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Archive for the ‘Kindness Investors’ Category

Name:

Rose M

Age?

54
Where do you live?

Forest Park, IL

Where were you born?

Salisbury MD

What’s the highest level of education you have completed?

Masters of Science
Do you have a family?

Married to my husband John for almost 16 years.  No kids.  One cat
How did you hear about the Year of Giving?

I was starting my own blog and was searching the web for blogs that sounded interesting and were well-written.  I ran across this one and fell in love!
How long have you been unemployed?

Not unemployed. Underemployed.  I would say off and on since 2005, although things got a bit better last year. But they bottomed out at the start of 2011.
What happened?

I don’t know.  I’ve been told that the “recession” which has been plaguing the nation has actually started to hit the midwest hard this year.  Maybe that’s just a comforting myth.

Do you currently volunteer?

Not in the traditional way.  I make meals about four times a year for our parish soup kitchen, and sometimes help out there.  I also volunteer for various parish activities on an as-needs basis.  Last year I volunteered a week of my time in New Orleans helping to rehab houses.   I plan on doing that again this year.

Who have been your biggest influences?

Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa and Donna Eden.  Also, I have a long list of strangers in my life who have said or done just the right thing when I’ve needed it most, and whom I’ve never seen again.

What is your favorite food?

Edible.
What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received?

A ring inscribed in Hebrew with the words “I am my beloved’s and he is mine.”

Describe your ideal job:

I LOVE the work I do.  I’m very grateful for that.  I am a psychotherapist and energy medicine practitioner, and what I do changes people’s lives for the better.  My ideal job would simply doing what I love to do more.

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Name:

Sibyl W.
Age?
59 (ouch!)
 
Where do you live?
Brentwood, Tenn.
 
Where were you born?
I was born in Asheville, NC
What’s the highest level of education you have completed?
Graduated high school and took some college courses (Business & Psychology)
Do you have a family?
I’m divorced, no children.  But years ago I had a little sister through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.  She’s now grown with two boys of her own.  Her oldest is my godson.
 
How did you hear about the Year of Giving?
I believe it was a story I saw online, possibly MSN but not sure.
 
How long have you been unemployed?
I’ve been unemployed a little over two years, but part of that time I went home to NC to take care of my mother who was very ill.
 
What happened?
I was working for an entertainment marketing company in LA when the recession hit and the company had to cut way back.  We had very well-known clients but even the big guys had to cut spending.
 
Do you currently volunteer?
I currently volunteer at Saddle Up!, it’s a therapeutic horseback riding program designed for physically and mentally challenged children.  I help out with three classes and love every minute of it.

Who have been your biggest influences?

My mother has been the biggest influence in life.  She experienced some tough hardships but the only thing she was ever afraid of… was missing out on the fun with her family.  Another is my brother.  He is such a good person and received all the patience in the family.
 
What is your favorite food?
Chicken Fajitas, love, love, love. Oh, and biscuits and gravy. But not in the same meal. :)
 
What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received?
My mother had five brothers and they were all in the service at the time of World War II.  My mother was a teenager at the time and they managed to bring her back an assortment of silver bangle bracelets.  When I was a little girl I loved playing with them.  Even though they were precious to her and she was afraid I would lose them, she gave them to me.  (I still have them.)
 
Describe your ideal job:
Having my own business helping others find what they are passionate about doing and then helping them find a way to accomplish it.

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Name:  

Stephanie

Age?

35
Where do you live?

Mt. Laurel, NJ

Where were you born?

Voorhees, NJ

What’s the highest level of education you have completed?

B.S. in Elementary Ed and Special Ed.
Do you have a family?

I have an AWESOME FAMILY, GREAT FRIENDS who are like family to me and a WONDERFUL Boyfriend, Greg. His kids, Gregory & Grace are a ton of FUN too.  To tell the truth,  I feel connected to a greater global family as well!
How did you hear about the Year of Giving?

Facebook last Spring :)
How long have you been unemployed?

The beginning of Jan.
What happened?

What happened was honestly an unexpected story I could tell.  I didn’t expect to lost my job,  but in the bigger picture I believe the ending occurred in my life for something new to begin.  I valued the experience and loved working with kids, but I feel the change occurred in my life to empower me to create something more!

