September 21, 2020

Making my “stitch”

Filed under: communications — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

I admit to having a feeling of powerlessness as I watched the recent news of racial injustice unfold. That is, until I watched a Wethos talk on how to establish an anti-racist workplace featuring diversity educator, speaker, and trainer Susan X. Jane.

In her talk, Susan explains that we are knitting a giant sweater: each of us can only make one stitch, so you must focus on a stitch that will make it stronger. This beautifully put everything into perspective for me: I don’t have to try to make a monumental change, I can start small, choose something I’m good at, and make my “stitch.”

As I’ve watched multiple talks and webinars over the last few months, taken notes and tweeted my takeaways, I quickly realized my “stitch” is collecting and sharing resources—something I’m passionate about in general.

I’m starting by curating a list of organizations who are making a change for racial equity (including many of my clients) as well as sharing my takeaways from related talks and webinars. I will keep adding resources as I go along in the hopes of bringing more awareness, as well as helping others in their journey.


February 11, 2020

RECAP: #GivingTuesday 2019 Impact Report

Filed under: communications — lidia @ 10:00 am

#GivingTuesday first started in 2012 with the mission to inspire collective action towards improving communities and creating real change. Since then, the movement has done just that—igniting acts of kindness, both big and small, all over the world.

This year’s Impact Report gives an overview of #GivingTuesday 2019, showing how “when people demonstrate generosity collectively, they can create real and systemic change.”

Here are key takeaways from the report: 

Giving made a real difference

On #GivingTuesday 2019, PALTOWN Development Foundation, a nonprofit that provides online support groups to empower cancer patients (and comprised of only two members), raised 25% of its operating budget. 

Crisis Text Line, a nonprofit that help texters from self-harm, signed up thousands of volunteer crisis counselors on #GivingTuesday.

Food4Thought spent #GivingTuesday—and every other Tuesday in 2019—feeding the homeless and providing them with clothing and toiletries. 

There were measurable results

  • $511 million was donated online 
  • $1.46 billion was donated offline
  • 27 million people participated (13.5 million donated and 7.6 million volunteered)
  • 60 movements within the U.S.
  • 400+ community movements worldwide
  • 20.1 billion social media impressions worldwide.
  • 13% of the entire U.S. population participated in #GivingTuesday.

Records were broken in 2019

#GivingTuesday has continued to grow. In 2019, online giving increased by 28%, donations made online increased to $4.3 million (from $3.8 million in 2018), and average donation size increased to $119 (from from $105 in 2018).

People shared stories from around the world

In Portugal, the city of Chicco donated a baby basket filled with diapers, blankets, and other baby items to mothers that gave birth on December 3rd (“GivingTuesday babies”)

On #GivingTuesday in Liberia, leaders found volunteers to donate their wedding dresses to women that had lost their wedding photos. The leaders then organized a photoshoot so women could rebuild those lost memories. 

Organizations came together to make a bigger impact

Community campaigns within the U.S. have increased by 57%. In 2019, there was a new trend in which multiple organizations came together to fundraise and split the donations equally. Supporters liked this trend because it allowed them to donate to a cause, not just an organization. 

Kids got involved in giving

On December 3, 2019, kids from over 32 countries participated in afterschool acts of kindness and generosity through #GivingTuesdayKids

In Ukraine, students raised money for a local cancer hospital by organizing a school-wide fair that involved a bake sale and other hands-on giving activities. 

Brazilian child superstar, Isabella Casarini, led a social media movement to encourage kids to share their acts of kindness within their community.

It’s not too early to prepare for this year

It’s never too early to start thinking about your #GivingTuesday campaign. As you prepare for this year’s campaign, here are some tips from my series on branding and marketing your #GivingTuesday campaign: 

February 1, 2012

The Month of Letters Challenge: can you send a letter a day this month?

Filed under: communications,handwritten — Tags: , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

As most of you know, I love cards. I love designing them, I love sending them, and I especially receiving them. So when I heard about the Month of Letters Challenge via twitter, I was intrigued.

Author Mary Robinette Kowal started the Month of Letters Challenge, which begins today, as a response to “taking an internet vacation” last year. She replaced her electronic correspondence exclusively with mail correspondence and was pleased with the outcome.

Your Month of Letters assignment:

  1. In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.
  2. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.

I plan to do this as successfully as possible—given the fact that I have a busy graphic design business and a 6-month old baby with boundless energy. If anything, I love the fact that it has me scanning the calendar for upcoming birthdays and thinking about who else I can send a card or note to. I hope I get some cards back too!

So, who’s with me? Let me know and let’s exchange cards!

February 22, 2011

Book Review: 365 Thank Yous

Filed under: Book review,communications — Tags: , , — lidia @ 9:32 am

After hearing it mentioned in a segment on the CBS Evening News about writing thank you cards, I was compelled to pick up a copy of the memoir, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik.

After reaching a low point in his life, the author decides to focus on the positive: writing a thank you note every day for a year.

Written as a series of anecdotes followed by corresponding thank you notes, the book is a quick, uplifting read. As you follow the changes that occur in the author’s life, you observe the power of gratitude in a way that is both remarkable and inspiring.

Being a longtime fan of thank you notes, I can relate to the author’s experience with how expressing gratitude changes your mood. How can you be angry when you’re feeling grateful?

I think this is a must-read for everyone. Imagine how much happier we would be if we took time to express our gratitude to everyone who touched our lives? And not just business associates, but old friends, doctors, store owners, even your favorite barista. Perhaps not all of us can achieve the author’s lofty goal of one thank you note a day—but how about one a week, one a month?

Give it a try and see what happens.

Share your own comments about how writing thank you notes has changed your life.