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Tell us what you would do to #GROWtheGood in your community. Life is Good is giving away $1,500 to 10 people to make it happen!* And thanks to our friends at  Eastern Bank$1 will be donated to the Life is Good Kids Foundation for each #GROWtheGood entry received.**

At Life is Good, our mission is to spread the power of optimism. We believe in acknowledging both obstacles and opportunities, but focusing on the opportunities because what you focus on grows! Join our movement to inspire everyday optimism by choosing to focus on the good and helping it grow.

This year, our partners from Eastern Bank, Coco Community and the Born This Way Foundation are joining our mission to help you #GROWtheGood in your community. Learn more about their efforts below and follow them for more good.

 


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We believe in doing good things to help people prosper. As the oldest mutual bank in the country, and one of the largest community banks in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, providing financial support is only part of our story. Eastern Bank donates an average of 10% of its’ net profit to over 1600 local charities each year, since 1999. To learn more we invite you to #JoinUsForGood and visit Joinusforgood.com.

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We call our refreshing organic coconut water Coco Community because community is truly the heart of what we do. Our mission is to empower farmers and their families by supporting local grower initiatives that will nurture long-term socio-economic development for the Ratchaburi community. This is all possible through our partnership with Fair for Life and the proceeds from our loyal consumers. Together, we all strive to build a larger community of farmers, coconut water drinkers and brands that believe in and celebrate the inherent good of people and nature.

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Celebrate the good every day by tagging your photos with #GROWtheGOOD or #JoinUsForGood. You just might get featured here.


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Life is Good is a registered trademark of The Life is Good Company. Life Is Good and Eastern Bank are separate and unrelated entities.
* No purchase necessary. Some restrictions apply. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Only one entry per household.
Contest runs Nov. 28th, 2017 12:01am EST – Dec. 10th, 2017 11:59pm EST.
Visit Lifeisgood.com/gtgrules for official rules.
**The $1 donation runs through 12/10/17 11:59pm EST or up to $15,000.

Lisa and Stan Williams | Manchester, Indiana

How did you use the $500 to grow the good?

We are using it to enhance response to our ALS walk team- building momentum for giving to our ALS ASSOCIATION walk a boost. We purchased some incentive gifts and small mementos that will remind our family, friends and strangers of the importance of research. Stan (my husband) took part in a clinical trial this past summer that tested the propolis of a bee hive (the thin covering over every cell) and how it stopped the progression in mice that were artificially given ALS. He is patient #5. What was really cool, as we were waiting for blood work during the tests, I found your Life is Good bee t-shirt. It's been a fantastic way to invite conversation!!! Our team is called Beehive5.

What inspired you to choose this goal or action?

My husband was diagnosed with ALS in June 2015. There is not a lot of support or information in our area. We are hoping to get knowledge and interest out to the public. 

stanwilliams

How did you feel during and after your #growthegood?

We felt fantastic that we might be able to garner support and encouragement with people in surrounding areas. With only 300 registered ALS patients in Indiana, interest is low except within the community of families. We are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point as we want to leave a mark to remind the future that Their journey is what counts and that getting to the end, be it job, family, or even death can be full of joy along the way.

Anything else to share?

There is no better mantra than yours and inspiration to make life good. This past year has been full of ups and downs for us and there have been times that putting on a shirt or hoodie gives me confidence to go one breathe at a time.

Annifreed Sinjour | New Bedford, MA

Rhonda Pollard | Honokaa, Hawaii (Big Island)

rhondaHow did you use the $500 to grow the good?

I donated it to Hawaii Island Humane Society (Big Island) to improve the security of their "night drop" cages, the cages that are available after hours for people to put their unwanted pets (Sad, but it's a reality).  Even though there are locks on the cages to secure the animal after you've placed it in there, people were cutting the locks and stealing the animals.  This was happening frequently!  The #growthegood money was used to build metal covers for each cage lock to prevent thieves from cutting the locks.  So far, there have been no more thefts!  Attached are photos of the shelter and new metal fixtures.

What inspired you to choose this goal or action?

