Harrington Group Blog

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December first is World AIDS Day. AIDS and HIV are not openly discussed, even in our  modern society, but are still a widespread problem.

Here are a few facts to remind you of the prevalence of HIV and AIDS today.

1 in 6 living with HIV in the US are unaware of their infection.
1.2 million in the US are living with HIV.
3.2 million children worldwide are living with HIV.
35 million people worldwide currently have HIV/AIDS.
HIV is the world’s leading infectious killer.

So the real question is what can you do? The firs step is simply to act responsibly in protecting yourself. Practice safe sex and get yourself tested.

In the larger picture what can you do? You can help inform those around you about what HIV/AIDS actually are. You can be well informed and correct misperceptions when you come across them. You can also choose to volunteer or work with any number of organizations to spread information about prevention. There are opportunities to volunteer through needle exchange programs, to prevent the use of dirty or shared needles. You can support health organizations that care for those living with HIV or AIDS.



The most important part is to be well informed and aware, in your own life. You can
also join the conversations all over the internet today, by using the #WAD2014 and #FacingAIDS.
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Thanksgiving is just days away, with Christmas and New Years following quick behind. As much as we all love the holiday season, it can become overwhelming or stressful at times. It’s hard to balance cooking special meals, finding the perfect gifts, traveling, keeping your family happy and attending holiday events, while still maintaining a level of holiday cheer. So here are 5 tips to help you survive the holiday season, while keeping the joyful spirit in mind.



1) If you are traveling, try to do so on a less busy day. Leave a day early, or a day later to avoid the most saturated travel days. This will keep waiting to a minimum and help avoid unnecessary stress.

2) Say no. You can not do everything. It is okay to pick and choose which events and activities you have time for and say no to others.

3) Write a to-do list. All the little details add up, so writing a list of to-do’s can help keep you on task and organized when things get busy.



4) Delegate, or ask for help. If you have additional responsibilities at work, or need help cleaning the house before family arrives, kindly ask for assistance. A team can get things done more efficiently than if you run yourself ragged trying to do every task on your own.

5) Carve out time to enjoy the holiday traditions that you love! Whether you love wandering the tree lots, looking at lights around your neighborhood, or snuggling up by the fire, make sure you give yourself a break from all the busy-ness to fully appreciate the most wonderful time of the year.
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November has become host to a number of very important awareness efforts. The month is most notably host to the now infamous “Movember,” in which men grow their moustaches, in an effort to raise money and spread awareness about men’s health.



In addition to men’s health, November is dedicated to raising awareness about lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, adoption and many other causes.

Here are a few facts, to remind you just how prevalent, and important these causes are.

• Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States.

• Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis. 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.

• 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes.

• Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's.

• In the U.S. 397,122 children are living without permanent families in the foster care system.

Harrington Group is proud to work with many organizations that actively support these causes, and work to do so every day. We encourage you to get involved with one or more of these causes and contribute to spreading awareness in your own way.
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Sometimes you don’t have to travel very far from home in order to find a great cause that you can really get behind and support. Cancer affects so many people near and dear to all of us; thus it is with great pride and admiration that we at Harrington Group focus our Client Spotlight on the Cancer Support Community - Benjamin Center.

Cancer Support Community - Benjamin Center, formerly The Wellness Community, was founded by Dr. Harold Benjamin and his wife Harriet in 1982. With cancer being a very real part of our society, affecting someone we all know, the Cancer Support Community revolutionized the way that patients and their families receive support and care. The Benjamins also wanted to make sure that patients and their families could get the help that they needed, for free. They have pushed, since the beginning, to make the medical community realize the importance of treating the whole person and not just the disease.

 

The idea for the organization came about after the Benjamins had the experience of Harriet’s successful fight with breast cancer in the 1970s. They discovered that the involvement of their family and friends was a huge part in her recovery and that the community that they surrounded themselves with played an active role, too. This experience led to Harold’s Patient Active Concept, based on the importance of “active participation” in the treatment and recovery process "to improve the quality of life and enhance the possibility of recovery."

