Live On. Give On. giving back with the Bakken Invitation

During our time overseas, living in New Delhi, India and Singapore, it meant a lot to me to be able to give back with my time. Living abroad as an expat wife who wasn’t employed meant I had plenty of time to dedicate hours in every day to different organizations.

Giving Back in India Naomi Hattaway

 

Now that I’m back in the United States, I have had to step away from gala planning and teaching English as a Second Language to kiddos from an Indian slum. These days, I find myself looking for simple ways to give back. I’m constantly on the lookout for volunteer opportunities that allow me to give back to my community and those who serve our community. Giving back doesn’t always have to be a huge, massive event or something that everyone is talking about. I’ve settled into a routine of honoring those who serve our country/communities in many different ways, including by offering a percentage of my commission from my real estate business to military, teachers, police personnel, firefighters and those in the health care industry. I also spend time volunteering at Boulder Crest Retreat in Bluemont, Virginia, offering overnight and weekend stays/retreats for wounded military personnel and their family.

Here in the United States, we’ve just finished the celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday and we are moving rapidly into the sometimes over-commercialized holiday season of December. 

I’d love to introduce you to the Bakken Invitation.

The Bakken Invitation, by Medtronic, has chosen ten honorees from around the world in a Live On. Give On. campaign. Each of these honorees has been given a second chance at life. Due to a variety of medical issues and challenges, these honorees have faced incredible battles and truly understand the short nature of the life we are all given. They have all chosen to do spectacular things with their second chance and that inspires me. I’d like to introduce you to the honoree whose story most spoke to me.

Meet Raj.

Rajnikant Reshamwala Bakken

Nearing the age of 80, Raj started experiencing pain in his chest when exerting the slightest of energy. My own grandfather passed away after a long struggle with cardiac issues and those that suffer from problems related to cardiac issues and coronary artery disease have a special place in MY heart.

“I have been a lifelong volunteer and public service worker through various groups like the Progressive Group, the Jaycees and the Rotary Club. But it is my work with Sleeping Children Around the World that is most important to me. Their premise is simple. If you have a good night’s sleep on a decent mattress and something to cover yourself with, you will be able to get the most out of your day in school and at home. Since 1987, I’ve been locating needy children, purchasing essential items that they need such as pillows, sheets and blankets, and then coordinating distribution events to successfully reach the children. Over the years, I estimate that I have been able to help more than 75,000 young people. Then, I started having pain in my chest when walking, or when climbing the stairs. I was getting easily exhausted, and did not feel like going to the office or doing any other work involving even a little physical activity. My doctor advised that two stents should be inserted to remove blockages in my arteries.”

Read the rest of Raj’s story.

 

Rajnikant Reshamwala Bakken Medtronic

 

You may not be sure what offering you have or what talents you could lend to your community, and that’s ok! Take a look at this infograph and let the ten points really sink in with you.

What inspiration can you take away from these ten lessons? Which lesson speaks the most to you?

Medtronic Bakken Infograph

 

What inspires YOU to give back? How do you give of yourself in your community? What would YOU do with $100 to make a difference in your community?

Share your comment for a chance to win a $100 prepaid Visa® gift card to be used to further your volunteer efforts!

 NOTE: CONGRATS TO MY WINNER: KELLY D. !!!

Note: Thanks to Medtronic for sponsoring today’s post and the giveaway. Gift Cards should be used to further an effort inside of your community or in some way give back. I would be honored if the winner would come back to report, and would love to do a follow up post on the topic! Gift cards will be mailed to winners the week of January 5. Participants must be 18 years or older and with a US address.

 

Questions from Alex Franzen, I of V

Alex Franzen is one of my favorite people – in the category of awesome people who I haven’t yet met. She recently proposed a set of questions and I decided to answer them in pieces over the coming weeks. I would love if you would take the same questions and share your answers — either in the comments or on your favorite social media platform.

ϟ What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

That I am capable of changing someone’s life.

ϟ If a mysterious benefactor wrote you a check for $5,000 and said, “Help me solve a problem — any problem!” … what would you do with him or her?

I would snap up that check! We would invest a portion, and use the remaining amount to create a boutique relocation company that truly works for the CLIENT, not the company moving the family.

ϟ What’s going to be carved on your (hypothetical) tombstone?

She was kind, she showed up and she was always reaching for the unexpected.

ϟ What are you FREAKISHLY good at?

Connecting people and anticipating needs.

ϟ What’s one dream that you’ve tucked away, for the moment? How come?

Having a global relocation company that truly helps families settle and thrive. It’s only tucked away now — for the moment. It will happen!

ϟ What are you STARVING for?

Kindness. More sensitivity to people who are different than you are. Connection.

ϟ If you could have tea with one fictional character, who would it be?

Alice in Wonderland

ϟ Do you have a morning ritual?

Alarm at 5:10am, on a good day, I do my Piyo workout, have a coffee, have my Shakeology, have 10 minutes of professional or business development reading. Wake up Mia at 6am, breakfast and chatting with her until her bus arrives at almost 7am. Antonio wakes at 7am .. his bus comes at almost 8am. Then off to work!

What are your answers to these questions?

Life Uncommon, Music Monday

Don’t worry mother, it’ll be alright
And don’t worry sister, say your prayers and sleep right
It’ll be fine lover of mine
It’ll be just fine

Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from

Fill your lives with love and bravery

And you shall lead a live uncommon

I’ve heard you anguish
I’ve heard your hearts cry out
We are tired, we are weary, but we aren’t worn out
set down your chains, until only faith remains
Set down your chains

And lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that
which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon

There are plenty of people who pray for peace
But if praying were enough it would have come to be
Let your words enslave no one and the heavens will hush themselves

To hear out voices ring out clear
with sounds of freedom
sounds of freedom

Come on you unbelievers, move out of the way
there is a new army coming and we are armed with faith
To live, we must give
To live

 

Lend our voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend out strength to that which we wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon