Serve Well Blog

Entries tagged 'Integrating Service As A Way Of Life'

2.12.12

Joseph Whinney | 2012 Krista Foundation GCA Honoree- Developing World

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Business, Community, Environment, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Sustaining Service

Joe WhinneyThe Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship announced the selection of Joseph Whinney to be honored with a Global Citizen Award for embodying a life of service leadership in the Developing World.

Joseph Whinney, Founder and CEO of Theo Chocolate, is a leader in fair trade business. As young adult conservation volunteer, Whinney recognized opportunities to improve the environmental and economic livelihood of farmers in the cacao industry. Through Whinney's service leadership, Theo Chocolate is making a ripple effect: improving conditions for farmers, educating chocolate consumers, and gaining recognition as leading model of conscious capitalism.

"A global citizen recognizes, nurtures and strengthens constructive relationships between local communities and their global impact," says Krista Foundation Executive Director Valerie Norwood. "Joseph Whinney not only understands the global-local interconnection, he lives out an ethic of mutuality through Theo Chocolate. He is inspired both by farmers seeking education and basic quality of life, and also by Theo customers. Together they create a movement of healthy stewardship globally and locally. For the young adult service volunteers across the world connected to Krista Foundation programs, Whinney's example shows how business offers creative and effective tools to transform social and environmental challenges."

Whinney is one of three mid-career professionals from the Puget Sound region to be honored by the Krista Foundation for exemplifying the qualities of Global Citizenship; service leadership that creates community and sustainable futures for people and the environment.

The 2012 Krista Foundation Global Citizen Award recipients will be formally announced and honored at a public event on Sunday, March 4th, 7:00 pm in the Campion Ballroom at Seattle University. The three honorees demonstrate the event theme: "The Ripple Effect: Service changes you. Service changes the world." Tickets for the event are available by contacting The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship at 206-382-7888 or nissana@kristafoundation.org. This is an RSVP-Only event.

Global Citizen Award recipients are selected for demonstrating the Krista Foundation values: intercultural competence, adaptive leadership, young adult empowerment, respect for spiritual values, global-local connection, and service as a way of life. The other 2012 Global Citizen Award recipients to be honored are:

Sharon London, Strategic Initiatives Director, EarthCorps (Environment)
Trise Moore, Family and Community Partnership Advocate, Federal Way School District (Urban United States)

About the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship: Founded in 1999, The Krista Foundation honors the life and vision of Krista Hunt Ausland who died at age 25 while volunteering with her husband in rural Bolivia. Through mentoring, a colleague community and re-integration services, the Krista Foundation helps young adults fully understand and employ the learnings from their service experience. A service year, when nurtured, becomes a life of service leadership. The Krista Foundation provides ongoing program connections for more than 200 Krista Colleagues and offers program development resources and services, including The Global Citizen journal, for local universities and volunteer service organizations.

Link to KF Ripple Effect Event Page

Link to KF Ripple Effect Facebook Page

Krista Colleague endorsement for Joe Whinney by Joe Tobiason

As a Krista Colleague, and a former international service volunteer, I'm so impressed with what Joe Whinney is doing with Theo Chocolate. I'm also excited he was recently selected by the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship to receive a 2012 Global Citizen Award in the area of Developing World.

Theo, located in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood, is making a ripple effect in so many important ways. Theo is the first and only organic fair trade chocolate maker in the United States. The words "fair trade" get tossed around a lot, but I learned through my volunteer experience in Lima, Peru, that those words have the power to break the cycle of poverty and change lives.

Women from Cooperative, Jodi 2nd from right, J Tobiason PhotographyWorking alongside women in the Bridge of Hope Fair Trade Organization opened my eyes to how good trade practices can lift entire communities out of abject poverty and into a life that is healthier and safer. Over my year of service I built deep connections with an artisan community called El Mercurio in the town of Huancavelica. The group was begun by a woman named Jodi (pictured second from right- J Tobiason Photography). During my visit, I had the privilege of translating her story for a group of international visitors.

