Good To Give: 50 Books!

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Our last Good to Give brought 50 children’s books to Preschool Without Walls in the South Bay. Thank you to everyone who brought a book.

You can learn a little bit more about Preschool Without Walls here on their PWW Info Sheet. PWW serves a high need population and works closely with not only preschool aged children but their whole families as well. They believe this whole family approach will give students a much-needed investment in their future. The library they provide to students and their families was in great need of some new books to expand their offerings. Our book donations were well received and very much appreciated.

Here is a note from Paola Olivas, PWW Program Supervisor:

Thank you so much to Waves of Good for working so hard to collect the much-needed supplies that are so necessary in order to facilitate Preschool without Walls’ classes and help preschool-age children learn.  Our program provides free preschool classes to children in several cities throughout the county and we are always so grateful to those who help us give so many children the tools that they need in order to succeed and learn from an early age!  Thank you so much and Preschool without Walls looks forward to working with you in future! 
My sincerest appreciation,
Paola Olivas, Program Supervisor for Preschool Without Walls

Thanks again everyone. We are making a small but important contribution to our community! Here are a few pictures of the book we sent to PWW
Stay tuned for details on our next Good to Give coming at our April Face to Face.

Good To Give: Ken-Mar Rescue

       Ken Guild and Martie Petrie have started Ken-Mar Rescue in 2007. Since then, they have saved hundreds of dogs’ lives. Here is a piece of their story…

      Ken and Martie developed a track record of effective adoptions.  They’ve cultivated hundreds of Foster Parents, to care for the dogs as they wait to be adopted, including many Fosters who have ultimately adopted their dogs. Ironically, it took Martie losing one of her own dogs for rescue dogs to come into focus for Ken & Martie. When one of Martie’s Pomeranians, the frailest, skinniest and deaf, Moxie, got loose the reality of losing a dog to the “system” became all too real.  After posting “lost dog” signs, Martie moved her search to a list of 18 dog places in the Silver Lake area.  One such place was a pet store with an overriding holistic spirit.  The owner recommended that Martie immediately visit a shelter in the area.  The owner was so insistent and spoke with such conviction that Martie went directly to that shelter. It was there, among crates of dogs with high-end collars and tags, that Martie discovered that most shelters were not even trying to reconnect dogs with their owners.  When she asked for help from the staff, to find Moxie, she was told “Your dog ain’t here.”  Undeterred, she went cage by cage, for two and a half hours, searching for her dog.  She showed every person at the shelter a picture of Moxie and finally, the one helpful volunteer took her in the back where she found her dog.  Moxie had been labeled “defective” because of her deafness and was slated for euthanization.

      Finding Moxie gave Martie a cause to follow.  She signed up as a volunteer at a shelter and discovered that hundreds of dogs are killed each week. She and Ken created a plan to network homeless dogs via the Internet to help find homes for adoptable dogs that would otherwise be killed.  By focusing on one or two dogs at a time, they could transport the dogs to interim homes where they could “buy time” for the dogs until adopted.

      This gave both Martie & Ken a satisfaction that lead them to file for 501c3 to become a bona fide animal welfare non-profit organization.  Ken-Mar Rescue was born.

Here are few dogs that Ken-Mar has helped recently.
 
        Thanks to all of you, Ken-Mar doggies have some treats coming their way! Thanks everyone for contributing to our last Face to Face Good to Give! Here is what will be going to Ken-Mar
Food!!
Fun!
Here is a little thank you note from Martie!
“Dear SEC Cohorts 3, 4 & 5
Thank you for looking kindly on our orphans with your donations.
So exciting!
It’s like the holidays will come early this year for our orphans.
We really appreciate your support.  On behalf of the lives you have directly saved with your generosity, thank you and Happy Holidays,
Martie and Ken
Thank you so much!”
Hope three is some food and fun that finds you all this holiday season as well! As always, if you ideas for our Good to Give program, please let me know.
-Heather

Friday5.org

Fellow social entrepreneur Mike Berman of Friday5.org shares his insights below on finding his passion, fine-tuning his idea and starting an organization whose mission is to help all other charitable causes. Read on to be inspired! Make sure to watch the video below as well!
-Heather

I graduated from college in 2006 with big dreams. 

