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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five Things About Mary's Mantle

Mary's Mantle is a Catholic community supporting expectant mothers. Here are five things you may not know about Mary's Mantle.

  1. Mary's Mantle was created to support young pregnant women (aged 18+) who feel they have no options. The site shares the story of one such woman who ended her pregnancy because she felt she had no other choice.
  2. They house up to four expectant mothers.  
  3. Their waiting list averages from five to 15 women. In 2012, they received 200 calls for expectant women needing a home.
  4. The site has a blog where they share video testimonials. This gave me chills to see the silhouettes with the stories written on them. One was of a 20-year-old woman who chose adoption for her child.
  5. In addition to donations, volunteers are always needed and include prayer groups, charitable (fundraising) groups, babycare classes, new mom classes, and more. Pat Parker is the volunteer coordinator. 

Thanks to Caleb for the suggestion to add this organization to my blog list. 

Read about other charitable and nonprofit organizations in this blog:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Five Facts About Gift of Life Michigan

Are you signed up to be an organ and tissue donor? I am. You should consider doing so, as you could save lives for others.

Here are five facts you may not know about the Gift of Life Michigan.

  1. You can sign up to be a donor online. Plus, you can view the campus challenge rankings on this page, which shows 1,556 rankings as of today (June 3, 2015).

  2. Transplant support groups meet across the state. You can search for groups at

  3. Family members can create a quilt square for the Donor Memorial Quilts. The quilts are displayed at events and memorials. Plus you can view the square online, like this one: 

  4. View the map of the state of Michigan showing other donors in your area.

  5. My friend Christy is a part of the leadership team as shown on

Please consider signing up to be a donor. You can't take it with you, and you might save one or more lives in the process. Please click to share and spread the word. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What You Missed at the State of the City Address for Troy Michigan

Today I attended my first State of the City address for the city of Troy, Michigan. I took notes as "Key Takeaways"that I would share with a colleague or manager who was unable to attend the event. And also as takeaways for my team to consider as we are planning our own "State of" event later this year. So if you missed the event, here's what you missed. Feel free to share this with others and add anything I missed with a comment to this post.

Mayor Dane Slater gave the remarks for the event. At the end, I went up to him and said that my husband and I were considering moving to Troy someday, and his remarks confirmed our plans. It was my first time hearing him address a large group, and I was really impressed.

Council Member Doug Tietz stopped by the Walsh College table to say hello. Such a great guy. Doug and I were once Toastmasters together and we've kept in contact since. Doug's wife Amy is an alumni of Walsh College where she now teaches as an adjunct faculty. They are a great couple and I'm sure they have the whole world and family-life balance figured out. Whenever I see Doug at an event, I know I'm in the right place. Doug is now the District Director for Congressman Dave Trott.

Troy Rotarian and fellow Troy Chamber member William (Bill) Cowger was at the event along with two full tables of Troy Rotary members. Bill filled me in on some of the goals and focuses of Rotary International, where he has been a member for many years. It's on my "someday" list to be a member. Bill is also a photographer that I highly recommend. Great work, great prices, and excellent service.

There were many others from the city and from around the region.

James Robertson (the Detroit resident who made news due to walking 21 miles a day to work) attended the event and it was announced that he now makes his home in Troy, Michigan. Mayor Dane Slater presented James with a key to the city. It was a heartfelt introduction and you could tell how much the warm city welcome meant to James.

Storytelling. Teamwork. Community collaboration. 

Mayor Dane Slater warmed up the crowd by welcoming multiple audience VIPs, including my group from Walsh College as well as many other community leaders and partners.

Following the introductions, the Mayor played a video which told the story of the City of Troy's strategic planning process. Kudos on the video. It was informative, entertaining, and provided simple explanation with engaging visuals. I don't see the video posted yet, but I'll add it to this blog once I find the link. Video was done by Maggie Hughes, said Mayor Dane Slater.

Several videos in the "Dane and Dave" show series were shown to the group. Hilarious, informative, and entertaining. The videos feature Mayor Dane Slater and Councilman Dave Henderson. Please give this page a like and help them get to 100 fans. As of the time of this post, they are up to 97 likes (up from 91 earlier today).

There was a huge theme of teamwork and collaboration throughout the event. Posterboards throughout the room celebrated team members with their headshot photos and key accomplishments under their leadership. The poster boards will be available for viewing at the Troy City Hall after the event.

A nice shout out to Walsh College plus numerous other businesses and organizations who make their home in Troy, Michigan. They also showed a picture of the Walsh Troy campus renovation. Both mentions made me and the Walsh table very proud. We have been a part of the Troy community since 1922 and it's great to see such a strong partnership between our institution and the City of Troy.

Some key facts about Troy were shared with the group.

  • Troy was named the "Safest City in Michigan" again for 2015. Details.
  • Troy was named the 7th in the nation as "Best Cities to Live In" by 24/7 Wall St.
  • The city is focusing on businesses in Troy on Maple Road in its new series, "15 on Fifteen." Check out the videos on They are rolling the business videos out one-by-one. Clever. So far, there have been features on the new MJR Cinema, Media Genesis, Troy Auto Glass, and a few others. 
  • The City is focused on Top 10 Strategies which you can read here. The strategies range from public city to diversity and more. Clear. Focused. 
  • The Troy Transit Center's October 14, 2014 ribbon cutting was announced. I've taken the Amtrak train once to Chicago and look forward to my next trip leaving from the Troy Transit facility.
  • If you omit Ann Arbor from consideration (which is skewed due to its international student population), Troy is the #1 city for diversity in the state of Michigan.
  • The Arab-American & Chaldean Council recently moved to Troy.

