Category Archives: Engage

Tips and tricks how to be engaged, volunteering, internship, career, featuring orgs from UG

Love: Vulnerability Balanced with Courage

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 “I have learned about love. Love should be easy, free in connection; work, wonderfully so, as in investment; vulnerability balanced with courage, and always undergirded with trust. It should be grace, graced and grateful. It should uplift you.”

Love – we feel it, we know it, we believe in it. And I think it truly is indispensable.. we can’t live without it. As we peel away the layers of love… one I’d like to cover today is:

Vulnerability Balanced with Courage.

Love isn’t always easy for we must be open.  Are you willing to love even if you are hurt?

Because a relationship didn’t work the way you’d prefer… or a church committee member spoke harshly to you… your idea got shot down at work or a precious pet ascended to heaven…

I know… it hurts… of course it does…

So be gentle with yourself, first.

But dear leader – we have to have the courage to soften our hearts, stay receptive, and be open to love at all times.  And yes, that is at home and work.

This allows us to give the most to the world, and to ourselves.

Yes, at all times.

I know that might be hard to hear… Hang in there…

So there may be something that shut you down recently. Well, it’s time to unshutter the door and open back up. Take your heart out of the basement, or release your self-imposed sequestration in the attic. 🙂

Let’s be those loving, beautiful individuals, who deserve to receive and give love. And other people need it too!

Remember, to receive the benefit of love, we have to have courage.

“Love is Vulnerability Balanced with Courage.”

–Sunday, November 29th, 1998. 10:20pm.

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Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an award-winning nonprofit helping people to donate and volunteer with top-performing, vetted organizations all over the world. Unique to UniversalGiving, 100% of all donations go directly to the cause.

Pamela is a winner of the Jefferson Award (the Nobel Prize in Community Service) and has been invited three times to the White House. Pamela was a finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is an Expert Blogger for Fast Company and CSRWire. She is a philanthropy expert for the new TV show, Billions Rising.

Pamela is also an accomplished actress, improviser, dancer, and singer with over 100 performances in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. She is trained by The Groundlings, a graduate of Upright Citizens Brigade, at advanced level Second City Los Angeles, and a BATS improv player. Pamela donates a portion of every show’s proceeds to UniversalGiving.

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“Home is a Great Gift on Earth – Especially For Farmers”

Home is the dearest spot on earth for many of us. Home is peace; home is comfort filled with memories, meals, and meaningful times.

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For many farmers who travel here from countries south of the border, their jobs are the most important elements of their lives. And sadly, they left family members back home in Mexico, El Salvador, or Guatemala.
But they have to come. The wages they can make here in a day is the same as what they make in a week in Mexico. They can send the money back home and support their children. So when the farming season is over, they can go back and be with their families.
But everyone needs a home here, now. That’s why some owners of the farms put together a self-funded collaborative to provide beds for the farmers. The farmers have to get up early in the morning, such as 3 or 4, and are then provided a home cooked meal available from 4 to 6. They then head out to their workday and then have their own special bed when they return home.
What’s so important about this? The farmers love it. They queue up every year to try to get one of the available beds. While there aren’t enough, it’s a step in the right direction.
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I laud these farm owners who are coming together to help provide a home, meals and respite for their workers. They are watching out for them, caring for them, just as we want to be watched out and cared for. They help them beyond simply offering a job.
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Home is the dearest spot on earth. May we provide a bed, a meal, a shoulder, and a listening ear to all who need it. Can you find someone you can do this for, today?

“Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all.” -Khalil Gibran-

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Everyday we have a chance to give our all. It’s not always the big presentation or the graduation day, however. It’s not always the first day on the job, the day we get married, have a promotion or have a child!

Khalil Gibran is saying,”Today is filled with opportunity to do good, and to be your best self.”

So how can we do that?

It can be in how you treat your co-workers. It can be how you enter a room. It can be a simple smile as you pass someone in the hallway. It can even be in how you say “Good morning”!

Gibran encourages us that the legacy we are leaving as individuals starts today. It’s not something that shows up 60 or 70 years later down the road. Legacy and your temple of living begins now.

So start building your temple. It’s in how you greet each person, help each person, in every activity, every day. That’s a calling!

