A huge part of Collin’s life was helping others. This list captures some of the ways Collin felt strongly that one could better the lives of others, as well as his own life. If YOU feel inspired or compelled to do something in remembrance of Collin here is a place to start…
Make donating blood a part of your life. As a member of the student council, Collin organized and helped with blood drives at Bozeman High School. He also donated blood often, despite his strong dislike of needles. www.givelife.org or 1-800-GIVE-LIFE
Mentor a child through Big Brothers and Sisters or another advocacy group. Collin mentored an at risk grade school student twice a week for the Campus Kids Project his senior year at Gonzaga, and “found great purpose in helping other people”. www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org
Help out someone less fortunate than you. Collin’s willingness to help those in need was truly amazing. It was a trait he developed early in life and is the common thread running throughout most of this list.
Plant a boulevard tree. Designing boulevard tree plantings was one of the last projects Collin worked on at Parametrix, and he enthusiastically discussed ideas about the project with his Mom who is on the tree board in Bozeman.
Read “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson. Collin just recently finished reading this book and was greatly inspired by it. The Central Asia Institute looks to use education rather than bombs to promote world peace. http://www.ikat.org
Perform a random act of kindness for a person suffering from mental illness. When Collin was in Middle School, he and his Dad were Christmas shopping. As they passed a flower shop when Collin said he wanted to buy Christmas flowers for the older lady living in the corner house behind us, who sometimes acted strangely. Dad agreed, and was quite surprised by the novelty of his request. Since it was December, Collin bought a stuffed teddy bear and a party balloon. That same day he dropped off the present, wrapped in ribbon, on her doorstep. We later found out she had schizophrenia.
Call your Mom at least once a week. Collin would call home two or three times most weeks, often from the grocery or when he wanted cooking ideas. This fact was a slight embarrassment to him one time when it was mentioned in front of his sweetheart but was always a great joy to his Mom and Dad. Collin would even gently lecture his older brother, Russell, about calling home on a regular basis.
Learn to do something new and strive to do it well. There are many examples of how Collin could add a new interest to his long list and soon become quite proficient at whatever he tried to do. As one example, he decided the summer before his freshman year that he wanted to be in the drum line of Bozeman High School’s marching band… a long shot for someone who had been drumming only six months. By that fall, however, Collin had earned his spot on the drum line.
Take time for your friends; new friends, old friends, friends who are young, and those who are older. To Collin, all his friends were precious to him and brought him much joy. He stuck by them in the good times and the bad with a steady helping hand.
Be a good steward of the environment. Reduce, reuse, recycle; use reusable grocery bags; conserve energy and water; and respect the earth. Collin loved the outdoors and had a profound appreciation for it. One of his last purchases was a set of cloth reusable grocery bags.
Be physically active in whatever way you can. Take care of your health (if you smoke, quit). Your body is your temple. Anti-smoking was one of Collin’s first crusades, which he took up at an early age. Later, exercise became a major part of his life and he learned to take diligent care of his body. He was into weight lifting, eating healthy, numerous sports, and other outdoor activities that built a strong foundation for his temple.