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Ways to Make the World A Better Place

Tell someone you love them Look a person in the eye and truly thank them for their help Smile at a stranger and say hello Practice a random act of kindness Adopt a highway and pick up the trash Make a donation to an organization in someones name Plant a tree Start a book club Donate food to a pantry Mentor a child who has lost a parent Make dinner for someone going through a difficult time Drop flowers off at a nursing home Volunteer at a nursing home Create a scrapbook for someone you love Sing your favorite song while stuck in traffic Bring donuts into work one morning Be the Best That You Can Be Love yourself

Meet Our New PresidentNancy Secrest


As Im sure you all know, Tim Boyd has been elected as the president of The Theosophical Society in America. That is really a full time job to say the least; hence Tim has stepped down as president of the Theosophical Order of Service in the USA. He does remain on the TOS board. As the newly elected president of the TOS-USA, Ive been asked to write a bio so that everyone can get to know me a little better. I am a life member of The Theosophical Society in America having joined in April 1970. I initially joined the Oakland Study Center in Michigan which is now defunct. I transferred to the Detroit lodge and served for a time on their board of directors. I was also a member of the Ojai lodge when I lived at Krotona, the Olcott Staff Study Center when I worked there, and was a founding member of the Chicago Study Center. I have been a member of the Portland, OR lodge of the TSA for the last twenty-one years. I began my spiritual quest when I was twelve years old. I read books on many religions and spiritual traditions, and visited churches and philosophical groups trying to find the ideal I knew was out there. One day, when I was in my early twenties, I was given a copy of At the Feet of the Master, and I was home. Theosophy fulfilled every aspect of my search. I know many of you have had similar experiences. We love to share the stories of how we found Theosophy, and sharing those stories strengthens the bonds of friendship and unity. Professionally, I began working in a bank because, as a single mother, I needed a job. I was in banking for twenty years working my way up from teller to a department manager. I quit at the age of forty because I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life. (I have since learned that its ones attitude toward life rather than ones occupation that makes life meaningful.) I had visited Krotona, a theosophical center in California, as a student a couple of times and loved it. After careful reflection I spoke with the then VP and resident head at Krotona, Felix Layton, about living and working there. I became Felixs secretary, worked in the information department, helped in the accounting office and managed the guest house. I enjoyed my time at Krotona and made many friends. As it turned out, I was only there a year when the National Secretary position opened at the headquarters of The Theosophical Society in America. I applied for the job and was hired. I spent 2-1/2 years as National Secretary, learning a great deal. I met Morry Secrest at a TSA summer school in Lake Geneva, WI. We were married in the Olcott library at TSA headquarters in December of 1990, and I moved to Washington State where Morry lived. At that time, he was president of the Portland, OR lodge. I soon became active there. In the years following, I served as a board member, as president and as treasurer of that lodge. I also went back to school, graduated in May of 1994 and passed the CPA exam in November of 1994. John Algeo appointed me to the position of assistant national treasurer for the TSA in July of that year. I worked hand

The Theosophical Order of Service PO Box 660 Warrenville, IL 60555 Phone: 630-668-1571 ext. 332 E-Mail: theoservice@gmail.com Website: www.theoservice.org

