Category Archives: Philanthropy

Too Busy To Volunteer?

If you’re like me and you work full time in addition to being actively involved in other organizations and hobbies, you might find it especially hard to find the time to dedicate to your community. Now that I just recently moved to Jacksonville for my promotion, I have been searching for places in the area that are looking for volunteers. A lot of the organizations I’m finding require a background check, interview, drug test, training sessions, etc. And I want badly to give back to the community, but…I just don’t have time during the day to get that stuff done! And on my days off, I just need to relax because of how hectic work here gets. So what can I do at MY CONVENIENCE, to give back to the community? Here are some ideas I found that I liked a lot. The best part about it is that they don’t require me to have to go to several different locations at specific times on specific days to get my hours in. I am in control of when, where, and how. And I can still feel just as good about myself afterward because I know I dedicated time, money, and effort into it. I love volunteering because of how rewarded I feel afterward. Just to know that you possibly made someone else’s day who is less fortunate…feels awesome.

IDEAS:

  • Set up an informational display for a local library or rec center (drug-free, smoke-free, girl power, why college, family time, voting, etc.)
  • Write letters of inspiration/get-well cards to sick children, elderly, etc.
  • Set up a Sunday car wash during “after-church” hours to donate the money to a local charity
  • Clean up trash during/after community events, at parks, etc.
  • Set up an art exhibit at a local business, school, hospital, nursing home, etc.
  • Pick up change in parking lots and donate the money to a local charity
  • Make Easter baskets/get-well-soon packages for nursing homes, children’s hospitals, etc.
  • Create a flyer about going green and send to local businesses
  • Create a recycling contest at church and give the winner a prize or at a school and give the winning class a pizza party
  •  Tutor children or adults in your free time – in writing, English, math, etc.

There are hundreds of more ideas here! —> http://lancaster.unl.edu/4h/serviceideas.shtml
They have categories you might find more interesting depending on your personal experiences, such as crime and safety, animal protection, improving the neighborhood, and government policy.

Each one, reach one.

🙂

Peace!

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Why You’ll Love Adopt-A-Horse, Inc.

I’ve been wanting to go horseback riding since last summer. For this Memorial Day, I was blessed to be able to have off work for a four-day weekend so I decided I’d do some research on some of the best places in Georgia to go on a scenic ride. It didn’t take me long to come across Adopt-A-Horse, Inc. and I fell in love. I made the phone call. I booked my riding appointment.

What attracted me to this ranch were the beautiful photos on the website of the horses, ponies, and dogs but most of all the scenery. You know how some people and most food look so much better in pictures because they’re all carefully fancied up? Well, this is not the case. It looks just as beautiful in person – no, more beautiful in person. Green trees tall as skyscrapers, trickling glass streams, meadows of high golden grasses and wildflowers, the sparkling watery highway called the Alcovy River. And it really does sparkle, I’m not exaggerating. I even saw a fawn and a few bunnies running freely. It was so sweet.

But what was truly the most beautiful thing about this ranch is that its whole existence is dedicated to the well-being of horses that are in need of a good, stable home as well as offering therapy to children who are victims of abuse. And let me tell you, there is no way you can visit this breath-taking site and not leave feeling much more appreciated and happier than you were when you arrived. This ranch is doing some amazing things for people in the Atlanta area as well as visitors from far away places. But not only for people but for the horses too. So as a non-profit organization, the donations we make on the site all go toward upkeep of the ranch and care for the horses which provide hope and faith to kids and even adults who have been sexually abused. The children help the horses and the horses help the children.

This place is safe, fun, kid-friendly, and beautiful! Lucky for the horse trainer Dennis and I for choosing such a perfect morning to ride! That Saturday, it was misty with just a tad bit of sun light…well, until noon rolled around and the sun began to blaze! But I had a great time and I highly recommend you treat yourself and a friend to a ride there.

There are even better pics on the website (www.adopt-a-horse.org) but I snapped some of my own with my iPhone. View more photos of my trip:

My Current Project

I have had the pleasure for the past couple of months to begin business plans for my family’s non-profit organization. We are also in the process of selecting a Web and logo designer as well as obtaining a business license. This is so exciting for many reasons!

