Dear Hope: Broke for Prom

Dear Hope,

Prom is only a few weeks away and all my friends want to get a limo.  They figured we could each put money in so we can all go together.  It’s a good idea except my boyfriend and I don’t have that kind of money.  The prom is already costing us a lot we can’t afford a limo even if it’s just a part of the whole price.  My friends are so excited and they don’t understand when I say I can’t afford things.  There not mean about it they just have more money so they say things like yeah but this is cheap cuz we are splitting it.  It’s cheap to them, but not to me.  How can I get them to understand without me looking poor and them thinking I just don’t want to go with them?  Please help it’s prom and I don’t want to have to explain how poor I am for this I just want my prom to be special. 

-       Poor

Dear Poor,

I want to say that you should be honest and just say you can’t afford it and your friends need to respect that, but I understand where you are coming form.  Your friends have different circumstances.  Getting the limo is easy and cheap for them, so they really don’t understand where you are coming from.  But they are your friends, so they will want you to be happy.  I know you want to avoid an uncomfortable situation. Just let your friends know that you want some alone time with your boyfriend and the ride up there will give you two time.  Tell them you appreciate them including you and you hope they have an awesome time in the limo. Remind them that you will all be together at the prom and you will all have a great time dancing and hanging out. It doesn’t take a special car to make it a special night. Have fun!

5 Ways You Can Give Back

5 ways you can give back

Last week we talked about how awesome and important it is to help others. Check it out here: Giving Back = Getting Back

Yesterday, my mom and I were out shopping when an older man that hardly spoke English walked up to my mom and started talking to her. We couldn’t really understanding what he was trying to say at first, but after  a few rounds of charades, we figured out that he was looking for razors. My mom walked him to the razors and helped him find what he was looking for.

A few minutes after she got back to where we were shopping, the little old man popped his head around the corner asking for help finding something else.  Another round of charades began, and she helped him find what he needed again. You could visibly see how appreciative he was for her help.  It was actually pretty adorable.

No, she doesn’t work there, and no, she didn’t have to help, but why not?  It was so simple and made a difference in someone’s day (including ours).  Actually, it put my mom in such a happy mood that a few isles later she gave me a huge hug (seriously, it was so big and dramatic) in the middle of the isle. All I could do was say “okay…this is happening…”

Are you feeling inspired to give back, but don’t know how?  Here are some ideas to get your brain bouncing.

5 ways you can give back

  1. Help around your home.

    -  Offer to help your mom with chores,

    -  Offer to babysit your sibling

    - Help with dinner

  2. Help around your neighborhood.

    - Mow your neighbor’s lawn

    - Walk someone’s dog

    - Go for a walk with your friends and pick up trash you see along the way

  3. Give your time, compassion, and friendship to people.  This is one of my favorites because there are so many easy things you can do that can really make a difference to people.

    - Compliment people

    - Be there for someone who just needs a friend to listen to them

    - Tutor someone who is struggling in an area you rock at

  4. Give money and stuff.  That doesn’t mean you need to have a lot of money to do this.

    - Pay for the coffee for the customer behind you

    - Save loose change to donate to a charity that means something to you

    - Go through your closet and donate clothes and coats you no longer wear

  5. Volunteer

           - Check out the volunteering options at your local animal shelter

           -  Help collect and hand out canned goods at your local food pantry

           - Go to your library and see what you can do there

If you aren’t sure how to get started volunteering, most cities have a volunteer center you can call or go on their site to come up with more ideas.

Or, make up your own volunteer job. When I was younger, I knew I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what that “something” was.  So, I called a local senior center and asked if I could volunteer there. The next week I started reading books to the seniors. It wasn’t something that was on a list, but it was something that they really enjoyed (and I did too).  So, don’t be afraid to go after something that interests you, even if you don’t think it’s an option.

Don’t be overwhelmed with the idea of volunteering.  It doesn’t mean you have to do it all the time. It can consist of a few minutes, an hour a week, once every couple months, or whatever feels good to you.

 The thing that matters is getting out there and doing something!


- ttfn G –    &   – NBL V -


Calling All Graduates and Post Graduates


Here’s a reminder that we want to hear from all of you graduates or those who have graduated before.

We are so excited about the emails we have already received.  Thank you to those who have already submitted their stories and thoughts

It is almost graduation time! Graduation is a time to celebrate all that you have accomplished.

