Yellow Envelope Project: Kentucky

Close your door and clear your desk and mind, so that you may fully appreciate the Yellow Envelope story I want to share with you.

A few evenings ago I was at dinner with an old friend who was visiting from out of town. He was representing the university at a conference, because, at the last minute, the president's plans changed and he needed to stay back on campus to attend a funeral.

The funeral was for a beloved faculty member who died suddenly while at work.

My friend immediately launched into the most heartwarming story that helps explain why Dr. David Pariser was so beloved by faculty, students, and staff alike.

Years earlier Dr. Pariser heard second hand about a commuter student whose life circumstances were such that she needed to go to great lengths to travel to school each day. Her route, which involved a combination of waiting on public buses, walking, and catching the campus shuttle, would be unusual enough in this day in age when most students come to school fully loaded with cell phones and cars, but this particular student's circumstances were exacerbated by the fact that she had a physical disability.

When Dr. Pariser heard the young woman's story, he tracked her down and offered to pick her up and drive her to campus every day.

Every day.

And when he didn't do it, his comparably kind and devoted wife jumped in to help.

I don't think I need to go into a long explanation about why that gesture shines and should be recognized and remembered forever as excellence in action, but I will say this:

About the only thing I sustain every day over long periods of time is making my way to Starbucks for my Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

The idea of offering yourself up to another person – not family – who will come to count on your for an indefinite amount of time and who will, at times, represent outright inconvenience, is the ultimate act of selflessness and generosity.

It is what we talk about when we talk about shining; about getting busy in our small corners of the world and doing our part to make them brighter places to live.

David Pariser did that. In spades.

He is gone now, but I can't think of a better way to sprinkle some shine on his wife and two daughters than to flood their mailboxes with yellow envelopes containing anonymous letters of admiration and gratitude.

Please.

Please help me by doing two things.

The first is the easier of the two.

Spend 5-10 minutes writing a short note to Dr. Pariser's wife, who incidentally is also Dr. Pariser. Let her know his time here on earth was felt by many and the legacy of his generosity will live on and inspire countless others. Then seal that note in a yellow envelope (or white, but decorated with yellow markers or highlighters), place a question mark in the return address, and mail it to the address below. Note: The cost of mailing an envelope just went up to $0.46.

That's the easier of the two requests.

The second is to help me assure his wife's mailbox is chock full. Call, email, Facebook, or Tweet your network of friends. And maybe even that next tier of people you know who aren't in your immediate circle, but who might also be interested in powering our planet with Shine.

Dr. G. PARiser

5319 Manor Court

Crestwood, KY 40014-8845


Claudia Beeny

Founder and Executive Director

Posted on 1/30/13 10:00 am by Claudia Beeny in: Yellow Envelope Project
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