My family has always been passionate about helping others because God has blessed us and we feel it’s our responsibility as able humans to spread the blessings we receive. So whenever we see an opportunity to volunteer at church or in the community, we take it! My dad often gets his “chef” on for the soldiers at Ft. Gordon, my mom is always donating her time, clothing, toys, and food to people overseas or children in the neighborhood, and my sister and I are active on our campuses (she at Tuskegee University and me being at Georgia Southern University) partaking in community service projects as well as just lending a helping hand whenever we see someone in need.

We don’t document any of these hours because we don’t do it for recognition (but I guess I should start because it will look good on my resume as a college graduate). Our family was brought up to believe that it is our ethical duty. God gave us legs, hands, and a heart. So we will gratefully serve. Not only that, we find it rewarding spiritually! How good it feels to know that a soldier overseas is reading a Christmas card you wrote or to know that a poor mother and child are eating the food you served at a soup-kitchen!

My family is large, but our current household consists of my sister and I (whenever we’re home from college) and my parents, Charles and Flora Broadnax. All four of us have the compassion, determination, resources, and ability it takes to operate a non-profit organization. But I feel great to be able to use what I have learned in college to help execute these business plans. I have taken several courses in business, event planning, advertising and marketing, public relations, sales, organizational communication, campaign strategies, and more. And I am happy to have brought the initial idea and inspiration to the table.

We are excited to be able to put our four individual personalities and ideas together to form an organization that focuses on providing youth in the CSRA with skill-building workshops, fun-filled events, scholarships, and tutoring programs! Please stay tuned for more information as time goes on…

🙂

Blog Post On the Facebook Child Abuse Awareness

http://goodneighborstories.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/facebook-child-abuse-awareness-campaign-lame-or-helpful/

So what’s YOUR take?

Research What You’re Passionate About!

This all started as what I thought was a simple assignment for Public Relations Practicum – a one-credit course that PR students here take to assist us with careers (resume building, interview tips, exploring career opportunities, etc.). It’s a great course. Urkovia Andrews is the professor (http://twitter.com/uandrews) (side note: she’s awesome). She instructed us to write a paper after doing lots of in-depth research about our favorite organization/desired company. After looking at the instructions, I felt like it might be a tedious assignment with all the information she was asking from us! But once I really started, I got to see Girl Scouts with a different pair of eyes…

Here’s the paper I wrote on it, based on Andrews’ rubric:

GIRL SCOUTS USA (pdf)

Research what you’re passionate about and you could find a plethora of eye-opening information! On the other hand, you could even learn that something you are interested in isn’t as great as you thought. Either way, it’s a useful learning experience. I love the Girl Scouts! I had no idea they did all of those good deeds for this country!

Omega Phi Alpha

As of two Fridays ago, I am now a pledge in Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority. I am definitely excited because I had no idea that a national organization even existed that is based around service! O-Phi-A is based on three principles: service, leadership, and friendship.

I participated in rush week, and on the last day, I was so excited waiting to receive my bid that I waited up until 1:30 a.m. At that point I fell asleep but my bid arrived about an hour later – an invitation in my front door. Actually, the  actives were supposed to be voting from 7:00 to 10:30 p.m. on which 25 of the 100+ interviewees would get a bid. But there were so many interested girls that time ran way over! Most of us had waited up very late to see if we received a bid or not. They ended up choosing 35 girls – their largest pledge class yet!

I’m excited to be able to have a chance to participate on a regular basis in giving back to my community alongside sisters who share the same interests as me. It doesn’t get better than that – serving those who are unfortunate while fortunate enough to have peers there with you who are just as passionate!

This weekend is the pledge retreat. We’re going to Jekyll Island! Look out for plenty of pictures! 🙂

GIRL SCOUTS: Weekly Summer Camp Day 5 & 6!

Unfortunately, there was no Day 5 (Tuesday, June 29th) because Lynette had to work and poor Gabby was suffering from food poison! (She’s all better now). So I had to call the day care and let them know we could not make it. Side note: Those young’ns are too much for one gal to handle! So I also called Amanda (Girl Scouts director) and told her I was cancelling it for the day. Luckily, she was very understanding about it because the previous week she had dropped by to visit and saw how wild (or should I say energetic) the girls are! Sixteen girls averaging at age 6 versus just ONE 23-year-old me…I would have been pulling out my hair, or unless they did it for me, lol.

