Sunday, January 31, 2010

Help for HAITI

This article came from our OneGiving e-Gifts January-February newsletter, to subscribe go to to receive our monthly newsletters! This edition we are highlighting the HAITI relief efforts.

As the earthquake hit Haiti in January, we felt it most appropriate to focus the organizations of the month on Haiti. As we saw an outpouring from around the world to help the people and country of Haiti in a time of need, we received many calls from friends reaching out for the best information on who they could donate to that would ensure the money was getting to the people on the ground and wasn’t getting tied up in bureaucracy.

They also reached out to let us know that they wished OneGiving™ was officially up and running during this time of need. We had to take a deep breath as we too wished that OneGiving™ was in the space of being ready, infrastructure built, technology up and running and transparency and accountability ready to track and help more people and more lives. But alas, as has been with the journey with OneGiving™, it has been about patience and building it right, rather than rushing to get it done quickly and without ample thought, time and resources.

So, rather than focus on what isn’t, we decided to focus on how we could help those who have been asking and we decided to put together a list of a few of the nonprofits that we have donated to and/or that have been recommended as having a strong presence on the ground in Haiti - both short and long term - and/or that have strong leadership, accountability and impact.

Below is a list of different organizations. Please note that this is in no way a comprehensive list, just a list that we have pulled together from the different contacts in the nonprofit arena and globally that have made recommendations. We thank you for your generosity and outpouring of support and giving for the people and country of Haiti as it demonstrates a beautiful heart-opening of people around the world and the planet and knowing that in that giving, we are coming together more as one people, one world and one planet!

The Lambi Fund -
The Lambi Fund is an organization run by Haitian women in Haiti and has a long history in Haiti. The organization is working with the people of Haiti during this time of crisis, but has been there before and will continue to remain in Haiti after many of the relief efforts go away. The organization is a diverse group of individuals from many walks of life who work together toward economic justice, democracy and alternative sustainable development in Haiti. The Lambi Fund's mission is to assist the popular, democratic movement in Haiti. Its goal is to help strengthen civil society as a necessary foundation of democracy and development. The fund channels financial and other resources to community-based organizations that promote the social and economic empowerment of the Haitian people. The Lambi Fund supports projects that embrace: non-violent, non-partisan, community-based, promoting the advancement of women, using education and training for empowerment, and promoting the overall democratic movement.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières -
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care or natural disasters. MSF received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. MSF is a reliable, sustainable and well-reputable organization providing humanitarian aid in Haiti, as well as providing information and the latest news and updates on the situation in Haiti. On their site, they also have a record of where their expenses go keeping transparency and accountability front and center in their work (

African Methodist Episcopal Church Service and Development Agency (AME-SADA) -
AME-SADA is the humanitarian relief and development entity of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the oldest organized African American Church in the United States. AME-SADA is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life in Africa and the Caribbean. Since its founding 28 years ago, AME-SADA has demonstrated the implementation of its mission, Helping People Help Themselves, by providing essential assistance to those in need through health, micro-credit and education programs, as wells as emergency humanitarian aid in Africa and Haiti. With its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and field offices in Haiti and South Africa, AME-SADA has a long-standing commitment to supporting the people of Haiti towards self-sufficiency. With the latest earthquake in Haiti, AME-SADA is committed to short time aid and long term assistance and involvement in ensuring sustainability in Haiti.

Partners in Health/Stand with Haiti -
Partners in Health (PIH) has been on ground in Haiti for over 20 years. They have been pioneers in providing health care for poor and have over 300 doctors and hundreds more relief volunteers to make a difference, as they understand the people, their culture, their needs and their pain. PIH works to bring modern medical care to poor communities in 12 countries around the world. The work of PIH has three goals: to care for our patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world. Based in Boston, PIH employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, including doctors, nurses and community health workers. The vast majority of PIH staff are local nationals based in the communities they serve and they are committed to continuing to serve Haiti as they did long before the earthquake.

United Sikhs Haiti Relief Effort -
The United Sikhs began in 1999 when a core group of Sikhs from NY came together to assist in the socio-economic development of immigrant communities in NY. Since then the group has expanded its efforts to pursue projects for the spiritual, social and economic empowerment of underpriveleged and minority communities around the world. The United Sikhs recognize the human race as ONE and the core of their philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good. The United Sikhs has created a Haitian relief effort to help with search and rescue as well as continued aid and development.

Yéle Haiti Foundation -
Yéle Haiti is a foundation started by Grammy-Award winning musician, producer and social entrepreneur Wyclef Jean. Through Yéle Haiti, Wyclef uses music, sports and the media to reinforce projects that are making a difference in education, health, environment and community development in Haiti. In practical terms this translates to over 3,000 new jobs, close to 7,000 children being put in school, more than 8,000 people a month receiving food and approximately 2,000 young people a month learning about HIV/AIDS prevention. With the earthquake, Yéle Haiti is committed to furthering its advocacy, work and voice for a sustainable Haiti.

