Go Travel

IMG_0088Community is big but it can get bigger. I believe that traveling is a big component of helping your community. You can get new ideas, new culture, and an outside perspective that could help your community.

This past weekend, I came up North to visit Seattle, Washington. Just looking around the city seemed to give me new energy and a new perspective on the places around me. I am definitely a city girl and love to visit new ones and just walk around and get absolutely lost in my fascination. I do the same thing with San Francisco as well every time I go there. There is always something new there.

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In my eyes, traveling to new places allows for people to grow their views on culture and the way people are in different places. It also gives new ideas for helping another city or town or person really to grow into something new that is always changing. When I travel, I like to wander around on my own and see the things I want to see. Of course, if it’s your first time somewhere, go and be a tourist. For example, in Seattle, go see the Space Needle or in San Francisco, check out the Golden Gate Bridge.

To be honest, I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to travel. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like people that don’t like to, though. I believe that the world is beautiful and everyone should get a chance to see it for themselves instead of in a picture or on the television screen.  Exploring is the way that a community grows. Not just through exploring while traveling but exploring new possibilities and changes along the way.

 

Where have you traveled and have you learned from your experiences? Has it helped you view your local community differently?

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Land of Fields

I’m going to get a bit personal with this community post here. I feel that I haven’t done it for a while and it’s about time. When I was still in high school, my family bought property out in North Central Nevada. It’s in a small valley outside of Winnemucca, Nevada and close to the border Oregon called Kings River.

Camera 360 Now, it may seem like a small valley for just something that you might not even know about but don’t worry, there’s a strong community there. The scenery…is beyond beautiful and it’s always a surprise to me when I dip down from the winding mountain road into the valley full of alfalfa fields and sagebrush that is filled with wildlife. I’ve never seen a valley so green in Nevada that was so beautiful.

The people in the area farm together, live together, and hunt together. The farms are sustainable and bring revenue to the valley. There is even a hunting lodge and trailer areas for those that live there year around or during hunting season.

A community like this is very important in the rural areas of the world. In the years that I have visited there to go hunting and four-wheeling with my family, I have managed to see how much of a community this area has and how it has impacted the Valley. The community has become so sustainable that it is rare for the inhabitants to have to come into Winnemucca for supplies unless absolutely necessary. They even have a Facebook location!

There are areas all over the world that have an impact that is amazing like this to people. I didn’t think I liked the area when I was younger but now after growing up, I see the beauty of the area and how significant the community is to the area.

Do you have a favorite place that’s surprisingly beautiful? How is the community there? Comment below. (I love new places!)

What Social Media Does Part 2

Before, we had talked about the community in social media and why we use certain social media platforms. Now, we shall begin to speak about specific social media groups besides the two that we talked about before: Facebook and Roleplayer.me. Now, let’s begin!

pinterest-1345141049_600First on our list is Pinterest. The community on the website is willing to give and share different crafts, clothes, items, and really anything on the website. This site has been deemed a website for mostly women to share things to other women that could help them in any way possible. I use Pinterest for the same reason most other people use the website. You can ‘Pin’ what you find on Pinterest or online to one of your ‘boards’. I think that it gives a new way of community for people. I have seen many different uses of Pintererst. I have seen people post their blogs online, post the crafts that they make, sales on items at your business, places that you have gone to, wedding photos, and many other things.

mzl.taqswtih.175x175-75My next website in social media is Goodreads. This site possibly the single most important community website when it comes to books. This site has authors discussing and promoting their new books, reviews on books, a way to organize your books, and have the ability to find new books to read. There are book clubs on here and other groups for people to get together and talk about the books they are reading, what is happening in their lives, and the common things in their lives. Not only are you joining a community of avid book lovers but you can also join any of the groups that hold other common interests as those other members of Goodreads.

