A Celebration of Giving – #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday

It is valuable to ourselves and our communities to learn to be giving, not just with our money, but also with our time. I am a firm believer that you reap what you sow and am fortunate to work for a company that encourages its employees to give back. This year I’ve joined the Brown Paper Tickets Not-Just-For-Profit Team, where I facilitate company donations and group volunteering. Additionally, I use our company sponsored Paid Time-On hours to volunteer in my community. I am excited to share with you one of the newest Thanksgiving traditions that has gained popularity over the past few holiday seasons.

Giving Tuesday is a movement that was started by a team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact (https://www.92y.org/innovation), a cultural center in New York City in 2012. It is celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a socially responsible addition to the popular shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. This movement celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy to events throughout the year.

According to GivingTuesday.Org, Giving Tuesday has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back—#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities, and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

Here are my 3 steps to getting started this Giving Tuesday and holiday season:

1. Heart Check

Why are you giving/volunteering? What are your motivations to do so? I believe there are motives behind everything we do. I always like to keep my self-grounded and make the most impact there is a need. When looking to do some volunteer work or donate I ask myself, ‘am I doing this because I want something in return?’ or, ‘am I sincerely looking out for the well being of others?’. Wherever you feel called to volunteer or donate this holiday season, check in with yourself, and share what you can. If you find a cause that speaks to your heart, you will likely stay involved and make a direct impact.

2. Research

Look for opportunities to serve your community or places to give. Whether you love helping people, animals or the environment, find a good cause that speaks to you and needs help. Feel free to get creative as well! I remember one Thanksgiving my family made sandwiches, bought a large tub of hot coffee and some donuts, then drove around and shared them with some of the homeless people in our neighborhood. On another occasion, some of my friends and I set some time aside on a Christmas morning and distributed “lunch bags” to the needy in the Far Rockaway community in Queens, NY.
*Disclaimer: A food permit is needed to handle food. Please look up any restrictions in your local area.

3. Have Fun

Whatever you decide to do make sure that you enjoy every second of it. Know that whether you are donating money or volunteering you are making a difference. I think it is important to not get wrapped up in our own lives and fail to see the need around us. We might not be able to change the world but we can make a difference in our communities.

Infusing the practice of giving and being open to receiving can bring joy and affect every aspect of our lives. I have learned from both sides of this practice. Several years ago, my family benefited from the giving. Here is my account:

Ever since I moved to the United States, I have lived with my paternal grandmother. When I was 15 years old, she and my aunt got together and bought their first home. Oh, the excitement! However, years passed and they never paid a water bill. I am not sure why but they never got a water bill, it just never arrived and no one ever realized.

One day, the homes that did not pay their water bill were published in a Mayor NYC Newspaper and there was our address. The embarrassment!

Of course, my grandmother freaked out and made payment arrangements with the company right away. After several months of making payments towards the amount due, we stopped getting the monthly payment slips. Grandma asked me to call the water company on her behalf and inquire about it. I remember this like it was yesterday, it was during my lunch break at my previous job, my jaw dropped when I heard the agent say,

“I am sorry ma’am but you currently do not owe any money, which is why you haven’t received a bill from us.”

“No! That cannot be right. We owe close to $10,000 and I know for a fact that payment for the complete amount has not been made,” I responded.

The agent placed me on hold to investigate, then came back on the line and told me that not only was the balance paid, but we had extra funds to cover the bill for a few more months. To this date and we are still not sure how this bill was paid, but one thing is for certain we reaped what we have sown for so many years. Over the years many similar things have happened to us, this is the story with the most financial impact thus far.

It is worth to mention that since this my family has become a giving family, not only with finances but also with time. Giving has been something that we have done in our house on a weekly basis; because of this example I’ve learned to be a giving person, and hope to pass on these traits to my daughter. My purpose is that through these lines my passion to help those who cannot help themselves be transmitted to those around me, and yes that includes you too!

Happy Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday, and Holiday Season!

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You’re Invited: Community Radio Volunteer Fair in Seattle

Seattle radio voluneer fairCalling all radio fans in the Emerald City: on August 20, in honor of National Radio Day, we’re co-hosting a volunteer recruitment fair with KEXP. Discover what LPFM stations are near you, what ones are coming soon, and how they could use your help.

WHEN: Sunday, August 20 | 1-4PM

WHERE: The Gathering Space at KEXP | 472 1st Ave N, Seattle

Participating Seattle Radio Stations

Rainier Valley Radio KVRU-LP 105.7 FM*
RainierAvenueRadio.World (online)
KBCS 91.3 FM Bellevue/Seattle (full power)
KBFG-LP 107.3 FM NW Seattle*
Hollow Earth Radio KHUH-LP 100.3 FM*
SPACE 101.1 FM KMGP-LP Magnuson Park*
OneAmerica Radio KQWZ-LP 106.5 FM SeaTac*
Earth On-the-Air Independent Media KODX-LP 96.9 FM*
Valley KAPY-LP 103.1 FM Duvall/Carnation/Redmond Ridge

Please note: * radio stations soon to be on air

This fair is free, just RSVP here.

