Thursday, April 22, 2010

Give This New Year Away #29 - Say YES to the kid's fundraisers

Spring is the time of renewal; grass greening, trees budding, flowers growing.

It is also a time when we begin to see more fundraising efforts from kids (much like fall)
Personally I have seen a couple in recent weeks…Girl Scout Cookie tables at the grocery store (which I have a love for since my oldest daughter is a 5th grade Jr. Girl Scout) and Little League Baseball candy bar sales.

I know a lot of times we get annoyed with the number of these selling opportunities we see, and it may seem like we are getting bombarded. Please remember one thing (especially those of you without children) lots of times, these fundraisers are required or necessary. Many Little League organizations require players to sell a certain amount of candy (don’t blame the kids)

Though we can’t say yes to every single one of these (unless you just won the $258 million Powerball), consider saying yes to at least a few. IF you can’t buy, don’t just blow the kids off. Stop for a moment, find out more about what the kids are selling and if you can’t buy, respectfully decline.

Also…now is the time that more and more charity run/walks and events pop up. Pick one or two (especially if they are presented by family or friends) and consider offering some financial support. Even a $5 or $10 pledge can make a difference.

I know first hand how rough things can be financially, but one or two dollars here or there to benefit a group or organization is much more important that that bottle of soda, bag of chips or cup of over priced coffee is!

**Special note to those of you with kids that do a lot of fundraising activities: remember the people that buy from you. If someone that has bought from you comes around selling something…make an effort to purchase from them. Personally this gets a little tough for our family (considering how many Girl Scout cookies and Cub Scout wreaths have been sold by my kids) but we do our best. It’s not a one way street!

Posted via web from From the mind of Jon Kurozawa

Give This New Year Away #28 - Work on cleaning up your neighborhood/community #EarthDay

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day when we are all supposed to remember the amazing resource we have been given with our planet and do what we can to protect it and save it.

One of the easiest way we can do something to help it to look right at home, in our yards, neighborhoods and immediate communities. One of the things our family loves to do (when the weather cooperates) if go for a walk around our neighborhood.

Take a half hour or more today to do the same…go for a walk. But along with doing this, bring a couple plastic grocery bags with you. If you see some trash, pick it up.

This may seem like a small mundane task, but if each of my 1,000+ followers on Twitter, 500+ friends on Facebook all did this, then encouraged all of their friends…pretty soon we have thousands of people all over the country taking a walk and cleaning up.

Go a step further, get a group together…from work, church or anywhere you participate. Find a local park to clean up. Go into a neighborhood that needs help. Go along a river and cleanup.

Do your kids play soccer, baseball…participate in scouting? Get those groups involved too.

Lots of simple little ways that we can make an impact. And of course there is always Reduce, Reuse and Recycle…the 3 R’s of making our planet a little better.
April 22nd is Earth Day, but let’s make everyday of the year Earth Day

Posted via web from From the mind of Jon Kurozawa

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Give This New Year Away #27 - Volunteer your time and talent with Junior Achievement

When I was first approached 6 years ago about volunteering for Junior Achievement, I flashbacked to when I was in 6th grade and meeting once a week in the evening and working on building a business with other students. I had positive memories of the experience but didn't think I had much to offer.
In the 20+ years since I was first involved on that level, Junior Achievement has changed and dramatically improved. Now the JA programs is geared towards grades K-12, with in classroom programming and activities that teach kids business and economic principles, entrepreneurship and important skills needed in the business world.

All of this is great, but it cannot be done without volunteers. I have personally volunteered in classrooms from Kindergarten all the way up to high school and have realized how easy the program is for volunteers. One hour per week, 5-10 weeks (depending on the grade level) and all the materials and curriculum are provided for you.
No matter what field of work you are in, you can bring personal experiences with you to share with the kids.
Kids of all ages love to hear stories of where people work and what they do...especially if it is something that they have never heard of.
It's not that hard to volunteer that one hour per to your boss and maybe you can get a team of people from your company to do it.
You will not regret the time you spend helping build the future leaders of our great country.
For more information on Junior Achievement (in Wisconsin) please visit