April 2011

Last weekend I passed what appeared to be a traditional lemonade stand. A long time ago I vowed to never pass one without stopping and supporting the kids, so I pulled over the car, got out and walked up. What I found there surprised me. The kids weren’t selling refreshments at all; they were raising money for Japan. They’d made bracelets out of red strings of yarn; on each one there was a single black bead and a white bead. “Black, white, and red are the team colors for Japan,” a young boy told me, as I purchased two of them. One of the kids’ parents stood off to the side, smiling; later she told me that they’d raised over $320 for the Red Cross with those same bracelets. I got back in the car deeply moved by their ingenuity and commitment.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to make a difference. At times I’ve been stopped in that mission; I’ve questioned my ability to impact the current state of affairs or make any lasting change. I’ve thought that there’s nothing much I can do now…but “someday,” I’ve told myself, when I’m “someone important,” then I can really make the difference I want to make.

Seeing those kids selling little homemade bracelets made me realize something: there’s a real difference I can make now, today, with who I am and what I have available to me.  To that end, I got busy! April marks ‘National Healthcare Decisions Day’ — an annual event that exists to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning — so I scheduled six free Advance Healthcare Directives events for the month of April; each one of them is open to the public.

April also marks ‘National Donate Life Month’ — a month dedicated to raising public awareness about the importance of being an organ donor. As I brought to mind Alice, a family friend whose life was saved by the gift of another’s heart, I checked my own driver’s license to ensure my donor registration was clearly visible. I invite you to do the same.

Most of all, my wish for you is that you be left with the knowledge that you can make the difference you wish to make here and now, with what you have available to you. Get out there and shine!


Joel J. Loquvam

Attorney At Law