A beautiful giver

When I think of charity, several words come to mind: help, hope and money. For small businesses and organizations in the non-profit world, raising money is what helps them provide for others.  One of those people who believe giving is important is Shikha Vasaiwala.

Who is Shikha Vasaiwala?

 Shikha Vasaiwala is founder and CEO of Glamour Gone Good, Inc. and is committed to women’s and girls’ empowerment and advancement. As a social entrepreneur, Shikha specializes in not-for-profit brand strategy, cause marketing, and strategic partnerships.

In 2007, Shikha launched actress and cancer survivor Fran Drescher’s women’s cancer charity, Cancer Schmancer, dedicated to ensuring Stage 1 diagnosis of women’s cancers. Previously, Shikha served as Director of Programs at Do Something, Inc., where she managed social change programs for teens, including the 2005 Kids Tsunami Relief Fund, through which she distributed over $475,000 to NGOs rebuilding schools, children’s camps and health clinics in India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.  

 

What is Glamour Gone Good?

Many large beauty and fashion brands have heavily marketed charity programs, but we rarely hear about what small businesses are doing to help their communities. Moreover, salons and spas are essentially untapped resources that interact with women on a daily basis.

Glamour Gone Good, Inc. is a volunteer-driven organization that is engaging glamour industry professionals in charitable giving activities to raise funds for the Glamour Gone Good grants program, which funds three national charities dedicated to empowering women and girls to reach their fullest potential.

Why is beauty important to you?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we can all generally agree that the act of giving is beautiful. Glamour Gone Good is reaching out to the very individuals who earn their livings by making people look and feel beautiful and engaging them in the beautiful act of giving.

Just think…if a cosmetic makeover can make a woman feel so good, how good can a life makeover make a woman feel? Thanks to the Glamour Gone Good grants program, we can now find out because the funds raised by our favorite glamour-makers will help make over the lives of women and girls in need. And, isn’t that a beautiful thing?

What challenges do you find with charity and giving in a small business world?

All charities face the same challenge of focusing on their core missions while also finding ways to stay in business by raising enough funds to finance their annual budgets. Glamour Gone Good was born in the height of the recent American recession, which has impacted its ability to fundraise to a certain extent given that it was a brand new charity with no proven history of success.

Luckily, Glamour Gone Good’s mission is to engage fashion, beauty, salon and spa industry professionals in charitable fundraising activities. So, it does not have to depend on traditional sources of fundraising like foundation grants and major individual donors. Average donations to Glamour Gone Good range from $100 to $1,000, which is very manageable for small businesses.

Also important to note is the fact that Glamour Gone Good is a volunteer-based organization. So, it does not need to raise funds to fund salaries and expensive office space. With a very humble operational budget, Glamour Gone Good is able to ensure that the vast majority funds it raises go directly to its own grant beneficiaries each year.

When, why and how can people give?

We encourage people to give to Glamour Gone Good all year!

By donating to Glamour Gone Good, donors are contributing to the Glamour Gone Good grants program, which supports three phenomenal women’s and girls’ charities. Our current beneficiaries are: (1) Dress for Success Worldwide, (2) Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), and (3) Sister to Sister: The Women’s Heart Health Foundation.

Moreover, by donating to Glamour Gone Good, donors get the satisfaction of knowing that their charitable contributions are part of this collective effort to encourage the glamour industries to become more socially responsible and philanthropic via everyday business transactions.

Of course, all donations are considered tax-deductible charitable contributions to the fullest extent of the law, as Glamour Gone Good is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

 There are multiple ways to give. Our favorite ways include:

  1. Make a donation via credit card or check: http://glamourgonegood.org/donate.html
  2. Host a small fundraiser in your community:  http://glamourgonegood.org/girls-night-out.html
  3. Visit our virtual shop where 10% or more of sales from all purchases benefit Glamour Gone Good:  http://glamourgonegood.org/shop.html
  4. Donate and raise funds for Glamour Gone Good through your own online fundraising campaign on Crowdrise (http://www.crowdrise.com/glamourgonegood) or Facebook Causes (http://www.causes.com/causes/533795)

There are many ways to give to charity. But if you are blessed financial, even in the least bit, do your part in helping our universal family and give back. Show Glamour Gone Good and other small businesses that you care. Any donation can have a drastic impact to those in need of it. So let’s do our part in helping each other do the good work.

