Tag Archives: service

Compassion During the Holidays

26 Dec

 “I hope that this Holiday Season we can show grace to those less fortunate, just as God showed it to us.  By serving those in need and through other acts of love and compassion, we can honor God’s goodness and affirm the immeasurable value God places on the sanctity of life. 

We send our best wishes for a very Merry Christmas.  May you be surrounded by loved ones and blessed by the Author of Life during this joyous holiday and throughout 2009!!”

A Lazerson Family Christmas

A Lazerson Family Christmas

Charter for Compassion

13 Nov

Join the world at http://www.charterforcompassion.org to write the Charter for Compassion. The Charter brings together the voices of people from all religions. It seeks to remind the world that while all faiths are not the same, they all share the core principle of compassion and the Golden Rule. The Charter will change the tenor of the conversation around religion. It will be a clarion call to the world.

Keeping My Father’s Tradition Alive

12 Oct

When you learn, teach.  When you get, give.”  That is one of my favorite quotes from the poet & best-selling author Maya Angelou.  It was as a child I heard time & time again that what you give comes back to you.  My father spent many hours volunteering at the local food kitchen in Washington D.C., Martha’s Table.  It was here that I got my first taste of service.  It was his example of selfless service that made me see that life is an energy exchange of giving and receiving, and the way to have what you want is to give what you need. 

As a friend recently said, “If your intention is clear, and you are giving for the true joy of it then your generosity will be returned to you.  It most likely won’t come from the person you gave to, but from some unimagined source.  No matter what, though, it will come back to you.”

I love to give!!  I love to serve!!  Today call the local food kitchen & volunteer or leave a bushel of apples on your next door neighbor’s front porch with a note or track down the teacher who had the most influence in your life & send them a note!!  Just do it & I promise you you will taste the greatest joy known to mankind  — the joy of selfless service.

When you learn, teach.  When you get, give.

Heidi, Zoe, & Tsering making sandwiches

Heidi, Zoe, & Tsering making sandwiches

 

Where My Life of Service Began

Where My Life of Service Began

The Power of Philanthropic Boldness

10 Oct

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! / Boldness has genius, power and magic in it,:” is one of Goethe’s couplets for which I have deep respect.  I have the strongest desire to connect humanity with humanity on all levels & often times I have no idea quite how to do it, but I just “begin it” with crazy amounts of “boldness“!!

Here is the perfect example:

The Interface Foundation supports global philanthropic leaders changing the world, my heroes if you will.  Several months ago I had the great opportunity to meet Rod Brooks, CEO & Chessney Barrick, Director of Development of Stop Hunger Now (SHN).  Stop Hunger Now (www.stophungernow.org) provides food & lifesaving aid to the world’s most destitute and hungry in the most efficient, effective and sustainable manner!!  The work of SHN is AMAZING!!!!  I was inspired to see how I could, in some way, support their lifesaving work.

I started to help immediately.  After text messaging several of my friends in Hollywood to tell them 850 million people suffer from the tragedy of hunger and that 25,000 people die EVERYDAY from hunger-related causes over 28 friends showed up on 2 days to shoot a series of 6 Public Service Announcements for Stop Hunger Now.  I didn’t know how I would do this, but I took the first step by talking to SHN then contacting my friends.  The outcome was impactful!! 

Take a look:

I made the decision to use my network for good, I moved forward and the world is seeing the magic!! 

Thanks to Felisha Terrell, Jeremy Piven, MIchael Moloney, Christian Audigier, VIctoria Recano of Entertainment Tonight, SImon Rex, the band Atreyu, Lance Bass, Laura Harring, Rachel Smith, Jesse Metcalfe, Cindy Landon, Dee Murthy, Mary Mary, Tom Higginson, Jeremy Petty, Andrew Keegan, Cynthia Garrett, Lucia Micarelli, Jennifer Landon, Vanessa Williams, Andrea Donsky, Cassandra Hepburn, Harvey Mason Jr., Tamera Mowry, and Meredith Brunsman.

