Miles of Hope With Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary

Michele Elek & Miles Meet Miles.  When Miles was about 2 months old he was brought into a local Veterinary office in Arizona by a couple of good samaritans.  The doctors in the back of the office could hear his screams of pain and ran out and immediately administered pain relief and a sedative.  They could see that his two front legs were broken and one was wrapped with a home-made coat hanger and gauze.  After further examination, the doctors noticed that the breeder/owner attempted to repair the lacerations with a needle and thread and glue which created more pain and infection for his wounds that had been untreated for days.  The Phoenix New Times later reported that the breeder/owner, Lyman Kenneth Morkunas, allegedly bragged to the good samaritan couple about beating Miles with a 16 pound sledge hammer to break a fight up between an adult dog and 2 month old Miles.  As of this blog post, it is unknown what, if any charges are pending against him in Maricopa County. Miles Bandage Change Miles was in such terrible shape with multiple fractures, shattered bones, and infection that the doctors considered euthanasia.   They contacted Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary (PAWS),  a nonprofit organization founded by veteranarian Dr. Eva Decozio-Bush and Michele Elek to see if they could take him under their wings, which they did.  They immediately started putting together a plan to help Miles.  The specialized surgeries needed to save his legs were going to cost $5,000.  PAWS was able to get him featured on local news stations and through the amazing support of the community, the money was raised.  Following multiple surgeries, the surgeons were able to save one of his legs, but determined that it was in Miles’ best interest to amputate his left leg to minimize long term complications and improve his quality of life. Miles Hearing the news of Miles’ amputation, Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, the company behind the prosthetic in the inspiring Dolphin Tale movie, reached out to PAWS and offered to create and donate a prosthetic for Miles.  Thomas, a Certified Patient Advocate at Hanger, working closely with Miles and an amputee himself, asked PAWS if he could be involved in Miles’ adoption process.  Since Miles was a puppy, he would be needing modifications to his prosthetic as he grew and Thomas wanted to make sure his new home was a good fit for his needs.  Thomas had also grown quite close to Miles during their time together.   Adoption Day Miles & Michele It was finally adoption day for Miles and he headed back to the local news stations. Most hadn’t seen him since his original visit to ask for help to pay for his surgeries and were excited to have him back to announce that he was ready for adoption.  Dr. Eva and Michele from PAWS were ready and waiting for the phones to start ringing off the hook, yet they were silent.  They called each other to see if their phones were working and they were.  There were so many people interested in Miles when he was first on television and they couldn’t understand the silence.  ”Was it because the camera panned to him when he was licking himself?” they joked.  That’s when the big light bulb went off and Michele called Thomas from Hanger to tell him.  ”We didn’t get one call Thomas.  You know what that means, don’t you?  He’s supposed to be with you, Thomas.”  Thomas agreed that Miles belonged with him.  Thomas had fallen quite in love with Miles over the course of his evaluations and fittings and knew was meant to be with him. Miles & Thomas Miles adoption to Thomas is now official!  To make this new beginning even better…….Miles is now being trained as a therapy dog so he can go to work every day with Thomas to help and inspire other amputees.       Disclosure:  I recently joined Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary as a member of their Board.

Register With Be The Match and Save a Life. It’s SIMPLE!

During my grandfather’s cancer treatment eighteen months ago, I became aware of the nonprofit organization, Be The Match.  It amazed me at how easy it is to get on the registry and become a bone marrow donor.  Donating bone marrow to someone in need can save their life and Be The Match successfully does this with 4,800 out of the 10,000 people that need transplants annually.  My grandfather didn’t end up needing to use Be The Match for his donation, but I learned how important it was to get on the registry wanted to get involved to potentially help to save a life.

Be The Match is led by the National Bone Marrow Donor Program and assists people with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell, or any other disease that need bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplants.  Founded by Admiral E.R. Zumwalt Jr. and his wife 25 years ago after losing their son to lymphoma, they have successfully found new ways of improving the bone marrow donation process.  They have been able to find donors for almost half of the people who annually need this donation and their mission is to fulfill every needed transplant.
In addition to obtaining donors, an important aspect of Be The Match’s mission is to raise awareness for this cause.  Over the years, they have found new and painless ways of performing bone marrow transplants and want the public to know that it doesn’t cause the pain it once did.  There are many myths associated with bone marrow donation that Be The Match aims to bust.  All that is required is your time and you could save a life.

