You are dreamers, artisans, and difference-makers. You are creatives, entrepreneurs, and adventurers. You are believers in the world’s best future. Welcome to our community blog.
When we sat down with our coworking member Grace Kim, we were reminded of the importance of empowering others to pursue their dreams even in the midst of tragedy and hardship. That’s the mission of the Dragon Kim Foundation– they fund and create programs that enable children to explore and pursue their passions within academics, athletics, and the arts. This idea, however, was not Grace Kim’s. It was Dragon’s – her son who tragically passed away in a camping accident. Grace and her husband, Daniel, took their grief and honored their son by forming the The Dragon Kim Foundation.
We love hearing how women are actively engaging in their communities, so when we heard of Empower HerFuture and the work the organization has been doing, we knew we had share their story. Madeline and Marie-Nicole started Empower HerFuture in the Fall of 2016 to help young women identify their unique value and abilities as leaders in their communities. We asked them to share the heart behind the vision and why they got started.
This story begins on January 6th, 2017. My husband and I had just returned from visiting family and friends back in Chicago for the holidays. With the warm sun on my face and palm trees in view, I was happy to be home. But more than that, I was excited to get back to work. It’s true, I really was!
It was the Friday morning staff meeting and, per usual, the team exchanged general pleasantries. As I talked with our faithful leader, Brandon, he shares the news that “Hey, we are changing the company name.”
We recently hosted our fourth Pitch Night (thank you to all who came!) where we got to hear pitches from our current startup programs members about the movements they’ve been working on.
These founders embody what it looks like to live into the fullness of who they are, take risks for the sake of the common good, and build movements that disrupt our cities and world for the better. Their movements are compelling and their dreams give us hope. We couldn’t be more excited to share these founder’s stories with you and invite you to be a part of their work!
What does it mean to learn from your community? Theoretically, this sounds great. Practically…it can be tough to know how to do this! Community can be spread out, diverse, fractured, connected; often it looks a little different for each person.
At FLDWRK we talk a lot about MVP and we don’t mean Most Valuable Player (although we do believe you all are the real MVPs – seriously). But as we use it in our startup programs, MVP means Minimum Viable Product, Program, or Service. So let’s dive a bit deeper to understand what this really means and why it is important.
Today we’re hearing from Anna Kennedy from Mika CDC whose mission is to build whole relationships in Costa Mesa. One way they’re doing this is through Language Learning Nights hosted by FLDWRK Costa Mesa.
If you’re anything like me, you talk about practicing your Spanish more than you actually find time to do it. For many people, it’s been since high school, which, is getting further and further away. Our lives are busy and sometimes it’s hard to figure out a time to practice a foreign language.
The same applies for many of our native Spanish speaking neighbors here in Costa Mesa. Because of this, Mika recently launched Language Learning Night.
Lots of people are saying 2016 was one of the worst years, and so they are looking at 2017 with hope, excitement and lots of plans to make big changes. I don’t know if 2016 was my worst year, but it was for sure my busiest. During overwhelming times like these, my dad says, “Life can feel like trying to drink out of fire hose. It all just comes at once and you feel like you may drown.” I was drowning this year! This year I was tasked with restarting a church that had experienced a huge decline and I published my first book where I was the primary author. The project included art, video and writing. So it was a crazy year where every other day I thought I was going under. Let alone feeling like I had a personal life.
As a child Christmas was my favorite holiday. However in recent years, the overall busyness, increased demands of the season, and the general state of the world, had taken away from much of the joy for me. It was for these and a variety of other reasons, (not the least of which was a gift request for squeaking dolphin slippers), that my husband and I made some changes that have shaped how we celebrate Christmas with our kids and it has made a positive difference in how we experience this time of year.
The holidays typically bring about the sudden urge to get the family together and go out and do some good. While I love the passion everyone has, it can also be quite stressful trying to find what it is you want to do, and how to go do it. I see families get all into a tizzy about it which lead to me getting frantic emails around December 20th saying, “omg, I want to help people. Help me.” I tell ya, it’s quite the job I get to do!
This season certainly is a great time to highlight how meaningful it is to give when we are inundated with the trappings of getting – getting yummy food, getting presents, getting peppermint mochas, etc.
This year if you want to break the cycle (or at least the sugar high) and are considering volunteering with the family, but don’t know where to start, I have a great little guide for you that breaks down what fits your family best. The more personal to the values of your family the better. I recommend getting kids involved and asking them what they think really matters. You’ll have to do the Googling once you uncover your passion, but this will get you where you need to be in terms of how and where you want to give.
In the middle of the hot summer of 2016 in a garage in Fullerton, CA, a few friends got together and dreamed. It may be cliché, but they wanted to create the best business they could imagine: an excellent brand with a pure heart. They wanted to do something truly good and make the world brighter.
They talked and bonded and rallied around certain indispensable values. We brainstormed 50 possible names and wrote them on a whiteboard. We lived on iced coffee from Starbucks and Del Taco burritos (and they still have hundreds of hot sauce packets).
Focused on a mission to feed Christmas dinners to families in need, Chris & Jesenia Pena created Siestas for Fiestas: blankets that provide hope and meals to families in Cancun, Mexico. For every blanket that is sold, a Christmas meal is provided to a family living in poverty in Cancun.
Meet LoveLight Paper! Focused on a mission to give love and give life, they make cards and products that empower others to love their friends and family well and make an impact on children around the world.
