Wednesday, March 8, 2017

One More Time, OK, Maybe Two




I took a break from Relay for Life last year for the most part and I'll be honest, in some ways I've missed it. In other ways, I have enjoyed having more time.

OK, I did raise $250 to keep myself out of the fake jail they put up at our Relay (try it if you haven't, you can raise lots of money by promising to put people in jail, or not, based on whether they raise money!) and I did write an article about the honorary chair at the Relay last year in my town for our local newspaper. And, gosh I can't miss one of the biggest events of the year, so I went. But, that was about it. I wasn't on the board and I didn't have a team of my own.

In the meantime, some things changed. My husband and I both started new jobs on the same day for one. And, I found out that the new company supports Relay but they have never had a team at this location. So, I wondered. Should I say something about it? or not? Eventually, it came out that I had worked on Relay and when they decided to have a team, they came to me.

So, I'm a RFL Co-Captain again! We only have a couple months before Relay so we're off and running. Our first raffle raised over $200 and our 14 team members have raised an additional $200 so far. Wow! I forgot about that rush you get when you start seeing the money coming in.

So, we have lots of cool fundraisers planned already and I'm excited, but also a little nervous. I've never had a Relay team at work before and I don't want to step on people's toes. So, wish me luck with that!

Oh, and since I'm supposed to be talking about ways to help others, I'll mention the fundraisers we're talking about: a bowling tournament, a trivia contest, selling Sham-O-Grams for St. Patrick's Day next week, several raffles, a car wash, a pie-in-the-face contest, a few Give Back Nights, a fashion show, and a donated Photo Shoot opportunity. I know we won't do all of these, but I'm still sure I'm going to be very busy the next 3 months!

Luckily, lots of people are stepping up at my company to help. Thanks to all of them for helping us kick cancer in the butt!

God Bless,
Marcia



Saturday, June 18, 2016

To live and love others


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today I want to honor a man, a man with a heart after helping others. This man wasn’t trying to be in the spotlight, he just had a heart after God and for showing God’s love to others. He tried to live by Matthew 25:40 and in the twenty years that I knew him, he did. The verse shows us how we should help others as if we were helping Jesus Himself.

The man was named Sandy and he was a kind, gentle, patient and compassionate man, always ready with a smile, a handshake and an encouraging word.

When having lunch with him one day, I overheard the waitress say something to Sandy and found out that he had paid for the dinner of some military service members he had seen in the restaurant. He didn’t want them to know it was him. He just wanted to brighten their day and thank them for their service.

Another memory I have of Sandy is from a few years ago when it was almost Christmas. We wanted to get something special as a present for him. That year he told us that he didn’t need anything but he would like us to give a donation to the Waterfront Rescue Mission in his name because it was doing good and important work helping the homeless.

Recently, I heard another story about Sandy. His neighbor’s husband was gone on a deployment and things kept going wrong for her. Sandy helped unstop her toilet, killed the fire ants in her yard, and helped her get a new car battery and get her car fixed.

You could never outgive Sandy.  He believed in giving cheerfully to his church, his family, his friends and even strangers. He truly embodied the Christian ideal of serving others.

Sandy was such a wonderful model for us and we will miss his smile and his actions in helping others.

 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Reminder


 
“If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the lands that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.” Deuteronomy 15:7

I’m reading through the Old Testament of the bible and came across this passage. The Old Testament is rich with miracles, history, and stories, but it is also quite harsh. When the Israelites who were slaves came out of Egypt and were told by God they would be given a new land flowing with milk and honey, they were also told to kill all the people in the cities which they conquered.

The Old Testament has lots of wars and killing in it, but right here in the middle of all of it, God reminds us to take care of the poor.

Now, usually in this blog, I tell you lots of ways to help others. I’ve even given you data that shows that if you do help others, you will reap benefits of joy and gratefulness yourself, as well as better health.

But there’s another reason why you should help others—because God commanded us to do so. Jesus said, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” (Luke 12:33)

Are you tightfisted? Are you hardhearted? This blog is called Helping Hearts because the heart is where helping originates.

The motto for my website is “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

In the Old Testament when God commanded the people to follow his laws and rules, he made a rule about the poor and taking care of them. There are more ways he had them care for the poor, leaving part of their crops for them and so on.  

If you read my blog, you are most likely a person who likes helping others. That’s wonderful and I commend you, but did you know that another reason for doing it is because God wants us to?
You probably did, but that’s what I felt like I should talk about this month.
I’m slipping this one in under the wire to get it in for February. Thank you for being patient with me, and I’ll be back to giving you ways to help others in March. God bless you.

 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Movies Against Cancer, Thanks to Jack



I am saddened to hear of David Bowie’s death. Above, nine-year-old Jack Churchman from Perth, Australia recreated one of his more well-known moments.

I heard about Jack because he’s collecting money for a cancer charity in western Australia. It started when he found out that some girls in his sister’s class at school had cancer. He decided to grow his hair and donate it.

He wanted to do more, so with his family’s help, he began copying famous scenes from movies. He posts them on his Facebook page-- Jacks Big Cut.

He will recreate a scene from a movie you request if you donate more than $5. He’s done at least a 100 scenes in movies so far and tries very hard to get them exactly right. If you go to his Facebook page, you can see they are excellent.

He asks people to like and share their favorite film scene, then donate on his fundraising page to a cancer charity in Australia.
If you’re not on Facebook, you can also go to his fundraising page to donate.

He does have a website, but it wasn’t working properly when I saw it. It’s Jack's Big Cut.

As of my last count, he had raised nearly $7,850 from a goal of $1,500. He has 1,408 followers on FB. You really should see his pictures.  

