Randie’s Free Library: The Kindness of Neighbors

 

After several weeks of severe freezing temps, I was surprised to wake up to a bright, sunny March morning…and, on top of that, someone had left a bag of books for Randie’s Free Library. The kindness of strangers and neighbors is amazing.

RANDIE’S FREE LIBRARY honors Randie Danielle Camp who devoted most of her adult life to teaching the importance of literacy and the helpful benefits of bibliotherapy. RANDIE’S FREE LIBRARY is located on Kirkwood Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Dr. Randie Camp…Finding Home

It’s amazing how some people can attract and draw in so many people towards them. And it’s so special when you go out into the world and you actually find true, sincere genuine love. Some of us get lucky with that, and some of us don’t. My daughter Randie was certainly one of the lucky ones. Randie poured her heart and soul into her goals and dreams. She was always climbing higher. Randie was very fortunate when she landed in Ames, Iowa and found ‘home’ there. In the Iowa State University directory (in Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies) this is what Randie said in response to ‘Hometown’, ” I always felt that ‘home’ is a feeling…not a place.” Randie was working on her Ph.D. when she fell ill and couldn’t cross the finish line…but you know what…Yes indeed! Randie’s home team picked her up and carried her across the finish line themselves! From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of the good folks at Iowa State University for posthumously awarding ‘Dr. Randie Danielle Camp’ her Ph.D……To me, what the ISU faculty did for Randie was very similar to the Simon Cheprot story. (If you’re unaware of what this Kenyan marathon runner did last year at the 2019 Okpekpe Race, then please do go and check it out…so inspiring!) Again, I would like to thank Tera Jordan, Amy Popillion, Cassandra Dorius, Megan Gilligan, Carl Weems, Kere Hughes-Belding, Laura Jolly, William Graves, and Jonathan Wickert. – Randolph Randy Camp

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Humbled Angels

Thank God for the Angels among us. This 2020 year thusfar has been a challenge, to say the least, but it’s an unusually warm, sunny November day in Des Moines today. I’d pulled into my driveway a little while ago and noticed a box sitting on my front doorstep. The box was addressed to ‘RANDIE’S FREE LIBRARY’. It had traveled over a 1000 miles from Fredericksburg, Virginia! Thank you Sherry Grant for fulfilling my daughter’s dream and for being one of God’s Angels. Sherry, your box of nearly 100 children’s books will certainly put a smile on a kid’s face and brighten a kid’s life here in Des Moines. So many of you are Angels, and the coolest and the most beautiful thing about it is that you don’t need or bother to seek out any fanfare for your good deeds. Yes indeed, thank God for all of you Humbled Angels among us. – Randolph Randy Camp

Note: Located on Kirkwood Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, RANDIE’S FREE LIBRARY honors the life of Randie Danielle Camp, who devoted most of her adult years to teaching the importance of literacy and the healing benefits of Bibliotherapy.

 

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Dignity

Throughout history we always have people who think that they are somehow superior to others. Sadly, still today in 2020, some of us encounter bigotry on so many levels and in so many different aspects of our daily lives. There will always be those who will try to make us feel ‘less than’ them, and slyly try to take job opportunities, housing opportunities and other materialistic things from us, but there are certain things that no one can take from us. Having pride in yourself and in your own culture and history gives you just enough strength to keep moving on, even when they are steadily trying to knock you down and stop you. Every time I look at this 50-foot sculpture entitled ‘Dignity’ it gives me just enough strength and inspiration I need to keep moving on. – Randolph Randy Camp (Photo: 50-foot sculpture ‘Dignity’ in South Dakota to honor women of the Sioux Nation)

 

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Keep The Arts

RandolphRandyCamp HarleyQuinn

Promoting and nurturing creativity is always a good thing.

Ever since I was a little boy I used to listen to the songs on the radio so intensely. I was fascinated by the stories and characters within these songs, especially the early songs of artists such as Curtis Mayfield and Bob Dylan.

When I was able to read I would read anything I could get my hands on, books, magazines, Readers Digest, etc. I was amazed at how someone could dream up something in their head, put it on paper and then see it come to life within the comics or in a novel.

One of my favorite classes at Spotsylvania Jr. High was 8th grade Language Arts. We kept a journal that we would turn in weekly and the teacher would give her feedback on it. In the journal we had the creative freedom to jot down our personal thoughts, write poems or short stories, etc. And, looking back now, I think that it was this particular class that really got my mind to open up and let some of the characters I’d been dreaming up out unto the page.

Sadly, across America in recent years, a lot of school districts have eliminated arts education from our classrooms (mostly due to budget issues). This is very unfortunate because I’ve personally experienced and come to know the extraordinary value of these arts educational programs and classes in our public schools. Without a doubt, my 8th grade Language Arts class and other arts-based classes definitely played a big role in cultivating my childhood passion for storytelling and creating my own original characters.

