As I move through this Fabulous Giver lifestyle, I am constantly motivated by friends of mine who are doing selfless things for others, both near and far. Today, I wanted to spotlight two current projects being spearheaded by two of my friends.
My broseph, George, has one of the biggest hearts that I know. So, I wasn’t surprised when he announced his goal to collect socks and warm blankets to help get 213 people through this bone-chilling Chicago winter. The initiative, Cover Chicago, has also inspired similar efforts in Atlanta and Sacramento. Kindness is definitely contagious! For details on drop-off locations in Chicago, check out the flyer below. You can also keep up with the efforts on the blog.
Madie’s $10,000 Birthday Wish
Birthdays are a time of celebration, reflection, and wish-making. My soul sister, Madie (one of the fab ladies behind Divas, MPH), has made one BIG wish for her 30th birthday. And, that is to raise $10,000 to build a well in Ethopia. When she accomplishes her goal, the well will provide clean water for 500 people. Hopefully, I don’t have to tell you what a big deal that is. Madie has already raised over $3,000 dollars for the cause and has less than 70 days to raise the rest. Learn more about her wish and make a donation on her MyCharityWater.org page!
So, these are two of the people who inspire me. Do you have any do-gooder friends? Tell me about them!
I knew that I would become addicted to Instagram before I even purchased my iPhone. Like most technological advances, there are people who use the service for ill activities but also folks who use IG to shed a little light on their daily do-gooding activities. Out of sheer curiosity, I started jotting down IG accounts that were connected to a cause or social impact. What started off as 12 names has somehow amassed into a list of over 40.
Those on my list include social advocates, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and socially-responsible companies. I love seeing how each group uses images to capture the story of their brand or cause. It’s rather fascinating. So, you ready to see who made the first list?
Check out the images below!
Any other organizations or companies that I should include for future lists?
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a luncheon hosted by the team behind the incredible MAKERS series. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the MAKERS’ site includes videos of women who have done and are doing incredible things. These women have blazed and are blazing trails in industries ranging from politics to education to health and they are all HUGELY impressive.
With Dr. Amy Lehman
At this luncheon, we had the opportunity to meet Dr. Amy Lehman and to hear her story. She is the founder of the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, which provides health care access to millions of Central African people who live in the isolated Lake Tanganyika Basin. Let’s stop here.
Can you please take a moment and soak in the awesomeness of that sentence? A floating hospital that provides invaluable medical services to those who might otherwise go without. Okay. Let’s continue.
As Dr. Lehman talked, I had a thought: What would’ve happened if she hadn’t accepted her mission to serve this community? As a surgeon trained at the University of Chicago, I’m pretty sure that she could’ve found a posh practice to show off her skills. But, she didn’t. Which leads me to this question: How far are you willing to go to make an impact?
Dr. Lehman’s incredible tattoo of the Lake Tanganyika region
When we discuss making an impact, we often limit ourselves to the communities around us. And, I don’t always mean community as a physical location. Community can be your affinity group (i.e. Catholic, African-American, or disabled), a specific neighborhood, or a specific cause. Like many things that we do, there is a tendency to stay within our comfort zone when it comes to assisting those in need.
As we close out 2012 and look ahead to a new year, let’s resolve to go one step further to make a difference. If Dr. Lehman can execute her purpose on another continent, then there’s no reason why we can’t execute ours across town.
As a fun new way to spotlight causes and issues that I think you should know about, I’m launching a new series of posts called “Cause and Effect.” This series will give you a bite-sized piece of information about an issue and showcase a few items that you can rock in support of the cause. The first cause on my list? The fight against multiple sclerosis. Check the image below for a quick stat about the disease and some fab orange pieces that you can snag to rock in your support whether you’re attending a MS fundraising soiree or just lounging around the house.
“You can find your greatest cause in your greatest failure.” – Pastor Matthew Barnett
The Dream Center Los Angeles
Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to Pastor Matthew Barnett tell the story of his journey as the co-founder of The Dream Center in Los Angeles. The Dream Center is a church that never sleeps nor closes, and instead offers residents (and everyone else ministry) around the clock. More than just a church, The Dream Center is a vital part of the community that it serves. The Center offers residential rehabilitation programs for teens and adults, a shelter for victims of human trafficking, a transitional shelter for homeless families, mobile hunger relief and medical programs, and a foster care intervention outreach.
Housed in a former hospital, over 700 families live on the center’s 400,000 sq. ft. campus and the organization receives and distributes one million pounds of food to LA residents. When I heard this, my mind was blown away…Another amazing fact? None of the operations are supported by the government. Incredible, especially with the size of their operations and the amount of work that they do.
If you need a reminder about the power of believing in someone and following your dreams, I encourage you to learn more about The Dream Center. They’ve been recognized at the White House and various national press outlets. Here is a cool clip from CNN Heroes of George Lopez volunteering with the organization in LA.