Two of their three shelters were experiencing thefts at night.  People were stealing the dogs from the cages.  The fear was that the dogs would be used as "bait dogs" for dog fighting.

How did you feel during and after your #growthegood?

Awesome!  The Hawaii Island Humane Society is a local, independent non-profit agency that receives NO money from the mainland.  They do not have a lot of money, so $500 makes a big impact!

IMG_6915How have you inspired others around you? 

This is the 6th year that I am participating in the Hawaii Island Humane Society Howl’ween Dog Walk, which will be in Kailua-Kona on October 28th.  I strive every year to raise the most money to show others what ONE person can do to make a difference, and to date, I am proud to say that I’ve raised over $15,000 in donations!  I am able to do this because of caring friends, family, and companies like Life is Good.  Now that I am on the Humane Society’s Board of Directors (see attached photo), I see exactly where the funds are going and where the need is, and I’m excited to say that our currently in-construction Animal Community Center (the new Kona shelter) will be able to provide space for many more animals in a serene, safe, and interactive environment (versus the literally dilapidated, termite-infested shelter currently used in Kona).  Every little bit counts towards rescuing and rehabilitating animals and finding them forever homes as well as educating at-risk youth and school children about responsible dog ownership, which is key to preventing not only animal abuse but proven in prevention of bullying and domestic violence, a common problem in Hawaii schools.

Carly McPartland, Playmaker | Pittsburgh, PA

“I definitely could’ve been a statistic,” Carly admits.

Her teaching career started in a charter school in Pittsburgh, where she knew some of her students had witnessed shootings in their front yards and that many of the parents were equally as scared and traumatized as the kids they were raising.

The weight of her students’ adverse childhood experiences began to make her challenging job feel nearly impossible. Though teaching had been a lifelong goal, after two long years of prolonged exposure to toxic stress, Carly struggled with secondhand trauma and started contemplating backing away from the career she’d always considered her calling.

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“Someone told me about The Life is Good Kids Foundation’s Playmaker Program. A series of workshops and retreats for teachers and child care professionals, like me, who – you know – could use a refresher on how to actually take care of ourselves.”

Through a series of communications with the Life is Good Kids Foundation (LiGKF) team, Carly found herself enrolled in an LiGKF Playmaker 101 workshop, then a 202 workshop, and then for a series of meet-ups and advance trainings.

“What the Playmaker Movement has shown me – taught me – given me, is that in order to stay true to me and to the work I’ve ALWAYS felt compelled to do…to fully do what I love and love what I do, I need to be mindful of being WAY more joyful. It clicked that being a good teacher (and the best version of ME) would require leaning – hard – into my own joy and building my own resilience. That’s what I’ve found to actually be the key to helping my students discover their own joy and connect more fully with their resiliency.”

Carly (Ms. McPartland) returned to her classroom feeling and operating as a true Playmaker – as a safe, loving and joyful leader who could make essential plays for kids during critical times in their development – and that’s EXACTLY what she continues to do.

As a Life is Good Playmaker, Carly now leads her 5th grade classroom in Latrobe, PA, with a focus on building joy and fostering authentic connections. She has even extended the lessons of the Playmakers in facilitating workshops on healing trauma through writing, encouraging other educators to foster their own joy and healing to better serve their students.  Her tools for doing all of this include inclusive games she’s picked up at Playmaker workshops, classroom designs inspired by Life is Good optimistic graphics and insights from childcare professionals all over the country through the LiGKF Playmakers peer-to-peer community. Of course, she takes particular pride in two sidekicks, Charlie and Reggie – her rubber chickens and trusty 5th grade mascots.

Support the work of the Life is Good Kids Foundation and Playmakers like Carly.submit_03

Issac "Ike" Mollett | Monroe, Georgia

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How did you use the $500 to grow the good?

I used the money to continue my work with filling and shipping boxes of food and supplies to our deployed military members.

What inspired you to choose this goal or action?

My brother is in the USAF and I wanted to make sure that when our military is deployed they have access to food and supplies they would go without.  I know my brother has family support but many of our service men and women do not.  It is important to me they know someone cares about them.