How does it work?  It’s simple.  Register with your information and answer a few questions about your basic health.  After this is complete, Be The Match will send you the registration kit for you to swab the inside of your cheek and send the kit back to them.  Once this is done, they will add you to the registry to determine if you are a match for anyone in need of a donation.  Be The Match covers the $100 fee that it costs to register new donors, but financial donations are very much appreciated to help with this expense.
Be The Match saves thousands of life’s every year due to the time and work they have put forth for 25 years.  For them to continue to save lives and make an impact on the future, become a donor and save someone’s life.  REGISTER NOW and take a little time out of your day to change a persons life forever.

If you’re not already convinced, maybe Caden’s story can convince you to get on the registry!  Caden’s story is just one of the many life-saving stories…..

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Give to Get Jobs: Give Back AND Get Paid!

imageI recently became aware of Give to Get Jobs when I received a tweet notifying me that Broker for Charity had been listed in their social enterprise database.  After checking out their database, I was impressed that they had compiled a list of over 1300 social enterprises and was thrilled to see so many new companies giving back that I hadn’t seen before.  The more I read, the more I realized that they were much more than a database of companies doing good.

Mother/Daughter team Stacy McCoy and Betsey Epstein recently launched Give To Get Jobs, as platform to find and post jobs that give back.  With a background in for-profit and nonprofit and finding shortcomings in both models, Stacy recognized a need for a middle ground that would combine the best of both of these worlds.  Employees can find jobs with companies that share their values, give back to their communities while still making a profit and companies can find employees that are passionate about giving back and share their company values and mission.   Job hunters will find postings throughout the United States, and hopefully someday the world, through Get to Give Jobs’ career center.  Jobs are mostly at social enterprises, for -profit companies created specifically to fill a need or alleviate unfavorable conditions in a community, or corporations filling positions specific to the social responsibility of their company.  Candidates may search by many different criteria, including location, industry, position requirements, and company.  Job searches and resume postings are free for candidates and if needed, Give to Get Jobs will help with resumes and cover letters for a small fee.

For social enterprises and corporations looking to fill socially responsible positions, Give to Get Jobs provides the traditional job board model with the added value of targeting specific candidates.  The pool of candidates that are searching the database aren’t just looking for “any” job, they’re specifically looking for positions that give back and companies that share their values.  In addition to postings, employers may register for access to the candidate resume database for an additional fee.  For these employer clients, marketing and spotlighting the good they’re doing is a free added value provided with their services.

Give to Get Jobs donates a portion of their fees to one of three nonprofit job creation programs via their non-profit partner See Your Impact.  Employers may choose to: provide a month of job training to increase a family’s income, support a low income-student through a drop-out prevention program, or send a child of migrant worker to school for a month. At Give to Get Jobs everyone is giving.  The companies that are posting jobs are giving back to their communities, the job seekers are looking to give back in their careers, the companies in the extensive social enterprise database and Give to Get Jobs by giving a portion of their profits to a See Your Impact program.  There’s a lot of good going on here so don’t miss it!

Causecast Incorporates Three of My Favorites: Business, Nonprofit, and Fun!

Causecast LogoWhen Brokers for Charity first launched, I began seeing cause related companies and movements everywhere.  It was like there was a whole world that I hadn’t noticed before.  I wondered if it had to do with the “car phenomenon” … where you buy a particular model and suddenly you see it everywhere.  Was it simply because  I had a cause-conscious company or was there truly a shift toward causes-minded individuals, companies, and movements?  I think it was a bit of both.

One company that pops up everywhere, much like the car I just purchased, is Causecast.  Over the last few years I’ve watched them roll out a long list amazing things they do that I’d like to share.

Ryan Scott founded Causecast in 2008.  His drive to make a difference, his passion for technology, and his devotion to ethical marketing has evolved into an amazing platform to empower nonprofit organizations and help businesses with cause integration.

Causecast’s cause integration and cause marketing platform helps both businesses and nonprofit organizations on many levels.  By using technology and data feeds, businesses are able to connect with qualified nonprofit organizations, while nonprofits can find brands that are seeking to engage their consumers or employees with their cause.  This creates a win-win for both the businesses and the nonprofit organizations.  There are also many ways that Causecast works with businesses and nonprofit organizations individually to provide them resources—and for nonprofits the resources are free.

Causecast business partnerships offer brands numerous ways to engage employees, attract customers, and showcase their corporate social responsibility.  Causecast has worked with Toyota, Paramount, The Huffington Post and many other brands.  They work with some biggies, but one of the many things that I love about Causecast is that you don’t have to be a huge company to work with them on your brand’s cause integration.

Causecast nonprofit partnerships are free to nonprofit organizations.  Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit can join Causecast to benefit from free integration into cause marketing campaigns as well as the many technology, promotion and fundraising tools.  Among the technologies provided is no-cost donations processing and the customizable tools to immediately put it to use on a nonprofit’s website.  There are many fundraising platforms that charge a fee in excess of standard bank charges for online donation, but Causecast does not.

