I’m Fundraising for the Junior Service League of St. Augustine and the Alpha Omega Miracle Home

Sometimes you have to get outside of your bubble to get the best perspective on life.  Or at least that’s what I’ve heard. I personally find it very difficult to do this.  I’m a keep-my-nose-to-the-ground, spend all my hours at my computer, plugged in 24 hours a day type of business owner.  To a fault.

So, when we relocated our family to St. Augustine, FL and I became a mom, I told myself I would make more of an effort to say yes to more party invitations, say yes to more family time, say yes to building more relationships outside of my comfort zone – the offices of Occasions Media Group.  And as luck would have it, just as I was telling myself to be more of  a “yes woman,”  I was asked by the Junior Service League of St. Augustine to volunteer as a “candidate” for their annual gala.  So I said yes.

This year I’ve been asked to be a “Queen Candidate” to raise money on behalf of the Junior Service League and their charitable efforts each year.  In doing so, they asked me to pick a local charity that I will represent in my efforts and if I raise the most amount of money among all of the other queen candidates….. my charity of choice will be awarded $5,000 for my efforts.

I got this.

I have chosen to fundraise for the Junior Service League of St. Augustine on behalf of the Alpha Omega Miracle Home.  While the money I raise goes to the JSL’s bank of funds that are donated to the St. Augustine community, it is awareness and additional funds that my efforts will bring to the Alpha Omega Miracle Home.

Why did I choose the Alpha Omega Miracle Home?
My life was transformed the day I became a mother.  I had an amazing pregnancy experience, was showered with gifts from friends and family, had an amazing birth experience with the best midwife, doula and nursing staff, the most supportive husband a girtl could ask for, and had access to every convenience, technology and information resource a new mom could ask for.  While I was experiencing a surge of “happy mommy hormones” I couldn’t help but think of the many other mother’s who wouldn’t have it like me.  I thought of every women who has struggled with the choice of abortion.  Women who are on waiting lists for adoptions.  Mothers who were in unsafe home environments, victims of abuse, struggling to recover from past choices ….whatever the case… my heart was so heavy for these women and felt like I had to do something to help.

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I started to do research on organizations that help women in crisis pregnancy situations and mentor them by providing relief during their pregnancy and life as a new mom or educating them on the gift of adoption.  I found the Alpha Omega Miracle Home in St. Augustine, FL.

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What is the Alpha Omega Miracle Home?
AOMH provides transitional housing for homeless women and their children and permanent, supportive housing for senior women.

The organization was started by Lisa Franklin, a native of St. Augustine, who was once herself a pregnant teenager.  In choosing life at such a young age, she has seen her son grow to be a loving husband, father and community leader.  Because of her experience, she found herself called to mentor young mothers and support elderly women in a way that forms a surrogate family for the two.

Alpha Omega Miracle Home is a safety net for women and children that works to break the bondage of poverty, abuse and homelessness by responsibly sowing Godly love, compassion, and material resources. They are a hand up, not a hand out organization.  They address both the external issues of income and housing, as well as the root causes that have led to a family’s homelessness, in order to help single mothers become who they were created to be: productive members of the community. In addition, Alpha-Omega endeavors to honor the gifts and contributions of our senior residents while providing safe, affordable housing.

Below is a video about their efforts worth taking a few minutes to watch….

For more information on the Alpha Omega Miracle Home, visit their website here.

What does this all mean to you?
It’s fundraising time.  I am seeking corporate sponsorships for the Junior Service League Gala to be made in my name.   If you are seeking PR opportunities for your company that supports a worthy local cause, give you the benefits of a tax write off and tickets to the gala, I will happily hand deliver your donation to them.  😉

You can access a PDF outlining the efforts of the Junior Service League and the sponsorships levels at the dropbox link below.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wun0m2ahi2sgptk/2015JSLGalaSponsorship.pdf?dl=0

Please let me know if you have any questions and what level participation you’d like to be involved in for this year’s event.

Thank you so much for your support and help to win the Alpha Omega Miracle Home $5,000.

Now Hiring: Editor, The Celebration Society

When I get to write posts like this I feel like I am officially a contributing member of society. Employing people has a whole different level of satisfaction beyond the thrill successfully growing the business of our advertisers has.  It’s deeper.  Sort of a validation that the work we are doing, is working and we need more people to keep doing it.  That’s an awesome feeling.

So, today I am super excited to share that we have officially begun the search for an Editor of The Celebration Society to join our team.  Yay!

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The perfect person for the job has an impeccable eye for style and looks with a discerning eye for honest-to-goodness great ideas for modern day weddings and parties and can create super shareable posts that cover those things in a fun, casual, relatable way.  This person should be social media savvy, big-time advocates for print and digital media and literally obsessed with weddings, parties and celebrations of all kinds.  Oh, and a natural talent for connecting people is a major plus.  This is the perfect career for an enthusiastic people person, problem solver, idea generator, cheerleader and all around team player who wants to work side-by-side their best friends and know their daily work makes a huge impact on the growth of their company.

