#MotivationMonday: The Giving Keys!

Friends! Happy #MotivationMonday! ‚ô•

Today I’m going to share with you another organization I hold closely to my heart.

As you’ve probably read about several times in my posts (or, if you’re new, WELCOME, GOOD PEOPLE! ūüôā ), my passion lies in helping those who are in need–particularly people who are homeless. Some of the most interesting and lively people I’ve met have been homeless. Truly, my biggest calling in life is to help lift up those who need a hand. I long to learn from them– to have them teach me more about the human heart. I hope¬†they tug at your own heartstrings from time to time, too. After all, if we’re not here for others, what are we here for?

I had a riveting conversation last night– the kind where thick words fill your thoughts and¬†flood out of your mouth in¬†torrents– about helping people¬†who are homeless. We¬†spoke so delicately of the humans inside what most perceive to be a¬†hopeless shell of person.¬†We spoke so¬†vociferously about how they need more than people’s money and clothes (though, those are¬†surely needed, too); they need belief.

These people need belief in themselves. So many I’ve talked to mentioned the estrangement they’ve experienced from families,¬†living each and every day of their lives¬†on the streets, failing at everything they try. They need to believe that they can turn their lives around. But¬†who is going to give them that opportunity?

I feel that it’s¬†my responsiblity to believe in these people, to lift them up, and to show them that life is beautiful when we harness the¬† creative and compassionate energies of other people.

The creative energy between even just two people is astounding; I find it both heartbreaking and startling that so many are blind to the power of collaboration. The things we can do alone are incredible. The things we can do together are boundless and inexhaustible. Just put two people together in one room who are on fire about the same thing  and see what happens. I truly believe if I, or any single person, could collaborate with people who shared the seemingly lofty dream of getting every single person off the streets, it would be possible.

I don’t think that’s unrealistic.¬†I don’t think that’s impossible. I think it’s something that the general public isn’t very concerned with; thus, it isn’t a problem that is frequently approached with enthusiasm or any kind of¬†solution.

Except for one majestic organization.

Without further ado, I introduce the organization that embodies everything I’ve mentioned thus far: powerful collaboration, creative energy, belief in people, high expectations, and the opportunity for people to succeed–

THE GIVING KEYS!

I LOVE THESE PEOPLE AND THIS ORGANIZATION. I love what they do. You need to look at their gorgeous website. Follow them on Twitter. On Facebook.They employ people who are homeless to transition them out of homelessness. AKA: they BELIEVE in these people. They give them a second chance. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than that. What a breathtaking concept. I’ve had my giving key for a while now,¬† and it’s hard to think of myself with out it; but that’s the catch– you have to give it away at some point (hence “giving” key). You give it to someone that you think needs the message on the key. Talk about spreading inspiration, motivation, and positivity! I would love to get involved with these courageous philanthropists.

SO. Look at how cute their jewelry is! It’s for guys, too, actually. You get them custom-made and there are a billion options. And, it’s for a wonderful, marvelous, magnificent cause.

People always ask me about my key. At least once a week. And it’s my favorite motivation to share.

This one is mine ūüôā Not very good quality in the picture, but you get the point.

photo

BELIEVE IN PEOPLE. Be CREATIVE in solving the problems you want to solve in the world. Most of all, keep the attitude that you can change lives in the forefront of your thoughts. You can.

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#MotivationMonday: Steve Jobs, Ashton Kutcher, and Brian Preston!

Here we are again, friends! ūüôā Happy #MotivationMonday!

So, I’m working on a project for a class that will end up being anywhere from 150-200 pages long. I have a big installment of it due tomorrow, and I am definitely going to be up til wee hours of the night trying to finish it. Actually, I probably won’t sleep at all. But hey, gotta do whatcha¬†gotta do. Anyway, doing this project has really opened up my eyes in the past month and a half. The amount of work that has gone into this¬†beast¬†has been overwhelming. I have had days in which I have broken down crying, telling myself “I really don’t think I can do this.”

But then, something keeps me moving: the idea of where I’m going when it’s finished. Like any obstacle in life, we can choose to see it as a wall, blocking us from where we want to go, or we can see it¬†like monkeybars. I’m looking at this like monkeybars¬†over hot lava. I can’t¬†let go or give up, because, well, hot lava wouldn’t feel very good, but also because I have a clear destination I’m trying to reach. I am hanging in the middle of the structure, white-knuckling the bar, staring at the end where I can finally let go of the bars and stand on solid ground again. It would take just as much effort for me to turn around and go back to where I started as it would to simply keep going and finish, so I might as well keep pushing forward. And there’s no way I’m touching that lava. I HAVE TO get through this. I WILL. I have too many things to accomplish– too many people to lift up– to stop now.

