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Blockchain for Good

Overcoming the challenges social innovation organization face will require a strategic shift in technology adoption, with a focus on enhancing transparency, increasing efficiency, promoting sustainability and achieving scalability. This is where technologies like Blockchain have a critical role to play.

When disaster strikes, The most basic question is HOW DO WE GET MONEY, FOOD, SHELTER to those that  need it? How do we contribute in a meaningful way?  — the editor

Accenture interviewed industry experts and examined approximately 30 blockchain use cases for solving social challenges. We also studied a blockchain implementation at Akshaya Patra, a meal provider serving over 1.6 million children in India. Our research highlights a four-step process for social innovation organizations to achieve blockchain transformation.

Read the full article from Accenture, “Blockchain for Good”

Gift Card Provider Blackhawk Network Going Private

GIFT CARDS… during the northern California fires in November 2017, it was gift cards that became the new cash. People needed goods and services, but non-profits like Heart Central, Catholic Charities and Volunteer Center didn’t want to hand out cash like an ATM. Their community wanted gift cards for gas, food and clothes. Thousands of people in Santa Rosa, CA and Sonoma County had lost everything. Imagine, no clothes – just pajamas, no shoes- just slippers, no purse, wallet, Rx, phone…. so many people ran for their lives when the fires switched directions. Survival can be tricky. Luckily MANY individuals, corporations and local companies came to the rescue.

Gift cards were easy to give to the needy, easy to track for charitable organizations and better for many reasons.

Looking for no-fee gift cards, with a possible matching supplement was a headache. It seemed simple, but was very difficult to get a regular bank to step up and process the cards.

It is with great interest I watch this buy-out. I wonder what will happen. I hope faster service, more options, more transfer ability and also the ability to combine gift cards. It would help our fire-ravaged Northern California community.

“Blackhawk is one of the largest third-party gift card distribution companies and as such plays a critical role as a market maker for connecting issuers of prepaid cards and prepaid digital assets with the outlets where these assets are purchased, which includes merchant locations such as supermarkets, online locations such as Amazon, and banks and incentive suppliers that purchase prepaid cards in bulk,” Tim Sloan, vice president of payments innovation at Maynard, Mass.-based Mercator Advisory Group Inc. tells Digital Transactions News by email. “The market for prepaid gift cards has matured, but continues to grow at a slower pace and has trended towards open-loop cards as retailers have announced store closings.”

Full article here.

The clean up and rebuilding in California will take years. With the catastrophic fires in Southern California added to the numbers of homeless and the low availability of rental space, any improvements in “cash like” disbursements would be  a big help.

“This transaction delivers immediate benefits and significant value to our stockholders,” says Blackhawk CEO Roche. (Image credit: Blackhawk Network Holdings)

What to Expect from Cryptocurrency in 2018

What to Expect from Cryptocurrency in 2018 (Scientific American article)

“Meanwhile, the conversation is turning from bitcoin to the thousands of alternative currencies. Bitcoin has gone from commanding most of the market capitalization of all cryptos to representing about one third. If you were shocked by the price rise of bitcoin, check out the ether or ripple cryptocurrencies, which leave bitcoin in the dust.”

Paper money? Venmo and Apple Pay… and ICO – initial coin offerings….

ART & KIDS

PenTV Host Dani Gasparini talks again with our Founder and Program Manager On July 30, 2008, Kids & Art Foundation hosted our very first workshop at Pixar Studios in Emeryville. Kids & Art Foundation has come a long way over the last decade, but our commitment to ‘healing the whole child and not just the symptom’ and ‘healing through art’ has never changed.  For families who are navigating a cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, the waiting room can be a grim place, full of uncertainty and long journeys. Kids & Art Foundation’s teams of artists and volunteers bring art and creativity directly into these spaces, providing free art activities and positive interactions to the families who are gathered there. The feedback from parents and caregivers is unanimously positive and appreciative

This is a “love note” from Kids&ART! This group really stands out for its ability to combine ENERGY, GOOD Deeds and love into one package. Check them out, and let others know! @kidsandartorg

While we know that the families that we serve experience relief, joy and healing from their Kids & Art Foundation interactions, we also know that many of the outpatient facilities that we serve do not have budgets to help fund programs like ours that are not considered an official part of their facility’s treatment protocol. So, here in our 10th year, we’re looking to ruffle some feathers and ask some tough questions of our hosting hospitals. Until ‘healing the whole child and not just the symptom’ become a value add and an integral part of the ‘whole child in treatment’ organizations like ours will always be dependent on fundraising round the clock. We’re exploring how we can leverage years of positive feedback and collect data showing the benefits of art during pediatric cancer treatment to encourage these programs to embrace and help fund our weekly workshops. We remain creatively hopeful, and determined.

February Days to Remember!

This is a short month, so let’s make the most of it!! 

1  National Baked Alaska Day
2  Groundhog Day and World Wetlands Day
3  National Carrot Cake Day
4  National Stuffed Mushroom Day
5  Primrose Day and National Chocolate Fondue Day
6 National Wear Red Day  – Calling attention to Women’s heart disease and stroke
7  National Fettuccine Alfredo Day
8 In 1910, The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated by William D. Boyce.
9  National Inventor’s Day
10  National Umbrella Day and National Cream Cheese Brownie Day
11  In 1990, Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner.
12  National Plum Pudding Day
13 In 1931, New Delhi becomes the capital of India.
14 Valentines Day
15 National Gum Drop Day
16  National Almond Day
17  National Cafe au Lait Day
18  In 1930 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto.
19  National Chocolate Mint Day
20 National Cherry Pie Day
21  National Sticky Bun Day
22 World Thinking Day (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts)
23  National Banana Bread Day
24  National Tortilla Chip Day
25  The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be built solely as an aircraft carrier.
26  National Pistachio Day
27 This is International Polar Bear Day
28  National Chocolate Chip Day
29  National Surf and Turf Day

January is a Great Month to Celebrate!
Feb 18 – Quite a Day!
MARCH DAYS are here!

