and Diego Fernandes from Rosario, Argentina. Argentina has officially announced their plan to start a theosophical school within three years. Members have been meeting to discuss finances, infrastructure, curriculum and the administration of the school.

The TOS would like to invite you to join us in this endeavor by donating $20.00 or more to the Golden Link College. Your donation is tax-exempt and 100% of your donation will go directly to GLC.  To donate, simply click on “Donate.” In the drop down menu choose Golden Link College. You are welcome to donate using your PayPal account or your credit card.

On behalf of the children at GLC, thank you!!



Categories: Service to Humanity

Boots on the Ground

TOS-USA - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 16:30
October 12, 2017

As many people know, when a donation is made to the Theosophical Order of Service, 100% of your donation goes toward the cause or project you have chosen. This is because the TOS works as an All-Volunteer Organization (AVO) and while this may not seem like anything consequential, in fact it is. Today, very few organizations are able to put 100% of your donated dollars toward its designated purpose. In many organizations, charitable dollars are used to help with the administrative costs. For the TOS, our expenses are low because of the volunteers who commit their time and, sometimes, their own money to the work of the TOS. They do it in the name of theosophical service.

Another factor about the TOS that supporters may not know is that if money is donated to a disaster, such as those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the money collected for the victims of these disasters goes to the victims of these disasters through our boots on the ground. In other words, TOS/TS volunteers who live in the area or close to it and who commit to making sure your dollars go directly to helping a family, a community, or even several individuals who are in need. The amazing thing about this is that at times these volunteers are themselves affected by the disaster. For instance, in Houston after Harvey pummeled the area with vast amounts of rain, TOS volunteers from the Houston area, despite their streets being flooded and having no electricity, decided to help out at the shelters and food banks. In typical Theosophical fashion, volunteers put their own needs aside and went to help others.

The TOS would like to take this opportunity to thank the many volunteers who have given their time, energy, materials, and dollars to helping others. Service is definitely heart work. It happens because we cannot sit by and watch others suffer. It happens because a stirring within tells us that something must be done to make a difference. It happens without ego, sometimes without care to one’s own welfare, and because we are the boots on the ground that creation uses to provide goodness in the world.

Categories: Service to Humanity
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