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Questions to Ponder, for Teens (and Anyone Else!) Who Want New Devices

10 Aug

It’s hard.  Everyone has the latest phone, or TV, or tablet, or…?  Will having the latest and greatest device make you happy?  Perhaps. Or…

If you want another new iPhone, Galaxy x, MacBook, tablet, or whatever new device “everyone else has,” taking 1 minute to ask yourself these questions might just make you a better person.  And happier whether you upgrade, or not.

(If you answer more than 15 of these questions “Yes,” you probably do not need a new _____ (fill in the blank).)

  1. Do you have water available for your family without walking more than a mile?
  2. kids getting water
  3. Do you have electricity?
  4. Have you ever been to a doctor?
  5. Have you ever been to a dentist?
  6. Are you safe from dying from almost-eradicated diseases that kill children in countries without proper vaccines and treatments?
  7. Do you have a toothbrush?
  8. Do you have a toilet?
  9. Do you know how to read?
  10. girl reading
  11. Do you go to school?
  12. Do you have a safe place to sleep, with a roof?
  13. Do you have heat and/or fans or air conditioning or covering in extreme weather?
  14. Do you know where your next meal will come from?
  15. vegetables
  16. Do you have a parent/guardian/ loved one who takes care of you?
  17. Can you do basic math?
  18. Are you relatively sure you be alive a year from now?
  19. Do you feel confident that terrorists will not storm your house, your village, or your town in the next year?
  20. Do you feel safe going outside of your home?
  21. Do you feel safe speaking your mind, or telling people what you think?
  22. kids sharing
  23. Do you feel you can share your ideas online?
  24. Do you have friends/ people you care about, and who care about you?
  25. Can you imagine doing almost anything you want in the future/doing any job you want in the future?
  26. Are you free to tell people your opinions on religion or politics?
  27. Can you be friends with anyone you want?
  28. Can you love anyone you want?
  29. Do you feel safe expressing any opinions about the government, including ideas that aren’t supporting the government?
  30. Do you feel free?
  31. freedom

Most importantly, do you feel grateful? Please do.

So many other places in the world do not have nearly (or any) the advantages available here, now. Please realize the blessing, the honor, the privilege we all have today, being born in the United States.

We have the honor of being safe, healthy, wealthy, wise, and kind (to various extents). Let’s please appreciate it.

And while we’re being grateful, let’s also make it a mission to share by volunteering, and pay it forward by helping people around the world who have less.

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” ~ Ronald Reagan

Any mentions of organizations within are due to my knowledge of them and appreciation of them only.  No organizations were involved or had knowledge of my mentions, although I do support the organizations mentioned, amongst many others.

Need a New #NonProfit Board Member? Want to Join a Board? Announcing @LinkedIn’s Board Connect

17 Sep

When you think of LinkedIn, you may think of cultivating stronger business contacts, connecting after meeting someone smart at a conference or event, or finding a former colleague or business connection at a new venture.

LinkedIn: All sorts of helpful treats for nonprofits and people who love helping. Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero, Flickr

LinkedIn is certainly good for all of those things, along with keeping up with business news.  They also do a tremendous amount for nonprofits, and offer numerous tools to make finding people who are passionate for social good and causes easier.

One of these things is the newly-announced Board Connects.  For years now, LinkedIn has been a deep well of talented, resourceful, skilled individuals from which to draw.  These same people can make outstanding board members.  And now what was once a popular yet informal use — finding new nonprofit board members — has a helpful, structured tool kit to make it simple.

It’s no secret I am one of LinkedIn’s biggest fans because of the tools and resources they offer non-profits, as Head of Social Impact Meg Garlinghouse  outlined in her Social Good Stars feature in The Huffington PostBryan Breckinridge, LinkedIn’s Nonprofit Success Enabler, also noted how many different, positive things LinkedIn can do for charities and causes in his interview for this blog.

Board Connects takes this grassroots momentum for Good and transforms it into a process that streamlines finding and hiring new nonprofit board members.

Board Connects can also make finding a seat on a nonprofit board easier, which Meg points out, has many benefits:

• Builds your skill set: Hone the skills you currently possess while serving on a board whether you work in marketing, human resources or finance, and learn new skills that you can add to your LinkedIn profile.
• Grows your network: Meet and collaborate with other passionate and talented professionals while serving on a board and make key contacts for the future.
• Builds your brand and the nonprofit’s brand: Not only will your professional brand get a boost from serving as a board member, but you can build awareness and endorsements for that nonprofit through your participation.
• Makes you feel good for doing good: Building social capital will give you that burst of professional and personal inspiration you may be looking for, and there is nothing better than the feeling that you can put your skills to good use.

