Homicide Isn’t “Uplifting”

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The title of this blog – such is the refrain of book store owners, Christian oriented businesses, coffee house venues etc.  What’s an author to do? They don’t get it!

Definition of Uplifting – “Morally or spiritually elevating; Inspiring happiness or hope”

People who are not impacted by crime cringe at the mere mention of murder. They may not watch the news as “It’s all bad.” “It makes me sad.” “I want to protect my children.”  Well, their “Candyland existence” does not work when pitted against the realities of life.

The key is balance – To expose ourselves and our children to the realities, to be proactive, but not be possessed or obsessed by the evils, to appreciate, to have empathy, to get involved with a cause that is related in order to change the world for the better!

Granted, it is very challenging for adults to make sense of the seeming random, senseless violence happening all around us.  How can we possibly explain to our children?  The act of murder, is not uplifting whatsoever. HOWEVER, the pathway to resolution and the positive byproducts in the aftermath can be very rewarding, enriching and give one’s life real purpose, and meaning that honors your loved one in a way you had never imagined! 

It does our children no favors to overexpose them to the chaos in our world. Nor does it prepare them for life in 2017 to “live in a bubble of your own unrealistic creation.”

Tips to bridge the Gap-

  • Know and appreciate resiliency- Point out examples to your children and try to model it in your own behavior and when you encounter difficult situations. Stress that life is not always happy, but that there is always a way to “find the sunshine on the other side” if you problem solve!
  • Use opportunities to make ourselves and our children aware within our community  “when bad things happen to good people” by participating in  fund raising events, vigils,  marathons, searches, rallies with a  hopeful, positive message;
  • Seize opportunities to meet others – even one person that has a different life experience as a result of crime and make a friend. Your local crime victim advocate may be able to pair you with a person who would best benefit from such a pairing.  Typically someone in the acute phases of grief may really needs someone to listen, not advice, (which can be intense). Alternately, if you meet them with much space and time between the crime and your meeting, you will gain much insight into how others cope…and still manage their life in spite of…It’s amazing what you will learn from such a relationship!
  • Instill hope in the aftermath of crime and tragedy, for that truly is God’s Grace at work;
  • Join a non-profit organization that needs volunteers in order to gain exposure and insight.  The positives far outweigh the crime itself when everyone is working toward a common goal.  Many talents and skills are needed – small and large, so don’t be shy!  You will receive far more than you give, guaranteed!   In addition, you often build lifelong relationships!  One fine example is the  repeated winner of Great Non-Profits.org- The Cue Center for Missing Persons- http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/about/
  • Reviews from Great Non-Profits –  Very Uplifting!  http://greatnonprofits.org/org/community-united-effort-cue

 

Other References –

https://www.amazon.com/Grief-Diaries-Surviving-Loss-Homicide/dp/1944328149

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/uplifting?s=t


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Donna R. Gore

To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity. Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email: contact@imaginepublicity.co

A Barnes & Noble Marathon

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My initial experience as a published author at an official book signing turned out to be a a delight in so many ways. I will be forever grateful for the “baptism” by the good folks at Barnes & Noble located at Market Common in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

I had no blueprint to follow, no other authors to observe, so I had to feel my own way until it felt comfortable. I was told by employees that i was exceptional for my ability to engage customers. I’m not a passive person and maybe I’m a salesperson at heart.

I learned the job is really a cross between Wal-Mart greeter and a politician. I was there to sell my book, Grief Diaries: Loss by Homicide, as well as the entire Grief Diaries series. Add that to selling myself as an author, and pushing my favorite non-profit, CUE Center for Missing Persons.

It was a tall order on the face of it. However, I soon got into the groove. My designated time slot of 1-3pm came and went all too quickly. I made the decision to stay and keep going until I was asked to leave. Happily, I can report that business picked up the longer I stayed, for a grand total of 7.5 hours. Managers went about their business and allowed me to do my thing.

donna-gore-poster-09-10-16It was a true tapestry of engagements, as well as non-engagements, including tourists, locals, students, teachers, researchers, and those seeking a cold drink. The non-engagers rarely make eye contact, sprint by my area, and make a beeline to Starbucks inside the store.

