Philanthropy Friday: Philanthropy Starts With Compassion

This following article is a guest post from my good friend and possibly the most encouraging woman I know, Chris Carter1000 Voices Speak

Compassion is a powerful thing. It is the foundation for all good things and giving. It is the engine that starts the drive toward movement and mobilization of change and making a difference. I have yet to see a ministry or mission without the launching ground of compassion. 

Think about it.

Every organization and business and philanthropic mission is based on the desire to attend to the needs of others. Oh, there is so much need out there in this world, and I absolutely love Jennifer’s ability to find so many people and places that give and make that difference in this world!

It seems humanity is getting colder, harder, and more extreme, doesn’t it? I for one am so grateful for all those courageous and generous souls that use their compassion to mobilize change and offer relief and aid in so many desperate conditions around the globe.

And although I do my best to give and make my own little difference within my community and try to take bold steps to reach further and drop my little coins into the big vast bucket to be filled…

It always feels like I just don’t do enough. I can do better; give more of my time and my heart that seems to be pulled in a million different directions. But doing something is better than nothing.

I believe this space is simply for that purpose. (Yes?)

I may not be powerful, leading an army of people toward relief from famine, or saving lives on battlefield grounds or lifting oppression with hopes to rectify it all. But I CAN do SOMETHING.

It takes countless “little ol’ me’s” dropping our little coins in that boundless bucket, signing on for what is in our reach and supporting those who bravely travel the world taking on the endless fight against atrocities and evil, in any small way we can. And perhaps? Raising our voices to promote good things is one simple way to do just that.

Every tiny little itty bit counts for something.

It takes a village. Every single soul in the village is significant.

One voice can inspire One Thousand voices for something powerful. One burdened heart can connect One Thousand burdened hearts and challenge multitudes to reach the world with a message.

It happens.

And there is one mission that has been set ablaze in the blogosphere right this very minute…because of one heart that spoke about the desperate need for compassion.

And another jumped in with the passion and burden to do something.

An idea was born and is currently being fulfilled. Rapid fire. Spreading across the globe with a furry of fierce conviction and commitment. The call was made, and people are answering the call.

Oh it’s incredible when something like this occurs, isn’t it?

It started with my beloved friend Lizzi Rogers, who wrote this post about the need for compassion and the chilling reality of the absence and emptiness of help for so many who are struggling. 

You simply must read her raw and real words HERE.  

Then came a dear friend, Yvonne stirred by the post and passionate about Lizzi’s plea… she offered an idea.

Just an idea. 

But you see, when something of this nature is shared, people show up. People who want to do SOMETHING and yet, they don’t know how or where to start.

This is surely something. And this is a place to start.

1,000 voices speak for compassion is a platform that simply unites all people around the world to share their hearts and their own voice with hopes to unite us all under one word… one goal…one beautiful and purposeful mission.

Spread compassion.

Because compassion moves people. It ignites a desire to shift our perspective and change the lens from which we see… it begs us to dive deeper into our own communities or perhaps stretch farther out of our comfort zones to do something, anything that can make a difference in someone’s life for the better.

Would you hop on board? Share your voice? Honor this word and drop your heart into this beautiful and bountiful bucket that is free and worthy of good? If you have a presence anywhere on the World Wide Web stage…

Would you join us?

On February 20th, the goal is for 1,000 people to share awareness of compassion in their own unique way. Write about what it means to you. There are no guidelines necessary- compassion is seen and felt and acted upon in so many unique ways that there could be no limits set on this assignment.

I think that is the true beauty in this thing. It’s personal. And your one voice can fulfill a greater need. 

I believe THAT is what doing good, giving back, and making a difference is all about. Right Jennifer?

(ed. note: Right, Chris! Also, you all know I will be participating in this amazing project.)

Will you join the 1,000 Voices of Compassion on February 20th?

Let’s all work together to lift this dark world into the light of compassion, for this one day.

chriscarterChris Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing kids. She has been writing at TheMomCafe.com for almost four years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration and faith. 

Philanthropy Friday: Rare Genes

This following article is a guest post from a friend and cofounder of Bitzy Baby, Whitney Reeves.hopegenesThere’s a fine balance of seeking normalcy in your unique life. Striving for a path similar to so many filled with dreams, joy and family.

It hits sometimes when you’ve finally absorbed in a moment of normal, that you look around realizing just how unrealistic this is for you daily. And yet, you can’t imagine not experiencing the hardships, the multiple medications a day, the ache of not having answers from even the experts because it is that in itself that makes you humbly appreciate everything you have.

