A contributing organization for Social Media Outreach is Pivot.com.  The company is a life insurance marketplace, simplifying the life insurance process for individuals, at Pivotal Moments in their lives.  Michele Cleary is a contributing writer for Social Media Outreach.  We are proud to share this new idea for giving back with you.

Social Media Outreach – Paying It Forward

What does the season of thanksgiving and life insurance have in common? I am sure you are wondering where I am going with this blog. I think most of us think of buying life insurance to protect our loved ones in the event something happens to us. We want to make sure they can carry on without unnecessary financial burdens or constraints. As we enter the holiday season, we often pause to reflect on the things we are grateful for. That made me think you can actually use life insurance to “pay forward” as a means of saying thanks for what we have, our personal blessings, our families, our friends, etc.

I am not sure how many of you know that you can actually use life insurance to make a contribution to your favorite charity.The beauty of this is you don’t need a lot of money to still make a big difference for the charity of your choice. The death benefit payout could be your lasting legacy and it can come at a fraction of the cost. There are lots of different ways to structure a life insurance policy. As an illustration point here are a few examples of how a life insurance policy can be structured to benefit a charity:

· Name the charity as the beneficiary

· Set up a charitable remainder trust

· Have the charity insure you

There are other ways to structure the life insurance policy as each has unique advantages and you’ll want to explore them all. In certain situations, depending on how you structure the insurance policy, you may be able to benefit from a tax deduction or even eliminate estate taxes altogether. Now that’s a real win!

If you are interested in doing something like this, I encourage you to talk to one of our PivotCare team professionals. They can walk you through all of the options and details. We want to make sure your ‘pay forward” gift meets your desired outcome. You can call us at 1-800-651-1953 or email us at info@pivot.com .

Enjoy your holiday season!!

 

 

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Pivot.com CEO Brian Carroll took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a big way. To learn more about ALS or make a donation go to  http://www.alsa.org/donate/

 

 

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The Full Bloom,the brain child of Shawn Chamberlain, is an amazing charitable organization based in Spokane, Washington whose mission is simple – they “Recycle the Love” with donated (from weddings, corporate events, funerals,etc) flowers which are then repurposed and transformed into beautiful bouquets  for those in hospice care, hospitals and nursing homes.

Recently, Kelli Wetsel, Rostin Ventures Director of Content Marketing and Syndication, was able to share the gift of flowers with residents of Sunrise Village Assisted Living and Memory Center.  She worked hand-in-hand with her seven-year-old daughter Cameron to spread love and joy to the residents, reminding them that people care. The experience was a sweet one neither will soon forget.

“It was so much fun (and so much more work than I ever realized), and Cami and I truly loved every moment. I feel like we got more out of it than the residents. Putting a smile on someone’s face is the best feeling,” said Wetsel.

The flowers were a donation from a funeral by a family who wanted to spread some joy to others in memory of their lost loved one. The flowers were picked up shortly after the memorial, vases were gathered and work began in an afternoon of flower arranging. After all was said and done, thirty arrangements were ready for delivery.

“I’m certainly not an expert on flower arranging, but with Shawn’s tips and advice over a few phone calls and texts, we ended up with gorgeous bouquets to brighten the residents’ day,” Westel shared.

After loading up her SUV with a car full of bouquets to let the residents of Sunrise Village know someone was thinking of them, mother and daughter set off to deliver the flowers and  The Full Bloom‘s mission of “Recycling The Love”. The delivery was met with hugs, smiles and true wonder from the residents that “someone was thinking of me”.  It was a great experience for everyone involved and Wetsel says she and her young daughter will definitely do it again.

 

 

 

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New Friends New Life knows that abuse and exploitation most often go in cycles… and it is these cycles that they are working hard to break.  In fact, 90 percent of today’s exploited women were abused as children.  That’s a staggering statistic.

 For New Friends New Life, this year’s WINGS Luncheon had the same purpose as those of years past:  to gain awareness for a cause that so many people do not even know exists.  Human trafficking is often thought to just happen “over there.”  Americans frequently fail to realize that human trafficking is a problem that happens right under their noses on a daily basis.  Recent arrests have brought the problem to light a bit more, but the bulk of human trafficking still happens behind closed doors. 

There are, however, some really real victims of this crisis, many of which are swept under the rug and often easily forgotten.  The majority are not U.S. citizens so they have no family or friends to help them.  Additionally, their citizenship keeps them from qualifying for services that others in America easily receive. 

New Friends New Life began in 1998 as a simple act of women helping women.  The program is now comprehensive, offering holistic services for women and their children which include counseling and therapeutic prevention programs.  Through these programs, New Friends New Life aims to break the cycle of abuse that can hold a huge grip over the families affected by human trafficking.   

This year, the New Friends New Life WINGS Luncheon raised money for this cause.  Legendary, award-winning actress Sally Field spoke to the crowd about her years in the business and the difficult determination she had to employ to succeed.  Her comments about her recent role as Mary Lincoln really spoke to the crowd, who gave generously to New Friends New Life.

