Friday, May 22, 2015

"Even like the subtlest things"

The homeless very rarely ever get a donation of new socks. Most people usually donate used or out of style clothing to the needy, but usually throw out their socks because they are warn. The homeless have very serious physical health problems because they do not have socks. There are other problems that are involving mental and spiritual health.

After being homeless myself, for six months during 2014, I remember the feelings of lack of self-worth, dignity and pride that I experienced.  We had stopped entertaining, our kids no longer wanted to have friends over, my oldest daughter wanted to quit cheerleading, people at their schools had noticed by this time and questioned and made fun of them for wearing the same eight tops and the same four pant to school, despite the creative combinations they came up with. It was during these lower times that I relied on perseverance, faith and hope. In whatever form that they come in, even socks.

New socks can help improve the well-being and outlook of the homeless. Socks are an easy yet positive way to help the homeless. Because of the harshness of their lives, many homeless people are crushed in spirit. I have seen socks bring healing to broken lives and provide strength during a time that they have none. It is a very basic way to feel normal. To feel human. To feel dignity. To feel hope.

Here is a William’s story:
“My name is William. The Shelter system, my personal feeling, is a shelter but they actually kick you out during the day, so all day you’re wandering the streets. Killing time, just wasting time, waiting to get back at 5 o’clock, so, and again, you’re walking around all day because you don’t have money to eat. So how are you supposed to commute, we walk everywhere, right? Especially in the winter when you’re wondering the streets you only have one pair of shoes, one pair of pants- just whatever is on your back. You get soaking wet, and then slush comes onto you when the cars come by, or you slip and fall. Like those socks just start getting like sand paper, you know, when they start drying up a little bit, and they start cutting into the back of your heels. At the end of the day, you’re cold, your feet are becoming pruned, so all around it’s just very demeaning. Even when you’re just walking around, you feel uncomfortable, you just look around at everyone else, and their feet are warm and dry, and you could just wish that, you know. Even like the subtlest things, like a pair of socks can make the biggest difference in the world.”

One pair at a time,
Erin Bertel
Mrs. North Dakota International 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Simple Pair of Socks

Muhammad Ali once said,

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Now imagine you’re wearing shoes, climbing that mountain and gripping your hands into that mountain to get to the top. Imagine, that tiny, annoying pebble in your shoe, the pain with each step. Now imagine, that you’re not wearing socks. That pain suddenly intensified as each step drives the tiny pebble into skin, tissue and even bone. For some people experiencing homelessness these images are real, the pain is real and so is the importance of socks.  Socks provide a basic mechanical layer and assist in combating blisters and foot ulcers, which could ultimately lead to possible amputation. Boney prominences of the feet become irritated by friction. Socks decrease friction between shoes and the foot. Socks help cushion the bottom of the foot. This friction leads to thickened skin which is at best painful. It feels like a pebble in your shoe. Many homeless people have a condition called polyneuropathy. They lose nerve function and cannot feel irritations of their feet. The skin on the feet may break down and form an ulcer, which usually becomes infected with cellulitis, sepsis or bone infection. In lower extremities bone infections are often cured by amputation. Socks decrease friction between the shoe and the foot and can prevent or minimize the impact of these painful conditions.

I have seen several open wounds, missing nails and infections of the feet. Each person I serve, validates the importance of my platform. One foot at a time, I am helping the homeless with a simple pair of socks.

Hope for all,
Erin Bertel

Mrs. North Dakota International 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What I've Been Up To!


Just wanted to let everyone know what Miss North Dakota International 2015 has been up to!

Here are some of my recent endeavors!

I hold a bachelors degree in Political Science and decided to go back to school and finish my bachelors in Biology! Therefore, I am a student at NDSU- GO BISON! Not only am I a student I am taking my national registry exam to become an Emergency Medical Technician in the middle of May, please wish me luck!

I still volunteer as much as possible in any spare time that I have!!

To top it off I have partnered with a wonderful non-profit organization called
Feed My Starving Children!! This organization is amazing and has distributed meals to over 70 different countries! One meal only cost 22 cents and I will be speaking more about this in future blog posts!

Spoke about Feed My Starving Children at the Mother Daughter Banquet!

My best friend and I launched our fashion, lifestyle blog! {Midwestern Bubbly}

Governor Dalrymple & First Lady Betsey, Senator Tom Campbell & Representative Gary Paur came to my hometown Larimore!! #Larimorestrong

I attended the Grand Forks Heart Walk where I met this little Princess!

Read to some cuties at Barnes and Nobel for Ronald McDonald House fundraiser!

Got a puppy!

Photo by- Legacy Photography

Its crunch time here in May- and let me tell you I cannot wait to be done with school!

Talk to you all soon,

XoXo, Meg Your Miss ND International 2015

Sunday, May 3, 2015

College Decision Time

            Choosing a college was a very tough decision. I didn’t know how far away I wanted to go, how much I was willing to pay, or what college was the best choice for my career path. I’ve done a lot of searching and I have finally chosen Concordia College in Moorhead to attend this fall. They have a beautiful campus and don’t even get me started on the cafeteria!
             I am going to major in psychology, which is in the top ten best majors at Concordia. Moorhead is only an hour away from my hometown. I didn’t want to be too far away from home because I wanted to be able to go to all of my youngest sisters volleyball games, and I love my family! Another reason for choosing Concordia is that my older sister is attending this college as well and she absolutely loves it! I cannot wait to be a Cobber!

            Yours Truly,

                        Jordyn Sayler Miss Teen North Dakota International 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pancakes, Bike-A-Thons, and Parades

            I have had an absolute blast the past couple months, crazy, but fun! I was able to spend my evening at my local Ihop on national Pancake Day to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network! There were so many little girls and boys that I got to see smiling and chowing down on their pancakes. It was so great to see all the people who were there in support! A local radio station was even there broadcasting the event!

            A few days later I participated in the Tour de Habitat to raise money for the Habitat for Humanity. For this event, groups of six people biked for ten minutes attempting to go as far as they could. I can proudly say I biked 6.1 miles! It was such a fun event to do, especially because I was able to be on a team of current and former pageant queens!

            I also got to be in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The smiles on all of the kid’s faces made my entire day! The funniest part of the whole thing was the reactions of the boys and girls. The girls would say things like “look at the pretty crowns!” “Mom, they are princesses!” but the boys would say, “What kind of car is that?” “I want that car!” “Sick car!” I just about fell off the car laughing!