<![CDATA[See beautiful™ - Blog]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:18:27 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Kids Boost]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:14:11 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/kids-boostAnyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.
— Christine Todd Whitman
Just because kids are small does not mean they are not able to make a difference  and create beautiful in the world. In fact, children see beautiful in their own unique way. By giving kids the chance to follow their own ideas about how to create beautiful, Kids Boost helps build confidence in kids and invests in their creative ideas to positively impact a cause they are passionate about.
 
It works like this: A donation is made to Kids Boost (that’s where you come in!), and a child chooses a cause that is meaningful to him or her. With coaching provided by Kids Boost’s awesome coaches and some start up funds for the kids, the child is able to carry out their idea. The start-up funds are the launching point for the idea, which then earns more money and awareness for the charity or cause the child has chosen to support. Eighty percent of the child’s earnings go directly to the charity, while the remaining twenty percent go back to Kids Boost to help pay forward the good work they are doing.
In the words of Kristen Stock, Kids Boost founder, “I’ve learned that kids of all ages have the innate need and desire to do something great in the world. I’ve also learned that adults don’t always give kids enough credit. Kids are capable of so much; they just need the opportunity and the support.”
 
With Kristen’s dedication and passionate spirit, Kids Boost has grown from supporting three kids to fifty, and has helped kids earn more than $50,000 for a host of deserving charities. Nudging forward with a big dream to encourage kindness, self-confidence, and generosity in kids, Kids Boost has already had a huge, multi-layered impact to those lucky enough to enjoy its successes.
With a waiting list of 75, the demand and interest from kids to create beautiful exceeds the current resources. As a See Beautiful Milestone Grant recipient, even more kids will be able to sign on with Kids Boost. We are thrilled to support Kids Boost and the wonderful kids who aren’t afraid to not only dream big, but to also take the action to help make others’ dreams come true, too.

Author

Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator

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<![CDATA[Love Beyond Walls]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 13:13:18 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/love-beyond-walls
In 2016 Terence Lester, co-founder of Love Beyond Walls, walked 648 miles from Atlanta, Georgia to Washington D.C. to be a voice for people living in poverty. Beyond a voice, the goal was to lift them above the status of poverty and bring together a community of you and I to become part of the story of empowerment, light and love.
This year, Love Beyond Walls Documentary, Voiceless, will be released and we are honored that the $1000 See Beautiful Milestone Grant will be used to create a workbook used alongside the film to deepen conversation, move to action, and create more beautiful in the lives of those experiencing poverty. People experiencing poverty are often some of the most vulnerable, yet most worthy of love and kindness - two things that we are ever-free to give and cost nothing.

​Together we can use our voices and we are honored walk alongside you, Love Beyond Walls.

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<![CDATA[How to Lead a Successful Giving Initiative]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:28:18 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/how-to-lead-a-successful-giving-initiativeReflections from your Giving Coordinator...

As Giving Coordinator, my role is to support our incredible Giving Initiative recipients. I help them every step of the way to create a successful online Giving Initiative campaign and ultimately get funded (the best part!). It’s so fulfilling and inspiring to work with folks doing the heavy lifting in their organizations every day. The truth is they do most of the work, and I am there to keep them moving forward and help lift that weight just a bit.

But, recently, I had the unique opportunity to witness a Giving Initiative from the organization's perspective. Through my connection with the Junior League of Greenville (SC), I helped to launch a See Beautiful Giving Initiative to fundraise for the Greenville Cancer Survivors Park. It was rewarding to see these two areas of my life come together for good.
I learned a lot about what makes a successful Giving Initiative. Here are three keys to a victory:

Buy-in from your organization
Since I work intimately with the Giving Initiatives, obviously I understand how it works. But, a See Beautiful Giving Initiative is a bit of an out-of-the-box fundraising idea. So, it’s important that your organizational leaders understand what the Giving Initiative is, how it works, and what the organization’s role is in the process. As the Giving Coordinator, I can help with this! In fact, we created a Giving Guide to help further explain and demonstrate exactly this. This is a great tool to share with your team.

This may be most relevant to larger organizations, but it’s also important that leadership is on board with promoting the Giving Initiative through social media channels, newsletters, etc. Although See Beautiful helps to promote for you, it also takes promotion on the organizational side to be successful. Which brings me to my next point...

A plan to promote the initiative
The key here is to utilize your existing communication or fundraising channels. Do you have a large newsletter list? Let’s send out a newsletter highlighting the Giving Initiative. Is Instagram your thing? That’s where you want to promote it. We’ve even helped to create a Youtube video for an organization that has an engaged and active Youtube following. In-person events can work well, too.