Despite the magnitude of these dreams, they weren’t exactly fully developed. They were fleeting, blurry, often vaguely defined, but they all amounted to one idea: Live fully. I had heard an entrepreneur list his three career goals once, and they became part of this fuzzy dreamscape:  Make a great salary.  Help a lot of people.  Love what you do.  This, to me, sounded like living.  So I set out to do just that. With a marketing degree and raw ambition in tow, I embarked on what would become an exhausting year-long job search to make my dreams a reality.

Over time, I became lackadaisical and unexcited.  I quickly discovered that no potential employer was going to pay me to do what I truly loved (which was then, admittedly, to snowboard, fly fish and play video games). Similarly, it appeared that my goals to help others and make good money were mutually exclusive.  Nonprofit employees are notoriously underpaid, driven instead by an otherworldly passion to “make a difference,” even when that difference is not always clear or evident.

When achieving all three of these dreams at once seemed impossible, I decided to start with the simplest—making money.  I posited that if I could attain financial security, I’d be in a better position to help others, and thereby love what I do.

I took a job in sales, realizing quickly that while I didn’t enjoy my job duties per se, I enjoyed the uncapped earning potential. I grew to loathe my work days, living instead for my cherished nights and weekends.  I learned what it meant to work to live– and it left me unfulfilled.

After five more years in sales, I advanced quite a few rungs on a seemingly endless corporate ladder. I managed a large group of enthusiastic teammates at a killer startup in Silicon Valley. Our company brimmed with passion, empowerment, complexity and autonomy. I was making more money that I ever had. I liked what I did for work, and was able to use my financial resources to slowly start giving back.

I had finally financially arrived, in a career I enjoyed, but something was still missing- this still wasn’t happiness.  I knew that I still hadn’t brought that third dream to life; I hadn’t figured out how to incorporate helping others into my life’s work.

I considered abandoning my Silicon Valley post to join the Peace Corps. It seemed dramatic even then, to leave my established career behind for a shot at making that difference I had heard so much about. But hey, if it was impossible to have it all (make a great salary, help a lot of people, love what you do), then helping others must be an all-or-nothing sacrifice. Success in the corporate and service sectors seemed inharmonious. I couldn’t conceive of a way to serve the less fortunate and flourish in the corporate world.

Then an idea came to me.

Some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs act out of personal necessity: they have a need for something, said thing doesn’t exist, they build the thing. Others find purpose in a very personal, very pervasive passion. I happened to have a little bit of both.

As long as I have been financially able, I’ve been donating to charity. Consistently, I’ve struggled to determine who I should donate to, how much I should give, and how to protect my contribution for the right cause.

Separately, I’ve noticed that everyone cherishes their weekends as much as I do, and that there’s no better day of the week to put everyone in the giving mood than the last day of a long work week—Friday.

I thought to myself, there must be a way to connect this good feeling with great giving.  There must be a way to capitalize on the completion of a five day work plight, the sense of accomplishment, the excitement of the days to come.  There must be a way to harness the positive energy that Fridays have to offer, and to use that energy to do some good.  Simply stated, people are more inclined to do good when they feel good.

This is how Friday5 began. After a few months of deliberation, I decided to quit my job, follow my passion, and build the thing.

At Friday5, we make it easier and more rewarding to donate to causes. Our members automatically donate $5.00, each Friday, to a cause selected and curated by Friday5. We take the guesswork and research out of online giving. Why research a cause, pick an amount to give, fill in all of your information, and follow up, when we can do it for you?

We decided to avoid the nonprofit route. 100% of the donations go directly to each week’s cause through our partner Network For Good (which takes out a small percentage to cover credit card processing). Financially, it would have been easier to be a 501 c3 but we didn’t want to further dilute the funds that make it to the causes that we support. We decided that we’d have to find other ways to make money (namely advertising/marketing) and quickly realized that we weren’t alone in this for profit / for good space. In retail there are Warby parker and Toms, for fundraising there are Stay Classy and Crowdrise, for online donations there is Causes.com, for news there is Good Corporation. The list for these hybrid “for purpose” companies is growing rampantly and is spreading across many industries.

