Increase Optimism, Reduce Anxiety, Tribute Music, Extend Gratitude & Have Your Mind Blown!

Happy Soul Food Friday for the week of #GivingTuesday!

This week:
Our Most Powerful Force to Increase Optimism
Neuroscience Says Listening to This Song Reduces Anxiety by Up to 65 Percent
National Philanthropy Day Recap and the Dvorak 9th Symphony -a tribute to the cultural mix that is America
Extending the Power of Thank You Post Thanksgiving
Mind Bending Photos of the Places that Time Forgot


Our Most Powerful Force to Increase Optimism (#427)


WHAT IF . . . gratitude is the most powerful force we have to increase positive feelings of optimism, creativity, and friendliness?

RESEARCH SAYS: If you can spend 90 seconds, 3 times a day on what you’re grateful for you will actually build more brain capacity to feel happiness and well-being.  That’s because gratitude exercises the part of your brain that processes feelings of well-being so more and faster brain cell synapses develop.  Now that’s something to be grateful for!

TRY THIS:  Keep a daily gratitude journal.  When I wake up each morning I write down one thing I am grateful for that day.  I try to never repeat.  I read my entries on Sunday morning.  I hope you try it.  It’s happiness training and it works.

Neuroscience Says Listening to This Song Reduces Anxiety by Up to 65 Percent:!Z/

National Philanthropy Day Recap and the Dvorak 9th Symphony -a tribute to the cultural mix that is America
This was playing last week on NPR (Here and Now) and I found it most timely
The Dvorak 9th was written as his tribute to America and is infused with Spirituals, Native American drumming and other music that he viewed as truly representative of the cultural mix that is our country.

NPD was an amazing gathering where we also did three Facebook Live Broadcasts from the event and Mission Fed generated over a reach of over 3,000 per video.

Broadcast 1


Broadcast 2


Broadcast 3


Extending the Power of Thank You:

The Power of Thank You

In extending the spirit of Thanksgiving, this week I’d love to share with you the benefits and power of two simple words. THANK YOU.

They are two words that have the power to transform our health, happiness, athletic performance and success. Research shows that grateful people are happier and more likely to maintain good friendships. A state of gratitude, according to research by the Institute of HeartMath, also improves the heart’s rhythmic functioning, which helps us to reduce stress, think more clearly under pressure and heal physically. It’s actually physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time. When you are grateful you flood your body and brain with emotions and endorphins that uplift and energize you rather than the stress hormones that drain you.

Gratitude and appreciation are also essential for a healthy work environment. In fact, the number one reason why people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. A simple thank you and a show of appreciation can make all the difference.

Gratitude is like muscle. The more we do with it the stronger it gets. In this spirit here are 5 ways to practice Thanksgiving every day of the year.

  1. Take a Daily Thank You Walk – I started this practice 15 years ago and it changed my life. Take a simple 10-30 minute walk each day and say out loud what you are thankful for. This will set you up for a positive day. I wrote more about this in The Positive Dog.
  2. Meal Time Thank You’s – On Thanksgiving, or just at dinner with your friends and family, go around the table and have each person, including the kids at the little table, say what they are thankful for.
  3. Gratitude Visit – Martin Seligman, Ph.D., the father of positive psychology, suggests that we write a letter expressing our gratitude to someone. Then we visit this person and read them the letter. His research shows that people who do this are measurably happier and less depressed a month later.
  4. Say Thank You at Work – When Doug Conant was the CEO of Campbell Soup he wrote approximately 30,000 thank you notes to his employees and energized the company in the process. Energize and engage your co-workers and team by letting them know you are grateful for them and their work. Organizations spend billions of dollars collectively on recognition programs but the best and cheapest recognition program of all consists of a sincere THANK YOU. And of course don’t forget to say thank you to your clients and customers too.
  5. Say Thank you and Goodnight – At bedtime reflect on your day, identify and share all that you are thankful for. If you have children you can read Thank You and Goodnight with them and add to it.


1  A tree growing through an abandoned piano


2  Overgrown palace, Poland
In 1910, this grand palace was built as a home for Polish Royalty. The rest of the century proved uncertain for the country And under communist rule the palace became an agricultural school, as well as a home for mentally handicapped adults and children.  The former palace was deserted following the fall of the USSR.

3  Jet Star Rollercoaster, Seaside Heights, New Jersey
The Jet Star Rollercoaster was left submerged in the Atlantic Ocean after Superstorm Sandy in 2013.  It stood rusting for six months, until it was plucked from the sea.

4  Abandoned House in the Woods

5  Church in St. Etienne, France

6  An abandoned church with a few lingering parishioners, Netherlands

7  Doll factory, Spain

8  Tree growing around an abandoned bicycle

9  Shipwrecks in a sandbar, Bermuda Triangle

10  Floating forest, Sydney, Australia

11  Movie theater in Detroit, Michigan
With Detroit’s decline, many of its historic buildings have fallen into disuse. This movie theater is both a fascinating and sad example.

12  Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California
The Mare Island Naval Shipyard acted as a submarine port during both of the World Wars. In the 1990s,  The building was abandoned and flooding has since created an amazing mirror effect.

13  Victorian-style tree house, Florida, USA

14  Forgotten Bugattis

15  The Titanic wreck

The titanic took its first and last voyage in April, 1912. It was not until 73 years later that the decaying wreck of what was once The greatest ship in the world was discovered. The 1,500 souls lost with the vessel had been devoured by sea life, leaving behind a ghost ship.

16  Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture, France
The “little belt railway” was a circular railway system built in 1852 to supply Paris’ fortifications. When the city outgrew its defenses in 1934, the railway system was also left to run wild.

17  Spreepark, Berlin, Germany
Spreepark, opened in 1969, was the only amusement park in East Berlin during Soviet rule.  When the Wall fell, bigger and better parks opened, leading to Spreeparks closure in 2001.

18  Library, Russia

19  Island Home, Finland

20  Chris McCandless’ magic bus, Stampede Trail, Alaska
Bus 142 was left behind by the workers who built the railway at Stampede Trail. Christopher McCandless, an American hitchhiker whose story was told through the movie “Into The Wild, lived and died in what he referred to as the “magic bus” during the summer of 1992.

21  Turquoise Canal, Venice, Italy
Just like any other city, areas of Venice are boarded up and abandoned.

22  Staircase to nowhere, Pismo Beach, California
Once giving access to the beach, the walkway that connected this staircase to the bluffs has long since Rotted away.

23  Nara Dreamland, Japan
Nara Dreamland was built in 1961 after Disneyland took the world by storm. The entrance to the park Was almost identical to Disneyland and included its own version of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.  The park closed in 2006 because of low visitor numbers.

24  Abandoned mining track, Taiwan

25  Abandoned Jetty

26  Bare footprints in an abandoned nuclear reactor

27  An abandoned waterpark

28  Boathouse, Obersee Lake, Germany

29  Abandoned hallway

30  Methodist church, Gary, Indiana
Gary, Indiana, was founded in 1905 during the boom of US steel. During the 1950s, more than 200,000 people worked in the bustling city. As the manufacturing sector declined, nearly half of the city fell into disuse.

31  Church in the snow, Canada

32  Blue spiral staircase in a European castle

33  Soviet naval testing station in Makhachkala, Russia

34  Church steeple peeking out of a frozen lake, Reschen, Italy

Lake Reschen is an artifical reservoir which submerged several villages and a 14th century church.

35  Glenwood power station, New York

The Glenwood Power Station, built in 1906, has long been obsolete. After closing in 1968, the sight was used as a backdrop for creepy thrillers and zombie movies.

Thanks this week go to Will M, the team at Mission Fed, Larry H, and those that make our lives better through the power of music!

Pay it forward…

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“When I was 5 years old, my mother always
told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted
to be when I grew up.
I wrote down ‘happy’.
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment,
and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

–John Lennon

Thanksgiving at every Level and every Table- In Our Social, Work, Community and Personal Lives


This week:

Practicing An Attitude of Gratitude with Our Returning Kindness Campaign:
By popular demand, here are round two of our pay it forward, back and sideways campaign that runs on 94.1 and 93.3 through December with a new spot sharing the love each week!

Thanks to the 1,000+ people in San Diego that added their energy to National Philanthropy Day 2016
It was a Symphony of Philanthropy!

11-23-16-2National Philanthropy Day only comes once a year, but your contribution of goods, time and donations are needed all year long to meet the needs of our community and nonprofit organizations. Help us extend the attitude of gratitude throughout San Diego County every day by making a contribution today.


A Powerful Antidote for the Workplace: Respect & Appreciation!