Love to you today as you build your special temple,

Pamela

 

 

 

Biography

Khalil Gibran was born on January 6, 1883, in Bsharri, Lebanon. He immigrated with his mother and siblings to Boston in 1895 – his father remained in Lebanon to address financial matters. Gibran would return to Lebanon three years later to continue his education but returned to America after illness took the life of one of his sisters. He met Mary Haskell who encouraged his artistic development. During his life, Gibran was a prolific artist who created hundreds of paintings and drawings.

In 1920, he was a co-founder, along with other poets of Arab and Lebanese backgrounds, of The Pen-bond Society, a literary society, also known as Al Rabitat al Qualamiya. Gibran’s works, written in both Arabic and English, are full of lyrical outpourings and express his deeply religious and mystical nature. The Prophet (1923), a book of poetic essays, achieved cult status among American youth for several generations. In 1928, he published Jesus, the Son of Man. Gibran died in New York City on April 10, 1931.

Faith is a Living, Daring Confidence

“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times” – Martin Luther

Faith is a living, daring confidence.  Wow! What language from Martin Luther. And his life certainly had to thrive off of daring. It’s not often we think of someone having to take a stand, and in this case, he took a stand to create a new branch of Christianity, Lutheranism.

When the Roman Catholic church solicited more funds for building St. Peter’s Basilica, Luther wrote 95 Theses to protest and foment discussion. He felt it was using money to excess, and disagreed that the pope was the only liaison to God.  And due to the recent printing press, it spread all over Europe in two months, a communications miracle!

He meant it for discussion, but was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic church, and ostracized by thousands. But he kept going.

Still, Martin Luther’s life had challenges. He felt distanced from God, separated from inspiration and connection to life. He was always searching for the Truth, and it was a struggle.  He became a monk, a theologist, leader of a church, and always, a sincere seeker of Truth.

So what is the point for us? Well, it’s not really about being Roman Catholic or Protestant!  But it is about claiming rights for yourself and others where you can. And, using technology to spread the word!

What do you need to take a stand for today?   Join UniversalGiving and support one of our causes to make a difference today.  Click on I Want to Give my 100%! to see which special one we chose for you!

With Gratitude for the Truth,

Pamela

Martin Luther Biographymartin-luther-1076781_1280

Born in Germany in 1483, Martin Luther became one of the most influential figures in Christian history when he began the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. He called into question some of the basic tenets of Roman Catholicism, and his followers soon split from the Roman Catholic Church to begin the Protestant tradition.
Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, in Eisleben, Saxony, in modern southeast Germany.  In 1501, Martin Luther entered the University of Erfurt, where he received a Master of Arts degree (in grammar, logic, rhetoric and metaphysics). However, in July 1505, Luther had a life-changing experience that set him on a new course. Caught in a horrific thunderstorm where he feared for his life, Luther cried out to St. Anne, the patron saint of miners, “Save me, St. Anne, and I’ll become a monk!” The storm subsided and he was saved.
The first few years of monastery life were difficult for Martin Luther, as he did not find the religious enlightenment he was seeking. Upon his return to Germany, he enrolled in the University of Wittenberg in an attempt to suppress his spiritual turmoil. He excelled in his studies and received a doctorate, becoming a professor of theology at the university.Through his studies of scripture, Martin Luther finally gained religious enlightenment.
In 1517, Pope Leo X announced a new round of indulgences to help build St. Peter’s Basilica. On October 31, 1517, an angry Martin Luther nailed a sheet of paper with 95 theses on the university’s chapel door. Though he intended these to be discussion points, the Ninety-Five Theses laid out a devastating critique of the indulgences as corrupting people’s faith. Luther also sent a copy to Archbishop Albert Albrecht of Mainz, calling on him to end the sale of indulgences. Aided by the printing press, copies of the Ninety-Five Theses spread throughout Germany within two weeks and throughout Europe within two months.
Luther publicly declared that the Bible did not give the pope the exclusive right to interpret scripture.   In January 1521, Martin Luther was officially excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.Miraculously, he was able to avoid capture and began organizing a new church, Lutheranism. He gained many followers and got support from German princes. In 1525, he married Katharina von Bora, a former nun who had abandoned the convent and taken refuge in Wittenberg. Together, over the next several years, they had six children.
Martin Luther is one of the most influential and controversial figures in the Reformation movement. His actions fractured the Roman Catholic Church into new sects of Christianity and set in motion reform within the Church. A prominent theologian, his desire for people to feel closer to God led him to translate the Bible into the language of the people, radically changing the relationship between church leaders and their followers.