Humanitarian International Services Group (HISG) -
HISG is a non-profit that specializes in private sector resource mobilization and management. They have been connecting resources to needs for crisis response and humanitarian developmental initiatives. Since 2001, HISG has mobilized and moved tens of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid at less than 10% administrative costs, has established institutional capability to mobilize and manage private sector resource capacity, and has networked over 45 warehouses across the USA to work collaboratively to aid around the world. HISG’s is committed to development and aid in Haiti and is partnering with private sector and other nonprofits to provide and deliver needed resources and care for the people of Haiti.

Caring House Project Foundation -
Caring House Project Foundation is a nonprofit committed to create self-sufficiency by providing housing, food, water, medical support and opportunity for the desperately poor and homeless from around the world, particularly in the Caribbean, South America, Indonesia, Africa and the United States. Caring House Project Foundation has been committed to doing work in Haiti, with current commitments including building new villages in Chameau, Mannuel, Mahotiere/Rampa and finishing villages already started in Terre Rouge, Fond Rouge Torbek and Paroty, Haiti. Caring House Project Foundation was founded in 1998 by Frank McKinney, a daredevil Real Estate "artist," 5-time international bestselling author, philanthropist, and visionary who was committed to making a difference as a result of his own success in real estate and sustainable, green building.

Tax Relief for Haiti Legislation
Several bills have come out in Congress to let people deduct charitable contributions for relief in Haiti in the 2009 tax year through March 2010, including:
Haiti relief bill HR 4462
The Haiti Action Initiative and Tax Incentive Act of 2010 (H.R. 4468)
To accelerate the income tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for the relief of victims of the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti (H.R. 4467).
A bill to accelerate the income tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for the relief of victims of the earthquake in Haiti (S. 2931)
The Haiti Assistance Income Tax Incentive Act (S. 2936).

Thank you for your continued gifts and commitments to helping rebuild Haiti.

For future editions, please send in your ideas or recommendations for nonprofits, corporations, celebrities, individuals or others that inspire you and you would like to see us highlight to

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Birthday Gratitude for My Friends

As I sit here on my birthday and reflect upon the past year and the upcoming year, what is really clear for me is how much friendship has kept me going through the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful times. This last year has been one of growth, transformation and faith. As I stepped away from a world and life that I knew and was comfortable withm, and I fully stepped out with courage and faith to follow my heart and dreams, I realize that what has gotten me through have been my friends.

A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself. ~ Unknown

On my birthday last year, I 100% committed to myself to growing, building and creating my mission, my calling and my dream that is OneGiving ( Before I stepped out to do so, I thought it was too BIG a vision, too BIG a dream, too BIG a mission. Yet, when I didn't believe in myself, my friends believed in me and wholeheartedly stepped up and let me know that they would be there for me to support me in the vision. They gave me the strength to move forward and believe in myself at a time when I couldn't fully believe in myself.

A friend is someone who sees through you and still enjoys the view. ~Wilma Askinas

Those first months of my committment were rocky. I had many good days and bad days --days of fear, days of faith, days of skipping and laughing with joy, days of being curled up in a ball crying and not wanting to get out of bed wondering to myself, "What have I done?" It was in those days that my friends saw through me and reminded me to keep going!

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words. ~Unknown

Some of those days, I felt lost, alone and afraid. While so many days, I walked forth with confidence and knowingness -positive with grace and shining my light, other days I would lose my way, forget the words in my heart, only to be reminded by my friends of my gifts and the necessity to stay on the path.

A best friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Every time I turned around, I would see a friend who reflected back the love and light I hold in my heart. I remember when a spiritual teach said that if you ever doubt the light that you are, just look around at your friends as they are just a reflection of your own light. It was truly a moment of appreciation and awe! I never really knew of my light, but looking out at my friends, I thought to myself, "Wow, could it really be true?"

A true friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart. ~ Heather Pryor

Yet the display of friendship - of the amazing friends, reaching out to me over the past year - and years of my life - friends new and old - from near and far - as I have been reconnected with many through Facebook - truly has warmed my heart. I couldn't have done it without the little angels showing up at exactly the right time - sending an email to help with investor introductions, or come volunteer for me and OneGiving, or let me crash on a couch when I needed it, or buy me a meal, or fly across country to move with me, or give me a hug in one of my momentary lapses of faith. Thank you!

A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half cracked. ~ Unknown

And of course, in moments of completely losing my S-H-*-T or my mind, knowing that I am not losing at you, but that it is just a momentary lapse of reason and knowing that I will recover and helping me to get back to sanity!

What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. ~Aristotle

The reality is that we are ONE! You are me and I am you! That despite any of our differences - personal, professional, cultural, sexual, or otherwise - at the core of it we are LOVE - we are ONE!

Friends are relatives you make for yourself. ~Eustache Deschamps

That my friends have become my family - giving me unconditionally loving when I myself or my family might no have not been able to give it! You are the ones who show me your flame when I am in darkness to remind me and inspire me to relight mine...