One of my favorite campaigns that Causecast created was Ben Stiller’s Stillerstrong campaign.  If was fun and had a great storyline, all while raising money for a very serious cause.  This first video will give you a taste of the campaign, but I encourage you to watch hilariously effective ongoing episodes. Here’s part one of Ben Stiller telling Lance Armstrong about his “original” idea Stillerstrong:  WATCH 

As you can see, Causecast incorporates technology, data, humor, marketing, and resources to empower nonprofit organizations and assist businesses in their socially responsible efforts.  And I’m proud to say that I now drive a cause-minded car similar to Ryan Scott’s!

Bottom line: Nonprofit organizations, sign up!  It’s quick, easy and free.  Businesses, find out how Causecast can help you incorporate causes and campaigns into your brand as well as showcase the good you’re already doing.

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Yelling at Craig Newmark of Craigslist From the Cheap Seats. Really People?

Craig NewmarkYesterday, I was reminded of a Dodger game I went to when I was about ten years old.  As a tomboy playing baseball at the time, I took the game very seriously.  So, when the guy next to me was screaming at Steve Garvey about his wife cheating on him, or leaving, or something, I was a bit thrown.  I received clarification from my dad who informed me of their recent split and quickly went from confused to appalled.  This guy was a Dodger fan, so why was he being so mean and what did Steve Garvey’s wife have to do with baseball?  The remainder of the game I gave the man dirty looks and plotted to “accidentally” spill my soda on him and all of the things I should say to give him a piece of my ten year old outraged mind.  ”What do you know?  You’re a crappy fan!  You know I could strike you out, right?”

These feelings came up for me again last week when I saw comments on Craig Newmark’s Facebook page post that he was writing checks to four veteran’s organizations totaling $100,000.  His Veterans and Military Families Grant Challenge had ended and he was sending grants to The Bob Woodruff Foundation, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Intrepid Museum Foundation, and Blue Star Families.

LIke that day at Dodger Stadium, most of Craig’s Facebook “fans” were cheering, but not all of them. There were the “c’mon you can give more, you can do more!” Really, he doesn’t HAVE to do anything and he does quite a lot in addition to this. And “you should apologize to the military families when they can’t post a bike they need to sell so they can feed their kids” (speaking to a Craigslist spam/flagging process.) Seriously? What does their free Craigslist post have to do with him giving $100,000 in grants? She was obviously flagged and removed on at some point. I was happy to see that many others shared their thoughts with the hecklers as I was unable to do at the Dodger game.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen many other ridiculous portrayals of this evil Craig guy.”  Before he took on all of these devilish roles, he put a few things together online to help his friends connect with each other and various events in San Francisco. This eventually became craigslist and now helps many. He is an advisor and board member of many nonprofit organizations and started Craigslist Foundation and This “evil” man supports veterans, education, volunteerism, open government and many more including…journalistic integrity and fact checking. Hmmm….wonder why he’s passionate about fact checking?!?! Bottom line, to all of you who sit in the cheap seats and judge, or fan a page when you’re not a fan just so you can gripe, please don’t.  If you used the time you took making your crappy comment into doing something nice, the world would be a much better place.  Oh, and “What do you know?  You’re a crappy fan!  You know I could strike you out, right?”

Jason Kidd Not Only Wins With The Mavericks, He Wins With The Kids.

Watching the NBA playoffs this week, I was reminded about an article I read a few years back about Jason Kidd.

The article by was about Jason purchasing a new home in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  Or was it?  I remember having mixed feelings and being a little confused on the purpose after reading it.  And reading it again.

Were they trying to inform me about his new high priced home, the abuse allegations and anger management classes from 7 years prior, his new contract $$ with the Dallas Mavericks, or his management company Boulevard Management and their high profile celebrity clients, including Shaquille O’Neil and Barbara Streisand?  Huh?

So what did I come away with?  Jason Kidd bought a huge, expensive home in Paradise Valley.  Remember Jason? He played for the local Phoenix Suns, maybe beat his wife, makes a lot of money, has a high profile management company, and has played on a few other basketball teams.  Oh, and he didn’t want to comment on this article when we contacted him. Really?  I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t want to comment on all of that.

Let me be perfectly clear.  I DO NOT support or condone abuse of any kind and we partner with nonprofit organizations that help and empower survivors of domestic violence.  I do not know Jason or what happened in his marriage 10 years ago, but this is what I do know.

