Peace Maker Spotlight

Posted on: December 16th, 2013 by jeni No Comments

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Peace Makers

Winter/Spring 2014

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Douglas Kirk,

Christopher Ladika

Total Graphics, Inc.,

& Sharmila Tredger

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Mattie said that a person who makes peace is one who chooses to “live peace” and who chooses to “make peace a habit — something that is a part of our everyday words and actions, at home and at school and at work and in the community.”  The Winter 2014 Spotlight Honorees — Doug Kirk and Chris Ladika of Total Graphics, Inc. (Farmingdale, NY) and Sharmila Tredger of New York — all exemplify this way of living and being.

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During Fall, 2013, Mattie’s Foundation suffered an unexpected loss of crucial materials — an entire case of 500 brand new “Peace Tips Guide” booklets. These booklets are the core of the Pathways to Peace and Peace Certification Programs. Those programs are not only the “mission in action” for Mattie’s Foundation, they are also an important source of funding that makes it possible for the Foundation to continue its work. After realizing that the Foundation was not in a financial position to replace the 500 missing booklets, Executive Director, Jeni Stepanek, posted a request for assistance on Mattie’s Facebook page — inviting anyone with a connection to a print company to consider supporting the Foundation in replacing the materials.

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Sharmila Tredger – who knew of Mattie through his appearances on The Oprah Show and who know of  Jeni and Mattie’s Foundation through a We Are Family Foundation peace event — immediately responded. She posted that she had a connection in the business, and that she would reach out to him to see if he would be willing to provide support.

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The very next day her friend, Douglas Kirk, owner of Total Graphics, Inc. — another long-time admirer of Mattie’s message of hope and peace, but who was unaware of Mattie’s Foundation til that day — told Sharmila that it would be his honor to help in this critical situation. Doug asked his Creative Arts Director, Christopher Ladika, to begin replacing the Peace Tips Guide, printing 100 copies at time across the next months. The first case of 100 booklets was shipped within a week, keeping the mission and peace work of Mattie’s Foundation alive.

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Now, as we celebrate individuals and groups who give of their time, their talent, and their treasure to support and share peace with others, the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation  honors with deep appreciation – Douglas Kirk, Christopher Ladika, Total Graphics, Inc, and Sharmila Tredger – our Winter/Spring 2014 Peace Maker Spotlight.

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Doug Kirk & Chris Ladika

Total Graphics, Inc. (Farmingdale, NY)

The Total Graphics Team — Winter 2013-2014 Peace Maker Spotlight Honorees. Top Row: Douglas Kirk, Alex Campos, Christopher Ladika / Bottom Row: Deborah Russo, Pete Hornick

 

Although Douglas Kirk was familiar with Mattie J.T. Stepanek as a result of Mattie’s appearances on The Oprah Show and having heard of his books and message of peace, Doug was not aware of the Foundation carrying on Mattie’s mission of peace until this past fall.

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Doug first learned about Mattie’s Foundation when his friend, Sharmila, contacted him and shared the sad news that the Foundation had experienced a material loss, and that the loss could significantly impact the ability of the Foundation to carry on its work of peace awareness and education.

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He didn’t really need time to calculate or consider his response. Instead, Doug immediately wrote to Sharmila offering to step in and re-print materials, saying:

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I will make this happen as a gift to myself, even if we only ship 100 a week! 

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Having the opportunity to help keep Mattie’s legacy alive fills my heart with overwhelming joy. 

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Because of this opportunity, the sun will shine brighter today. The lessons I teach my son — four-year-old Charlie —  will be influenced by Mattie’s message.  The joy is in the giving! 

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Doug then reached out to his Creative Arts Director, Christopher Ladika. Within a few days, Chris had processed the files for the Peace Tips Guide, and the printing of the first 100 booklets was complete. In an e-mail to Jeni, Chris shared:

 

I am so glad we could help you out with this. I do have to say that this is all thanks to Mr. Kirk. Mattie’s life and legacy, and your ongoing efforts to keep those lessons alive, have made a deep and lasting impression on him.  

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Total Graphics, Inc. is a design and marketing studio in operated out of Farmingdale, New York. Their  mission is to provide clients with superior service and design, without sacrificing competitive prices and superior customer service. The company provides graphic design and development solutions as well as complete printing fulfillment for both large and small clients.

 

The Total Graphics, Inc. team is proud of “the differences between us and our competitors. We care deeply about each project and work to ensure that our clients are completely satisfied with every step in the process.”

