Category Archives: Generosity

Generosity in 2016 and Color in 2017

January 1, 2017

Creativity / Generosity / Inspiration / Simple Living

Happy New Year!!!

Since it is officially 2017, I now declare it to be my Year of Color!  I’ll be posting colorful artwork and photography on social media (namely Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) all year-long.  I am feeling very creative with my visual work, and I just want to challenge myself to create and share more of it!

At the beginning of 2016, I set my sights on making 2016 my year of generosity with acts of kindness for 52 weeks.  I did in fact carry out many acts of generosity throughout the year, and for this post, I wanted to highlight the organizations that benefited from my giving.

Nashville Rescue Mission (https://nashvillerescuemission.org/)
This is a  local non-profit that provides shelter, food, and clothing for homeless men, women, and children in Music City.  I donated lots of bottled water and canned goods.

Pet Community Center of Nashville (http://petcommunitycenter.org/)
As an animal-care non-profit , Pet Community Center provides affordable immunization and other services.  You should check out their monthly mobile unit that goes out to different neighborhoods across Nashville. I took Steinway there for his shots.  They were very sweet to him.

National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (http://nathpo.org/)
This is a national organization of Native American tribal leaders who work to preserve tribal lands across the United States.  Giving to them is a small gesture I can make towards supporting the indigenous people of the US. This organization helps maintain schools, hospitals, and infrastructure on tribal lands as well as protection and emergency preparedness on sacred sites.

Habit Zen App by Leo Babauta
(https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/532372598/habit-zen)
I am a huge proponent of mindfulness, simplicity, and meditation.  Leo Babauta is a native of Guam who currently lives in the San Fransisco area.  He is the author of the blog zen-habits.net (which is read by millions of people around the world), and I really love his writing and his ideas about simple living.  He’s assembled a small team to build an app that helps people create and maintain healthier habits based on his own work and research.  I am proud to support any thing he does.

Time Out Youth (http://www.timeoutyouth.org)
There will always be a place in my heart Time Out Youth.  TOY is a non-profit organization in Charlotte, NC that carries out support and advocacy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning youth ages 11-20.  Not only did I seek out their services when I was a 19-year-old living in Charlotte, I also worked as their Youth Programs Director. I made some of the most meaningful friendships of my life, and being a part of the TOY community was the  most affirming experience of my young adult existence.  I needed the love, validation, and support everyone gave to me more than I realized.  This place still exists today, and they are as strong as ever.

Wildlife Conservation Network and the Elephant Crisis Fund  (https://wildnet.org/)
Elephant Crisis Fund
Who doesn’t love elephants? Well, a better question would be why are elephants getting killed by the dozens? The answer to this question is not a simple one. At the center of this issue is a longstanding and illegal ivory trade that has been profitable for anyone involved in it.  There are cultural and economic implications to this terrible crisis, and the only ones paying the real price are these beautiful and sweet creatures whose bodies are slaughtered and left to rot after their tusks are cut and ripped off of their bodies.  This is horrendous, and I hope it ends someday soon.

Rocky Mountain Institute (http://www.rmi.org/)
In spite of those who beg to differ, climate change is real, and it is actually happening. I am trying to do my part by recycling everything I possibly can every week, and by living in a remote and rural home, I have decreased my ecological footprint. (This continues to be a work in progress.)  We as human beings have thus far failed as stewards and caretakers of the Earth’s natural resources, but I believe we have the capacity to be better.  The Rocky Mountain Institute is doing some incredible work through its multi-level approach at tackling climate change both in the United States and internationally.  Their biggest mission is to work with corporations, businesses, and communities across the world to shift their enterprises towards efficiency and renewable energy/resources.  In my mind, global enterprise needs to be led by global sustainability.  I fully support any initiative that advocates for this.

This year represents the most that I have given to charity pretty much ever.  I plan on doing monthly giving to these and other worthwhile organizations in 2017.  From now on, generous giving to others will be a strong and integral part of my life.

 

So there you go!  Bring on the color in 2017!!  Bring on the giving!!

I am looking forward to the year to come! Let’s make every day of 2017 extra special!

Generosity Report: February 2016

March 9, 2016

Generosity

It’s that time again!  I’m here to report about my #52weeksofgenerosity project.  February proved to be a bit challenging due to a very busy schedule, but I learned a good bit from the experience.  March should go much more smoothly.

So, here’s what I did:

Week #5: Organizing a Green House

greenhouse_moth

For this week, I wanted to be of service by donating my time and energy to help with someone else’s project.  My friends MaxZine and Spree have a greenhouse attached to their home.  I suggested that I would love to come out for an afternoon to rearrange the front portion of the space in order to make room for a walkway, a sitting area, and more plants.

The first thing I did was to clean the place up by sweeping the floors and removing all unnecessary items.  Then I rearranged several large planters and pots to get maximum sunlight.  Lastly, I found a cushioned, green, and metallic bench that fit perfectly in the sitting area.  I topped it all off with some lighting strewn up on the ceiling to add some warmth during the evenings.

The greenhouse looked more spacious and had more function by the time I was done with it.  I hope to go back to work on the rest of this very cool space.