11-23-16-311.23.16-5.jpga powerful antidote for the modern workplace
Today’s workplace is asking employees to do more than ever. People are accessible via technology at all hours, at home, and even on vacation. Despite their efforts to keep up with ever-increasing demands, most workers aren’t feeling adequately appreciated. The result is lower productivity, lack of engagement, and high rates of turnover. In contrast, employees who do feel recognized and appreciated report 53% higher focus, 58% higher engagement, and 109% higher likelihood to stay with the organization.* A little appreciation goes a long way and has the power to change the entire milieu of an office. You may compensate employees in the form of flexible work hours, higher salaries, or even an on-site barista, but none of these can top the power of two simple words: “Thank you.”  Specific words of thanks and appreciation fill our reservoirs with positive emotions and prevent burnout. Appreciation is a win-win. When you sit down to write a note of thanks, not only will the recipient benefit from your expression of positive emotions, but so will you. Making others feel more valued makes us feel more valuable. Remember, emotions are contagious. Make the simple but profound act of appreciation an intentional part of your day.  For more tips and ideas for expressing appreciation, check out our album on Facebook where you can like, share, and comment on your favorites. *Read more findings from our Human Era @ Work white paper

from our blog

The Bad Behavior of Visionary Leaders Our research at The Energy Project has shown that the more employees feel their needs are being met at work – above all, for respect and appreciation – the better they perform.


top tips

  1. Say thank you. In our digital world, it’s tempting to shoot off an email or even a text to thank someone, but taking the time to handwrite a note has more of an impact. Remember to be specific about why you’re thanking him or her. A face to face thank you or even an email sent to his/her boss are also good options.
  2. Start a gratitude journal. Appreciation starts with the ability to take note of the positive things that are working and acknowledge your gratitude for them. The practice of keeping a gratitude journal will slowly alter the lens through which you view the world. And when you have a bad day, you can open up your journal to be reminded of what’s right in your life.
  3. Listen. At the most basic level, listening makes other feel valued and appreciated. Give the people you’re conversing with today your full, focused attention.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” 

— John F. Kennedy


The Love Drug- Oxytocin, A BBC Podcast:
The hormone oxytocin is involved in mother and baby bonding and in creating trust. Much is known with respect to oxytocin effects on the perception of well-being, happiness, and importantly, interpersonal bonding and human social behavior…
Want to know what really happens at a wedding?
Want to improve your therapeutic session?

If you are local…
Catch us on KUSI TV this Thanksgiving Sunday at 11 am!

Thanks this week go to Deepak C, Tony S, Anu T, Cathy S, and all of you resonating on the appreciation vibration as we launch the holiday season!

Pay that “attitude of gratitude” forward…


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“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that
gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder”
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Daring Greatly and the Power of Vulnerability

Happy Soul Food Friday and Happy Birthday Arman!


Citizenship in the Republic

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

This week:
A Surprising Prescription for Heartbreak and Let Down:

The Power of Vulnerability with Brene’ Brown:
27 Million Views of one of the most popular Ted Talks out there- for darn good reason

Your Last Call to Sign up for FutureFit LEAP for Education November 29th and 30th:
Note: We have limited space left and while the event is free, we are going to ask no shows to make a $50 dollar donation to the nonprofit of their choice if they don’t attend as they precluded someone else from being there:)
The reception on the 29th will be at the Bella Vista Café with more details forthcoming for all those that RSVP…
FutureFit Invitation

National Philanthropy Day 2016 in San Diego: A Symphony of Philanthropy
Extreme gratitude to all of you in our community and beyond that make every day Philanthropy Day by your generous contributions of time, treasure and talent to create transformations for others!

If You Are Local:
Do watch us on KUSI TV this Sunday Nov 20th at 11am (correction this will air on Sun Nov 27th same time)

Return Kindness:
Just buying someone else’s gasoline can make their day!
Are we at 200,000 acts yet?
Gas Station:

Thanks this week go to those mere mortals that through their authenticity and vulnerability dare greatly, and teach us what it is to be divine!
What would you attempt to do even if you failed magnificently?