She shared that she was just a normal housewife who needed to find a way to make some extra money. She had some friends who had heard about this fair trade. They got in contact with the Red Uniendo Manos and their Fair Trade branch. With access to export tools, they started their group, named after the chemical that continued to contaminate their town. They began to produce small stuffed animals and their most well-known llamas. To hear Jodi talk about how this fair trade organization had changed her life showed me the incredible value of tools for poverty relief. Not only did this give her family some extra money so that her kids could go to school, but it changed the way her house worked. Her husband was no longer the only money-maker and thus he had to shift the way he looked at her. The family became more equitable and she had never felt so respected. Her transformation is something that can only be truly understood by looking at the smile on her face every time she talked about Fair Trade.

Joe Whinney, Theo Chocolate, and the chocolate loving community are making a real impact. Consider the connections that his company has built with its growers. They use the Fair Trade principles because this is the middle way for commerce that honors the value in all parts of the process. The fair trade community Joe Tobiason, Krista Colleagueseeks to provide wages that are equitable and fair for workers on the ground, while still providing the highest quality possible. Theo really exemplifies this as it is known throughout the Northwest for producing some of the best chocolates. But the fair trade principles don't end when the cacao beans are in shipment: Joe has ensured that it continues all the way through Theo employees. The company is known for helping its own people to grow in their skills and truly thrive in the community. Theo exemplifies how trade can benefit the growers, the sellers and the buyers and has made Fair Trade principles a reality in Seattle.

Just take their tour and you'll be buzzing about Theo too. Then come and celebrate Joe Whinney and Theo Chocolate when he receives the 2012 Global Citizen Award on March 4th at Seattle University. Learn more at: http://www.kristafoundation.org/index.cfm/page/therippleeffect.

Joe Tobiason is a 2008 Krista Colleague. He currently resides in Greenlake and works at Big Fish Games in Seattle. He has a serious passion for photography. (@JTobiasonPhoto on Twitter or J Tobiason Photography on Facebook)

 

8.16.11

Is it better to be global or local?

Destiny Williams | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Community, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life

 I used to think that being "globally minded" was the important thing. I would stress the need to open ourselves to other people and cultures, and discover our interconnectedness. I would encourage accepting our responsibility to care for and advocate for our brothers and sisters around the world.

I still believe global awareness, appreciation, and respect are important, yet over the past few years I've come to discover the importance of local. I mean, to be global without being local is to have your head in the clouds without your feet on the ground. In a pragmatic way, you can only be as global as you are local—doing real things with real people in real places while understanding their global implications. Becoming locally involved also provides insights on the elements of any healthy community around the world. (To clarify-- I don't see those insights or elements as a blueprint to be replicated exactly. Contextual and cultural difference should be honored in each community.)

In the spirit of the KF's August 20th event: Think Globally, Move Locally, I want to hear what your neighborhood celebrates and values: What are the unique local things that your neighborhood is known for? What are sources of pride for your neighborhood or city?

To get the conversation started, I'll speak to our Seattle KF Office in Greenlake...
A food or two? On a warm summer afternoon, our staff has indulged at Gelatiamo, the gelato shop around the corner. Beyond Greenlake, trekking to nearby Fremont to sample Theo chocolate at their factory is a worthy quarterly outing. : )
A geographic marker/hike/adventure? Greenlake itself-known for speedwalking moms with strollers, fancy Frisbee spinners in the park, and some of the most competitive outdoor basketball in the city. It's a place of meeting/play, and a nice 3 mile stroll. We had a wonderful picnic a week ago with Colleagues.

Something else? A type of music/band or instrument? / Something of historic significance?/ Something with cult-worthy appeal?

Whether your neighborhood is Brooklyn, Boulder, or Bombay... what aspects of local life are you loving? What are your neighbors most proud of?

To read one Krista Colleague's thoughtful consideration of being local while in global service, read Nathan Brouwer's article from The Global Citizen.

8.12.11

Poor Timing to Cut Funding for AmeriCorps/Volunteerism

Destiny Williams | Service In The News, Urban America, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Preparing To Serve, Sustaining Service

Jenny Yu, AmeriCorps, TacomaAaron Ausland recently noted the surprising inverse relationship between unemployment and volunteering-that as unemployment rises, volunteerism rates go down. He stated that the number of volunteers in America dropped by 600,000 from last year, bringing the national volunteering rate down by a half a percentage point, to 26.3%. While it could seem logical to assume unemployed people have more spare time and would more likely fill that time with volunteering, the opposite appears true.

