Posts from the ‘SocialButterfly’ category

Vote for the New SocialButterfly

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Truth is: This year, I debated whether or not to keep blogging. <gasp!> Blogging, to many, had become a business. Bloggers churned out posts to meet quotas and game search engines to increase rankings, chase money or achieve fame. That’s not me.

To me, blogging is about learning. It’s a way to learn about how to use all our tools to do good–with all the other kids in the sandbox. So I’ve decided to power on–but not without a few changes…

Live. Learn. Fly.

Given its been three years since SocialButterfly had a facelift, her time is due. Using the responsive Portfolio WordPress theme as a base, the amazing team at ArrowRoot Media (hat tip to founder Jaki Levy and designer Brielle Maxwell) has been working on a design refresh for SocialButterfly.

Inspired by the concept of a “portfolio career,” the theme seemed a perfect match given my new role at RTI International and as I enter my second year teaching at American University and continue to help grow the Rampy MS Research Foundation. Refresh goals include making the site faster and compatible across mobile devices while also giving it a more customized design.

The Designs

Option A:

Option B: 

A Word of Thanks

2012 has been quite a year of discovery for me–especially in examining the role of leadership in my life and what it means to truly be, act and serve as a leader. I’ll spare you the diatribe and instead offer you encouragement:

No matter the dark forces working to bring you down, hold you back or separate you from your true self, hold on to your values, dreams, integrity, curiosity and love for learning, people and this world. We need you and the people you’ll help inspire.

Thank you readers and friends who have stood by SocialButterfly, even when I haven’t been actively writing or responsive. May we continue to live, learn, and fly–together.

Passion Meets Purpose – Let’s #Rock2012

How are you applying purpose to your passion? Between blogging with Razoo and working at IQ Solutions on fun projects such as launching Healthy People 2020 and our Nation’s Leading Health Indicators, it’s been awhile.  There are two announcements I want to share:

Evolving Beyond the Free Agent Fundraiser

Jo Rampy crossing the finish line at the inaugural TRI 2 Encourage with her family.

My family and I (pictured above) have launched a nonprofit foundation to help advance multiple sclerosis research called the Rampy MS Research Foundation. Our vision? Find a cure for MS within our lifetime. You may recall how my family and I have been free-agent fundraisers for the multiple sclerosis community over the past six years. From all of our efforts combined, we’ve been a part of raising half a million dollars for MS.

Wanting to place a focus on MS research specifically, we’ve made our work official by achieving 501(c)3 status. Spearheaded by my dad, we have already created a partnership with the University of Arkansas’s Medical Sciences (UAMS) Department of Neurology and Multiple Sclerosis. Together, we are hosting an MS Research Symposium on January 24 where we will be kicking off 2012’s TRIFEST for MS happening this upcoming Labor Day in Bentonville, AR. Expect more updates on this as our Foundation continues to grow.

Read Our Family’s Story  –  Follow Our Chief Encouragement Officer on Twitter

Introducing Professor Bornkessel

One of my aspirations is to always be learning. To grow, you challenge yourself by embarking on new adventures–such as teaching the first-ever “Health Promotion & Social Media” course at American University.

If you want to follow along, I’m having the students read the latest edition of Kotler and Lee’s  book, Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good and The Dragonfly Effect by Stanford Professor Jennifer Aaker.  Students will also be partaking in a number of labs and projects to not only grow their knowledge but also learn by doing. Over the semester, I will work to share insights gained from this experience and questions raised on the role of social media in health promotion and behavior change. In other words, this blogger is back!

How are you spreading your wings in 2012?

Facing Social Change at the Dinner Table

My dad, Scott Rampy, is a free agent advocate, activist, and fundraiser working to end multiple sclerosis. He’s also humble. So he doesn’t say it in his post, but in one year, with two events, no budget, and a handful of volunteers, my dad spearheaded the effort to raise over $250k for the National MS Society–and that was just in his spare time. Below, read about his latest effort in working to crush MS and where he finds his inspiration. Reading the post and typing this intro, I have tears in my eyes. Our family’s fight is real. It’s personal. And it’s persistent.