For the over 7,000 listed rare diagnoses and more than 300 million experiencing a rare disease, every day of their life they face the feeling of tragedy and gratitude. We’re acronyms. Our medications are specially mixed, our reactions to basic sickness are digressive, and not even our family may understand what we’re going through.

As a human, we seek the need to relate to someone in our moments of high and low: “He asked me,” “I miss her,” “Late..uhh.” But then being rare adds in moments when I wonder if there is anyone with a story like mine closer than Australia? Where we catch ourselves thinking “It could be worse. I can face this but would never be able to handle that.” But more than anything: isn’t that who we all are: Rare?

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It may not make sense why I shop online for wedge sneakers late into the night, until you realize it’s that or I’ll research once more the most recent trial medications to reduce my boy’s symptoms. Why doing something, creating something so much more than me, striving always to do more for others, becomes an obsession. That making a current medication schedule when going away for one night breaks me, because my reality is hard to face on paper. It’s not fun to write or say, so I do it as fast as you can. “Rip the band aid,” I say for the billionth time.

You may read this and pause wondering if you know one of the 7,000. You do. I’m sure you watched one of the 2 million videos honoring ALS. From there, you may even have seen another diagnosis honored such as SMA, the infant form of ALS. It’s humbling, powerful and inspiring to witness. But above all, it’s making a difference.

With over 28 million people getting involved in the Ice Bucket Challenge and 1 in every 10 affected with a rare disease, being a voice is as simple as that 60 second video. You don’t have to remember what color ribbon to wear. Grab the entire ice bucket and represent rare genes as a whole. Advocate for something that impacts more people than cancer and aids combined.

On the last day of February, leap year or not, wear jeans. Fill so many with dreams, joy, feeling like part of a family and above all: HOPE. (Read more about Rare Disease Day)

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whitneyreevesWhitney Reeve’s cape is downsized to chunky sneaker tongues to help her keep up with life’s great motivators: kids, coffee, creativity and cribs. She stays up way too late, runs on coffee and courage, and finds her boys too often snuggled in her bed the next morning. She’s a parent of two boys diagnosed with Alports Syndrome, the cofounder of Bitzy Baby, and as a former teacher of 10 years, finds herself spending way too much on late library books.  

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. Read past stories here.

Philanthropy Friday (rewind): Naked Specs

Since it’s a holiday week, and I’m trying to get some deadline-induced writing done, I thought I’d share a post from the first week of 2014. Happy 2015!

The following post (slightly edited) was originally published on  .nakedspecslogo

Naked Specs is a brand new online optical store that sells prescription glasses and polarized sunglasses. They also have a community giving program that aims to bring clear vision to 10 million people on the planet.

Founded by Carol Pearce in Perth, Australia, Naked Specs gives customers the opportunity to shop for glasses with a conscience. Products start at $90 and shipping is free worldwide.

Many have heard of the “buy one give one” business model. Naked Specs donates five pairs of products or the equivalent funding amount for treatment, such as cataract surgery, when a purchase is made. Customers choose which charity or project to support at checkout.

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Naked Specs came about after Carol felt a misalignment in values with the corporate organization she used to work for. This misalignment made her think about what she wanted to do next and what she wanted out of her career. She knew she wanted to make people feel good in some way and that she wanted to start a social enterprise that would help the less fortunate people in the world.

Her son has a visual processing disorder and another family member has compromised vision as a result of disease. When Carol learned of the statistics on visual impairment and blindness in the world, she knew she wanted to help. Online statistics showed her that 285 million people around the globe are blind or visually impaired and 80% of the reasons for these impairments are in the curable or preventable area.

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It is important to Carol that Naked Specs’ giving is completely transparent (or naked). The company is monitored by B1G1 to ensure that the charities and projects that Naked Specs supports are completely vetted.

Naked Specs is also dedicated to providing high quality and unique glasses to its customers. Carol explains that the glasses bring color and styles that people don’t normally find in an optical store. For example, you’ll find glasses on Naked Specs with bamboo material and layered colors. You can even see what the glasses will look like on you with their “virtual try on” feature. Maybe it’s because I vacationed there during my childhood years, but the Cape Cod sunglasses catch my eye.

Reaching 10 million people through Naked Specs is Carol’s “big hairy audacious goal.” But she knows it’s achievable, even if it does take a few years.

Which Naked Specs collection and/or charity catches your eye?

this post was also published on pplkind.com

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. Read past stories here.

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