The Appreciation Factor

All things Appreciation: Things to Appreciate and the Ways we look at, Show and Think about Appreciation.


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Today is #GivingTuesday. Are You Supporting the Day that Was Established to Help “Bringing Back the True Meaning of the Holidays?”

In the spirit of #GivingTuesday (today), I wanted to refresh an older post on one of my favorite days of the year.  Giving Tuesday is 6 years strong today and looking at #socialmedia is growing in leaps and bounds.

 

For many, the holidays bring stress and pressure in not only finding the right gift, but how many gifts to give, what is the best price for said gifts, and of course long linesthe annual question on whether to shop or not to shop #BlackFriday.  And as you know, Black Friday has even creeps infringes on our time with family over the Thanksgiving holiday!

 

 

While all of these things may be seem important, why not stop and take the time to go back to what the holidays are really about, saying thanks and giving back.  Here at The Appreciation Factor, I’ve found a way you can do this — consider spreading the word and participating in #GivingTuesday2017.  This year, November 28th marks the sixth annual Giving Tuesday.

giving tuesdayHaven’t heard about it? What is Giving Tuesday?
Set on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday was started in 2012 as a global, 24-hour giving challenge created by thought-leaders at the UN Foundation and the 92nd Street Y.

 

 

#Giving Tuesday’s focus was to bring back the original sentiments of the holiday season:

  • Generosity
  • Hope
  • Goodwill, and
  • Community

 

As per the Giving Tuesday organization:

#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.

 

 

If you’ve been following me/read other posts on this blog, you’ll agree that these are all things I can get my hands around.  It shows appreciation for more than just the retail side of things during the holiday season.

The concept gained steam with the help of founding partnerships with The United Nations Foundation, Donors ChooseMashableGlobal Giving, the Darden Restaurant GroupGroupon, and Unilever and several others.  There ongoing success is partly due to the assistance from renewing corporate sponsorships by Google, Microsoft, Skype, Cisco, UNICEF, and the Case Foundation.  This participation has helped the #GivingTuesday initiative raise millions of dollars for thousands of non-profits. – Wikipedia

 

Did you know? Americans give more to charitable organizations in dollars :$300B
When seen as a percentage of the GDP, 2.1% more than any other developed country

Source: Forbes 2014

 

There are many non-profit organizations participating/asking for your help on #GivingTuesday, maybe one of your favorites, and many more that truly need our help at this time of year.  Plus #GivingTuesday is a great alternative to the pressure to spend, spend, spend on gifts that may not make as much of an impact.

How Can You Participate?

The idea is simple.  Give to a non-profit organization of your choice Tuesday, November 28th.  BUT… don’t feel that the only way you can join in is to give financially.
Here are 3 ways you can make a difference:

    1. You can post an “Unselfie”   (You read that correctly.  It’s UNselfie not Selfie.)
  1. Still going strong in 2017, although many companies create their own, with their own humanitarian efforts and hashtags included.
    In 2013, #GivingTuesday supporters were encouraged to take a photo of themselves or something that represented their giving, upload it to their social media account of choice, and use the hashtags: #unselfie and #GivingTuesday. It was a resounding success and they’ve asked that we take on the Unselfie challenge again this year.

You can download your own Unselfie

 

2. Give of your time.  Pledge to give 10 mins or 10 hours of volunteer or your expertise to help further their efforts. Every little bit will help.

3.  Choose to make holiday purchases from retailers who give back. (Check to see if they donate a portion of their profits, have a company foundation that supports those in need, or even better, are they participating in Giving Tuesday?

You can of course also simply just spread the work and kindness through a random act of kindness (#ROAK) or publish a post on your social platforms, but I hope you’ll consider doing more.

So… What will you do?

 

 

MY PLEDGE (aka: Unselfie) FOR 2017

– Pledge to give 30 hours of volunteer time over the next 6 months

– Promote and buy more gifts/items from companies that give back

– Make a $100 donation to an organization or organisations that I feel passionate about.

– Promote #GivingTuesday through my social media profiles

Want more information/Want to get involved?

Learn More:

Share:

 

Don’t forget to post your #Unselfie or give (in the best way for you (time and talents are JUST AS IMPORTANT as financial support) to your favorite non-profit.
If your favorite doesn’t seem to be participating in #GivingTuesday, be sure to mention your #GivingTuesday participation along with your “donation” to help spread the word.

I’d love to hear your feedback, and how you may be participating in #GivingTuesday!

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Drop “Me” A Line – It’s National Letter Writing Month

April is National Letter Writing Month. Get those Pens out!

If I could, I’d have this song playing while you read the post. It’s cathartic to me and oh so clever, even if it’s not exactly mimicking putting pen to paper.

 

If you’ve already heard about National Letter Writing Month, my apologies, I know I’m a little late to the game.  Once I heard about it however, of course I needed to share because HELLLLOOOO, this is so up my alley.  How better to show your appreciation than with a handwritten note.  (Candidly – this celebration also reminded me that I need to write more notes all year long.)

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An Appreciative Valentine’s or Any Day

So I’m sort of on the fence about Valentine’s Day. It could be due to the fact that I’m unattached at the moment and everyone else around me has someone special, but I don’t think my dislike of chocolate and roses, two main staples of this Hallmark holiday, helps.