As Meg explains, “If you are interested in joining a nonprofit board, be sure to add the Volunteer Experience & Causes section to your LinkedIn profile. Expressing the causes you care about and the organizations you support will enable your network to connect you with the right opportunity.”

To learn more and sign up for the program, you can visit LinkedIn’s new LinkedIn for Nonprofits resource page.

Head of Social Impact at LinkedIn, Meg Garlinghouse (@Megarling).

To read more about the Board Connects program details and the inspiration behind it, read Meg’s interview with Forbes here.

On “Luck” – Create Your Own

21 Sep

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.”

~ Brian Tracy

One of the things I taught homeless women trying to break free from abuse and poverty was a simple idea a smart woman taught me many years before.

To make more money than average, you have to do one of two things:  Do what other people won’t do, or do what other people can’t do.

Which leads me to the story about luck.

When I was a newly-minted 21-year-old, I won a trip for President’s Club to Las Vegas with my then-employer.  In all my glorious, worldly prowess, it seemed a great idea when the VP Sales for our region of that Fortune 500 company asked me to play $20 blackjack tables with her.

Yay!”, I thought.  “She wants to hang out!”  *So cool.*

And it was…

For the roughly 20 minutes it took me to lose $360.  That’s a lot.  And it was a LOT A LOT after just graduating!

So after that momentous few minutes, I looked at her and said, “I think I’ll go over there.” LOL.  To which she knowingly replied, “Amy, you’re a good sport.  You’ll never have blind “luck”.  Doesn’t matter.  You have drive.  Make your own luck.”

In Vegas, that was a nary a victory.  In life, truer words were never spoken.  And I am so glad for that…because “luck” is unpredictable.  Being kind, useful, smart, helpful, and open to learning is something anyone can have.  And if you can do or will do what others can’t, you will always create your own luck.

Now go on, do something amazing… and create your own luck.

5 Ways Volunteering Can Help You Get a Job

8 Sep

Originally published on Yahoo HotJobs: http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/career-articles-5_ways_volunteering_can_help_you_get_a_job-1124

5 Ways Volunteering Can Help You Get a Job

by Amy Neumann, for Yahoo! HotJobs

There are a lot of obvious benefits to volunteering for your favorite charity — a sense of accomplishment, giving back to others, gaining perspective, and meeting new people. You can also find business benefits, and ways your efforts can help land you your dream job.

Develop New Skills

Volunteering can be a positive way to get training in areas your current or past jobs didn’t provide. If you need some additional experience for a particular job or promotion, there are many options. For example:

  • Project management — organizing events or fundraising efforts
  • Sales skills — contacting people for donations or recruiting volunteers
  • Managing a team — many projects require a group effort, and a leader to coordinate it

VolunteerMatch.org offers free webinars on “How to be a great volunteer” to get you started.

Meet New Networking Contacts

You never know who you’ll meet doing charity work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 42.8% of all volunteers in 2009 had a bachelor’s degree or higher, while the U.S. Census 2007 put the national average of degree holders at 25.6%. So your chances of meeting professionals in the volunteer pool are good. If you choose a volunteer role related to your target job, you might run into people with similar interests or that have jobs similar to the one you want.

Impress Employers With Your Ambition

Many companies have a strong social responsibility core, and showing your charitable side displays a good cultural fit.

Tony Blake, staffing director at DaVita, a Fortune 500 kidney dialysis provider, notes that candidates who volunteer stand out in a positive way. “As our CEO Kent Thiry says, ‘We’re a community first and a corporation second.’ We value the passion and involvement with community. It adds depth to a candidate’s resume and experience, and it gets noticed.”

Fill in Employment Gaps, Add Experience

Volunteer experience is also professional experience. List the organization and dates, and instead of using the title “volunteer,” use your responsibilities as a title — “project coordinator” or “instructor.” Mention your accomplishments, results, or awards like any other job, without being misleading.

Using your time to gain new skills and help your community — either while looking for employment or while working — highlights your willingness to jump in, learn new things, and do more.

Get That Extra Spring in Your Step

Giving back can be an energizing boost to your self-worth and confidence. Volunteers are the backbone of any nonprofit. By helping others, you’ll get that fulfilling “I made the world a little better” feeling in return.

“Without our 14,000 volunteers putting in 45,000 hours of service each year, we could only serve a tiny fraction of the 1.2 million meals we serve a year,” says Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. “There are opportunities to mentor, tutor, plan events and activities, work in the back office, and multiple other options. Volunteers really do impact peoples’ lives.”

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