Turn That Frown Into a Smile


Did you know it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 muscles to smile? No wonder being down takes up so much energy out of us! Those 17 muscles used to smile can have a bigger impact than you think. Helping someone in this world can be as effortless as smiling at them. Positive attitudes branch from having an authentic smile behind the message we send to others.

That doesn’t mean frowning doesn’t take place every once in awhile considering we are human, and do have those down days. You know, the day where one wrong thing after another crashes down and you almost can see that stormy cloud hovering over? Everyone is allowed one free pass, every so often to let that cloud pour, but who’s to say you can’t change that bad day around? I’ll admit it’s easier said than done, but it CAN be done. We are often unaware of how much our bad day may impact those around us. When we frown, we can become susceptible to taking out our bad attitudes on the closest person to us.

I had a professor this last fall semester that made an observation about most people he sees every day. He said, “There are so many people from different ages, who all walk around with their heads down, or a glazed look on their face.” What this professor challenged us to do was to smile at someone, whether we knew them or not, and take note of what our positive attitude did to others. I tried this today and had a few reactions. One person simply glared at me and must have thought I was a nut haha. I gave this smiling act another shot, and the recipient smiled back. Who knows I could have made their morning and cheered them up a bit. It’s amazing the power one smile can hold and it costs nothing!

On my journey of finding new knowledge on philanthropy and non-profits, it has occurred to me that being a humanitarian or providing philanthropy to others can be done through our attitude. I’m not saying a smile can change the world, that’s not my point. Instead I am demonstrating we are all negative at some point and seeing the sunshine to a cloudy day can change you, and change those around you. I challenge you to try being more positive. Spread a genuine smile to others and see the impact you can have. Who knows, maybe you will change their day into a happier one, and be successful with a mircophilanthropic moment.

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Simple ways to make your college life greener

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We often disregard being “more green” and what a lot of people don’t realize is there are some easy steps that can allow them to become a greener user. As a college student I want to decrease my electric bills and anything else I can save money on.

Below are 5 easy steps to put in place in your college life. These are simple and low-cost options that can make your footprint on the world be decreased and become more green.

1) Unplug all appliances currently not being used: What many people are unaware of is how active a plugged in appliance is even if YOU are not using it. Electricity is still flowing through the equipment and being used up despite it not being physically on. The top appliance I witness being plugged in and not used is cell phone chargers. That charger you leave in the wall plugged in is wasting electricity. So take an extra minute to unplug it and save some money on your next electric bill and become greener. (surge protectors can make turning off many appliances easier too). Photo Credit

2) Use reusable containers: Today reusable containers can be found pretty much anywhere. I know my university bookstore has a great assortment of water bottles, and I own a blue one that I use on a daily basis. Instead of bringing a non-reusable plastic water bottle to the gym I opt for my blue UNR water bottle that I can reuse time after time. Photo Credit

3) Print on both sides of paper: This can save paper and the amount of paper products we use every day is a huge amount. Decreasing the amount of paper we waste can be simple as printing on both sides of a piece of paper. Home printers have a setting to allow double-sided copies to be made. It makes lecture notes easy to flip through too 🙂

4) Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient ones: They reduce electricity use, and decrease energy up to 75%. Plus they last longer! These bulbs can be found at your local grocery store or Walmart. Photo Credit

5) Look into recycle bins as an option: Most universities have recycling bins for paper, and plastics. Check them out and see where you can recycle your paper goods and plastic bottles. Also look into getting your own recycle bins for your college apartment or home. Click here to visit the city of Reno’s website to research recycling bins.

The link between non-profits and profitable businesses

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Similar to the photo above, non-profits and businesses stand back to back trying to be different from one another, but in the end they have comparable foundations, and are both successful at what they do.