What a creative way to raise money! I had to share it. Just goes to show you what people will do to raise money to help others. God bless you, Jack and family!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Giving You the Best Ways to Help Others



It has been a year ago today since I last posted. In looking over my life at the top five things that have given me a feeling of accomplishment, this blog has to be one of them. I've been thinking about how I want to be remembered. I would love for one of the things for which I am remembered to be this blog and my Facebook moniker of Volunteer and Charity Guru.

So, I'm back! I'm still working fulltime and have other responsibilities, but I really missed talking about the awesome things anyone who wants to can do to help others. I never stopped doing things to help others, just writing about them here because I had a website and this blog and a busy life.

So, I was walking with my son last week and, of course, mapping the miles with the Charity Miles app so money would be given to a charity for my exercise, when I found a new way to give. It's a new app called Donate a Photo which is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. You upload a photo that you've taken, and choose a charity, they give a dollar to that charity. It's that easy. You can upload a photo a day.

Look for the app in your app store for your phone.

If you don't have a smartphone, then remember, there are lots of websites that give money for you. One I've mentioned before is Click to Give. It gives you six causes which get money if you simply look at their websites and click on a button. You can even get a daily email reminder to be sure to do your clicks each day.
 
I've found a new site that has even more opportunities to click to give. It's The Nonprofits. There are literally dozens of nonprofit websites where you can go and click on a button to have money given to the charity.

You may wonder how it works. It's through the magic of advertising that the money goes to the charities. An advertiser on the page pays for the charitable gift.

It's an easy way to help others at no cost to you, except a little time.

So, for the new year, think about what you want your legacy to be, how you want people to describe you now and when you're gone. Maybe you want people to think of you as a kind, compassionate, giving, generous person.

If so, then you're in the right place. I will be helping you find easy, fun and free ways to help others, but I also believe strongly that a commitment of time and money to a charity is worth the effort. So, do what you can!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Habits of the Heart


 



The new year is here! If you’re making a resolution to be kinder this year, then do I have a couple resources for you! One is www.kindspring.com. They have a way to help you be kinder by doing a 21-day challenge.

 I tried it in December and I really liked it. I got a daily email with an idea of something kind to do and also a short message to think about.

Because I do this blog, I spend time researching kindness and charity, but sometimes, I have a hard time thinking of 21 things in a row to do. With this daily reminder, you don’t have to.  It’s done for you.

Over the years, I’ve heard different “scientific” ways to make a habit. Doing it for a certain number of days seems to be the most popular answer to that question. Being consistent helps makes habits. But we all need some help with that when it’s something new we want to do.

The 21-day challenge can help you by providing ideas, thoughts and a reminder, but I have another resource that is specifically about how to make new habits.

I recently listened to a Tedx talk on how to make little changes by BJ Fogg. One of the things that he said to do was celebrate victory when you do the new habit you are trying to make! Here were some of the things he said to do to celebrate.

1.       Say, “I’m awesome!”

2.       Say, “Bingo!”

3.       Do a little dance.

So, after you do a kind deed, do one of these things or something else that makes you happy.

He also has a lot more information on how to change yourself through changing tiny habits. For more information, check the video out. http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Forget-big-change-start-with-a

One other thing from the video that seems to be essential in changing habits is tying it to an action you already do. For example, frame the habit like this:

After I walk in the door, I will put my keys on the hook.

After I pee, I will do two pushups.

The last one may sound  a little funny, but we all pee each day and it helped Fogg get up to 40 pushups a day when he was trying to lost weight. The point is, it’s an action you do regularly and you can link it to an action you want to do. By the way, he started doing more pushups as it got easier so the habit can grow.

 You’ll notice these are small actions and Fogg says that’s key because you need less motivation when it’s just a small change.

OK, so when you choose a grand resolution like losing weight or being more charitable this year, see if you can break it down into smaller tiny habits that you can tie to an action you already do.

How about this one? Each day after I check my email, I will go to one Click to Give website and click on a button. Here’s a list of them: http://www.thenonprofits.com. You can go to these websites and click on a button and money will be provided to a charity.

It’s an easy way to help out that I’ve featured before and a habit you can make in the new year to be kinder. Happy New Year and God Bless!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Season of Lights, Points of Light


 
Some call this the season of lights. With all the lights and decorations, I can see why. Today I'm going to talk about another kind of light.
 
I don’t usually talk about just one website at a time in my blog. I give lots of websites that have great ideas or provide my own ideas and inspirations. But today, there is a website I want to talk about because it does A LOT!

The Points of Light website caters to individual volunteers, companies that want to make a difference and to nonprofits as well.

Individuals can find volunteer opportunities, causes and programs set up for them.  

Nonprofits can post volunteer opportunities. The Points of Light Civic Accelerator
“invests in and supports seed stage social ventures that solve pressing social and environmental issues by engaging people” also. If you have an idea for a nonprofit, this is the place to be, with money, mentoring, peer support and networking for your idea.

Or, if you have a company that wants to start or expand a volunteer program, you can get help here, too, including how to do pro bono or skills-based volunteering.

The phrase “points of light” might sound familiar because it was part of President George H.W. Bush’s (the father, not the son) 1989 inaugural address. He called Americans to action with his belief that “any definition of a successful life must include serving others.”

Bush later started a daily point of light award to showcase people making a difference and then the Points of Light foundation in 1990. As it says of the website, “today Points of Light transcends politics and borders to inspire millions of volunteers worldwide.”

It also brings kids into the equation with Generation On which partners with teachers, parents and schools to get kids involved in volunteering.

So, if you’re looking to start volunteering or get your business involved in it in the new year, take a look at www.pointsoflight.org and you can get help on how to do it.

I have another site I’m itching to tell you about but I’m doing some things to try it out first, so in the meantime have a Merry Christmas and remember the reason for the season. Happy Birthday, Jesus!