In the end, I stumbled into the intersection of corporate responsibility and capitalism, and I am very thankful for it. My personal financial sacrifice in the short run is well worth it, and I now believe altruistic work and financial success can co-exist. In fact, I think it is the future for how our society conducts business, and as more and more people join this for purpose space it will become increasingly less taboo. I’ve met a lot of great entrepreneurs in this for profit / for good / nonprofit space and I feel we’re on the tip of a “for purpose” iceberg. Twitter’s co founder, Biz Stone said it well: “That speaks to one of my fantasies, which is that philanthropy is the future of marketing…If people take their marketing budgets and try to use them for good, you’ll end up with something more”.

-Mike

International Day of the Girl by way of Just Add Girls

What did I do for International Day of the Girl?  Nothing. And for those of you that know me- from my gender development focus in the SEC program, and my win in the Jerr Boschee incubator for 17Syllables- that probably comes as a shock. But perhaps I should explain. I didn’t do anything specific on the day- I didn’t join any campaigns with CAMFED, Because I Am A Girl, or the Girl Effect- I didn’t even directly tweet or blog about it. But that is because; behind the scenes I was and am (I hope) very much doing something about it.

You know that feeling when you are in the middle of a term or a paper, and you put your head up and realize there are other things going on around you, but you just don’t have time to do anything about them because you are on a deadline? You are immersed in your subject? I have been developing 17Syllables (as the first campaign for my new entity) for the past few months in a tech incubator in Orange County…and I put my head up for a second on October 11, 2012, I saw the great campaigns, the Facebook posts, and the flow of the conversation in the Twittersphere, but I was, I am, immersed in- being days away from the beta launch of my girl power business!! So I hope I am forgiven.

The fact that there is an International Day of the Girl is amazing.  Along with examples such as micro-finance and even the Girl Effect video, it ‘proves’ that the value of women and girls is being recognized in the mainstream.

In my incubator, I have learned that, an Entrepreneur looks for the friction in the market- the place where a product or service is failing to deliver what people need, or, where a product is missing that needs to be developed. People sometimes refer to this as finding the ‘disruptive’ product or technology- in my chosen tech/social media marketplace- innovative thinking has spawned Facebook, and Pinterest.

As a Social Entrepreneur, in the marketplace of innovating solutions to social issues, I too, like the Girl Effect creators, see women and girls as the disruptive force in solving many of todays most pressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

My site is still ‘a cause oriented social network for girls,’ but it is now called +JustAddGirls. And it promotes the idea that girl power is not just a slogan, but also a specific disruptive power that girls have on solutions to global issues such as poverty, hunger, and economic growth.  This is crystalized on our site in +JAG facts such as:

#JAG_boards_of_directors: Companies with higher percentages of women at the top have 36% better stock price growth and 46% better return on equity. [Tech Crunch]

#JAG_grass_ceiling: Just giving women the same access as men to agricultural resources could increase production on women’s farms by 20 to 30 percent, feeding an additional 100-150 million people [United Nations].

#JAG_education: The education of girls yields benefits that extend into their communities and society: a woman with six or more years of education is more likely to seek prenatal care, assisted childbirth, and postnatal care, reducing the risk of maternal/child mortality. [Center For Global Development]

But my site will go beyond merely raising awareness, by sprinkling +JAG facts around Facebook and Twitter. My site- as a cause oriented social network- will allow girls to join existing causes, campaigns and initiatives ‘that add girls to the solution,’ such as Helping Women xxx on PlanetGiving, (and that support the nonprofit sector) and also, to create their own initiatives and Crowdsource their solutions on our crowd platform. (FYI- the cause features will go out launch +2.0).

What are we releasing? An ‘MVP,’ (Minimum viable product), which will consist of a Homepage presenting the business concept ‘What adds up when you +JustAddGirls’, the join/add a cause component, and most importantly, the Featured Cause- 17Syllables.

We want our user created campaigns to recognize the ‘friction in the market’, i.e. upturning the notion that women and girls aren’t valuable in society, and locate where the disruptive power of women and girls lies within that issue.

