Archive | March 2012

Non-profit of the Month: One Tail at a Time

After spending some time with different animal shelters, foster programs and animal help clinics, I ran across this organization in Chicago: One Tail at a Time. They are a non-profit foster program that is a no-kill, all-breed dog rescue program. Their mission is to: “lower euthanasia rates in the greater Chicagoland area and provide education on the humane treatment of companion animals. The rescue concentrates its efforts on dogs that are in danger of being euthanized, or those that are physically and/or mentally deteriorating in a shelter environment, works to rehabilitate them, and then matches each dog with a permanent home. Focused on keeping pets as a part of our family, One Tail at a Time offers fosters and adopters continued support and education on how best to keep dogs happy, healthy and part of the family.” Many programs try their best to get the animals adopted, but don’t spend a lot of time to make sure the family is a good fit for the dog or provide the continued support.

Rhett

What is very unique about this dog foster program is they pay for everything a person needs (food, medical, dog walkers, daycare, etc.) to ensure all the dogs in their program are being well taken care of. They also don’t go out and pick the best of the best animals from the shelters for quick adoption turn-around. They find the best in all dogs and try to give as many of them a chance at a better second life. If for some reason the adoption isn’t a good fit, they will take the dog back into their program, in fact they prefer it, to ensure that dog finds the best family for them as possible. Even if years after a dog is adopted and the family can no longer keep the dog, One Tail at a Time will take the dog back into their program and find it a new, happy home. Read More…

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Week 13: Three ways to experience empathy

For the next four weeks of the 52 Weeks of Good campaign, we will be focusing on Empathy. Experiencing the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another can help you step into their shoes and treat them how you wish to be treated.

For week 13 we will look into the experience portion of empathy. Our daily habits. Here are a three key points to help you experience empathy:

  1. Practice patience – Most of our outbursts of rage or anger usually stems from quick moments that frustrate us. We have our outbursts, we shake it off and we move on, but how often do we think about how our outburst effected the other person, usually a stranger, that was also involved? Take driving for example. You get cut off, blaze your horn, step on the gas, swerve around them giving them the bird as you pass fly by. Maybe you think this helps you feel better for a moment, but what did you really achieve? Revenge, making your point, letting the other person know that that pissed you off? Not at all. All you really were successful in is making that person feel terrible. Nine times out of ten that person made a mistake; they didn’t mean to cut you off because they didn’t see you. Next time you are about to siren your horn or dabble in a little road rage, practice patience. You never know what is going through that other persons mind or what is going on in their world. Maybe they just learned their husband or wife has cancer. What if they were just laid-off from their job and are struggling to figure out how to feed their four kids. By practising patience, you can take a deep breath and let their mistake go. And swearing at them in your car is just as bad as letting them know you are angry by their mistake. Swearing at someone, even if they don’t hear it, only puts bad energy on them, almost like giving them a curse. It’s not good. It also isn’t good for you, either. Give them the benefit of the doubt and carry on with your day. In fact by practising empathy, you may make their day by letting their mistake go.  Read More…

Week 12: Use work to empower a community.

For the last week on ways to improve the office, I thought I would take this time to examine some things that Brown Paper Tickets does to make a difference in their communities and hopefully other companies will take a piece or two of what they do and create new ways to make your office more giving.

An relatively easy way to make an impact on your community is to make a financial donations to local schools or non-profits that are set-out to make a difference. Brown Paper Tickets takes 5% of their quarterly profits and donates that amount to a non-profit. They have also been a part of setting-up micro-loans with Kiva and helping to support people across the world. Look at your profits and give what you can every quarter or every year. Whether it is $10 or $100, the donation will make a difference. Read More…

Week 11: Transportation to the office.

In week 11 of the 52 Weeks of Good campaign we will look at how an office can create change and make a difference by encouraging different transportation options. Take a look at this picture and see just the space impact different modes of transportation have on our surroundings.

Picture via Earthian

The environmental impact aside, it is pretty unbelievable how much room all 60 cars take up. Try offering staff different modes of transportation. At Brown Paper Tickets every employee is given the option of receiving a monthly bus pass. Not only does that help employees get to work everyday, but as a company, they are cutting down on their carbon footprint. Another idea is to encourage your employees to walk or bike to work once a week. The convenience of a car is pretty hard to beat, but I bet you can get a few people to change their mode of transportation at least once a week and what a difference you will be making!

Week 10: Reduce your office impact.

In week 10 of our 52 Weeks of Good campaign we will be focusing on of we can make our places of work more environmentally friendly. Whether you work at home or in a large corporation, there are many little things that can be changed to make a positive impact and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are my top 10 ways to make your office more environmentally friendly:

  1. Buy recycled (or partially recycled) paper for all of your printing needs. Every office goes through tons of paper, so lets at least use already recycled materials before we cut down more trees for our own needs.
  2. Print double sided. Not only will you be using half as much paper, but you will be spending less on buying new paper, too!
  3. Buy environmentally friendly cleaning products! Soap, table cleaners, window washing, you name it and you can find an eco-friendly product to match all of your needs.
  4. Set-up a solid plan for disposing of things you don’t need. Your waste bins should be the smallest with a large recycle container and compost bin. If you separate what you use, you’ll find little of it actually goes into the garbage. Once it is set-up, teach your staff with a quick lesson of what goes where.
  5. Create a drop-off center of your office for those hard to recycle items like ink cartridges, light bulbs and batteries. Collect them and take them to the appropriate recyclable facilities. Not only will your office be more earth friendly, but you are creating yet another reason for people to stop by your place of work which could lead to more business, especially since they know your good will in creating a cleaner environment. Read More…

Spark a Change: Power of Twitter

I recently have become more involved with Twitter. I figured it was time to get over how much I disliked it and learn to accept it, as it was clear Twitter wasn’t going anywhere. Now that I’ve focused a few months time on Twitter, I am able to see its’ potential. I have been able to connect with so many people around the world I would never have been able to talk to before. I have learned about so many organizations out there in the world doing good and have been able to surround myself with those positive people and the news and messages they have to share. I’m to the point where I actually enjoy Twitter now. Never thought I’d say that!

Recently I read a post from a follower. Her message hit me and almost made me start crying while sitting at my desk. The post was this: “@______: Hate being ugly:( Wish i could be pretty like all my friends! No i’m not putting this for attention,I actually hate my face….” Reading that just killed me. I remember those years where you so desperately felt like you needed to be a certain way and look a certain way to fit in. Never feeling good enough. We are our own worst enemies, but we can be our best allies, too. So, I started scouring the internet for a positive quote that would reflect just that and have her think positively about herself. Alas I found one that would do the trick: “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” By Confucius. I followed up with: “You ARE beautiful. Once you stop thinking negatively about yourself, the more beautiful you will realize you are. Focus on the good!” Her reply: “thankyou,You put a smile on faces:-)” Phew! A smile is a good thing and I hope she looks at herself in a little better light now.

I encourage you to go out and Spark a Change! If you see someone or hear someone being negative about themselves, help them change their perspective and let them know the positive things you see! We all have the power to make a difference in someones lives, even if for just a moment over Twitter.