Week #6:  Helping a Friend with Craigslist

BMW

I have a dear friend who has a sizable collection of household items that she amassed during her travels all over the world.  She has been wanting to pare down all of her belongings and asked me if I could give her a tutorial on how to sell her items on Craigslist.

I first started with the vintage BMW that she wanted to sell.  I taught her how to play with the photography settings on her iphone in order to post photos that made her items look more attractive to a potential buyer.  Then I went through each step of posting an item for sale directly on the Craigslist website.

In addition to the BMW, I staged several furniture pieces into a living room format and took lots of photos from different angles. Lastly, I used chalk to create artwork for a wall in her guest bedroom.

Needless to say, we got a lot accomplished over a lengthy afternoon.  We even managed to drink wine and reminisce about all kinds of memories.  I’m proud to say that the BMW I posted received a HUGE response from buyers.  Over 70 of them made inquiries within the first few hours after the post went live.  I was very happy to help my friend with this.

Week #7: Nashville Rescue Mission

I had a very hectic week and decided to make another food donation of canned goods to the Nashville Rescue Mission.

Week #8: A bicycle for my Sister

lette_bike

My sister Lette’s birthday falls on the last week of January.  For the last year, she has undergone aggressive treatment for breast cancer.  To celebrate both her birthday and the recent diagnosis of being cancer free, I made a plan to get her a bicycle as a gift.  I could have gotten her a gift certificate to some trendy store or even taken her out to lunch like I have in the past.  This time, I wanted to give her a gift that came with benefits.  A cancer-free bill of health creates an opportunity to live a better life.  A bicycle provides lots of exercise, time outdoors, fresh air, exploration, and easy transportation.  I wanted to give her all of these things.

So, I did a bit of research and even took her to a local bike shop to get a sense of what kind of bike would work.  In the end, I had a friend who lived in Murfreesboro who was selling a bike that accommodated my sister’s height.  It was a vintage Gary Fisher mountain bike, and my sister has been riding it in her neighborhood ever since.

So that’s it for February.  More generosity beckons .  .  .

GR_Initials_Green

Generosity Report: January 2016

February 3, 2016

Generosity

image3

As I announced earlier this year, I am carrying out my #52weeksofgenerosity project throughout all of 2016.  I have the month of January all wrapped up.

Here is a quick recap of what I did for these first four weeks:

Week #1: Nashville Rescue Mission

piano_give

I donated a box of canned goods to the Nashville Rescue Mission.  This is a long-standing non-profit organization that provides shelter, clothing, and food for Nashville’s homeless population as well as recovery/rehabilitation programs for individuals facing degrading challenges.  They help many men, women, and children who are often destitute and homeless.

You can check out their website by going here:  http://www.nashvillerescuemission.org

Week #2: Water Bottle Distribution

water_bottles

I spent a Saturday afternoon driving all over downtown Nashville giving bottled water to the folks who were selling our local homeless-run newspaper “The Contributor” as well as to anyone who was asking for food or money on street corners.

Week #3:  Goodwill Donation

I donated a box of household items to the Goodwill store in my neighborhood.  There were several kitchen items, clothing, and books in that box.  Goodwill employs thousands of people who have disabilities as well as individuals who have trouble keeping jobs.  I believe everyone deserves a chance at making a good living, and I am so impressed that Goodwill provides this for many people who would have less of a chance at being employed by other companies.

I also really love the business model of Goodwill and any other thrift store for that matter.  Reusing household goods and clothing is the essence of sustainability.  We reduce the waste we all create by letting others use what we do not need or want.  This is better for us and for our planet.

Week #4:  Nashville Rescue Mission

I enjoyed donating  to them so much at the beginning of the month that I decided to do it again.  Seriously, they provide a wealth of much needed services to people in need.  Their emergency housing and recovery programs are particularly impressive.  I hope to give more to them down the road.

So there you have it!!!!  Four weeks are good to go.  Only 48 weeks left?  Bring it on!!

For February, I am embracing the idea of being in service to others as an act of generosity.

Thank you all for following along.

I have much more to give.

GR_Initials

The Gordon Roqué 2016 Challenge: 52 Weeks of Generosity

January 4, 2016

Generosity / Inspiration

For 2015, I pledged to post on facebook and all other social media every day about experiences and possessions in my life for which I was thankful.  I called the project #365daysofthankfulness, and I completed my final thankfulness post last Thursday on New Year’s Eve.

So, that was last year.  This year, I’m doing something  even better.

Ladies and Gentlemen, for 2016, I pledge to carry out an act of generosity at least once during every week of this year.  This new project will be called #52weeksofgenerosity.

52_weeks_of_generosity

Here are the details:

  1.  In this instance, I define generosity as giving of my own resources, time, or abilities completely free of charge,  just for the sake of giving, and with the intention of helping others.
  2. I will carry out at least one act of generosity every week.  This means I can be as generous as I can as long as I do it at least once.
  3. At the end of every month, I will give a full report of the acts of generosity I did every week.
  4. Mainly on facebook, I will post about my generous acts on a weekly basis.

So there it is.  To me, this is a commitment towards effecting a positive change in the lives of others.

Lastly, this is also a big experiment.  I understand that my actions will benefit others, but I am not entirely sure how they will affect me, if at all.

I guess we’ll find out.  Won’t we?

Please stay tuned for more.

Be kind and be generous.

GR_Initials_Green