Day 6 (Tuesday, July 6th) was definitely surprising! There was only five girls there with Lynette, Gabby, and I. The day care director said most of them were still on vacation with their parents. Must be nice. So anyway, we just sat down and talked to each other about the words “future” and “career.” It was such a relaxing environment and I was so glad that we could actually talk to the girls personally this time since there were just five of them. We asked them questions like what they wanted to do after high school and what they want to be when they grow up. Interesting answers they gave. They all dream of being fire-fighting, ballet-dancing, hair-styling brain surgeons! Lol, yes, ladies; the sky is the limit and the world is yours!

While we talked to them about making good grades and college and saving money, we all sat down and drew ourselves in the “future.” (I drew myself in a business suit standing at the end of the driveway to my mansion with my future husband and future sons standing on the porch, LOL!) And the little artists did a great job of drawing themselves in ballerina wear, fire trucks, and salon chairs!

The girls are growing fond of us. Now, they often hug us, cling to us, and draw us hearts and tell us they love us and that we’re “the best teachers in the world”…

…So I think I’m going to go cry now, lol. That is all.

GIRL SCOUTS: Weekly Summer Camp Day 3 & 4!

Oh, boy! What can I say to describe days 3 and 4!

On day 3, Gabby and I were without the help of Lynette because she had to work. And then on day 4, Lynette and I were without Gabby because she had to work! And both days it was quite crazy! The girls have now gotten used to us coming and are comfortable with us. Comfortable might not always be a good thing! Nonetheless we love the girls very much and always have a blast (in more ways than one)!

Day 3 (Tuesday, June 15th) Gabby and I had the girls learn about creativity. We taught them what it meant and we told them that it is a good trait to be unique and creative. We let them know that it is okay to be different. Then we had them each decorate a silhouette of a girl using only markers, crayons, glitter, and stickers. They were very creative in decorating the background, making landscapes, drawing words, designing outfits, and coloring hair! We had a contest in which they voted on the design that was the most creative. Gabby and I learned that the girls worked most effectively if we implement a contest! They are very competitive at this age, so they made sure they focused on the task at hand and were extremely motivated! Here is the winner:

However, toward the end of the hour and a half, they began to get a little rowdy. So we calmed them down finally by saying we’d bring them cookies on day 4 if they behaved (and trust me, this was the only thing that worked lol)(at this point, we were desperate so I blurted out “cookies for whoever’s good!”). We had them all sit back down quietly and each of them tell the group what their favorite cookie flavors were. They went crazy throwing out ideas, like peanut butter cookies with sprinkles, icing, and chocolate chunks! However, most of them said chocolate chip, M&M’s, and pink. Now, Gabby and I have never heard of these “pink” cookies that seemed popular with them, but we just smiled and nodded lol.

Day 4 (Tuesday, June 22nd), Lynette and I were reminded all day long about when they were going to be able to eat their cookies! So we let them know that if everyone was on good behavior that we’d pass out cookies at the end of camp.

Something that the Girl Scouts tradition has always held is friendship, so we incorporated the “friendship circle” by having the girls color their own individual “friendship animals.” The animal cut-outs were designed with their arms extended, so after they were done, we connected all of the animal hands together to create a “friendship circle,” like so:

We had to, again, make the task into a competition for the girls to stay focused. At this age, their attention spans are very, very short! So they took the contest to heart once again. When everyone was done, Lynette and I gathered each of the animals to the front of the room and had the girls do a “secret vote.” (Tip: Kids love the word “secret,” it seems to really get them excited lol). We had everyone put their head down on the desk – no peeking – and come up one by one to look at each of the animals and vote on the one they thought was the most creative, like we talked about last week. They whispered their vote and sat back down. At the end, the winner received a purple iCarly badge that said, “You go, girl!” (it was too cute, I found it at Wal-Mart for $3)! And all the girls got to sit down and enjoy their cookies – finally! I only bought them chocolate chip and M&M’s cookies instead of everything else they had asked for lol; especially since I had never heard of “pink” cookies. Even better for them, they were excited that their cookies were bagged in iCarly goodie bags (I snabbed those at Wal-Mart too)!