Pay it forward…

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“Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen”
–Brene’ Brown’s Vulnerability Prayer

35 Years Teaching the Wisdom Traditions, and Every Day is Philanthropy Day …


“Come friends, it’s not too late to seek a newer world.” – Alfred Tennyson

This week:
EVERY Day is National Philanthropy Day in San Diego

November 16th 2016 marks the 44th annual celebration of National Philanthropy Day (NPD) around the country. But EVERY Day is National Philanthropy Day in San Diego. If you are committed to a New Culture of Philanthropy, We Hope We See You There
San Diego has a long and distinguished history of philanthropy.  Even in a region with a limited number of national corporate headquarters or industries that spawn the wealthy, this community has demonstrated enduring kindness and generosity to help better the lives of San Diegans in need. November 16th 2016 marks the 44th annual celebration of National Philanthropy Day (NPD) around the country, and San Diego’s gathering is one of the largest in the nation. This is a huge testament to the generosity and civic engagement of our community.  NPD is an important opportunity to recognize and celebrate the critical role philanthropy plays to position San Diego as both America’s finest city and America’s kindest region.

Whether you define philanthropy as a love of humankind, or an activity intended to promote human welfare,” said Neville Billimoria, SVP Membership/Marketing and Chief Advocacy Officer Mission Federal Credit Union, “we know that to have a healthy vibrant region to strengthen our social fabric, we need the interdependent work of committed nonprofits working effectively on their mission, coupled with generous and smart investing by philanthropists.”

Billimoria noted that while the heart-set has not changed, both the face and nature of philanthropy has evolved significantly over the last decade and it is time for our mind-set to catch up. Today’s new face of philanthropy is engaging so many heroes – young people and adults — through strategic volunteering.

Keely Tidrow, AFP San Diego President and Major Gifts Officer, Old Globe Theatre stated that efforts in philanthropy have moved from working largely in silos to solve a specific problem to more systemic, integrated efforts that achieve collective impact.  AFP has a unique opportunity where over 300 local non-profit professionals convene monthly to discuss how to collectively work together to solve and better our community by saying that Philanthropy Matters in San Diego.

“Today,” said Tidrow, “there are more nonprofits doing good work- 12,000+ in San Diego- seeking support and exposure, a more diverse and inclusive community than ever before. Today’s leaders understand that effective collaboration and partnership are essential for sustainable and scalable social systems change.”

She added, “To be more reflective of the face and needs of today’s region, we were inspired with the help of our friends to envision and implement an entirely new National Philanthropy Day experience for this year – A Symphony of Philanthropy for San Diego.

“The Symphony, “said Billimoria, “is a perfect metaphor for society. After countless hours of perfecting their craft, musicians come together with intimate care for every note, breath and emotion, knowing some of that individual nuance might be lost among the numerable other musicians on the stage, but trusting that something bigger will come from that collective sound. This is what makes society great! Each of us laboring diligently in our own area, yet recognizing that while what we do individually might have impact, what we do collectively changes the world.”

“This metaphor holds true for the philanthropic community as well. Every grant, every gift, every hour we invest, every need we fill, every heart we touch, every life we improve- each adds up for the greater good. We are all instrumental in this effort but when we play symphonically our impact is transformation.”

This year’s National Philanthropy Day offers the community an opportunity to connect with young people that are changing their communities, and adults that have devoted their life to serving others. Proceeds go to scholarships and monthly educational workshops to build our capacity and improve outcomes right here in our region.

A limited amount of complimentary tickets are available to those that are not able to purchase a ticket.  For additional information, please contact Georgia Ringler, Chapter Manager, AFP – San Diego at 858.212.1706 or reach her by email at

Celebrating 35 Years of Teaching the Wisdom Traditions at UC San Diego
Hard to believe it has been 35 years of teaching traditional martial arts, yoga & meditation to kids, students, the campus and general community at UC San Diego.

This week people from all over are returning to connect deeply & celebrate our collective efforts touching thousands of lives on our shared journey Embracing the Past, Polishing the Present and Reflecting (our best selves) in the Future.
My heartfelt gratitude to each of you for your loyalty, steadfast commitment to lifelong learning, and dedication to making our world just a little bit better on step at a time!


Do the wisdom traditions really matter in the 21st century?
You can ask those with a practice.
Meanwhile, here is a school that replaced detention with meditation. Check out the results…

Another 200,000 Thank You Vid
Our Return Kindness Campaign continues and we hope you can add your energy to the positive wave spreading through our community!
It is fun and so easy!
Carnitas Snack Shack:

Thanks this week go to the entire Aoinagi Ken Shu Kai community, Margaret M, those returning kindness and YOU for reading this!

Pay it forward.

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.“— Confucius

Let Unity and Civility Define Us, Returning Kindness, Join us at both FutureFit a LEAP for Education and National Philanthropy Day 2016!

