Posts Tagged 'giving'

11 gifts you can give without spending time or a dime on Black Friday


Black Friday as a concept is crazy to me. I don’t get it. Why do we put so much priority on giving material gifts as opposed to gifts that actually mean something. And the fact that Black Friday now starts on Thursday absolutely chaps my ass. I will not be participating in this atrocity and hope it goes away even faster than it came about.

Not being one to simply point out problems, I also have given some thought to potential solutions. Here is a list of “gifts” you can give that you can not purchase during a Black Friday Sale (even if you started camping out last week like some people have):

10. Form a Photo album- With the sheer amount of photos we have of each other on our phones, on Facebook and in old envelopes, this should be a no-brainer. Pick out some good ones and make a small book. Nothing brings smiles to people’s faces like photos of time gone past that was worth remembering.

9. Orchestrate a Mix tape- Yes, I’m that old that I still call them mix tapes. You can make a mix disk, or a playlist if you’re fancy. Whatever the case, take some of your favorite music, and even better, music that you both love and share it. Music is such a great way to bond and with this shared gift, you will be able to bond again and again.

8. Plant a tree- This is good for the environment and it’s great for creating memories. As an added bonus, it becomes the gift that keeps on giving as you nurture it and watch it grow.

7. Make a meal- It doesn’t have to be turkey with all the trimmings, it could be as simple as scrambled eggs with cheese (thanks to my lovely daughter for making that on my birthday last week). You will quickly notice a theme in the post, even the execution of these gifts is less important than the intent behind them.

6. Create a Collage- Take some of those pictures off of Facebook, or leaves from the yard, or other personal items that you have collected with your loved one(s) and arrange them on a large piece of construction paper. The story it tells doesn’t matter as long as it shares one about shared experiences.

5. Write or play a song- Don’t know how? Sweet, you’re like many other “Youtube sensations”. Just put together some words, make a nice melody and let it rip. Can’t play an instrument? No worries, sing it acapella. Sometimes, funny is good.

4. Give a Massage- Certainly not appropriate for everyone on your gift-giving list, but for those who are, few things say I care more than some quality touching. (note to self, not all massages with your spouse have to end in sex. They should, but they don’t have to)

3. Create Art- I can’t draw, sing, play an instrument, paint, make sculptures or pretty much anything else that seems artistic, but I can write some cheesy poetry. And you know what? That’s a form of art too. Whatever you’ve got, will be enough to brighten someone’s day.

2. Be of Service- Make a “date” to go do something nice for someone else. This could be a night at the soup kitchen or reading a story at the elderly care home or coaching a little league team. Whatever you do make sure it involves more than just you. Extra points if you can recruit some of your friends/family to serve with you.

1.5 Gift some Donations- What a wonderful way to leave a legacy…give to something bigger than you and the person you are giving to. You both win in this scenario.

1. Be generous with your Time- By far the most important one on the list. This is the only thing that you have to offer that is truly a finite resource. Give people the gift of you. Turn off your phone, computer or whatever else and actually BE with them.

What gifts will you be giving this year that can’t be bought and are uniquely you?

What gift would you hope to receive?

Wouldn’t it be nice to get back to love??

Enjoy your friends, family and other loved ones this holiday season. In related news, be nice to one another 😉

Digital New You #DNY Be of Service to Others- the non-profit edition


Did you ever read the book “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman? Without giving it all away I can tell you that a “Guru” comes into Dan’s life and helps him change his ways to a more profound and meaningful existence. Dan met the Guru who was working at a gas station of all places. Dan asks him if you’re so great and knowledgeable, then why do you work at a gas station. The man replied, it’s a service station. And the most important thing in this life is to be of service to others.

There was this pretty hip cat who lived around 2,000 years ago who shared the same philosophy. Too bad so many continually miss the point.

And maybe it’s not about missing the point. Maybe people just aren’t sure how to help?? I have heard this before. People want to get engaged…they just don’t know how, when or where. Let me break it down for you.

Find a CAUSE (not a business, or other opportunity) about which you are passionate. Maybe it’s school supplies for children (help our friends at Operation: Kid Equip). Maybe you like tearing down blighted houses (check out Blightbusters) or maybe you’re into animals. So many shelters have way too many potential pets. If you can’t work at one, maybe you can foster? And there’s so many “green” opportunities for you environmentally friendly types…

It doesn’t matter what you’re into. Pick something and then figure out how to become a part of it.

You have three things you can give:

  • Time- Volunteer. Give some of your time. Join your organization in their quest to make the world better.
  • Money- Help them fund their initiatives. I haven’t met a non-profit yet who said “We have too much money”.
  • Connections- Introduce your cause to your network. The more the merrier.

Most every organization out there will be glad to take any or all of those three from you. All you have to do is reach out to them and let them know you wish to help. They have volunteer coordinators for those who give time just like they have financial coordinators for those who wish to give money.

And please don’t kid yourself by thinking “I’m just one person. What difference can I make”. Like the movie “The Lorax” said: “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not”. You can be the difference maker IF and when you CHOOSE to be.

I will write an entire piece on the value you will receive by being of service at another time. In the meantime, suffice it to say that those who give, receive. There are universal laws that work on your behalf to assure this is true. Additionally, really good people serve non-profits so you’re likely to meet some new folks you like.

Is there a non-profit you support that you wish to share here?

How did you pick that one?

What’s your favorite way to give back?


