Some of Shelly’s Favorite Things: Part One- Helping Others

Some of you may be familiar with the Strengths Finder 2.0 book. (In fact, I have bought it for a number of people).  It is a book that has an online test that you take and it categorizes your top 5 strengths. It theorizes that you should stop trying to improve in your weak areas and focus on growing your strengths in order to get the best return on your investment so to speak.

In the spirit of that test, which identified my top strength as COMMAND (really just a fancy way of saying bossy), I decided I should write a blog on some of my favorite things. One of the essential characteristics of a COMMAND person is that, not only do they have strong opinions about everything, but they feel the need to share those strong opinions with everyone. It’s like they KNOW me! 🙂

My Top 5 Strengths certificate that I proudly display in my cubicle. If anyone ever indicates that I'm getting too bossy, talk too much, impatient etc. I just point to the certificate and remind them that the County of San Diego is a STRENGTHs-based organization. It's my supporting documentation.

So rather than provide a haphazard list of all kinds of random stuff, I decided to compile a somewhat organized list of random stuff broken into categories. I imagine that this could possibly take a few posts so I’ll start off with one of my favorite topics: Helping Others.

And PS: I’d LOVE to hear about ways that you like to help others so post in the comments and let me know. Whether it’s an organization you love or just a way to reach out and connect, I’m all ears!!

 Helping Others– All too often we say that we want to help others but due to lack of time, motivation, organization etc. we fall short of what we hope to do. The following list provides some of my favorite ways to help others.

Uptown Rotary– Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat- Yes, this is a shameless plug for my Rotary club. BUT, it is a shameless plug with a heart. Uptown Rotary is a great way to get involved in the community doing hands on community service projects in manageable chunks of time with amazing, funny people. Don’t forget I’M a member!! Even if you’re not ready to join up (btw- it’s only $69/quarter), we love to have people join us for service projects like our upcoming evening at Dreams for Change or at the San Diego Hospice’s 5k Walk and Fun Run. I mean don’t you walk anyway?!? Might as well come out and show your support for a great cause. Bring the kids! Show them that helping others can be fun.

KIVA– This is a great microcredit lending organization that allows individuals or groups to do person to person lending. For instance, last month, I, along with a bunch of other people, each lent $25 to a woman in New York who is working on expanding her pesto-making business. Food AND philanthropy together!! A match made in heaven. Now that she is fully funded, she starts paying the loan back and then my KIVA account (and everyone else’s) is repaid and I get to loan it out as many times as I want! Seriously, how cool is that?!? And it’s world-wide so you can lend money in just about any country you want. And speaking of kids again, it’s great to get them involved and have them help choose which individuals or groups you want to lend to. When you think about the difference $25 can make to someone in the third world who is maybe going to start selling some eggs and just needs a little money to buy hens, it’s hard to justify NOT doing it.

Kickstarter– This organization touts itself as “a new way to fund creative projects.” And honestly that really sums it up. The website provides descriptions of various projects that people need funding to implement. It’s an all-or-nothing model where you pledge money but will not be charged unless the entire project amount is funded. So for instance, my good friend Maria Sparks of Cork & Platter catering is launching a new venture called Gro Café in Balboa Park. She’s developed an innovative model that combines providing fresh, local food for visitors through the café while also harnessing the waste (food scraps, plates, etc.) to create a composting program that will then be used to feed the plants in Balboa Park. She’s calls it Keep it in the Park. Food, helping others and environmental responsibility- c’mon people! What’s not to like?!?

So that’s a few of my faves off the top of my head. Let me know what you think. Who’s on your list??


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