Founder + designer Chelcea Cummings tells the story of Love Light Paper, and the bigger purpose behind their cards.
When I was engaged, I once had a woman tell me that I would never understand what being a mom meant until I birthed my own child. That I would never understand the true depths of the heart of a mother, the very heartbeat of motherhood, until my body carried, delivered, and nursed a baby of my very flesh-made in love and intention.
I didn’t know how to respond. I had just lost two precious children as a foster mom. They were my biological half brothers and my foster sons at the same time, and they were reunified with our birth mom, a devastating decision by the Orange County Juvenile Courts, for me and for them.
“My story has been one marked by journey. Journey through a sea of unknowns, intricate passions, and deep questions. I’ve always been fascinated by people, and I’ve always loved business. Since I was little, I’ve always sought to get understanding at the root, and to be apart of people’s journeys.”
Within minutes of my conversation with Kalee, I recognize an immense amount of experience, depth, and passion. After graduating from Southern Methodist University as a communications and PR major, Kalee dove right into a career in marketing at a sports entertainment firm. With clients like Puma, ATNT, and other big name companies, Kalee was balancing a lot of responsibility, traveling constantly, and often working 60-80 hour weeks.
“When you’re working that much and you’re traveling that much, it can also be really lonely and isolating. So I came to this place… if I’m going to be working this much, I should at least be doing something I really care about.”
What do you think of when the word marriage comes up? Long flowing white dress? Small house in the suburbs? Two individuals who are devoted to spending the rest of their lives together?
When Casey and Meygan met each other in college, it was love at first sight. Young and in love, they decided to get married just two years later. The young couple went into their new stage of life full of wonder and love.
OC United is just that… Orange County, United. They are driven to unite north Orange County and provide a place for restorative relationships and life skills training to create empowered lives for OC’s most vulnerable. Founders Jay Williams and Amy Gaw are currently participating in the Launch phase of FLDWRK’s Startup Programs, and we’ve been inspired by them since day one… in the unique way they are pursuing the common good, their humility and solidarity in standing with the vulnerable, and in the way they invite and unite the communities they live and work in.
Modern-day slavery exists in every country in some form or another. Sweatshops, prostitute rings, and domestic work are a few examples of the enslavement of men, women and even children. According to the International Labour Organization, around 21 million individuals are forced into slavery each year around the world, and the impact of slavery is evident in nearly every aspect of our lives.
“His scream was ear-splitting. The stairwell in our apartment building acted as an amplifier, his cry blatantly bouncing of our building’s walls. My wife and I shamelessly named him “the screaming homeless man”.
There was one afternoon when his scream traveled upstairs and found its home in our living room as I was sitting on my couch reading this book about love - Love Does. The book was talking about loving your neighbor, and it hit me: he was my neighbor.
The 2016-2017 school year is upon us and while Back to School is top of mind, we’re featuring various action steps that can be taken to support the kids, teachers, parents, and schools in our community.
There are so many ways that any person can use what they have to contribute to the flourishing of our kids. Today we are focusing on several ways to support kids in our area where we each can play a role in raising up the next generation of leaders, creators, innovators, and world-changers.
When I was in 2nd grade I was tested and diagnosed with dyslexia. For many months I felt like I couldn’t keep up with the rest of my class, and finally my parents had some answers. Because of this, I qualified for the RSP program at my school and three times a week I had to leave my regular class to do my school work in another room with a Special Ed aid. As a seven year old, I didn’t fully understand why I was being asked to work differently, but it definitely made me feel isolated. I learned very early on how to joke with my friends at school and be self deprecating about my situation.
Have you ever tried to do a job without the right tools?Recently, my son locked himself out of his room. I couldn’t find the “key” that came with the doorknobs which is the tool that I usually use for the job. Without the right tool, I tried to improvise with a bobby pin. Then I tried a screwdriver. I ended up attempting to take the doorknob apart and find a way to unlock the door. It still didn’t unlock. I ended up putting the doorknob back together with the screwdriver and decided to keep looking for the right tool. My son finally remembered where he saw it last. Once I had the right tool, I unlocked the door on my first attempt and it took me 2 seconds. However, I had spent 30 minutes prior to that trying to do it without the tool. I left me frustrated in the moment and finally relieved when I had the right tool for the job.
When we hear the terms foster care or foster child, there’s a varied amount of emotions that can pop up-compassion, helplessness, sadness, empathy, even anger…there’s something about the picture we have in our mind when we think foster child that evoke this feeling of sadness in us-maybe we imagine torn shoes and dirty hair-because, as humans we recognize that children were never meant to experience things like homelessness, abuse, or neglect. It does something to our gut and, out of a feeling of total loss as to what to do, we turn our eyes and hands towards something a little more… ”manageable.”
At FLDWRK we believe that relationships are a catalyst for the world’s best future. We believe that everyone has something to offer, and that mentorship can be a fantastic way for everyday people to make a significant impact in the life of another. Mentorship is, at its core, intentionally engaging in relationship with another person and genuinely caring for them while providing the guidance they need to grow. This is the first in a series of posts that will outline various types of mentorship and programs facilitating it.
FLDWRK exists to provide resources and support for people and organizations as they pursue the world’s best future. We do this through celebrating what’s good in the world and working to do what we can restore the broken. As part of this restorative action, every month we have a focus with the intention of raising awareness and prompting action around a specific cause.