Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008 and Hello 2009!

I'm sitting on a couch in my hotel room watching the sun slowly rise above the Atlantic Ocean. This is by far the highlight of my trip. Anytime I'm at the beach, you'll find that I always watch the sun rise above the ocean. For the next 45 minutes I'll watch a vast array of colors dance across the crisp blue sky that is virtually indescribable.

As I watch the sun rise, I've been considering 2009 and all that there is to be done. I've been thinking of some ideas but I need to put pen to paper so that when I return home, I'll be able to get started working on these goals. This list may change over the course of 2009, but this will give me something to work towards.

1. Get on the list of approved Charities for various organizations that offers to match donations made by their employees. Currently Spreading Joy Corporation (SJC) on the list of approved charities for SPX Corporation, but I'm going to contact Bank of America, Wachovia and Starbucks and send in the necessary forms to be added to their list. Does YOUR company offer a matching program or do you know of other organizations that offer their employees this benefit? Please comment below and let me know. This is a great way to DOUBLE any your contribution.

2. Visit children at the hospital once a month and take a book or small gift. I'd love to be spreading joy at a hospital once a month. Go in with a book or teddy bear in hand and spend the day encouraging and lifting the spirits of those children (and possibly parents) in the hospital. That is where the monetary donations and matches will come in handy. I'll be able to approach book warehouses or suppliers and ask for deep discounts on 300 copies of Curious George or other wonderful books. If you are a book supplier or know one that may give discounts for something of this nature, please let me know. You can comment below or email me directly at

3. Meet with local schools and encourage our youth to be spreading joy daily. Many think that because they are young and do not work that they can not make a difference. Because of their age and the fact that they do not work, that can work for their advantage. They can grab the attention of many adults who will not listen to most people. They can organize community book, coat and/or food drives. Those of us who do not live in their community can not do those things because many communities have a no solicitation policy. Making a difference is more purpose driven than anything. The desire comes from the heart and if we can show them the simple joys of giving while they are young, this will become part of their daily routine. Imagine an army of young people doing one nice thing for someone every day....what a wonderful world this would be!

4. Obtain Government, Foundation and other grants that are out there. Because there are no foundations that give grants to the basic "do gooder" this is going to be difficult for SJC. Many grants hinge on the fact that the NPO is focused on 1 issue and SJC wants to meet a wide variety of needs. I will be working on grant writing and seeking out those grants that will fall within any area of what SJC works for. I'll be sending out letters of inquiry asking for guidelines. I know there are organizations out there that are willing to be a part of Spreading Joy - I just have to be willing to diligently seek them out! If anyone has grant writing skills or a background in English/grammar - and would be willing to help out, please let me know.

5. Marketing and Personally doing more acts of joy to spread the word about Spreading Joy. I enjoy giving and doing things for others. I also need to get the word out and remind others that it is not HOW much you give or WHO you give to that matters. We just need to give. I've been watching the news and hearing how a lot of retailers are going to be shutting their doors. 2009 may end up being a very bleak year financially, but that doesn't give us the right to stop giving and doing for others. If anything, there will be a greater need. More resumes will need to be written. More people will end up on the streets because of the declining economy. No matter what our financial situation is, no matter how old we are or where we live we all have something to give. Many of our young people could teach an adult how to use computers. Many of us that been in the Office administration profession could teach others about customer service, office duties and help write resumes. If you are a Corporate Head Hunter - you could help the jobless become more comfortable with the interviewing process. There are so many ways to make a difference that doesn't even cost a single penny - we just need to be aware of the needs around us.

6. Start collecting Christmas gifts for Christmas Joy 2009. While we were able to distribute 770 toys for Christmas 2008, have a desire to do more. I honestly feel that the need will be greater this year. Imagine if 200 people started and "others" box and put a toy or gift worth around $5.00 in it every other week for this year. Each person would have about 22 gifts come Thanksgiving. Can you imagine the difference 4400 gifts will make this Christmas?!? $5.00 every other week will not break the bank and is a doable goal. Many companies will have a lot of left over items - even after putting them on clearance. My goal is to contact them and ask if they will donate those items. Ask if they will remember SJC when they do their Spring Cleaning. Those items can be stored and held on to until they are needed this Christmas. Don't forget about the tape and wrapping paper. Thanks to a wonderful individual that loves Spreading Joy - this was not a problem this year. She donated enough paper to wrap all of the toys.
7. Highlighting those that make a difference. As I said earlier, 2009 may be a tough year for many of us. But, there are those that will continue to make a difference and I want to share that with you. It will encourage you and motivate you to action. Seeing the joy that comes from sharing and caring will help others to realize that it can be done. The lasting joy that comes from knowing that you cared enough to get involved and make a difference is something that everyone needs to experience for themselves. What is your story of giving? How are you making a difference? You can comment at the end of this blog or click here to share on the SJC web site.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful sunrise with me and for how you are Spreading Joy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Internet goals for 2009

I love to read and one way that I feed my reading habit is by keeping up with several blogs. One of the blogs that I love to read is Daily Blog Tips. One of the great things DBT's does is to help us "newbies" become better bloggers and to learn to use our blogs more efficiently. DBT started a group writing project about Internet goals for 2009. Knowing that if your goals are in print somewhere (especially somewhere public, like the Internet) there will be more effort put into obtaining those goals.