W.H. Murray says, “Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too.  All sorts of thing occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

This is the magic of Interface…

The Interface Foundation — My Life's Work

8 Oct

As a child I always saw myself helping countless people.  Serving is truly the essence of who I am & for most of my life this has been a double-edged sword.  The words of Henry Van Dyke in his short story The Mansion resonate in my soul daily, ” What could I have done better?  What is it that counts?  ‘Only that which is truly given,” answered the voice.  Only that good which is done for the love of doing it.  Only those plans in which the welfare of others is the master thought.  Only those labors in which the sacrifice is greater than the reward.  Only those gifts in which the giver forgets himself.”  So this double-edged sword of my souls ultimate desire to serve has finally become my ultimate blessing & my life’s work.  For years I would bang my head against the wall as I was not born with a trust fund, I was not educated at an Ivy league school, I was not blessed with “fame” however these supposed “hurdles” in my life are my actual blessings.  My unquenchable desire to be a force for good is a flame that will never be extinguished because I don’t have a trust fund, I didn’t go to an Ivy League school & because I can’t carry a tune & didn’t win American Idol & end up touring the world.  It is that simple!  What I do have is the ultimate desire to serve humanity and after 12 years of working professionally in the non-profit world the Interface Foundation was born.

As most of you know last year Interface came to life.  The Interface Foundation is a 501(c)3 private foundation whose mission is to leverage the power of business and celebrity to bring attention to high impact organizations working to accomplish one of the eight Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2000.

There is no greater peace than knowing your life’s mission!  With Interface I work 24/7 in doing all in my power to get humanity to help humanity!  Each and everyone of us can contribute in some way & I am here to guide the philanthropic ship of Interface to the ultimate destinations where high impact philanthropic initiatives will change countless lives.  Eradicating extreme poverty & hunger (850 million people suffer fromt the tragedy of hunger).  Allowing every child in the world to receive primary education (presently 125 million children don’t go to primary school).  Promoting gender equality & empowering women.  Reducing child mortality.  Improving maternal health.  Combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria & other diseases.  Ensuring environmental sustainability.

In a very short time we have seen hundreds, thousands of people come together to learn about Interface partner organizations, we have seen donations of time, money & products, and equally as big we have seen people spread the Interface mission!  It is a testament to the power of Interface.  Choose your goal & we will help you support it!!!

I have to give huge thanks to the business community and it’s true philanthropic leaders like Steve Luczo from Seagate, Brent Bishop, Josh James of Omniture, the famed music video director Hype Williams, Randy Blosil of Xango, Alex Hoffmann of Nu Skin, Brandon Fugal of Coldwell Utah, Bernadette Turner of QVC, Darren Dixon, Charlie Walk President of Epic Records, Brent Bolthouse of SBE, Bryan Ferre of Cultivate Ideas, Andrea Donsky, Jim Evans of Xactware,  Jason Deere, Maggie Biggar of Fortis Films, Lisa Spackman, Joel Sybrowski, Jeron Paul of V Spring, Bernadette Hill, Lisette Sand-Freedman of Shadow PR, Jessica Weitz, Dee Murthy of Five Four Clothing, famed music producer Harvey Mason JR, Lisa Nelson of ICAP, Joe “3H” Weinberger, Cynthia Garrett, Kirk Lee of Intuit. 

And I have to set the record straight here after being asked a million times if celebrities are truly engaged in causes because of their own heart or is it a PR move?  Well after being involved with some of the biggest names in the world, I have to say regardless of the celebrity’s initial reason for getting involved I have text message, emails, voice messages, & hand-written thank you notes that show they can’t wait for the next opportunity to serve humanity.  With that I want to thank a few now by giving them a “shout out” — Jeremy Piven of Entourage, Vanessa Williams, Eric Mabius of Ugly Betty, Jesse Metcalfe, Lance Bass,  Sheila E,  Sandra Bullock, Shannon Elizabeth, Tom Higginson of the Plain White T’s, Terri Seymour of Extra, Edison Chen, Paul Wall, Paris Hilton, Marla Maples, Patrick Muldoon, Blake Lewis from American Idol, Michael Moloney from Extreme Makeover:Home Edition, Laura Harring, artist Paul Rusconi, Miss USA Rachel Smith, and Billy Bush from Access Hollywood to name a few.

Paris Hilton Using Her Voice For Philanthropic Good

Paris Hilton Using Her Voice For Philanthropic Good

Let’s continue to come together to change the world.  The goals are simple.  The mission is pure.  Remember what the poet June Jordan taught us: We are the ones we have been waiting for.