The 17Syllables campaign focuses on girls and their (mis)representation in the Media. By the time a girl is 17, she has received over 250,000 commercial messages that socialize her to under value herself, or to value herself exclusively on her image or body type. This has been linked to depression- girls rates are 7 times higher than same-age boys, suicide attempt are twice as high- with the number one reason being ‘believing they are too fat.’ It has also prompted the growing trend of girls posting videos on YouTube asking if they are ‘Pretty of Ugly?’

So where is the power here for girls? Girls actually have a unique power position in the media- Social Media- with double the Internet and social media usage rates as same-age boys, and they dominate in certain online activities, such as online content creation (35% of girls online Blog, according to Pew Research). The 17Syllables campaign aims to have girls change the dominant media conversation, from their Social Media power position.

Why 17 syllables?  “Haikus – the Japanese 17 syllable poems – were originally written about nature or the environment. We think the media environment for girls sucks.” We are asking girls to write their own 17 Syllables (through Twitter) in order to change the conversation.

And we are using social media + causes hopefully in a new addictive way. And by the way, users get points for tweeting their 17Syllables, for creating their own +JAG facts, and for sharing and liking others. Points can be used to earn enough credit to add your cause to our site, and when we reach a total of 17,000 syllables, we will give five free campaigns away, to become the first five campaigns, causes, or initiatives on the +JAG site

We want +JustAddGirls to be the Meta site for all of the info and causes on the web about women and girls as force multipliers on global solutions, and to be a platform for girls to impact the ‘+JAG effect.’ Visit (and Like us!) us now on Facebook (+JustAddGirls) and look for news there on our beta launch address and date! (And feel free to add a few #JAG facts there of your own!)

-Jen Hutchinson
SEC Cohort 2

What do Edward Cullen, Obi-Wan Kenobi and the shark in Jaws all have in common?

Thank you for asking…they are all responsible for the serendipitous happenings in their creator’s careers. Stephanie Meyer dreamt about a boy and girl looking longingly at each other in a meadow; she named this boy Edward and Twilight was born from his image. George Lucas didn’t think the Dark Side was sinister enough while shooting Star Wars: A New Hope, so he sacrificed Obi-Wan whose spirit leading the young Luke Skywalker is an immortalized piece of climatic history. Steven Spielberg couldn’t keep the mechanic shark working while filming Jaws. Thus, he decided to show only the shark’s fin, and this sinister use of suspense helped Jaws become the first blockbuster. You can read more about these types of reputation building and career making serendipitous happenings here on FastCompany.com

Serendipity, and the idea of luck in general, is important for social entrepreneurs to keep in mind. There will be hard work, and most likely some hard knocks too, but there will be some unexpected luck as well. Scheduling in some unscheduled time to enjoy a hobby, try a new restaurant or meet a friend is when random luck will find you. Again, this is not to say that luck is the only way you will be successful, but consider this story from recent SEC grad, Jonathan Brody:

“On a Sunday afternoon usually reserved for football at home, a good friend beckoned me to join him at a local restaurant for lunch. While I was truly resisting the invitation, he insisted, and I gave in. At the same time I was becoming very interested in the country of Nicaragua. [Our} requirement to volunteer abroad with [my] Master’s program sparked the new interest. As my friend and I conversed over lunch, I started talking to him about the newfound passion. To my surprise, a lady just a couple chairs over heard the conversation and expressed she had ties to the country. Apparently her ex-husband was an entrepreneur involved in several businesses he started in Nicaragua. She also mentioned his new wife started a foundation called NICA, and I may be able to volunteer with her. I did not think much about the odd encounter, but the lady texted her ex-husband, Chris Marlett, and he introduced me to his wife Terri Marlett to discuss opportunities. After several conversations, a proposal and several months of volunteering, Terri and I launched a venture together in Nicaragua to increase the sustainability of the developing community NICA is working in, El Transito. Lunch with a friend and strange encounter led me to a new purpose in life. One never knows the hidden moments lurking in strange spaces that have the power to change a life forever!”

Jonathan has since moved to Nicaragua and runs the volunteer program for NICA that he and Terri created. While not all of us are looking to take our social enterprises or ventures out of this country, the example of the random luck that occurred one Fall Sunday thanks to an insistent friend that changed Jonathan’s life for the better is inspiring. We can’t really make our luck, but we can take advantage of making ourselves available to let luck find us.