There were also those who cringed and contorted their faces at the mention on homicide. Those people on vacation, and residents with their heads in the sand, think vacations, life experience and homicide never co-exist.

One man, originally from London, sauntered over and looked closely at my poster and book, then left the table. He returned to say, “I didn’t mean to be rude, but I lost my wife and two children. I read the book in the Grief Diaries series, Loss of a Child, and I just can’t deal with it anymore.”

I directed at least three women to the information desk to order Grief Diaries: Loss of a Spouse as this is a common loss with which everyone can identify. A psychologist from Coastal Carolina University returned to the table several times. We talked extensively, and I now have an opportunity to collaborate with him to present to his class on death and dying.

I was also invited to the Myrtle Beach Coastal Power Women’s Group. This group is business oriented and offers attendees the opportunity to do a short presentation after attending for a set amount of times.

With every conversation I tried to weave in the activities and mission of  CUE Center for Missing Persons and the fact that a portion of book sales is designated as a donation to the organization which searches for missing persons across the country, as well as provide advocacy for the families.14344333_1093305534088802_887999672433180273_n

I mentioned the vial importance of having a greater awareness of young men and women who go missing often. In this context, I used examples of local missing persons Brittanee Drexel and Heather Elvis with love and care. There was a spark of recognition and an awareness of the CUE Center for their part in these local, high-profile cases.

One of the non-engaged appeared to be a woman of means with two small children in tow. When I tried to engage her, she said, without looking, “I’m not interested.” I replied, “That’s fine, but grief and homicide are a part of life for many people.” She rushed her kids out of the door and loudly said, “If you check recent FBI statistics, crime is down!” She obviously needs a reality check.

A favorite person who purchased my book cam back for more in the way of a photo-op. Alisha Wilson, a proud member of the Roanoke, Virginia Police Department made my day.

Other favorites included high school students from the local Socastee High School. They were great listeners and purchased a copy of my book for their school. Anna from British Columbia, who has a counseling degree promised to order a copy as well. Finally, a mom purchased a copy for her daughter, a scientist with the West Virginia State Crime Lab.

The manager on duty invited me back the next day to autograph copies for the store. Apparently, a special “Autographed” sticker is placed on the cover of the book to inspire customers to buy more books. Wearing my CUE t-shirt I spent another hour at the store preparing these books.

It’s my hope that Barnes & Noble will feature the entire Grief Diaries series in their store. I’m looking forward to further opportunities around the local area of Myrtle Beach, as well as in my home state of Connecticut.

To paraphrase this book signing experience from a chapter in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

“I shan’t ever forget you, and I’ll think of you many, many times.”


Grief Diaries: Loss by Homicide

Donna R. Gore

 

To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity. Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email: contact@imaginepublicity.com

The Story of a Missing Person Known as Sage 

 

When the straight world collides with gender identity issues it becomes the land of unintended consequences, confusion, misunderstandings and focusing on the wrong things like bathrooms. Please! It is fodder for the sensational media, but in the end it only hurts a community that has already suffered much oppression.

Combine the forces of human nature with the epidemic of missing persons and it can create the perfect storm. The Cue Center for Missing Persons, based in Wilmington, North Carolina, rated one of the top 100 non-profits in the nation as an all volunteer operation, has served thousands (more than 9,000) families of missing persons in its 22 year history.

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Profile: Synopsis from the Cue Center for Missing Persons:

Dashad, Laquinn “Sage” Smith identifies as male or female depending upon the situation. Dashad is a male transgendered person who has not had surgery.   She disappeared on November 20, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in Charlottesville, VA. She was last seen in the 500 block of West Street to meet someone she met on line by the name of Eric McFadden.

Police have not been able to locate Mr. McFadden and he has not been seen since that time.  Lolita Smith, “Ms. Cookie,” is Dashad’s grandmother and has served as her primary advocate and family support.