Today, while reading several blogs I subscribe to, most of which have to do with non-profits and philanthropy, I started to explore the profitable side of businesses. It got me thinking about how similar businesses that make money (profitable ones), are to those who don’t make money (non-profits). If we look more closely at the correlation between the foundation of both types of organizations, similarities can be found. The main difference is what each type of business does with their inflow of money.

Most people don’t realize how much a non-profit organization is in fact a business. As a whole, a non-profit has a goal in mind, similar to a profitable business, and in order to achieve this goal there are similar steps needed to be taken. For starters, profitable business needs to be linked to their audience of customers in order to bring profit in. In the case of non-profit, donors need to be pulled into the group to generate money that impacts the goal of the company as a whole.

The next is the marketing comparison. In order to bring in customers and donors. Both of these types of institutions need to have proper marketing procedures in place to grab the attention of their specific audience. Like any other business, a non-profit has to implement interesting content that differentiates them from others. For both regular businesses and non-profits this is vital in becoming successful.

As for the inflow of money, non-profits never hold onto the funds they receive for the company itself, and instead donate all funds earned to their main purpose or focal philanthropy. However, they still find it necessary to implement financial consultants to help them with handling fund inflow. Many regular businesses put in place financial advisers to help supervise their cash assets as well.

There is a common misconception about employment in non-profit organizations. Being a manager in a non-profit is similar to being a manager in a profitable business. Both types of managers need to have the proper skills to supervise those under them, and the projects they are working on.

My final thought on this topic is social media usage for both types of business groups. As time goes on networking and social media tools will become the foundation for non-profit and future businesses. The value of social media often doesn’t receive the credit it deserves. It’s amazing how much of an impact a Twitter account and a blog can have on your organization whether you are a company or an organization searching for common good. Profitable businesses and non-profits should invest their time in social media, not only to link to millions, but to also to be ahead of those associations still living in the past not participating in  technological advancements.

Fighting cancer through a new movement; Cancer Schmancer

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Millions upon millions of individuals throughout the world are impacted by cancer in some way or another. Whether it takes place in a friend or family member, or even you as an individual; cancer affects all, finding a way into our lives. It is a horrible disease that can take away the people we love before we realize it. However, it is non-profit foundations that provide assistance allowing patients to become survivors.

I have become very interested in an organization called Cancer Schmancer. This organization has a goal of raising awareness and educating women on the importance of preventing cancer. The founder and CEO of Cancer Schmancer is former actress Fran Drescher. She herself struggled with urinary cancer, and has an incredible survival story behind it. With her story always with her, she has created an organization striving everyday to help women, by diagnosing or preventing them from cancer. She was a victim of being misdiagnosed and has made it her goal now, to help women throughout the U.S. not become another misdiagnosed patient when it comes to cancer.

One thing that caught my attention the most was how Fran is focusing on the women who can’t afford treatment, by sending something called the “Fran Van” around. These vans travel around California and New York. They have the equipment in their vehicles to scan women for various types of cancers free of charge. Not only do these vans provide free screening, but they also help create an awareness for all women from various income levels that typically can’t afford consultations. The importance of the Cancer Schmancer movement is to enable women to have more power in fighting one of the worst battles of their lives.

I look forward to seeing the progression Cancer Schmancer makes, and the impact they have on millions of women. Donations can be made to Cancer Schmancer for those looking into giving benefit to a great cause that has a big heart.

Let me know how you think my journey is going with exploring the philanthropic world!

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Enabling the microphilanthropist within us

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Most of us are aware of what philanthropy is, but the new humanitarian movement occurring is called microphilanthropy. To be a microphilanthropist, an individual wants to donate to a cause, but they may not necessarily have the funds to do so (if only money grew on trees). Microphilanthropists find simple ways to donate their time or small amounts of money to benefit others.

I myself had a microphilanthropist moment today. While I was at work, I had a customer come in who was returning to college after serving in Afghanistan. He told me how he had returned this last semester, and was shocked with how the system had changed. Small talk occurred and I realized most returning Veterans come back to the life occurring now, and have to adjust to the changes that have happened in a fast manner in order to survive.