Do you currently volunteer?

I did volunteer the last two months to help co-create a character education curriculum for BUNNY HULL of DREAM A WORLD.   She wrote a series of awesome books called “The Young Masters Little Wisodom” series. I am now looking for a Montessori School to pilot the program at.  I have also recently volunteered to put together 15 raffle baskets for a friend’s mom who lost her home do to a house fire.

Who have been your biggest influences?

Wow, many people have influenced me throughout my life. I am inspired by my mom’s kind and giving spirit, the teachers who recognized something greater within me and helped pull it out,  and I am often influenced and inspired by children.  Since I was young I have been positively influenced by Walt Disney’s spirit because he had a vision and dream and made it come true.  I’d like to create something for kids based on my own visions and dreams.
What is your favorite food?

I ate at Planet Raw Organic Food restaurant in California once and not only did the food look like a beautiful work of art, but it felt like heaven.  By far it was the most satisfying food I have ever eaten in my life!

What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received?

I have received lots from friends in family in forms or loving supportive energy, but I also love receiving “gifts” from nature, like finding heart rocks while I am on a walk or finding a tree smiling at me. (See pic)  I find these “gifts” from nature are soooo much FUN!

I also feel it’s a “great gift from the universe” when I am driving and I find a license plate that speaks to me, like

WITHLUV, PEACEINU, LUVNLYF, HV F8TH, B-THEONE, BSTRONG, LVLIFE

(These are all license plates I have seen and when I safely can, I snap a pic)

The best one was HOPE ANN because that is the “pen name” I gave to myself for the two children’s books I wrote.  Whenever I see a license plate it’s like the perfect words for the day that often lifts my spirits!

Describe your ideal job:

Wow, I have begun to think I don’t want just another job. What I wish to do in my life would require lots of work, but I would rather be known as a creator as well as a published author who also designed products that positively influence children.  More than anything I would eventually love to be the creator of a children’s discovery play center called A MAGIC NATION!  It would be a place that brings a child’s imagination to life by focuses on the mind, body, spirit. This great space for kids would also feature a place called HEART KIDS PLAY SHOP, a creative gift shop where the products have a great value and purpose!

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Thanks to the couple of people who have reached out to me after my “wanted ad” yesterday.  It’s with pleasure that I introduce to you our Kindness Investor for the next seven days!  Her stories begin tomorrow!
Name: Maria D.
Age? 27
Where do you live? Takoma Park, MD, near Washington, D.C.
Where were you born? Guildford, England
What’s the highest level of education you have completed? Juris Doctor
Do you have a family? I’m a single gal, but am very close with my sister Julianna, parents John and Catherine, and have a superstar half-bro named Ron

How did you hear about the Year of Giving? I am temping where Reed works, so I heard about it while he was recruiting some other potential Kindness Investors

How long have you been unemployed? Hmm, well I guess officially since graduating law school in May 2010 and moving to D.C. to look for a job in Oct. 2010
What happened? The market for newly minted lawyers sucks. Straight up.  I graduated knowing I wanted to be a human rights/civil rights non-profit lobbyist but no leads. So I took a leap of faith and am still finding my way while temping at World Wildlife Fund.
Do you currently volunteer? Yes, I am starting to volunteer with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (they do DNA exoneration for MD, VA, and DC inmates) and N Street Village (a women’s shelter and center), as well as other random events when help is needed.
Who have been your biggest influences? My mom and dad, who instilled a sense of social justice in me from an early age, and anyone else who has spoken out to help others when those in need had no voice. Also my Nonna, who emigrated from Sicily and started a life out of literally nothing.  Hard work is very important to me, as is appreciating life.
What is your favorite food? Tomatoes.  But as a dish, I’d say Capellini Pomodoro (angel hair pasta w/ fresh basil, tomato, olive oil, and garlic tossed together). Now I’m hungry!
What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received? After the bar exam, I had the privilege of going to Europe for a month. I went to Paris for a week and made friends with the woman who set up breakfast and cleaned the hostel. We had a mid-morning dance party a few times, which was pretty awesome. On the last day, she took the earings she was wearing out of her ears and gave them to me.  I kept them on for the rest of the trip…Well, until my ears started to hurt. Ha..
Describe your ideal job: My ideal job is working as a researcher and lobbyist at a non-profit engaged in tax policy reform that benefits low and middle-income families.