Girl Scouts: Weekly Summer Camp Day 2

Today was an exciting Day 2 (Tuesday, June 8th). We had a few more girls than we did last Tuesday (see previous Girl Scouts post), but that’s okay because I had an extra hand. Lynette was there this week and last week, but we were also blessed with Gabby! It was alot of fun…

Today’s focus was on the health and wellness, so we had the girls color the food pyramid and draw their favorite foods from each food group.

With every camp session, we begin and end with the Girl Scout Promise (“On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law!”). They all don’t know the whole thing by heart, but we had them give it a try and they actually remembered more than I thought!

After they got done coloring, we played a “name game” where we sat in a circle and went around introducing ourselves by name with a fun adjective of our choice that begins with the same letter that our first name begins with. We also had to try to remember as many of the other girls’ names as we could. Good for memory and paying attention!

Lastly, we got the girls engaged in a traditional Girl Scouts challenge called the friendship knot where you stand in a circle and hold someone’s hand with your left hand who is not next to you and the same with your right hand but with a different girl who is not next to you. Then you have become a human knot and you have to engage TEAMWORK in order to get out. I think the girls had alot of fun with this one because it was goofy and challenging! Here’s a photo of one of our three friendship knots:

Something vital that Lynette, Gabby, and I need to remember for NEXT TIME is the super short length of the girls’ attention spans! I first thought that spending one and half hour with them was too short. Boy was I wrong! We have got to have more than enough activities planned for them and leave no room for error. Speaking of ERROR, when most of the girls were done coloring their food pyramids, we went ahead and let them start the circle time games with Gabby. Lynette took a couple of the girls to the restroom maybe while I had to chase one down to get her to stop throwing toys and to go join the rest of the group. So there were a few still at the table quietly coloring. Turns out, if you have 15 girls, you need 15 pair of eyes as well – because the girls who were “quietly coloring” were actually using the markers to color full-arm tattoos on each other! OH BOY! Once we realized this, we tried not to panic but took them immediately to the sink to wash everything off. Thank GOD for Crayola’s washable markers! 🙂

Girl Scouts: Summer Camp Day 1

I am all about Girl Scouts! After being inspired in 2008 by Vanessa and Angela Simmons’ Girl Scouts campaign (Russell Simmons’ daughters), I decided to begin volunteering here in Statesboro with various Girl Scouts projects. Now this summer I will repeat a summer camp program with the girls at Childcare Network that I lead last summer with two close friends Erika and Alex, and I am extremely excited! I have missed the girls so much! A few of them are in the 2009 photo below.

I am very passionate about giving back to the community, especially in a way that targets children – teaching them character traits, morals, manners, and skills, all to help them reach their highest potential. Our children are our future. “Each one reach one.”

DAY ONE (June 1st):

Today we all got to meet each other by introducing ourselves – we sat in a circle and told a little bit about ourselves, including our name, age, grade, school, favorite singer, and favorite food (the girls like listening to Beyonce, Hannah Montana, Michael Jackson, and country music and love eating pizza, chicken, and spaghetti)! I used this technique to take roll and also to help learn their names! I think I have everybody’s name downpacked for day uno. That’s great compared to last summer, lol. This summer there are about 15 girls ranging from age 4 to 9. We are set to meet for two months every Tuesday from 2 to 3:30 pm.

They were briefly taught the Girl Scout Promise. And to help them do so, we traced our right hands on construction paper, decorated them, cut them out, and stuck them on popsicle sticks. Then we taped the thumb and pinky together to resemble the way we should hold our right hands when we recite the Promise before and after camp sessions.

Since it was only day one, we spent most of our time getting to know one another by sitting in the circle and having discussions about what Girl Scouts is, what we will be doing during camp sessions, and what they like to do outside of school. I can recall one of them saying that she likes to take rides on sharks and another saying that her Yankee cousins from New York are coming to visit in July. Lol, these girls are something else! I am excited about this summer…

Today’s session reminded me that you have to stay on point with activities and topics in order to keep their attention. Their attention span is a maximum of 10 minutes it seems, lol! These little ladies are definitely going to keep me on my toes! I wish my friends Erika and Alex could be here this summer to help 🙂 I miss them too

 

^ that’s me!