Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gov Christie Just Missed Our Board Retreat

CPD was open late last night.

We had our every-other-year board member retreat and really had a great turnout.  20 of our 28 members were with us, along with our trainer Helen Holman, and a few of our staff members.  Wendy Krispin did the catering (delish) and we made the board members act like they were a group of volunteers coming in to see the agency for the first time.
We gave them the whole ball of wax – made them stand in the lobby until everyone arrived, fill out and sign the volunteer paperwork, tour and listen to what we call the “spiel” from Vanessa, watch the short video – then put them to work counting a school supply and a sock donation.  Then we ate dinner and the training began.

I think they really enjoyed it and I think it was fun for them to see our staff members doing their “normal” jobs.  And it was certainly fun for me to hear the board members talk about ideas to help us raise more money. 
Can I hear a Woo Hoo from Joanna Clarke, please?

A grand time had by all.
So I got home late last night and turned on the TV – right in the beginning of Chris Christie’s speech at the Republican National Convention.

Governor Christie talked about his late mother and how one of her questions was “Do you want to be loved or do you want to be respected?”  Here’s the transcript from the speech:
And the greatest lesson that mom ever taught me though was this one. She told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected.  Now she said to always pick being respected. She told me that love without respect was always fleeting, but that respect could grow into real and lasting love. Now, of course, she was talking about women.

But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership.

I agree. 

When people agree to serve on a non-profit board or to work for a non-profit, people are tempted to try to be “loved” – do and say anything to bring in the money or the volunteers, change the programs to “fit” what donors want, see another charity doing something that’s working and decide that you have to do that too (so you duplicate a program service), etc.
Be respected and the love will come.  It has for CPD.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Apple v BlackBerry and McDonald's v Wendy's: Thoughts

Joanna and I just got back to our office after a visit to the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center (DCAC) this morning.  I asked for the meeting with Lyn Davis (CEO) and Chris Culak (Chief Development Officer) because I often get questions about how what we do fits in with what they do. 

NOTE:  Here's my short answer to those who are wondering...  While all children involved with CPS are eligible for Community Partners of Dallas' programs and services (CPD will serve about 20,000 kids this year through all of our programs), the DCAC serves a distinct subset of those who have suffered from the most horrific types of abuse with forensic interviews, ongoing therapy, and more. 

It was great meeting with Lyn and Chris and seeing all they do to help 2,500 children annually. 

Being in the non-profit world is different from being in the for-profit arena.  I would imagine that it might be difficult for the BlackBerry guys to call up Apple and go over and take a tour and speak about program specifics.  Would McDonald's take a meeting with Wendy's to discuss the new burger they were rolling out in a couple of months?

In the non-profit world, we want to help one another succeed because the greater good is served by working together.

I love my job.

P.S.  My #FundraisingFriday gift is going to the DCAC this week.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Four Favorite Things I Love Right Now! Part 3

Time for another list of my Four Favs, people!  If you missed any of my other lists, here's the link to Part 2:

Everyday, I thank God that I live in this great city.  Dallas really is a fabulous place to live and work and we have so many wonderful places to enjoy -- delicious food, fabulous entertainment, beautiful foliage and architecture -- and almost every spot in town is air conditioned!  Keeping cool in Dallas really is a must at this time of year, so here goes on my coolest Four Favs:

  1. What is better on a hot day than staying in air conditioned comfort with a good book?  My favorite so far this summer is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.  I didn't read it when it came out because I didn't think I'd like the story of an intersex person who starts living life as a woman and ends up living as a man, but my friend Stephanie recommended it highly, so I gave it a try.  It is a great book that traces the history of a family through multiple generations.  Won the Pulitzer.  500+ pages, but definitely worth it.
  2. Dreyers Fruit Bars are my latest obsession.  The coconut one makes my heart pound, but I also love the acai blueberry.  OMG -- they are ridiculously good!
  3. If you know me, you know that I love reality TV and especially the Bravo shows.  Andy Cohen is the host of Watch What Happens Live and I always tune in for his interviews with reality stars and real stars (of course, I own my very own Bravo "Mazel" t-shirt too -- yes, I'm "one of those").  Anyway, the other night Andy got to interview his biggest real star yet -- Meryl Streep (wow!) -- and he served her a "Fresquila" -- tequila and Fresca over ice.  Easiest cocktail ever and absolutely delish -- and oh so low cal.  Love it!  NOTE:  I use Patron for this -- cheap tequila is not my friend, nor should it be yours.
  4. If you haven't been to the Wisteria Dallas Store over by Love Field -- go.  I took my mom over there last weekend just for something to do in air conditioned fun and we both loved it.  The entire store (it's in a warehouse -- I love a warehouse of any type) is set up like small rooms and they really just have beautiful things.  In the rear of the store, there are lots of bargains too.  Here's the address and details:  Wisteria Dallas, 6500 Cedar Springs.  Open Monday-Saturday: 10-6

What are your four favs?