This week:


Let Unity and Civility Define Us:
No Matter Who Wins

Returning Kindness:
A 200,000 Thank You Campaign:

Committed to Education?
 Join this amazing and diverse team that will ensure our lifelong learning educational systems are future-proofed, future designed and ultimately future fit.

The Power of Education:
 13 Year Old Girl Named America’s Top Young Scientist and Wins $25,000:

National Philanthropy Day November 16th 2016- A Symphony of Philanthropy
Is Social Purpose An Integral Part of Who YOU Are?


Let Unity and Civility Define Us, No Matter Who Wins by Ken Druck, Carl Luna and Neville Billimoria:
                     What so funny ‘bout peace, love and understanding…

As Election Day nears, it is time to shift our attention from the damage this campaign has done to our nation and our standing in the world, and focus on what happens after November 8th. The divisive political discourse that has filled our heads and airwaves for the past 18 months has rendered our democracy weaker and less functional than at any time in recent memory. Playing to the lowest common denominator of hatred, distrust and vengeance, we are now at an all-time low.

America faces real risks at home and abroad if we continue to viciously attack our countrymen and women with whom we disagree. It’s time to transmute the daily dose of hatred, vitriol and contentious arguing and shift our attention from throwing fuel on the “Who is more corrupt?” fire to asking “What exactly are we doing to our country and our children by modeling hatred and spewing vitriol?”

Exercising our right to vote is critical. It’s what makes up a great nation. But civility goes beyond voting to policing our words and behavior in the service of the common good. Each of us needs to remember the values that have made this country a model for the world for the past two hundred years. It is time for our elected officials and their surrogates to check their self-righteousness and overblown egos at the door, and to begin acting like public servants who want to bridge the partisan gap and end gridlock. “Do what you were elected to do!” as one local community leader put it, “and work with your fellow Americans to build a better America.”

It’s time to take ownership for our part at citizens in making our democracy work. Asking “What’s best for America?” Rising above the fray is a tall order indeed when so many of us, it seems, prefer to rubberneck a good fight. We need to demand a change in the conversation to “How can we make positive change in an atmosphere of mutual respect?”

This country has always endured candidate bashing during an election cycle, yet years of divisiveness and inaction at the legislative level have frustrated and polarized the American people of all persuasions like never before.

Millions of Americans are likely to feel deeply depressed and disenfranchised the morning after the election, whoever is elected. And what will we do then?

Do we have the character strength to reach across the aisle and work together or will we allow the philosophy of “my side is right and yours is not just wrong, but Un-American,” to prevail?

The time between now and January 20th when we inaugurate our new President, will say it all. Our age-old tradition of agreeing to disagree with civility has kept our nation united and strong. The choice to heal, respectfully agree to disagree, find common ground, choose civility over civil war, reunify our nation and move America to higher ground begins with each of us. Here are a few ways to help make this happen:

– Refocus on the end goal. Make unity, civility and respect a priority. Be passionate, yet tolerant and inclusive.

– Pivot from a “Tear Down” to “Build Up” mentality.

– Engage others with respect, open-mindedness, trustworthiness and a genuinely interest in learning why they feel the way they do.

– Champion community, corporate and elected leaders who model civility.

– Listen, learn from others, work collaboratively to solve problems across the partisan divide, embody fairness and support those with have a proven capacity to bring about substantive and sustainable change.


We are one nation. As Abraham Lincoln so sagely pronounced, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Strengthening America from the inside out starts with bringing out the best in ourselves and one another, working through impasses, reconciling differences, finding common ground and working together for the common good.

Returning Kindness; 200,000 Thank You Campaign:
As we reach our 200,000 member milestone, we are practicing, intentional acts of kindness all over San Diego and inviting our community to pay it forward…

Committed to Education?
Join this amazing and diverse team At FutureFit LEAP for Education
Networking November 29th and the Main Event on November 30th in San Diego:

Future Fit LEAP for Education 2016
Networking on November 29 and Main Event on November 30

Download a version of this email

Once all the election noise has abated, as a nation we will need to turn our attention to making America better no matter who wins. As someone committed to critical issues in education, we would like to personally invite you to a convening on the evening of November 29th (Pre-­Reception & Networking) and morning of November 30th  (The Main Event) to shape what Future Fit Education in our region will look like.

