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inspiring non-profits

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The Power of One

“Please believe in the POWER of ONE.

One person can make an enormous difference in the world.

One person-actually, one idea-can start a war or end one or subvert an entire power structure.

One discovery can cure a disease or spawn a new technology to benefit or annihilate the human race.

You as ONE individual can change millions of lives.

Think big.

Do not limit your vision and do not ever compromise your dreams or ideals.”

Iris Chang

Perhaps a big thought for a Monday, post Father’s Day but a great way to begin the week. The Power of One continues to be a driving force in my life, as I seek these incredible people out. On Wednesday, you will meet Norah Miller, one woman on a mission to change the face of homelessness in her community….a woman using her power to help those in need.

It is the Norah’s of the world, that fuel my belief, each of us does contain the Power of One. The real question we should be asking ourselves, is how are we going to use that power?

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2017 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.

Alchemy

alchemy

Last week I spent two days at a conference for non-profits, called Alchemy. I sat in a room with 70 non-profits from all over Southern California and was fascinated by the diversity of the non-profit organizations. As we all introduced ourselves, I listened to the wide spectrum of services these organizations provided…everthing from promoting horseback riding in Pasadena, projects for the arts, makeover’s for homeless women to employing Veterans.

Some of the organizations were brand new and others had long histories but as I listened to each organization talk about their mission, they all had one thing in common that made them the same. That one thing was passion. Each person was dedicated and passionate about what it was that their organization did to make the world better.

Of course, not all of the causes spoke to me…or did I really understand. But who am I to judge? It was bringing people together who take their gifts (the fashionista who did makeovers on homeless women and the retired recruiter who finds jobs for Veterans) to make another’s life better. A room full of diversity and yet we were all the same….simply trying to share our gifts to make a difference.

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.

More than making the grade..Grades of Green

GradesofGreen+Annual+ClUcYEl7fxYl“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” That infamous Margaret Mead quote is what came to mind after my inspiring conversation with Grades of Green’s Kim Martin

Six and a half years ago, Kim Martin was an environmental attorney with young children in elementary school.  She befriended 3 other like-minded mom’s; Lisa Coppedge, Shaya Kirkpatrick and Suzanne Kretschmer, who had been deeply impacted by Al Gore’s environmental movie, An Inconvenient Truth. The four of them began working together to find creative ways to green their school. Before long, these savvy moms and their school were winning national awards for their efforts and making an amazing impact on their youth, school and community.

They realized that they were truly onto something much bigger as their initial students moved onto middle school and began asking questions about where were the recycling containers and why was the school using styrofoam? Moments like these prompted the four women to take their extraordinary volunteer efforts to the next level and three years ago they founded the non-profit, Grades of Green.

Their mission is simply to inspire and empower kids and the broader school community to care for the environment. The vision of Grades of Green is to make environmental protection second nature in young minds.

Their website breaks down initiatives for individuals and schools to make small and simple changes that have big impacts. Things such as Walk to School Wednesdays, (de)Tox Thursdays, Campus composting and Electricity Challenges. All these activities are free, simple, easy and impact full. The kids learn by doing, not by lecture. The founders’ dream is that this next generation lives in harmony with the earth and that all their decisions big and small reference that point.

What started as a small thoughtful group of committed citizens has already begun to change our world. Today, Grades of Green is in more than 209 schools, in 30 states and has worked with over 130,268 children and counting. That small thoughtful group has become a large one and as their motto says, “Every shade makes 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.

 

Making Recess what it used to be…Playworks

playworks-1The first week of school already found me running to drop off my son’s forgotten notebook. I happened to find myself on campus during middle school recess. Meandering thru hundreds of  thirteen year olds in search of my son, I noticed something strange. No one was “playing.” Recess looked more like a benefit with swarms of clicks talking in large groups. What is happening to these kids? Does anyone play anymore?

Well, it seems that I’m a little late to this idea and that it isn’t just parents worried about play but also teachers and principals. I was thrilled to discover that someone is really doing something about this and her name is Jill Vialet.  In 1996, Jill had a conversation with a haggard looking school principal who launched into a tirade about…recess.

The principal was tired of seeing the same kids in her office every day, for fighting on the playground. She didn’t believe they were bad children but was equally worried about her teachers who were literally hiding, to avoid recess so they wouldn’t have to confront the inevitable outbreak of chaos.

That conversation struck both a chord and action from Jill Vialet, who within the same year founded Sports4Kids, which is now Playworks. Her goal was to transform recess and the school day with safe and healthy play so teachers can teach and kids can learn.

 

Playworks is the only nonprofit organization in the country providing trained, full-time play coaches focused on recess to hundreds of low-income schools in major urban areas. 85 percent of principals report that students are more engaged in school since having Playworks on site. The safe and healthy play Playworks is bringing to schools is helping students succeed in the classroom and in life.

Today, Playworks brings play and physical activity to more than 130,000 children in 300 schools in 23 US cities and continues to expand. Jill Vialet knows how important play is and her non-profit more than makes it work!

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.

The Lulu and Leo Fund

LuluandLeoFundI am forever inspired by people’s ability to funnel their pain into good. It’s like being an alchemist, someone who can turn metal to gold. This story is just that. Turning pain into joy.

The Krim family were a happy family  with three young children when tragedy took two of their children away. Lulu (6) and Leo (20 months) were killed by their nanny while their parents were at work. A loss so huge, violent and beyond any comprehension, it seemed beyond unbearable for any parent to survive.

Yet, rather than turn to the sadness, the Krim family has decided to turn towards the light and honor the beautiful lives of their son and daughter by creating the LuluandLeoFund. Their children loved their art classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and when the Krim’s realized that many children didn’t have access to such programs they decided to act.

“We created the Lulu & Leo Fund to help more children benefit from these education experiences in art and science. ”

May 28th would have been Lulu’s 7th birthday and the Krim family has just announced that they are expecting a baby boy in the fall. It is pure alchemy. Metal to gold and pain into joy.

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.