Dashad was dressed in house clothes- dark grey sweatpants, a jacket and a black scarf and grey boots. She was to meet Eric near the Amtrak station.   Law enforcement did a search of a local landfill with no results.  Police have communicated extensively over the years  with her grandmother, “Miss Cookie,” since the disappearance.

Dashad had just signed a new lease on her very first apartment, and was extremely happy, with no known reason to go missing.  Typically, she was in constant contact with her grandmother previously.

November 20, 2015 marked the three year anniversary with a special event in her honor.  There is no particular theory as to the whereabouts or circumstances of Dashad’s disappearance.

Vital Information: 

Missing Since: 11/20/12
Missing From: Charlottesville Virginia
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age at Disappearance: 19 years
Black Male
Height: 5’11
Weight: 130 pounds
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black (Long)
Clothing: Black jacket, dark grey sweatpants, black scarf, and grey boots.
Full name: Dashad Laquinn Smith
Nickname: Sage

If you have any information, that you feel may be related in any way, please contact the following entities.

Investigative Agency
Charlottesville Police
434-970-3970
or
Crime stoppers
434-977-4000

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons   at (910) 343-1131 or the 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.

Chasing Rainbows – The Missing Who are Elderly- Part II

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If we only knew the resources needed to care for our elderly, particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, we’d be shocked. It is on the increase – 71% in the past decade!  According to the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops this disease;
  • Family caregivers spend approximately $5,000 per year caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s;
  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death , and one without prevention or a cure or a mechanism to slow its growth;
  • Caregivers have very high-stress levels, and provided about $15.1 billion in uncompensated care from those surveyed in 2015;
  • Comparison of  Statistics my two home states –
  • Connecticut – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 883 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016, with it being the 6th leading cause of death;
  • South Carolina – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 561 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016.  South Carolina is the 8th highest state in the U.S. re prevalence of Alzheimer’s  with an 86% increase since year 2000!

Numbers don’t lie, no matter what the economic state of our nation. “The rich get richer and the poor get children …and Alzheimer’s”, to paraphrase the old saying.  Chronic unemployment, poverty, lack of access to nutritious food, lack of availability of medical care, increased crime and stress on communities, all contribute to  people’s minds and bodies wasting.  What can be done? I do not have the answers.

However, I know that with dedication, perseverance, and innovative investigation,  Cue Center for Missing Persons  is ready to assist in locating our elders, wherever they may be.   A mandatory part of the equation is always the need for a collective consciousness for the community to do the right thing, stepping forward with any information that may contribute to a successful recovery of a missing person.

Here are four additional examples, to my Part I blog.  Knowing that many of the people in the registry have been missing for several years, gone missing as a young or  middle-aged person, we can only speculate that  in 2016, there are considerably higher  numbers of the people now classified as elderly had they disappeared in the 1980 and 199os.

 Examples of the Missing Elderly from the Cue Center Registry

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1)Brevard, North Carolina – Edna Glaze, age 76 went missing in March 1996 after walking or being dropped off at a hardware store followed by a music store. Edna was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-north-carolina/edna-glaze-2/

 


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2) Chippewa County, Michigan -Joseph Clewley, age 73, went missing in July 2008 south of Paradise, Michigan on the North County Pathway. He was an avid hiker with a cabin, with significant medical conditions of a physical nature. http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/joseph-clewley-2/

 


CUE Texas Shirley-Hunt-jpg3) Henderson, Texas –Shirley Hunt, age 72, went missing in June 2007. Shirley was last seen walking from her residence in Henderson about 3 p.m.  Shirley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/


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4) Pleasanton, Kansas- Richard Clark, age 67, went missing in October 2005. Richard was a former truck driver and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was last seen in his community at a local grocery store and /or truck stop.  http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/

 


Please assist us by reading and circulating this information. You may never know if it triggers a memory or piece of information to assist in their recovery. The elderly are precious citizens. 

Listen to this recent Shattered Lives podcast with Kimberly Kelly of Project Far From Home to get a better understanding about searching for the elderly with dementia and Alzheimers.

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References – http://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp

http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/