SO! I’m going to share with you a few things that have inspired me recently. They’re all short videos that I beg you to watch. I need to be reminded sometimes that it’s okay to think differently, to be smart and thoughtful instead of skating by, and to stick with what matters to me. I hope you’ll feel the motivation I felt when you watch these.

  • Firstly, I’d like to start off with a video that I’m sure you’ve seen before. It’s one of my favorite, quick videos I use to get inspired. It’s Ashton Kutcher (or should I say, Chris?) giving a very moving 4-minute speech about what is really important in life. I specifically like it because it’s delivered to kids– the future of our world.

  • Secondly, I’d like to share my all-time favorite, 1-minute commercial by Apple. I get chills each and every time I watch this. ¬†As you know, I consider myself a dreamer. I don’t like to think like other people (and that often gets in my way). I have my sights set on changing the world from a background stance. I want to lift people up. I want to inspire happiness. I want to bring about movement. I want to change minds. I want to honor my existence by USING it instead of skating by through life. Most people think I’m crazy. I¬†used to¬†dislike¬†explaining myself simply because of the blank stares/discouragement I often received. People generally dislike what they don’t understand; it’s not a super common thing for someone to¬†have “world-changing” ambition– it makes some people uncomfortable. But, you’re always going to have that when you challenge the status quo. It hurts, but you’re probably doing something right if you’re being faced with foundationless opposition. So, I’ve decided over the last year that I like¬†to hear when people think I’m crazy. I like when people think I’m absolutely off my rocker. That’s when I feel like I’m doing something right. ¬†Without further ado…HERE’S TO THE CRAZY ONES.

  • Thirdly, just because it’s another favorite¬†4-minute video¬†of mine, I’d like you guys to listen to this little bit of a¬†Steve Jobs speech. He is so incredible with thoughts and words. “Death is very likely the single best invention of life; it’s life’s change agent… your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… stay hungry, stay foolish.”

  • AND FINALLY. This man followed me after last week’s #MotivationMonday. His name is Brian Preston, and he has a Twitter! He was featured on this¬†TED talk¬†and has a really cool business¬†called Lamon Luther which he started. (It also has a Twitter!)¬†Their slogan is “Hope for the Craftsman,” which is quite fitting as it supports homeless carpenters in their work. It is so hard¬†for carpenters to make it in this economy. They need jobs and opportunities.¬†He quit his stable job to start a business in which he hired men who were homeless and living in the woods to build things for people, and worked with them until they could live in a home. I can only imagine how hard it was to dedicate his life to this cause, because we live in such a mass production, “I-Need-This-Now” society.¬†I think it’s absolutely beautiful that he believes in something so much and wants to give a select group of dreamers a chance to fulfill their dreams. Check out the website (with this really touching video)¬†and show the man some support! He was called to his mission in life, and he went for it. That, in and of itself, motivates me. His work ethic and belief in possibilities should be admired by everyone!

So, friends, think different. Be unreasonable. Be unrealistic. Be crazy. Be a gamechanger.

#MotivationMonday : Adam Braun and Pencils of Promise

HAPPY #MOTIVATIONMONDAY : )

For today’s motivation, I wanted to share the organization that I am personally really passionate about. Being that I am studying to become a teacher, it might not come as a surprise to you that the organization I care most about has to do with– you guessed it– education!

Ever heard of Pencils of Promise?

If you said yes, then hello and let’s be friends forever. If you said no, I still want to be your friend forever, but be prepared for a quick education about education : ) It’s definitely an organization I would love to be directly involved with!

Quick Sweet Fact: One of the coolest stories from this organization, in my opinion, comes from how the organization was founded. Adam was walking in a developing country and ran into a boy who was begging on the street. He asked the boy what he would ask for if he could have anything in the world, to which the boy replied “a pencil.” What a simple request with such huge implications. Thus, five years ago he gave up everything, invested just $25 in his organization, and has since built over 150 schools in developing countries. How. Incredible.