 

Clearly, the team at Total Graphics, Inc. in Farmingdale, New York, is a great group of people. And Mattie’s Foundation can attest not only to their humanitarian efforts, but also to their high-quality materials and professional service.

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Thank you, Doug and Chris,

and Total Graphic, Inc.,

for being Peace Makers.

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Sharmila Tredger

Long Island, New York

Winter Peace Maker Spotlight Honoree, Sharmila Tredger (far right), with her family, (L-R) Ariana, Bobby, and Fiona.

 

Sharmila Tredger is a published author, a photographer, a writer, and a music agent. She is also a person who moves from “attitude to action” to support others in need.

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She first learned about Mattie on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004. “His courage and wisdom moved me to tears,” Sharmila said, “and ever since, his mission of peace has become a staple in my home.”

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She didn’t know about Mattie’s Foundation until 2012, when she attended the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF) Gala at the Manhattan Center in NYC. One of the fundraising goals of the WAFF Gala is to raise money for their annual “Just Peace Summit” — a training initiative for global teen leaders based on Mattie’s final book, “Just Peace: A Message of Hope.” It was at this event that Sharmila met Jeni Stepanek, and learned about Mattie’s Foundation.

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“I was not directly involved with Mattie’s Foundation,” Sharmila said, “but I always made it a point to share any messages regarding Mattie’s mission of peace via Facebook with my family and friends.”

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And it was during a visit to Mattie’s Facebook page that Sharmila learned about the loss of materials Mattie’s Foundation was dealing with, and the need for a connection to the print company.

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“Giving has always been a practice I preach,” she said. “I have been thankful every day for the last 43 years of my life and it’s all I know to do. It’s the two unconditional actions we as humans can afford to gift.”

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And so, she immediately reached out to her friends to see if she could link Mattie’s Foundation with the needed support. In less than a day, their was relief on behalf of Jeni and Mattie’s Foundation, and new friendships created with Sharmila’s family, and with Doug and Chris and the team at Total Graphics, inc who stepped in to replace the missing materials.

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Sharmila wrote in a note to Jeni:

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“Peace for me is significant of a blooming flower or a sun shower or even the sound of children laughing. It’s that moment in one’s life when they are overwhelmed with an abundance of joy, that nothing at the moment matters. It’s a far cry from any war, violence or symbol of hatred.

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I wake every morning with one goal, and that’s to make sure that what I say and what I do reflects my beliefs of peace. I can understand that there are individuals out there who are unable to see past the darkness and that’s where I come in and try my best to shed some light in hope that they too can find peace within themselves and the good in others.

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“Remember to play after every storm!” is a Mattie quote that has always stuck with me. Whenever life throws darts of despair in my direction, I put forth every ounce of energy towards finding balance and re-routing my thoughts. And at the end of the day, before I close my eyes, I can honestly say that life is a blessing.

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I strongly believe that ‘anything’s possible and achievable,’ if you truly believe. We all deserve to be happy. We all have the choice to live in peace and to exude peace. It all starts with us as a human race. Peace is not rocket science. It’s a way of life, it’s that simple.

 

A resident of Smithtown on Long Island, Sharmila celebrates life with her husband, Bobby, and her 11-year-old twin daughters, Ariana and Fiona. In her spare time, Sharmila loves creating inspiring quotes for her website (www.IQuoteYouNot.com), and “photographing life’s little moments.”

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“I am wholeheartedly humbled to be recognized as a Peace Maker,” Sharmila said.  ”Peace has always been a part of my process.”

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Thank you, Sharmila,

for being a Peace Maker.

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To learn more about Total Graphics, Inc.,

or to create and order your print materials

from them, CLICK HERE or visit

www.TotalGraphics.biz

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To enjoy Sharmila’s quotes and photography,

CLICK HERE or visit

www.IQuoteYouNot.com

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Return to main Spotlight page

 

 

 

 

July Spotlight

In-Kind Support

Celebrating our "in kind" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with services and materials. Thank you ezStorage, Montgomery Printing, Parcel Plus, and Potomac Valley Brick! Read more...

Nourishment Support

Celebrating our "nourishment" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with food and services. Thank you Botanero Restaurant, Fontina Grille, Safeway, Coffee Republic, and Red Hot & Blue! Read more...

Community Support

Celebrating our "community" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with commitment and participation. Thank you City of Rockville, King Farm Citizen's Assembly, Kick's Karate & Mix 107.3! Read more...

Champion Support

Celebrating our "Foundation Champions" -- sponsors and volunteers of all ages who support Mattie's Foundation through donations, brick sponsorships, participation in our activities and events. Thank you!!! Read more...

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek