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Technology that Matters

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Friends with Causes

alzheimers-fwc

Last week I was invited to my friend, Alexandra Dwek’s home for another amazing and inspirational evening in support of Friends with Causes. Not book club or bunko but girl’s night with a wonderful speaker, cause and philanthropic goal. We are always surprised by the non-profit, the speaker and are completely engaged and last week’s dinner was no exception.

The first speaker was Kate Edelman Johnson, who shared the journey of her loving husband’s slow deterioration with Alzheimer’s. Kate reached out to her friend’s daughter for guidance, Patti Davis, who been through the journey with her father, Ronald Reagan. Kate spoke about what caregivers and loved ones of Alzheimer’s patients endure with this disease.

Kate began attending Patti’s Beyond Alzheimer’s support group and soon realized that she was in the position to not only support Patti’s amazing work but also the bigger problem of funding Alzheimer’s research. So Kate founded the Deane F. Johnson Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. She told us that without the discovery of new treatments, the number of Alzheimer’s victims will grow from 35.6 million to 65.7 million in 2030.

As we listened to Kate share her journey and then Patti Davis sharing hers, both as a daughter and as someone who has spent the last six years with these families in her work. Patti told us, “You need to be with other people who know what you’re going through, who won’t judge you or dismiss you. Several group members have told me that, before coming to this support group, no one had ever asked them how they were doing.”

These family members become patients too with this disease and it is people like Kate and Patti who take their suffering and turn into hope for others, that continue to inspire.

 

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Not the only dreamer

earvolution-dream

As we wrap up our week on dreaming big, I can’t let the moment go by unnoticed, that I am not the only dreamer in my family. While my husband and sons enjoy reading Charity Matters, they have been pretty clear that they do not much enjoy being written about.  However, when you are married to an entrepreneur who has spent the last two years dreaming of a product and that dream becomes a reality….well I had to make the exception….whether he likes it or not.

As I have mentioned before, I am married to a tri-athele who loves to spend time outside, running and cycling. A few years back, when he was riding with a buddy using ear buds, he watched as his friend was almost hit by a car because he didn’t hear it coming.

That moment got him thinking, dreaming and trying to find a way to eliminate ear buds. Well, my dreamer has not given up and has given everything to see his dream become a reality. Last week he officially gave birth to his dream, AudioNoggin. Wireless surround sound blue tooth speakers that mount on your helmet or hat and produces amazing sound. He is creating an Earvolution and a new way to hear your music.

Like all dreams, whether starting a non-profit, a blog, writing a television show or dreaming of a product….they all take a community of people to become a reality. Since you are my community, I had to share this moment with you.

Christopher Reeve said it so well, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” 

Making dreams into reality is a dream come true.

 

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Drops.la

drops la

All of you who know me, know that I am technically challenged. From the TV remote and beyond, technology and I continue to struggle to work together. And yet, every once and awhile, something comes along that inspires me to take on my tech challenges.

This past week, a friend of mine, a USC student, reached out to share a new app called drops.la Not being much of an app person, I was a bit unsure. However, I love what they are doing. They are dropping the change into a non-profit/charity/cause of your choice every time you shop.

Not being a big fan of extra change myself, I am the first person to add my quarters to the tip jar at the coffee counter. Well, that’s what drops does by rounding up your purchase and giving the change to a cause. It is all done with your credit or debit card. You pick the causes, you can give your drops for a few  days, weeks or more….and stop when you want.

A simple, brilliant and easy way to create change for others, one drop at a time. Now that is a tech challenge worth taking.

 

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Billions in change

Billions in change

Over and over we hear it said that one person can change the world, a phrase I do believe in. Anyone who inspires change, knows it takes a village to do so. It is a global village that billionaire Manoj Bhargava is creating to deliver products that can directly impact humanity and he is seriously the real deal.

Manoj has taken his fortune, created from 5 hour Energy, to focus on three areas to improve the world;water, energy and health. His approach is to, ” make a difference in other people’s lives, not just talk about it.” A new documentary called Billions in Change, follows his journey. Take a small peak here at what one man can do to improve the lives of seven billion people.

As our world becomes increasingly smaller and the global village a reality. It is people like Manoj Bhargava, who will not only change our world but inspire each of us to do the same.

 

Charity Matters. 

 

Copyright © 2016 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Catch a Fire

rachael chong, catch a fire

Since this week is all about love, it seems only fitting to talk about the newest matchmaker in town.  This isn’t your average speed dating site, but rather a brilliant concept that connects volunteers with non-profits who need help on specific task and its called CatchAFire.

So often when we think about volunteering, we think about stuffing envelopes, collecting trash or the most mundane activities. In 2009, Rachael Chong had an idea to connect professionals and their skill set to non-profit organizations. Rachael had a vision to “forward a cause you believe in” by using your professional skills to help a non-profit organization. So if you are a graphic artist, who is passionate about the environment….Catch a Fire would connect you to an environmental  non-profit that is working on a new logo. You get the idea….