Jason Kidd started The Jason Kidd Foundation in 1996.  They provide homeless and underprivileged kids with tools they need to succeed through mentoring, tutoring, and technology programs.  Some of the organizations they support are Northern Light School, Vogel Alcove, and Kipp Truth Academy.  For every assist that he gives in the regular and post-season, he donates $100 to the Jason Kidd Foundation.  Jason received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award during his 2009-2010 season with the Dallas Mavericks for his charitable and philanthropic efforts in the community.

Jason, next time you’re looking to buy or sell property, call us at Brokers for Charity.  The press may focus less on the crystal chandeliers, money you make, and past abuse allegations and more on the thousands of commission dollars going to The Jason Kidd Foundation and the causes you support.  Kudos to you, Jason on your philanthropy and congratulations on your NBA National Championship!


The Spark: Combining Real Estate and Giving To Nonprofit Organizations

If you see me at the grocery store, you will more often see me talking to myself rather than shopping for salad dressing.  ”Ok, I need this and what about this and, oh that’s right, don’t forget, you can’t forget this time…” know… Add to the tornado of thoughts the addition of something I don’t normally shop for: salad dressing.  I can never make salad like I order in the restaurant, so I just don’t do it. But, for some reason on this day I was looking for Italian dressing and had no clue was was “good” dressing.  Being the overly analytical shopper that I am, I started looking at labels, carbs, blah, blah, blah and noticed that Newman’s Own donated their profits to charity.  So I threw it in my cart, and figured that if anyone complained I could chalk it up to the greater giving good and that would shut them up!  I continued to talk to myself, but then realized that I was also skipping with a huge smile while pushing my cart.  SO not a good combo while talking to yourself at the grocery store.  Noticing that there could be a potential issue with the local police pepartment, I stopped to re-group.

Why the skipping?  I’m much more of a tomboy than a skipper!  How cool that I could buy something and it gave back.  Pick A and they keep all the profits and pick B and WOW, look, I may have saved a whole country…..start skipping!!!!  Ok, so I must admit that following my euphoria of my dressing purchase I got a bit pissed that there weren’t more ways I could give back.  Probably not a great word to use if you’re starting a new company, which I didn’t know I was.  I wondered why I couldn’t do this everywhere I shopped?  That’s just WRONG!

So like a bullhorn over the loud speaker in the store, I hear my dad saying at my frustrastion “you don’t have the right to bitch about it if you’re not willing to do something to change it.” And again, he was right!

And so it goes after years and lawyers, and tigers and bears, with every real estate transaction in the US and Canada, 10% can to your favorite nonprofit!

So back to Dad’s voice in my head, “put up, or shut-up.”  I’ve never been so good at the shut-up, so now we have Brokers for Charity.


Playing for Change - Changing the World Through Music

A few years back, I remember seeing a viral video of a group of musicians performing “Stand by Me.” It was one of those rare moments that you feel something grab you, take you in, and you lose all sense of anything or anyone around you. As moving as this performance is, the story behind it and the continuing journey, are even more amazing. Please turn up your volume and enjoy:This was the first single from Playing for Change, a multi-media charity art project of Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke. What began as a project to record musicians from around the world and to share their music with the world, sprouted a movement to give back to these musician’s communities through The Playing for Change Foundation.

Last fall I had the opportunity to see the Playing for Change concert at the Musical Instrument Museum and attend an educational session on their journey with Co-Founder Mark Johnson.  I was excited to hear first-hand of how his idea evolved into such an incredible movement.  I honestly didn’t think the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck could stand up for a full 2 hours, but evidently, they can.  It was truly overwhelming listening to his inspiring journey, seeing the sparkle in his eyes and hearing the passion in his voice.  The only thing missing from this learning session was a box of much-needed tissues.  You’ll see the sparkle and hear the passion in this short clip of Mark

To date, Playing for Change Foundation has created 7 music programs, 130 jobs and have 600 students attending music programs they started throughout the world.  With their “mission to ensure that anyone with the desire to receive a music education would have the opportunity to do so,” I have no doubt that if anyone can do it, Playing for Change and their Playing for Change Foundation can!


Brokers for Charity donates to the nonprofit of your choice when you buy or sell real estate.  Providing a new way for you to support your favorite cause —- without spending money through residential and commercial real estate referrals in the US and Canada.

How Brokers for Charity works: When a business or consumer wants buy or sell a property in the US or Canada, they provide Brokers for Charity with their criteria and they are paired with a qualified broker. When their transaction closes, Brokers for Charity makes a donation to the nonprofit of the client’s choice. The donation is 10% of the referred agent’s commission. For example, on a $400,000 transaction if the agent’s commission were 3%, or $12,000, Brokers for Charity would donate $1,200 to the chosen 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

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For more details visit Brokers for Charity or call 1-888-501-GIVE (4483)