[highlight-yellow] It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can. ~Sydney Smith[/highlight-yellow]

Happy New Year Everyone!

This is not the “usual” monthly Getting to Better Newsletter. It is a personal note from me, Steve. I wanted to start the year off by saying; HELLO, THANK YOU and provide you with an UPDATE and share my PROMISE to you for 2012. Yes a Promise. This Newsletter is intended to cover 4 important areas: Appreciation; Update and Plans for the Future; My Promise; How You Can Help.

Appreciation

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. I gain a great deal of my strength, courage, energy and inspiration from you; folks who get involved, who listen, who contribute, who help out in any and many different ways. Thank you so much.

I have met so many people who have agreed to help out, or others who have signed up, simply became involved, as a “just in case” I, we, or someone else needs them. WOW. Thank you for that.

Over the last year the MYRIAD team and the Getting to Better Initiative have helped many children, youth, families and communities get closer to BETTER. Therapeutic support and helping seminars have reached more than 1000 parents and caregivers. Formal training for helpers in various fields has been provided for more than 4000 participants. The Getting to Better Newsletter has been opened approximately 10,000 times and read in more than 10 countries! WOW!

I really do believe that rarely, if ever, are great people made or great things achieved without the support of others. The Getting to Better Initiative Grows and Helps People to Better because of the generous encouragement and support of people like you!

THANK YOU!

Update and Plans for the Future

The Plan is quite simple. To do MORE! Really.

Over the next year my plan is to continue to build the Getting to Better Team and to build the Getting to Better Community (so far, through face book and newsletter subscribers) so that we can mobilize individuals or an army of people to inspire, support or simply help others and ourselves move closer to BETTER; whatever that may be.

Newsletter

The Newsletter will continue monthly, but the large articles will be completed on a bi-monthly basis. This is so for two important reasons. First, I am going to need more time and energy to place into some of the exciting initiatives upcoming (see below). Secondly, I would like the articles to be more comprehensive and practical, which will require more time for development. The newsletters in between the large articles will contain short topics and/or weblogs for discussion. I am still open to suggestions for topic areas. So far, all of the Newsletters have been written based on areas of interest or specific requests made by people I have met on my travels. Some upcoming Newsletter Topics include:

“Got Strengths? It’s More Than Just Being Positive.”

This article will provide a discussion and practical guide for understanding, developing and implementing a strengths approach at home or at work.

“Loss: It’s Complicated”

This article deals with the topic of grief and offers insights into the unique and complex experiences of our own loss.

“Jump Start: How Parents, Teachers and Helpers Can Motivate their Youth”

This article offers many suggestions for assisting youth in ways that promote motivation, focus and enthusiasm.

Future Efforts

As stated, I will continue to extend the reach of the Getting to Better Campaign through connections with people and groups who are willing to help out. Some, among so many, exciting plans for the upcoming year include:

Initiate the David de Groot Slush Fund – My brother Dave loved Sushies. He and I also know that Slushies provide a great avenue for connecting with kids. However, many youth care workers, support workers and other helpers may not always have sufficient money to purchase slushies (or hot chocolate, lates, ice caps, sodas, etc). So, I thought I would like to start a “Slush” Fund in David’s name, so that we can donate money to helping facilities that work with youth. The money can only be used for slushes, ice caps, sodas, hot chocolate, spontaneous pizza parties etc; for the purposes of connecting, building, or strengthening relationships with children and youth.

Create Something Massive with the Good People of the Healthy Happy Terrific Foundation and Thermablade Hockey Inc. – We are back in action again. Last year these wonderful folks helped us make a 1000 dollar donation to the Pan Am Boxing Club to support youth who could not afford the sport. This year we are planning something really BIG. SO BIG and SO EXCITING!

Unfortunately, I have to keep it quiet for a little while longer, but I can tell you that it involves a great deal of money and a great deal of good people doing AMAZING things for others. I will update people on the progress as it unfolds. Stay tuned!

Getting to Better in Australia – I’ve been invited back to Australia. I am collaborating with a handful of wonderful people who will help me help others Get to Better Down Under! I plan on doing some free community seminars for parents and caregivers while I am there!

