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January 04, 2009

Resolving to Help Others

Pat Whatley Showell, President and CEO of Families First

Every year, millions of people make resolutions to improve their lives. The "I Am The Solution" initiative began with one simple question: What would happen if people also made one resolution to improve the lives of others?

 -- Pat Whatley Showell, President and CEO of Families First

Good Morning,

Brian Glanz and Mohini Glanz

According to clinical psychologist Mark Crawford from Atlanta, the most popular new year's resolutions "include improving health and fitness by exercising more and eating less, getting financial affairs in order by paying down debt or saving money, getting organized, spending more time with family members, and quitting a bad habit such as smoking," as reported recently by CNN Medical Correspondent, Judy Fortin. In these first days of 2009, a promising movement is attracting many to do something more compassionate: resolve to help others. Started by another Atlanta resident, Pat Whatley Showell, the initiative is called I Am The Solution.

I had already resolved to start CompassionRise before learning about I Am The Solution, but I have since registered my resolution with I Am The Solution to take advantage of their community building, tracking, and other resources. Although CompassionRise is less direct than most resolutions to help others in need, I intend for this daily blog about compassion to play a supporting, productive role in more specific and direct actions. My wife and I are regular volunteers and we give donations and professional work pro bono to many organizations. I wanted my I Am The Solution resolution to be something new for 2009.

I wholeheartedly encourage you to make and share your own resolution to help others, at I Am The Solution. As they put it, "Individual Resolutions Make BIG Solutions Possible." Share and track your resolution, and pick up an awesome "iamthesolution." t-shirt. The community is still picking up steam -- we have had international media attention including an article by Lilla Zuill at Reuters distributed by The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, and many others.

I Am The Solution was started by Families First, an Atlanta-based, non-profit family service agency addressing community needs including homelessness, abandoned and abused children, teen pregnancy, and domestic violence. Families First has been serving metro Atlanta communities for 117 years. If you are near Atlanta please consider volunteering with Families First.

Families First collaborated with Red Tusk Studios, also of Atlanta, to design and develop both their main site and I Am The Solution. As Pat Showell of Families First said: "Our goal is to drive more and more people to our web site for information gathering, volunteering and online giving." For more Families First news, see the Stay Connected section of their site.

p.s. Pat Showell also publishes a well considered and motivating blog: Pat's Monday Memo