Rachael’s platform CatchAFire.Org is an amazing way to make a difference. She is changing the face of the non-profit workplace, creating a pro-bono movement and making our world better by inspiring people to share their gifts and talents for a greater purpose. I think her bio best sums her up by saying, “Rachael wants to leave this earth known as a leader who empowers others to be better than her.

This Valentines week, I would say Catch A Fire is a match made in heaven and definitely something to love.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2015 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Gratitude made simple

Gratitude app

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.

Gratitude app quote

 

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.

Charity Matters.

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

LinkedIn and Volunteering, a perfect match

LinkedIn Volunteer

Everyday it seems there is a new technological way to get involved and it looks like today is no exception. Last week LinkedIn announced their latest tool, called Volunteer.linkedin.com, as a platform for volunteers to search for a volunteer fit by a variety of keywords such as; non-profits name, location,field of interest, etc…..For those of you not familiar with LinkedIn, it is best known as a corporate job networking site. In the past few years, I have to say it has become so much more and this is a perfect example.

I went to take a peak at some of the opportunities on LinkedIn and I immediately saw something for my husband. A non-profit organization called Bike and Build is looking for a board member who can help them 5-10 hours a month with marketing. My husband is a triathlete, avid cyclist, MBA and has been a VP of Marketing and is currently launching a product for the cycling/athletic market….so this seemed like a great fit.

What makes LinkedIn’s platform different from others is that LinkedIn realizes that your volunteering enhances your employment in a multitude of ways and that by volunteering in an industry that you area already involved with, such as cycling….you only enhance your resume, contacts and do the same for the organization that you are trying to help.

LinkedIn claims that,”41% of  hiring managers consider volunteer work equally as valuable as paid work experience when evaluating candidates and unemployed people who volunteer are 27 % more likely to be hired than people who do not volunteer.”

So whether you are looking for a job or a way to use your skills to help someone else, this just might be the place to go to find that connection to make your life and someone else’s that much better.

 

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2014 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

 

 

One Today

GoogleOne-Today

 

Once upon a time it seemed like a little company called Microsoft was taking over the world, then one called Apple, and now it seems to be Google. As you all know, I have a love hate relationship with technology. Try, try as I do, I simply can not seem to keep up and adapt as quickly as I should. Just when I get frustrated, someone like Google comes along with a wonderful new way to use technology to help others, and that is when I simply love technology.

Google’s new app is called One Today. It is a mobile app for your phone that brings together people and nonprofits through the simple act of giving $1. This app is available only in the U.S. and lets people learn about different nonprofits every day, donate to projects that inspire them, and amplify their impact by matching their friends’ donations.

So, it is up to the non-profits you love to sign up for One Today and if they meet Gooogle’s requirements then you can share the project you care about with friends.  One Today will also learn what types of causes matter most to you based on the projects you have donated to in the past. The more projects you give to on One Today, the better the app will become at presenting you with projects that are tailored to your interests.

So think about adding One Today to your phone and you can start finding ways to make $1 go to a cause you care about. A little love can go a long way.

Charity Matters.

 

 Copyright © 2014 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Charity Miles, running with purpose

Charity MilesI never thought I would say this, but I love technology. Ok, I love technology that makes a difference. I also love running and today when my husband stumbled upon this amazing new app, I simply had to share. There is now a way for my run to earn money for causes I care about and its called Charity Miles.

Only a year and a half ago, Gene Gurkoff had a brilliant idea. He wanted to make a difference, more specifically to help his grandfather who suffers from Parkinson’s. Gene’s idea was to reach out to corporate sponsors and ask them to support us, the general public, every time we run, walk or ride. Making our every day workouts a charity race, that turns those miles into donations benefiting 25 amazing non-profit organizations. You can choose where each workout gets donated, with organizations that range from Autism Speaks, (Red), DoSomething.Org, Feed America, Soles 4 Souls and many more.

So, when I ran today (that’s my phone after the run above) a whopping 3 miles, I donated my run to The Wounded Warrior Project, in honor of Veterans Day. Charity Miles saying is,” Every Step Counts.” Since June 2012, runners, walkers and riders have logged enough miles from Charity Miles to go from earth to the moon and back….three times.

I think Charity Miles is onto something great. So download their app, put on your shoes and hit the road to make your life and someone else’s, that much better. They are right at Charity Miles, “Changing the world is a team sport.”  That is my kind of team.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

 

What’s Sevenly?

Photo credits: Sevenly.Org
Photo credits: Sevenly.Org

A few weeks back I wrote about The Tipping Point of kindness that is currently happening all around us.  The signs of great change, just continue  to grow. I recently heard about a perfect example of that change, a new organization called Sevenly.Org .  Their goal is just that, to make the world a better place.