The FRIENDS of Getting to Better – I like to do as much free and volunteer work as possible. I also really love giving things away or helping people that need it. I do it when I can Because I can. However, it is difficult to do without the money and/or support from others. Last year I was able to dedicate about 1500 hours to free and/or unpaid work.

This year I intend on starting the “Friends of Getting to Better” Campaign. I will be approaching people, groups companies requesting resources or support to help others. I will dedicate a page on the Getting to Better website that will list the benefactors and the beneficiaries.

 My Promise to You

My promise is quite simple. I promise to do what I can this year, to help you or someone you know get closer to BETTER!

One of the many things I do is this Newsletter. The main reason I write the Newsletter is because it is something that I can do to help many people at once. It is my commitment to continue to provide information or resources, through this medium, that may be helpful for you, your life or your work.

I will continue to offer consultations, seminars, training conferences, and work with others collaboratively towards making things BETTER in any and many ways that I am able. Also, I will continue to offer the “Guaranteed to be Helpful or Your Money Back” on all “for-profit” Getting to Better Initiatives.

My dream for the future, is to offer all Getting to Better Supportive Services and Seminars for FREE!

How can you HELP?

Just by helping others in any way you can is helpful. The Getting to Better MISSION is about making the lives of others and the world overall BETTER. When you do something for someone, we all benefit.

There are many different things you can do if you would like to help out. Even just joining us on the Facebook page is Helpful. I already know that there are groups that will donate money to the Getting to Better Initiative once we hit 1000 likes.

You can write me at steve@gettingtobetter.ca and offer suggestions for future newsletters. That would help. You may even want to help me write a future Newsletter article.

You can write feedback, insights and/or an encouraging message under any one of the articles. Including this one! That would be helpful!

You can do anything at all to help. Really.

While it would be impossible to list all of the people that contribute to Getting to Better I would like to demonstrate the different types of actions, gestures and efforts some people have made to help out. The following is a brief list of friends, family and colleagues including some things they have done to help out this year.

  •  Stephanie Childerhose calls to say hi once in awhile; sometimes to check on me or make me smile.
  •  Katey Kirkwood, Tami White, Janna McKenzie, Brigitte Schirle Mathis, Kelly Harbour among other Beautiful people (Facebook Getting to Better Community Members), have offered many supportive encouragements and inspirational sentiments.
  •  Sunshine Keisha offered me her own Westjet (www.westjet.com) buddy pass so that I may travel without cost to help others Get to Better.
  •  Carla D’Andreamatteo (www.carla@thefoodlady.ca) has provided many hours of support, consultation and editing on my work.
  •  Dr. Jean Clinton (http://www.ascy.ca/training_present-clinton.htm) among many things agreed to be interviewed and collaborate on a very helpful article with me.
  •  My father Adrian de Groot and friend Dr. George Alvarez made substantial monetary contributions to Getting to Better so that I may be free to rest or work to support others.
  •  Dr. Michael Ungar (http://www.michaelungar.com/) gave me valuable time, insights, a wonderful book and offered to help in the future.
  •  Dr. Brad McKenzie has offered support by giving his time, knowledge and skill to help me develop a curriculum that will help people help others.
  • James Culp took time out of a busy schedule and after hours to provide me a tour of a youth centre so that I could connect with staff and meet youth.
  •  Pam Zorn wrote a very a supportive letter to endorse the Getting to Better Initiative so that the reach to help others might be extended.

As you can see from the above list, there are many things you and others can do to help out; ranging from a smile, a handshake or a hug to offering somebody time, energy, opinions, knowledge, skills or even money. EVERY BIT HELPS! Each effort, gesture or action despite differences, can make a world of difference for many people.

If you are starting your year off with the thought or a feeling to do something to make a positive difference, I encourage you to consider what you have to offer. Is it a smile; a kind word, a listening ear; ideas; time; knowledge; experience; skills; money? It can be anything, no matter how small. I would then encourage you to ask yourself, ‘can I help?” If the answer is yes; I will encourage you further… please…do what you can.

Thank you for considering how you or someone else may be able to help. I look forward to joining you on our journey to BETTER; for you, me and everyone else!

Cheers to BETTER in 2012!

“I am only one, but still I am one. I can not do everything, but still I can do something. And because I can not do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale –