To The Best Non-Biological Big Sister A Girl Could Have

To The Best Non-Biological Big Sister A Girl Could Have

Thankful for you each and every day!
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To my big sister,

When I first joined our sorority, I was so unsure what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, and how I even got into such a wonderful house. I had not found my people yet, but once big/little reveal happened, I knew there was no turning back. From the very start, you made me feel the most comfortable in the house. I knew that if I needed anything, you were just a text away. From the nights that I wanted to drop, you were right there for me. I know that I was a handful, but you handled me with such grace and such knowledge that I cannot thank you enough. You have been an amazing role model to look up to in the year and a half that I have known you.

I really do not know where I would be without your light in my life. I did not know what it meant to have a big sister until you showed up in my life. I cannot thank you all enough for being the best shoulders to cry on when I need space. My sorority experience would not have been the best had it not been for you. I have never known anyone to love McDonald's Coke as much as I do -- so thank you for all of our late night runs for fries and Coke. From our two-hour long Starbucks runs to our hammock hangouts and everything in between, you have never ceased to amaze me or make me laugh.

You honestly might be one of the strongest women I know. I cannot thank you enough for how much positivity you have radiated throughout my life in the last year alone. I honestly have no idea where I would be had I not met you. You have supported me in the craziest things, from needing a place to escape from the house to when I randomly wanted to go get my conch pierced. Whether I just need a rant, shoulder to cry on, a laugh or your support to do something crazy, I know that I can come to you no matter what. I cannot thank you enough for being one of the biggest influences in my life, but I can thank you for a few things.

Thank you for being the best nonbiological sister that a girl could have. Thank you for the best advice. Thank you for showing me that I can be anything I set my mind to. Thank you for our late night talks. Thank you for helping me to do anything that I set my mind to. Thank you for listening to me cry. Thank you for just allowing me to be myself and for accepting me for who I am. Thank you for accepting my mental illness and not trying to push it off. Thank you for helping me to mature more throughout my time here at Butler. Thank you for introducing me the best second family that a girl could have. Thank you for being my best friend. Most importantly, thank you for being you.

I love you lots, big!

Cover Image Credit: Cheyenne Dishman

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Acts 1:8 Ministry Explains How To Teach Your Child To Be Charitable And Compassionate

Acts 1:8 Ministry, a non-profit organization based out of Wisconsin, believes in building strong community foundations with integrity and humility.

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There have been many natural disasters that have wreaked havoc in the United States and around the world such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Over the last few decades, the generosity of Americans has become well-known, and it's vital to inspire this charitable and compassionate concern for others down to future generations.

Acts 1:8 Ministry has helped enrich the lives of others around the globe through the support of generous donors and volunteers who want to help spread kindness, strengthen their faith, grow the Christian church, and improve communities. To pay it forward, Acts 1:8 Ministry explains below how parents can instill charitable and compassionate qualities in their children through word, action and leading by example.

Start At Home

If you have more than one child, you know there are those times they don't want to share toys, snacks, or even friends. Teaching siblings to share is less complicated when you teach your children why the love for each other is so important. In a family unit, each member depends on all the others. Parents provide shelter, food, clothing, and different needs. Children contribute by helping with chores, obeying house rules, and doing their homework. Mutual love and respect are what strengthens the family unit. Working and giving together teaches invaluable lessons to children and builds a secure family unit.

Working Together For Others

Donating time at a food pantry, shelter, or meal distribution center for low-income families or homeless folks in your local area teaches your children the importance of caring for those who are less fortunate. Explain why it is wrong to judge people who need free services to survive. Your children may encounter people who are dirty and wearing smelly clothes, and they need to know not to say anything that would hurt their feelings or embarrass them.

Giving Together For Others

If your state has a beverage deposit on soda, juice, and alcoholic beverages, you and your children can collect discarded cans and bottles. The money you receive from their redemption can be donated to a variety of charitable causes including animal shelters, food banks, clothing distribution centers, or a local charity you support. There is always a need for cash at all of these facilities. Plan annual family fundraisers, such as yard, craft, bake, and plant sales. Donate the money earned to one or more charitable projects the family chooses together.