Overall, we were surprised to see the downward overall trend in volunteering (broadly defined). It makes me ask: which primary demographic is volunteering less? In our work with year long service volunteer programs, millenials seem to be bucking this trend. We're still hearing from service organizations that record numbers of young adults are applying to serve (JVC-Northwest, for example, had a 50% increase in applicants).

Unfortunately, Congress recently took the wind out of these sails, which threatens the quantity and quality of service volunteerism. Congress made drastic cuts to AmeriCorps ($22.5 million in cuts to AmeriCorps Education Awards). Catholic Volunteer Network, which has 1300 AmeriCorps- funded volunteers at 900 sites, is facing a $5 million gap from the cuts. See article on CVN. In spite of debt and budget challenges, prioritizing funding for young adult service volunteerism has critical economic and social implications.

In a report on unemployment I heard on NPR last week, young adults 25 and under have an unemployment rate near 17%. Reihan Salam, a policy advisor at e21 (an economics think-tank) was saying how much this statistic particularly hurts the economy in the long run. Getting a good job early, to build skills and move up into better paying jobs, ultimately builds a stronger economy and leads to more revenue into the tax system. Instead, many young adults are being stalled out of the starting gate, or starting in the "loser's bracket," and our economy will never fully catch up. Cutting AmeriCorps funding kicks this younger generation when it's already down, when it should be offering an essential way to build marketable skills while promoting civic engagement and fostering commitment to the common good-not to mention meeting real needs in our struggling communities.

Under-funding AmeriCorps is one sure way to speed the decline of current volunteering and depress future numbers. Squeezing service volunteer organizations threatens not only the quantity of volunteers, but also the ability of organizations to provide quality service volunteer care (including proper training and debriefing).

At a 50th anniversary event for the Peace Corps, I heard National Director Aaron S. Williams say that, more than ANY other program we have, Peace Corps volunteers (and I would say AmeriCorps volunteers too) represent our highest ideals and values as a nation.

We are in a challenging economic climate that disproportionately affects opportunities for young adults. Whether motivated by economics, idealism, or common sense, shouldn't we be investing in young adult service programs, rather than cutting them?

5.2.11

Excitement Builds for 2011 Conference & Guest Day

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Community, Faith/Theological Exploration, Global Citizenship, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Intercultural Development, Post-Service Term Reflections, Preparing To Serve

windswept tree by 06 Colleague Megan HurleyExcitement is building for the KF's Annual Memorial Weekend Conference! This conference brings together Krista Colleagues, spouses, and invited guests.

Guest Day (Sunday) is open to the public who want to celebrate or learn more about our mentoring community-including mentors, parents, and other friends of the Foundation. Register if you'd like to come!

TO REGISTER click http://kfconference2011.eventbrite.com/

A Beautiful Struggle: Recognizing Hope, Embracing Tension, Living Grace

Troubles produce endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. -Romans 5:3

Keynote Speaker: Ron Ruthruff has worked for the past 26 years with homeless and street-involved youth and families as Director of Ministry and Program Development for New Horizons Ministries. He and his wife, Linda recently opened a nonprofit Seattle café that provides job training and employment for young adults working to exit street life. Ron serves as adjunct faculty at Bakke Graduate School and guest lectures at a variety of seminaries and colleges.

Save-the-Date:
Memorial Day Weekend, May 27th - 30th 2011
(Lodge open on Friday evening, the 27th)
Clearwater Lodge, outside of Spokane, Washington
Krista Colleagues, spouses and children are welcome!

GUEST DAY is Sunday, May 29th. Come for Brunch, the Keynote & Krista Colleague Commissioning. Guests are welcome to sit in on afternoon workshops and share a festive dinner.

A special 10th anniversary welcome back to our Krista Colleague Class of 2001!

Come and reconnect with old friends, make new friends, be encouraged and encourage others as we continue to learn what it means to be a "Global Citizen"!

To register click http://kfconference2011.eventbrite.com/

4.29.11

Kirk Harris pursues Political Science Ph.D.