A Union of Those who Love for the Service of All That Suffers

The Theosophical Order of Service Newsletter Summer 2011

in hand with Austin Bee who was national treasurer and one of my favorite people in the world. A few years later, upon Austies death, I became the national treasurer of the TSA. I still hold that position. Im an accountant, a CPA, by profession, and am usually asked to serve groups or organizations that I join as treasurer or in some financial capacity. It goes with the territory. Thats how I first became involved with the Theosophical Order of Service in the mid-1990s. My husband, Morry, was on the TOS board then, and he helped Jean and Joe Gullo with the editing of For the Love of Life, our magazine. Jean and Joe were looking for a new treasurer as Leonard Cole who had served the TOS in that capacity for so many years wanted to retire. Morry suggested me and Jean and Joe offered me the position. So began a deeper relationship for me with the TOS. Now, as president of the TOS-USA I will work hard to guide the TOS to even more effective service to humanity, the planet and all of its creatures. Much needs to be done. We need to find more and better ways to expand our service to fill the gaping hole of need in this country, and, in union with TOS organizations around the world, internationally. Since getting my degree, I have worked both for a housing authority in WA and as finance director for a nonprofit in OR. Both agencies provide housing to low income families in order to keep them from homelessness. Both run homeless shelters focused on families and the organization, Human Solutions, where I worked in OR, also provides assistance with energy bills, other social services, employment and educational assistance and even financial management classes. The result gives a very wellrounded approach to keeping at risk families from becoming homeless in the first place while helping those who have fallen into that hole to climb out of it. We tend not to think about it or we think that it couldnt happen to us, but so many of us are only one paycheck away from homelessness. All it takes is the unexpected loss of a job or a sudden accident or illness. I am very proud to have worked for that organization and am still affiliated with them. Many of you have similar stories. Our lives are filled with service that we sometimes dont even recognize. We struggle within our TSA groups to identify what we can do as TOS service projects sometimes overlooking the many opportunities for kindness and service that we take up every day. All of us are kind and caring people. Dont discount the many acts of kindness that you do daily! Even a smile at a stranger can turn someones life around though you may never know it. Yes, we want our groups to do service projects together. Yes, we want to help others. Everyone wants to think of some new and unique TOS project. Thats great. How do we do that? Grow where you are planted. Start wherever you are. Pay attention to the details. Infuse every act with kindness. Pay it forward. Put love in the soup, even if its a hot, spicy soup that may burn someones mouth, i.e. tough love. It all adds up. Just thinkif everyone did this we wouldnt even be talking about service projects. There would be no need for them. There would be no need for a TOS, and that would be a joyful thing. A few years ago, TOS-USA changed from a department-oriented to a more projectoriented structure. It was felt that this particular change would allow more people to get involved in the work of the TOS on a hands-on basis. It does seem to be working. Jean Gullo had long had a dream of being able to financially help other groups or

organizations with their service projects. We have been able to do that with campaigns to assist the Golden Link School in the Philippines, the Chushul Orphanage in Tibet, the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Indian reservations in this country as well as the St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary in Montgomery, TX. TOS Action Groups have also been started in the Chicago, Ojai and other areas and assist their local communities with excellent activities. This year, we are currently exploring plans to donate scholarship funds to a Native America nursing college and are helping one of our members with a Trees for Vets program he started. You can read more about these projects in this newsletter or visit our website, www.theoservice.org. Our website allows visitors to see whats happening in the TOS and also gives them the opportunity to post their own submissions. We also continue with the publication of our magazine For the Love of Life that was started by Jean and Joe Gullo so many years ago. I am pleased and proud to be a part of the continuing tradition of the TOS in the USA and hope that I can serve it well as president. Dont hesitate to contact me directly to offer your help: nsecrest123@gmail.com

In MemoriamJean Gullo, Honorary TOS President


Soon after Jean Gullo became a member of the Theosophical Society, she wanted to get involved in service work. An energetic woman by nature, Jeans compassionate nature made her a perfect candidate for president of the Theosophical Order of Service, a position she held for almost half her life. During that time, she provided stability and direction to the TOS in the US by recruiting volunteers, lecturing on the necessity and importance for service in ones theosophical life, and enhancing the finances of the organization. With her husband and TOS partner, Joe, she created the national TOS journal For the Love of Life in 1982, which has provided regular outreach to supporters. Jean passed away on January 28, 2011. Despite deteriorating health for the last few years, her cheerful disposition never changed. She always had a smile to greet one no matter how unwell she felt, and was able to laugh and joke even when her health seemed grave. She was a constant example of love in action and will be missed by many of us whose lives she touched over the years.

Our Healing Network


Healing thoughts are one of the easiest, yet most important gifts we can give another. The TOS Healing Network number--800-838-2179--is open 24 hours 7 days a

week. All one needs to do is leave a message with the recipients name and our healing practitioners do the rest. The response from those who require healing has been very positive. Recipients often comment on how smoothly a surgery went or how much faster they healed. If you are interested in performing the healing ritual as part of our Healing Network, please contact Hutoxy D. Contractor at theoservice@gmail.com.