 

One of the first and biggest advocates for the Cancer Support Community was comedian Gilda Radner of Saturday Night Live fame. After her diagnosis with ovarian cancer, Gilda was not sure how she wanted to handle the news and her treatment. After her visit to the Cancer Support Community, she realized that it was "a community for people who have cancer to come and play in, to make their lives better, to have an opportunity to help themselves and to help other people" and she never looked back.

Currently, the Cancer Support Community - Benjamin Center (CSC) offers free programs for anyone affected by cancer, including people with cancer and their families.   CSC’s service territory extends from Malibu to downtown and to El Segundo and Sherman Oaks.  CSC’s services include group support, counseling, healthy lifestyle classes, educational workshops and social activities. Cancer Support Community - Benjamin Center is part of an international network of 50 affiliates.  With the help of the internet, CSC is able to offer help to remote locations and hospitals, making its reach upwards of 750,000 patients worldwide.

If you or someone you know is facing cancer, do not do it alone. Contact the Cancer Support Community and take advantage of the strength of a loving community. We at Harrington Group are so very proud of all the work CSC does to help people in their battle against this disease.  And remember – it’s all free of charge!  Call 310-314-2555 for more information or visit www.cancersupportcommunitybenjamincenter.org
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November is a month when people take the time to examine their lives, expressing their gratitude for all that life has bestowed upon them, and spending time with those they love. It is a time when life is put into perspective and differences are set aside, in favor of celebrating the little things and feeling at peace.
 
One specific and very important moment of gratitude, which we celebrate together, as a nation, is Veteran’s Day. There are many ways Veteran’s Day is celebrated, but the most important is in the outright thanks of all our military personnel. We live in a country where we are afforded freedoms many others do not have. Our freedom is a direct result of the service of these men and women. They sacrifice so much to protect us, the least we can do is say thank you.
 
Take time out of your day to say thank you to the service men and women in your life. Spend a few moments writing a thank you letter to an active service member, or a wounded warrior. It is such a simple act, but can bring moments of joy to these men and women. After all they have sacrificed, they deserve every moment of joy we can give them.
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It can be really hard to get going some weeks. Monday rolls around too soon, a busy weekend leaves the list of tasks that I was hoping to accomplish during my weekend sitting unfinished, waiting to be accomplished. Mondays can be hard and slow going at first. Not today.

This morning, I was determined to get things done, and in typical fashion, I started with checking facebook. The Harrington Group feed is full of updates and posts from many of our clients and a group of hardworking nonprofits that are changing the world one day at a time. I scrolled through with my coffee in hand and I was so Inspired!

Mending Kids is providing life changing surgeries to children in need all over the world, right now they are in Guatemala. Somehow seeing the pictures of the volunteers and the children makes it all a bit more real.  LAUP is always working hard to bring positive educational experiences to all children in Los Angeles. Their inspiring messages about the importance of play and the pictures of the children in their programs having fun, learning, hit home today.

There are photos of people who would have struggled in the justice system, provided for, pro bono, by One Justice. There are countless updates about #activism and #volunteering across the country. The common theme in my thread this morning was doing for others. The world is a beautifully complex place. There is need, but there are a huge number of people out there that thrive on providing for others.

 There are people in this world with great hearts. I am thankful that I get to see that. Everything is put into perspective, so by accident this morning. I walk away in search of that next big thing, my cause, and I am inspired to do every little thing I can until I find it.

Thank you to all of you for all that you do!
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Volunteer. This word carries so much weight. Whether you are a person who is leading the efforts in your own nonprofit organization, the passionate soul giving their time to the cause, or the person in need whose life is changed thanks to the kindness of others, this work plays an incredibly large role in your existence.

Nonprofits would be nowhere if not for the time and energy put forth by their volunteers. They are truly the backbone of each organization. From fundraising to hours dedicated to the cause in the field, the volunteers are the ones who are making it all happen.

