Saturday, June 11, 2011

What an ROI

This week was an amazing week for Embraced.  We were able to give someone a prosthetic leg, which will now allow them to walk again.  Let's just say, there were a lot of tears of happiness at Embraced.  The leg is currently being "tweaked" by a wonderful prosthetist, who indicated that Ms. Nancy, will be on her feet again in the next couple of weeks...more details to come.

From the Embraced vantage point, this of course is a very rewarding...however, interestingly enough, is that we are able to accomplish this just 2 years in, very, no, extremely limited budget.  Which then, makes me very excited about the future.  Excited because I can only imagine the amount of impact we will deliver, when we have a bigger budget.

It is amazing, how much can be done with very little.....however, imagine what we can do, with just a bit more.  Please make a donation, so that we can help to more people like Nancy.  Click Here to make your donation.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Connecting the Dots" by Nathan Hartman

It warms my heart to hear and see the good work that Lauren O'Brien and Embraced have done. Knowing that children like Leila can receive, at no cost, expensive equipment that will aid in her road to recovery is truly a gift. My small part in making this happen originated in awareness ofI Child Spring International through the work of Rose Emily Bermudez, and after learning about Embraced, I thought that the two might work together one day in achieving a common goal: helping disabled children in need. Little did I know how quickly this connection would lead to children receiving the help they need.
Lending a hand is not always easy. Our time is filled with work and relationships and any number of other duties and responsibilities. To pile on the task of helping total strangers seems impossible. We tell ourselves that there simply aren't enough hours in the day to make a real difference, but any amount of time can do real, tangible good if our efforts are directed towards the right cause. Making an introduction between Embraced and Child Spring only took a few emails, but those minutes have already secured necessary post-operation equipment that will help Leila walk. Organizations like these can use our individual talents and connections to make profound positive changes in the lives of people in our hometown Atlanta, across the country, and around the globe. So whether we have a free weekend or just a few minutes, there is a way that you can make a real difference in the live of others. Contact Lauren O'Brien at to find out how your talents can change lives.

- Nathan Hartman, ESQ. MTS
Hartman Private Law

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Newton's 3rd Law

Sometimes we get referred a patient that needs multiple pieces of medical equipment and we just don't have everything.  Because we rely on donations, sometimes inventory varies but, I kid you not, for some reason it always works out.  I recently delivered a wheelchair and walker to a 15 yr old over at Children's Hospital.  The case manager indicated that he also needed a shower seat.  I told Colleen, "nope we don't have one right now, but I am sure we will have one soon".  She looked at me suspiciously and asked me if I had other resources or if I were going to go buy one.  I told her with utmost confidence, "Colleen, this is how my life has been working out for the past two years- trust me, I can almost guarantee, we will get one in the next day or so".  

Shower seats are not common- we have been donated 2 shower seats in the past year but for some reason,  I just simply knew it would all work out.  I left and went about my day.

It wasn't until Monday that I received a voice message from a woman.  She told me her mother had just passed away and she was wanting to donate an item, but was not sure if we would take the item and to please call her back.  I returned the call, inquired about the item and learned her donation in question was a shower seat.

Coincidence or serendipity...who knows.  But, we all managed to work together to make sure our kiddo, Jonathan, had a solution.

Shower chairs might not sound that grand.  But, this is one less piece of equipment his working family has to worry about, one less piece of equipment headed to a landfill and one less headache for Jonathan who is simply trying to adjust to his new life in a wheelchair, so that he can focus on recovering and healing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Milli Vanilli, Goats and Hot-Dog truck drivers- corny or clever?

I swear I'd talk to a wall if it would talk back, so I rarely need an ice-breaker.  Sweaty palms and that "cat's got your tongue" feeling is unknown to me.  However, I do realize that we are all different, so at my first  Battle of the Burgers committee meeting, I decided to do an ice-breaker exercise at this meeting.  Now, these said ice-breakers usually annoy me for the first 10 min of most meetings, well, because they are usually really boring...and I never really felt anymore connected to "Hi, I am Jack and I am from Maryland".   So are 6 million other folks,, we have so much in common.  I have a nose too, Jack- does that makes us connected?  Maybe I am a bit harsh, but I just never did an ice-breaker that was beneficial.....until the other day...

I asked guest to state the, work, where they are from..and then, I asked them to recount one interesting and or embarrassing fact, keyword:interesting and/or embarrassing.

I then started strategically because I knew the first person to "go" would set the tone.  I praised that person for revealing that she was a professional "back-end fender bender", having back-ended a slew of cars in her days of driving.  This set the tone:  positive praise for embarrassing facts.

Other fun things I learned:
1. one girl drove a Oscar Meyer-like hot dog truck
2. someone lost 70lbs- very AMAZING
3. someone actually partied with MIlLI Vanilli!

So, moral of the story:  embarrassing/interesting facts bond us together... we all felt a bit connected through sharing laughs and smiles about how weird we all are.

PS- I had a pet goat named Sylvester when I was 7...and he ate dog food.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fostering innovation

I subscribe to this online newsletter and really enjoy reading it....this was yesterdays info:

This was taken from Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog

A big topic at the Fast Company Innovation Uncensored Conference in New York this week was how to foster innovation at your workplace.  Thought leaders from JetBlueHuluPepsi, OWN/Oprah Winfrey Network, DonorsChoose and even Jared Leto weighed in on the topic.  Here were some of the more helpful themes: 

5 tips on fostering innovation at your organization

A big topic at the Fast Company Innovation Uncensored Conference in New York this week was how to foster innovation at your workplace.  Thought leaders from JetBlueHuluPepsi, OWN/Oprah Winfrey Network,DonorsChoose and even Jared Leto weighed in on the topic.  Here were some of the more helpful themes:
1. Take the time to define for everyone in your office the kind of organization you want to be, or else it will just happen to you by default.  For example, Hulu defines itself as a customer company, not a media company, which affects how to approaches just about everything.  Their aim is to create a service that “users, advertisers and content owners love.”  They designed Hulu to work for all of those audiences - rather than to just disseminate videos.
2. Have a few simple shared values that serve as everyone’s North Star.  For example, JetBlue stands for safety first, as well as caring, passion, integrity and fun.  This permeates the culture (though as JetBlue said themselves, one flight attendant managed to violate all of them.)  When you have these, you can empower people throughout the organization to make decisions as long as they follow the values.
3. While everyone needs formal processes in the workplace, needless bureaucracy squelches creativity and discourages innovation.  At Hulu, staff raise their hand if they see signs of bad bureaucracy.
4. Stories are a great way to do just about everything: inspire, communicate and bring people together.  “The center of our culture is narrative,” as FX executive John Landgraf put it.

And my favorite....

5. Be a dreamer.  Build a company on what you hope to happen, not what you fear will happen.  It works better.

For more on nonprofit innovation, check out this month’s blog carnival at RAD.

Monday, April 25, 2011

co·op·er·a·tion noun \(ˌ)kō-ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shən\

Recently, I placed a call to a fabulous non profit organization.  I knew it would be hard for Embraced to work with this organization because they do not provide medical missions...however, I figured I would just give a call to introduce Embraced.

I spoke with a passionate director, who too, concluded that there was not a "working" match for us to work together, but then, she told me that she would love to put me in touch directly with other organizations.  And this is what made me so happy.  

She understood that as a result of her putting Embraced in touch with other potential collaborating organizations, she in turn would help to accomplish the mission of Embraced- to provide orthopedic and prosthetic equipment to individuals in need-both locally and globally.  

Without any benefit to her, she went above and beyond.  But, then I realized something grave.  The definition of cooperating is:

cooperatingpresent participle of co·op·er·ate (Verb)

1. Act jointly; work toward the same end.

Her "end" was ultimately helping individuals in need- not exclusively through her organization, but more so, through her actions.

What is your "end" mission and are you cooperating?  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leila was Embraced

Meet Leila.  This beautiful girl is smiling because in a few days she will have surgery that will allow her to walk.

Leila is 11 years old and while her recovery from surgery will be long, it will be a bit easier thanks to the equipment- wheelchair and walker provided by Embraced.

Embraced just dropped off a wheelchair and walker that will make it's journey to Greenville, SC today to where Leila is anxiously awaiting her surgery.

Embraced had the pleasure of working together with the fabulous organization know as Childspring International to help an individual in need- to help Leila.

For the next few months this wheelchair and walker will provide mobility to Leila and will help her to heal properly.

Your monetary donation will allow Embraced to help more children like Leila.  Please click HERE to make a donation.