The Cycle of Giving: A Year with the Lakota Project The Cycle of Giving: A Year with the Lakota Project

A Union of Those who Love for the Service of All That Suffers

Live simply so that others may simply live. --Elizabeth Ann Seton

Theosophy in ActionTrees For Vets

After attending a Soldiers Heart weekend and hearing an inspiring story about a boy who wanted to plant trees, TOS liaison David Ely realized he wanted to do something to help raise funds for the local Veterans facilities in his area and honor the Veterans at the same time. He came up with the Trees for Vets. Much like the Battery Recycling program, created by TOS liaison Marcia Doty, that inspired others to start their own program, David Ely hopes this project will have the same effect. As David is starting this project in his local area, he provided us with a brief outline of how the project works. This project requires the participation of a number of people from the citys parks and planning committee to local businesses. It is definitely a way to create a unified purpose in ones town as well as goodwill among residents. Building supply companies, nurseries, landscaping places are contacted by Trees for Vets for donated trees or to buy trees at a substantial discount. Companies that supply markers are also involved. Customers donate $200 to $250 in order to plant a tree in honor of a Veteran in a particular park or area of their town. (Some towns are lining their streets with trees that honor their Vets!) David estimates that trees will cost anywhere from $24 to $50 and the marker around $30. The rest of the money goes to benefit a local Veterans facility of the donors choice. For David, he set up a list of reputable places from which donors can choose. David is also approaching the Boy Scouts in his community to help with the planting. To help publicize the project, David has contacted a local newspaper writer who will cover the first tree planting ceremony, as well help connect him to the local TV news stations. Tree for Vets is still in its developmental stage and a website should be up and running soon, giving more information and ideas on how to start the program in your own area. Based on Davids update to the TOS Board, it shouldnt be long. The idea seems to be popular with a number of different people wanting to participate and honor our soldiers. We look forward to hearing more. Let

The Cycle of Giving: A Year with the Lakota Project By Karen McCormick
The Annual TOS Lakota Giveaway Project has fulfilled its three phases since fall 2010: Back-to-School Backpacks , Christmas ("Waziya") Giveaway, and Warm Winter Clothing Parcels. During this past year, I split up the outgoing boxes between two connections on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. One shipment went to the extended Camp family near St. Francis. The Camps have been a distribution contact for the last eight years. The other contact which I included for the first time was a Sundance community leader in Mission (toward the Northern part of the Reservation), he managed the second shipment. Both recipients are profoundly aware of the needs of the children and families in their immediate circle, and are always happy to place our brand new offerings with just the right folks. Last September, backpacks stuffed full of school supplies and clothing items were launched toward the Reservation. When three of them arrived, Linda Camp said, "The backpacks are all great and very much needed." After receiving the gigantic holiday parcel just before Christmas 2010, Carter Camp wrote: "It's been happening for so many years now that it seems like a Christmas tradition! Linda says to tell you that everything's perfect." A similar box was welcomed by the Mission community. Both contained a combination of many gifts-including toys for the little ones, hoodies for the teens, and blankets for the elders. Many individual Christmas Eves and mornings were greatly enriched by this wide variety of gifts from "Waziya," TOS-style. Waziya is Lakota for Spirit of the North, and is also used to indicate Santa Claus! In January of 2011, full-to-near overflowing boxes of warm winter clothing (including jackets, hats, mittens, etc.) again arrived at the two Rosebud locations--

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Website: E-mail: Phone: www.theoservice.org theoservice@gmail.com 630-668-1571 ext 332

during an extremely cold part of the year on the Great Northern Plains. One parcel was sent to the large family of a young father who was severely injured in a car wreck a few years ago. Grandfather Carter noted that "The five kids constantly outgrow everything!" Alongside the stacks of children's clothes and jackets, I tucked in a beautiful comforter for the young parents. And the Mission-bound package featured warm winter coats that were specifically purchased for variously-sized teenagers in their extended family group. Once again, on behalf of the many grateful recipients on the Rosebud Reservation, I extend my heartiest thanks to our TOS contributors who make this ongoing project possible.