#Volunteer is starting a conversation where passionate individuals and organizations can come together and talk about the issues and what it might take to advance towards the solutions we need to progress. Those who are willing and able can find outlets for their energy that will bring about social change. organizations can raise awareness and tell the story of those they are trying to help. When this dialogue is present, so is a greater recipe for social good.

Say what you will about smartphones and the technology present in todays society, a distraction perhaps, but never before have we had such an opportunity for a global discussion about issues that really matter to people throughout the world. So, whoever you are, get involved, take advantage of the opportunity to find your way, find that cause that makes you want to volunteer. Be that cause, get your story out so that you can attract the right match of passion and dedication, or simply browse the plethora of information available at your fingertips for inspiration.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi
 
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#CSR is an important and trending hashtag on twitter dealing with the important topic of Corporate Social Responsibility. Corporate social responsibility deals with the concept that change can come about through the efforts of individuals, businesses and corporations. The idea is that businesses have a responsibility to their communities to use their size and power to promote good and raise awareness for causes and those that work for them.

 “Corporate social responsibility (CSR) takes into account increased populations and scarce resources to ensure that global development is sustainable. Three central pillars of economic progress, social justice and environmental protection now form the basis of how businesses interact and support communities.” Quite simply it is business ethics on a global scale.

The #CSR conversation may have begun on twitter, but it has quickly expanded to encompass most if not all of the social media platforms about today. Look through twitter, facebook and instagram, there are ongoing conversations surrounding the social responsibilities in connection with big business and nonprofit work. Whether you are a business looking to get involved or a nonprofit organization looking for big supporters, the opportunity has never been more in reach than it is today to get involved in the important conversation that is going on all around you.

As a nonprofit, you can plead your case, campaign your cause and present information through social media attached to the #CSR hashtag so that those corporations looking to get involved can see what their options are and hopefully, discover your cause. If you can embrace this new platform to campaign for your cause, you have the potential to reach possible donors and supporters all across the world.

If you are a business that is participating in supporting a cause or multiple causes through nonprofit organizations, or you are looking to get involved, the #CSR conversation could be greatly beneficial for you. Taking a look at the information could provide a wealth of knowledge from both sides of the conversation to help you to make your decisions as to how you want to proceed and participate.

People from all sizes of businesses are now taking part in this exciting global conversation through the use of #CSR, and the end result is that more and more work is being done to help those in need all over the world. By expanding the platform for discussion, campaigning and awareness, we broaden the possibilities for greater change. No matter where you fall in the great scheme of things, #CSR is a hashtag you can get behind.

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Today, Harrington Group wanted to take a minute say thank you to the Medical Staff at Hollywood Presbyterian. Thank you for all that you do! You are saving and changing lives everyday and our community is richer because of your service.

We will use our experience to serve you because we respect what you do, and if we can help to make the business easier for you, we are happy to do our part so that you can focus on what is most important, the people.

 Welcome to the Harrington Group client family. We are so happy to have you!
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At Harrington Group, we practice what we preach. We don't just take pride in the work that our nonprofit clients do, we get out there and get dirty ourselves, supporting causes close to our hearts.

This weekend, some of the Harrington Group team, led by our awesome partner Tonetta Conner, took part in the Didi Hirsch 5k in support of suicide prevention.

This cause has gotten a great deal of press lately following the death of Academy Award winner Robin Williams. Suicide affects millions of families across the country and is a mental health epidemic that does not discriminate based on socioeconomic status.

Needless to say, bringing awareness to the cause to support education and prevention is not an opportunity we felt we could pass up.So...some of our dedicated employees put on some of their best running shoes and went out Sunday to the Alive and Running event to sweat it up for a cause. Not only did the Harrington Group team get in a great workout, but they left with their hearts full as well.

We encourage all of you to do what you can. Get out there and make a difference, one step at a time!
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