The Heart of A Movement

heartmove

This past weekend I had the pleasure of helping 2 young women bring to life their vision. One completed her 1st run of taking an already successful women’s only event national, (a blog about the event to come), and the other forming a team to help her with the process of adding more structure to a dream to create opportunity for girls who might not have otherwise known they had a voice; a beautiful dream that I know will be bigger than what any of us can see right now.

As I worked with these two ladies, still very startup and grassroots in nature, I began to wonder what these two seemly small operations would look like when they grew up. And in trying to picture them growing up, what would it take and how could they ensure, (if it did indeed help not hurt their growth), that the heart of the movement these two organizations represented would not be tainted?

Despite being burnt by organizations and the people who run them, I still have hope. Knowing full and well how dirty some of these well-known nonprofits and organizations do the people giving them their hard-earned dollars and labor to, I can’t help but be hopeful about what this generation is more than capable of in terms of innovation and fostering a culture of change.

I can’t help but to be hopeful that we will be wise enough to seek counsel from the experienced yet learn to think for ourselves and not be discouraged when we don’t always fit the mold. Know when it’s best to just re-invent the wheel yet retain a youthful curiosity, maybe even a bit of teenage rebellion enough to want to explore territory others before us were too weary to try out.

And when I think about what these two young women represent and what their organizations are to represent to the larger girls and women empowerment movement, I can’t help but to hopeful about the change agents that will sprout out of the heart of their movements.

So anyway, these are my thoughts, and here is my question; I’d love to hear from you!

How do you grow your organization, business, climb the corporate ladder…and yet remain true to your original purpose?

 

Until Next Time…

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Flickr Credit

Home is… Where Your Art Takes You?

Photo property of Lynette Davis

Photo property of Lynette Davis

So, as I mentioned in the last post, (yeah, had a hiccup with the site so I’ll be working to get those lost blog posts back guys) I would be starting a blog series called “Be The Change” This is my way of spreading the love, as well as (hopefully) inspiring my fellow entrepreneurs to up their game in the spirit of giving to the greater good, to work with deeper meaning, to not be shy about proudly announcing on #FundraisingFriday how super excited you are that you donated *insert money/time* to *insert awesome nonprofit or cause*

You get the picture?

So, over the past couple of weekends Art has really been a part of my life. From going to my very first Vision Board workshop and really seeing my vision come to life on paper, to attending my gal pal’s very first Art show, to using Art as a bridge of communication so a little girl would feel more comfortable about telling her story to me, so that we could work on getting her mentally healthy and happy.

I felt so entranced by the power and influence of the Arts to the human soul that I’ve decided to highlight the work of a young woman who goes by the name of Malika Whitley, who founded a nonprofit called ChopArt.

At ChopArt, they “work on-site with homeless shelters, primarily, offering a three module art course, mentor-ship and impact assessment. [they] also take the students on field trips and host an art show celebrating their finished art work. To accommodate youth who do not live in long-term housing shelters, [they] offer one day workshops in art media including dance, theater and music.”

Their mission is “To provide empowerment to youth in homeless situations to express themselves creatively and to develop sustainable values through art exploration.”

But that’s only a piece of it all!  So, you’ll want to get all the details from their site.

And just in case you’re wondering about the power of social media for social good… I met Malika via a Twitter chat some time ago and we clicked in 140 characters.  We then agreed to have a chat on the phone and decided to stay in touch. In order for me to keep up with her journey, I occasionally see her Facebook updates when browsing my newsfeed which reminds me to check out her e-zine for their latest news . Don’t you just love social media?

If you’re interested in learning more about supporting ChopArt check out their info by clicking that link, (last I checked they were headed over to visit India)! How cool is that?

 

Until Next Time…

Did you enjoy reading this? Awesome! I’d like to invite you to sign up here to receive new blog posts in your inbox when they update.

 

Be The Change

Artwork by Tene' Aiken

Artwork by Tene’ Aiken

 

After giving it some thought, I’ve decided to revive my blog posts centered around nonprofit work, philanthropy, and now, the technological advances that fuel social change and game-changing innovation.

The month of August will now feature a new blog series which I’ll call “Be The Change” (the is name not so innovative, but it gets the point across). I will once again seek out and feature nonprofits, do-gooders, and great content (written, filmed, photographed) by others using social media for social good to share with you all during this month.

I hope you will embrace your giving spirit by joining me in my efforts to give back to those in need either on a local scale, and/or global scale… On with the post!