I Feel Stuck

 
Today I was speaking with a friend and she said
I feel stuck 
And doesn’t that temptation come to us sometimes.
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Something in our life can’t move.  
 
In her case, she was working very, very hard for a global Fortune 500 company for 15+ years.  She demonstrated loyalty, excellence in execution, extreme detail and care. Then she made a request to move into another area of the company after years of diligence. The new Business Unit was thrilled. She was thrilled.  A perfect fit!   She could become unstuck! 

 

But the CEO said “No.”  We need you here. You’re staying here. 
 
The good news is she is highly esteemed. The bad news is they just want her doing the same thing. But she wanted to grow in other ways. 
 
When things seem tough. We’re told:
 
Our job won’t progress. We’re stuck. 
 
Or you can’t find the right roommate. I’m stuck. 
 
You haven’t been able to get a visa for three years. Our family is stuck! 
 
There are no jobs in your country. Our country has been stuck for generations. 
 
Or maybe you have been seeking family. And it’s just not happening. Lonely -Stuck.  Solo- Stuck. 
 
Those are the times, ironically, when it’s important to give. Yes, that’s right. It’s the time to reach out to someone else, lend a helping hand, offer to help an elderly tribal leader enter the tent, or carry the groceries in for a neighbor out of their car.   

 

It’s one of the most powerful lessons in life: In order to become unstuck yourself, you have to help someone else get unstuck. From generosity flows flow.  A flow of goodness so powerful it will bring positive progress to the, to you and the world.

You can get stuck and absorbed on yourself. Or you can help someone else and unstick them, yourself and the world.

Get Unstuck Today. Give!

The Importance of Relationships

The Power of a Relationship. 

Today, I’d like to talk about the importance of a full relationship. Often, we think about someone being in our life for one, single reason.  But that’s not actually true.

In fact, every conversation, every relationship affects dozens, even thousands, of other people.  That’s right, thousands.  

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When we talk to someone, we affect them. We might ask them to do something.  That affects someone else, or even a group of people.   Even our tone can affect them: If you’re down, they might feel it. If you’re positive, you might lead them to a more peaceful state of mind.   How you affect them will affect how they treat the next person.  Every conversation is part of a chain for good, or stress, of joy or negativity.

You can make every relationship,  lead to something greater.  I want to give an example of that today.

I’ve known Chris Towle for more than 10 years. He is a significant funder of ours. But he didn’t start out as a funder.

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I like creating relationships that relate to the whole person.  This is because I want to have a long-term relationship with them, which is based on them and not just money. After years of watching us, Chris donated from his family foundation, and then in subsequent years, donated stock.  So I don’t usually start fundraising from people after two or three years; then they know I value them for who they are.  Sometimes, I don’t even have to ask; they just give.

The relationship now extends into positive marketing for UniversalGiving. Chris and his wife are involved in Principia, where they invited us to speak at a conference. So you can see we’re building a long-term relationship, attaining funding, getting his company involved to give funding, and also helping with marketing. This isn’t just about a funding request.

I encourage you to think about this. How can your build positive relationships that go further than one person?

Let’s take a look at companies.  If you’re trying to attain a new client, is it just about closing a new deal?  Absolutely not.

First, it’s great to have a positive client.  That’s wonderful.  You can add to that.  We have such a positive relationship with Cisco, that former Cisco employees join UniversalGiving as a Returnee . How wonderful to get team members from Cisco!

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In addition, we can sell in our gift certificates to them: For the holidays or performance reviews, they provide gift certificates to their employees. Then, we both promote each other on social media; that’s marketing. So if you look at that, there’s a corporate contract, returnees, gift certificates, and increasing donations on our site.  Pretty spectacular!  That’s certainly beyond one conversation, one relationship.

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So as you move forward today, know that one conversation can lead to another.  This kind of mindset can build so much good for the future.   Are you stressed? It won’t draw more people to your cause.  Are you positive?  Then you can be grateful for the great partnership you have, and expand it.

Sincerely,

Pamela

 

What’s it like to be a CASA: You Don’t Give Up and You Keep Trying (Part 2 of 2)

In this two-post series I describe my experience working with foster youth as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Read my first post for an introduction to CASA.