A diverse group of leaders from education, business, government, community, philanthropy and other sectors will come together to discover what our community cares most deeply about and then focus on what we can do in and for education in our region. Together we will harness the best thinking from the micro-­neuroscience of education to the macro-­collective impact community building models to deliver on the promise that those served by our lifelong learning educational systems are future-proofed, future designed and ultimately future fit. Together we will answer Who Cares? What is Possible? And validate how we will we know we have been Successful with a whole person-­‐centered orientation.

Please join our LinkedIn group, Future Fit: Our Next LEAP for Education, to get connected and learn more about others in this dynamic ecosystem filled with amazing people. As appropriate, do invite others that you feel resonate with this focus and work – we seek quality, not quantity participation.

What matters to you matters and guess what? It is the same for our kids…  Let’s not waste this leap year!

No one of us can do it all, but all of us can do something meaningful to advance this mission. We welcome your energy and experience in the inspiration, ideation and implementation of a FutureFit Education Model.

Thanks for all YOU do to make our community better.

With LOL (Love of Learning),

The Future Fit Team -­ Alan Daly, Neville Billimoria, Devin Vodicka and Brenda Hall Please register for the event here:

Pre-­Reception & Networking: November 29th 5:00 – 6:00 PM Location: TBD

Main Event:  November 30th 8:30 AM – Noon Location: Quantum Learning Center


The Power of Education:
13 Year Old Girl Named America’s Top Young Scientist and Wins $25,000:
Maanasa Mendu, a 13-year-old girl from Ohio, recently won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for creating a $5 energy harvesting device. Mendu’s innovative design, called HARVEST, converts sunlight, wind, and rain into renewable energy. Mendu has been named America’s Top Young Scientist and won $25,000.

National Philanthropy Day November 16th 2016- A Symphony of Philanthropy
Is Social Purpose An Integral Part of Who YOU Are?
It is us…

San Diego has a rich legacy of giving and generosity, with an aspiring vision to be widely recognized as both America’s Finest city and America’s Kindest region.

So many San Diegans consistently share their time- volunteering, treasure- investing, and amazing talent- helping those in need, and we are so proud of them.

This year, Mission Fed is proud to partner with the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its mission to recognize and celebrate the critical role that philanthropy plays in enriching our San Diego community.

With social purpose as an integral part of who we are, Mission Fed is honored to serve as Presenting Sponsor for National Philanthropy Day in San Diego. Every grant, every gift, every hour we invest, every need we fill, every heart we touch, every life we improve adds up for the greater good. We are all instrumental in this effort, but when we play symphonically, our impact is transformational!

Visit for more information.


If you are local – The San Diego Nonprofit Association (SDNA)
“YOU are only as good as your Board. You get the board you deserve”:

Only Few Seats Available to  Access Insights on Effective Board Leadership SDNA & TriNet  “Access to Experts” Series on Nov. 15th

“YOU are only as good as your Board. You get the board you deserve”


“Exceptional governance is always a work in process.”
Liz Shear, USD Nonprofit Governance Symposium Director

Join a Spirited, Strategies-based Discussion Moderated  by Donald Stump Executive Director, North County Lifeline

  • Janine Mason Executive Director, The Fieldstone Foundation
  • Javier Guerrero Executive Director, San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
  • Tamara Fleck-Myers Executive Director, Casa de Amparo
  • Rob Hutsel  President & CEO, San Diego River Park Foundation

 Gain insights and share strategies to build and strengthen board relationships and critical communications between directors, board members, staff and key stakeholders to maximize effectiveness and impact.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
8:30am Check-in, Refreshments
9am Sharp -10:30am
Program At Mission Federal Credit Union Headquarters
5785 Oberlin Dr. San Diego, CA, 92121

Click Here to RSVP

There is limited seating for this event.  Tickets are required.

Non-member price is $25

No Charge for SDNA Members
Members Receive Priority Access
Memberships start at Only $100

You are invited to become a Member of SDNA, at:

These events are made possible by the active members of SDNA: The San Diego Nonprofit Association (aka SANDAN) and TriNet.
We Welcome Your Participation!


Leadership Sponsor
Supporting San Diego’s Growing “Chamber of Purpose”


$50 for You and $50 for a Friend or Family Member

A new way we’re thanking you for the loyalty and trust that helped us grow to 200,000 members strong!

With money-saving benefits and great service, Mission Fed membership is the gift that keeps on giving.

Ask a friend or family member to open an account, and you’ll both receive $50.