Not to mention all the obvious work skills of an Editor too (you can read the whole official post with specific details over here).

If you think you are the perfect person for the job, email me at heather@occasionsmediagroup.com.

Image by Rustic White Photography

Showing the Way

I recently came across this quote on Facebook that struck a nerve with me. A good one.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. ~ J C Maxwell

It made me think of how I feel about this blog.  I started it with the intention of sharing marketing and business advice with friends and clients and not with the intention of being a blogger.  A money making blogger that is.  So, posting here gets put on the bottom of my to do list after I’ve tended to everything relative to what I DO make money at.

Then there’s the whole “perception” thing that comes with bloggers. Perfect perception that is. I’m a big believer that there is way too much emphasis on being the most stylish, most put together, and most successful person out there in the blogger hemisphere and I just do not have the time to keep up with that nor do I want to mislead my people to thinking this life of mine is so simply perfect.  It ain’t.

And don’t even get me started on the whole “but who really cares what Heather Vreeland has to say?” ever looming question I ask myself everyday.  There are A LOT of people claiming to be experts on the internet and whether they are just making noise or making a living….how is my experience/take any better/different?

But, I’ve found that as a result of being concerned if this is the best way to be spending my time, or are my pictures pretty enough for this blog, or is anyone even listening… my voice has become stifled.   Which is sad because I really like helping people and I really feel like I can help the most amount of people here.

So, when I read that quote this week I realized – that’s me.  A leader.  I know the way because I work it every single day.  I don’t proclaim to be an expert, but I AM experienced.  I go the way because that is what it takes to survive and be successful.  I’m not a millionaire, but I am making money.  And, because I know in my heart of hearts that sharing those two things can make all the difference in someone’s life who is just starting out….  I will show the way.  Okay maybe not the way.  But, my way.

Asher is 7 Months + Family Pictures… Finally

Words.  That’s typically the space filler I use when I begin to create a blog post as I add images in first.  Then I usually go back and fill in what I want those words to be.  But today I’m at a loss… what words are there in the English language, or any other language for that matter, that can precisely communicate with you the joy my heart feels being a wife, mom and putting family first.  None.

So…. pictures instead.  And how lovely they are.  As I type this Asher will be 7 months this week.  My heart.

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Our photos were taken by Wedding photographer, Debra Eby.  I met Debra while lunching with her, my friend and team member Serena and another talented photographer Emily A. a few weeks ago. We had actually all been at the opening of The Conservatorie in St. Augustine a week prior but didn’t realize it until we posted photos on Instagram.  So… to actually BE social (like… in person) and start meeting wedding vendors in Northeast Florida we scheduled a lunch date and now I have a family photographer for life.  Yay.

She took hundreds… here are some of my favorites.

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With all the amazing technology and crazy talented photographers out there today, every family should have the treasure of family photos like these.  Best investment I’ve made.  These beauties will be gracing our Christmas cards this year and nearly every wall in my house.

 

Blogging, Influence and the Purpose of It All: A Dave Ramsey Interview with Seth Godin

Sometimes I wonder what the purpose of blogging is.  Today, there is content everywhere you look.   Anyone with an internet connection can share their views and I’m not convinced that is such a good thing.  For me, my natural instinct is to share, facilitate and problem solve, but with so many other people doing the very same thing on their own platforms I often say to myself “What’s the point?  The world will be just fine without my two cents.”

But will it?

Well, maybe the world will be just fine, but maybe my experience is actually something of value and could influence one, two or ten people for the better. And maybe this blog is the only place where we could make that connection.  I guess that is the point.   That’s what I learned from this Seth Godin Interview on Dave Ramsey’s blog.  If you’ve got something to say, share it somewhere more meaningful than snarky twitter updates.  <—–  Um whoa… does Seth follow me on Twitter? How did he know?

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I never set out to lead a tribe or build a following, but as an entrepreneur and everyday business owner with a voice that can’t be squandered…it has come naturally for me with the territory.  And it’s like that for many other leaders too.  Because we’ve done it… gone out and created a way of life out of thin air… others hoping to do the very same thing will look to us to show the way.

So, I’ll be right here, doing just that.

Here are my favorite quotes from the blog…

“You’re not doing it for the revenue, like most of us don’t do it for the revenue. You’re doing it because the output of a synchronized tribe is so powerful.”

“If you’re really going to run a small business for the future, it’s not going to be because you’re the only store in town that sells something. That’s never going to be true again because of the internet. You’re going to succeed because you are the ringleader, the drum major, the person who keeps your tribe, whatever tribe it may be, in sync because that’s what they want.”

Read the entire interview here.