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As we continue to listen and learn amid this pandemic, we are committed to providing you with upbeat, thought-provoking content worthy of your time. How are you staying connected, enriched and inspired these days? Have tips or resources to share? Pass them along and we’ll include them in a future issue.

ISSUE 25 | NOVEMBER 12 | 2021  CREATIVITY & DIVERSITY

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HIGH SCHOOL ID CARDS REIMAGINED!

When students reach their senior year at North Farmington High School in Michigan, they are not only allowed but encouraged to dress up in costumes for their school ID pictures. We love this on so many levels: because it demonstrates that they value and foster creativity in all students, and also that the administration doesn’t take itself too seriously. The class of 2022 tweeted photos of their new IDs along with the character that was their inspiration, usually taken from memes and pop culture. Check out these look-alikes from The Queen’s Gambit, The Addams Family, Forrest Gump, and so many more.

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EARTHBOUND ASTRONAUT

A massive earthwork portrait that is best seen from the sky depicts Stephanie Wilson, a veteran astronaut and the second African American woman to go into space. Stan Herd, an extraordinary Kansas-based artist who uses farmland and other large swaths of open land as his canvases, created this magnificent artwork to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl Child and World Space Week. Along with Stephanie Wilson, you’ll see the artist’s depictions of Amelia Earhart, Young Woman of China, and Saginaw Grant. For more of Stan Herd’s work check out his Cola Wars piece, his amazing Pinterest board, or watch him create a monumental version of a Van Gogh painting.

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RIDING FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

When American Friends of ALYN Hospital made the decision to move their October charity bike ride from Israel to the U.S. because of COVID, Beth Singer Design stuck to our successful recruitment campaign formula of branded emails, organic and paid social posting, and local publication advertising — but also brought in PR partners Red Banyan to secure media coverage, as well as adding social media stories to share riders’ personal reasons about why they ride. The integrated ad campaign on social media reached 50,000 people in just five weeks, and more than half of registrations were new riders! We’re thrilled that the ride raised more than $2.1M for ALYN Hospital, a world-class facility dedicated to the rehabilitation of children with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

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FUNNY MAN JOHN WATERS MAKES A SERIOUS GESTURE — AND MAKES A DIFFERENCE

When prominent writer and filmmaker John Waters asked the Baltimore Museum of Art to name its restrooms after him, he suggested that they might become a must-see destination for his hometown, attracting even more tourists. The new restrooms are the first at the BMA to be gender-neutral and are identified as “The John Waters Restrooms/All Gender.” To help christen the restrooms, Waters invited transgender activist Elizabeth Coffey-Williams who appeared in four of his films. “Everyone gets a full booth. It’s as big as an apartment. You can do anything,” Waters says. What a great partnership between the museum, arts, film, and LGBTQ+ communities. Have a “go” at the BMA this winter!

Hello Dear Readers! We haven’t sent an UPBEAT in a while because things were looking up and we didn’t think we needed to cheer you up any further. But alas, the virus is squarely back on the radar, as well as a number of humanitarian challenges around the world.

Want to feel good by doing good? Here’s what you can do today:

ISSUE 24 | AUGUST | 2021  FEEL GOOD BY DOING GOOD

HELPING AFGHANS

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If you’re in the D.C. area, Lutheran Social Services is looking for volunteers to assist Afghans resettling in the U.S. Their website spotlights the number of refugees already welcomed and the numbers expected this week. Donate, act, advocate, or start a fundraiser are some of the options listed at the bottom of their home page — actions you can start taking now!

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Save the Children has been a leading charity in Afghanistan since 1976, reaching more than 1.6M people in 2020. They’re also working hard to welcome newly arrived children and families to the U.S. and can use your support.

 

For more ideas on how to help, see Fast Company’s latest rundown.

HUMANITARIAN AID FOR HAITIANS

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Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to a spike in gang violence and the assassination of the president, only 0.23% of their population is vaccinated, according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data. So, after the devastating magnitude 7.2 earthquake on August 14, they need our help more than ever! Check out this great Washington Post article on ways to help the people of Haiti. 