I have a high-paced job, what if I can’t fulfill the requirements of being a CASA?

I have never found this to be a challenge. My supervisors are very understanding. I would make sure that you are focusing on the substance of the relationship that you are creating, and not about the amount of time you are spending. While it is important to put in about one hour a week, I find myself putting in much more because it is natural. You don’t limit your relationships to one hour.

Some weeks it can be up to six or seven hours, and other weeks thirty minutes.Your foster youth also has different needs which will necessitate different types of communication such as in-person meeting, phone, text, etc.

I do encourage you to submit your log every month. This is important for CASA to show and demonstrate the important work that you are doing and also, for your court reports. When you look back at your log, it is much easier to read them. Finally, it is most important to keep your supervisor informed of what is going on.

Have I ever felt uncomfortable with any type of inappropriate sexual situations?

Never. I don’t think, at least in my case. My youth is not thinking about that. He is thinking about how to survive.

What was one of my high points with your youth?

I have to say one of my high points (my youth is 20, so on the older end) was taking a risk. He and I have set up a weekly dinner, and it came to me for our next dinner that I should give him a teddy bear.

I thought to myself “Is this crazy? Giving a 20-year-old a teddy bear?”

It turned out to be the most heartfelt and fruitful dinner. It brought back childhood memories of his teddy bear and what it meant to him. And also how it got destroyed by him and his older brother. The teddy bear ended up becoming headless and eyeless…! (And we didn’t really get more into this).

But I encourage you to follow your gut instinct. Even if it feels strange to give a 20-year-old a teddy bear, you may be helping them reconnect with their childhood, reconnect with positive thoughts or open up unresolved issues that need to be discussed. It was a moment where I felt I was able to give him back a part of his childhood, something that we should all have. A place where we are cared for, safe and are given things that make us feel comforted and loved.

What surprised me about being a CASA?

I was surprised by how many life skills these youths need to learn and how much it relates to mental health. My entire view of mental health has been completely changed. Before I thought about mental health in very drastic terms such as depression or suicide — major things.

Now I view mental health as the ability to take responsibility in life. Not having models; not being able to take action and show up to a job training; not being able to communicate clearly; not being able to return phone calls; getting overwhelmed by setting up an appointment; fear of attaining an ID because it means responsibility… all of these things wrap up to me of mental health and primarily stem back to not having a beneficial role model. This has led to an incredible level of insecurity and lack of feeling safe in the world which prevents them, often, from being responsible citizens. That’s why you’re there, to help them navigate life, in essence.

Is there anything else I would like to share?

Sometimes, I think you have to realize that it doesn’t always feel like your efforts have made a difference — but you don’t know that.  

For example, my youth started off on the streets. We have gotten him into housing but he is not fulfilling the requirements and it looks like he is on the pathway to being kicked out. It took us ten times for us to get his ID, but now he has it. He is starting to set up appointments for job training, but then he doesn’t show up to them. He is starting to get assistance from the state, but then he trades his food cards for marijuana. So you see, a lot of back and forth. Don’t let that get you down.

The important thing is that you show up and you provide love and consistency for them that they may have never had in their lives. Even if their external circumstances don’t seem to change, you can know that somewhere deep in their soul they have felt your love. It is not just about being an American “doer” and seeing the results within a six month period because often that won’t happen.

What do I do if my youth does not show up when I contact them?

You just put in your log

Didn’t show up

Didn’t show up

Didn’t show up

You’re just honest about it. In my case, it was six months before my youth really engaged with me, but you just don’t give up. That is one of the most important things, otherwise, they think you’re “yet another person who gave up on them”. If you’re a CASA you need to stick with what you’re doing and be super committed to it.

What really helped me?

I think for me, my mindset is: this person is not my family member, but I want to work with them and advocate for them as I would for one my nephews. I am very close with my nephews and I want the best for them. They really are great people and great friends of mine, so with my youth, I thought the same thing: “I really want to help them achieve the best in life”.

When you come out with this kind of standard, that sets the tone for all your other interactions.

You don’t give up and you keep trying.

Would you want someone to give up on you?

Read my first post in this two-part series here.

Support CASA

If you want to give to CASA, please donate here.

If you would like to train to become a CASA, please contact the National Association here.

If you want to train in San Francisco, click here.