Dan and Hannah and Give Kids The World

GKTW map to boston

York is ten miles north of Portsmouth, NH

Up at four this Saturday morning, by five Hannah and I head south on I-95 to Boston’s Logan Airport.  Arriving without delay, we soon pass through the TSA pre-check point for our 815 flight to Atlanta.  We are traveling in the Florence and Michael Hurricane-ravaged South to see family in North Carolina, play some rocking pickleball in Georgia, and visit the hometown of Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, in Alabama.

While waiting for our Delta flight, I walk the wide airport corridors to pass time and work out the stiffness in my legs.  Walking toward the Dunkin Donuts, I notice a sea of green tee shirts.  Moving smoothly, but discreetly to check out the shirts, I am blown away to see they say Give Kids The World!

GKTW volunteers

Angels from Melrose, Mass

Give Kids The World is the Florida-based wish organization that provides accommodations and free passes to the theme parks in the Orlando area for families with kids with life-threatening illnesses.

These volunteers from a Baptist Church in Melrose, Mass are off to the GKTW Village to support these families for the coming week.  They will serve breakfasts and later dish ice cream at the on-campus Perkins Restaurant.

Instead of just concentrating on the kid with the serious illness, GKTW wisely attends to the entire family.  They make brothers, sisters, mom, and dad feel like royalty, too.  Families with a kid with a life-threatening illness can fracture if the needs of and attention to the other kids in the family are ignored.

GKTW symbol

How am I such an authority on Give Kids The World?  Why in 1988, Hannah and I with our three children, Will (4), Robyn (6), and Molly (8), were gifted a trip to Orlando to be tenderly cared for by Give Kids The World since Robyn was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of four.  Today she is a beautiful 37!


Dan and Hannah’s Daughter Robyn and Give Kids the World


If you are looking for a place to donate this October, consider our daughter Robyn’s fundraising for Give Kids The World.  Her letter below explains her connection to Give Kids The World, an organization which provides wish trips to central Florida for seriously ill kids and their families.

Hello beloved friends and family,

I’ve accepted the Challenge for Hope! This one-of-a-kind 5K not only supports a cause close to my heart, but it’s my opportunity to fundraise for Give Kids the World Village. I love this place because it creates happiness and hope for children with life-threatening illnesses.

30 years ago I was the first wish child that they helped! I am now a childhood cancer survivor and a United States Army veteran!

Give Kids The World Village is nonprofit resort near Orlando’s theme parks. At the Village, kids facing life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to the vacation of a lifetime – and it doesn’t cost them a dime. For one amazing week, there are no hospital visits or doctor appointments, just time to laugh, play and create memories.

I’ve taken on the challenge to make a difference, so I’m asking you to make a donation to help these kids. My goal is to raise $1,000, and I’d love for you to join me. Please visit my fundraising page (just click the link below) and give generously to a great cause. Want to have some fun this November? Come and join my team and walk or run with me!

See for yourself the hope and happiness of GKTW in this video.


Robyn Rothermel

Click here to visit my personal page.
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Click here to view the team page for Rockin’ Robyn
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

Dan and Hannah Tithe – Theme and Variation


Wayne and Nancy Turley are longtime friends from the ten years we lived in Arizona (c. 1970s).  Wayne was an instructor of Hannah’s during her flirtation with counselor education at the Harvard of the West, The Arizona State University.  While a student of Wayne’s in the spring semester, Hannah invited the two of them to dinner at our first home in Tempe.  And a lifetime friendship was born.


I bring up these two dear souls as they are the first Mormons we ever knew.  Growing up in New York State (Hannah) and Jersey (Dan), we did not know a single Mormon.  Moving to Arizona changed all that and the universe introduced us to Nancy and Wayne.  (By the way, Arizona has the third most Mormons of any state.  Any idea which states are the Top Two.   Okay, Utah is a no brainer as #1.  #2?  See the answer at the end of this blog.)

As Mormons, Nancy and Wayne give 10% of their income (tithing) to the church.   But here’s the cool part, they feel blessed to tithe.  In their own words,

I always feel grateful to pay my tithing.  I also feel it is a connection to God that is strengthened each time I willingly do this.  I am also happy to think that my money will help someone or somewhere else in some small way–and that helps me feel a love and concern for others even if I don’t know them.

Many churches encourage tithing.  Sarah Ban Breathnach in Simple Abundance describes tithing as returning some of your wealth to the Spirit.  Tithing, which goes back to the Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, Greeks, and Romans, allows us to express our gratitude with action.


The mechanics of tithing involve taking one tenth of all the money you receive – from earnings, gifts, or interest/dividends – and regularly donating it to the church, temple, mosque, or other spiritual organization of your choice.


And as an aside, if you don’t know Simple Abundance, go to Amazon before you finish reading this blog and order copies for all the women in your life.  It is a daybook of comfort and joy for every day of the year to inspire and blow you away with its wisdom and common sense.  Sarah is brilliant!  Hannah reads it daily and has gone through it completely seven times in the last 15 years.   Click here for a summary of Simple Abundance.

Back to tithing.   One recent Sunday morning, Hannah and I listened to Edwene Gaines speak of the four spiritual principles of prosperity.   Prosperity is far more than wealth.  It includes being happy, having good health and satisfying relationships.  Click here to learn more about the four spiritual laws of prosperity.

Number one on her list is tithing.   What a concept!  One’s prosperity comes by giving!   Though typically tithing is giving to support a certain house of worship, Hannah and I have a variation on that theme.

Looking at our income, we came up with a number to give away each month.  So, our “tithing” is to find two organizations or people or families to give our monthly donations to.


This past August, we gave to Give Kids the World, which provides a weeklong, cost-free vacation in Central Florida to those families with a child with a life-threatening illness.  Our family was a recipient of the generosity of Give Kids The World back in 1988.  Click here for the GKTW website.

JF 5B  D at finish line closer.jpg


The other half of August’s tithing was to the Jimmy Fund, an organization that raises money for the care of patients with cancer and research into cures for that disease.  This past September I raised $2380 for the Jimmy Fund as a 10K walker.   Click here for my blog of that experience.

On our recent travels to the Northwest, we met a wonderful woman on our trip to Mount Rainier.   Only later, as we began to communicate by email, we learned that she had a grandchild with cancer.  One of our September tithing gifts was sent to her to buy groceries and gas money.   How cool is that… for us!


Recently Hannah saw a My Breast Cancer Support fundraiser where we workout at Coastal Fitness in Kittery, Maine.   One of our October tithes stays local.  Having three loving presences in our lives who are breast cancer survivors, we know that each received a card letting them know Hannah and I have them in our hearts.  Our tithing deepens our connection with those three women.  Click here for more information on My Breast Cancer Support.


Another local group gets our other October tithe, End 68 Hours of Hunger, which addresses the roughly 68 hours of hunger that some school kids experience between the free lunch at school on Friday and the free breakfast Monday morning.  Click here to learn more about End 68 Hours of Hunger.

This December we donated to the St. Thomas More Food Pantry of the Roman Catholic Church in Durham, NH.  In light of the recent election with the Republicans about to control all three branches of government and hellbent on defunding Planned Parenthood, we supported this women’s health organization this month.  Click here for more information about Planned Parenthood.

You know, Nancy and Wayne nailed it.  Tithing is a blessing and our lives, and we are the richer for it.  As ones who are very fortunate, we can’t sit idly by.

Top states with Mormons – 1. Utah and 2. Idaho