By Scott Rampy:  The word “social change” for me is intimidating.  It implies that there has to be an attempt to resolve a social injustice, shortcoming or reversal of public opinion.  For me, social change can be as simple as the inspiration that sits across from you at the dinner table.  In my case that is Jo Rampy, my wife of 26 years.  From a pure grass roots perspective, social change can be motivated by inspiration to inform others in an effort to spark a movement in a small way to solve a larger problem.

This is the case with the National MS Society.  Multiple Sclerosis (aka many scars) affects nearly 400,000 people in the country and selfishly I’m focused on the one person, Jo, who deals with it everyday.  She has been diagnosed with this disease for the past 7 years.  MS attacks the myelin that surrounds our nerve endings in the brain that control our central nervous system.  The damaged myelin forms areas of “sclerosis scars” that over time, affects ones ability to talk, see, feel, walk and concentrate.

Jo has been an athlete since the first day I met her, as she was running stadium stairs when I first noticed her.  Since the diagnosis, she has maintained an active lifestyle just trading her running shoes to walking shoes.  Jo walks 30-35 miles a week and regularly engages in health education to learn how to manage and live with MS.  As a result of her commitment, I’ve taken the challenge to SWIM, BIKE and RUN so that someday people with MS can again.

For the past several months, I have been training for my first half iron-man in Branson, MO Sept. 19. This race is not only a tribute to the endurance and strength I observe in Jo everyday but a tribute to people that deal with MS on a daily basis… so I SWIM, I BIKE and I RUN so that they can again.

There is no cure for MS, but my goal is raise money so the research can continue to find a cure in our lifetime.  My call to action is to have you join our cause and if motivated, donate $70–a dollar for each of the 70.2 miles traveled in my race.  A half iron-man consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.  At the writing of this post, we have raised $2,100 and have 106 members supporting the cause.

Please join, invite or donate and support a cause that will make a difference for someone dealing with MS.

Our Purpose is So Much Greater

My favorite word has always been hope. I find that in hope, there is belief, faith, excitement, and a sense of purpose. Over the years, hope and I have become good friends–she’s been a shoulder to cry on, a friend to share life’s greatest moments with and an ideal to hold onto. Thus, it was my surprise that while in Guatemala, I learned something else about my good friend hope.

Hope is not what we expect. It is a dream much bigger.

Along our journey, we met a number of people who know the greatness of hope. Meet:

  • Hugo and Susannah: Two missionaries living and working with the villages in Northern Guatemala. The villages they work with often have no running water, no electricity, and little opportunity. However, the are bringing light (hope) in the hearts of those they serve.
  • Pastor Saul: Runs the Church by the Dump in Guatemala City. The Dump is one of the largest landfills in Central America. Our team got to walk amongst the people who live and work, literally, in the dump. It was extreme poverty at its saddest. Residents (400 families) register for a permit to scavenge through the dump for one item (i.e. tire parts, blue plastic). As they go through the trash, the trash is moved so that more people can move into the dump and do the same work. Thus, many are left with aluminin, tarp and dirt as their “home.” Kids run through the stream of sewage barefoot and make a playground from the rolling heaps of trash that surrounds them. Pastor Saul is working to bring hope to this area by building a community city to serve the people of the Dump.
  • Mother Tita: Tita founded a school in La Limonada, a slum of about 60,000 people, where five different gangs runs and owns the streets. Today, with her courageous teachers and volunteers, La Limonada now has two schools. The goal: To keep the kids off the streets and hopefully, away from gang life. Tita is literally a Mother Teresa–thus those she serves call her Mother Tita.
  • Kate, April and Kerry: Each of these women are teachers at Tita’s schools in La Limonada. They all left their lives in America to tirelessly serve the La Limonada community. They are young. They are fearless, and they are hopeful.
  • Evelyn: In the trip to the mountains, Everlynn basically summed up how social marketing can be applied and used within the church. Before hearing about “social marketing,” she described to me how she is working to identify benefits and barriers to holding certain values (i.e. honesty) and how she is developing a self-evaluation checklist and how she wants to plan for the short term as well as the long term in working to ignite sustainable change in her community. She is an amazing, talented and inspiring woman.
  • Peggy and Dwayne: The founders of the Amistad Foundation, they are the liaisons between the missionaries and the service organizations they help in Guatemala. They give with their hearts, minds and hands.
  • Janet: Is an American who came to Guatemala years ago to play volleyball–and has never left. Instead, she runs a soup kitchen in one of Guatemala City’s most dangerous areas. In fact, the night our team was there to help her and serve the people, there was a shooting right outside the soup kitchen. The man shot had just finished his meal and had just left the center.