 One of the best ways to help New Friends New Life with their mission is to spread awareness.  Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest provide each and every one of us with a powerful voice to spread the word about important causes.  Use your voice for good!  Let people know about New Friends New Life and use the hashtag #socialmediaoutreach to connect

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Equal Pay Day was designed to raise awareness of the gender wage gap. Being a woman-owned business, Equal Pay Day is of great significance to Rostin Ventures.

According to President Obama’s State of the Union address, women are still only making 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This statement echoes the gender wage gap results found in surveys performed by the National Committee on Pay Equality, the American Association of University Women
and other similar groups.

“I think women who have children are often weighed down with an assumption that they are going to have less time to spend working to earn their salary due to proven history and the expectations set forth for them by society,” said Julie Ross, President and CEO of Rostin Ventures.

And, these expectations are a proven part of the workforce. According to 2012 statistics, men are almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week. Single women without children seem to have bridged the gender wage gap better, earning 96 percent of men’s earnings – compared to
the typical 81 percent.

Companies like Rostin Ventures are responding to the need for high quality jobs for mothers by creating flexible work schedules and hours, and helping employees to obtain work-life balance. It’s a step that could cause some scheduling difficulties for the company, but it is one that many companies are seeing great results in.

Ultimately, the gender wage gap can best be combatted with creativity. A diverse workforce allows for more opportunities for a company to move forward, and working mothers have proven themselves as a critical asset to the American workforce. Creating working environments that allow all members of the staff to complete their best work on their own time is a benefit to all.

“It will take a few generations of women setting – and proving – new expectations to change the game within the workforce,” added Ross.

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Signs for Support started small, but has grown into a franchise-wide program that continues to help nonprofits, schools and other small organizations gain the awareness they so desperately need. Through the program, both civic organizations and nonprofits are encouraged to apply for free or discounted signage, with the ability to use the money toward any type of sign they need to help with operations, event announcement or marketing value.

Many nonprofits will say that awareness is their biggest hurdle. They lack the marketing funds to compete with the big brands of today, which take up a lot of space in the market place. Signs for Support wants to bridge this gap. Signage plays a huge roll in awareness, offering volunteers and donors alike an easy way to know about new events within the organization or provide branding power to ensure that an organization becomes a household name.

Grants from the program vary, from discounts on goods and services to 100 percent free signage and service. The grants can be used by both secular and faith-based nonprofit organizations with applications for the program available through local Signarama locations.

Maggie Harlow, owner of Signarama Downtown in Louisville, Kentucky, created Signs of Support as a way to streamline the requests that were coming into her store, and strategically focus a set amount of money on helping organizations in need. The program grew from its Louisville beginnings and is now operating in a variety of Signarama locations nationwide.

“Many organizations are worthy of this support. We want to be good stewards of the communities we serve and Signs for Support gives us the perfect opportunity to do so,” said Harlow.

The actual design of the signs is based on the needs and requests of the organization. This gives Signarama locations, and Signs of Support, the ability to support nonprofits in the best way possible – giving them the power to choose from both interior and exterior designs with the capability to meet temporary or permanent needs.

Visit your local Signarama location to see if they participate in Signs for Support and help to spread the word so others can benefit. Use #socialmediaoutreach to share this story in social media. You never know who you might help by building awareness!

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Shine a Light on Slavery Day is an awareness movement. Using the hashtag #EndItMovement, socialmedia users were encouraged to spread the word about human trafficking and slavery on February 27,and Rostin Ventures’ employees were quick to participate.

Shine a Light on Slavery Day aims to bring to light the staggering scope of human trafficking both locally and abroad. Many American’s fail to realize the grave statistics associated with human trafficking. In the US alone, many youth are at risk of falling prey to slavery within the sex industry. Even more human trafficking victims are being held in the US against their will in horrific situations. Human trafficking is real. It’s happening around you and it’s happening now.

“I had no clue that human trafficking of any kind happened until fairly recently,” said Brit Chambers,Director of Public Relations for Rostin Ventures. “It’s not something that you think about until it hits too close to home, but slavery within America still exists – and it is a real problem facing today’s at-risk youth.”

Shine a Light on Slavery Day has collected statistics from a wide variety of government sources showing the estimated annual profit from human trafficking alone at $32 billion. While slavery practices are illegal in most countries, children and women, especially those in impoverished situations, are vulnerable to being sold, bonded, trafficked, subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, and forced to work as domestic workers.

While it sounds like something that Americans expect to happen “somewhere else,” human trafficking is a real problem within the borders of the United States. As many as 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States annually, with Atlanta being a major hub for human trafficking – most of these victims are children sold into sexual slavery.

Globally, every minute of every day, two children are sold into slavery. Shine a Light on Slavery Day shouldn’t just be a day, it should be an ongoing awareness movementbringing the rampant nature of human trafficking to the forefront.

