Friday morning I was awakened by a text from a friend, she simply said "Is your Dad ok ?" I said," I guess so, he is in Japan". She replied "I know, they just had a huge earthquake devastate the country!" I immediately turned on the news and tried calling my dad, but could not reach him. I was frantic and didn't know what, if anything, had happened to him or how I could even help, I didn't know what to do. I am happy to report he is ok, as is my step-mother, but it was such a scary moment. Having to watch such devastation and not be able to do anything about it is so hard.I know many people have encountered similar situations in their own lives, family members being sick, friends needing help, large communities of people suffering from a natural disaster and you just aren't close enough to help or don't know how to help.

As a Physical Educator I have learned that many people use fitness & sports to help raise money for a cause when they really don't know what else they can do. For example, you may not be a heart doctor, but you can participate in a Start! Heart Walk, Jump Rope for Heart or Hoops for Heart events all supporting the American Heart Association. You may not be a cancer researcher, but you can participate in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life events. People hold softball tournaments, and charity basketball games to help people in their local town with illness. You can donate money to the Red Cross or other organizations that help with worldwide relief. The options are limitless if you are wanting to help someone in need. 

I urge you to find a cause that you believe in to help support in any way that you can; whether that be giving of your time, donating money, organizing an event or participating in an event yourself. During this time please remember those in Japan in your thoughts and prayers and the many people in our local community who need our help and support as well. 

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