Destiny Williams | Colleague Press, Developing Nations, Faith/Theological Exploration, Global Citizenship, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Peace & Reconciliation, Transitions Home & Beyond

 

In a small office on the campus of Indiana University, Kirk Harris stares out a small window. This is where he spends most of his time these days. He finds his life, starting a Ph.D. in Political Science, feels quiet--a "night and day" difference from the sounds and smells of the past five years. In 2006 Kirk sat at a table surrounded by the passionate voices of tribal and community leaders who shared stories of hardship and betrayal amidst a violent ethnic and religious conflict. Despite deep differences, they were gathered on common ground, to nurture peace and rebuild their countries. Kirk, a Krista Colleague who served in Kenya as a Young Adult Volunteer with the Presbyterian Church, served with an organization that facilitated Muslim-Christian dialogue between these competing ethnic and religious groups. He remembers and cherishes the friendship and solidarity of "being welcomed by people who are very different from me, of being drawn outside of myself in pursuit of a common calling."

At that time, he wrote to the KF: "By participating in these discussions I am now able to analyze violence and peace more comprehensively, taking into account country-specific obstacles to the resolution of conflicts as well as cultural and theological nuances that affect how they unfold." But the depth of complexity left him longing for an even deeper understanding.

To hone his thinking, Kirk wrote an article on reconciliation in The Global Citizen journal. He seized an opportunity at the Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Liaison Office in New York, focusing on Congo and Sudan. After two years, Kirk moved to Khartoum to work for the Sudan Council of Churches in on behalf of MCC. In each position, Kirk was humbled by the issues the communities were facing. In his search of a better framework, Kirk applied to a Ph.D. program.

Graduate school has brought new opportunities and challenges for Kirk, whose goal is to reinvest his degree in service of the people he served in Africa. "I am continually reminded of what I was doing a year ago-working with Sudanese churches who are trying to heal their country in the wake of conflict and stave off new violence." As he seeks to integrate his experiences, cultivate community, and steward his education, Kirk has come to see that "balancing the tension of the mind and heart will take time, and that God's grace, which has sustained me through service, will also sustain me in learning." He reminds himself: "Only 5 and ¼ years to go."

Know someone who has wrestled with the culture shock of transitioning from service to grad school? Share comments or encouragements below.

4.13.11

Earth Month Opportunities

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Environmental Projects, Environment, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life

Spring Into Bed | Seattle | May 14 produce from Ingrid's farm

Allie May, 08 Colleague and former EarthCorps volunteer and supervisor, recently wrote to the KF: "Since January I've had the pleasure of working with the Just Garden Project to design some graphics in preparation for their upcoming event, Spring Into Bed. The Just Garden Project (JGP) is a grassroots organization dedicated 'to building a just food system and a culture of gardening for all people.' On May 14 you can join in the building and celebrating of 30 gardens alongside low income families and communities across Seattle! The woman who started JGP is an AmeriCorps Alum, and extremely passionate about social and food justice...you will surely be touched by the excitement, gratitude and love behind every garden built!" -Allie email her to join this project.

Yank Ivy! | Seattle | April 23

Lydia Imhoff first volunteered with EarthCorps throughout 2009, and became a supervisor in 2010. Now, in her spare time, she continues to support their restoration projects. She writes "Come on out to Golden Gardens for Earth Day to beautify the park and connect with your neighbors. We will be pulling invasive English Ivy, learning about local habitats and working alongside about 100 volunteers from all over Seattle. You'll be glad you did!" EarthCorps involves local and international service volunteers in environmental restoration. "Contact Chris@earthcorps.org and tell them Lydia sent you!"

Music and Booths! | Spokane |April 23

Audra Krislock and her mother Evita are involved with the Faith and Environment Network in Spokane. Audra writes, "On Saturday April 23rd we have an Earth Day Event in downtown Spokane. Lots of great organizations come—there is live music and tons of great information. In the past I have volunteered with the Faith and Environment Network booth and plan to help out again this year." Check it out at: http://www.earthdayspokane.org/calendar-of-events/

Compost Fair! | Spokane | April 30

Audra also mentions, "Right now I am taking the class to become a Master Composter. At the end of the month we are hosting compost fair. It is April 30th from 10-3pm at Finch Arboretum. I will be there helping run the event. "Let me know if you need more information or have other questions." email Audra

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2.28.11

Nominate a New Krista Colleague!

