Tag Archives: relationships

A CEO’s Thank You To A Precious Team Member


Germaine & Pamela

In November of 2015, UniversalGiving celebrated a wonderful milestone.

We celebrated matching 10,000 volunteers with global service projects, all over the world.

The Event

That means people were giving of their time by saving an elephant habitat in Thailand, cleaning up a river in Peru, and serving women in microfinance in Tanzania.
More than 10,000 people gave their time, creating more than $31 million dollars worth of value for our communities. 
We celebrated a very special event with all our team, supporters, and NGOs leaders. It was a night of joy and inspiration that makes up UniversalGiving’s  special community.
So many people helped make it happen… and one in particular was Germaine Lau, who was the Event Lead.  Below is my tribute to her from my voicemail to her and her family.

Hello Germaine Lau Family,

Oh my goodness, I cannot thank you enough for last night! That was just amazing. Germaine, as you know I told you two months ago, I said, whatever the event is, I am already happy and so grateful. You’ve done an amazing job and I know it. 

You are so talented and you have an amazing design. You have an incredible sense of sophistication and kindness and I am so grateful to have you on my team. You are becoming such a stellar professional. As you know this, I esteem you very highly. I just wanted to thank you all so much for all the sincere effort that you’ve put into this event. Such a beautiful design and professional work. I told you that two years ago, you have such a talent here, your amazing. Stay humble, but you are doing amazing things and lets get you in charge of some design for UniversalGiving. It is just beautiful. Thank you so much. 

I want to thank the Lau family for all your effort and work. Mrs. Lau’s friends who provided such generous donations on the tennis front, what a great showing that was! The prizes we had, those were significant, and thank you, thank you, thank you!

I want to thank you all, for Mrs. Lau bringing in the food, Germaine, to thank your dentist, we need to get a lot of thank you notes out! So thank you very much to the Lau family for all your help, Germaine, your brother coming out and helping. It was just such a successful event! It was a gift to the world, a gift to the community, a gift to the UniversalGiving team, a gift to me, and a gift to my parents. Thank you so much to all of you, the world takes a family, a lot of families, to help make it run. 

Much love and much gratitude to all of you. Have a joyous day and please know how much that event meant to me. I’ve asked Germaine to pass this on to you and I hope you know how much I appreciate it!

I look forward to seeing you all soon,

Thank you!”

“Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”


“I was trying to get ahead by correcting others when I should have been trying to connect with others”

– Jim Collins, Good to Great, pg. 29.

If you are a busy leader… you might fall into this trap.

We need to get things done. And with a significant proposal or partnership, you might need to correct someone working for you.

Connect with them first. Try to slow down, or tell them that the deadline is next week. You can tell them how much you enjoy their work, or even make them laugh.

Then the work flows so much easier, so much more naturally. And life and work is more enjoyable too!

Connect… then correct.

Or perhaps even better…

          Connect and recommend, adjust, ask… for their advice… work with them.

Kindhearted teamwork (even when we are under significant pressure) is the right way to go.

This quote is from “Good to Great,” a best-selling book published in 2001 by James C. Collins. This book aims to help readers understand why and how some companies go from being good to being great as was a tremendous success. He has published many well-known books that deal with successful companies, sustainability, and leadership.
Aside from being a respected writer, James Collins is an American businessman and consultant advising firms in the profit and nonprofit sectors, such as The Girl Scouts of the USA and the US Marine Corps. He is married to Ironman winner and accomplished triathlete, Joanne Ernst. He believes that “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.” Click here to be redirected to the “Good to Great Diagnostic Tool” where you can learn about to how to start your personal path to greatness.

Love: Vulnerability Balanced with Courage


 “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.


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.

“Our trials bloom in blessings”


Our trials bloom in blessings,

they test our constancy.

O life from joy is minted,

an ever lasting gold.

True gladness is the treasure,

that grateful hearts will hold.

This is from hymn 249 from the Christan Science Hymnal.

It’s a hymn that my mother loves and that she shared with me.

What I love about this is that despite any challenge, we know that from it will bloom a blessing.

And if we have a grateful heart and hold to this, we’ll realize it.

So that’s what we’re going to hold to today, dear reader, despite whatever challenge we’re facing.

We’re going to hold to that gratitude and knowing that blessing will come.

Have a wonderful day!

– Pamela

I just helped him cry

 From a four-year-old child whose next door neighbour was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.


When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
‘Nothing , I just helped him cry’


Sometimes, we just need to listen to people and help them through their hurt. Who can you help today? Let’s slow down and listen to the needs of people in our lives.


The Classic Pamela Positive: Make Criticism Yield to You


“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

No matter how hard it is, we have to face challenging feedback and take some step of action. It’s not easy… but the more we do it, the more we become accustomed to it. To being honest with ourselves… and to overcoming the challenge. We grow, we excel, and we move on, up and over it.   With that honesty, as Goethe states, the criticism “will gradually yield to him.”


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, and natural philosopher, best known for his two-part poetic drama Faust, which he started around the age of twenty-three and didn’t finish till shortly before his death sixty years later. He is considered one of the greatest contributors of the German Romantic period. At the age of sixteen, in 1765, Goethe went to Leipzig University to study law as his father wished, though he also gained much recognition from the Rococo poems and lyric he wrote during this period. In 1766 he fell in love with Anne Catharina Schoenkopf (1746-1810) and wrote his joyfully exuberant collection of poems Annette.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe now rests in the Fürstengruft or “Royal Tomb” in the “Historic Cemetery” in Wiemar where his dear friend Schiller is also laid to rest. In honour of these two famous German men of letters, a statue of Goethe and Schiller now stands at the German National Theatre in Munich. UNESCO’S “Memory of the World” list includes the handwritten works of Goethe preserved by the Goethe-Schiller-Archive.

Bio Source: The Literature Network

The Classic Pamela Positive: Celebrate True Wealth


Wealth is a state of mind, and how we view it with gratitude. Yet we tend to associate wealth with money. But true wealth is in our relationships, the love we have and give, and the joy of each day.  Everyone can be a wealthy person, starting now, this moment.

I am often struck by this positive definition of wealth in my travel and volunteering in developing nations. Families spend time together. They gather food from the fields together, cook together and share meals. It’s all about togetherness. Further, marriages are usually for a lifetime and divorce rates are low.

If we don’t focus on family time, we lose our greatest asset in natural wealth: relationships. Relationships with ourselves, our families, and precious friends who have become like family.

This “living wealth” creates happy, balanced, productive, lower stress lifestyles, because we are connected in the way we are meant to be.

Be Wealthy Today.

With Love, Pamela

In a similar vein, poverty can be mental, emotional or spiritual.