April 13 to 19 is "National Library Week" this year. Since 1958, this unique event has been annually observed in the second full week of April. Sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country, National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. I love libraries. They are often called the "People's University." A library is the center and the heart of community. It serves as the engine of community education and transformation.
In my April 2 column, I shared some personal opinions about doctors and health care. My point is we have to take more personal responsibility and play a more active role when it comes to our health care. The term health care, as used in our everyday life, is really a misnomer. When we talk about health care, what we really mean is disease care. The time we need health care, to see a doctor or visit a hospital, is usually when we are sick.
In the last few months real estate foreclosures in our country have increased at a rapid pace. This foreclosure crisis has made national and local headlines. The Woodbury Bulletin ran a cover story in its March 12 issue which stated more than 200 homes were in some stage of foreclosure in 2007, the highest number in Washington County. I know difficult and unexpected events do happen in life that can throw our finances out of balance and leave us in huge debt. Layoffs, divorce, sudden illness and death can happen, things that can be out of our control.
Dear readers, First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my columns. It's great to know that you are interested in reading what I write and what's on my mind. I consider it an honor and a privilege to write this column every week for you and for Woodbury Bulletin. Since I started writing this column one-and-a-half years ago, I have received some e-mails from readers that have been very encouraging to me.
When my kids go shopping with me, I usually don't buy them things they want. They've known from the time they were toddlers that when Mom says "No," she means it. They might have asked for something, but they didn't throw a fit and cry when they didn't get what they wanted. Recently, I went to a department store with my kids. This time, for a very good reason, I agreed to give them each a small amount of money to buy something they wanted. Soon after we entered the store, my nine-year-old son quickly disappeared into the toy department.
We have about 30 churches in Woodbury. They come in all shapes and sizes, big and small, old and new, and in a number of denominations. While the old churches have decades of history behind them, new ones keep popping up here and there. While the established churches have their own big buildings, the new ones have to use space in schools, the golf course clubhouse or at Central Park as meeting places. Among the many churches in Woodbury, the one I admire most is Woodbury Lutheran Church, because it does a wonderful job of reaching out and serving the community.
This is a follow-up to my last column about my first fundraising experience for the local Chinese school. In this column I would like to share a few lessons I have learned in the process. I hope my own experience will benefit other people, especially local school PTA volunteers who help with various school fundraising events every year. No fear Most people don't like to ask others for donations. We don't feel comfortable doing that because we dread rejection.
Several weeks ago I wrote about the new Chinese School in Woodbury, which started in September 2007. To celebrate the beginning of the new semester (Feb. 2) and the Chinese New Year (Feb. 9), to provide an opportunity for teachers, students and their families to get together and to raise some money for student activities, the school decided to have a celebration and fundraising event on Saturday, Feb. 2. Atlantic Buffet owner David was very kind and generous in offering us a convenient place and a great price to hold the party in his restaurant.
Knowing this is the Valentine Day's week, I was planning to write about the book "The Five Love Languages" by Dr. Gary Chapman in this week's column. However, three days before the deadline, something unexpected happened. And it changed my plan. During our Sunday service at Spirit of Life Bible Church on Feb. 3, a fellow church member named Julia who was sitting next to me took the necklace she had on and handed it over to me. "I want to give this to you," she said. She did it quietly and for no apparent reason.
There are two events in February that I am really looking forward to participating in. Washington County Library launches a book discussion series on raising healthy teens. The series is designed for parents and adults with teens in their lives to discuss parenting issues with each other, along with discussing the parenting advice given in the discussion materials. The series will start with the book "Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen" by Dr. David Walsh on Feb.