Just be sure to tell your friends and family members soon, because this offer ends December 31, 2016. Details:

Thanks this week go to Civic Leaders like Ken and Carl, Kind Souls, Purpose-Driven organizations, Whole Person Educators of all stripes and Lovers of Humankind everywhere!

Pay it forward!

“You see things; and you say Why? But I dream things that never were; and I say Why not?”— George Bernard Shaw

Sexually-based human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children is happening in our community and it’s important we know how to recognize it, prevent it and STOP IT! (Trigger Warning)

Happy Soul Food Friday for the Week of UN Day,

The 71st anniversary of the United Nations as a force for global peace and progress.

The UN has done so much to advance human rights. Their new global goals for sustainable development could transform our world by 2030, from ending poverty to empowering girls and women to promoting peace to protecting the planet from climate change.

Speaking of empowering girls and women, this week’s Soul Food Friday is dedicated to just that- with one specific and horrific issue- Sex Trafficking

Sexual exploitation in the form of sexually-based human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children is happening right here in our community, (and probably yours) and it’s time we know how to recognize it, prevent it and STOP IT!

This is sexism at its worst and gender based violence that is simply intolerable…

This past weekend, The Alliance 4 Empowerment and UC San Diego hosted the Global Empowerment Summit 2016 to generate awareness for, and to identify effective solutions to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation both here in San Diego and beyond.

De-stigmatizing this issue in the same way the AIDs movement or the Breast Cancer movement have done with previous social justice and public health issues will be critical to creating any real and permanent change and will require all of us!

Sadly, each year, over 20 million people are victims of human trafficking, forced labor or sexual exploitation.

It’s a $150 billion industry and every dollar is fueled by someone’s pain. That is someone’s daughter, sister, mother or friend.

Incredibly, the most likely abuser is someone in the victim’s trust environment, not some random stranger unless purchased sex is part of the equation.

Don’t be fooled. This can happen to anyone
Here are some of the stories beyond the statistics…

Sign on a street corner in Copenhagen

We have to address the demand side of this issue.
If there were no buyers, this would end.
This means a wholesale systems change and new social narrative that stops blaming girls and making excuses for boys
Buyers Beware… There are stings in place to catch you

Education is key, beginning with effecting parenting and extending throughout our lives.
We need to raise decent men while empowering women.
Let’s come up with a replacement word for bystander. There is no by-standing for that implies tolerating and that is unconscionable…
Wake up, Speak out, Make your community aware of this issue- today!
Through teaching we can touch eternity…

For more on San Diego’s local efforts to address this issue head on, learn about The Ugly Truth campaign.
Please share this with families, friends and neighbors:
Call 1-888-373-7888 or Text BeFree (233733)

Campus Climate:
College campus statistics on this subject are sobering and not part of the educational experience we want for our kids.
Here is what UC San Diego is doing with the Its On Us White House Champion of Change Initiative

A World Without Exploitation:
The movement to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation is a powerful resource if you want to help catalyze a change
Read their stories…

Note: Local Leaders are working on Legislation
The first round was recently vetoed by the Governor of California but there is an advocacy movement underfoot that will not be denied.
Stay current on the legislative opportunities to support this cause…

For more on the Alliance 4 Empowerment Summit:
The Alliance 4 Empowerment (A4E) is a non-profit organization created to empower underserved people with the universal opportunity to live with dignity, self-esteem, respect and love, in the San Diego region and beyond. Our goal is to create inspired, innovative & inclusive communities that are sustainable economically, socially and environmentally, and to develop platforms for full participation of women and youth globally.

A4E provides a hand up instead of a hand out, ensuring recipients thrive through the power of Social Credit loans, rather than a historical dependency on charity.  This unique model strives to overcome poverty at the root level through a more efficient use of capital and innovation. Our primary focus is building financially inclusive communities, by helping hard-working individuals develop their existing skills into profitable, self-sustaining small businesses, in a nurturing, loving and supportive environment.

To attain this goal, A4E partners with existing community organizations. Instead of working in silos, A4E  collaborates with other effective nonprofits to identify as well as work with qualified social entrepreneurs to leverage global connections with the expertise to enable them to maximize their impact, increase employment and use resources sustainably. Knowing that access to affordable quality health care is essential for communities to thrive economically and socially, A4E advocates for community access to quality healthcare and wellness programs, that contribute to long-term growth and prosperity.
Consider joining or making a contribution…

Now the other myth that gets around is the idea that legislation cannot really solve the problem and that it has no great role to play in this period of social change because you’ve got to change the heart and you can’t change the heart through legislation.