How many of us have expectations? We make plans and stress if they don’t turn out right or question them when there’s a bump in the road. Those expectations fog the path. If we let go of what we expect, then we can prepare for something much bigger and greater…in our work, at home and in our lives.

What would have happened if Tita, Janet, Hugo and others held onto their own personal expectations? What wouldn’t have happened? This is what I learned in Guatemala—> Let go of your expectations. Something bigger is waiting…you just need hope by your side.

PS: More pictures coming soon!

Amazing Love

This is my final post in the seven-day quest to now raise $2200 to provide not just 7 roofs, but roofs for all 14 Guatemalan families. I’m so happy and humbled to announce that we met our goal of $2200!

Thank YOU: For your support, encouragement, tweets, Facebook postings, emails, comments, donations and the overall LOVE you shared. This has been an amazing experience and is only going to get better. Soon, we will be headed to Guatemala where we will literally raise the roof–all 14 of them! I can’t wait to return and share with you the stories and pictures of what will be a demonstration of amazing love.

In the Final Hours, Let’s Work It Out

This is my sixth post in the seven-day question to now raise $2200 to provide not just 7 roofs, but roofs for all 14 Guatemalan families. In these seven days, I’m posting updates, answering your questions and sharing insights gained. So far, we’ve raised $1590–only $610 more to go!

The fundraising drive ends today at 12pm EST. Please consider donating. Spread the word.

Let’s work it out. This morning, If we reach the following milestones, will you join me in the following? If you do, let me know in the comments or tweet your status and add the hashtag #loveroofs.

$1600:  Do 14 push-ups.

$1650:  Do 14 sit-ups.

$1700:  Do 14 lunges–on each leg!

$1800:  Do 3 sets of 14 jumping jacks.

$1925:  Do 3 sets of 14 squats.

$2000:  Do another set of 14 push-ups and 14 sit-ups.

$2200:  Take a 14 minute walk or run!

What do you say? Can we raise $610 dollars AND get a workout in the process? Let’s do it. You in? You might want to do a warm up–it’s going to be a big day!

flickr credit: ~ggvic~

Help Us Choose a Guatemala Theme Song

This is my fourth post in the seven-day quest to raise $2200 for not just 7 roofs, but 14 roofs, one for each of the 14 Guatemalan families!. In these seven days, I will also be answering your questions and sharing insights gained. This post hopes to add some *fun* to the effort. So far, we’ve raised $1590–enough for one of the roofs, with $610 still needed. Please donate and spread the word.

I don’t know about you–but music is uplifting, soothing and moving. On our travels and while working, we’re going to be singing and celebrating the work being done. What do you think should be our theme song? [Videos Below]


Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawowi’ole

World by Five for Fighting

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

Where is the Love? by Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake

Upping the Ante

This is my third post in the seven-day quest to raise $1100 to provide 7 roofs for 7 Guatemalan families!. In these seven days, I will be sharing updates, answering your questions and sharing insights gained. This post provide you with quite the update.

Friday morning, I checked-in with our fundraising efforts and just about fell out of my chair. An anonymous donor gave two big items–a large monetary donation ($1100) and a challenge. The challenge? “7 is a good number but is it possible to shoot for all 14?” Well, what do you say?

The cost for all 14 roofs in sum is $2200. To date, we’ve raised $1590 and achieved our initial goal of $1100, but could we blow this one out of the park? To reach $2200, we only have $610 left to go. Will you accept the challenge?

