"As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way." - Mary Ann Radmacher

Spotlight: Kids for Positive Change

We are lucky. We get to know some of the coolest people and projects through our work, and there are so many inspiring kids and grown-ups to get to know! One such woman is Camille Licate, founder of Kids for Positive Change. Kids for Positive Change is a multi-media educational platform with live enrichment programs and online videos for kids focused on raising awareness and taking positive action for animals, people and the planet!  Camillle knows every child has a positive idea that can light the world! And here are three of them - Reese (age 6), Morgan (7) and Mia (6).

Find out how they took a birthday party and made it yummy for others! And if you want to know why, it's simple. Just ask a six year old:

"I think it's important to help kids in need because I want them to stay healthy so they can live a longer life."

Imagine if we all thought about that on our birthdays. Thank you, Reese, Mia and Morgan, for being such good examples!

 

PGK Bay Area - A Venture in "What If"

By Amy Johnson, Outreach and Marketing Manager, PGK - Bay Area

When you think of the Bay Area, what words come to mind? Technology? Innovation? Entrepreneurship? Amazing food trucks? OK, maybe the last one is just me (seriously, they are so good!). But I think everyone can agree that the Bay Area has a history of making the impossible possible by asking, “What if?” 

As a 15 year resident, I find it amazing that an area with such a wealth of resources has so much need. The Bay Area is home to thousands of non-profit organizations working to strengthen the community. In recent years, these organizations have made great strides by tapping into their corporate neighbors and adopting innovative business strategies. Founded like a high-tech startup in 2005, Downtown Streets Team played a great role in the recent decline of local homelessness even in the wake of increasing rents. In 2014, Loaves and Fishes reinvented their 35-year old soup kitchen model, resulting in a 90% increase of meals. And most recently, The Art of Yoga Project (AYP), a leader in the rehabilitation of at-risk and incarcerated girls, partnered with YCore to design and build a platform that allows teachers to train virtually in AYP methods.  By asking, “what if?” Bay Area non-profits have been able to make the impossible possible.

As someone who has made a career working with youth, I have a “What if?” question of my own. What if we brought our high-tech culture and vibrant non-profit community together in a way that allowed youth to become more active, engaged, and empathetic? What if we used existing technology to connect youth with meaningful, timely, and fun volunteer opportunities? What if youth could lend their voice to the non-profit community using devices at their fingertips?    

Fortunately, I don’t need to ask my “What ifs” any longer. Project Giving Kids- Bay Area is here. It’s changing the way we look at youth service and cultivating the next generation of givers. Project Giving Kids is allowing youth to become a part of something much bigger than themselves and realize they have the power to make the world a better place.  Maybe that’s the next great legacy of the Bay Area, and I'm excited to be a part of it.

 

So What Now?

By Molly Yuska, Founder of PGK

My oldest is in sixth grade and this election marked his first real experience studying our democratic process. As I have cringed over the past few weeks at the thought of what opinions he may form or the (mis)understandings he may develop as a result of this tumultuous election being his first real taste of American democracy, I’ve tried to remind myself at many moments that “this too shall pass.”

As many wake up this morning bewildered and unsure of where we go from here, I am trying to remind myself that that is the choice of this great nation. For months, mud-slinging and negativity have nearly overwhelmed many of us. But today I’m seeking solace where it can be found. And in the Dalai Lama’s article that appeared last week in the New York Times, I believe there is reason for hope. He wrote, “Virtually all the world’s major religions teach that diligent work in the service of others is our highest nature and thus lies at the center of a happy life. Scientific surveys and studies confirm shared tenets of our faiths. Americans who prioritize doing good for others are almost twice as likely to say they are very happy about their lives.” He went on to say, “This helps explain why pain and indignation are sweeping through prosperous countries. The problem is not a lack of material riches. It is the growing number of people who feel they are no longer useful, no longer needed, no longer one with their societies.”

While the path forward today may not seem clear, if the Dalai Lama is right, it is at least rather simple. The American people need to remember and return to what made this country great, and different, to begin with: that together, in useful service to one another and our country, we are strong. We may have lost sight of that lately, but everyone’s vision gets foggy sometimes. Let’s rub our eyes, look around, and get back to showing the world and ourselves that diligent work in the service of others is indeed our highest nature.

At PGK, this is at the heart of our mission. If you want to help us achieve it, support PGK before the end of this season of giving and help us create the change in 2017.

 

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