It all began in January of 2011 when two young entrepreneurs named Dale Partridge and Adam Chavez got together with the mission of leading a “generation towards generosity.” Their belief was simply that people mattered and their goal was to create weekly cause campaigns where customers could purchase products that gave $7 to a weekly charity. They wanted to both “unlock a way to crowd-fund for causes, but to drive massive social awareness as well.” On June 13th, 2011 they began to do just that.

They refer to their model as a” funnel.” The approach begins with targeting the millions of people who have never given to charity before, they wisely asked for the gift of social influence first. Then they showcase cool products to buy, with each item purchased a $7 donation goes to the cause that is highlighted that week. Lastly, they are encouraging their customers/donors to connect on a deeper level with these causes.

The result is brilliant. In the past few years Sevenly has had millions of people donate their social influence, and hundreds of thousands buy awareness products for the causes they support. In addition, they have raised over 2 million dollars and counting for these causes. More importantly, they are living proof that the Tipping point of kindness is a reality. That Tipping point is doing exactly what they set out to do…move a generation towards generosity and make the world realize that people matter. Now that is Sevenly!

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Swap Serve

swap serveAs most of you know I am a big believer in volunteering. Simply giving any talent, skill or time you have to a cause you care about and expecting nothing in return….except the great feeling you get from giving.

Well, it seems all of that is about to change. There is a new game in town and its called Swap Serve. Swap Serve has a little different approach to volunteering. They are trying to align non-profits with volunteers. Here is what makes this different, in exchange for your time, local businesses reward you with free stuff, such as coffee, donuts, movie tickets, etc.

Here is how it works:

I’m not sure if this is the way of the future, a win-win or defeating the point of volunteering? Regardless, anything that gets people out helping one another is a success in my book. So check it out and see if Swap Serve has come to your town yet. Do me a favor, if they haven’t, just keep on giving your time. There is no greater gift to give.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Can you hear me now?

Starkey Hearing foundationThe universe works in mysterious ways and I continue to be in awe of how these stories come to my attention. This one is no exception and indeed a story that needs to be heard. I have to admit I know very little about hearing loss and the deaf but I do know the story of Bill Austin and his mission is one worth listening too.

Bill Austin is a doctor who wanted to make a difference in the world and he has certainly done that. What began with making one hearing device for an elderly man turned into a business that is the leader in hearing devices. What is so incredible about this man is that it wasn’t about the business, it was about making a difference.

So, in 1984 Bill Austin and his wife,Tani, began the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Their mission, “So the World May Hear,” is about bringing understanding between people through caring and sharing. They believe caring develops trust and by sharing we find our humanity.


Today the Starkey Hearing foundation has supplied over 1,000,000 hearing devices to people suffering from hearing loss all over the globe. Albert Schweitzer’s quote, “The purpose of human life is to serve and show compassion and the will to help others.” lives thru amazing people like the Starkey’s whose purpose is heard loud and clear.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

 

HopeMob

HopeMobWhile I am not the most tech savvy girl around, I do love ways that technology can make a difference in someone’s life. When I come across inspiring ideas, I simply need to share. Since I can’t save the world, but rather make a little difference everyday where I can, I thought this might be something you might enjoy as well.

This new technology is called HopeMob and its  exactly what it sounds like – a mob of people bringing hope.

Just as Flash Mobs dance and bring spontaneous joy and laughter, HopeMob will bring caring strangers together to create sudden, yet organized relief and hope all over the world! HopeMob’s mission is to see a need and swarm it.

The founders are two young guys named Shawn King and Brad Kellough and they are some of the most respected social entrepreneurs and humanitarians in the world. Their social media and web projects have raised over $5,000,000 for charity, received over 100 million web hits, and recently won the Mashable Award for Most Creative Social Good Campaign.

Who knew a mob could be such a great thing? I guess anything that brings hope, is always great.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Crowdtilt

crowdtilt-cofoundersI may not be the most tech savvy person out there but every once in a while a great new idea or platform comes along that is so simple, its brilliant. Crowdtilt is just that. So obviously, I had to share.

Crowdtilt is a new online platform that allows you to set up a campaign (whether it’s for a great cause or an office collection for a retirement gift). Once you enter the goal amount and campaign you simply tell your friends via email, Facebook, however you choose too. Once the campaign “tilts” everyone’s credit cards are charged and the money is deposited into your account.

Crowdtilt founders, James Beshara and Khaled Hussein, hope that Crowdtilt will eventually be used to change the world for the better, but until then they’re fine if you simply use it to go in for a group gift.

So the next time you are trying to rally a crew to support your cause, give Crowdtilt a try. An easy way to make a difference.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.