My microphilanthropist moment took place when I gave my advice to this man on how to save money on school books, by using websites to rent them versus the monopolistic competitive outlook many university bookstores create. Websites such as chegg.com allow users to rent textbooks, and plant a tree for every rent made. This site is a good cause with the power to save students money as well. I also gave this man advice regarding how to find the teachers who truly care about your education, and weed out the ones who get pleasure out of seeing you fail. I told him to visit ratemyprofessor.com which has given me many benefits when choosing classes as a college student.

The point of my story is I made a positive out of a negative with this man’s re-entrance into college. My simple act of kind advice today, created positive marketing for some companies, and I would predict alleviated some stress from this man. As a microphilanthropist I want to do good for others in any way I can. Whether it is giving my advice on being knowledgeable on how to survive college, or donating a few dollars, any small gesture can make a bigger impact. Today I learned that I can easily practice microphilanthropy on a daily basis. If I try my best to do a small humanitarian act for an individual every day not only does this benefit others, but it gives me good karma 🙂

“Nothing we learn in this world is ever wasted.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Photo Credit: Bailey Rose

One step at a time in TOMS Shoes

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Looking down at your feet at this moment you may have shoes on, may have shoes with socks on, or just socks on. Maybe even possibly nothing is on your feet at all. For most children throughout the world in developing countries, the basic necessities in life such as shoes are rare for them to have. Having shoes on your feet is a vital necessity, especially when survival comes into play for these children.

Recently I have noticed a TOMS Shoes trend; on the feet of people all around me. Friends, or random people displaying each and every color, and pattern you could imagine. Most shoes companies can’t take credit for being fashionable, and standing for a cause as well, but TOMS Shoes can.

What makes TOMS Shoes a charity worth investing in you may ask? From my research and observation it is their “one for one” movement. For every pair of shoes purchased from TOMS Shoes, the company will donate a new pair of shoes to a child in need, in a developing country. Why not invest in a shoe that has a two for one deal; style and a philanthropic purpose.

For those of you unsure of the style choice, there is an array of options to choose from for both men and women, as well as children. The styles have a wide range and vary from the original to the wedding shoe selection. Aside from the different options in style is the plentiful amount of colors, and patterns that can go with any wardrobe.

This cause is an incredible one, and it allows many to reach out in a philanthropic way, while also investing in a comfortable shoe. Once the snow melts away and spring comes back along, I myself will be able to trade in my winter boots for a pair of TOMS, and wear them with philanthropic pride, and style.

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” Christopher Reeve

Click Here (to buy your own set of TOMS)


Surfing the web for charity on a time crunch

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Do you ever wish you had more time in the day? Most of us long for more than 24 hours in the day to get everything done and more. Majority feel the crunch in finding time in our schedules to fit in our daily lives, nevertheless extra activities. The ability to balance time for ourselves and making time for others can be difficult. In return the small amount of time allocated for helping out others can sometimes be hard to designate. However, with the growth of social media and the web, online users are connected more than ever to non-profit organizations. With the internet at our fingertips, and the average American spending roughly 13 hours a week online; it’s no wonder why social media is progressing steadily. Non-profits organizations are jumping on this boat, and using resources on the web to reach out to humanitarians.

I came across this article Five Ways to Give Back Through Social Media, from a few years back. I found it to be extremely beneficial in demonstrating how non-profit, and charity can be set in place through social media tools. One way to donate without using up time, is using the search engine GoodSearch.com. This search engine donates profit towards a specific charity of your choice each time a search is made using their site. Not only is this a great tool, but the site is up-to-date and is recognized by many organizations. This resource is easy to use and has a feel good outcome (I tried it myself).  Not only does it give you the results you need, but it allows even the busiest individuals to display a simple act of kindness within a short time span.

“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” Pierre Corneille

Let me know what you think about my blog!

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