As I hope that this will be a series, we will go over two more social media reviews later on. I believe social media is important for the community online and in your city/town/whatever you have it. I hope that this series will help someone find their niche online and can find a community of people that have interests like those that each person has.

Photo Credit: Pinterest | Goodreads

What social media sites do you use that is niche like? Comment below with an answer.

International Help

Lately, there has been a lot of community service projects that have cropped up in Reno that are great. There are two that have come to the University of Nevada, Reno that I have gotten somewhat involved with. It is important to help those that are asking for help and these two projects are such great initiatives that will help.

Raising Up Rainbows 

malloryThis is a project that was brought to my knowledge after a friend of mine since elementary school came back from India during winter break. She came back with a story so emotional that just hearing it was amazing. Mallory Fisher talked about the young girls home that she worked with that slept in a single room, came from horrific backgrounds, and barely had any resources. These girls and the women that run the house aren’t allowed to ask for things that they need but rather survive on the handouts that are given to them. Mallory came back with the project of raising money for them to have a water heater as right now, they take cold showers nightly up on the rooftop. I’ve gotten involved with helping to raise money and it’s profound to see how many people are willing to help. If you would like to donate and/or read more information about this amazing project, click on the link above.

Project Duwell

 This single project has managed to take UNR by storm this last year. Project Duwell came to UNR and has managed to raise a decent amount of money for its cause. This project was brought around by Duwell Medical and a student that is currently attending the school and working there. It is a non-profit organization that aims towards developing medical health facilities in densely populated areas in Bangladesh. Currently, the are in the works of building a hospital to create state-of-the-art health care for residents in the country.

These two projects are perfect examples of how the community can help each other. We’ve talked about community in a city and helping each other out but now we’re getting to the big picture and that is the international community. It’s important to never forget the people around the world and those that need any sort of help. These two projects are amazing and show that their achievement will make for a better community for either those children or for those people that need the medical treatment that they currently can’t have.

Picture Credit: Raising Up Rainbows | Project Duwell

Do you have any international project you are working on? Always outreach into the community to help achieve the goals!

What Social Media Does

Social media can be used fr business and it can also be used for a community outlet as well. We have already discussed social media and how it can help businesses get connected with online customers in Signing On but what about as a community outlet for individuals? Now, this has been a blog post that I have been waiting for to write and I have finally decided to do so. So let’s get started….

Now, while social media is a very important component to marketing in businesses, it is a large component to individuals and community organizations. Social media can be used for getting events out into the open like Students in Free Enterprise did for the Let’s Can Hunger Games. It can also be used just to get out information about the actual organization so people can look online and see if there is interest.
There are many different social media outlets that people use to get into the community. Just to list some off there is: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Reddit, Digg, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, stumbleupon, Pinterest, Friendster, Yahoo!, Skype, AIM, and many many more. Someone is on at least one of these social media sites even if you don’t know it. If you have an email, if you have an account on something, if you post pictures…this is you being on social media. Social media outlooks is basically this: it is an online community center for people to come and gather in to share their ideas, network with new people, get out events and physical community groups and keep in touch with old friends and family.

"I use social media because..."

“I use social media because…”

Today, while writing this post I posted my own feeds in two of my social media outlets. One is Facebook and one is something that seems to be swept under the bed in embarrassment by most online social media users or really anyone that knows of the area, roleplayer.me. Now, in these posts I asked two simple questions that really are important when it comes to the use of social media. On both accounts, I asked people to comment with the end of the following sentences: “I use social media for…” and “I roleplay because…”. Why did I ask these specifically? On Facebook everyone has some other account on some other social media page whether it be email, Skype, Twitter, or what have you. Facebook has now become the central hub for all things social media as most things allow you to sign up using your Facebook account. On roleplayer.me, I asked this question because it is the question for the website. It’s one of the biggest communities online for this genre of social media and everyone is asked this question. “I roleplay because…” is the beginning of the sentence that defines why people use this website, why they do it, and why they have decided to be a part of this amazing community of writers. The pictures in this post are the responses that were received from the prompts given.

