I hope you didn’t think I went on vacation without telling you all. I have been busy writing and posting away but somehow a WordPress upgrade blocked my post from being sent out. so forgive me for bombarding your in box but I wanted to share with you just a few of the 6 posts you seemed to have missed.
So following this email I will resend you some of the highlights. Thank you all for continuing to inspire me, share your journeys in making a difference and knowing that Charity Matters.
I am constantly being reminded by my teenage sons that I struggle with technology and change. Sadly, both observations are true. It takes something really inspiring for me to turn to technology for the solution. That is exactly what I felt, inspired, when a girlfriend introduced me to the Gratitude App.
For me, being happy begins with the simple act of being grateful. Whenever, I begin to feel self-pity or find myself turning slightly green with envy…I turn to gratitude. The shift is profound, every time. Sometimes, I write it down, sometimes I merely think to myself what makes me grateful? Now, on my phone is a way to simply log it, reflect, review and be reminded of all of life’s blessings.
I downloaded the Gratitude Journal, The Happy Tapper, and the first thing I see is the quote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I quickly list what I am grateful for and am instantly rewarded with a quote….and you know I love quotes. Every time you log your gratitude you receive a new quote, like this.
So the next time you are playing with your phone or feeling grumpy, go to the Gratitude app and give your self the best gift you can, feeling grateful and happy. Once you feel great, so does everyone around you.
Don’t you love it when you get introduced to someone incredible? It always makes my day! Last week, my business call turned into much more….an hour and a half call with the most amazing woman and non-profit founder. Her story touched and inspired me and I hope it does the same for you.
Her name is Carolyn Blashek and on September 11th, 2001 she was a young mother of two watching what was happening in her hometown of NYC and sure that her parents were in the Trade Center. They were not, but the events of that day drove her straight to every recruiting office in her suburban neighborhood trying to join the military. Thankfully, she was deemed “too old.”
Her backup plan was the USO, which at the time was sleepy at best. One day alone in the office, a soldier walked in asking for a chaplain, there was no one there. He asked if she would listen, she did. He had come home to bury his mother, his infant child had died and his wife had left him. He told Carolyn that if he didn’t come home from this war, no one would care and she told him she did. That was the beginning of Operation Gratitude. It was March 2003.
The war was just beginning and so was Carolyn. Like most non-profits they started from her living room, writing letters and sending care packages to the troops. At the time there were no other military support organizations and her children were 10 and 12.
Carolyn’s daughter now grown, lives in New York City and her son is returning home this summer after four and half years in the Marines. A Princeton undergrad who will be heading off to Stanford and Yale to complete his MBA and law degrees. Carolyn said,” She had addressed thousands of care packages thinking she knew what mother’s and families went through until she addressed her own sons, when she truly understood.”
Today, Operation Gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Their mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation to members of our Military.
Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than One Million Care Packages. The beauty, love and simplicity in simply saying thank you is pure inspiration.
I have to confess, I adore Pharrell Williams song, “Because I’m happy” and when I saw these 25 insightful thoughts from Gurbaksh Chahal about being happy via Linkedin, I simply had to share them with you. I do not make a habit of sharing other people’s material but this was more than worth sharing.
Happy and Success people…
They forget who they were and focus on who they want to be. If you don’t let go of your past then you won’t find your future.
They are sure of themselves and stick to their guns. Uncertainty is the key component of failure.
They are willing to admit when they are wrong. If you can’t accept that you’re wrong then there’s no room to learn.
They surround themselves with those who are worthy. Your friends make you who you are.
They allow unwarranted and hateful criticism to roll off their shoulders. You will always have haters — learn to ignore those that are just trolling.
They accept constructive criticism. You aren’t always right; others may have a clearer perspective than yourself.
They focus and act on what they believe is right and don’t act simply to please. If you’re constantly pleasing others then you won’t have time to please yourself.
They see challenges as an opportunity to learn and to grow as individuals. If you’re never challenged then you’re never going to see the world from a different perspective.
They are open-minded. There’s always another way to do it — a way that may very well be better.
They are quick to adapt. If evolution has taught us anything, it’s this: those who adapt the fastest and most efficiently are those who survive.
They do the right thing because it’s the right thing. Having moral standards and following them alleviates the chances of feeling guilt.
They don’t complain. If the situation can’t be changed and you can’t avoid doing what you have to do, then there’s no reason to complain; it only weighs on your nerves.