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. ~Douglas Pagels

And that I might do the same for YOU, when you flame flickers or burns out!

I salute you my friends for the outpouring and love you have given me over the years, over my lifetime and particularly over this last year which has been one of the most significant years of transition, rebirth and growth - one in which I have needed you more than ever before.

THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS YEAR THE BEST YEAR YET, and cheers to this year as it will be the BEST YEAR EVER! May I be there for you as you have been there for me! Happy Birthday to ME and to YOU - in gratitude eternally!

in peace and love, ;) pilar

You can find me on Twitter @pilarstella and Facebook at

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year, New Decade & New YOU!

Can you believe it is already 2010? I myself am pretty amazed as I wonder to myself where did 2009 go? I have heard that many are glad 2009 is over for what it was not. But I hope that as we enter 2010, we may look back and be grateful for what 2009 brought and for what 2010 will bring.

For me 2009 was a clearing out year - clearing out the old, getting clear on ME - who I am and what I want, getting clear on my priorities for my personal and professional life, my goals for OneGiving™. For many, 2009 was a hard year financially, emotionally or whatever the case may be. But I also wonder on a greater level if it was really a year for us all to get clear, to be forced to get back to the basics to get clear about what we really want in our lives. That it was a year of transition, of rebuilding, of creating a foundation for us to move forward with. If we can see it for that and not for what it didn't bring, then maybe we can be grateful and also begin to get excited at what 2010 will hold since we have done our work and built that foundation.

I recently received a few links, videos and articles that provide some different perspectives of where we are headed in 2010. I wanted to share them with you now as I believe we are entering a new era - that some have called the "biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution"(@equalman on Twitter). While the pessimists and cynics may disagree, I consider it the next biggest movement following the women's rights and civil rights era, with a shift towards humanitarian solutions and global oneness. I believe in this upcoming decade we will begin to see a world we don't even recognize as different sectors transform before our eyes. Business will shift from a solely profit centered model to a triple bottom line (people, profit and the planet), media and merchandise will move from selling to listening, people will go from disconnecting to connecting and the world will move towards oneness.

This is one of the most compelling videos I have seen about the rise of social media and its impacts on people, business and beyond. Some of the most incredible statistics include: - That while it took radio 38 years, Tv 13 years, the internet 4 years and the iPod 3 years to reach 50 million users, it has taken Facebook 9 months to reach 100 million users.- If Facebook were a country it would be the 4th largest behind China, India and the U.S.- By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers and 96% are on social networks. You get the picture - we are entering the Social Media Revolution - do you still think it is a FAD? Are you going to catch on or get left behind?

Starbucks LOVE Project
While the Socialnomics video hit you more in the head with staggering statistics and data, this video will hit you straight into the heart. In December Starbucks launched the LOVE Project and this video shows all the people around the world who submitted videos singing Love is All You Need! Really it serves as a good reminder of what this year and decade should be all about, what is truly important in our lives and the foundation from which everything else should come. How are you going to give and receive LOVE this year and decade?

Start Ups - Looking Up
A recent Bloomberg article highlighted that acquisition prices for U.S. startups had climbed to a level not seen since 2007 - before the financial crisis hit. Given that I have our OneGiving™ start up going, I got excited to see that things are shifting and opportunities are opening up. So how are you going to take advantage of more opportunities? Now is the time to go for it, take a leap of faith and reach for bigger and better in 2010!

Has Drucker's Time Really Come?
A recent LA Times article wrote about Peter Drucker's revolutionary teachings on business management. The article talks about his belief that a corporation's role in society is to serve the customer by providing a good or service useful in terms of personal and social terms, not just profit. While he was born in Vienna in 1909, Drucker was a visionary who talked about corporate social responsibility long before it became a formal management principle. His views put him in conflict the classical economists including Milton Friedman who believed that maximization of profit was the end-all, be-all of corporations. Given the economic crisis and failings of the financial and business industries in the last few years and the rise of the ethical consumer and the responsibility revolution, I wonder if perhaps we have entered an era in which Drucker's revolutionary ideas time has truly come?

2010 Predictions
This video makes some predictions about how rapidly our world will transform before us in 2010 - with transparency becoming the word of the year and in which trouble and strife will shift into growth, sharing, striving, believing and achieving. That it will be a year of great revelation of universal truths about energy and the interconnectedness of life. Are you ready for all that is to come? Prepare yourself and choose light, choose to enter the world from a heart centered space and from your true you and you will be more set up to succeed and thrive in 2010.

May you make this year the year of YOU and all that you want it to be! Because the reality is that it starts and ends with YOU! Only YOU can make the choice to shift your energy and set your dreams into motion. So set your intentions, hold true to your truths and watch the magic and mystery unfold before you! Happy New Year!

If you don't like how something is, you're the only one who as the ability to change YOU. ~ Unknown