This video is 1.5 minutes dedicated to telling you exactly what it is that PoP does:

This video is about 2 minutes. There isn’t much said, and it isn’t the most moving video they have, but what you get to see are the conditions some students are forced to learn in; there are classrooms under trees outside. I think you can only imagine what that might be like if the weather didn’t comply. Not to mention that, in this technology-driven world, many students don’t have access to even one computer. Check it out:

The Pencils of Promise YouTube channel has tons more videos if you want to find some other goodies : ) I challenge you guys to go to the PoP website and learn more. There are options for everyone to get involved, including everything from direct donations, to ordering a T-shirt, to becoming an intern. They even have a Twitter! The point is, they’re super accessible and I want to urge you guys to at least check them out. I believe everyone deserves a school to learn in. No one should have to sit outside or in a lousy, falling-apart building each and every day. Every child should have a pencil. Every child should be given the key to a future–education.

OKAY STOP FOR A SECOND. If you’re feeling like, “Hey, you blogger person, I was hoping for a TED talk or something,” which you might be, I’d like to accommodate for you. So, did I mention that this is one of my hero’s organization? And that his brother is my other hero? If you remember me mentioning¬†Adam or Scooter Braun in any one of my earlier posts, this is Adam’s organization. Please ready yourself to meet one of the most inspirational, driven, and kind people I know of. Just listen to the endless amount of wisdom and drive in this man’s voice and TELL me you don’t want to drop everything at this very moment and go conquer the world.

Make it count, folks. Til next time!

I LOVE MONDAYS (not a joke)

HI ūüôā

I’ve decided to try something new. Fresh. I want to do it each Monday.

And I might accidentally forget about it, but I solemnly swear I will try to do good. (Grammar and Harry Potter references clearly aren’t meshing well for me today).

DRUM ROLL PLEEEASE… I call it:

#MotivationMondays

I will be posting something that inspires me every Monday, because you know what?

I LOVE MONDAYS.

Yep, I said it– I. LOVE. MONDAYS. Yes, I’m usually exhausted, jello-legged, and holding a gallon of strong coffee, but what is more exciting than a fresh start? A new week full of possibilities? So, without further ado, I give to you Scott Harrison and his #PassionProject to bring clean water to communities without such a basic need. He’s great. He’s so determined and humanistic and all that good stuff.

Go forth and burn with a desire to change the world, friends. But don’t actually burn.

Ideas. Ideas. Ideeeaas.

HELLO GOOD PEOPLE!

I’d like to first preface by saying that my roommates probably think I’m crazy.

Why, you ask?

Because I just got home, ate a container full of macaroni (okay that’s a little irrelevant), dashed up the stairs, lit the candles in my room, turned my lights off, and began spitting out improv slam poetry at my wall.

I hope some of you understand. I love feeling inspired. You do such strange things.

That being said, I’ve had a lot of ideas running through this noggin of mine in the past few hours, and I’d like to share just one. It is a first-draft idea, but hey, that’s how all good things start, right?!

Alright, so as you know if you’ve read my last post, I am in my final year of college and am currently pursuing my degree in English Education. In one of my recent practicum experiences, I’ve been paying attention to which students schools label as “at-risk.” I’ve also been paying close attention to kids who come from low-SES backgrounds (generally, students whose families have low income, may have limited educational experience, may have relational problems in the home, may have health complications, etc.). Many times, low-SES and “at-risk” are intertwined (though, not always). Anyway, I noticed the other day that a student had been wearing the same shirt and shorts for 2 weeks in a row. ¬†Could that be a fashion or self-expression choice? Sure, it could be.

My guess is that it isn’t, though.

If I become a teacher–even if I don’t, really– I would love to set up a before and after school project once a month. I’d call it Closet Free or something. Probably something else. Definitely something else. I would set up an empty room to lay out donated, nice clothes and kids could stop by before or after school and pick some things up if they wanted. I would open it up to used or new shoes, socks, (obviously newly bought packs of underwear), jewelry, shorts, pants, you name it. I want it there.

You’re probably thinking “Yeah, but what if a student comes in who doesn’t really need it but they take it anyway?” It’s definitely a thought that’s ran through my mind, too. The answer is this: I don’t know. I would rather that anyone could take anything they needed. I would rather not have them “qualify” or “be eligible.” I would just like for kids to know that someone gets it— someone cares.

There a million and one details I’d need to iron out. It would have to be a community effort, too; I only have so many too-tight shirts in my closet.

So, Scooter Braun, where you at?! Haha. (Seriously, though).

Or DoSomething.Org (Check them out!!)

Anyway, happy Monday, everyone! I hope you’re drowning in this week’s possibilities. I don’t actually hope you’re drowning.

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