Bright Pink is a kick-ass organization and I am a huge fan of almost anything that they do. This week marks their fifth anniversary and I am loving the beautiful post written by the Founder, Lindsay Avner. Lindsay is equal parts fearless leader and a true sweetheart with a dose of fabulousity sprinkled in for good measure.
With Lindsay in 2008
While reading her post, I was particularly inspired by her decision to not only undergo a double mastectomy (something which I already knew about), but also her decision to leave her marketing position at a global company. She states, “While I was enjoying my role in marketing at Unilever, I felt a compelling responsibility to fill the gap for a community of young women who so desperately longed for education and support.”
Well, my dear…You have done all of that and more. Thank you for your advocacy, your leadership, and (of course) your fun events! I can’t wait to see what the next five fifty years bring to you!
I’ve been meaning to blog about GO DO GOOD all summer…I’m so ashamed of myself that it’s taken me this long to put something up on TFG. *hangs head*
Here’s a little background on GO DO GOOD…Artist Kay Rosen unveiled an installation in the Loop of the same name at the beginning of the summer and the Chicago Loop Alliance and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago subsequently launched the GO DO GOOD campaign to inspire individuals, organizations, businesses, residents and students in the Loop to connect art to action in what has been a summer-long, city-wide movement to prepare Chicago’s kids to succeed in school. So, as a way to do this, they asked Chicagoans to try to log 100,000 good deeds this summer via various activities and events.
Chicagoans were encouraged make a donation to United Way, share their good deeds on Facebook/Twitter, and/or choose one (or more) or 60+ “do good” activities listed on the site. Last month, several office buildings served as dropoff locations for a food drive and this month’s focus is on school supplies.
The United Way of Metropolitan Chicago is hoping to collect new supplies for 2,000 8th graders. If you are in the Loop area and want to contribute, you can drop-off supplies in the lobbies of the following office buildings:
55 E. Jackson
8 S. Michigan
11 E. Adams
16 N. Wabash
17 N. State
29 E. Madison
177 N. State
180 N. Wabash
180 N. Michigan
134 N. LaSalle
223 W. Jackson
The supply drive goes until the end of the month (maybe later), so you (and I) still have plenty of time to contribute. I recently saved some art supplies, binders, and index cards from the throwaway pile at work so I think they will make good candidates to donate!
It’s moments like this that I wish I was starting undergraduate life again. What I wouldn’t give to be moving into a dorm right now and buying ECON 101 textbooks again. Sigh…Okay, I’m back! Anyways, to learn more about the supply drive and all the other awesome things happening around DO GOOD Chicago, visit GoDoGoodChicago.com.
…I love you. Specifically, I love your contributions on the field (DA BEARS!) and off the field. It’s no secret that Israel Idonije is one of my favorite Bears players. As a matter of fact, I totally plan on adopting a pug and naming her Izzy. I’m impressed with the charitable work that Izzy spearheads through his foundation. The Israel Idonije Foundation is committed to providing positive experiences to economically disadvantaged families. IIF executes programs in Chicago, Manitoba, Canada; and Africa.
Within the past few months, Izzy has been listed to Crain Chicago Business‘ “40 Under 40″ list, was named a finalist for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, and was recognized as a “Hometown Hero” by Bank of America. He even found himself (temporarily) memorialized on a billboard along the Kennedy Expressway (below). I just want to take the time out to salute my third favorite player* and thank him for all that he’s doing to give back to various communities. To learn more about IIF, check out the foundation’s website http://www.israelidonije.org.
*Robbie Gould and Brian Urlacher round out my Top 3 Bears players.
Cupcakes and cookies for charity, oh my! Chicago-based Sweet Miss Giving’s has been serving up that combination since being founded in October 2008 by Rev. Stan Sloan, CEO of Chicago House, the first provider of AIDS housing in the Midwest. Rev. Sloan’s vision was to create a pathway to jobs for the homeless – while also helping to fund Chicago House’s support services.
Sweet Miss Giving’s creates delicious treats while operating under two key principles: Be “Unquestionably Kind” and “Unreasonably Good.” More than 50 percent of all profits go to Chicago House, a non-profit organization that helps formerly homeless men, women and children who are impacted by HIV/AIDS.
All of Sweet Miss Giving’s bakery treats are all natural and preservative-free, and made fresh daily. When you check out the website, you’ll see that the social enterprise sells everything from biscotti to brownies to hot chocolate mix. Perfect for a cozy night in or a great gift for family/friends. If you’re in Chicago, you can purchase the goods at the storefront location in Chicago’s French Market. Outside the Windy City? Don’t worry! The business also ships nationwide. For a complete menu or more ideas, please visit http://www.sweetmissgivings.com!