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There’s no blog post today from a Kindness Investorthat’s because we don’t currently have one! :(

So…I thought I would utilize today’s post to try to find one.

Wanted: 46 unemployed or underemployed individuals who are willing to be Kindness Investors for seven days!  No prior experience necessary, just seven ten-dollar bills and a willingness to reach out to seven strangers and give them ten bucks and find out what they are going to do with it.  Interested candidates can email reed@yearofgiving.org for more details!

 

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Name: Traci

Age? 50

Where do you live? I currently live in Washington (state), but I call California home.

Where were you born? Fairfield, CA, USA

What’s the highest level of education you have completed? AA

Do you have a family? Both of my parents are deceased. I have five brothers, one sister and my best friend is just like family.

How did you hear about the Year of Giving? Mary J. (Week 5 Kindness Investor)

How long have you been unemployed? Since January 2011

What happened? Laid off due to lack of work.

Do you currently volunteer? I am currently a volunteer at Summit Assistance Dogs in Anacortes, Washington.

Who have been your biggest influences? My sister, Mother Theresa, Gandhi

What is your favorite food? Tofu

What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received? A piece of wood fashioned into a jewelry holder by my ex-husband.

Describe your ideal job: To work from home (wherever I choose to live) for a NPO/NGO, involving some travel locally and abroad with completely flexible scheduling. But even better, how about no job and money just comes to me so that I have the time and resources to simply shine my light wherever it is needed and wanted – unlimited.

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Mary with her husband Henry celebrating his birthday last October in Curacao.

Name: Mary J

Age? 50

Where do you live? Houston, TX

Where were you born? Houston native, born and raised

What’s the highest level of education you have completed? BA, Journalism, Photojournalism from University of Houston

Do you have a family? Yes! Great husband and best friend, Henry; no kids; Jack, the smartest shelter dog in the world; cats Fritz and Smoke – one shelter, one feral; seven brothers and sisters; lots of brilliant nieces and nephews.  Henry and I both come from big Catholic families who lived within 10 miles of each other for over 50 years and never met until Henry was 29 and I was 32.

My 87-year-old mother lived with us for over two years after my father died in March 2008.  She temporarily moved out recently, starting a 6 month “road trip”, staying with other siblings through the summer.

How did you hear about the Year of Giving? Your post on 29Gifts.org

How long have you been unemployed? Since May 2008

What happened? American National Red Cross had its largest layoff in history, removing mostly field staff across the US who reported to National Headquarters in Washington, DC.  I volunteered with them for a bit following the layoff.

Do you currently volunteer? YES!  Way too much, according to Henry…  I’m the volunteer Content Manager for 29Gifts.org and support numerous charities and causes.  Favorites include Sewing Hope and blankets4babies, two groups on 29 Gifts; Texas EquuSearch, a search & rescue group; local and Caribbean animal shelters, among others.  Volunteering is a win-win during unemployment, as it keeps my technical skills up-to-date, you never know when a connection might lead to a full-time job lead, AND it feels so darn good to give someone a hand up.  I truly enjoy helping others.  It’s amazing how a simple moment of kindness can affect someone’s life, even if for a day.

Who have been your biggest influences? My parents.  Both Henry and I have unbelievably incredible parents who raised their children with just the right amount of discipline and never-ending love, guidance, support and laughter. They instilled in each of us a strong and honest work ethic, a thirst for adventure and knowledge, respect for everyone – especially those most different, and the confidence to change the world.  Though money was tight in both families, our parents were kind and thoughtful people who never hesitated helping others.  Couldn’t ask for better role models.  Man, I miss my dad.

What is your favorite food? If going out, pan-seared Tilapia, garlic green beans and fried okra from Peppers in Pasadena, or spicy tuna sashimi, salmon sushi rolls and green tea ice cream at Masa Sushi in Webster.

