Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sometimes a Photo is Just a Photo


I'm on a stay-cation this week, but I'm sitting here at my desk at CPD because duty calls. 

NOTE:  I came in because one of our ongoing funders came in from out of town to hand me a check.  I'll come in every time for cash, people...

I think that people who are not bosses think that bosses don't work as hard as they do and in some respects, they are correct.  I quit schlepping boxes of event programs and centerpieces years ago.  I also don't have to open my mail anymore -- unless my wonderful assistant Martha is out, then I'll even sit in her desk and be the receptionist all day.

I love being the receptionist.  I love welcoming people.   I love answering the phone.  I love chatting up the CPS caseworkers who come by.  I love being a listening ear.

We recently had a great caseworker come in who really needed help.  The 15 year-old girl who was on her caseload had been sexually abused by her step-father when the girl was ages 9 to 12.  She told her mother it was going on and her mother didn't believe her.  The only reason the girl is not still enduring this horror is that both the step-father and the girl came down with the same sexually transmitted disease, so then they believed the child.  The step-father went to prison and the girl has been living in foster care and is available for adoption.

When you are available for adoption your picture goes on a website and potential adoptive parents can look at the photos and see if they are interested in you.  The girl's photo has been on the website for a couple of years, but nobody has chosen to adopt her.  The caseworker came to CPD because the girl said that maybe nobody wanted her because of her photo.  She asked her caseworker through tears if she could have a new outfit and a new photo, so maybe then someone would pick her for a forever home.

She got the new outfit and her caseworker reports that she had a smile as big as Texas when they had the photo shoot with the caseworker's cell phone.

Now, I'm just praying for a forever home.  It's good to be the receptionist and the boss.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Who Needs to Advertise?

I've been seeing a TV commercial lately for Non-24 -- a sleep disorder for blind people.  They call it a "chronic circadian rhythm disorder."  I never thought about it much, but it totally makes sense to me that if you are blind that your sleep could easily get messed up.

What's weird to me is that there are enough people with this problem that it is worth the cost of an ad on morning TV on a major network (I see it during The Today Show, natch).  When I see advertising like this that I KNOW is super-expensive, it ends up making me question why they are putting so much money into advertising to what is a comparatively small market of end users. 

NOTE:  A google search says A 30 second commercial during Sunday night football is $550,000.

Weirdly the naysayer/pessimist in me thinks things like this are SO unusual that I think they must have been forced to advertise by a class-action law suit or something.  But of course, it's their money to spend when its a for-profit company and if their shareholders and board members don't care, why am I sticking my nose in it?

There is another thing I'm questioning lately -- I've been receiving lots of mailings from non-profits that seem a little unusual too.  Monthly and bi-monthly cards telling me about their agencies and what they do. 

I believe that I am receiving them because of where I live -- the mailings seem to be going to a purchased list -- as I have no personal connection to these groups.

A mailing costs a lot of money and buying a list is also expensive. 

NOTE about ROI for non-profit mailings:  Just so you know, non-profit statistics say that mailing to a purchased list will result in less than a 1% return. 

So why are these charitable groups spending their donated funds this way?

I have no idea.
  • Maybe they had a donor who believes in advertising who gave them the money and designated it for this purpose.
  • Maybe their board thought it would help them get the word out and help fundraising down the road.
  • Maybe the charity is desperate -- for donors, for clients, for something we don't know about.
Now, I'm not saying that all mailings and advertising are bad -- I am the first one to scream with joy when one of our corporate donors let's us have the use of one of their billboards for free.  I also believe in mail -- we work hard at Community Partners of Dallas to make sure that everything we send you has meaning and purpose and (of course) looks cute and is appealing.

But we don't buy lists.

If you are kind enough to give us some of your hard-earned money, you can be sure that it will be spent helping the abused and neglected children of Dallas County, not on paying for a survey to (maybe) tell us if you know who we are, paying for a mailing list, nor for commericals nor billboards. 

We know who our friends are and we're not asking you without permission.