You can’t legislate morals. The job must be done through education and religion. Well, there’s half-truth involved here. Certainly, if the problem is to be solved then in the final sense, hearts must be changed. Religion and education must play a great role in changing the heart. But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated.

It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless.
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important.
So there is a need for executive orders. There is a need for judicial decrees.
There is a need for civil rights legislation on the local scale within states and on the national scale from the federal government.
–Taken from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s address at Western Michigan University, December 18, 1963

Our hearts goes out to the incredibly courageous and resilient women who shared their stories and transmuted their pain into learning for us all to address this important issue.
You raised us up!
You Raise Me Up with Manny Perlman:

From last year’s Summit…
Ode to Empowerment, Owed to the ‘Heart-ist’ in YOU
Inspired by the Presenters at A4E

It’s not important what you look at,
What’s important is what you see,
See me, respect me, remember me. 

What good is sight, if you have no vision?
Realize, with re-a-l eyes,
There is no division.

Know your vision and stay true to it,
Through passion, purpose, and strategic partnership.
 Empower a compassion-based, kind comm-unity
Ennoble self-efficacy with universal access to opportunity 

See me, respect me, remember me,
My demography won’t determine MY destiny!

Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo
Our world so needs the transmutation in you.
To hide your pain is to hide your power,
This might be your finest hour.
That’ MY sister, MY daughter, MY kin, MY wife,
Love it. Own it. Elevate Your Life!

You are the change we wish to see,
Let’s manifest it thru A-4-E.
Remember lasting change comes from within,
I will stop now as time is running thin…

Your soul speaks.
Are you listening?
Your soul speaks.
Am I listening? 

Is your heart singing yet?

Thanks this week go to all who speak up for the disenfranchised, including the A4E team!

Pay it forward

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then… they came for me. ..And by that time there was no one left to speak up. –Rev Martin Niemoller, January 1946

What is Philanthropy Really? National Philanthropy Day 2016, International Credit Union Day, and Priceless Pics of Unpaid Baby Sitters to Warm Your Soul…


First, A Joke Every Grammer Nerd Can’t Help But Love:


This week:

National Philanthropy Day 2016:
November 16th 2016 marks the 44th annual celebration of National Philanthropy Day (NPD) around the country and San Diego’s event is one of the largest. This is a huge testament to the generosity and civic engagement of our community. NPD is an important opportunity to recognize and celebrate the critical role philanthropy plays in manifesting San Diego’s aspiring vision to be widely recognized as both America’s Finest city and America’s Kindest region. Mission Fed is the Presenting Sponsor this year and as part of both the Honorary Committee that helps determine  the winners and the Taskforce that produces the event, I have had the opportunity to help shape the direction of this year’s Symphony of Philanthropy which is on Wednesday November 16th.


Here is a U-T “Community Spotlight” radio interview highlighting the NPD with Keely Tidrow, AFP San Diego President and Major Gifts Officer, Old Globe Theatre and me, hosted by Drew Schlosberg.

You Might Have a Bank, but You Need a Credit Union- Celebrate International Credit Union Day by Trying One Out!

Credit Unions as part of their organizational DNA are double bottom line orgs focused on both financial performance and social purpose.

International Credit Union (ICU) Day® has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948 to honor the movement and its members. The day is recognized to reflect upon the credit union movement’s history and to promote its achievements. It is a day to honor those who have dedicated their lives to the movement, recognize the hard work of those working in the credit union industry and show members our appreciation.

The ultimate goal is to raise awareness about the great work that credit unions are doing around the world and give members the opportunity to get more involved. Credit unions and associations throughout the world celebrate the day with fundraisers, open houses, contests, picnics and parades.

I am proud to work for a credit union!

Try on the credit union difference and experience your Mission Fed Moment…

Unpaid Baby Sitters: These Pictures Should Warm Your Soul!




Thanks this week go to Keely and the hard working team ideating and putting on National Philanthropy Day, Drew and the U/T community spotlight team, credit union movement members and organizations worldwide, & Larry H for steadily sending me soul-filling pictures like these baby sitters that care for our young ones…


Pay it forward!


 “It is we who nourish the Soul of the World,
and the world we live in will be either better or worse,
depending on whether we become better or worse.
And that’s where the power of love comes in.
Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”
–Paulo Coelho