Have you ever had some serendipity come your way? Share it with us in the comments! Inspire us with your story of luck!

School Supplies For Hope Gardens

This was the biggest haul any of our Good to Gives have seen yet! Thank you all so much and congratulations! You have outdone yourselves!!

We sent just about 10 complete backpacks and LOTS of extra schools supplies to Hope Gardens after our September Face to Face. These photos are a true demonstration of what happens when each of us brings something small, so that collectively we can offer something big.

   

There were words written today with the pencils and pens shown in these pictures and  handfuls of elementary school students are headed back to school Monday with their homework in backpacks sent to them by SEC students.

Hope Gardens in Sylmar, California, is a program under the Union Rescue Mission (URM) and serves as a transitional living and permanent supportive housing facility where up to 225 women and children can escape the dangerous streets of Skid Row. Through the Center’s comprehensive program, women and families progress from homelessness toward independent living in 12-36 months. It is intended that, at the end of the program, the heads of families will have a stable income and be able to move into a home of their own, where they will successfully manage a household. In addition, 21 senior women live in the center’s Sequoia Lodge, which serves as permanent supportive housing for elderly women.

I have not been able to secure any pictures from Pepperdine’s Day of Service, but will update this post if they do come my way. If you are interested in more information on Hope Gardens and/or the Union Rescue mission, fine them here on Facebook and check out their YouTube channel…you may even get a visit from URM’s Executive Director Andy Bales while in our SEC program. He has been known to make the rounds.

Thank you everyone for continuing to make an impact on our community even while we are in class. SEC student are doers, changers, and givers even as we sit for those long (although awesome!) Face to Face weekends. If you have ideas for the next Good to Give, please don’t hesitate to email me at myrick.heather@gmail.com.

Kamar Chafi, Cohort 3: SEA Summit

 This year the Los Angeles Chapter of the SEA hosted the Western Summit for one hundred and change social entrepreneurs to network and share best practices and new ideas for the field. Students were given the opportunity to volunteer and attend the summit for free which was an opportunity I could not pass up. “Free” is my favorite four-letter word. After working the registration table for four hours, I was able to attend breakout sessions on everything from cross-sector collaboration to measuring social impact.

In addition to the connections I made with SEA staff and other students, I was able to connect with James Fruchterman who is the President and CEO of Benetech. Benetech creates technology to serve humanity and has especially found it’s place in making books available online through bookshare.org which is the largest accessible digital library. We heard plenary speakers from organizations such as Give Something Back Office Supplies and panel discussions on scaling with folks from the non-profit, corporate, and venture philanthropy spaces.

I felt torn when it came time to pick which breakout sessions to attend. I couldn’t decide whether to go to the session on impact investing or the session on social and environmental metrics for social enterprise or any of the many other sessions with intriguing titles. I needed to be at all of them, but haven’t learned how to clone myself yet. Some classmates and I decided to divide and conquer. I made it to the Social and Environmental Metrics for Social Enterprise, Creating Employment Opportunities, Practical Tools for Cross-Sector Collaborations and Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives breakout sessions. The knowledge gained at these sessions from professional practitioners in the field and the conversation it sparked was invaluable.

 Attending the summit got me thinking more about my strengths and values as a leader. I realized that the most beneficial component of the summit for me was the crossing of paths that happened. The diversity of perspective, opinion, background, practice, industry, sector and even geography represented at the summit rang true with what Paul Light writes about in Driving Social Change: How to Solve the World’s Toughest Problems. The issues that we are passionate about as social entrepreneurs are complex and will not be solved by any one person, sector, or model alone. We need the social entrepreneurs, the social explorers, the social advocates, and the social safekeepers all engaged to begin to make a real change.

This thought got the wheels spinning for me personally. What if we increased this cross-pollination in more places and more often creating more ties, partnerships, and communication? Could we break down silos globally? Could we increase the impact we are having as a field? As a result, I have become interested in starting a San Diego chapter of the SEA and have spoken with the Chapter Services Leader about making this happen. The summit was an incredible opportunity and I am so thankful that I was able to participate in it. In the spirit of collaboration and networking, if you or anyone you know would be interested in helping to form a chapter of the SEA in San Diego, let me know. At the very least, capitalize on this opportunity should it arise again.