Although science, math and other STEM-related programs are crucial for students nowadays, I hope that school districts that are dealing with low funds and budget issues will find the balance and a way to compromise to keep arts education in their curriculum because I strongly believe that helping students to express themselves in creative ways builds a strong foundation for a productive child and a positive student.

I’m so grateful for all of my teachers during my early years in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and God bless all of the moms, dads, dedicated volunteers, teachers and educators across the world who are helping kids and students every single day to open their minds and express themselves. – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

(By the way, no, I didn’t create the comic character Harley Quinn. That credit goes to Paul Dini and Bruce Timm.)

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Finding Strength: Coping With Grief

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When you look at some people and see them smiling, I swear, you might be surprised to find out that there’s a whole lot of pain and grief hidden underneath that smile.

Not to get too technical, but within the several stages of grief, I’m definitely far from the upward turn. However, during my conversations with Melinda (who’ve been grieving in her own way for quite awhile now) I’ve been able to learn a thing or two and gather some strength.

Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of our toughest challenges. Melinda has been hit by this very issue, and although it devastated her, I must say though that I’m impressed by the way she’s able to find her ‘moments’, her little moments of strength.

With the loss of my grandson Anthony recently, I, myself, found a bit of strength during my conversations with Melinda. I’m nearly sixty years old, and it’s kind of amazing how this young lady has impacted my life, especially as I’m currently going through these stages of grief.

And once again, I would like to thank all of you who’ve been supportive (in any such way) as myself and our family are still coping with the loss of my grandson Anthony.

If you’re currently going through the stages of grief, I hope that, somehow, you too, are finding your little moments of strength. – Randolph Randy Camp

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Make Magic Happen

Randolph Randy Camp

There’s something uniquely special about you. Discovering this special thing inside of you will be your gift to the rest of us.

Along your journey there will be some who will try to belittle and ridicule you. There will be some who can’t wait ’til you fall or fail, but don’t let anyone slow you down.

In my own life experience, I’ve personally witnessed the beauty of staying true to yourself and staying positive. If you continue to believe in whatever your passion is and always follow your heart you will find out that people will gladly support you and your aspirations. These are the people that will extend their hand when you fall, instead of laughing at you. And this is why I’ve always believed that there are definitely more good people in this world than negative ones.

Sometimes it’s hard to see and realize that uniquely special thing inside of you because you’re constantly in survival mode or simply trying your best to maintain your sanity due to all of the crap surrounding you. If you keep believing in yourself, one day you will make magic happen when you find a way to turn that negative crap into something positive. – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

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Brick by Brick

Randolph Randy Camp RC

You’re capable of doing whatever you want to do. You are here for a purpose. Your thoughts and dreams are important. Regardless of your age, your zip code or your skin color, remember that there’s no expiration date on your goals and dreams. You were born for a reason. Rejection and ridicule are obstacles, but mere pebbles in the road. Don’t get discouraged. Dreams don’t expire. Brick by brick, step by step, keep your eye on the ball. You will get there. – Randolph Randy Camp

More at https://www.amazon.com/author/randolphcamp

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Everybody’s Thing

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Teen homelessness leads to human trafficking. Human trafficking leads to HIV. This is an endless cycle, which keeps evolving. This isn’t someone else’s thing. This is everybody’s thing. Sadly, the numbers are still rising, even in your hometown. Spreading the word, being more aware, and getting involved are little things in which we all can do to help confront youth homelessness. – Randolph Randy Camp

Learn more at https://prezi.com/gcen4hk_twcv/teen-homelessness

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Education: The Priceless Tool

School.Backpacks

It’s back-to-school season again and this can put a financial strain on a lot of families. Over the years, many non-profits, charitable and religious organizations have helped to relieve some of this financial burden from families by giving away free backpacks and other common school supplies.

Education is the most valuable tool you can equip your child with. I believe this wholeheartedly. My family was economically poor when I was coming up, but education made me rich in so many other ways, and it has opened so many doors for me.

Volunteering and working within the social field and the juvenile justice system over the years, I’ve personally seen the tremendous impact of a kid having a positive attitude towards school versus a kid who doesn’t. As I often say, “It’s better to pick up a book than a gun.”

When a kid stays in school they make better decisions, and, as mentioned before, so many more doors will open for them. Let’s do whatever we can to keep encouraging our youth to maintain their positive attitude towards school and their education.

If you know of a family in need and could use a free backpack and other school supplies, please check your local area for agencies and organizations participating in these Free Backpacks – School Supplies Giveaway Events taking place soon.  – Randolph Randy Camp

*(Note: If you reside in the Des Moines area, please check out the Free Filled Backpack Event at Polk County River Place on Saturday, August 3, 2019, or go to http://crossministriesdm.org/school-giveaway/  for more details.)

 

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