More Scavenger Hunts To Come!

Today, I tweeted that I was in the process of coordinating a scavenger hunt in Hawaii. I immediately received 3 messages indicating interest of doing one in North America, Online (nationwide), and in Asia. Wow! We’ve got work to do!

My purpose of doing this is to raise funds for a Children’s Hospital as well as help local businesses in Orlando and Hawaii or other businesses that are willing to be a part of this endeavor. This would also give me and others the opportunity to learn more about Hawaii as well as other places where we will do a scavenger hunt geared towards helping children.

Speaking of which, my friend and I connected today as we plan for a jogathon while working with schools to support the same Children’s Hospital. The goal is $1 million dollars by Spring 2010.

Life has been busy with helping the community and it’s only January. I guess when you are willing, you don’t have to go looking. Opportunities will come to you. I am very excited about what else will come about in 2009.

Keep checking back for more blog posts or follow me on Twitter @coffee_tweets, for more exciting updates.

Related Links:

Official Site of the Big Gosh
Major Success: Greater Orlando Scavenger Hunt
Great Idea Award
On Social Media: Ning Features GOSH Site

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January 20, 2009 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

Twitter Community Offers Job Search Help

Twitter is growing in popularity and before you know it, it will go mainstream. While checking for updates, I stumbled upon an article re: how one of my followers from the Twitter Community can possibly help you in your job search: Introducing #HAJ and #NAJ! Read more.

Now is the time to be as creative as can be in your job search. As with anything else, however, proceed with caution – especially when releasing personal information.

If you would like to share any of your job search tips, please post a comment.

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January 17, 2009 at 8:19 am 1 comment

Wanted: Morale Boosters

Happy Aloha Friday!  It’s nice to be back home in Hawai’i after approximately two years of being away. While it’s great seeing friends, family, and familiar faces and places again, there is one thing that cannot go unnoticed: their morale is down. 2008 has been a very emotional time for everyone, and we are either fearful or hopeful for 2009. President-elect Barack Obama surely has a lot on his shoulders, and he definitely needs our prayers – whether you voted for him or not.

A lot has changed while I’ve been away. My boss, her boss, more bosses, and all the way up to the two Presidents of two different entities within the same large organization have either gotten laid off or have since retired. Many of my friends, regardless of their years of service, have lost their jobs and are about to lose their homes and face foreclosure or bankruptcy. The ones who have retired have lost quite a great deal with their investments during this economic downturn. Then, I hear about many businesses closing down, loss of loved ones in the war going on in the Middle East, and families hurting as they repeatedly see their loved ones off to go to the war zone.

Dwelling on these thoughts long enough can quickly get you in a depressed state. This phenomenon has already increased the demand for psychiatrists and behavioral health institutions! At least, this is what I had heard (and seen) while I was living in Orlando, Florida.

This then brings me back to the time when I had the opportunity to be a part of the Planning Committee for the first Greater Orlando Scavenger Hunt (GOSH). The purpose of the event was not only to serve as a morale booster for the economy during stressful times; it also created added exposure for local businesses as well as raised funds for a non-profit organization of our choice: The National MS Society Mid-Florida Chapter. The all-day event commenced at Blue Jacket Park in Winter Park, Florida, on October 25, 2008, and ended at the Orlando International Airport. Participants proudly marched into the airport wearing their Burger King crowns, pink hair, glittery-pink toenails (for the guys), photos, paraphernalia, and what-not, in an effort to win the grand prize or simply, to have fun. The National MS Society was very impressed with the overall results that they asked Event Coordinator James Zimbardi, Senior Partner with Allgen Financial Services, Inc., that the event be held annually.

This is a great example of how the community can come together to help lift each others’ spirits during tough times while having fun and creating lasting memories. May it serve as an example for others to follow in their own communities.

If you have any great stories to share about how you or someone you know has helped your community, please post a comment. We need more community  morale boosters!

Here are some related links about the 2008 Greater Orlando Scavenger Hunt:

Official Site of the Big Gosh
Major Success: Greater Orlando Scavenger Hunt
Great Idea Award
On Social Media: Ning Features GOSH Site

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January 16, 2009 at 9:05 am 1 comment

A Social Media Career?

Through a social networking site (LinkedIn), my Alma Mater found me and learned that I’ll be flying to Honolulu on January 12th.  LinkedIn allows you to “professionally connect” with new and existing contacts, among a wealth of many other benefits. I have used it to find and communicate with industry experts, learn more about a trade or profession, read what consumers are thinking about a certain topic, product, or event, and much much more. Social media becomes much more powerful and meaningful when it’s reciprocal. As with any relationship, you can’t always be on the receiving end! I have enjoyed answering questions based on my experience, regardless if I’m an expert or not. I can’t deny that you’ll find many individuals overusing self-promotion in the forums and discussions; unfortunately, this turns off many readers.

