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Life Arts

Leslie Kanofsky Helps our Soldiers Overseas Keep Their Cool

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My guest today is Leslie Kanofsky. Welcome to OpEdNews, Leslie. A while back, you started a project aimed at making the lives of our soldiers abroad a little more pleasant. Can you tell our readers about it?


Leslie, modeling cool tie, with Morgan


When our troops invaded Afghanistan, the internet was buzzing with folks who wanted to help send things to our troops. I signed on with a lady from Florida who was coordinating an effort to collect what was needed by the troops. She enlisted the help of thousands of people from all over the country. We sent her boxes of "stuff" like toilet paper, batteries, pens, paper, cards, shampoo, bug spray, portable fans, and candy. She sorted and mailed out hundreds of boxes to her contacts in the armed services. One thing that was needed was cool ties and I decided I could do these.

Cool ties are pieces of fabric that are sewn into tubes and filled with water absorbing material. The ties are cotton and the water-absorbing crystals are a polymer that swells to 300% of their original size, much like the crystals that are sold for planting (to hold water and release when the plant calls for it). The crystals in these ties release water vapor and cool the wearer. I had to make them in muslin for the troops because they had to match the uniforms.

Then, I heard about another site called anysoldier.com. Anysoldier was formed by a Marine sergeant in Afghanistan who was trying to have the American people send his troops things from home. His parents quickly took over this site and it has mushroomed into something fabulous. Troops from overseas, from wherever they are serving, sign on and tell folks what they need.

It breaks my heart to read that our kids over there need simple things. When our cousins were stationed in Iraq, I began to adopt many troops in addition to our family with weekly boxes of treats from home. The troops need reading material, DVDs, granola bars, and oatmeal. Then I decided I could be of more help with these cool ties. I make the ties in muslin and then adopt a soldier on the site and send him/her a box of ties for the number of troops in the unit. I have made many friends and it makes me feel good that I am helping some mother's child. Now I reiki the ties to send the recipient all the energy I can summon.

I'm sure there are many readers who have no clue what you mean when you say that you reiki the cool ties. Could you take a moment and explain that?

Reiki is an ancient system of energy distribution. First of all, one has to believe that everyone and everything in the universe has energy. We are all a bundle of molecules which are always in motion, hence the energy. Both organic and non-organic organisms have energy. The energy travels around each and every one of us in what is called an aura.


Reiki practitioners use the energy all around us to channel into areas of low energy and to augment the aura. I'm sure you have heard of Qi (chi) in terms of Chinese medicine. Reiki builds on that premise. Areas of low energy or qi promote weakness in the organism or item. Reiki simply transfers energy to those areas of weakness to support the organism on its journey. In reiki healing, the negative energy is first swept away and sometimes that is all that is needed to facilitate one's qi to start flowing to start the healing process.

It is not a religion nor does it take the place of traditional Western medicine. But it's used in some hospitals to augment the healing of surgical patients. We all have the ability to be reiki healers and just have to be open to the possibilities.So I reiki those cool ties I send to the troops to try to send them as much healing energy as I can muster. Those are our kids out there fighting for us. I hurt every time a mother has to plan a funeral for her child.

So, how long have you been making cool ties and does one have to be a wonderful seamstress to participate?

I have been making them about six-seven years, I think. No, you do not have to be a seamstress to make them. All you need is to be able to sew a straight line.

Before the war, I have a strong feeling that you were already working to make your corner of the world a little better. What were you up to?

I guess the best way to answer is what WASN'T I doing to make the world better. I have three special needs kids and knew they were going to be okay because my husband and I moved heaven and earth to make sure they got a level playing field. But I worried about all the kids in the grade school, junior high and high school whose parents were not comfortable to fight for their kids. So I took up the mantle and got into plenty of hot water, believe me.

At the grade school, my 20-year old was an infant and I used to nurse him at the PTA meetings when I was president. I fought our principal to bring reading programs to the kids. One was called the Rebecca Caudill program where we challenged kids to read award-winning books and write a little book report on one tiny sheet of paper and we posted them on the PTA bulletin board that I had to coax the principal to let us use. I learned about...forgot what they were called...we used symbols to form words and the kids had to figure it out. Like a picture of a sheep for the word "you", for example. Then, I got a book from the library about what houses in other countries were called and created a bulletin board on this. Next came how to say "hello" in different languages. And so on and so on.

Then, in the junior high, I fought their urge to convert us to a middle-school model. I got Robyn [our mutual friend and neighbor] involved in all my little activities, poor thing. The principal got mad at me when I told him my kids were not learning grammar, that they needed grammar for their education. He told me, "We do not speak grammar, Mrs. Kanofsky." Fast forward a few years, and my law student is getting hammered on his papers because he never learned grammar.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

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