A Time to Talk [NOT ON YOUR CELLPHONE] by Robert Frost


Living and Giving Team, I am asking you to talk today, and not about work. Talk to someone for joy. Talk to them for fun. Talk to them to give support.  And, do it live. There is nothing like slowing down, being present, and listening to another’s heart. Remember, it will change your life, too.

Lovingly, Pamela


“When a friend calls to me from the road

And slows his horse to a meaning walk,

I don’t stand still and look around

On the hills I haven’t hoed,

And shout from where I am, What is it?

No, not as there is a time to talk.

I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground

Blade-end up and five feet tall,

And plod: I go up to the stone wall

For a friendly visit.”


RB in the hauz

A native San Franciscan, Robert Frost is a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry.  His work mainly focused on making sense of complicated social and philosophical themes of rural life. He had six children with his wife, Elinor. Sadly, 4 of those children died at a young age. Consequently, Frost had a very difficult personal life, and he wrote powerful literature. Soon after moving to England with his family, Frost published his first book of poems which did very well. When he returned to the states, he was well received by the literary world. His works were so popular that he was soon published by those who had rejected him before his move to England, including The Atlantic. 

Frost was best known for his ability to depict rural life and the countryside. His first book of poems, A Boy’s Will, was published in 1912. Shortly after, he published North of Boston. One of his most famous individual poems is “The Road Not Taken.

Frost then became a professor at several colleges. At Amherst College, they named their main library after Frost. Throughout his life he received more than 40 honorary degrees.  He was asked to write and recite a poem for the John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, a huge honor.  His legacy still lives on today as he is one of the most famous poets.

Classic Pamela Positive: Communicate With More Than Words

A photo by Dogancan Ozturan. unsplash.com/photos/94taEmdowRw

It is so amazing to me that when we communicate, the words really ‘come in third place.’

What’s first and second? First is the tone. If we are abrasive, affrontive, sarcastic then it doesn’t open up the conversation and action for change. Calm, proactive, inclusive, even — “slow” — conversations help provide dynamic change. It sounds as if it is an oxymoron. But allowing the participants to breathe in the interaction helps bring about the best and most inclusive solutions for all parties.

Second then is body language and what we communicate; third come the words.

“I thought about what is the happy.” ~Jae-Young Kim, UniversalGiving Intern

We are so fortunate at UniversalGiving to have a lovely team of interns every day. They are from all over the world.  What a team we have!


This is from Jae-Young Kim, a wonderful intern who had this to say in his writing sample:


“Hi Pamela, here is my part of free writing that you wanted.


I thought about what is the happy and how we are happy. Even though they said that you are a volunteer and that does it, I don’t think about that. Because she and me both give happy feelings to each other. After this happened,  I realized that helping people is such happy work.  That’s the happy.  That’s why I found the NGO companies and Universalgiving was the best company that I found. I really respected that your company gives donations directly and helps not only people but also animals.”


Jae-Young Kim is from San Francisco, California. He attended Pukyong National University in South Korea. When he was on our team, he was an executive assistant intern.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Don’t Bunt.”

David Ogilvy

“Don’t bunt.  Aim out of the ballpark.  Aim for the company of the immortals.” –David Ogilvy

This is a beautiful clear message, especially in honor of our quirky, beloved Giants, about a clear focus.  A focus that aims for the best, drives for excellence, and holds the highest standards in mind.   Mr. Ogilvy did that with his advertising firm, and so we can choose to aim out of the ballpark in our chosen endeavor, too.

David Ogilvy (1911-1999) was a noted businessman, working in advertising.  He is often called “The Father of Advertising,” and was a key thinker in shaping modern advertising.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive…” ~Howard Washington Thurman


“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

You’re searching. Somehow, even though you have a great life, you feel like something is missing.


What is it?


Your investment job is fine. You have a nice apartment, a fine girlfriend and a dog. Maybe you’re a mom whose kids have just gone off to school, and you have some time to yourself. Maybe you’re a student. You’ve got straight As, you’re playing soccer, and things are going along.


Yet something doesn’t feel quite right.


You’ve seen signs around for “Stand up to Cancer” and you wonder: should you join this cause?
When your heart isn’t quite full, giving back is the way to go. But you should find the right way. Listen to your heart……
Is it animals?


panda .jpg


The Earth?


Saving a child in Haiti from poverty?
Haiti Chalk.jpg
Helping an elephant?


Whatever you do, give with your heart for the right reasons. That’s the best way to serve the world. Don’t follow a sign; follow the signal in your heart.


Howard Washington Thurman (November 18, 1899 – April 10, 1981) was an influential African American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. He played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century and was one of the leading religious figures of twentieth-century America. Thurman’s theology of radical nonviolence influenced and shaped a generation of civil rights activists and he was a key mentor to leaders within the movement such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thurman served as dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University from 1932 to 1944 and as dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University from 1953 to 1965. He was always interested in intersections of race and religion as shown through his journey to India. Here, he interacted with many Asian students and conversed with Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. In 1944 he co-founded, along with Alfred Fisk, the first major interracial, interdenominational church in the United States. 



The Classic Pamela Positive: Jean

Jean. I don’t think there could be a more important word today.

In a rare moment, I was late to my team meeting by 90 seconds, but it had to be. Because I had to take care of Jean today.

One of my favorite people in my life was my Oma, and she was one of my best friends. She was a model of a strong work ethic and a courageous heart.

Today, I had a chance to visit “Oma.”  As I was walking on my way to work consumed by phone calls, I saw a white haired, sweet, frail woman. She was gingerly touching down the steps outside of a hotel. With tightly grasped knuckles, she was holding her cane in one hand, and the railing in the other. While I could only see her back, I could tell there was concern. I stepped around the side of her and gently put my face in front of hers. I put my arm around her back and asked “Would it help if I walked with you?”

She looked up with me with the bluest eyes, sparkling. “Oh yes it would!” She said with a sweet smile. And so, my former quick pace of long stride- long stride-phone call-long stride-phone call-phone call  had slowed for Jean.

photo-1429857950654-539591eef320 (1).jpg

I asked her what her name was as we stepped down together. It was Jean. I turned around to her and smiled. “Is there anywhere else you need to go…?” I asked. “Can I help you anymore…?”

“Oh no, this is quite enough, you’ll never know.” She smiled at me.

“I hope you have a wonderful day, Jean, you deserve it.” I said.  And then she smiled at me with a big smile. She waved her hand at me, waving her cane. And off she went, and off I went.

I held my gaze looking at her, wishing I could spend some more time with her. Perhaps ask her to lunch, and yet I didn’t really know her.


So, in a bit, I gently turned away and went back to a slower long stride- long stride- no phone call- long stride- long stride- no phone call.

I got into the team meeting, and I told them what happened. It became a major point of our meeting. UniversalGiving’s vision is to “Create A World Where Giving And Volunteering Are A Natural Part Of Everyday Life.”

And that doesn’t mean just through a website, it doesn’t mean just through a 25 dollar donation, no matter how much that is needed. It isn’t just through formal volunteering events, it’s in the giving of yourself and creating that world where you are giving in your own world, everyday.

That’s what so exciting about life. This isn’t just about having a 9 to 5 philanthropy job. This is about creating that world of giving, every moment. What was your moment today? Share with us by commenting on Philanthropy at the Dry Cleaners!