Category Archives: Living Right

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

office-336368_1920.jpg

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.

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

hand-1030552_1920.jpg
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.”

 

sailboats-1375064_1920
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.

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

sunset-690756_1280

“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?
Stand-Up-To-Cancer
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?
orange-184838_1280.jpg

 

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

 

Elephant.jpg
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.

4090200698_699ed76d93_b.jpg

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!

Love,

Pamela

The Importance of A Conversation

It’s just a conversation.

You’re just chatting.

You’re at a sports event and you’re catching up, in line at the grocery store, after church, or at your child’s gymnastic event. It’s talk. It’s casual, it’s no big deal.

Or is it?

Each conversation can be a treasure–or a dumpster. What you say can uplift someone, or it can drag them down.

Your tone can affect them. If you’re down they might feel it. They might go home to dinner, and focus on a low mood rather than the great presentation they had that day.

photo-1458681708599-e0be9ce54707.jpg

If you’re positive, you’ll lead them to a more peaceful state of mind. If your topics are about joy, they’ll likely be more joyous. It’s that simple.

How you affect them affects how they treat the next person they encounter. Every conversation is part of a chain for good, stress, joy, or negativity.

15482576136_bcba9bc579_b.jpg

Are you stressed? It wont draw more people on to you. Are you positive? Then you can be grateful for the wonderful partnership you have, and expand it.

photo-1442499470257-b9d4da617f83.jpg

It’s not just chatter. Every conversation leads to something. Make it for good! 

Sincerely,

Pamela

 

 

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.  

unnamed.jpg

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.

bag-and-hands.jpg

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!

Cisco_logo.svg.png

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 contracts, returnees, gift certificates, and increasing donations on our site.  Pretty spectacular!  That’s certainly beyond one conversation, one relationship.

photo-1468426925765-90c3a7b9e7c8.jpg

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

 

Love, All Along the Way

Today I share with you a letter that I wrote to a young woman graduating from high school. A life of promise lies ahead.
But a life of promise lies ahead for you, too, whether you are 18, 48 or 88.
photo-1462536943532-57a629f6cc60.jpg
You can ‘graduate’ into a renewed sense of life.  Read on to see how you can impact the world today.

 

You might decide to donate today through UniversalGiving. You might decide to volunteer in Vietnam and help teach children English, build classrooms and playgrounds, or work towards building better homes for families. And you might also just be kind and loving to someone else.  All of it changes the world.  It’s time to graduate to a life filled with promise and joy.

Dear Brittany Joy,

A grand congratulations on your graduation! I am so proud of who you are as a person. You are a joyful, positive, and kind person. Your character is your most precious possession.

As you go into the world, may you take this treasure and share it with each individual you meet. That, in and of itself, is your greatest profession- to share love, each moment!

When I think of you, here are your gifts:

1.Principled Action:You take on action based on principle. With thoughtfulness and care, you bless the world with each task and endeavor.

2.Full Joy: That is your name and expression, and you shine it so radiantly. Brittany Joy Duke. It’s regal, loving, vibrant, and joy filled! Always spread the joy!

3.Love-all along the way: You might have a passion, or find the career of your dreams, or the man of your dreams! But, don’t forget to love all along the way. Thats the mailman, or grocery store clerk, your employee, parents, and the neighbor who might seem “tough”. Remember, all are lovable.

Congratulations dear Brittany Joy, on this momentous day. You are graduating, and graduating to live life with principle, joy, and love.

Onwards, onwards you go!

With greatest love, Auntie Pammie