Formulate a plan ahead of time or early in the process, and go for it! Of course, you’re not alone in this. As your Giving Coordinator, I’m here to support you.
Persistence and follow-through
There’s great momentum with the launch of a Giving Initiative, but as time moves on, that momentum may begin to fade. Don’t worry! I’ll be here to keep you moving and motivated, but it also takes follow-through on your part. I know it can feel like one more thing, but if you commit to taking one action per week, you will see funding results quickly, which will, in turn, keep you more motivated to see it through to the end!

Then comes the best moment of all. That moment when See Beautiful gets to tell an organization they are FUNDED! And you get to see the hard work pay off through beautiful projects in action.

For our funded Giving Initiative friends, do you have any other tips?

Author

Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator

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<![CDATA[Roots and Wings]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:54:33 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/roots-and-wingsMany years ago I asked my young children what two things they needed from their parents. They said ‘food and money.’ I told them ‘roots and wings.’ My goal in pledging 99% of my assets to philanthropy is to help others with roots—food, warmth, shelter, healthcare, education—so they too can have wings.
-Judy Faulkner
You may remember this quote from the blog post about the Giving Pledge, but the concept of roots and wings is one worth exploring and discussing more deeply. Although roots and wings may not be the first words that come to mind when we think about how to meet the needs of others, upon reflection, it makes perfect sense. Without a solid foundation on which to stand, it’s difficult for an individual to take flight, to be able to care for himself, and ultimately to find her own gifts to share with the world.

It is for this idea of building firm roots to allow others to find their wings that See Beautiful emphasizes sustainability in our Giving Initiatives. What does this mean exactly? It means that the impact of the Giving Initiative is felt beyond the sum of the funding. It means that the community and individuals in it grow in their capacity to meet their own needs. And it means that See Beautiful becomes a small part of a path toward empowerment.

There are so many examples of sustainable projects, and here are just a few.
As was shared in a recent blogpost, Mavuno providing technical training to peer-selected individuals exemplifies a sustainable solution. Funds are used in a way that will continue to positively impact the community.
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Mavuno
See Beautiful’s partnership with How Global helped Kenyan families purchase goats to start small businesses.
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How Global
With the support of See Beautiful and Kula Project, an entire community of women were able to purchase land and coffee trees to create a lasting business and income for their families.
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Kula Project
This short list only scratches the surface. Read more fantastic success stories to see the range of sustainable organizations and projects See Beautiful has helped to support. And get a dose of inspiration while you’re at it.

Author

Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator

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<![CDATA[Giving in Action: Autism Breakthrough of Knoxville]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:21:38 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/giving-in-action-autism-breakthrough-of-knoxvilleFounded by a group of parents, Autism Breakthrough of Knoxville provides support and services for adults with autism and their families. Breakthrough’s services include a residential community and respite and recreation opportunities, as well as individualized services unique to the participant. First and foremost, Breakthrough strives to build and nurture a community of support and friendships. So much beautiful happening there.
Judi Brookshire, the Chair of the Board of Directors, shares her thoughtful personal account partnering with See Beautiful:
My husband and I first met See Beautiful Founder Lydia Criss-Mays when she was a student at the University of Tennessee. She came to us having agreed to help with our son who was diagnosed with autism and had a significant history of behavioral issues. My husband had his doubts given Lydia’s slight stature compared to that of our son (6”8” tall and stout). I could tell from the first day, however, she was an answer to our many prayers for help in what was a very difficult and trying time not only for us but also our son. She worked hands-on with Luke for several years. Lydia was one of those special people who was destined to devote her life to improving the lives of others, particularly children and the disadvantaged. It came as no surprise to us that she founded an organization like See Beautiful with its simply stated but wonderful mission.

See Beautiful has and continues to provide an amazing amount of support for Autism Breakthrough of Knoxville, a residential community with supported living, community and employment opportunities, and socialization services to help adults with autism be as successful as possible. The community includes several homes and apartments in a neighborhood setting for its residents encouraging the development of living skills, independence, and opportunities for the development of friendships and independence. The people Breakthrough serves can choose to live in the neighborhood or other locations in the Knoxville community. Breakthrough was founded by a group of parents who recognized there were no opportunities for their children with autism once they aged out of the school system.