Read more about our Doer, Sabrina Roach’s efforts working with LPFM community radio and find out about how KEXP plans to celebrate National Radio Week.

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Compassion Day at Pasado’s Safe Haven

Group3-Pasados (1) Cropped-01-1Pig oinks. Donkey brays. Pony whinnies. As an animal-friendly office, we’re pretty used to dogs (and sometimes cats) running a bit amuck, but a few weeks ago we spent our workday with animals of a different sort (or snort).

Our crew used a few hours from our paid time-on benefit at Pasado’s Safe Haven, an animal sanctuary sprawling over 85-acres in Sultan, Washington. Named after a beloved donkey who was sadly tortured and killed by a group of teenage boys, Pasado’s mission is to end animal cruelty. The organization provides rehabilitation, housing and kindness to neglected, abused and discarded animals.

Pasado’s also advocates for better animal protection laws and encourages the public to make choices that will abate cruelty:

  • Reduce or eliminate meat and dairy consumption. As more people forgo meat, more lives are saved. According to the Pasado’s brochure, “from 2007-2014 nearly 400 million fewer animals were killed for food.”
  • Adopt, don’t shop for all animals, including egg-laying chickens. See some of the animals up for adoption.
  • Spay and neuter pets.
  • Look for the leaping rabbit symbol on cosmetics and household products to ensure it was not tested on animals.

Blonde-Goat-Pasados

We made new friends while touring the grounds. Priscilla, the potbelly pig greeted us by pushing her snout into our hands. (She has since found her forever home.) We snuggled kittens in Kitty City and played with pups in Dog Town. We gave gregarious goats Gary and Chloe behind-the-ear scratches and also met a pair of six-month-old sows with a penchant for untying shoelaces. A staff member explained that at six months, these wonderful creatures would typically be headed to slaughter. Instead, they were rooting around an expansive enclosure in bright afternoon sunlight, happy as can be.

After the tour, it was time to dig in and work. Pasado’s, a nonprofit with a small staff needs volunteers to help maintain the grounds. We pulled weeds and clipped blackberry branches, cleaned out the healing barn and spiffed up the welcome center. Messy work, but the hours flew by and we even got to revisit Kitty City for a second round of cat cuddles.

Our Compassion Day came to a close too quickly and we were sad to leave. The animals we met remain fresh in our minds and some of us have since changed habits to diminish animal cruelty. We’re sure we’ll return, as there’s always more work to be done.

Thank you Pasado’s for introducing us to your very special residents.

 

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Making the Big Climb to Cure Blood Cancer

BigClimb-Hi-ResBrown Paper Tickets’ special ops event genius Erika Harder led a team of brave and well-hydrated Brown Paper Ticketeers to climb the tallest building in Seattle (no, it’s NOT the Space Needle) at the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Big Climb on Sunday.

At 788 feet of vertical elevation, the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle stands as the second tallest building west of the Mississippi. We joined 6,000 people in climbing 69 flights of stairs, or 1,311 steps, in an effort to collectively raise $2.6 million to fund the fight to find a cure for blood cancer.

Our fundraising efforts will continue through April 3, and our humble group is already in the Top 100 fundraising teams, having found generous contributors to donate more than $4,000 for blood cancer research. Our own Erika Harder is one of the top 100 most-successful fund-wranglers, having rustled up $2000.22 in donations.

This wasn’t our first rodeo. Brown Paper Tickets’ employees have done the Big Climb as a group every year since 2010, and collectively raised more than $10,000 toward research for a blood cancer cure. For some, Big Climb day is more than a fundraiser. Erika has a very personal reason for making the climb.

Erika says, “My brother developed HSTC Lymphoma in 2009 and passed away in 2010. Participating in the Climb to raise money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s efforts feels like the least I can do to meditate on his struggle, and hope that other families won’t have to experience this. I think about him every day, but I try not to think about him with cancer every day. His talent and energy and unique way of seeing the world are what I try to carry forward. Big Climb day is an exception to that. It also gives our friends and family an opportunity to remember him and ‘help in some way.’

I hope the research that the Leukemia Lymphoma Society does include learning how to prevent cancers and also non-conventional treatments for them. Either way, research needs to happen and to be funded, so I appreciate being able to contribute. Cancer sucks.”

At the end of the Big Climb, we all gained a sense of accomplishment as well as spectacular views of Seattle from the top of Columbia Tower.

skyview

As we work for a Not-Just-For-Profit company, we all receive “paid time on” – 40 hours of paid time annually to volunteer for the cause of our choice. We often get together during work hours to volunteer and/or raise funds or support good causes. We love helping people use Brown Paper Tickets’ one-of-a-kind tools to accept funds online with no service fees and to help organize fundraising events for all kinds of causes. Brown Paper Tickets matched employee donations and contributed $625.

Big-Climb-ErikaGet Cheers from Brown Paper Tickets

Donate here by April 3 to help stop blood cancer. If you donate now, the Brown Paper Ticketeers Big Climb team will stop all work and do a cheer in your honor. We’re serious.

Here’s a preview: your cheer will probably look a lot like this one, courtesy of Seattle Cheer, a nonprofit group that lends out their professional cheer squad services to nonprofit events like they did for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Big Climb.

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