Still when this holiday rolls around, I can’t help but be a little inspired by all of the craftiness heartsyou see in the blogosphere, not to mention the increase in popularity of  things to do for
“Galentine’s Day.”

(For those who may be confused: Galentine’s Day is the day where you celebrate your girlfriends. As per Parks & Recreation, where it’s said to have originated, it is celebrated on the day before Valentine’s Day, February 13th.)

 

Appreciation – It Doesn’t Have to be Reserved for February

I love to show those I care about how much I appreciate them, and while I may not get on the whole Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day bandwagon – and neither should you if it’s not your thing – I thought perhaps I’d turn this into more a heart-themed appreciation post.

I’ve come across some great homemade ideas over the years.  So why not skip the card aisle this year and show your love and/or appreciation on February 13th OR February 14th (as we’ve become trained apt to do) or just do these at any time.  Just saying… break the mold once in a while.  Appreciation is a year-round thing. 🙂

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Heartfelt Wishes

Happy New Year

new-yearsPhoto Credit: Paperless PostThe Indigo Bunting/Erin Jang

 

I wanted to take a moment to Thank All of You… my Followers especially, but also the visitors, mentors, and fellow bloggers as well, that continue to visit and/or comment on my site, The Appreciation Factor.  I hope you’ve found the posts helpful, insightful, or that they’ve provided a new point of view. I’m so grateful for you all.

 

I know I didn’t post as often as I should have wanted to this year, but my passion for all things Appreciation has not wavered, but simply the act of completing the posts was challenging at times for me. This was especially true when I always wanted to ensure that my posts and topics are fresh/new content and paused when I wasn’t sure that it was.  Still for 2017, I hope to overcome these insecurities challenges and get more posts out in the new year.

Know that I’m forever grateful for your support, and for those that continue (or start) to follow this blog. You cheer me and humble me simultaneously.

 

May you have much success and happiness in 2017!
I hope you’ll come back for fresh content, tips on saying and writing thank yous (or just notes),
and for new things to appreciate.

I do have a few ideas up my sleeve and hope to start posting in early January. (Thanks for your patience!)

Sincerely,

k of taf


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Appreciating You and the Year that’s Passed on New Years Day

2016 New Years

 

Wow! It’s 2016 already. It definitely feels as though the years go faster and faster as I grow older. I guess our parents and grandparents were right about that. Sigh… If only there were a way to slow things down or better yet pause from time to time.   November and December felt especially quick – how about to you?

Before I go any further… Happy Happy New Year!  
I especially send my biggest thanks to you, my followers, for helping make 2015 my best year of blogging.

So the stats: In 2015, I published 37 posts and had over 2,000 visitors and gained 15 new followers (that I know of). I’m humbled. I’m so glad that my writing resonates with so many of you and that many (because you’ve told me) have found useful tips on my favorite topic Thank you notes – as well as for acts of kindness.

I love writing and sharing my thoughts with you, and hope you’ll continue to follow me and my goals of showing and sharing my appreciation of what I have and to others for all they do.

Here are the 5 posts I enjoyed writing the most this year – take a 2nd look – or a first one if you didn’t catch it the first time.  And please…. share your thoughts on topics you’d love to read about or send a link to something you think I’d enjoy. I love getting feedback and info!

  1. Thankful Thursdays. These were a new feature for me this year and I posted 10 issues this year. Here are my top 3 Thankful Thursday posts.
  2. Improve Your Relationships By Showing Your Appreciation at the Holidays This was my first cross over post in which I paired my professional expertise along with my love of sending holiday cards out each year as a way to say thanks.

  3. Goodbye Lovely Summer makes the list because I just love summer and these images give me some warm as the cold of winter is upon us. (Yeah I know it was in the high 60s a week ago today! I almost considered going swimming! – but winter is likely here and here to stay.)
  4. The Just Because Note is something I like to do, but candidly could do it more often as I didn’t quite hit the consistency of 2-3 notes/month – though one note I did send rekindled a friendship that had been dormant for almost a decade.  Perhaps adding this to my top 5 list here will help inspire me to plan better in the coming year.
  5. November’s World Kindness Day. While this was written to celebrate a specific holiday, it’s a reminder that Random Acts of Kindness (ROAKs) can be done quite easily so why not put these into practice all year long.

 

So which were your favorites? I’d love to hear.

I wish all of you only much success, happiness, and the ability to share your appreciation with those you care about, those you meet, and those you work alongside each day. You’d be pleasantly surprised how great saying and sharing your thanks either outwardly or via an act of kindness can make you feel.

Happy 2016!

yours,
TAF

 


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It’s National Thank You Note Day – I’m Celebrating with Janet Parnes

It’s that time of year where you may already be writing thank you notes for the generosity of those around you, but did you know there’s an actual “holiday” for Thank you notes?
Yep it’s December 26th!  I think it was created as it’s a reminder to get your thank you notes out ASAP after the holidays. (hint hint)

Not to worry I’m here to help.  To celebrate National Thank you Day, I’ve recruited my friend, Janet Parnes, Owner and Etiquette Consultant at Etiquette for Today.  I’m having her share her tips on writing a Thank you note. (I thought it would be great to have someone who counsels these tips to others already, weigh in at The Appreciation Factor.  Plus I’m excited to meet someone who values saying “thank you” as much as I do!)

Before we get to the tips, I thought I’d share a little bit about Janet.

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