Five Things to Help You Think Differently: Issue 5

Posted: Nov 18, 2013

In an effort to help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in communication, technology, and our dynamic world, we wanted to share some resources to help you think differently about the way your organization is communicating, sharing, and inspiring its constituents.

This week, in honor of Thanksgiving, we are looking back at a few of the memorable and inspiring stories of 2013 in the various causes that we champion. While we reflect on the things we’re personally thankful for—like time with family and friends, dog parks, and staying happy and healthy throughout the year—we hope you get some much needed time to reflect on the things you’re thankful for this year.

1. Childhood Obesity on the Decline

Research has shown that one in eight preschoolers in the U.S. is obese. Although there is a long way to go, it looks like progress is being made in the fight against childhood obesity. A study was released earlier this year showing that childhood obesity rates are declining in some states, including Washington, California, and New Mexico. It’s a positive signal in the push to increase the awareness of the importance of eating healthy and living an active life.

2. The Power of Community Schools

All over the country communities are banding together to support families, teachers, students, and improve outcomes for student success in low-performing schools. The Hartford Community Schools Partnership in Connecticut is just one shining example of the success that can be achieved when everyone works together. 

3. Giving the Gift of Companionship

Anyone who knows me knows what a sucker I am for heartwarming stories involving animals. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to this story about Philanthropist Charlie Annenberg who, with the help of his golden retriever Lucky, saw the positive influence canines could have on those returning from war. In just three years, Anneberg has donated 170 guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, or service dogs for veterans. This is a great trend in philanthropic support for those veterans who are returning home from war.

4. Preserving the Past, Protecting the Future

In June 2013, the Chinook Indian Nation Council traveled down the Lower Columbia River Water Trail in traditional canoes to celebrate the great river, Yakaitl-Wimakl. Many Chinook tribal members still call this river and its surrounding areas home. We value these important reminders to honor our heritage and the lands that have provided us with health, beauty, and life for generations. 

5. Knowledge is Power

For the first time, electric utilities have installed more than 11 million smart meters in homes and businesses around California. This means that customers can see how much electricity they are using every hour, instead of on a bill once a month. Studies have shown that consumers use less energy when they can see data in real time. Creating awareness of the amount of energy used and the impact that one person can have on the environment is step one in creating a more sustainable future.

On a personal note, 2013 brought many changes—my first house, adopting my dog, Clooney—but I am most grateful for the ongoing love and support from my family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!