Billy Austin had a dream for a safe route to Maymont Park.  But the quadriplegic, who uses a computer to speak, needed help.  I joined other volunteers in establishing the Billy Austin Sidewalk Project.  As co-chair of the project, I helped shepherd the project through city, state, and federal agencies.  The project raised $123,000 through private donations and a successful federal grant application, which I helped write.  To support the grant application, I gathered letters of support from senators, congressmen, and other officials.  The result was the construction of an accessible sidewalk linking the Virginia Home, a nursing facility for adults with severe physical disabilities, and Maymont Park.  Please click on image to view sample pages from the grant.

The desert outside Lokichogio, Kenya is littered with animal carcasses from an unrelenting drought.  As officials survey the area, two young girls show up out of nowhere.  They are the last survivors of a small, desperate party.  Learn more about their story and the part of Kenya known as the “killing fields” in this article, written for ChildWorldPlease click on image to view story.

Photo credit: ChildFund International

CCF 1999 Annual ReportWarning: what you are about to hear is shocking.”  So begins the opening of this international child relief agency’s annual report.  While there is much shocking about the condition in which many children around the world live, there is also hope.  I wrote an introduction and 40 country profiles, and also helped draft the welcome letters for this annual report.  Please click on image to view sample pages.

Photo credit: ChildFund International (formerly Christian Children’s Fund)

Learn about a laid-back couple from L.A. and their sponsored child “Dino” in Brazil in this article that appeared in ChildWorld, the newsletter for sponsors and supporters of ChildFund International (formerly Christian Children’s Fund).

Photo credit: ChildFund International

Jake Mulray had moved out suddenly from his apartment, but his mail continued to arrive.  The letters might have gone unnoticed, had the new tenant not been a single woman, lonely enough to take an interest.  This story was published in HandHeld Crime, an online literary magazine dedicated to mystery short stories, articles, and reviews.

Photo Credit: The Big Combo ( in public domain)

One day, I heard a Blondie song on a commercial for Swiffer.  Stunned, I realized that Madison Avenue now viewed me as the target audience for household cleaning products.  I admit that I spend more time cleaning her house than I ever thought she would. But there’s more to growing up in the ’70s and ’80s–and raising children in the ’00s and ’10s–than could ever be captured by a 30-second ad. Read more in my blog.