Give the Gift of Hope

Last weekend, our daughter Dannielle and her husband gave Lynnda and me a Christmas present. It was an overnight stay in Morgantown and tickets to the Charles Wesley Godwin concert downtown at the Met. I had never heard Charles’ music. Others obviously had. The place was sold out and the audience enthusiastic. I think his music genre is country rock. Lynnda and I both enjoyed the concert. Charles and the band’s energy and talent resonated with me. It was obvious Charles and the band were having fun. When we can get paid for doing what we enjoy it’s not work. That’s one difference between a job and a career.

Sunday entering church I was surprised to hear, “Greg Kozera”. It was Father John, our former pastor. I forgot he was now at a church in Morgantown. We had a great visit. He hadn’t changed much, especially his sermons. Father John always told a story and left the congregation with a couple points they could remember all week. Sunday was no different. This week’s message was to have hope and share our hope with others by letting our light shine. Leadership expert John Maxwell said, “If there is hope in the future there is power in the present.” Hope is contagious. Hope gives us power to do great things. We see that in our high school soccer players these past four years. Charles Wesley Godwin’s performance gave people hope on Saturday night. Charles is from Morgantown. He is successful and busy touring. Charles showed everyone dreams come true. It takes work. A person can be financially successful and enjoy their career.

Lynnda and I left Morgantown for a dinner in Maryland on Sunday night with Dannielle, her two brothers and four of our eight grandchildren. The other grandchildren live down south. It was good to be with all three children together. We delivered Christmas gifts and enjoyed each other’s company. I got to play chess with Nick, our 13-year old grandson. He has gotten good at the game. We played to a stalemate. A lot of lights were shining.

Lynnda and I headed for a meeting in York, PA on Tuesday with CRDC, a company Shale Crescent USA helped bring to the region. York is CRDC’s first location outside Costa Rica. They now have locations in South Africa and Australia. CRDC takes all 7 grades of plastic waste, unwashed and mixed. They turn this plastic into Resin 8, a construction product used to make concrete blocks, lighter and stronger. Their process removes tons of plastic waste from the environment every hour. Resin 8 is just one of CRDC’s products.

Our meeting Tuesday was to introduce CRDC to another company in the Region, Shale Crescent USA is working with and tour the CRDC facility. We saw synergy between the companies and thought both could benefit from a relationship. The Tuesday meeting was set three weeks ago. Shortly after, I found a CRDC green “Bag That Builds” next to our trash can. Lynnda said, “All plastic goes into the green bag.” The green bag went with us to Kiawah Island when we traveled there for the half-marathon. It reduced our trash for the landfill. We had less than one landfill bag at Kiawah and less than one trash can for our waste management company this week in Pinch.

We delivered CRDC a green bag of plastic waste (now feedstock) collected in the past three weeks. Lynnda got to dump it into the hopper. It won’t pollute the air or end up in a landfill. We stopped taking plastic to our local recycle center when we learned it went to the landfill with the rest of the garbage. Our CRDC discarded plastic is now a useful building material. One bag of plastic waste (feedstock) isn’t going to save the planet. Thanks to Lynnda, it’s a start, an example of what can be. Lynnda didn’t talk about how bad things are. Instead, she seized an opportunity to do something positive.

This may turn into something bigger. CRDC and the company we introduced them to, in addition working together here in the region, are discussing a project in Africa to clean up plastic waste and provide jobs helping the local economy. Lynnda let her light shine and showed what motivated people are capable of. Here is the concept. My Dad couldn’t afford to pay us an allowance. As kids, if we wanted money, we shoveled snow, raked leaves or ran errands for neighbors. We learned glass soda bottles were worth 2 cents each. The larger bottles were worth 5 cents. With a little work we could earn a quarter. A lot of money back then for a 10-year old. Soon the soda bottles in our neighborhood were gone. Coke and Pepsi sanitized and refilled the bottles. When someone tossed a soda bottle on the ground we pounced on it.

This Christmas season, how can you let your light shine and give others hope? Are there friends or family members you should call or go to see. (NOT TEXT) People need human touch. Lynnda likes to see and hug the grandchildren. People need to hear your voice. Is there someone you should visit this Holiday Season. Christmas is a time of joy. For many it can be sad if they have lost a love one or are lonely. Mom always looked forward to our calls or visits, especially during the Holidays.

Father John said, “Give people hope. Let your light shine.” Charles Wesley Goodwin raised the spirts of his audience last Saturday in Morgantown. The theatre was jumping. What made Dannielle’s Christmas gift special is Dannielle and her husband were part of it. We got to spend an evening with them. We had a great time! What can you do? Who can you give hope and pleasure to by spending a little quality time with. Make a positive difference. Merry Christmas.

Greg Kozera, [email protected] is Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. (You can follow SCUSA on Facebook) He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert, high school soccer coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.

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