Staying in with fam? Too many faves to list, but I’ll take a stab at it – preferably with a knife and fork: Henry’s jerk chicken and seafood gumbo. David’s prime rib. Becky’s potato salad. Anything Sean & Maureen make. Steven’s Thanksgiving dressing (winner of the dressing throwdown at last T-Day dinner). Cheryl’s squash casserole. Mike & Kathie’s lobster thermidor. Traci’s chocolate mint and peanut butter candy. Glenn’s iced tea.  Susan’s crème brulée bread pudding, Mom’s chicken noodle soup and kolache rolls.  Dena’s beef stew.  Chris & Carol’s eggrolls and fresh mozzarella. Bonnie’s gourmet cole slaw with toasted ramen noodles. Cheri’s mom’s thousand dollar four layer pie. Valerie’s pecan and pumpkin pies. Tracy’s chicken & dumplings. Amy’s sausage queso dip.  Juliana’s johnnycake and guava jelly. Pearl & Gladys’s short rib Caribbean stew.  Steve H’s grilled fish and lobster. And anything curry.

What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received? Unconditional love from my parents.

Describe your ideal job:  I want to join an organization where I can use strong director-level global communication, management and technical skills to make the world a safe, secure and productive place.  I want to work with a creative team in a progressive, forward thinking environment, where all staff are seen and treated as key contributors and partners to success.  I want to work with leadership who “get” that when we expect and encourage the best from our employees, we will get their best in return, and success will inevitably follow; a place where we all learn from mistakes and we all celebrate successes.

Web content management… communications… problem resolution… policies & procedures… research… total quality management… customer service… team building… mentoring… disaster preparedness and recovery… search and rescue… sustainable project management… fundraising… vendor negotiations… teaching… training… travel… relocation…  It’s all good.

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Petra did an amazing job last week

I am so happy about how this experiment is going of having a new Kindness Investor every week share their adventures.

Now I have the pleasure to introduce you to Mike from Connecticut.  I “meet” Mike a few weeks ago via email and telephone.  He’s an interesting guy with a knack for painting a verbal picture.  He’s a really nice guy who is searching for work mostly in the sales/marketing area.

Here are Mike’s answers to my questionnaire.

Name: Mike B.

Age? 48 years old.

Where do you live? I live in Cromwell, Connecticut which is right in the middle of the state.

Where were you born? I was born in Schenectady, New York, which is part of the “Capital District”.

What’s the highest level of education you have completed? A BA in Communications, concentration in broadcasting at State University College at Oswego.

Do you have a family? I’m a single guy with no kids here in Connecticut, but have a sister and brother in NY and their families and another sister in Colorado and her family.  My Dad lives over in NY as well and Mom passed away close to 20 years ago.

How did you hear about the Year of Giving? I believe I first heard about the Year of Giving on National Public Radio in April or so of 2010 and started following the blog at that point.

How long have you been unemployed? January is now 19 months since I was employed.

What happened? The national company I worked for (for 21 years) closed six local offices in one day. They were in Hartford, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Philadelphia and Houston.  They had previously downsized and outsourced quite a bit prior, but the recession hit pretty hard and they had to make the drastic cuts.

Do you currently volunteer? I do volunteer and very much believe in the power of volunteering.  I currently am focusing time on two main ones, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford and YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea in the Berkshires.

Who have been your biggest influences? I like taking my inspiration and influence from a wide variety of people, but family and friends influence me as well as people that are very passionate in what they believe in and try to accomplish.

What is your favorite food? Growing up I was known as a picky eater, but could find no fault with pizza.  Now as I’m a little older, it’s the smells of fresh baked bread, or a nice garlic sauce that always trigger something in me.  But for a favorite, it would have to be a family recipe of Stuffed Cabbage!  (with sour cream, not tomato sauce)

What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received? It wasn’t necessarily a gift, but the most meaningful thing I ever received was my version of a birthday cake.  When it came time for my birthday,  my mother knew I liked Pecan Pie and so that was what I had, complete with candles and everything!  I don’t recall why it became a yearly thing, but when it came time for my birthday, I could count on one thing, that I was having a homemade Pecan Pie for the celebration. Looking back, it made me feel special on my birthday, and not like everyone else.  And isn’t that what birthdays are for?