Graduation can be exciting, scary, inspiring, sad, wonderful, and everything in between. It is a big moment in life full of decisions, endings, and new beginnings.  It can feel different for everyone, yet it is an experience that can connect us in many ways.  This is where you come in.  Yes YOU!

We want YOU to share what you are experiencing with your upcoming graduation.

If you are getting ready to graduate this year we want to hear from you. Go onto our contact page and send us an email!  Let us know how you are feeling.  Do you have any thoughts about the future or about saying goodbye to this chapter of your life?  Do you want to share your big goals or worst fears? Feel free to share whatever is on your mind and important to you. If you have already graduated (been there done that) we would love to hear about your experiences, too! Do you have any horror stories, successes, or advice for our 2014 graduates?

Check back in May to see your stories in our blogs and to read about other people’s experiences.  Sharing your voice and hearing other people’s point of view is awesome.  It is different for everyone, but it is comforting to know you aren’t in it alone.



Don’t be afraid to share.  It’s great to hear others stories, but they want to hear yours. You can also let us know if you want your name used or not.  Your story can be long or just a sentence that is up to you.

Dear Hope: I’m My Boyfriend’s Secret

Dear Hope,

I have been dating my boyfriend for six months.  It has been wonderful, well it’s been wonderful in private. He is so nice to me when we are on the phone and when we hang out at my house, but not so much everywhere else.  Like in school he barely talks to me and when his friends are around he kinda makes fun of me.  He is not really mean, but he acts like we are not dating.  I asked him about it and he says it’s nothing he just doesn’t like his friends to know his business. Why is he doing this and what should I do?  Other than that he is a great boyfriend.

-       Macy

 Dear Macy,

This seems like an uncomfortable situation for you.  I don’t know the reasons why he is doing this, but it’s not good for a healthy relationship.  This may be hard, but you need to let him know that you are not comfortable with this.  Ask him to be honest with his feelings and then give him a chance to explain to you what he is feeling.  Maybe he has a real explanation or something that he is going through.  If he gives you the same line about not wanting his friends to know his business, he is not ready to date you.  You deserve to be with someone that is proud to be with you, and not want to hide your relationship. It’s not fair to you to have a hidden relationship.  You should be able to go out in public together and hang with each other’s friends.

Dear Hope: Yesterday I Felt Sad.

Dear Hope,

Yesterday I felt sad.  I have been going through a lot with school and my job.  Trying to keep up with everything is hard and I do it, but yesterday I felt like I had enough.  I laid in bed all day and cried and slept.  I decided I need a few less hours at work because of school.  Today I feel better and I even talked to my boss about my hours and he understood.  Things are working out today and I’m happier, but I feel guilty about yesterday.  I feel silly for staying in bed all day and crying, was it wrong to do that?

-       Cry Baby

Dear Cry Baby,

There is nothing wrong with taking a day to regroup or reenergize.  Our bodies know when we need to take a break, to get some sleep, and to have a good cry.  Crying is great way to release stress.  Never feel guilty for taking care of yourself.  You said you felt like you had enough; if you had not taken the day, you might still feel that way.  Getting a chance to chill for the day and to just be, gave you a chance to think.  After processing your feelings you figured out what you needed to do and then you put your plan into action.  You did all the right things.  You listened to your body, and then took action.  Instead of feeling guilty, you should be proud of yourself.

Giving Back = Getting Back

“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.”

– W. H. Auden


So true! We are all here to help each other out. Without each other’s help, there is no way we would survive this crazy, magical, scary, beautiful, and confusing world.


Why do we give back?

Give back because you want to make someone’s life a little bit sweeter.

Give back because you want someone there to help you when you need it.

Give back because sharing happiness is like sending a happy boomerang out into the world; it will come right back to you.

Give back because you want to make this world a better place.

Give back because giving is like a super power. You get to release your help and kindness and basically shout “I was here!” by showing what you can give.

Give back because you get back.

There are many benefits to giving.

It can help with sadness and depression.

It has been said that those who volunteer have improved grades in school.

You can meet new people.

You will feel good just knowing you helped do something.

It looks good on college apps and resumes.

You can learn about something you may not have realized otherwise.

There are so many reasons to help others. What are your reasons?