Won’t you join us? Show your support using the hashtags “socialmediaoutreach and #EndItMovement.

It’s time to end this, let’s let awareness be our first step.

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National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month highlights the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.  For many, the holiday season brings a time for parties and often these situations might go a bit farther than expected and result in an accident that could be life-changing, for both the driver and others who happen to be out on the road.

The holiday season is also a difficult time for many who are struggling with family relationships.  Often, drug and alcohol use is heightened during this time as a coping mechanism for those who are suffering.

The number of fatalities associated with drunk and drugged driving has decreased on a national scale, however vigilance and continued awareness are always key to long-term success.   There are many resources now available to those who are suffering from addictions and some of the stigma for getting help has worn off.

The Santé Center for Healing, a residential and outpatient treatment facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex is a supporter of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month and agrees that the awareness it brings can draw attention to the fact that driving while under the influence is a choice.

Especially through the holidays, many services offer programs to catch a ride if you feel that you have had too much to drink or need assistance getting home.  These “cab” services are available through a variety of resources and often clubs and bars have access to the numbers needed to grant you a safe ride home.Sante Center

Help bring awareness to National Drunk and Drugged Driving month and visit http://buzzeddriving.adcouncil.org/pledge.asp today to take a pledge to not drive buzzed.  The result of driving while under the influence can impact many families.  Keep this cause top-of-mind throughout the holiday season by posting to social media (use hashtag #socialmediaoutreach and #buzzeddriving) and reminding others of the devastating effects of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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The Full Bloom was created out of a need and works off the basis of recycled love. For Shawn Chamberlin, The Full Bloom is constant affirmation that her recognition of a need could be solved with an easy match up.

A service-based nonprofit organization, The Full Bloom provides flowers to residents of care facilities with a simple note that someone is thinking about them. The flowers come from weddings and other special events and are collected and reassembled to make beautiful gifts for those who often feel forgotten.

“Fresh flowers can help aid in reducing stress and give comfort to those dealing with death, terminal illness, severe injury or sickness,” said Chamberlin, founder of The Full Bloom. “We believe that flowers can bring sunshine to a soul and help heal a heart – that’s why we do what we do!”

Rostin Ventures is taking on The Full Bloom’s mission as a service project, with a desire to spread the gift of flowers beyond the area Chamberlin currently services.

“She has an amazing model that we would like to bring to Dallas-Fort Worth and replicate,” said Kelli Wetsel, Director of Content Marketing and Syndication for Rostin Ventures. “There are so many weddings and events held in our area on a continual basis. It is our desire to spread the word about donations and become the hands and feet of The Full Bloom in this region.”

Since The Full Bloom is a nonprofit organization, flower donations made are tax deductible, which can be a great incentive to offset the high costs of a wedding.

“There are so many people that need to know that they are remembered, they need to feel love,” added Wetsel. “This partnership will allow us the opportunity to do that in our community and hopefully provide a model from further replication in the future.”

If you would like to donate to The Full Bloom, whether in flowers, financial contributions or time helping with assembly, please visit http://thefullbloom.org. Additionally, help Rostin Ventures to spread the word about this great cause via social media. Who wouldn’t want to recycle the love? It’s just a matter of letting people know that it is available!

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The LilySarahGraceFund was built out of a tragedy – as a way for a father to commemorate his daughters and leave a lasting legacy for their love of the arts.  Matthew Badger started the fund after his daughters lost their lives in a fire on Christmas Day, 2011.  Lily (9) and Sarah and Grace (7) were great artists and greatly appreciated the art of others.  According to Matthew, art was one of their greatest loves.

 From its inception, the LilySarahGraceFund has touched the lives of students in all 50 states by challenging and empowering teachers in underfunded elementary schools to teach their curriculum through the universal language of art and creativity.  Since receiving 401c3 status in November 2012, the fund has granted more than $4 million which has positively impacted public elementary schools.

Measure CP, a mystery shopping and brand auditing firm based in Kentucky, has lent support to the LilySarahGraceFund from the beginning, partly because of the story, but also due to the fact that it supports avenues of creative thinking among American children.

“Creative problem solving and creative expression are sorely lacking, particularly among those in underprivileged situations,” said Kimberly Nasief, President of Measure CP.  “There are great teachers in these schools that are just lacking the tools to help these children.  We are proud to support the LilySarahGraceFund and bring awareness to a cause that has the ability to change the future of America.”

The LilySarahGraceFund focuses on poverty level and low income schools that have an absence of art programs.  In the past two years, the fund has provided more than 106,000 students with the joy of the arts and creativity-driven curriculum add-ons.  The work of the fund is well documented and supported by those in both the arts and education, with 89 percent of all money raised being placed directly into classrooms in need.

Help Measure CP spread the word about the work that the LilySarahGraceFund is doing.  Use your power on social media channels to inform others of this great organization and start a push toward change in schools across America.

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