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Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! I hope 2015 brings health, happiness and joy to your lives!

Yesterday was the actual day of Push to Walk’s 8th anniversary!! Wow! When I look back to all that has happened in 8 years, it is hard to comprehend it all. As a still young but growing organization, I believe we have a great combination of motivated clients, dedicated staff, active Board members and committee volunteers, and generous donors.  All of these groups contribute to the sustainability and growth of Push to Walk, of which I am very proud. So many people have contributed to our success, and I am grateful to each and every one of you, for whatever it is you have helped us with (more people than I can count; more things than I can remember!).

As a nonprofit entity providing a very valuable (and otherwise not available) service to our clients and their families, friends and others with paralysis, it is sometimes forgotten that we must run as an efficient business as well. I am trying to focus on this aspect of the business in 2015, always keeping in mind that first and foremost we are a mission-driven, people-based organization. We exist to provide the highest quality of service, 100% of the time, to help our clients reach their goals and live a higher quality of life.

With your support, we will continue this pursuit of excellence, continue to grow as an organization and as individuals, and continue our quest to help so many people on their journeys in life that have connected us. Thank you for believing in us, and “pushing” with us!

Cynthia

Merry Merry Christmas!

I wish everyone in our Push to Walk family a very Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy family, friends, caring and sharing this holiday season. May you enjoy celebrating with those you love, cherishing the gifts of time spent together, family bonds and friendship. I am blessed to have all of you in my life, and am thankful to know you and your families. Our Push to Walk family holds a special place in my heart, and I am grateful to our wonderful and dedicated staff, motivated clients, supportive families, generous donors and good friends  who, together, make it all happen! Thank you for all you do for me, our clients, our program and our organization. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Love Cynthia

Hello everyone & happy Friday!

We are so excited that Giving Tuesday was a success for Push to Walk! It was our first foray into this now nationwide trend, and what a great idea it was to participate. Thank you to our staff members Stephanie and Anthony for coordinating the effort; for our trainers, aides and board members for jumping in, and to those who either commented or donated as a result. What a great team effort – THANK YOU! I know I enjoyed showing everyone that even I can do push-ups! We have a tough crowd in our Push to Walk gym everyday to compete with, so I was glad to do my part! Check out our Facebook page to see all of our fun videos!

I learned yesterday that one of our matching gift employers committed to matching 150% of employee donations made on Giving Tuesday, so that is awesome! It is great to see Corporate America continuing their philanthropic efforts and participating in this “new” event to help non-profit organizations.

With the donations we receive at the end of the year, and all year long, you can be sure we are using these contributions to help so many people with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, MS and stroke to live more independently, live a higher quality of life and participate in their communities. While clients do pay for their workouts, even those fees are not enough to cover our operating expenses. We pride ourselves on operating as efficiently as possible to keep all costs reasonable and scrutinize every expense, including administrative salaries. When you support Push to Walk, you are directly helping our clients, investing in their futures. If you’d like to make a donation, click here.

Thank you, and enjoy the weekend!  Cynthia

Feeling Thankful

Hello Everyone,

There is so much I am thankful for this Thanksgiving and every day:

My family, friends and the safe and supportive community of Kinnelon in which I live;

Our Push to Walk family of board members, volunteers, interns, donors, friends and the community of Riverdale in which we reside;

A special shout -out to our Push to Walk staff: Anthony, Chris, Cory, Christine, Hope, Isaak, Jackie, Josh, Juan, Kendra, Matt, Nick,

Sandra, Stephanie, Tiffany, and Tommy. All of you give of yourselves every single day to help our clients improve their lives, and I am so proud and thankful to have each one of you as part of our Push to Walk family. I know you are passionate about your work and this is not just a “job” to any of you;

A second special shout-out to our clients who put their trust in us for every single workout. Your dedication and commitment to working hard and making progress is obvious in each push on the Total Gym, every exercise on the mat, each step that is taken and more that is accomplished every day. Thank you for choosing Push to Walk to help you in your journey.

From our family to yours – I wish you a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

Cynthia

Another Journey

You know that saying, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step,” well I am embarking on another journey – another half marathon! I am joining Team Push to Walk in the Long Branch Half Marathon on Sunday, April 26, 2015. Join me on “Templeton’s Team – Push to Run” and help me raise awareness and funds for Push to Walk!

I will be running each of the 13.1 miles for someone with a spinal cord injury, brain injury or MS. If you would like to join my team in either person or spirit, and help even more people, please let me know! As soon as I have my site up to organize everything online, I will put out the info.

WHO’S IN????

Cynthia

Happy Wednesday!

I am SO happy to tell you that I have FINALLY completed all of the topics on my list to share with you in our Family Corner section of our website. While this information has been 10 years in the making, I do hope it is relevant and helpful to anyone going through the experience of sustaining a spinal cord injury – whether it is the person themselves, friends, family, loved ones, etc. Some of these topics required me to think back and re-live certain situations I would rather forget. Others enabled me to review what we had been through and try to provide others with information and knowledge. Most of them brought on powerful emotions which are usually just beneath the surface of my (hopefully) cool, calm and collected self. Many people I have met on this journey have told me how helpful my writings have been to them. Together with the emails in the “One Family’s Personal Story” section , I hope I have provided a glimpse into our lives that lets you know you are not alone. There are others that understand; there are others struggling with the same kind of challenges. One Mom told me that when she reached the end of my emails, she was hoping there was more. When she had read them all, she went back to the beginning and read them again. Re-reading them later, as she was dealing with changes in her daughter’s situation, she gleaned different things from them than the first time around.

While I generally find writing of this sort to be a healing process and a healthy outlet, it can also be emotionally draining. It’s not easy to re-live all the details of the early days, weeks and months. But in doing so, I hope I can help others, and that is a reward greater than the task. If I can help you with anything related to spinal cord injury that you or a loved one is going through, please email me at ctempleton@pushtowalknj.org. It’s all about helping one another, and paying it forward.

Cynthia

I’ve just posted a new topic on Push to Walk’s Family Corner section of our website (click here) that talks about resuming activities and starting new ones after a spinal cord injury. Now that it’s been 10 years since Darren’s injury, he has tried a lot of different things. Some sports and activities had to be modified from how he did them prior to his injury; others were brand new to him. He’s liked some – skiing and wheelchair rugby, for example; and not others (at least not so much) – tennis for one. But he tries new and different things, and that is the important part.

I know I tend to stay in my “comfort zone” when it comes to physical activities and challenges. Setting a goal of completing half and full marathons was difficult on many levels, but not what you would call a risk. At least my feet were touching the ground! Leaving that comfort zone to try new things can be scary. Trying adaptive sports that require modified equipment, helpers, lots of extra time and patience is not always easy – either physically or mentally. But those that do try sometimes find a new outlet for energy, competitiveness, camaraderie and socialization.

I hope you’ll read my website section and maybe you’ll want to try something new or encourage a loved one to do something new – whether it’s sports, art, yoga, or skydiving! Whatever you do, have fun out there!

Cynthia

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