“If you have much, give your wealth; if you have little, give your heart.” Arab Proverb

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How to find inspiration

I was gonna come and ask YOU all how do you stay motivated and inspired because I woke up in a blah mood. It’s raining. I didn’t have rain boots. I got stuck in traffic. I didn’t pack a lunch nor do I have lunch money. I mean I could keep creating a myriad of things to complain about just because it’s Monday. I tried being unhappy and I just didn’t like the feeling so I turned it around on purpose.

I came across an article from Madame Noire’s website just in time for this dreary Monday. It is called How To Find Inspiration When You’re Feeling Down. It goes through a list of things you can do to find inspiration when your mood is pretty much shot, or getting there. Or maybe just a case of the Mondays. Here are my three favorite things from the article to do:

Encourage others. Even when you are feeling down, it is still beneficial to try to offer someone else an encouraging word or a smile.  Sometimes, seeing how we have positively impacted another person’s life is just what we need to lift our spirits as we endure our trials.

Listen to some inspirational music. Whether it’s John Legend, Common, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Beethoven, Mozart, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Marvin Sapp or Yolanda Adams, music is a powerful force relative to inspiration.  Taking a few moments of your time to listen to beautiful musicianship and profound lyricism can certainly boost a weary soul.  There is probably a song in your library that pertains to your situation.

Pray for inspiration. Prayer is often forgotten as an excellent weapon to combat the blues.  Spending some time by yourself and praying for inspiration and a better disposition and countenance can be just what you need.  Countless individuals from around the world can attest to the wonderful power of prayer.

Maybe this list will inspire you to create your own. Happy Monday!

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Let your light shine

I just came across a post on Twitter that just lifted me up beyond an already excellent Monday (surprise, surprise). In light of a For Colored Girls weekend (which I will blog about later when I can wrap my mind around it all), I think this post speaks directly on several issues within the film. And myself.

I ended the 30 days of truth saying that the phrase “the truth will set you free” is a phrase that speaks loudly in my life right now. This blog post touched exactly on truth and our genuine selves. Something that I believe a lot of people, not just women, struggle with. This post from the blog Black Girl, Cry is amazing.

Here are a few quotes that touched me:

“Until I know who I am, I cannot answer another question.”  I cannot decide the people in my life, I cannot decide my life’s course, my career, not even the clothes that I wear.  We must know who we are.

The moment you get an inkling, a smidget, even the slightest hint as to how much you’re worth, believe it.  Then dig deeper.  And never stop digging.

You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who look to you as an inspiration, or as motivation once you begin to shine.

Read the post for yourself and share it with your best girlfriends. Happy Monday!

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Trust

I’ve had a WHIRLWIND last few months. The last eight months to be exact. My main focus was finding a place to call my own again after breaking my lease back in February. After moving FOUR times since then (count em), I’ve found my fifth and final place of 2010. I’m soooooo relieved! My nomadic tendencies are OVER!

I was never really worried though because I knew something would work out. I didn’t want to rush and make a bad decision and I’m glad I waited. I really like my new place.

My situation taught me to trust even when things seem unsure. I hope you’re trusting in something/someone today.

Be blessed.

Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
*Kahlil Gibran*

All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.
*Ralph Waldo Emerson*

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment unless you trust enough.                                                                                                                                                                *Frank Crane*

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Be Encouraged

Yesterday I went jogging and it was the most exhilarating feeling I’ve had in a long time. I’m not a jogger…yet. I’ve only really done it once. In that one time, I felt physically ill. Like, I’m going to die if I don’t stop running RIGHT NOW. But the person I was jogging with kept encouraging me to keep going. I was told that I was doing good. That I could make it. It was soooo annoying at the time but it was necessary.

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Gratitude

Have you ever really stopped to think about how amazing it is that you open your eyes every morning? Think about that moment right before you complain about how early it is and how you loathe Mondays. Think about that moment where you just lay in bed hoping and praying to get a little more shut eye. Before that moment where you hit the snooze button. That moment where you just sit and reflect. Wow, I opened my eyes. God opened my eyes. I don’t know why, but thank you. Happy Monday.

GRATITUDE—in good circumstances or bad—offers great transformational power. To say thank you, to practice gratitude for life even with its pain, discomfort, and stress, is to recognize life for what it is—a gift from God. And this recognition, this awareness, is one of the most irresistible forces in the world, because it affirms life, it affirms the present, it puts you in right relationship with the world.

– Thomas C. Ettinger & Helen R. Neinast
God Goes to College

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” –Sarah Ban Breathnach

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  –John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.  –William Arthur Ward

“If the only prayer you say in your life is thank you, that would suffice.” –Meister Eckhart

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