Thinkaholic’s Anonymous

Hi, my name is, Heather, and I am a thinkaholic. (Hhhiii, Heather)

I dont know about you guys, but this is how I feel during and after our F2F sessions! They are incredibly thought provoking, insightful and emotional all at the same time. All the ideas and info we take in lead me to think an overwelhming amout of thoughts…gotta call that person, send that email, contribute to that cause, find that organization on Facebook, use Twitter more, find a new job, volunteer more regularly, read more books, do my homework, SAVE THE WORLD, create a new Pinterest board, talk to that person about that thing, organize my calendar, clean out my voicemails, etc, etc, etc! While I usually end up working through all of these thoughts and tasks, I usually need a day (or 3…) to recover from class in order to get started.

I don’t really have a solution to thinking too much too fast too often, but the fact that someone made a cartoon depicting this idea makes me feel better. Knowing that there may be other people attending my meeting is comforting…see you there?

How do you guys clear out your head when it’s full?

It’s Good to Give: Notebook Paper to 826LA

Even though we have a couple more weeks off from school (Thank goodness and hope everyone is enjoying their break!), 826LA started up their tutoring programs this week, and they started off with a healthy supply of notebook paper thanks to all of us in SEC.

Over 2,000 sheets!

Lauren Humphrey is their awesome Volunteer Coordinator, and she could not have been more gracious or excited about our donation. She showed me other paper that was previously donated and much smaller than the kids need as well as tough to write on with pencil. She was quite sure the notebook would get used up first.

       
          Banana Leaf Paper: Bad                                    Notebook Paper: Good

Here is just a little further glimpse into the 826LA Tutoring Room…Don’t these pictures just make you feel that there is tons of teaching and learning going on here?!?

           Tutoring Room      Pencils at the ready                      Lesson Materials

It is evident from everyone who works at 826LA and the vibe in their tutoring room that this organization truly cares about the success of kids. You can watxh 826 Founder, Dave Eggers, TED talk to hear more about the heart of the organization.

826LA is looking for tutors and interns for this school year. If you are interested, check out their calendar for a quick and easy Volunteer 101 class or read about the intern experience from someone who lived it. 826LA is a focused yet flexible organization that I think exemplifies a lot of the “best practices” we are learning in our program. (I have only been able to volunteer once in an 826LA classroom, but it did leave a lasting impression…I will be back!)

Look forward to seeing everyone soon and meeting incoming cohort members. If you ever have suggestions for who the next Good to Give organization should be, please feel free to email me at myrick.heather@gmail.com

Who’s Your Visionary?

Collecting and sharing inspirations from past or present visionaries is an interesting way to compliment the academic knowledge we gain from our classes. It carries great weight to think about how what we read in books and hear from professors actually influenced some of the visionaries who were around much before us. I think at this point in our social entrepreneurship journeys, stockpiling all the pieces of wisdom we can in addition to our academic learning is important. You never know when a nugget of knowledge is going to come to the forefront of your mind and cause just the right sort of action or reaction.

I recently came across this post on Daily Good. There are numerous excellent pieces of advice/wisdom/ inspiration/goodness/vision/examples-of-amazing- things within these interviews. Here are the three ideas that struck me most:

Hemingway: He keeps track of his daily progress – “so as not to kid myself” – on a large chart
If with us today, even the greatest of minds might have gotten caught up on Facebook and Pinterest if they didn’t commit to keeping themselves disciplined. Not sure I am ready to commit to doing this, but maybe in the future…
Abramovic:  The sitting still was the worst part and choosing a wooden chair without armrests her biggest mistake. “This one detail makes it hellish.”
Details, details, details…think about ‘em, write ‘em down and make ‘em happen
 Jobs: What we learned was that the reward can’t be one and a half times better or twice as good. That’s not enough. The reward has to be like three or four or five times better to take the risk to jump out of the mainstream.
No one decides to be a social entrepreneur because it is easy; the rewards though, to you and society, are absolutely going to be at least five times the risk

Who is your visionary? What do they have to tell you and others?