Philanthropy Friday: When More is Not Enough

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.

Not long ago, I shared information about an ezine called Impact. I even had the opportunity to contribute to an issue. In that original guest post, it was mentioned that Amy Sullivan, one of the brains behind Impact, would be releasing her first book on generous living in the fall.

I’m excited to share with you that Amy’s book, When More is Not Enough, will be officially release on Monday, September 22nd. I was honored to have been given an electronic copy to read this week, and I can tell you whole-heartedly that it is absolutely worth your time and money.

10506619_448397851967321_8529536076673132056_oIn the book, Amy talks about the simple concept of generous living. To quote from the book,

“To purge the attitude of youth entitlement, we need to teach our kids to serve others. But, to teach our kids to serve others, we must first look at our attitude toward serving. If our families are to understand self-worth isn’t tied to the world’s standards (Luke 16:14c), we need to implement changes in our own lives, and quickly.”

I don’t want to reveal too much about the book because it’s a quick read that you can enjoy for yourself. It’s set up in a way that each chapter stands alone if you want to skip around. There are several resources in the book and great practical suggestions for applying the theme of each chapter in your home, your community, and the world. Amy’s writing is inspiring and funny, as she shares her honest experiences in her quest to serve others with her family.

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The book, When More is Not Enough, is available for pre-order now on Amazon. Amy is also holding a preorder giveaway on her blog.

Oh, and did I mention all of the proceeds of Amy’s book are going to Transformation Village?

I leave you with this great video about the book.

How do you practice generous living?

Philanthropy Friday: More Than Volunteering

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.

Photo Credit: Peter L. McGuire / The Forecaster

Photo Credit: Peter L. McGuire / The Forecaster

“The lady that likes me is here today!”

Biz recognized the car in the parking lot. He was referring to one of the volunteers we had come to know through the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. We volunteered regularly last school year to help pack bags with food so that kids in our area would have enough nourishment during the weekends.

The woman he was referring to laughed at his jokes and treated him just like any other volunteer, though (at 5 years old) he was often the youngest there.

I had originally started volunteering to fulfill my own desire to help out locally. It was on the suggestion of my then-husband that I signed up. Little did I know that I would start taking my boys with me by necessity when my husband was no longer living with us and that we would find solace in an assembly line with other caring people on those Tuesday evenings.

Last school year we were close enough to walk to the MCHPP’s office to volunteer. This year, we are just far enough away to have to drive.

I pulled in and felt at home. I recognized cars and people. The place was bustling with activity. A local reporter with a camera observed and asked questions as we prepared for our assembly line to fill bags with food for local school kids.

It was like summer vacation never happened. G, who is always a hard worker, didn’t skip a beat. He asked Jamie, our fearless leader, where he wanted him and went to work. I am confident that if Jamie were late and the room were filled with first-time volunteers, G would be able to organize everyone so that we could fill the more than 200 bags in record time. (We did it in less than one hour once.)

Volunteering can feel like a burden sometimes. We have busy lives. Time is precious. But when you find a good fit, where you can work alongside good souls and feel fulfilled from the work you are doing, it’s truly magical. My boys look forward to our volunteering time, and they understand we are doing it to help their peers.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Read more about the backpack program I volunteer for with my boys: Backpacks bridge the gap: Brunswick-based program eases students’ weekend hunger (via The Forecaster).

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 Do you volunteer? What nourishes your soul?

Philanthropy Friday: Making Miracles for Kids During the #MiracleMarathon

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.

This post was made possible through the support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. All opinions are my own.

miraclemarathonswagA few weeks ago, I shared with you that I am a lead blogger for the upcoming #MiracleMarathon. The Miracle Marathon is a 27-day virtual fundraising campaign in which participants run/walk (or achieve forward motion of any kind!) one mile per day at their leisure.

As you can see from the above picture, I received my package in the mail from the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I’m all set to support the EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Bangor, Maine through my team, Maine Miracles.

As a reminder of how the #MiracleMarathon works, the first 26 days of the “marathon” are completed at your own pace—wherever and whenever you want. As my contact, Kelly Pearson, at EMHS noted, hula-hooping down the hall counts! On Day 27 (October 12th), the final 1.2 miles will be started as a “group” at 2:27 pm EST. Those last 1.2 miles is for the kids, of course.

Day 1 is on Tuesday, September 16th. If you join, you will also get a fun kit that includes a pedometer to keep track of your distance and a handy magnet you can check off the days as you complete them. Participants are also encouraged to $272, or $10 per mile via your own fundraising page. (I started mine off with a $50 donation, but could use some support! Hint, hint.)

So why should you support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? Besides the fact that the #MiracleMarathon is way more fun and convenient than running an actual marathon (holy training!), the funds that are raised during these 27 days will go a long way.

After talking with Kelly at EMHS in Bangor, I learned that while the network of hospitals is national, at 170 hospitals strong, the money stays in local communities. Many of us may recognize the hot air balloon logo – I’ve put my name on one at Rite Aid after a quick donation at the register – but not many realize that the money helps fund a good amount of equipment and other items necessary for the hospitals.

These aren’t wishes or direct to patient dollars. Funds help pay for new therapies a rehab specialist needs to care for a child or items needed to care for the tiniest newborns to 19-year-old patients. Money raised also helps continuing education for nurses, doctors and child life specialists, a critical piece that helps keep quality care for kids close to home so families aren’t forced to travel to larger hospitals further away.

Here’s a great image (click to enlarge) with some more info on why donations to the Miracle Marathon (and to EMHS in Bangor, in particular) really is for the kids.

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Kelly told me more about that little boy Noah. His parents instilled in him a level of gratitude for all those that helped him in his journey when he was sick. He understands that anyone can get the virus he had and his experience makes him want to give back. He held his own carnival that raised $2,000 last year. He’s launching a new fundraiser in October called “nickels for Noah” where he will be competing against his 9-year old cousin to raise funds. How cool is that?

Who’s with me? I would love for you to join my team, Maine Miracles, or you can support another Children’s Miracle Network Hospital closer to you via the Miracle Marathon website. Use my special code MiracleJennifer to get a 10% discount off registration.

It’s a fun way to stay active this fall and raise some funds and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

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