BRR – FEBRUARY is often the coldest month of the year.… take a look at ways to stay warm!!

HPP – Homeless Prenatal Program

Join us on Saturday January 13, 2018 at 3PM at SoulCycle Union Street for a charity class to benefit the Homeless Prenatal Program!

100% of the funds collected for this class will be donated to HPP. This is a charity class and not listed on SoulCycle’s online schedule, to register please signup through the Eventbrite button below. For more information on this event, please contact Madison Smith at madisonsmith@homelessprenatal.org.

This great local non-profit gives support and hope where it is most needed. Led by the great community collaborator, Martha Ryan.

CERT – Be Prepared for Disasters

FIRES – the worst in decades for Northern California.  Next may be landslides and mudslides from the barren ridges. Are you ready?

Consider learning how to prepare with CERT.

How will CERT respond?

CERT trains people in disaster recovery. This essential life-saving training is FREE. It takes about 6 weeks – 1 night in the evening.  There are new short courses too: Sandbag Operations, first aid, safety, and even fun community get togethers.

YOU can be part of a Storm Response team, or handle communications, you can host a training class at your home or talk to your neighbors about getting involved, and going to the local Fire House.  It doesn’t take strength or youth, it only takes your involvement.

Google “CERT” – Community Emergency Response to find classes in your area.

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Thanksgiving – Let’s be GRATEFUL!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!   Being grateful adds to our happiness. It’s true. Count your blessings, you’ll feel better. List the 5 BEST things in your day, it will bring a smile to your face.

And laugh when you think that the strict, hardworking Puritans are credited with the most gluttonous holiday in America!  Volunteer for others that need help, or to improve your community. GIVE!

Enjoy this story about Thanksgiving (youtube) –  Facts, not facts, opinions and oddities. Very entertaining, from the History Channel.

Here is a strange history story…. The year we had two thanksgivings !

    

 

 

 

 

 

A great read: How To Make Tense Holiday Conversations Civil (Or Even Productive)

 

Nov 16 – Light The Night Walk -Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Event Description

Light The Night Walk is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) annual evening fundraiser to bring help and hope to those affected by cancer. Co-workers, friends and families form walk teams to raise vital funds for blood cancer research and local patient services. Walkers symbolically light the dark world of cancer by carrying illuminated lanterns: white for survivors, red for supporters, and gold for those walking in memory of a loved one. These unique evening walks are marked by celebration, remembrance and hope. Their efforts culminate in an evening of memorable walks in nearly two hundred communities each Fall across the U.S. and Canada.

Help support the research that will give someone another Birthday! This is a very meaningful walk, often the survivors are able to tell their stories of HOW they made it through, the common thread is Community Support. Please come out and join us in walking and supporting our community.  It means a lot, it is uplifting to walk in a large group, with a common purpose and contemplative/calming too.  — the editor

LINK:   Walk in San Francisco!  Sign up here.

  • No registration fee; no minimum fundraising requirement.
  • 5pm Food & Festivities, 7pm Walk Start
  • Walkers can raise money via the LLS site. (Link to register or support above.)
  • Walkers who raise $100+ will receive a t-shirt (please indicate size), dinner, and an illuminated lantern on walk night.
  • All participants raising $250+ will receive notification post event with details on selecting one incentive item at or below the prize level achieved. (See “Incentive Gifts” under Important Documents.)
  • Friends and family are welcome. The event features live music, fun for kids, and more. The easy-paced, 2 mile walk route takes you on the field of AT&T Park in San Francisco!
  • *Individuals who raise $1000+ for the San Francisco Walk will be invited to a champagne VIP reception hosted by LLS in the Giants’ dugout prior to the walk. (*To Be Confirmed)

Where is the Exit?

People leaving? in droves? or just a Trickle?

Why leave? not engaged, not having fun, not challenged, disrespected, bored, new industry calls, no innovation, more money, next step, who needs THIS job?

I once worked in a job which made the goal very clear! In the hiring contract said…. “IF you are not having fun, it is time to leave!” I have had many fun jobs, jobs that made a difference and also boring, routine and “never again” jobs.

In this  new report from Ceridian, (survey size 1,602 U.S. and Canadian employees):

  • Over a third (33%) of gen-Xers were actively looking for work
  • 22% of millennials and gen-Z.
  • ages of 18-29 no plans for staying at any job over five years

Use BIG data and analytics to help you figure out your workforce! Keep track of turnover rates. You can use surveys, a Voice of the team thing, or survey monkey. Also track employee referrals. You can change the questions every year or keep it as a standard. Pay attention. You’ll learn something. Make sure to share it with your employees.

Another Great Way to “Pay Attention”:  Exit Interviews

You have a chance to get an honest dialog going, when the employee is going out the door! ASK! Make sure to say that the conversation will be kept confidential. Ask questions, make sure to clarify, don’t challenge. Ask for suggestions. Make time for a description of problems and miscommunications within the company.