Friday, May 16, 2014

May is a Bitch

Well, I know that I'm two days late on the blog post this week, but lots going on at Community Partners of Dallas this month -- board meetings, staff trainings, and just the end of year #Let'sCramEverythingInToMayBecauseEveryoneVacationsInJune rush...

NOTE:  New hashtag -- use it in a sentence today!

I came across a quote in my meeting folder for Leader's Circle that was held this morning, thus a blog post is made!  I've written about my Leader's Circle group before (I think of it as my Executive Director Therapy Group), but I can never say enough good about the program. 

In fact, if you want to hear me talk about it, visit this link -- The Center for Non-Profit Management took some video of me talking about it when we put up The Container Store as corporation of the year at their awards and they won -- woo hoo!

Here's the link of me in all my glory:

Anyway, I had no idea what to write about, but this quote -- I love quotes -- is on a sticky inside my Leader's Circle folder that I've been using since 2007.  Here's the quote:

The world is divided into good and bad people.  The good ones slept better...  while the bad ones seem to enjoy the waking hours more. -- Woody Allen

Take that, month of May -- we'll sleep in June.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Four Favorite Things I Love Right Now! Part 16

Gosh, I'm really thinking a lot about food lately.  Now, you guys who know me know that this is NOT AT ALL unusual, but I'm REALLY thinking about it lately.

I don't know if it's that summer is coming and watermelon will be again a good part of my life, or maybe it has something to do with the 5 to 8 pounds I've gained lately (amount gained depends on the day, people), but no matter what, food is on my mind.  So for this month's Four Favs, I'm pretty much all food all the time.

NOTE:  In case you missed my most recent Four Favs post, visit it here:

Fav Number One:

Since I mentioned the weight gain (I attribute that to the Garrett's Popcorn I ordered for Spring Break), I decided to get healthier (and hopefully lose a few, but no progress yet -- probably something to do with number 2 and 3 below) and try something new for breakfast.  My friend and favorite food blogger Katie Mears (Her blog is mentioned something about loving green smoothies, but did not give a recipe yet, so I made one up on my own (with the help of the Internet, of course).  Here it is and I love it:
First, Take a handful of spinach and a small handful of kale and put in your blender with 3/4 cup of water.  Blend it on low for a minute just to breakdown the greens.

Next, add one small frozen banana (I buy fresh and cut into disks, then put in a small zip-lock and freeze), 4 pieces of frozen pineapple and 4 pieces of frozen mango.
Add a big dash of cinnamon, then blend on the smoothie setting.  Be sure you hold the top on because I've already endured one green smoothie explosion.  I usually do about half of another smoothie setting blend, then pour it into a glass.  Since I take mine to work, I like a disposable one, but if I'm out of them, I use a Tervis Tumbler, then bring it home that night and wash it.
After you pour it into your container, add one tablespoon of Chia Seeds and stir them in.  This is what fills you up until lunch.  The other thing that I love about this is that if I don't eat another stinkin' fruit or vegetable all day, I've had five of the things.
Okay -- now for the fattening stuff...
Fav Number Two:
My second fav is cookies from The Great One Cookie Company.  They are located over by Javier's (another of my fav places to eat) and everyone at our office is obsessed.  Ann likes lemon, Joanna likes chocolate cherry, Annie likes pecan chocolate chip, Lauren likes plain chocolate chip, and the rest just like it all.  These really are worth the effort and the calories.  You may be thinking, why doesn't Paige show us these fabulous specimens?  It's because if I open the box we will not have enough for the staff pooch party this afternoon.  What is a staff pooch party, you ask?  Don't ask.

Fav Number Three:
The Party Mix from City Cafe to Go is amaze-balls.  It is spicy and delicious, especially after you've had too much sweet stuff and need something salty.  It is not cheap, but I'm addicted.

Fav Number Four:
The fourth fav is unrelated to food.  It's reading.  I just read The Little Way of Ruthie Leming and while I didn't love it, it moved me to tears over and over again.  But really just the joy of reading anything is my fourth fav.  So glad that I have the ability and grew up around readers.  Reading brings so much joy to my life.
What are your four favs?