So let’s do it- let’s help each other out.  Let’s give back.  Give back to our communities, our families, anyone and everyone.


What can you do to help? Think of ways that you can give back!


- ttfn G -

Dear Hope: I Want To Be an Artist

Dear Hope,

There is the art competition I would like to enter, but I’m not sure if I should.  Everyone says my art is good.  But what if I fail at it?  What if I don’t win, then everyone will be disappointed and it means I am not a good artist.  I love art and want to be an artist.

-       Artist?

Dear Artist?

If art is your passion then go for it.  If you feel you have done your best and you are proud of your work then enter it.  Art is meant to be seen and it is always good to put your art out there and to get feedback.  It’s helpful to hear how people react and respond to your art and what they say.  Feedback comes in all forms; it can be positive or negative.  The next step is what you do with that feedback.  If you like what is said and if you find it helpful then use it. If you don’t find it helpful let it go.  You should never change your art to please someone else.  With all that said you may not win the completion, but that’s ok.  Everyone sees art differently and not winning does not mean your art doesn’t have any value.  If you were proud of your piece before you sent it then be proud of it no matter the outcome.  No one should be disappointed in you, they should be proud that you tried something.  Yes, winning feels good, but it is not everything and many artist, singers, actors etc. have entered contests and not won and went on to be very successful in their field.  The important thing is to follow your passion and love it!


Dear daughter, about your future husband

Originally posted on love story from the male perspective:

Kudos to Dr. Flanagan for penning a fantastic article!

A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl (About Her Future Husband) by Dr. Kelly Flanagan

Dear Cutie-Pie,

Recently, your mother and I were searching for an answer on Google. Halfway through entering the question, Google returned a list of the most popular searches in the father-daughterworld. Perched at the top of the list was “How to keep him interested.”

It startled me. I scanned several of the countless articles about how to be sexy and sexual, when to bring him a beer versus a sandwich, and the ways to make him feel smart and superior.

And I got angry.

Little One,

1. It’s not, has never been, and never will be your job to “keep him interested.”

2. Your only task is to know deeply in your soul—in that unshakeable place that isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego—that you…

View original 593 more words

Dear Hope: I Dream Basketball!

Dear Hope,

Next year I will be a sophomore and I want to be on the basketball team.  I tried out this year and did not make it.  I know I’m a little out of shape, but I still want to be on the team so bad.  I love basketball, I dream basketball.  What can I do this summer to prepare for the tryouts? 

-       Jordan wannabe

Dear Jordan Wannabe,

If you want to be ready for the tryouts next year then you need to put in the work.  You said you’re a little out of shape, well if basketball is your passion, take this summer to get into shape. Eating healthy and regular exercise is important.  By the end of the summer you will feel stronger and be ready for the season.

Look for a basketball camp you can go to.  There are basketball camps all over and most offer scholarships if needed.  Also you can check out your local YMCA or community centers. A lot of times they offer camps at a lower price or for free.

If you cannot go to a basketball camp, make a workout plan for yourself.  Try running at least 2-3 times a week and do basketball drills.

Get some friends together for a summer basketball tournament.

Don’t give up! If this is your goal you can work on achieving it. Remember, working on our passions and goals is great, but don’t overdo it.  Don’t go on some crazy diet or overdo the workouts.  Make sure to take some time this summer for fun, hanging out with friends and sleeping in.


Bridge Mix

It is time to post another bridge mix picture!  What is bridge mix you ask? Well, our name is bridge of hope and we love bridges.  We discovered that there are tons of fun, cool, interesting and colorful bridges out in this in this big world of ours.  Every so often we will post a new bridge on our bridge mix page.


Tonight our bridge is really about the idea of a bridge.


In 2012 in Paris, France a competition was held to design a new bridge.  The bridge was for the Seine river.  Although there are already 37 bridges being used, they apparently wanted one more.  The bridge we are showing tonight was one of the entries.  Due to safety issues this bridge could not be used, but did come in third in the competition.  The design firm said the bridge is “dedicated to the joyful release from gravity.”


A bouncy bridge! What an awesome idea.  If this bridge ever does exist, count us in.


Trampoline Bridge

Three inflated doughnuts with trampoline webbing.


Side viewunder view

Filled with 3,700 cubic meters of air.

- ttfn G –    &    - NBL V -


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