See Beautiful has helped Breakthrough in every step of its existence including the first programs offered before the residential community existed, our Saturday Respite and Recreation Program. See Beautiful has continued to provide support for numerous employment and community programs. Appropriately, the first home to open in the Breakthrough neighborhood in 2008 is named after See Beautiful founders, Lydia and Andrew Mays. In the community, it is affectionately known as “the Mays House.” I can’t adequately express how much Breakthrough appreciates the mission and generosity of See Beautiful and how thankful and proud we are to have to have Lydia and See Beautiful in our lives.
Thanks, Judi, for your willingness to share! And See Beautiful is beyond thankful and proud to have Breakthrough as part of the family.

Author

Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator

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<![CDATA[Giving in Action: Mavuno]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:41:37 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/giving-in-action-mavunoIt’s hard not to be instantly inspired by the mission of Mavuno: ending extreme poverty in Eastern Congo by focusing on empowering villagers. Through leadership, training, and people-focuses solutions, Mavuno helps individuals make an impact in their own communities. This sustainable, life-giving approach is right in line with what See Beautiful is about.
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The Mavuno agronomist provides technical training to community members who have been chosen by their peers as agriculture monitors for a growing season, representing our model of community-driven development, with technical assistance and mobilization from Congolese staff.
As a Giving Initiative partner, Mavuno and See Beautiful worked together to raise money to provide training for an Eastern Congo community to build latrines. Here’s what our friends at Mavuno had to say about the Giving Initiative:
Mavuno initially connected with See Beautiful through a simple Instagram comment. Since then, See Beautiful has turned into one of our most valuable and aligned partnerships. Lydia and her team worked with us to build an effective (and rapidly successful) campaign that will fund the construction of several latrines in rural communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where we are based. Beyond that, the See Beautiful team has continually demonstrated a passion for continued involvement in our cause. No other grantmaking organization we've worked with has been so invested in our vision in such a personal way. We're proud to be a part of the See Beautiful family. There's nothing quite like it!
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The sanitation project that See Beautiful funded has yet to be constructed, but here’s a photo of a latrine in another village similar to the one that will be built with See Beautiful funding.

Author

Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator

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<![CDATA[How to Nourish Yourself]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:04:37 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/how-to-nourish-yourself“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
Maya Angelou
Sometimes it’s easier to give than to ask for help. If you’re constantly in giving mode, you may not pause to think about what you need. But, if you neglect to care for yourself, you may quickly find yourself on the road to burnout. And that’s no good for anybody!

Here are five ways to nourish and replenish yourself when you’ve given what seems like more than you possibly can give.
1. Get back to basics. Some of the most important aspects of caring for yourself are often the first to get when you get overwhelmed or busy. Sleep, proper nutrition, breath, movement, and water.  A good night’s sleep can do wonders for a weary body or mind. Eat three meals a day. Get a little exercise if possible. Remember that the body needs breath and water to function at full capacity. The simple act of taking a few deep breaths and drinking a glass of water can provide some needed energy and replenishment.
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Photo used with permission courtesy of Unsplash.com
2. Ask for help. What can you get off of your plate today that someone else can support? Most people want to be helpful but may not know exactly what to do, so be specific. If you’re in a position to delegate, then do it! If not, cash in on a favor, or offer to buy a colleague a cup of coffee if they help proofread that report. At home, ask your partner to stop at the grocery or make dinner.
3. Take a break. This might just be as simple as taking a five minute mental break. Or, maybe you need a vacation! This goes back to asking for what you need and of course, being able to recognize what you need. In order to reveal what you need the most, pause to listen to yourself and your body.
4. Do something you love to do. Take a hike. Grab a cup of coffee with a friend. Read a book, or go dancing. Spending time doing what you truly love will help reignite your motivation to keep going.
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Photo used with permission courtesy of Unsplash.com
5. Let it go. When all else fails, don’t be afraid to let something go if you need to. Is this a life or death situation? If not, sure, you may let someone down, but sometimes your well being has to come first. Let it go and move on.

Author

Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator

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<![CDATA[´╗┐Make Giving Even More Fun]]>Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:31:25 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/make-giving-even-more-funGiving is fun! It puts a smile on someone else’s face, spreads love and kindness, and allows dreams to come true. That’s enough of a reason to give. But, sometimes you have to spice it up a little bit to keep the motivation flowing. Make giving even more fun by turning it into a game while still doing good.

Family Dinner Games

Bring something special to a typical family dinner with a Family Giving Dinner. The Family Dinner Project shares some giving-oriented games to not only add a little fun to the dinner table, but to also encourage families to think about and talk about giving and what it means. Print out the free Giving Pledge Mad Lib resource the next time company comes over. You’ll have fun, learn something about one another, and open the door to meaningful conversation.