Describe your ideal job:  My ideal job would be one I could be proud of performing while following my passion, allowing time off for traveling, getting paid enough to be at my level of comfortability, not have a long commute, and of course helping individuals reach their goals.

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Meet Petra!  She’ll be sharing her adventures of giving $10 away in and around Seattle, WA for the next seven days.

Name: Petra

Age: 54 years young

Where do you live? Seattle, Washington

Where were you born? Rural, northern Minnesota (but grew up in the Twin Cities- St. Paul/Minneapolis)

What’s the highest level of education you have completed? BA with additional certificates of completion in other continuing education arenas

Do you have a family? Single, never married, but do have a wonderful life – saving family of two furry critters – a dog and a cat

How did you hear about the Year of Giving? Huffington Post article-changed my life
How long have you been unemployed?
Technically, 8 years.  However, I have had myriad contract and freelance jobs; I began my own business but really wasn’t what I wanted to do…

What happened? I was working at biotech/pharma company (an amazing, rewarding experience) which was acquired by a larger Bio/Pharma company.  Most non-scientific staff were laid-off, including me.

Do you currently volunteer? Because of some complicated health issues over the past few years, I have not for a while. However, two organizations have been top of mind for a while and I’m preparing to approach them to offer my services.

Who have been your biggest influences? A dear friend who, after battling breast cancer for 22 years, passed away three years ago; a former boss who taught me both good business skills and what a fair, inspiring supervisor/mentor looks and acts like

What is your favorite food? Caprese salad!  As long as the tomatoes are ripe and aromatic,  and the mozzarella is fresh

What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received? Unconditional love and compassion from my friends and family; when a friend spent her birthday driving me around town on a hot summer’s day to deliver important documents in an important step to help me plough through official red-tape; in the end, it/she helped save my life

Describe your ideal job:  A professional Kindness Investor; I dream of giving away – say $100  – to someone I don’t know, talking with them and then writing about what they might do with the money.  HEY!  Sounds like a full-time REED SANDRIDGE profession!  No, seriously.  I have thought about this for a long time- more than a year before reading about your endeavor, Reed.  To have the means to walk up to someone (as I follow my keen intuition) who could use – who really needs – a  C note right now, would be amazing.  And as you, Reed, have done so gracefully for more than a year, then take the time to invest in that person-to learn a bit about who they are – and then write about it/them … well, that is my heart’s desire.

Thank you for being an inspiration to me, and to so many others.  Let us hope and pray that your year-long “experiment” will become a daily practice for people like me…and many, many other Kindness Investors! Bless you, Reed!

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It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Melinda T., our first Kindness Investor for Year 2 of the Year of Giving!  I conducted a brief interview with her and would like to share it with you so that you can get to know her better.

Name: Melinda T.

Age: 31

Where do you live? I live in Xenia, OH.

Where were you born? I was born in Richmond, IN but grew up in New Paris.

What’s the highest level of education you have completed? Some college.  I’m currently taking college courses for nursing.

Do you have a family? I’m married.  No kids, but three dogs.

How did you hear about the Year of Giving? I heard about Year of Giving in an article in the Life&Arts section of the Dayton Daily News.  This article was published in the paper on Sunday December 12th.

How long have you been unemployed? Since the fall of 2009.

What happened? I worked in sales for a company that relocated its office in Vandalia, Ohio to its Headquarters in Norcross, Georgia.  I have been on unemployment since then.

Do you currently volunteer? Yes.  In the past I have done volunteer work with people with special needs.  One of our dogs helps children with autism and ADD at a local organization here in Xenia.  I took Max (the dog) in and the children would read to him.  This has been proven to help the children tremendously.  One day there was a boy there named Bobby who was having a horrible day and they brought him down where Max was and Max got him calmed down.

Who have been your biggest influences? Both of my parents.  They live in New Paris, IN on a grain farm where they lease their land to other farmers.

What is your favorite food? Seafood, especially crab.

What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received? Volunteering….it comes back two-fold.

Describe your ideal job: I want a job where I can feel that I am really helping people.

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