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The earthquake has affected about 1.2 million people — including 540,000 children — according to UNICEF. The child welfare organization estimates that 84,000 homes were damaged or destroyed — a situation that will require at least $15 million to respond to urgent needs. Can you give them a hand?

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Based in Naples, Florida, Hope for Haiti is a nonprofit organization established to reduce poverty. Since its founding in 1990, it has responded to all natural disasters in Haiti. The organization is currently providing medical services and clean water in its infirmary in Les Cayes, and is accepting contributions for its relief efforts.

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Hopital Bernard Mevs is the largest emergency hospital in Port-au-Prince. Although not directly affected by the earthquake, it is “over capacity” with patients. Some of its nurses and doctors are stationed in shelters near the earthquake’s epicenter. In partnership with Project Medishare, the hospital organized a GoFundMe campaign to help victims in Les Cayes and Jeremie.

ISSUE 23 | FEBRUARY 13 | 2021  THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE

ISSUE 23 | FEBRUARY 13 | 2021  THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE

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RECYCLED LOVE

At Beth Singer Design we are BIG advocates for using recycled materials instead of buying wrapping paper. This Valentine’s Day, why not say ‘I love you’ with a homemade card? Not only will you be saving all that holiday waste from mountainous landfills, you’ll be exercising your brain in a way that helps grow new neuropathways! If you need some inspiration, here are 38 ideas and tutorials from Country Living, or check out Beth’s TV news spots (here and here) about “wrapping with scrap” from last Christmas. And be sure to follow us on Instagram @wrapwithscrap!

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BERNIE MEMES

You know the moment we’re talking about. Like other inaugural attendees, the Vermont senator dressed for a cold day in Washington, D.C. Matched to his sensible insulated coat were a pair of patterned “swittens” — part sweater, part mittens — made for Senator Sanders by Vermont teacher Jen Ellis. As he sat socially distanced from others, Sanders folded his hands over his legs and, voila!, a boatload of internet memes were born. We love that Bernie has the ability to laugh at himself — and that Jen Ellis now has a line of swittens at the Vermont Teddy Bear Company.

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YOU MUST KNOW EVERYTHING

When schools closed due to the pandemic, father-daughter duo Jeremy and Rasa Smith turned their Q&A discussions into their own podcast: You Must Know Everything. “Rasa has taught me so much,” Smith told CNN. “Like, why fidgeting is actually good for you and then in return I teach her things like what to do when someone close to you experiences a loss.” Each 10-minute episode begins with a lesson or theory. They also read and discuss a poem, and end with a “vexing question” chosen from online submissions. “We plan to keep doing the podcast until life goes back to normal or we know everything — whichever comes first,” says Smith.

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SPEAKING BRILLIANTLY WITH YOUR SLIDES

Want to be a rock star when you speak to your donors, followers, or students? Check out Beth’s latest article: 6 Tips for Nonprofit Professionals on Speaking Brilliantly with Your Slides — published by Nonprofit Tech for Good, the global resource for nonprofits with more than 1M followers on social media. Eileen Smith of Spokesmith adds her expertise, with advice to make your audience WANT to soak up your message — a tall order in this crazy, all-consuming, digital environment. Our piece has been shared over 3.4K times since it hits the streets. Not bad, eh?

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“MADAM” VICE PRESIDENT WHISKEY

At D.C. brewery Republic Restoratives, “Madam” is a whiskey, and a portrait by talented local artist Lex Marie @thelexmarie. A blend of seven-year-old bourbon and five-year-old rye, the finished whiskey is slow-smithed before bottling to produce what we all strive for — a more perfect union. In honor of the first woman (and first African American and first Asian American) Vice President, it’s a celebration of the outspoken and disruptive, of those who inspire us to resist and persist. Available for curbside pick-up or D.C. home delivery — and check out their Valentine’s Day Cocktail Kit and other great offerings!

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