Free Rice

Every time you get a correct answer when playing the vocabulary game at Free Rice, 10 grains of rice is donated to the World Food Programme. In just a few minutes of spare time, and a few churns of the noggin, you can help feed people who need it. It’s also completely free, since advertisers fund the game. Watch the bowl fill with rice with every right answer.

The Giving Game

Meant to be played on a larger scale at events or at universities, The Giving Game, created by The Life You Can Save, encourages teamwork, communication, and real-life giving. Over the course of the event, the group must work together to determine which charity to give to. It’s a total win-win.

Gamers for Giving

If you’re a serious gamer and giver, check out Gamers for Giving. This yearly tournament held in Michigan unites PC and console gaming enthusiasts for some friendly competition, fun, and charity giving. For two full days full of events and activities, players put on their game faces, all while raising funds for Gamers Outreach charities, such as providing portable gaming devices in children’s hospitals.
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Photo used with permission courtesy of Unsplash.com

Beyond Virtual Reality

The idea of incorporating positive social change into video games is catching on. More than the concept of a donation being made with every Pokemon you capture, for example, this version of gaming for giving requires you to make actual effort and action to advance in the game. You might have to participate in a real-life water conservation activity, or do something related to civic engagement to unlock features or move to the next level.

With a little creativity and a whole lot of heart, game-lovers are creating a mash-up of giving and gaming that brings giving into our everyday lives. Have you participated in game-related giving? Share away!

Author

Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator

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<![CDATA[5 Inspiring Quotes on Giving from The Prophet]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:57:47 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/5-inspiring-quotes-on-giving-from-the-prophetA small book published in 1923, Kahlil Gibran’s work The Prophet has stood the test of time and offered simple guidance to countless readers (almost 2,000,000 copies have been sold of the American edition alone). With a short chapter devoted entirely to the concept of giving, his careful words share some insight into one of See Beautiful’s favorite topics.
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” - Kahlil Gibran
“There are those who give little of the much which they have--and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire to make their gifts unwholesome. And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life, and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.” - Kahlil Gibran
“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.” - Kahlil Gibran
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A reminder of the joy of giving from our friends at Be Glorious
“Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors’.”   - Kahlil Gibran
“You often say, ‘I would give, but only to the deserving.’ The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.” - Kahlil Gibran

Author

Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator

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<![CDATA[Giving in Action: Wyoming Food for Thought Project]]>Mon, 13 Mar 2017 19:00:25 GMThttp://seebeautiful.com/blog/giving-in-action-wyoming-food-for-thought-projectIf you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. Mother Teresa
Luckily for the children and families in the Casper, Wyoming area, Wyoming Food for Thought feeds more than one. As one of our Humanitarian Giving Initiatives, they were able to provide food bags to hungry children. With every purchase you made through See Beautiful that supported WFFT, you helped to feed a child for a weekend. That may not sound like a lot, but for children who don’t have enough to eat, it is everything.

Here’s a great shot of the food bags ready to be delivered.
We are so pleased to share these kind words from our friends at Wyoming Food for Thought:
Wyoming Food for Thought Project exists, first and foremost, to feed our children. But equally as important as nourishing little bodies, our food bags serve as a reminder that these children have not been forgotten. And what more powerful way to show them they are valued than a project supported by strangers across the country through partnership in See Beautiful's Giving Initiatives? The food funded by the See Beautiful Giving Initiative creates real change in our students' lives, allowing them to reach milestones in school, and in their personal lives. 

One teacher told us this story of how a Food for Thought food bag made a sixth-grader's dream a reality this year:

"I have a student in my class who always wanted to be able to have a friend spend the night for his birthday but was never able to because he knew that he "wouldn't have enough food at home to feed his friend too." I will never forget when he told me (with such excitement) that because of the Food for Thought bag he received, he was able to have his best friend over for a birthday sleepover and they ate macaroni and cheese together. He was so thrilled to be able to host a peer. It made my heart sing!"

Support from organizations like See Beautiful allows Wyoming Food for Thought Project to keep our promises to those who rely on us most-- hungry children. On their behalf, we are truly grateful to See Beautiful, and to everyone who bought in to keep their tummies --and hearts-- full this year.
Thank you to everyone who supported WFFT, and of course, thank you to Wyoming Food for Thought Project for all of their hard work. For an added dose of inspiration, read more testimonials from our funded partners.

Author

Jannan Poppen, Giving Coordinator 

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