Stay Cool!

P.S.  My #FundraisingFriday gift is going to Junior Achievement in honor of my friend Linda Schoelkopf who is retiring after many years of service to JA.  Congrats, Linda!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Fast Can You Tell the Story of an Abused Child, Lady?

Corinne and I headed out to the UPS facility at DFW this morning bright and early to do our first United Way of Metropolitan Dallas presentation for CPD. 

First, thank goodness I have Destination Assist on my car because the roads are so messed up out there that at one point the direction lady just gave up and quit trying to direct us -- I think she thought we were in the middle of a cow pasture!  Anyway, we got there (early, I might add -- I am an on-time gal normally) and went through the TSA screening.  It was interesting seeing that people going in and out were scanned and some had to remove shoes and some didn't.  It was also fun for us to see all of the good looking men and women in their brown shorts and happy faces coming in to work. 

Shortly thereafter we were met by our contact who had called me yesterday to ask if we could send someone out to speak.

NOTE:  If you don't know this already, when you are a United Way service provider you are asked to go out and speak to different corporations on behalf of United Way (UW).  These presentations are vital  to encourage employees to give to the UW campaign and of course it helps CPD to be in front of a lot of different people who may not have ever heard of us and what we do for abused and neglected kids in Dallas County.  This is our first year as a UW service provider (we are in the Basic Needs category), so I was thrilled to be called to give our very first presentation at UPS.

When UPS called yesterday I was told that I'd be part of the early morning meetings held for drivers.  They started with stretching (Corinne and I stretched too), heard a safe driving tip, then I was on -- for a three minute speech.

How fast can you tell the story of an abused child?

Pretty fast -- because that is what my host asked me to do!  Here's my advice for your next quick speech:

  1. Smile and thank your contact by name.
  2. Use good facial expressions and look your audience in the eye as you speak to them -- Energy is Key!
  3. Paint a picture with your words -- give the name of the child (first name only for us because of confidentiality) and if it is a small child, use your hand to show how tall the child is.
  4. Tell what your child is wearing -- "only a dirty diaper" is easy to picture.
  5. Explain why their funds are needed -- "because of donations to United Way from people like you, Emily will enter a new safe home with clean clothes and shoes"
  6. Smile and thank them for having you as part of their day.

For a company like UPS where every minute is precious, three minutes is a long time for them to give to us. 

I hope that we made an impact this morning.  Seeing those drivers and getting to see what they do each day sure made an impact on me.

P.S.  My #FundraisingFriday gift is going to United Way this week -- they even sent me a birthday card -- thanks, Jennifer and team!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Can I hire someone to eat my vegetables, please?

A lot of my friends have been talking about organization lately.  We have lists of things to do, piles of paper to file, closets stuffed full of clothes and crap.

One of my friends has hired someone to come to her house and help her organize her home office.  Another had someone come to help her go through all of her clothes and decide what to toss/donate/repair.

Why do people hire someone to help them do something that they could do themselves?
Because it makes you do it.  It’s that simple. 

Back when I had a trainer come to my house twice a week, she made me get up and get active.  Now, left to my own devices, I don’t do anything. 
NOTE:  In fact, if it wasn’t for Cynthia I wouldn’t even walk twice a week!  Bless you, Cynthia – without you I would be even lazier than I already am! 

Yes, I have a treadmill (with TV in front), weights, mats, yoga videos – everything I need to work out – but I just don’t do it. 
Anyway, this got me thinking – do we need to hire someone to make us do other stuff we really don’t want to do, but will help us?  Here are a few that come to mind:

  • Go to the dentist.
  • Serve a family meal at the dinner table.
  • Shop for a new bathing suit.
  • Eat your vegetables.
  • Vote.
  • Think about child abuse.

Wait a minute – you can “hire” someone to do that last one – Community Partners of Dallas.  We’d love for you to hire us to help the children of Dallas County who desperately need your help.  Donate today at

Now, check that one off your list.  Thanks!
P.S.  My #FundraisingFriday gift is going to CPD.  I practice what I preach!