I've been thinking about the direction and goals for Spreading Joy Corporation, but I haven't even thought about having goals to use the Internet more efficiently. While I'll do another post on the various goals I have for SJC, here are my Internet Goals for 2009!

  1. Post consistent articles that will encourage, motivate and remind other about the lasting joy of giving.

  2. Focus on the quality of the posts.

  3. Reach 700-1000 subscribers - This one scares me. Being so new and learning how to "get the word out" is more difficult than I had imagined.

  4. Figure out twitter and see if it will be a proper tool to increase traffic, gain more contacts and simply learn more about the Internet resources.

  5. Get on Face book and utilize it to gain readership.

  6. SJC already has a web site, figure out how to put this blog there without having to link to it.

  7. Learn to make any amount of money for SJC from this blog.

  8. Learn from the best of the best - engage via comments with the blogs that I keep up with to learn as much as I possibly can.

  9. Use the blog as a platform to show how others are making a difference - which will encourage those that think their "little bit" doesn't matter.

  10. Learn more about Stumble upon and Digg and how those tools can benefit this blog.

There you have it. It seems that I have a lot of Internet learning to do, but I actually love to learn. I'll be seeking out all the answers in the various blogs that I keep up with and hopefully - just maybe, someone reading this list will have a heart and help me "learn" all that is needed to be able to complete these goals.

I'm very excited about these goals and the possibilities that will be available once I have completed them!

I'm also thankful for Daniel @ Daily Blog Tips for issuing the challenge!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Joy Fundraiser Update

Spreading Joy is dedicated to reminding people that you don't have to give "big" to make a huge difference! You must simply decide to give and with that very decision, you will be taking the first step to making a HUGE difference!

Getting into the habit of finding ways to make a difference daily is such an easy thing to do. No matter your current situation, there are ways you can make a difference.

Here are a few FREE ways:
1. Tear off those box tops for education and turn them in. (that is money in the TRASH if you don't)
2. Search the internet using and choose Spreading Joy Corporation as your organization that you search for.
3. Compliment someone - words of encouragement can help boost someone's self esteem or even carry them through the day.
4. Do yard work/house work for the elderly in your neighborhood.
5. Send a handwritten card to someone who has encouraged or motivated you to let them know the difference they made in your life.

Here are some inexpensive ways of Spreading Joy:
1. Make a double batch of cookies/brownies and share
2. Love those buy one/get one free - bring in your "free" one's for a food drive
3. Unwrap a smile - Little Debbie Cakes are so delicious - and everyone loves them.
4. Krispy Kreme doughnuts - Oh my goodness - if you live near one of these - you really should spread some joy to those around you when the LIGHT IS ON!!!

There are so many more ideas on our website in the Calendar section.

The Christmas Joy fundraiser is in full swing and we are working on getting as many toys donated for Christmas as possible. Our goal is a lofty one - 2000 toys! We have been asking for toys that are valued at $5.00-10.00. We have 4 companies that are hosting toy drives for us:

Author Squad ( in Huntersville NC (you can drop toys off here)
Robinson Bradshaw Hinson - Charlotte
FreemanWhite Associates - Charlotte
Patterson Pope - Charlotte

We have several boxes in place so that toys can be dropped off anytime:

Qdobas - S. Tryon St.
Planet Beach - Whitehall * S. Tryon St.
Quiznos - Whitehall & Arrowwood
Quiznos - Hwy 16 & 73 in Denver

The biggest thing we need now are items that are good for Teen Boys and 495 more McDonald Gift Cards valued at $5.00 each.

I sent an email out with the hopes that some McDonalds Gift Cards will be sent in. I know it is a HUGE thing to try and get 500 gift cards donated, but working together, forwarding the email and spreading the word will allow us to reach our goal. I know there is a lot of last minute shopping happening and funds are tight this year, but if we are creative we can accomplish this goal.

Just think, if 99 people purchase 5 gift cards, the goal will be met. Some people may be able to do more, others less - but if we work together, it is something we can make happen and be proud of.
All gifts will be properly receipted for your tax purposes. Please - if you can send any amount of McDonald's gift cards, send to:

Spreading Joy Corporation
7795 Clover Ln.
Denver NC 28037

Joy is defined as "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying"

Joy does not depend on great circumstances or trouble free finances! True joy is available every time you give something or do something for others!

For more information on our Christmas Joy fundraiser as well as our Passion - please visit

Thank you for how you are spreading joy! Be it with gift cards, a gift in one of the boxes or spreading the word about the Christmas Joy fundraiser - you are making a difference!
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