A Special Thanks to the Special Olympics

This week’s summer showcase post is from Erin Palmer, a writer and editor for Bisk Education.  Erin writes about topics such as online MPA programs. Students that earn their MPA degree can make a huge difference in the world through public service and nonprofit work. Erin can be reached on Twitter @Erin_E_Palmer.  Welcome, Erin!

My siblings mean everything to me. As one of seven kids, my siblings and I have a bond that goes far beyond simply coming from the same gene pool. We are each other’s support systems, guidance counselors and biggest cheerleaders.

My sister Kaitlin (on the left) and her friend Shelby

My youngest sister Kaitlin is the most joyful person I know. She has the unique ability to make me smile even in my darkest mood. She loves to draw, is a talented dancer and can make almost anyone laugh. She also happens to have Down syndrome.

When Kaitlin’s P.E. teacher encouraged her to participate in the Special Olympics, I thought it would be a fun way for her to spend the afternoon. I looked forward to cheering her on from the crowd. I had no idea how amazing the experience would be, not only for my sister, but for me as well. Continue reading

5 People, 52 Weeks, 1 Converted School Bus

Summer is here which means it’s time for our summer showcase to begin!

Our first 2012 post comes from a group of recent college graduates touring the United States in a blue school bus*.  I met the author of this post, Gelb, on Twitter and am so honored he agreed to share his story with us.

Like many excited college graduates, around this time late last year I was being bombarded with questions about what was next. While some could point to new jobs, continuation of studies, or sometimes uncertainty, I was different. I was going to live on a converted school bus for a year and make films. Definitely a response that turns heads.

Five of us, all recent college grads, set off in January on a big blue school bus named Stanley. Continue reading

How Do You Spend Your Cognitive Surplus?

I love serendipity.

Now that the weather is getting warmer I’ve been thinking about last year’s Summer of Small Voices.  I knew I wanted to host another showcase this summer but was having a hard time coming up with a theme.

Then, while working on a lesson for the LHF Greenhouse, I stumbled upon this TED Talk from 2010.

Clay provides several great examples of cognitive surplus in his speech and he got me thinking:  sure there are examples of people working together on big projects to impress their friends and improve their communities; but for every Wikipedia there must be countless people with amazing ideas who need a little money, a little help, or a little encouragement to turn that idea into something more than a hobby.

This summer, I’m dedicating the Low Hanging Fruit blog to helping those people (read:  you) find the “little something” they need get moving. Continue reading

Not Just for Nonprofits Anymore

Image by Camera Slayer via Flickr

Time to celebrate new directions

I started Low Hanging Fruit Communications with the goal of helping nonprofit leaders learn to use online communication tools to reach their right people with the right messages as quickly as possible.

I love that work, and I will continue to do it.  But as I’ve built stronger relationships with my right people I’ve noticed that while some of you are changing the world as part of a nonprofit, many of you are making your mark via different paths.  As a part of that reflection I’ve come to understand that my work is really about helping passionate people get their messages into the world–especially those who worry their voice is too small to make a difference.   Continue reading