Operation: #FloodOKE with drop off locations for 7/17

We are doing a “replenish” the school supplies Operation: Kid Equip lost in a flood on July 10 and we need your help.

This link has a list of locations where we will be accepting donations on Wednesday, July 17:

If you know people who have children on free/reduced lunch programs in and around Detroit this is very important.

Please show your support!

Thank you!!

Operation: Kid Equip press release for Operation: #floodOKE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 Media Contacts:


                                                                                              – Terry Bean




Operation: #floodOKE is a Multi-Location School Supply Fundraiser Planned to Replace Supplies Lost in Flood

Community Bands Together to Support Non-Profit that Serves

Close to 100,000 Detroit Area Children

DETROIT, Mich — July 12, 2013

On July 10, 2013 Menachem Kniespeck, Founder of Operation: Kid Equip ( walked into the HQ like it was any normal day. That changed the in an instant. “The minute I walked through the door and I put my foot on the floor it just went, squish!” said Kniespeck. Tens of thousands of dollars in donated school supplies ruined.  The biggest problem is that their insurance covers everything but donated items.


Instead of volunteers spending their Wednesday getting ready for upcoming multiple distributions of school supplies, they spent their day ripping up carpet and throwing out water soaked things like papers and books. 

Operation: Kid Equip exists to make sure children have the school supplies they need when their parents can’t afford to buy them. Since their inception in 2006, Operation: Kid Equip has distributed tens of thousands of backpacks filled with the basic necessities: pens, notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers and more to well over 100,000 needy students in the Detroit metro area.

The organization relies on donations, and has great success attracting many corporate partners. This year the shelves were stocked and volunteers were ready to distribute the supplies. But the weather combined with a plugged outdoor drain system had different plans.  “Sometimes if something gets wet it can get moldy, we don’t want to pass out anything to the kids that could potentially make them sick,” said Kniespeck.

So now this wonderful organization is looking to create a significant grassroots movement to replace non-usable supplies. In partnership with some local organizations, Stay & Play Social Club, and Motor City Connect, Operation: Kid Equip looks to replace what is lost. It is being referred to as Operation: #floodOKE so it is identifiable on social networks.

“The idea is pretty simple,” said Stephanie Puertas, Founder of Stay & Play Social Club, “we want to show the world just how resilient, fun-loving and giving Detroiters really are. So we decided to setup a multi-location event next Wednesday, July 17, where people will be encouraged to donate supplies and grab a drink.”

“It was a real easy decision to support the work Operation: Kid Equip is doing” said David Phillips of “They make a positive impact in so many people’s lives. It just seemed like the right thing to do”.

At the time of the writing of this press release seven establishments had agreed to participate: The first is O’Toole’s in Royal Oak. Donations will be accepted Sunday, July 14 from 12:00-7 pm. The following locations will be accepting donations on Wednesday, July 17 from 6-9. Shark Club in Waterford, Rosie O’Grady’s in Ferndale, Shields Pizza in Southfield, Red Ox in both Auburn Hills and Utica and Main Street Billiards in Rochester. On Thursday, July 18 donations will be accepted at the Black Finn in Royal Oak. We anticipate that other locations will also be accepting donations throughout the week. Follow Operation: Kid Equip on their Facebook page for the most up to date info:

Here is a list of supplies that can be picked up at Meijer, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target or wherever you would find school supplies: Crayons (16- or 24-packs), Pencils, Pens, Markers (washable), Scissors (blunt-tip), Rulers, Glue Sticks, Spiral Notebooks, Copy Paper, Erasers, Backpacks

Operation: Kid Equip is a 501(c)3 with a passion for giving children the tools they need to succeed in life. If you would like to donate directly to Operation: Kid Equip, you can do so on their website: You can also learn more about the organization there.




Bob Burg will Present “Endless Referrals The Go-Giver Way” near Detroit 6/26

Whether you’re just getting into networking or have been doing it longer than I have (18 years and counting) Bob Burg is bound to teach you some new techniques. I am extremely excited to be bringing this gem of a man back to the Detroit area again for a morning presentation on June 26.

You can learn more about this event by clicking HERE.

Want to buy tickets, click HERE.

10 Things Effective Networkers Know

1.  They show up ready to network.  It doesn’t really matter if you are
networking online or face to face, you have to show up.
2.  They realize the importance of being interested over being
interesting.  Networking isn’t about whats in it for me, it about what
can i do for you.

3.  They ask good questions.  The reality is you dont really get to
know about people until you start asking them questions about them.

4.  They have excellent listening skills.  Listening is vital to any
conversation, but in networking if you aren’t listening to the person
to whom you are speaking, you will not be able to help them.

5.  They are interested in helping others.  Without a healthy interest
in the well being of others, networking will be a total waste of your

6.  They know that in order to receive, they have to give.  Theres an
old maxim in networking, “givers get”.  Its fascinating to see how
both your network and the universe go out of the way to make sure that
those who give also get to receive.

7.  They have an excellent memory (or at the very least a solid
database).  If you are an active networker, you will meet lots of
people.  You need to keep track of who needs what and who can address
those needs.

8.  They make connections.  They take the time to properly introduce
the folks they know to the people they need to meet.

9.  They stay visible to their network.  Whether its following up with
a person they just met or maintaining a regular level of communication
with those they already know, they make sure their network hears from

10.  They do what they said they would do.  Good networkers know their
reputation is very valuable so they treat it as such.  They show up
when they say they will and make the calls at the right time too.