community service, cooking, food, volunteer

This just in: Come volunteer with me at Chef’s Best in DC on 6/15

2015 Chef's Best
2015 Chef’s Best

Love food? Live in DC? Want to help a great nonprofit help others in need? Chef’s Best Dinner & Auction is happening in DC at the brand new Marriott on Monday evening, June 15th, to benefit Food & Friends. Food & Friends is an incredible nonprofit that delivers free nutritious meals to people with life-threatening illnesses right to their door in DC and the surrounding areas. We’re still looking for people to help volunteer at the 1300+ attendee event, and it’s going to be a spectacular evening. Plus, we’ll get to hang out and have fun.

If you’re interested in volunteering, call Food & Friends at 202-269-2277. And tell ’em I sent you! See you there!

action, communication, community, community service

This just in: Congressman Elijah Cummings protests for peace

Congressman Elijah Cummings in Baltimore shaking a State Trooper's hand after the riots
Congressman Elijah Cummings in Baltimore shaking a State Trooper’s hand after the riots

On the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral, Congressman Elijah Cummings led thousands of people in peaceful protests. These peaceful protesters are the people who are generating change by being the change. They’re cleaning up neighborhoods. They’re creating bridges where there are serious gaps. Their strength and courage inspires me. Love drives out hate. Light drives out darkness.

Violence and sensationalism is what sells, but it’s not what generates progress. Elijah Cummings and all the people who joined him are the hope and light of Baltimore. In time, they are the ones who will close the divides in their community. They’re already doing it. They’re the ones who need our support. We need to band together for our own good and the good of our neighbors.

community, community service, food, health, volunteer, Washington

This just in: I’m a new volunteer at Food & Friends

Food & Friends
Food & Friends

Today I went to new volunteer orientation today at Food & Friends​, a local D.C. nonprofit that prepares and delivers healthy meals, groceries, and nutrition counseling to people in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia who have life threatening illnesses. 10,000 volunteers help make their work possible and I’m very excited to join them. I’ll be cooking, delivering meals, and helping at special events.

If you’re looking for a great volunteer opportunity, they always need extra hands and hearts. Individuals, groups, and people of all ages (including kids) can be a part of their work on a very flexible schedule. I love this quote from one of the people who has received meals from them: “This isn’t just about food. It’s about life.”

I hope you’ll join me!

community, community service, philanthropy, volunteer, Washington

This just in: Volunteering in Washington D.C.

A volunteer at a Rural Dog Rescue event in D.C.
A volunteer at a Rural Dog Rescue event in D.C.

I took a break from my usual job search routine yesterday to explore different volunteer opportunities in D.C. Using, I was able to identify quite a few different opportunities that are flexible and fun. In case you’re interested in volunteering in the D.C. area, here are the ones I found most exciting.

Rural Dog Rescue: Rural Dog Rescue is in need of volunteers every Saturday afternoon from 12-3 to help at our adoption events. Events are located in SE DC, NW DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland. If interested, please fill out our Volunteer Questionnaire and we will be in touch.

Arts and Culture
Spark!Lab Ambassador: The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is reopening July 1, 2015! We are recruiting a new group of volunteers (called Ambassadors) to work with museum visitors in Spark!Lab, its hands-on invention space for children and families.

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum: Family day will explore the amazing accomplishments in astronomical observing from Galileo to Hubble. Through astronomy presentations, hands-on activities, and more, learn how different cultures see the sky. Family Day volunteers help by staffing activity stations.

Filmfest DC: We are currently looking for volunteers to assist us in theaters at our 29th annual festival this April 16 – 26. Our mission is to bring the best in new international cinema to the Nation’s Capital and to present these works in a spirit of appreciation and cooperation. Volunteers help us usher guests inside theaters, help with the box office, collect tickets, hand out and receive ballots for audience choice awards and much more.

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine Inc.: We need volunteers to help expand our Washington DC operations! We are rescuing food that would have been thrown out by restaurants, and bringing it to the people who need it most in the local community.

Bread for the City: Each growing season on Sunday afternoon, Bread for the City partners with several local farmers markets to glean or “rescue” leftover produce. We then rely on dedicated volunteers to help us sort and pack this produce into family sized servings so that we can quickly and efficiently distribute it to our Food Pantry clients the following week.

Food & Friends: Assist chefs with food preparation and packing meals in our high-energy kitchen. Have a ball slicing, dicing, chopping and stirring – all while making a huge difference in the lives of those living with life-challenging illnesses! No culinary experience necessary. Flexible shifts available Monday through Saturday. (I’ve already signed up for a volunteer orientation next month.)