While I have never met our Alumni Coordinator, we instantly made a positive connection via LinkedIn back in August 2008. This month, we will have the opportunity to meet in person as she would like to hear some input re: how social media can get the alumni better connected and involved. While I am not a social media guru like Chris Brogan at any rate, I am always happy to share what I know and what I have done using social media. It is a great viral marketing tool when used correctly and strategically tied into the organization’s main objectives. Think about it: do some research on the web, and you’ll quickly find that people are quickly turning to Facebook (now mainstream), Twitter, and other social media sites on the internet vs. watching TV, going to the movies, etc. Companies are quickly revisiting where to allocate their advertising and marketing dollars. Big name brands like Starbucks, Dell, and many others have joined the pack in embracing the use of social media. Recruiters have also turned to social media to find exceptional talent, typically getting more insight about a candidate compared to a mere paper resume.

In the last 2 weeks, at least 12 entities have contacted me to talk about social media – whether it’s for the purpose of increasing awareness, creating a positive brand image, promoting a cause, raising money, or simply creating a stronger sense of community. I’m now seriously considering the possibility of integrating this aspect into my next career because of its undeniable value.  Well, this and a LEAN/Six Sigma Certification.

In the meantime, here are some interesting posts about Social Media:

Top Social Media Sites of 2008

Facebook Statistics

Twitter has made Dell $1M in revenue

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January 8, 2009 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

Child Helpers Needed To Build A Children’s Hospital

I met with the key contacts of a Children’s Hospital on the East Coast today for the third time. I had always been interested in the areas of preventive healthcare (largely due to previously working at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii), working with children, education, and philanthropy. So one night, after checking out their website, I saw an opportunity where kids can help!

While engrossed in my thoughts, my 6-year-old son asked me, “What are you thinking about, mom?”

I had to quickly simplify and verbalize my complex thoughts.  “Casually, I told him,  “I’m trying to find ways how your favorite cartoon character can help build a hospital.” Hearing the character’s name, his little 3-year-old brother added, “I want to help, too!”

The very next day, I discovered how kids can be very good word-of-mouth marketers. As I picked up my children from school, I was mobbed by a bunch of kids pulling on my skirt saying, “We want to help, too! When are we going to start?” Soon enough, the parents started contacting me asking all about the buzz that was going around!

I’ve since casually  mentioned this to my business contacts including business owners and they, too, are very excited about helping, whether through donations, volunteer work, and/or getting their kids involved. No one has said “No” so far! So, this year, I’m going to challenge myself and others to raise $1 million dollars to help build the next children’s hospital in town. The Foundation has already received $10 million dollars from a large, corporate sponsor, and still needs to raise $50 million dollars over the course of the next 5 years. I am hoping to reach my $1 million goal with the help of our children before the grand opening in the Spring of 2010. We may not be able to raise funds quickly this way, but just think about the positive impact that this will create on our children. That alone is priceless.

I am confident that this hospital will be the model for future Children’s Hospitals around the world.  Indeed, this is a golden opportunity for our children to be leaders in child philanthropy and leave a lasting legacy. The community needs our help.  Let’s allow our kids to step up to the plate.

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January 7, 2009 at 8:57 pm Leave a comment

The World’s Best Helpers

I believe children are the world’s best helpers. Sure, household chores may bore them, but that applies to must of us adults, anyway. Children offer their help with beaming anticipation, typically without expecting anything in return but our genuine approval. Children like to be a part of big things beyond the four corners of their room, and the busy, working parent(s) often spend what’s left of their family time “entertaining” the children, making sure they are “happy” whether through TV, buying them the newest toys and gadgets or the best clothes, taking them to the coolest theme parks, etc. While these measures aren’t bad per se, it is no surprise that we as parents are unknowingly creating a generation that thinks of themselves first, before others.

The truth is, the world isn’t all about you! It’s not about what you can get, but what you can do to serve God and others. Many people go out on a limb to search for happiness with the wrong priorities only to find themselves depressed, ending up in the wrong places, with the wrong people. As a child, I could still remember the sign posted on our door: J-O-Y = Jesus First, Others Next, Yourself Last. Pretty simple, but very easy to forget! Usually it’s because we’re either too far from the need to help others (out of sight, out of mind), or we see too much of it (often getting desensitized and indifferent). Sadly, our children are watching. The good news is, it’s never too late to get a fresh start and create a culture of giving and serving others in need. Opportunities abound. The world needs more helpers. Ask your child to help today, you’ll see.

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January 1, 2009 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

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