Now what about my answers to these questions? I believe that they are very important questions and, of course, I have my own opinions as well. I use social media for keeping contact with my family and friends. I use it to get my brand out to the community as well as network with people that can help me while I can help them. I use social media as an outlet on the online world. Now, I roleplay for the reasons that were given in the responses. I roleplay because it is a way out of real life and a way to get the imagination going. While it may seem nerdy, I believe that it is an amazing community with amazingly creative writers. It isn’t just writing stories either; this community was the reason that I began to start coding in the first place for profiles and it has grown into a career I am working to obtain.

"I roleplay because...."

“I roleplay because….”

Social media is an amazing tool not just in the business world and it needs to be utilized to it’s utmost potential. As shown above it can be used for community organizations, individuals, or just those that love the escape into a whole new community.

What communities are you involved in online? Finish one (or both) of the prompts yourself as well below!

 

Communal Areas

Think about the times that you go out to a location to have a meal. Envision that you are with a group of friends. Want to try something new? Well, here is something you may not have heard about. I came across this little restaurant downtown a few years ago that a friend had pointed out to me. It was Basque food which was something I had never had before. I was finally at that stage in my life where I was basquemore willing to try new things (which is completely different from when I was younger. I used to sit at the table for hours after everyone had finished, refusing to eat).   Now you must be asking, where am I going with this story? What does this have to do with the community? It has everything to do with the community actually. I finally went to the restaurant that year and have gone multiple times and it has a very unique environment. Louis’ Basque Corner Restaurant  has amazing food in good quantities, multiple courses, and most important of them all, it is in a family style seating arrangement. This means that you don’t get to see alone, secluded with your friends or by yourself. You sit at long tables with other parties that have come to eat as well. You share different courses together and you get to socialize with people in your community that you may not have known about. Now that’s a communal area. Definitely look around your town and see if you can find a family style restaurant like this. It will definitely be worth your while. If you’re in the Reno area, try the Basque Corner!

Next on the list of communal areas is an easy one but my personal favorite. Ever since I was little I have always loved to read. I was one of those people that hid under the blankets with a flashlight after bedtime and read to my heart’s content…or at least until I was so exhausted that I passed out. One of my favorite places to go was the library. Like I said, it’s an easy communal place. You find community in the ability to check books in and out whenever you wish, you can use the computers, the printers, and/or the copiers. I believe that the best part of the library is the fact that they have different events held all the time and you can socialize with people either your age or people that have the same interests in you. On the same subject of libraries, there are amazing used book stores as well anywhere. My personal favorite is a small shop in San Mateo, California called B Street Books. They sell at inexpensive prices, buy your books to sell again, have books from any subject, and it’s a quaint shop that you can spend hours in.

co-opFinally, this last year I found an amazing place in Reno. The Great Basin Community Food Co-Op is really something special. They sell natural, local, and organic foods that help people eat right and help the community thrive. Buying local really is the way to go. They have items from vegetables, tea, coffee, a wellness section, books, etc. and everything is local or natural foods just off the market. They also hold meetings for local activities and events in Reno as well!

Photo Credit – Basque Corner | Great Basin Community Food Co-Op

Have you been to anywhere that’s communal like these locations? Thoughts on the locations I chose? Comment below.

 

Blankets

I think to be personally involved with the community you don’t just look at them for help but you give to the community as well. You can give in big ways and small. For this article, it is small but it still can help. I made these blankets for my family for Christmas and am so glad I found the article on Custom Scrapbook Maker. It was an inexpensive and personal gift for my family. Joann fabric and craft store has inexpensive and very comfy fabric as well. I got a fantastic deal on their blizzard fleece. So this is me, sharing a great idea to the community. You can make them for people you know personally or make them and send them to an organization that gives clothes and blankets to those people in need!