InterAction: InterAction invites you to be part of the volunteer team at its annual Forum, which will be held from June 22 through June 24, 2015 at the Wardman Park Marriott in downtown Washington, DC. Here’s your chance to play an important role at the premier conference of professionals engaged in developing solutions to key issues facing the world’s poor. Plus, you’ll get to attend the conference sessions for free.

community service, yoga

Beautiful: Compass Yoga Featured in The Huffington Post

healthy-livingI am thrilled and honored to have my nonprofit, Compass Yoga, featured in The Huffington Post. Rob Schware, the author of the piece, Executive Director of Give Back Yoga Foundation, and President of Yoga Service Council uses his column to highlight yoga teachers and organizations that use yoga as a way to serve communities. Click here to read the full article.

change, community service, creativity, time

Beautiful: Progress is a Daily Process. Take Your Time.

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” ~ Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

We want to make an impact in every moment. Everywhere. For everyone. We are a society of immediacy, a nation of broadcasters. We’re about scale, leverage, and reach. Bigger, faster, cheaper, now.

What I’ve found is that there is a lot of beauty and meaning in the small. Compass Yoga, my nonprofit, began with one small class for a handful of people in my sliver of a neighborhood over two years ago. Now we serve over 200 people per week in a dozen classes. We are a slow growth organization and that’s just fine by me because what we are building is deliberate and sustainable over time. We have phenomenal teachers, passionate students, and dedicated partners. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do what you can do right now, right where you are. The future will find us. It always does. The opportunities will present themselves as long as we put real heart into our work. Help will arrive when we need it as long as we remain authentic and true to who we are.

Every journey of change is built one tiny purposeful step at a time.

action, beauty, community service, fear, freedom

Beautiful: Serve to Be Free

226094843762320617_DBDbo6Gu_b“There are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about in the great outside world of wanting and achieving. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people.” ~ David Foster Wallace

Everyone whoever did anything worthwhile was completely scared out of their mind. And you know how they overcame that fear? They focused their attention on others. You want to make something? Make it for the sake of others. For the sake of being helpful and useful. Service isn’t about obligation. It’s about being free in the highest order.

The board of Compass Yoga has set large goals for the organization in 2013. If I just looked at them on paper, I might hesitate. They are that awesome. But here’s the trick that keeps me from any fear: I know that so many people will benefit from our work. We will build a happier, healthier, more vibrant world through our efforts. It happens every day, in every one of our classes taught by our incredibly talented, dedicated, passionate teachers. We are literally changing lives.

See what happens with that kind of intention? Fear just falls away. It evaporates. Once we realize that we have the power to give someone exactly what they need exactly when they need it so that they can live their very best lives, there is no way we can turn and run. Because it’s not about us. It’s about each other. It’s about helping one another through this life by giving the very best of what we have to others.

community, community service, generosity, safety, school, stress

Leap: Healing for Newtown, Connecticut

From Pinterest
From Pinterest

I was at the dentist when I first saw the news yesterday about Newtown, Connecticut. I am heartbroken for everyone impacted by this horrific event. So much will be revealed in the coming days – motives, names, faces, details of the event, tears. A great deal of healing will be necessary.

For many months I have been thinking about how Compass Yoga can make a difference in the world in these kind of circumstances – tragedies that cause so much trauma, grief, and pain in their aftermath, even long after they’ve ceased to be front page news. I believe we have something to offer; that we have the ability to mobilize a great wave of healing, support, and compassion in the face of unspeakable events.

In the new year, I’m going to find a way to bring this mobilization of healing to life. I wish it weren’t needed but in 2012 alone so many people in our country have endured unprecedented amounts of pain and loss. We must do more to stand up for them, to stand beside them, to be Earthly angels that help light the way forward.

community, community service, women

Leap: You Can Help One Inspiring Woman Win $35,000 Thanks to GOOD

I’ve been a supporter of GOOD for several years. Fresh out of business school, I moved to New York in 2007 and became intensely interested in social entrepreneurship. Poking around online, I stumbled across a fairly new publication that described itself as “a collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward. Since 2006 we’ve been making a magazine, videos, and events for people who give a damn.” That was GOOD enough for me. I’ve been on their mailing list ever since.

They are teaming up again with L’Oreal to present the Women of Worth Program to “celebrate women for their contributions to their communities.” In a time when our communities have so much need and so many people who want to make a difference, this program shines a light on those who serve as an inspiration for all of us.

This year, ten amazing women will be chosen from your nominations to win $10,000 for their nonprofit organization of choice. One national honoree will be selected from these ten to receive an additional $25,000 towards her cause. We all know amazing women – let’s give them our show of support for everything they do for all of us. Nominations close on May 31. Past nominees have been recognized for their work that includes everything from fostering underserved youth to finding cures for pediatric cancer. Learn more about their stories here and nominate a woman you know today.

calm, commitment, community service, kindness, time

Leap: The Dalai Lama’s Rules of the Road

I need to post this up in my apartment, particularly as I begin this new chapter of my life that involves great risk in an effort to achieve a life of my own design. Words to live by.

The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules For Living

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs: -Respect for self -Respect for others -Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you have made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you have never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.