Mayor Dane Slater issued one challenge for Troy residents and businesses: help others. 

He suggested numerous organizations including:
Also, the City of Troy is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and the Mayor invited all of us to save the date for the Saturday, June 20th celebration.

A great time was had by all. Please spread the word by sharing this post.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Five Things You May Not Know About First Step

About a year ago, I participated in an executive leadership program through Inforum Michigan. Our group selected First Step as a charitable cause for our group project.

Here are some things you may not know about First Step.

1. Who they are. According to their website:

Who We Are:
First Step envisions a community where respect, fair treatment, comprehensive support, and social justice are available to all survivors of domestic and sexual assault and their families.
The mission of First Step is to eliminate both domestic and sexual violence and to provide comprehensive services to individuals and families impacted by these crimes.

2. They have a downloadable pocket card:

3. You can help in more ways than you know. Check out their wish list:

4. Pets of these families need help, too. Click to read more:

5. They are building an awesome, safe playground. Check out their Facebook page for photos and updates.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Five Facts About the University of Michigan Depression Center

Denise Kulak and a visit to Other Fun Stuff:
guaranteed to make you smile!
When I mentioned that I would be blogging about non-profit, charitable organizations, my friend Denise Kulak (owner of "Other Fun Stuff") suggested adding the University of Michigan Depression Center to the list, in memory of George Orley, a talented young man in his twenties. While I don't know George personally, I think we all can relate to knowing someone who has suffered from or is suffering from depression. If you are reading this blog and seeking help, I hope that this blog is helpful.

Here are five facts about the University of Michigan Depression Center.

1. They offer resources for family and friends of those dealing with depression. Visit to read strategies for helping a loved one who is working through depression.

2. Support groups are offered for several areas at Support group categories include: Depression and Bipolar Disorder; Survivors of Suicide; College Students; and Military Family Members. Information about group meeting times and locations can be found at the workshops link noted above.

3. The site mentions that "One in six people will experience an episode of depression in their lifetime." Depression often goes underdiagnosed and untreated. Depression may be more common that we think and it does not discriminate.

4. Multiple resources and self-tests are available, including those covering Insomnia, Depression, and a Sleep Assessment. The site cautions you that these are not to replace medical advice, but the self tests may help you to identify if there is an issue.

5. They have news and tips including an article on Seasonal Affective Disorder which is common in the dark, winter months. According to the site, symptoms of SAD include:
  • Low mood for most of the day
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sleep
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty getting along with others
  • A heavy feeling in the arms and legs
  • In extreme cases, suicidal thoughts
Thanks again to Denise for the suggestion of the University of Michigan Depression Center.

Was this blog informative and/or helpful? Please click to share on your social networks and leave a comment. And if you are suffering from depression, please know you are not alone and resources are available to you. 

Read about other charitable organizations here

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Five Things You Should Know About the Fraser Barrier-Free Park Project

If you live in Fraser, Michigan, you are probably aware that the Fraser First Booster Club is committed to supporting the development of a barrier-free playground at McKinley Park... "where children and adults of all abilities can play and learn together."

But, there are a lot of other great facts you may not know about this project. Here are five things in particular.

1. If you are interested in supporting the project, there are many ways to help. Become a member of the Fraser First Booster Club. Volunteer your time. Donate money. Direct a fundraising project at your school or organization toward this project. If you ask Vania, she'll tell you your support can come in many different ways that aren't all monetary commitments. But money is always appreciated. In fact, you may have seen a "Park-$-Ching Meter" at a local Fraser restaurant like the Fraser Ram's Horn where you can donate.

2. Read about news and information regarding the park project at the Facebook page  While you're at it, please give the page a "LIKE" and mention you read about the project from this post.

3. The park location is just north of 13 Mile Road off of Grove Street. Drive by and check out the progress. And in the meantime, check out the images below to see what the completed project will look like.

4. The barrier-free playground makes all areas accessible to children and adults of all abilities. The project includes a 1,300 foot play structure, walking path, restrooms, ADA parking lot, and more.

5. There are many, many residents of Fraser and Macomb County supporting this project. The first time I met Mike Lesich was at a Detroit Regional Chamber marketing event and in our first discussion, he asked if I could help support the project in any way. In the years since that first discussion, I've learned about the Fraser First Booster Club, met Vania, supported the project with donations and at their fundraisers, and most importantly I've learned about the vision and passion that so many share about this project. There was a Macomb Daily article about this project earlier this year which you can read here. (thanks @debbiekomar1It makes me proud to live in Fraser.

Please click to share this post with others, and add comments below if you have been involved with this great project.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Takeaways from #SocialMitten

Today I'm attending #socialmitten and will be live tweeting my notes from @BrendaMeller. Sometime this weekend, I'll come back and share my main takeaways.

1. I'm digging the fact that I walk in the room and laptops and smart phones are welcomed and opened. Plus there are power strips everywhere for plugging in. The Social Media Club and conference planners really "get" us social media folk. Kudos to you.