If they start something, they finish it. If you’re not going to finish what you started, then why bother starting in the first place?
They exercise regularly. You are an animal and animals are made to move and to push their limits.
They read regularly. It’s the quickest way to learn how the world works.
They keep a well-balanced, nutritious diet. What you eat affects your body on a chemical level.
They take risks. Fear is acceptable as long as you overcome it.
They have no problem with saying “no.” Often at times, it’s the things and opportunities that you turn down that allow for success to manifest.
They meditate and learn to control their breathing. Breathing is the link between our conscious and subconscious mind.
They focus on the moment. Life can only be lived in the moment.
They question convention. The way things are done isn’t always the best way to do things.
They care for and want to give back to human kind. We are all related and all connected.
They learn from others, their heroes and mentors. Having guidelines makes life easier.
They learn from the mistakes of others before they make the mistakes themselves. History does not need to repeat itself.
They respect others and expect respect in return. We are all equal and should all be treated kindly and respectfully.
Most importantly, they are happy. And, at the end of the day that’s what life is all about. Time. Energy. Moments. Live each breath counting those blessings.
I simply couldn’t have said it better myself! What makes you happy?
“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”
In light of the Boston Marathon on monday and my talk with Carolyn Blashek from Operation Gratitude, on Wednesday, I couldn’t help feel patriotic this week. Proud of my country, all of Boston and always our American soldiers. Gratitude and pride are a great way to begin the weekend.
So remember to say thank you to our military and to make your country proud of you for all you do to make our world better. We are better because you are in it.
Today is the Boston Marathon. Thousands of runners will come from around the world to compete in this legendary sporting event, just as they have since 1897. Year after year, the originally named The American Marathon was always celebrated on Patriots Day. There has been much talk about this years marathon being different but upon deeper reflection, I think the age-old saying will hold true, “The more things change, the more things stay the same.”
Many things will stay the same, the marathon will continue to be hosted by the non-profit Boston Athletic Association and will raise over $12 million dollars supporting over 30 local charities, just as it always has. Over 500,000 spectators will continue to come out to watch the over 27,000 runners. Yet, this year will be different.
This year we will remember and honor the three lives that were lost last year, the lives that were shattered and the tragedy that touched us all. It is often hard to see the beauty that comes from loss and tragedy. Today that beauty will be everywhere…in every runner, every cheerleader and every Boston Strong t-shirt worn. Today, it is not The Boston Marathon but once again the American Marathon as we come together as a nation, not just a city, to celebrate our unity, pride and compassion.
As Americans, we are reminded that in this patriotic city, on Patriots Day, that our forefathers were feisty, strong, resilient, and had the ability to unite and come together in good times and in bad. While some things may change, many things will remain the same this year in Boston.
When we think of large companies or organizations its easy to forget that they didn’t all begin that way. We see only what is before us and not where the organization came from. Almost always, the beginnings are humble and behind every great organization is a person with passion and a story. Easter Seals, one of our countries oldest non-profits, is no different.
It all began in 1907, when Edgar Allen lost his son in a streetcar accident. There was not proper medical care in their town and as a result Edgar’s son did not survive. Edgar, a Ohio businessman, sold his business to begin a fund-raising to build a hospital in his town of Elyria, Ohio. Once the hospital was built he learned that children with disabilities were hidden from public view. In 1919, determined to help these children, Edgar Allen founded the National Society for Crippled Children, the first organization of its kind.
By 1934, the organization launched its first Easter “seals” campaign to raise money for its services. Donors showed their support by placing seals on their envelopes and letters. A Cleveland cartoonist designed the first seal based on the concept of simplicity, believing that those served by the charity wanted “simply for the right to live a normal life.” The lily became Easter Seals’ logo in 1952 for its symbolism with resurrection and new life and has appeared on their seal ever since.
The Easter Seals campaign was so successful that by 1967 the organization changed its name to Easter Seals.
Today, what began as fundraising campaign for a hospital, has grown into an organization in more than 550 U.S. cities with over 23,000 employees and thousands of volunteers. The Easter Seals organization continues its mission in helping individuals with disabilities and their families, live better lives. They offer help, hope and answers to more than a million children and adults living with autism each year.
From humble beginnings to a lasting legacy of compassion.
I know I keep seeing it, am I the only one? The trend, the kindness, the shift? Good things happen around us every day and yet we somehow pass them by. I believe we collectively are beginning to take notice. If the corporate world is leveraging this “shift in goodness” to sell something, than it must really be happening.