home town where there is a sign on the wall that reads: "With education you are the White man's equal. Without it, you're his victim." I told them that this is bad and that I want to do what I can to erase that consciousness. I told them I wanted to make personal friendships with them, and that we can communicate by email. They seemed to be responsive to that.
Computers were given to five students whom we see with their parents here. The students' names (left to right) are: Ryan Begay, Tyrel Lee, Irina Joe, Jamie Brown, and Marty Sarracino. Miles is in the blue shirt.

A Union of Those who Love for the Service of All That Suffers

Serving the Navajo

Rosebud Reservation of the Lakota Sioux Indians in South Dakota is not out of the picture. I have bought twenty-five new winter wool blankets to send them. I also have two backup computers to send for the publisher of the tribal newspaper. I'm hoping to get some contributions to share the expense, and I think that will be forthcoming. All this work keeps me out of mischief!

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. -- A Blackfoot Proverb

Update on TOS and the Golden Link School By Miles Standish


Early this year I received a request to provide more computers to a school in the tiny town village might be a better termof Crystal, New Mexico. The request came from Zelda Cantrell, who is teacher of the 4th grade class. Crystal Boarding and Day School serves children of the Navajo Indian Reservation which is a very large area of many miles in all directions. It's almost 300 miles from here, so I went and spent the night in Zelda's cabin on the Reservation, and presented the computers the following morning before driving home again. One planned event was a failure. I had bought into a two-year contract to provide Internet service using a wi-fi mobile hotspot, but the Verizon coverage in that area is unusable. It looks as though they will have to use dialup. Just before our photo session, I made a one or two-minute speech to the parents and children about efforts such as mine to bridge the gap between the White man and the Red man or First Americans. I told them about an office on a Reservation near my The TOS has been busy this last year with a number of different activities. As many of you know, the TOS started a campaign to raise funds from around the world to benefit the Golden Link School. Whatever amount the TOS raised, John Kern was willing to match through the Kern Foundation. Since this campaign started, we have sent over $150,000 in donations to the Golden Link School. With those funds a college has been started, an assembly hall (named Kern Hall) has been built, and a countless number of children and young adults have benefitted from the generosity of others. In John Kerns own words, he says: What has been so significant about this project is how each person involved has seen an opportunity, and each has responded with thoughtfulness, energy, transparency in the fund raising, and complete dedication to the objective. No personal agendas got in the way. Above all, this project has been an opportunity to press forward on my own long held goal of seeing a re-unification of the TOS function with the TS function. We may need to be separate organizationally, but we must be one in spirit and endeavor.

Once again the Kern Foundation has graciously offered to match donations the TOS raises for the Golden Link School up to $20,000 for 2011. Thank you in advance for your contributions.

Your Donations Help Us Help Others


In the last year the TOS has donated funds to various causes in the US and abroad. We have donated $1500 to a Haiti orphanage, are continuing to raise money for the Chusual Orphanage in Tibet, have sent $41,000 to the Golden Link School, $5,000 to the Dupage PADS, and have set up a $5,000 scholarship for a qualifying student in the nursing program at the Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota. The St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary was grateful for a $500 donation received from the TOS, and the TOS Action Group of Wheaton also received $500, so they may continue such service projects as visiting homeless Veterans shelters, providing holiday gift baskets to struggling families, and preparing lunches at Hesed House in Aurora, to just name a few of the various activities in which they participate. Of course none of this could happen without the support of donors like you, who, despite whatever hardship you may be facing in your own life, know there is someone who is possibly facing an even greater hardship. The constant manifestation of compassion seen through peoples generosity is seen every year as we watch donations pour in for the causes and projects the TOS supports. It is much like what the Dalai Lama says, If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. In the TOS it is heartwarming to see the compassion that is practiced everyday in various ways. May we all continue to serve the suffering with love and compassion, and continue to enrich each others lives through our random acts of kindness.