How did you feel during and after your #growthegood?

I've been doing this for 5 years since my brother left for basic training.  It helps me not miss him as much knowing I'm helping others like him.

Do you plan to continue with your #growthegood mission?

Eventually I would like to start a nonprofit for kids to join my efforts.

Why do you think it’s important to focus on the good?

If you are focused on good you don't pay attention to all the bad.

Kezia Fitzgerald | Danvers, MA

How did you use the $500 to grow the good?

We put your generous grant to use by getting our sizing samples made for our new CareAline “Quick” Sleeves and Wraps. This put us just one step closer to launch (which is coming up this late fall/early winter!). We are really excited that this also put us in a position to earn a $25k Target Challenge Grant from the New England Pediatric Device Consortium (NEPDC) to do our official launch of our products for hospital use! So many patients will be helped with this. We truly thank you!  

What inspired you to choose this goal or action?

My daughter and I both battled cancer in 2011, and I’m again battling. We know the life of a patient and we know what it’s like to try and live a “normal” life when you are going through so many medical struggles. Saoirse is always our inspiration, and the kids and adults we help every day keep us going. It’s our little way of improving lives, and giving back.

How did you feel during and after your #growthegood?

I’m my own worst critic, so I always want to be able to do more than I can. But when we hear from our customers - hospitals and patients alike - how much we have impacted their lives for the better, it just makes me feel like no matter how small the step, it’s a step in the right direction!

KeziaDo you plan to continue with your #growthegood mission?

CareAline is growing and growing the good! We are a MassChallenge Boston 2017 finalist, we are a HUBweek Demo Day finalist, and we are starting to develop more products for different kinds of lines and tubes! We are letting the good help us grow, and helping people all along the way. Thank you for being a kick starter to our 2017 growth!

Being a MassChallenge finalist, we were able to share our story with a lot of new people. Between the other finalists (128 companies total), mentors, judges, community members, and contest participants, we have been able to share our story and empower other people to make a difference in any way they can.

Anything else to share?

Cancer changed my life. I will never be able to go back to the “normal” that I used to have before Saoirse and I were diagnosed. We will always have cancer at the forefront of our minds, and our lives. But we can choose to turn it into a positive, rather than a negative. I can choose to LIVE with cancer, and not just have it. I can choose to help others who have gone through what I went through. I can choose to let my daughter’s legacy live on by helping others just like her. By doing those things, cancer can’t win. All it can do is be my fuel to #growthegood!

Theresa Sanderson | Franktown, Colorado 

teresaSHow did you use the $500 to grow the good?

I have used the $500 to outfit our miniature horse Patchie and train her to work as a therapy horse with people with disabilities who come to the Ranch, and people in the community, specifically in memory care homes and senior living facilities.

My idea has expanded from only training her for memory care/senior living visits to working with clients at Promise Ranch. For instance, at the Ranch, Carter, who is wheelchair bound and has several disabilities, works on his strength, motor skills, problem solving and decision making when he takes Patchie from her pen, walks her and grooms her.

What inspired you to choose this goal or action?

I was inspired to train Patchie as a therapy animal because I heard stories, saw video, and then experienced firsthand through helping with another local miniature horse therapy organization, how a therapy animal can bring so much joy and stress relief to folks of all ages and disabilities. I have seen folks who are memory impaired, who have withdrawn into themselves, interact with a therapy animal and then smile and visit when they haven’t done so in a long time.

Unknown-2Have you inspired others with your #GROWtheGood Act?

I have inspired others who volunteer at Promise Ranch who have asked if they can be a part of Patchie’s outreach to the community. Additionally, families of the disabled and seniors who see the effect Patchie has on their loved one are inspired to keep finding meaningful experiences and to believe that truly Life IS Good!

Why do you think it’s important to focus on the good?

It’s more important now than ever to focus on the good in our world. There is so much good happening that I truly believe we can balance out the bad with the good! There is always a lot more good in the world than bad and it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep it that way by growing the good in a way they are able to.

Anything else to share?