This is one of the most beautiful ads I have ever seen….oxy moron….I don’t think so….simply proof of the shift.
And as it says, “In your life what is it that you desire most?” Believe in good.
“Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.”
It is that time of year. The benefits, the jog-a-thons, and of course the Girl Scout cookies. Fundraising is in full swing and its easy to feel overwhelmed by all the request for support. When a friend sent me this quote I thought I needed to share it because fundraising is all about the simple joy of giving. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, celebrate the joy you feel every time you share.
One of the first words my oldest son said was, “Twas Twuck.” Every Wednesday we would sit by our big upstairs window and wait for the beloved trash man. He would waive, smile, honk and make our day. This morning I went looking for something to share with you about Autism and the story I came across simply made my day.
What has made this story so impactful, really had nothing to do with autism but rather with a beautiful act of kindness. Manuel Sanchez, the trash man, gave Daniel the toy garbage truck that he purchased with his own money and had no idea that Daniel had autism. He just knew that Daniel was always waiting for him each week.
In a recent interview Manual said, “That little boy is so special, and he will steal anybody’s heart as soon as you see him,” Manuel told his employer. “I didn’t know what he has but there’s something very special about him.”
Obviously, there is something very special about Manual Sanchez too. His kindness has gone viral and he has inadvertently become the messenger of Autism awareness month by showing the world that the more you give the more you get.
I know that on friday I told you that this week is National Volunteer Week and by the way it still is. However, today is World Health Day….I know it probably isn’t on your calendar but that’s why I’m here to share a little snippet of info.
The World Health Organization created these days to inform us all that our world is small and we need to all look out for our health and the health of others.
This years focus is on mosquitoes, flies, ticks and bugs …..I know not a glamorous topic but they may be a threat to your health, your family, your home or simply when you are traveling. This short video highlights simple measures we can take to protect ourselves and the international message of this years World Health Day.
So consider your self informed. Don’t forget the bug spray when you head out on Spring Break and remember that your health is a gift. Take a moment of gratitude for that and have a wonderful World Health Day!
Guess what? Yep, your right, National Volunteer Week is next week April 6-12th. I know its friday and you are thinking about your weekend, the fun, the plans, the friends and I think adding a little volunteering just might be a perfect fit.
National Volunteer Week, a program of Points of Light was established in 1974 and has grown each year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled for next week.
The week is all about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about showing that by working together, we can do anything. National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging people to be at the center of social change – discovering and demonstrating their power to make a difference.
If you’re not feeling creative about what you can do, I came across this video that might just get you thinking.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, demonstrating the importance of recognizing our country’s volunteers for all they do to make our communities and our country great. So, grab some friends, your kids and get involved . Nothing feels better than making a difference.
Last week social media was all a flutter over a tutu, a photo and a very inappropriate comment from a magazine. While the story of Monika Allen was interesting, the real story was about supporting a non-profit, called Girls on the Run. A story that is just as impressive and with an amazing founder behind it all, Molly Barker.
In 1993, Molly Barker was on a run and had an epiphany that changed everything. A four-time winning Ironman competitor, Molly had life-long struggles with issues of self-worth. On that fateful run, she began to plan a program to provide preadolescent girls with the tools to embrace their strengths and navigate life’s challenges. In 1996 that is exactly what Molly did with the help of thirteen brave girls. Twenty-six girls came the next season, then seventy-five and by 2000, Girls on the Run International, a 501c3 organization was born, when Molly realized that so many girls could not pay for the program.
Girls on The Run’s mission is to create a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.They meet twice a week in small teams of 8-20 girls, teaching life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The girls learn understanding themselves, valuing relationships, teamwork and understanding how to connect with and shape the world at large.
Today with the help of over 55,000 volunteers, the Girls on the Run program currently serves over 130,000 girls in 200+ cities across North America each year. They have served 713,855 girls since inception.
I came across this quote from President, Elizabeth Kunz in regards to the tutu story, which I think sums up what makes this organization so inspirational.
“At Girls on the Run, we believe that girls have the power to change the world. While it is easy to silence or ignore the voice of one person, the voices of many united in purpose has power! Amazing transformation is possible when we embrace and live our core values of joy, gratitude, empowerment, connectedness, responsibility and intentionality. By celebrating one another, connecting with one another and coming together as one powerful movement, we can create healthy dialogue, elevate thought and, indeed, change the world.”