Category Archives: charity

Old Year’s Resolutions

This seems like a reasonable time to look at the resolutions I made at the start of 2008, and see how I did. Maybe even rate my success in each on a scale of 1 to 5, just for kicks…

Goal One: Spend more time in nature. Progress: I did go hiking in the Muir Woods when visiting friends in San Francisco earlier this year, went up into the Verde Valley late this summer, and I went on a few hikes around the Phoenix Zoo this fall. I’m not sure my backyard counts as nature since it’s in the suburbs, but I did spend a lot of time tending to my gardens and hanging laundry on the clothes line. All in all, I did not do as much out in natural settings as I would have liked, but I did improve over previous years. Rating: 3 out of 5

Goal Two: Finish a first draft of my book. Progress: FAIL! I wrote some, made a few attempts at an outline, but I have already worked more on my book in 2009 than I did in all of 2008. Looks like I need to push this goal forward and make it a higher priority in my schedule, since it is a high priority in my heart. Rating: 1.5 out of 5

Goal Three: Physical Fitness. Progress: Not bad at all. I ended up at about the same weight as I started the year, so that’s what I’ll focus on in 2009, but my cardio health has improved dramatically, my strength has increased overall, and I have actually come to enjoy physical activities – especially in the spring and fall when the weather is so great here. Plus, I actually finished a 5K! Rating: 4 out of 5

Goal Four: Get more done at home. Progress: I have done well on this one. I take care of my honey-do’s a lot more often before even getting reminded of them, I seek out new things to do that will help out, and most of all I’m really enjoying taking pride in keeping the household in good shape. I can still improve a LOT, but I think I’ve done well for 2008. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Goal Five: Do 175 hours of volunteer work, and give at least 10% of our income to charitable endeavors. Progress: This was one of my big successes this year, I exceeded both of my goal numbers. Now to figure out what to do for an encore… Rating: 5 out of 5

Goal Six: Help others attain their goals and dreams. Progress: I worked for most of the year with a small, dedicated group of individuals to figure out how to start a non-profit that could assist others in trying to address the social needs of their communities. On a smaller scale, I got involved with or led several efforts through the year that managed to get people giving their time, money, and energy for the betterment of others. Hopefully these efforts will have a compounding effect that creates far more good than I could ever do on my own for others. Rating: 4 out of 5 (there is much yet to be done)

Goal Seven: Spend more time with friends. Progress: Whether it was hanging out with Mike at Chipotle, setting up virtual coffee breaks with friends who live in other parts, having people over for meals or parties at our house, or traveling to stay with friends and catch up on things – 2008 was a banner year for friendship in my life. I wish I’d been able to visit a few of them that I didn’t get to, but there’s always 2009. Rating: 4 out of 5

Goal Eight: Travel to three places I have never been, at least one of which is more than a leisurely day’s driving distance away. Progress: Well, I have been to San Francisco, but my wife hadn’t so the trip there in March sort of counts (we went a lot of places while there that I certainly had never been to). Locally we drove up to Cottonwood and stayed a couple of nights at a lovely bed and breakfast there. So… two out of three. Not bad. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Goal Nine: Spiritual. Progress: I did not get as involved in a community of faith as I had hoped. However, I did go deeper down my personal spiritual journey. Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Goal Ten: Be a champion for children. Progress: We have yet to be placed, but are still on the fostering list. I went and volunteered for two days at an after-school program in San Francisco and had an amazing time. Mostly, I spent quality time with my nephew and niece, and have grown to where I feel like I’m “good” with kids. If plans go well, I will be able to make a bigger impact next year. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Goal Eleven: Be sensible about money. Progress: We have hit some HUGE goals this year financially despite the economy. We have some investments that should be exciting to watch over the next few years, and are on track with our aggressive plan to pay off our mortgage (the last standing debt we have). Rating: 4 out of 5

Goal Twelve: Improve my mental health. Progress: I have never felt sharper, nor felt like I learned so much in so little time. Rating: 4 out of 5


GOOD Magazine

I’ve read through a couple of issues of GOOD Magazine in the past, though I can’t recall where I had the opportunity to do so. Like WIRED, it is a magazine that gets close to what I think journalism is (asking “how” and “why” more than the “FEAR FEAR FEAR Britney Madonna FEAR SOME MORE” that most of our media spews today).

Anyway, an added bonus I just learned about is that 100% of the payment made when ordering a subscription to the magazine online goes to a charity from amongst the list of nonprofits they partner with. Furthermore, one of their partners is 826 National, an organization quite near and dear to my heart. (If you like the Good site and want to subscribe and help 826 National out, here’s a handy GOOD Magazine 826 National link to do so with).

Bowling for Economic Stimulus

So, a lot of us Americans are going to be getting economic stimulus checks (if we haven’t already gotten them) over the next several weeks. Several hundred dollars meant to push our struggling economy forward through, I dunno, buying more flat screen tvs or something. When I heard about these checks coming out, I wasn’t convinced they would be helpful in solving the long term problems at the root of our ecomonic struggles. I didn’t want my efforts to just be part of a bandaid, I want to be part of a solution that helps our nation get back up on their feet and chasing their dreams again. Then, last night, I found the perfect vehicle to use my check from the government to stimulate positive lasting¬†economic growth. That’s right… bowling.

That’s right, I’m going bowling on Friday June 20th to raise money for Junior Achievement, a wonderful non-profit organization that provides kids in America with classes and curriculum to learn how to be better stewards of their money, how our economy works, and about entrepreneurship. What better way to stimulate our economy than to teach the future participants in our economy how to earn and manage money more effectively?! I’m donating my entire economic stimulus check – $600 – to Junior Achievement, and I’d greatly appreciate it if you would consider donating part of yours to sponsor my bowling efforts as well –

Even if you don’t want to give to that particular event or charity (or you just have something against my bowling), I’d encourage you to consider giving part of your stimulus check to a cause you support. What an awesome way to use this unexpected resource we’re getting in a positive, changing way!