Finding New Beginnings in Acts of Kindness

New Beginnings

Sometimes finding new beginnings a joyful thing seems utterly impossible. They usually come off the end of something, which might leave just the shell of a person.  I remember when I first moved from kindergarten to first grade, even then I felt like life was falling apart because I had to leave the comfort of what I knew. Even after all these years, I have to chuckle to myself at all the times I freaked out at common life changes. Moving from grade school math to pre-algebra caused a major meltdown because I was so scared I couldn’t make it. It seems a bit absurd now, but then I just thought the worst was happening. Boy, if I only knew.

The New Year always brings me hope. Despite being in a sorrowful ending, I feel joy as I am finding new beginnings in acts of kindness.

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How to Make Handmade Gift Bows

The Joy of Upcycling

My first upcycled DIY project was handmade gift bows.  About seven years ago, I fell in love with the world of upcycling and still have not managed to find my way out of the dumpster. Oddly, enough it’s where I’ve found God’s love and my new beginning. It’s a gold mine of potential. Although, I get plenty of weird looks from people who just don’t get it, I find no reason to come back to the real world. These handmade gift bows were the first things I learned how to upcycle. Every year as I sit down to make them for the year, I am flooded with the joy upcycling brings me. I think about my hopelessness before God showed His love through upcycling. This year, I have plenty of reasons to feel hopeless. My life has turned out completely different than what I imagined, but as I sit and make these bows, I am reminded of how God sees me despite my imperfections.

I’m not sure what brought you to this post, but I hope these bows bring you even a fraction of the joy they brought me.

Handmade gift bows were my first upcycling project. Every Christmas, I am flooded with the joy upcycling brings me and I want to share that joy with you.

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How to Change the World: A Guide for Millennials

Why A Guide for Millennials?

Life on your own is a bit scary. I get it. I’ve been through job losses, roommate issues, and other things. Really, some of my worst fears have come to life and really I’d never thought I’d make it. But I am making it. I’m a perfectionist and mistakes I’ve always seen as a waste of time.  I wish I could take them all back, but if I did I would never know the amazing relief of knowing that I really can make it on my own.

Over the next few months, I will have to rely on my family more than I would like, but the fact that I’ve even made it this far is quite amazing to me. Most of my friends still haven’t left their parent’s house. I won’t be able to take back my mistakes, but I can use them to help others and I hope this guide for millennials will start that process. It won’t answer all the questions, but it will get you started to changing the world in no time.

Last week I wrote a message to millennials because I want to see this generation do great things and I believe we do have the right tools to do it. But some of us are a bit misguided about how the real world works. I decided to do some research and develop this guide for millennials. I want to see us make the difference, but first we’re going to have to realize a few things.

Life on your own is a bit scary. This guide for millennials won't answer all the questions, but it will get you started to changing the world in no time.

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How To Build Your Own Vermicompost Factory

Last week I talked about the many composting options available for any size situation. There is no end to the numerous benefits that come from having your own vermicompost or fertilizer converted from organic waste by red wiggler worms. Not only do you get to cut down on your food waste, but also you get delicious, nutritious, good for the Earth compost for your plants.

How To Build Your Own Vermicomposting Factory

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Little Sprouts Learning Garden- How to Garden with Kids

How to Garden with Kids

This video, How to Garden with Kids, is the last of the 3 major projects I’ve been working on for the past couple of months and it was by far the biggest project. There are so many benefits to being in the garden with kids. They learn major life skills and skills they can use in school, such as how to count with seeds, how to read labels, how to measure and so many more.

Christina Kamp, owner of Little Sprouts Learning Garden, and I wanted to give a comprehensive video to bring these amazing lessons to your home. It gives an in depth look on everything you need to know to be able to garden with your kids. On July 25, 2016, Little Sprouts Learning Gardening is now offering a free webinar to help you bring these lessons home.

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Service Learning Volunteer Center

The Service Learning Volunteer Center is housed in the OSU Student Union and it strives to help OSU students and facility find a volunteer project that suites them.

I started this project a couple of months ago and met with the three interviewees: Katelyn Spencer, Cassandra Rodenbaugh and Nada Abd Elhadi. During this project, I found all the different perspectives of the interviews to be interesting. They all had different motivations and interests.

Cassandra had a passion for animals. She was a first year veterinary student, but she had all kinds of experience volunteering with animals. She worked at the eagle habitat near Stillwater,  Centro de Fauna de Vallcalent which is a animal rehabilitation center in Lleida, Spain, Tiny Paws kitten rescue, and all sorts of other places. As a first yet vet student, she still managed to find time to volunteer and I thought that set a powerful example for the rest of us.

Katelyn was a Masters student and a graduate assistant for the Volunteer Center. Her interests were focused on international trips and studies, as she wanted to teach English in these foreign counties. Most of her volunteering was done through an organization called Chi Alpha, which is a campus ministry, but they are known for their volunteering efforts, including helping students during move-in week, bringing Freshmen cookies during the first week of school, international mission trips and various other things throughout the semester.

Nada Abd Elhadi was an intern for the Volunteer Center, which let her be involved in a little bit of everything. She just had a huge heart for people and helping them with the right attitude. Her main project this semester was working in Primrose, which is an assisted living facility.

I think this project could have been a pretty overwhelming ordeal because of the amount of footage there was to go through, but we had a script lined out beforehand, which made it a lot easier in the editing phase.

I did a couple of things different with this project. Music is becoming a common attribute in my videos and at first I wasn’t too sure I would like it, but it seems to make a big difference, so it will probably be something I add to every video. I’ve done a lot of research about what makes an effective video and one of the most important things is a catchy intro. I used to create custom intros introduce the video, but with the first 10 to 15 seconds being what can make or break a video, I’ve decided to put them at the end instead, which leads to the concluding animation.

In a perfect world, you should put a sequence of 3 second video clips for the first 15 seconds of your video. It seems like a lot, but it will catch the attention of your viewers because they know they’re going to have to pay attention, so they don’t miss anything. Because of scheduling conflicts, I wasn’t able to get enough video for the variety of volunteer opportunities to accomplish this, but it’s something I will strive for in the future.

I like to make intros/outros to relate to theme of the organization its being made for. Memories and photographs seemed to play an important part in the volunteer experience, so I wanted to convey that. I made what looks like falling Polaroids with some of the benefits of volunteering written out for this video’s outro. It was one of the more difficult parts of this project, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.

Obviously I couldn’t get video for all the volunteer options, but the women had a lot of pictures of them having fun during their trips. I wanted to make sure those pictures were labeled, so if a potential volunteer saw the video and thought they would like to do something similar then they would know where to start or what organization to contact.

For more information about volunteering with the Service Learning Volunteer Center, check out their website, where you can find a list of places to volunteer, log your hours, or just check out the services they offer. Or if you live outside the area or aren’t a student or faculty, then check out their Facebook page to keep up with their news.