 

blanketsFor an infant/toddler blanket – use 1 to 1 1/2 yards (for each side)  [I used a yard]
For a child blanket – use 1 3/4 yards (for each side)
For an adult – use 2 yards (for each side)

What you need:

  • The two pieces of fleece should be the same size. Pieces may be the same pattern (which is what I used), two different patterns, two plain colors or a pattern on one side and a plain color on the other.
  • Scissors or rotary cutter (will need cutting board for rotary cutter) Tape measure or ruler
  • A 4″ x 4″ piece and 1″ X 4″ of paper [I cut a piece from a cardboard box]

Instructions

  • Take your two pieces of fleece. Put one piece on top of the other lining up the edges so they are even. (One side will be the front and the other side will be the back )
  • Trim off any selvage around the edges of your fleece. ( Cut as straight as possible, but remember, these blankets are forgiving!) [I used sharp scissors and it is okay if they aren’t completely edged with each other equally. One of the sides can be a little bit longer than the other.]
  • Find your 4″x4″ paper and lay it on the corner of your blanket. Then cut out the corner through both layers. Do this to all four corners.
  • Time to make the fringes. Cut 4 inches into both fleeces at 1″ wide. it is easiest to lay the tape measure or ruler across from the corner of the cut out from one corner to the other. The fringes don’t have to be exactly 1″, but keep them close to that.
  • Proceed to cut 1″ intervals on all four sides.
  • Starting on one side, start tying your knots (using one fringe from each fleece). Tie knots on every other fringe around the entire blanket. [If you pay attention, there is a way to choose which side of the fleece can go onto the top of the knot and then on the bottom. I think it’s cool to make them into a pattern. I only knotted it once for the grown-ups, but the children got double knots]
  • Turn the whole blanket over and tie the remaining fringes into knots until your blanket is finished. [I did all the knots at the same side instead of flipping the blanket over. It made it easier to not skip over any of the knots to be made]

A Family At Last

I have always been a family person. My family is very close knit and loves to do things with one another. We’re also a very creative bunch as well. When I turned 17 (four years ago), I was added to another family, bringing in another group of people to add to those I grew up with. No, I did not get married. I found the family that put me up for adoption. After this, family became even more important to me.

PicMonkey Collage

Adoptive family (L), Birth Family (R)

Growing up, I always was one of those people that fantasized about what my birth family was like. I was influenced a lot by what I was watching or what I was daydreaming about for that week or month. For example, I definitely had moments of belief that I was a family member of the Halliwell family from CharmedI had also dreams of going on shows like The Maury Show where they did all the work for me. Later, I found out that the same ideas had gone through the mind of my older brother.

If you look around, there are many ways of finding information about the family that put a child up for adoption. There are shows like The Moury Show, Oprah, The Tyra Banks Show, THE Locator etc. If the family went through an adoption agency and they decided to allow to be found later on, the agency will keep the file for reference later. Lately, a large burst of innovation has cropped up. People have been using social media, like Facebook, posting pictures with the information that they know about their birth parents. One example would be Jenessa Simons who found her birth mother shortly after placing the photo as her profile picture and sharing it out. After the discover, she changed her profile to help others that were put up for adoption to find their families as well or even help those that placed their child up for adoption. There are also like pages on Facebook such as Help Me Find My Birth Parents. On this note, please be careful what you post as it can lead to identity thieves using this information or people scamming on a moment that you’ve probably been waiting for since the day you were told you were adopted.

Whether it be online, through a television show, or an agency, the community can always be a source of finding what you are looking for. In my case and in many others, it is the search of the family that I’ve been waiting for to meet for years. [Don’t get me wrong, I love my family that I’ve grown up with than no other.] Don’t be afraid to ask for help with the things you want. There’s always someone that’s a part of the community that can be a source of help. This is the biggest way that the community has helped me.

How have you found the community helpful when in search of something? Looking for your family now as well? Comment below.