Be a Giver
It’s not how much you have, it’s how much you give”
Crown Royal slogan
MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN Founder/Executive Director
Being the Executive Director of a non-profit was not my dream. I never intended to start a charity.
My life was full, fun, and fanciful in the 1990s boasting a happy young family, a beautiful country home, glorious gardens, and a barnyard of rescued animals. As a successful actor, coach, and interior designer, my varied careers fulfilled my creative urges as well as increased my bank balance. Life was beautiful.
Since I was a little girl, volunteering was a part of life. Giving back was ingrained in us and it continued into my adulthood as I worked in my children’s classrooms, spearheaded events for worthy organizations, lead Girl Scouts, 4-H projects, sports activities, and lectured at church. In my mind, it was other people who founded and created organizations and I had zero interest in becoming one of them.
Then my beloved Dad was diagnosed with a rare incurable cancer. He was given three weeks to live and I became his champion to save his life, scouring the world for treatment in days before the internet. With excellent medical intervention and his positive attitude, our family enjoyed his earthly company for three additional years. When I asked him on his deathbed if there was anything more I could do for him, he smiled widely to exclaim, “I am dying a happy man. I married the woman I loved, we were blessed with five great children, and I worked in a profession that was my passion. I have lived my dreams.”
Something clicked inside me at that moment. My epiphany screamed pay it forward. My Daddy was a not a college-educated man, nor was he president of anything. He read books and did on the job training to learn what he needed as a farmer and a volunteer firefighter. Dad was my hero, a man of his word, a pillar of strength, a person who helped everyone. Daddy was a giver. Although he was dying young, he felt that he had lived a life of purpose because he had loved, been loved, and fed people through his daily work.
It took many starts, stops, detours, and U-turns, but by 1999 I did pay it forward by establishing a charity, becoming a non-profit Founder and Executive Director. Be the Star You Are!®was created from my heart to empower those who needed it most—women, families, and kids.
It’s been a struggle to keep the vision alive. Thank goodness I didn’t have a crystal ball to see the many hurdles or I would never have started on this journey. Yet, now, working with teens and young adults, witnessing the slow yet steady progress to improve lives, I realize that this is the path I am meant to travel. Like my Daddy, I am a giver.
As I scroll through the hundreds of pages of volunteer sheets each filled with over a hundred names and positions, I am grateful for the experiences and the people who have grown with Be the Star You Are!® . We have planted pride, grown leaders, and reaped readers.
There comes an hour in all of our lives when we get turned upside down, meet disaster, sadness, loss, or regret face to face. This is the opportunity to step up, put a smile on our faces, and make a difference. Life offers choices. We can become bitter or we can become better. Better is best.
My Dad died many years ago in December. I miss my Dad and still hear his cheerful encouraging voice in my mind. His mentoring taught me how to live in the moment to recreate dreams, live with passion, welcome the possibilities, and see the potential in our world. His example showed me that I am enough and that each of us is unique with a special gift to share with our neighbors.
As 2019 ends and 2020 commences, I take this opportunity to thank you for being part of our collaborative community. Be the Star You Are!® volunteers are leading the way with empowerment, educational, communication, and literacy efforts that help others have a happily ever after. If you have the resources and believe in our mission, I encourage you to make a year-end tax-deductible donation, or better yet, sign up to donate regularly. You can donate via PAYPAL Giving Fund with no fees https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504 or send checks to BTSYA, PO Box 376, Moraga, California, 94556.
As we complete our first four months in our 21st year of being an all-volunteer charity with no paid staff, with your help,BTSYA will be able continue to make a difference in the years ahead for those in need. We must be doing something right to be around this long! Thank you for believing in our work to increase literacy and positive media messages.
Remember to shine brightly and smile widely. Be the star you were born to be. You can live your dreams.
Wishing you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!
Be a Giver! It will make you happy. :-)
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
CHECKING ON CHARITY
Before you donate this holiday season or anytime, it is always a great idea to make sure the charities that are asking for your dollars are legitimate. You want to be generous but you don’t want to be scammed. Here are a few tips to help you navigate.
1. Locate your states charity regulator at www.nasconet.orgTo ascertain that your donation is tax-deductible, a charity must qualify as a 501 c 3 organization.
2. Look up eligibility at https://irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search
3. Visit Great Non-Profits and read reviews. Be the Star You Are!® consistently receives 5 STAR reviews. http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/
4. Check the watchdog of non-profits at GUIDESTAR: Search for your non-profit. Non-profits are rated as bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Be the Star You Are!® receives a platinum rating.: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882
5.Go directly to the charity website and read about the mission and outreach programs. This will help you identify any bogus charities that are approaching you with a similar name.
6. Don’t donate over the phone or through people you don’t know. Some solicitations made over the phone or on the internet could be scams.
7. Be the Star You Are!® has been working faithfully to help those in need since 1999. Don’t be a scrooge and donate now either directly via www.BetheStarYouAre.org or Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GIVER
by Karen Kitchell
I believe gifts are meant to be tokens of appreciation or recognition of the role someone plays in our life. We can’t dictate what the receiver does with our gift, though we can enjoy knowing we have given our time and thought into choosing a meaningful gift. Instead of waiting to see or hear how very much someone likes what we have given, we can remind ourselves that we are a giver. And the world loves givers! It’s also important to remember that gifts can come from unexpected places and are not always things.
Karen Kitchel penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, and is a dedicated volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com
SHOPPING ALL YEAR ROUND?
Other easy ways that assist our mission and don’t cost you a penny!
3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc.
4. GoodShop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too, https://www.goodshop.com/nonprofit/be-the-star-you-are
6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net
Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556
Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
Positive Results: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results
About Us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us
How to Help: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help
Contact us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact
GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/
We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504
If you’d like to advertise your service or product while supporting Be the Star You Are!®, we are now accepting approved ads that will benefit readers. Contact info@BetheStarYouAre.org for details.
Our two Be the Star You Are!® radio broadcasts provide entertainment, information, and empowerment in every hour of power.
Listen LIVE to StarStyle® every Wednesday from 4pm PT at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are or catch us on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are!/id669630180?mt=2
For a young adult look at life, listen to Express Yourself!™ Sunday’s at 3pm PT at https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/express-yourself!/id481894121?mt=2
Read all about the Be the Star You Are!® Radio broadcasts, guests, reporters, hosts, and more at https://www.StarStyleRadio.com.
With gratitude for you and your support from BTSYA volunteers!
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
Thank you from everyone at Be the Star You Are!®
GIVE PLENTY IN 2020!