August 2016


Theosophical Order of Service







A newsletter for TOS liaisons and TS groups--because theosophy in action changes the world for good!
August, 2016
Warm greetings,
This month we're focusing on helping our neighbors in southern Louisiana, as they struggle to recover from disastrous flooding.  I had no idea how bad the flooding was, as the media coverage has been scarce--the first article below tells the story from someone in the heart of the flooded area.  If you can help with a donation, that's great.  If not, can you please help by sending healing meditative energy to the area and its residents, both human and animal.
Thanks so much for anything you can do.  Thanks too for the many ways, large and small, that you uplift those around you with a smile, a touch, and encouraging words.  I'll say again what I've said before . . . TOS workers are awesome!

In service,

Kathy Gann
TOS Liaison Coordinator
Great Egret photo above right

Louisiana Flooding: 3 times more water than Katrina

US Coast Guard evacuates residents; (public domain)

Earlier this month, 20 parishes in southern Louisiana experienced disastrous flooding in what's been called the "worst US natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012."  To put this into perspective: Hurricane Katrina dumped about 2.3 trillion gallons of water on the state.  This latest storm has dumped about 7.1 trillion gallons of water on Louisiana, more than 3 times as much as Katrina, and enough to fill Lake Pontchartrain 4 times! (Facts courtesy of

An estimated 146,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, along with thousands of businesses.  Most homeowners did not have flood insurance since they are not in an area considered to be high risk. 

Can you help, even a little?  News coverage of the flooding has been scarce, as media attention has focused on the upcoming election and the Olympics, so most of us didn't know how bad it was.  But a TOS worker in Louisiana wrote, " I am having a very difficult time trying to put into words how dire the situation is down here.  There are in excess of 100,000 homes that have been gutted . . . They had no warning that the water was coming.  Many had to be rescued and the only thing they got out with was the clothes on their backs, children, and pets.  They stayed in those same dirty clothes for days.  Over 150,000 people have put in claims with FEMA.  I was told by a FEMA agent today that most of the checks that will eventually be sent to home owners will be well below $10,000 dollars.  With that money, victims will have to rebuild their homes, replace a car or truck, buy household essentials, clothes, etc.  So, people are having to move back into these gutted homes with nothing.  And I mean NOTHING.  These people are going to need help on so many levels. . . .Tomorrow, as you go through your day, when you touch or pick something up, know that there are literally thousands of homes where that particular item will have to be replaced. Appliances large and small, sheet rock walls, door knobs, mini-blinds, mirror, pots and pans, toothbrush holder, light switches, a pillow, the dog's food bowl, etc., everything will have to be replaced. I'm hoping TOS might be able to help."

If you can help, please donate to the TOS by clicking here Choose "Other" from the drop-down box, and enter a payment comment "Louisiana flood."  Your donation will be converted to gift cards to stores such as Target, Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot.  A TOS representative in Louisiana will get the gift cards to the families in need. Thank you for your quick and generous response!

Milwaukee Lodge helps shelter for abused women

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (public domain)

For the past two years, members of the Milwaukee Lodge have helped support Daystar, Inc., a local long-term transitional housing facility for women who are victims of abuse and poverty.  With 10 private rooms, Daystar serves 18 to 25 women per year, offering a safe, home-like environment to women of all nationalities and faiths.  Residents have free access to laundry facilities as well as a computer lab, a fully-equipped workout room, a creative space and a peaceful outdoor space. Although Daystar offers workshops and groups onsite, it also offers referrals and transportation to outside services that help women heal and meet their goals.

Milwaukee TS/TOS members collected items for residents' needs as well as the needs of the facility itself. The group also collected monetary donations, and TOS Liaison Kathleen Neuman reports, "A check for $550.00 was given to Vicki Lipinski, Executive Director [of Daystar] on November 18, 2015, along with carloads of donations."  Yes, you read that right--carloads of donated items!  

"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” --John Bunyan

TOS Dharma Group distributes "War and the Soul"

to veterans with PTSD

The TOS Dharma Group, a study and service group at Olcott in Wheaton, Illinois, took on a project to help veterans in their area, one in eight of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Soldiers suffering from PTSD are often unable to work, cannot sustain intimate relationships, and cannot engage in creative work or self-realization.

In War and the Soul, Dr. Edward Tick describes PTSD as an identity disorder, then shows ways to nurture a positive identity based in compassion and forgiveness.

TOS Dharma Group members delivered paperback and audiobook versions of "War and the Soul" to local veterans' organizations, putting Dr. Tick's information into the hands of those who need it most.

Reduced pricing available for TOS projects:  If your group is interested in doing a similar project in your area, the TOS has arranged special pricing with Quest Books, provided the books are used for a TOS project.  The paperback, normally $19.95, is only $3.00 for a TOS project.  The audiobook, normally $26.95, is only $11.95 for a TOS project.  Call Quest Books at 800-669-9425 to place your order, and be sure to let them know it's for a TOS project to obtain special pricing.
Portland Lodge to hungry kids: "We've got your back[pack]."

In Portland, TOS members supported the Chief Joseph School’s backpack program by purchasing backpacks and stuffing them with food items. 

The food-filled backpacks are sent home with children who otherwise would not have enough to eat over the weekend and during school breaks.

Why this is so important: Children who go hungry have difficulty learning in school, and are at risk for serious health problems later in life.  Of those receiving emergency food aid in Oregon, about 34% are children.  Long-term unemployment or disability of a child's parent(s) are primary reasons that children go hungry.

 "A union of those who love in the service of all that suffers."



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