RAK #30: Cory James Connell

This one was another three birds with one stone (sort of) RAK. This is the thirtieth of 49 random acts of kindness that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I had a set of three Erin Condren compliment cards that I taped to my RAK cards. I then walked around the office and left them on random desks when people were away! Hopefully they helped put a little smile on someone’s face!

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This RAK is in honor of Cory James Connell. He was 21 years old and hoped to someday become a firefighter. During his funeral service, Orange County mayor Teresa Jacobs made a proclamation that officially made Cory a firefighter. He was described by friends as a warm, inviting person always willing to give a hug. Rest in peace, Cory.

RAK #32: Juan P. Rivera Velazquez

This one was another three birds with one stone (sort of) RAK. This is the thirty-second of 49 random acts of kindness that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I had a set of three Erin Condren compliment cards that I taped to my RAK cards. I then walked around the office and left them on random desks when people were away! Hopefully they helped put a little smile on someone’s face!

This RAK is in honor of Juan P. Rivera Velazquez. He died with his longtime partner, Luis Daniel Conde, who managed the makeup side of their salon while Juan styled hair. He was known for always making people feel beautiful. Rest in peace, Juan.

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RAK #29: Jason Benjamin Josaphat

This one was a three birds with one stone (sort of) RAK. This is the twenty-ninth of 49 random acts of kindness that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I bought a set of three Starbucks cards, taped them to each of these cards and picked three random vehicles in the Safeway parking lot to leave them on. It was so much fun!

This RAK is in honor of Jason Benjamin Josaphat. He was young – only 19 years old – and known for being soft spoken. He called his mother from the bathroom of the club, where he was hiding from the gunman. Friends and family say his laugh was infectious and unforgettable. Rest in peace, Jason.

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RAK #28: Joel Rayon Paniagua

This one was a three birds with one stone (sort of) RAK. This is the twenty-eighth of 49 random acts of kindness that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I bought a set of three Starbucks cards, taped them to each of these cards and picked three random vehicles in the Safeway parking lot to leave them on. It was so much fun!

This RAK is in honor of Joel Rayon Paniagua. He worked in construction and always tried to send money home to his family in Mexico. He was always willing to lend a hand and loved to dance. Rest in peace, Joel.

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RAK #27: Jonathan A. Camuy Vega

This one was a three birds with one stone (sort of) RAK. This is the twenty-seventh of 49 random acts of kindness that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I bought a set of three Starbucks cards, taped them to each of these cards and picked three random vehicles in the Safeway parking lot to leave them on. It was so much fun!

This RAK is in honor of Jonathan A. Camuy Vega. He was a hero during the massacre – he died trying to save someone else. His body was found covering that of a young mother, Yilmary Rodriguez Sullivan (she will be RAK #41). He worked for La Voz Kids, a show similar to the Voice. Rest in peace, Jonathan.

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In Memorium: Cory Iverson

I have struggled about what to write in this post for the last few days. I can’t do what I’m feeling justice with words, but I’m going to try.

You see, on Friday, a CalFire firefighter died battling the Thomas Fire in Southern California. His name was Cory Iverson and he was 32 years old. He leaves behind a wife, Ashley, a daughter, Evie, and his wife is pregnant with their second little girl. When I heard the news, it was like a kick to the stomach. It literally took my breath away. I called my husband (who had just come off a different fire) to see if it was someone we knew.

This is every fire wife’s worst nightmare. We send them off to far away fires, and most of the time they return home, tired, hungry, and a little smokey. But sometimes (thankfully very rarely) they don’t make it home. We try not to think about it because we’d never make it through the day if we did, but when it happens, we sit in our car and cry silent tears. Tears of sadness for the mother, the sister, the child who’s hero isn’t coming home. Tears of relief that it wasn’t ours this time. We get home and we hug our husband a little bit tighter.

When I married my husband, I was blown away at just how strong the fire family is. It’s not only a brotherhood of firefighters, but a ridiculously strong sisterhood of fire wives. We don’t know the Iversons personally, but I want to help Ashley, yet feel completely helpless. So, I’m asking you, my friends and family, to help me help Ashley. There are two things I need everyone to do:

  1. If you can, please donate to the Go Fund Me set up for Ashley and her family. Large or small, your donation will make a difference!
  2. Please share the Go Fund Me (or this blog post) with your friends.

Many streams make mighty rivers! Thank you so much for your help!

In Memorium: Gertrud Burtscher

Today the world lost a wonderful woman. Gertrud Burtscher was my Oma (that’s German for grandmother). She had battled Alzheimer’s disease for a very long time and the last few years were difficult. We were blessed to be able to visit with her last week to spend some time with her and to say our goodbyes.

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I will forever remember her amazing cooking, her beautiful garden, her love for her family, and her stunning blue eyes. Rest in peace, my Oma.