You may think”I’m just one person, how can I make a difference?” I say, if you can make a difference in one person’s life and make it better, then you are #growingthegood and you should keep it up. You will inspire others and when we are all doing what we can to grow the good, the world is a better place to live in! Thanks to Life Is Good for your support!

Johanna and Lucy, Camp Echo Bridge - Newtown, MA

Intisar Turner | Boston, MA

MsturnerAccording to A. Intisar Turner (or Ms. Turner to her students), growing up school was nothing more than a chore, a “have to.”

“I was always good in math,” she confesses, “but school just felt like what I had to do, to eventually get a job—and fun was what I got to do when school and work were over.”

Then, in 2003, about a year after A. Intisar graduated college, she ended up in a classroom in Damascus, Syria.

“Maybe it took getting as far away from home as possible – but for the first time I saw—like really SAW—a joyful classroom. Kids AND teachers coming in happy, and ready to play and learn, together. I saw a love of education and thought; from here on out this…this is how I want to learn. This is how I want to have fun. And I immediately knew this is how I want to give back. I want to teach.”

A.Intisar Turner came back to the States and earned her teaching certificate and became a math teacher and a Mom. She noticed that bringing the fun would require her to step even further out of her comfort zone.

“These kids – my son and the kids in my classroom – they just had all of these needs. They needed to LIKE trying new foods. They needed to LIKE reading. They needed to LIKE exercising. Just doing these things, wouldn’t be enough – it needed to be a part of their culture. Trying different ways to reach their needs brought me to step out of my comfort zone of traditional education. I began to start to try to reach my students needs through their comfort zones. Eventually I actually liked it too.”

Turns out Ms. Turner likes making music and writing. So, she convinced her son Abdur-Rahman (A-Roc) and nieces J.La and Sajdah to start a band with her called, Family Tree. And they got to work creating covers of popular songs and original hooks about eating well, reading, and exercising our minds and bodies.

P1040815“I didn’t know I was an artist, but I became one by recognizing the needs of the kids in the communities around me. Being a teacher and a mom, lead me to become a movie maker, an author, a song writer, and risk taker. It also lead me to writing my first children’s book called “It Wasn’t Tradition” to help empower girls and women.”

The response from her family, her students, and her community has been overwhelming. Thousands (and thousands) of views. Hundreds (and hundreds) of engaged, joyful kids. And another lasting reminder of all of the good that grows, when we replant our “have tos,” to “get tos.”

Today, you can find Ms. Turner being an everyday hero, a game changer, and a Playmaker for her many current and former students at the Nathan Hale School in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Support the work of the Life is Good Kids Foundation and Playmakers like Ms.Turner.submit_03

Lauren Orozco | San Antonio, TX

LaurenOHow did you use the $500 to grow the good?

I used the generous grant to send highly personalized care packages to eight different deserving recipients. The eight people were made up of both people I knew and people I didn't know. Those I didn't know were nominated by someone as being deserving or in need of some extra love and care. In those cases, I have a list of questions I send to the nominator to fill out about their nominee to help me get to know the person better so that I can create a truly personalized care package.

One recipient was a dear friend who was coping with a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. One was a 19-year-old who had lost his younger sister to cancer just two months prior. One was the mother of a longtime friend who was battling a number of medical issues. She ended up passing away months later and her family continues to comment on how special the care package was to her. One was for a sweet seven-year-old girl who is known for doing random acts of kindness. One was for a young woman with down syndrome who had just lost her father. And three were for friends "just because" as a reminder of how much I care about them. Each care package takes me at least six weeks and no two are the same.

My idea didn't change, but I certainly felt a huge boost from being one of the grant recipients. I was never sending care packages for the "glory" or the gratitude but having someone think you are doing something meaningful and kind (and recognizing you for it) is so humbling and so motivating.

What inspired you to choose this goal or action?

I have been creating and sending care packages for about eight years and it has really evolved over the years. Initially, I was just sending greeting cards to people here and there just to say hello or to remind them that I was thinking of them. It was amazing to me what a difference a small gesture like that seemed to make in someone's day, so I thought, "if I can make a difference with a simple card, imagine what a package could do!" At that point, I started sending small, simple packages, which seemed to make an even bigger impact on people! And it just kept evolving into what it is today. My care packages got more and more elaborate and more and more personalized. I started asking for nominations and doing care package giveaways and it turned into my main hobby. I love the idea of sending things through the mail - I think the effort involved in physically mailing something is meaningful and communicates extra care.