To donate, visit: http://www.crowdrise.com/loveroofs.

*And to the anonymous donor–thank you from the bottom of my heart for not just the donation, but also for the encouragement to push farther and do better.

Can We Do It? 7 Roofs, 7 Families, 7 Days… and 7 Questions

Questions Answered Here--Even Silly OnesMarketing and communications professionals can learn by studying, learning, training and from doing. In the next seven days, I am going to learn by doing and invite you to join me. What exactly do I mean?

In my last post, I shared news about an upcoming trip to Guatemala my mom, my grandma and I are making alongside fellow changemakers. Part of this trip is working to raise funds to provide seven roofs for seven families in seven days, a total of $1100 ($157 per roof).

7 Questions

Over the next seven days, I also plan to answer seven questions based on things I learn during this process, insights you help me to discover, why I chose CrowdRise over other fudraising platforms, how fundraising relates to social marketing, the role of the free agent and any other items you may be curious about. I hope this seven-day adventure not only raises funds for those who need it–but also helps us grow as professionals.

So Sound Off:  What questions do you have when it comes to fundraising change?

flickr credit: Travelin’ Librarian

The One Post I Hope You Read

Three Generations + the Opportunity of a Lifetime

My Mom and Grandmother

Who inspires you? For me, it’s the heart of service that my family has lived for and stood for that inspires me everyday. This is why, I am so thankful, humbled and hopeful that later this month, my mom, my grandma and I are joining a group of good-hearted and high-spirited individuals on a service trip to Guatemala through the organization the Amistad Foundation.

On our trip, we will visit Guatemala City, La Limonada (see picture below) and some of Guatemala’s villages. We will be working with the Guatemalan people to help them develop skills to grow and develop sustainable businesses and relationships. From helping their crop program to teaching them business skills, basic communication and motor skills, as well as administering eye exams and mainly–sharing love and support.

The Guatemalan Situation

Image of La Limonada

La Limonada--The Largest Slum in Central America

Guatemala has recently been served a triple blow: 1) The Pacaya Volcano erupted spewing lava, rocks and debris just south of Guatemala city; 2)  This past Sunday, a sinkhole in the middle of Guatemala City swallowed a whole three-story building; and 3) Tropical storm Agathe hit parts of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras causing 150,000 people to evacuate due to heavy flooding and landslides. Adding to the situation, the United Nations recently reported that:

  • An estimated 43% of Guatemalan children below the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition, one of the worst rates in the world.
  • Guatemala has been hit by one of the worst droughts in 30 years, causing their worst famine in 30 years with 2.7 million people requiring urgent aid.

#loveroofs: 7 Roofs, 7 Families, 7 Days

Where do you turn during the rainy seasons in your life? For me, it’s home–it’s family. There are families, in one of the villages (vagueness is for security reasons) we are visiting that don’t have a safe place to go when the torrential rain comes. We want to help provide them a safe home by providing them roofs over their shelter–what I call #loveroofs for they will be funded and built with love to support the growth of love. The cost to do this is about $157 per home. Our goal is to raise $1,100 to provide seven roofs to seven families within seven days!

While there, I will be able to capture photos of the people in the village and help us all connect and enjoy in this journey together. Upon my return, I will share the pictures and insights with you so you know your money went to a good cause.

How You Can Help

Can you help us raise $1,100? I’ve been looking into ways to go about this so that we can all see the progress while being transparent at the same time–and I discovered CrowdRise. I’m a first timer, but I hear good things about the platform and will be able to report to you about how it all goes. All funds donated will be donated to the Amistad Foundation who will work with their contacts on the ground in Guatemala to make this happen (and I’ll provide images and updates as well). THANK YOU

DONATE:

Go to http://www.crowdrise.com/loveroofs, and give what you can. Our goal is to raise $1,100 to provide seven roofs to seven families within seven days!

Trust me when I say that both my family and myself understand the economic times–for us, this is truly a trip based in love and faith, so know that I understand if you can’t give–but we’ll take encouragement too. I plan on sharing this post with all those on the trip–so please leave a note of encouragement below. =)