Establish Charitable Habits

Establish habits and family routines to encourage charitable acts. Choose things that fit your family's lifestyle. Keep a large "charity" jar and place a dollar amount in it every time the family does something special such as going to the movies, spending a day at a water park, eating out, or taking a vacation. Whenever the family spends money on a fun adventure or outing, setting a little money aside to be used for those who don't have the same opportunities helps children understand the need for caring about other people. Other things you can do as a family include:

• Reduce the amount of clothing in your closets, and donate clean and undamaged items to a charity that distributes clothing to low-income families.

• Clean out the toys. Donate unbroken toys and games to homeless shelters that take in families or to a home for battered women and their children.

• Donate your time to visit a nursing home, and talk to different residents. Encourage your children to ask the older folks to tell stories about their childhood.

• Bake cookies or bread together and distribute to older people that live in your neighborhood. Have your children make a card to give with the food gift.

• Help a neighbor who has been sick with yard work, taking out the trash, or other chores he or she is not able to do.

Children love making others happy and will continue to feel the same way as adults if you help them establish the habits of caring, sympathy, helping, and compassion when they are young. By teaching children the core values of caring and compassion, future generations of Americans will continue to be the world's most generous and compassionate people.

About Acts 1:8 Ministry:

Acts 1:8 Ministry is a non-profit organization that equips Christians to care, share and connect people to Christ through Christian kindness. The Planned Acts of Christian Kindness® Program has touched thousands of lives in the US and over 100 countries worldwide. Through the Water Project, over 130 water wells drilled, blessing hundreds of thousands of lives with clean water.

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To My Long-Distance Best Friend, We Might Be 7,811 Miles Apart, But Our Friendship Only Gets Stronger

It breaks my heart that I cannot be around for your birthdays or to celebrate your achievements. But I'm so proud of every milestone you achieve. I am so proud of all your accomplishments and the person you are becoming.

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To my best friend,

It has been 270 days since I last met you and 206 more days until I meet you again. People say that time flies by quickly, but these have been the most difficult days that seemed to drag on forever. Five years ago when you were sitting next to me on the first day of our sociology class, I had no idea we would end up being best friends. From sharing my mother's parathas during lunch breaks to the countless sleepovers, I will never forget all the memories we created throughout high school.

I vividly remember the day I told you I would be studying abroad. You were so happy and proud of me for pursuing my dreams but also upset that we wouldn't be seeing each other every now and then. I was worried if our friendship would even last. But we have spent almost two years away from each other and our friendship only seems to get stronger.

I'm so grateful to technology for allowing us to be in touch all the time. My day doesn't feel complete if I do not receive a text from you. I know we do not video call often because of how busy our schedules are (another reason being time zones suck and I cannot do the math), but always know that I am there for you. It breaks my heart that I cannot be around for your birthdays or to celebrate your achievements. But I'm so proud of every milestone you achieve. I am so proud of all your accomplishments and the person you are becoming.

We have both had some terrible friendship experiences in our past before we met each other that have completely broken our faith in friendships. But know that you can always count on me and that I will never leave your side. Know that I will always set an alarm early in the morning just to video call you. Know that I will always be there for you (even if I'm not physically present around you). Know that you will always be the first person I share everything with.

I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me. Thank you for encouraging me to make new friends at college. Thank you for always being there during my failures and reminding me that it's not the end of the world and that more opportunities will come my way. Thank you for being there during my successes and being my number one cheerleader. Thank you for always reminding me to love myself. You not only have a special place in my heart but also have a special place in my family. My mother and sister are not only glad that I have a best friend like you but also adore you so much. It is impossible to imagine a life without you.

I cannot wait for more butter chicken sleepover dates in December!

Lots of love,

Your best friend.

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