Making a Difference on #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Making a difference in the world is one of my core values, so when I learned about #Giving Tuesday, (which is today!) it really resonated with me. According to the #GivingTuesday website,  it’s “a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide“.

I love the thought of inspiring people to make a difference in the world by giving!  Not only financially, but by contributing their time and creative talents to the charities and causes they support. This page, from one of my 2014 morning journals, relates to that theme:


Last year, more than 45,000 organizations in 71 countries came together to celebrate #GivingTuesday, and this year I thought it would be great if the Zenspirations® community joined the movement. This is a Zenspirations drawing I did in 2012, the same year that #GivingTuesday was started:


You don’t need to have a lot of money to give. We can all practice philanthropy by contributing what we can: goods, time, art, ideas, as well as making monetary contributions. I started my #GivingTuesday with a $10 donation to the Wikimedia Foundation, an international nonprofit which operates Wikipedia, my go-to research resource.

When I am doing charitable giving, I look for organizations that have made a difference in my life, or the lives of people I love. If I’m unfamiliar with the charity, I look them up on or to find out how they are rated, and what percentage of my donation goes to administrative expenses. I was pleased to see that two major organizations I support, the American Heart Association and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, both had stellar ratings.

But the cause that is nearest to my heart is the Modern Widows Club (MWC), a 501(c)3 non-profit which was established in 2011, and serves to “empower widows to lean into life, build resilience and make a positive difference in society“.


MWC made a big difference in my life after my husband died, and I was honored to join the national board this year. I know first hand how important it is to connect with people who can support you during major life changes, which is why not only give my time, but also donate a percentage of sales from my book, When You Lose Someone You Love, to MWC.

If you would like to bless a widow, I’d highly recommend gifting them a $25, one year MWC membership, which will allow them to network with, and get support from, other widows. And if you are in a financial position to help, MWC would welcome donations of any size.

Now that you’ve heard about the organization I’m passionate about, I’d love to hear about the organizations that you support. Please leave a comment on this blog post sharing information about worthy causes. This is a way we can learn from each other, share resources, and discover new charities that we can help. I’d be especially interested in supporting a non-profit dedicated to making a difference through art-education. Please let me know if you are familiar with one you’d recommend.

Giving– and give aways– always make me feel good. So I’m happy to announce that the winner of last week’s giveaway is (drum roll, please): Louise Johnson! Louise, please let me know where Sakura should send the Gelly Roll Metallic, Moonlight and Stardust pens you just won.

Thank you again to Sakura, for inviting me to be their guest Instagram artist earlier this month, and for supplying sets of their wonderful pens for our Giveaway. Coincidentally, one of the posts was a short video of my lettering ‘Give’ with a Koi Coloring Brush pen. Click here if you’d like to see me hand-letter the word “Give”.

We all have different passions. I’m passionate about pens, and my daughter Samantha is passionate about music. She spent most of the summer recording her first CD, and just launched a Kickstarter to raise the money she needs to finish the album. Click here if you’d like to see Sam’s Kickstarter videoand listen to some of her music.

This is one of the graphics I created for Sam’s Kickstarter:


Sam’s Listen CD is special to me, not just because of the wonderful, meaningful songs she’s written and hopes to include on it,  but also because she’s making this album in memory of her dad. We would both appreciate your sharing the Kickstarter link with anyone you know who may be interested in her project.

Stay Zenspired,

5 thoughts on “Making a Difference on #GivingTuesday”

  1. Desperately Dependent Community exists to engage and encourage Christian leaders to find Christ relevant to every area of life thereby promoting effective, sustained ministries. Thank you, Joanne, for allowing DDCommunity to teach your Doodling and Dangling patterns to Christian leaders who are looking for a brief respite from the pressures of ministry life. Family members thoroughly enjoyed patterning around DesignVerses to creatively connect to God’s Word.

  2. Hello Joanne!
    Your post is definitely one I can identify with! I really believe you are spreading kindness and love, in everything you do, Joanne!
    One of the charities that I identify with the most, is Knit A Square. KAS provides hand knitted/crocheted blankets (and hats) to disadvantaged orphans, in South Africa. I have been making items to send to S. A., for about five years and I also support them financially.
    I always try to support anything related to cancer research, having lost many good friends to cancer. And last, but certainly not least, I support Forgotten Children Worldwide, who work to end child trafficking everywhere. Since they offer the option of sponsoring a child monthly, that has been my way of staying involved.
    Thank you for the opportunity to talk about the charities close to my heart! You are always an inspiration to me and so many others!
    Much love always!
    Mary Anne

  3. Thank you for all the “giving” you do Joanne, sharing your time and talents with so many. You have inspired me to try to do the same.

  4. First I’m in love with Sam’s Kickstarter music and can’t wait to get my CD!
    I have 2 non-profits I’m very involved with, Canine Partners for Life ( which is who trained Bud, my service dog and Brain Injury Services ( which helps people in Virginia who have had traumatic brain injuries. With budget cuts in the state they are facing the very real possible of having to have even longer wait lists and offer fewer services. Millions of individuals each year suffer from a traumatic brain injury yet unless you play football or are coming back from war there is a huge lack of services and it pains me to see them being cut. BIS has been there for me as I’ve struggled to find my new normal. One way I give back is to teach a craft class to other brain injury survivors through BIS as well as I’m on their Speakers Bureau and go around to advocate and educate and raise awareness of living with a traumatic brain injury.

  5. Thanks Joanne! You are one of my inspirations when it comes to kindness and I love how you dedicate yourself to helping others and just being kind in general 🙂 I have a story of my own to tell about kindness and giving that I just posted on my blog. I used your small card image that says “your unexpected kindness truly brightened my day” at the bottom of my post. I hope that’s ok. I made sure it has your copyright on it and it’s exactly as you posted it. If it’s not ok, I will take the post down, or at least the picture, but I wanted you to know and I wanted to tell you myself so you wouldn’t think I was trying anything underhanded.
    You are a HUGE inspiration to me, and I thank you daily for that.. I do greet each day with a hopeful heart, or at least I try to, and it’s all thanks to you! I have that saying hanging from my desk right in front of me, so it’s the first thing I see when I sit down at my desk.
    Big Hugs!!

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