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Developing Nations, Environmental Projects, Urban America, Community, Faith/Theological Exploration, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Intercultural Development, Preparing To Serve

Conference Dialogue: Teresa, Tami, NathanThe Krista Colleague Cohort Program is the heart of the Foundation. Nominated by professors, pastors, and other community leaders, 15 "Krista Colleagues" are selected each year. These young adults are committed to a sustained period of voluntary or vocational service of at least 9 months and motivated to serve by their Christian faith.

Often applicants are college seniors applying to do service after graduation with a variety of service organizations. After formal service and debriefing, Colleagues take an active role in mentoring newer Colleagues.

Older Colleagues consistently express appreciation for the formal trainings and conferences to prepare for and integrate service, but also for the friendships they form with Colleagues and older mentors through the Foundation network.

Acceptance as a Colleague includes a $1,000 Service & Leadership Grant to be used at the intersection of vocational interests and commitment to serve.

Nominations are due by March 20th, so nominate today!

Click here for nomination criteria or nomination forms!

Questions? Please contact Program Director, Stacy Kitahata

Please LIKE, POST, and SHARE this link with any potential nominators.

-The Krista Foundation

11.3.10

Global Citizenship: U.S. Halts Visas for Some Int'l Adoptions

Destiny Williams | Service In The News, Developing Nations, Global Citizenship, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Poverty: Urban US & International

serve well blogWhether on a short-term immersion, or long-term service experience, many of us have held children in an orphanage. It is hard not to be moved to try to help improve their lives in some way. Discerning a call to global citizenship, some have gone on to work in international adoption or have chosen to become parents who adopt internationally.

The Seattle Times recently featured the story of Jenni Lund, the now-legal mother of two-year-old Pukar. They wait in Nepal alongside other parents and children, as US visa regulations won't allow her to bring Pukar to her home to central Washington without clear proof that he had been abandoned. Such documentation is virtually non-existent there. Meanwhile proof exists that some orphanage directors, who benefit from getting children adopted, have threatened local parents to forfeit their children.

Stopping visas puts pressure on Nepal to improve documentation in hopes of reducing the influence of child trafficking. In the meantime, children remain in orphanages, and the prospective parents, many of whom are deeply invested (financially and emotionally), are left with dim prospects. 

Read Nancy Bartley's Nov. 1 article Nepali adoptions investigated; U.S. parents agonize.

Do you have a connection or experience related to orphanages or international adoption? Please share your thoughts and comments below...

serve well blog

10.17.10

A Different Kind of Businessman

Destiny Williams | Colleague Press, Urban America, Business, Community, Business, Community, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life

Wakefield Gregg - Krista ColleagueTen years ago, Wakefield Gregg (‘99) became a Charter Class Krista Colleague while serving in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood with youth involved in or on the fringes of local gangs.  Wake used Krista Foundation grant money to bring youth to Mississippi to meet the Reverend John Perkins, whose urban development principles of relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution proved life-shaping.

Fast forward ten years, when Wake visited China with George Fox University's MBA program.  He couldn't help but notice the 26.1 million electric bikes sold there in 2007 humming down the road. Returning to Portland, home to the highest percentage of bike commuters in the nation, Wake was inspired to start ‘e-bikes' from his own garage.  He points out the economic and environmental benefits of traveling 15-50 miles on 5 cents of electricity and the fun of 350 watts (equal to 60% of Lance Armstrong's maximum output) powering your bike.  But his vision for this business doesn't stop there.

As soon as the business is "capital positive" Wake's stores will train at-risk or previously incarcerated youth as e-bike mechanics.  "Perkins's principle of redistribution means giving these kids access to the means of production," says Wake.  "I was also inspired by Father Greg Boyle at the Krista Conference three years ago-seeing how his job programs really change the lives of former LA gang members. But this type of thing has been a long-standing passion of mine."  Your investment in Wake's leadership ten years ago helped shape what has become a solid commitment to the "business" of offering hope and opportunity for urban youth.

Click here to read Wakefield's full bio.