How did you feel during and after your #growthegood?

Where do I even start? Sending care packages feels selfish at times because I get so much out of it. I feel so much during the process - inspired and in awe of some of the recipients and what they've been through, honored by the chance to really get to know someone and hear his/her story, energized by the challenge of making each one truly original and personal, incredibly excited the day the care package goes out, and even a little anxious - hoping that I did the recipient justice and that he or she will be able to feel all the love and thought that went into it. I feel a special connection to each person after creating a care package for them and it makes me feel like I'm using my life in a meaningful way.

How have you inspired others around you?

One of my absolute favorite parts of creating and sending care packages is when someone reaches out to me with an interest in starting their own care package hobby. I've had a number of people ask for tips or suggestions for creating a care package. As a result, I created an outline of the process I go through when I'm putting together a care package as well as tips and common places to look for unique and personalized items. I send this to people who have an interest in creating care packages but don't know where to start. I have had a few people share with me the care packages they have done as a result. I have also partnered with people that are interested in doing them in creating a care package together for someone. Also, a couple years ago, my mom (who is a talented artist) got involved and now creates a piece of original artwork for each care package I do. She has painted portraits and other paintings, made jewelry bowls, and created beautiful coasters out of ceramic tiles and alcohol inks.

Why do you think it’s important to focus on the good?

I love the term "growing the good" because goodness really does grow. It can start with something seemingly small and spread and grow in such unexpected and meaningful ways. Good is contagious and that's why it's so important. I feel like most things in life are proportional - like you get what you put into it. But acts of kindness are so different. It doesn't take much to create a huge result. You never know when a small gesture might be timed just right or be just what someone needs in the moment. I've learned to never underestimate the power of putting a little extra thought and intentionality in the way you interact with and treat others and that growing the good starts in those small moments. Everyone has something to offer and everyone has unique strengths and talents - it's about knowing what yours are and using them in a way that lifts people up. We are all in this together and I believe we are all connected so acts of kindness and growing the good has ripple effects - it not only has an impact on the intended recipient but on everyone as a collective.

Will Chapman, Playmaker | Newtown, CT

“Officer Chapman loves me.”

For William Chapman, School Resource Officer for Newtown, Connecticut, that’s the single most important message for him to convey to each and every child.

20170330_200024Officer Chapman is true to his title: he’s a resource. His presence at all of the schools and participation in the lives of the students is a critical part of building optimal environments for the children (and entire community) of Newtown to connect, engage, and explore.

Officer Chapman is also a Life is Good Playmaker.

“The best part about my job is connecting with the kids. It’s particularly fun at the elementary schools, when I go in, in full uniform and ask the kids what they think is my most important tool. They guess all the way around my belt, and then I give them the real answer: it’s my brain.”

With more than a decade of service of service and training under his belt (and shaping his mind), Officer Chapman is steadfast in his believe that you can solve any problem, if you just think about it. After thinking, should come acting – and that’s where Officer Chapman champions using his second most important tool:

“My voice.”

Officer Chapman uses his voice to help instill in every student that: “You matter and you are loved. Your brain matters. Your voice matters. And when it matters most, remember the most important parts of problem solving are always and already a part of you.”

Since engaging with The Life is Good Kids Foundation’s Playmaker Program, and becoming a partner in our movement to spread the power of optimism, Officer Chapman has found another strong, loving way to use his voice:

“The philosophy, the practices, even the language behind the Playmakers Program has helped me not just recognize, but name the lasting positive differences that others are making. When I see teachers going those extra miles, taking the time and putting in the energy to have everyone in their classes realize their potential, I have a name for that now.  I tell them: You’re a Playmaker, and there’s a whole team of us rooting you on.”

Support the work of the Life is Good Kids Foundation and Playmakers like Officer Chapman.submit_03