 

I’ve made it no secret that my background was in nonprofit work, (Heck, I’m still involved with nonprofit work).  I’ve also made it no secret that I’m giving my blood, sweat, and tears in entrepreneurial endeavors for the sake of abundant living which will position me to be the kind of philanthropist I’m proud of.

 

With that being said, here some of my personal favorite blog posts to catch you up on what I’ve addressed so far…

 

 Who’s Using Social Media For Social Good? -Jubilee Project.

Social Media For Social Good: #FundraisingFriday

What Do We Want? Nonprofits! When Do We Want Them? Now!

Don’t Remain a Victim

Did you enjoy reading this? Awesome! I’d like to invite you to sign up here to receive new blog posts in your inbox when they update.

Interested in purchasing the piece of artwork you see at the top or artwork like it? Hop on over to Tene’s blog to request more info!

Encouraging Women Leaders of Tomorrow

Paulsdale Home of Alice Paul

Don’t be upset….I know Women’s History Month is over, but I just had to share with you all a hidden treasure of a nonprofit I’ve recently discovered in New Jersey.

The organization is called The Alice Paul Institute (API). API celebrates the legacy of women’s rights activist Alice Paul, one of the leading ladies who suffered through women’s right movement to bring us the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

API has several programs in place to educate, develop, and empower a new generation of leaders, and human rights activists. The programs primarily cater to girls between the ages of 9-18 introducing them to strong female role models from history. The historical piece is what sets API apart, as it shows young ladies how far we’ve come in achieving women’s rights yet emphasizes the need for more, positive female role models of today to lead our tomorrow.

One thing we are always told is to understand our history so we can know who we are to know where we’re going. We can reflect on those that paved the way for us to enjoy the freedoms we celebrate, and must not forget to take advantage of today.

In an effort to not discredit the women leaders of today and also honor the sheroes of yesteryears API gives an annual Alice Paul Equality Award  to individuals who have “captured the spirit of Alice”. 

Like many small nonprofits, API needs funding to continue to uplift and encourage, and diversify their efforts. For more about the organization, and to donate to aid the mission of empowering  future leaders check out their website.

Community Outreach and Backpack Giveaway

Over 600 Backpacks for the community Photo by: L. Davis

About a month ago, I participated in a Twitter chat geared towards helping small nonprofits grow their funds, and build better relationships with donors, volunteers, and the communities they serve.  The topic of the chat was “What are you doing to strengthen relationships?” I was proud to announce to my fellow tweeters that I finally stepped up and became an official fundraiser for a small grassroots nonprofit, and we were preparing for a huge community festival and backpack giveaway.

Fast forward to today, The Victory Group, a small nonprofit whose mission is “Strengthening the Community One Family at a Time,” hosted their Annual community outreach event. From start to finish, this project had the needs of its community completely in mind. Small group leaders came out to represent their local support groups that house resources in the surrounding areas. Local medical providers such as Kennedy Health System, South Jersey Eye Center, Colgate Dental, and Underwood Memorial Hospital came out and conducted free health and dental screenings.  We also had games, moon bounces, face painting, balloon art for the kids and even a massage therapist on board to ease the tension of their parents (and volunteers). And what summer community festival would be complete without plenty of free food and beverages, water ice, great music, dancing, and of course backpacks full of school supplies. I honestly had a great time as a runner for other volunteers and registering families so that we could keep in touch for future outreach. Best of all, I was glad to be apart of the fundraising committee that helped solicit the funding, volunteers, and local vendors for the event. But I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed this time of community fellowship:

Tracy, a local, had rave reviews about the event “I enjoyed it! Everyone was very friendly, the children were very happy with it.”

Donna, another local agreed, “They couldn’t do enough for us!”

When one mom started to acquire her son’s backpack, he ran ahead of her happily exclaiming, “I’ll get it, I can get it myself!”

The volunteers were enthusiastic, and willing to help out wherever there was a need. When asked how she came to be a volunteer for the children’s game section a volunteer responded, “Actually I signed up to help with registration, but they said they were short people for games so I said that I would switch.”  There was no animosity in her response. She was already starting to think of ways they could make the game section better next year to cater better to all age groups who participated.

Not only were we able to provide outreach to families in need, but we also networked and connected with first-time volunteers, small business owners turned philanthropists, and community advocates from all walks of life. By the community coming together for a good cause were we able to foster relationships to build upon, and sustain for years to come.

Feel free to see the happy people from today’s event!