My Uncle Dale passed away on September 8th. I had plans to write a blog about the 12 year anniversary of 9/11 and instead I was on a plane to Chicago to attend Dale's funeral.
It isn't even sort of something that I could have imagined happening. I'm so so devastated. Dale was flat out incredible. He was in his mid 20s when I was born and he was so amazed by me and Blair - he just thought that we were the coolest little things (until his own girls were born - of course!) Blair and I keep finding pictures of us forcing Dale to have sleepovers in the living room of his house. Blair and I are in our popple sleeping bags and Dale is laying on several blankets that Great Grandma Bisch made having a great time!
Dale took us to the circus more times that I can count - after every performance he and I would stand up and bow like we had something to do with it! He was my Godfather - he was honored and so was I. Dale loved football, pizza cut in squares and being a stone cold Republican.
Dale was my dad's only brother. I always somewhere in the back of my mind was depending on Dale to be there when my dad passed away - I can't believe it was the opposite. The whirlwind of getting all 7 of us (Dad, Me, Juan, Blair, Stratton, Decker & Kincade) out to Chicago - sleeping in guest rooms of our amazing friends - attending the services - being with the people that Dale loved the most and telling stories --- there is something in the back of my mind. Even though I was there - I still don't quite believe it happened. It's like the words hang outside my head and I look at them and I think 'No, there is no way. Dale can't be dead. That doesn't make sense.'
As it goes with a large family across the country we didn't talk often but when we did it was always 90% of him telling me how proud he is of his daughters and 10% of us laughing about my dad. Dale came to my college graduation - what a gift that was - all he wanted was to see us succeed. I was lucky to see him in October - and for Juan to meet him. I was lucky to speak to him in May to try to get him to come to Vegas for my dad's birthday. Heck - my dad even lost his phone three weeks ago and Dale made the rounds trying to find it and talked to my mom for a while - little things that we are grateful for.
I suspect that I will think of Dale all the time, always with laughter (and maybe a few tears). I will tell my kids and grandkids about him. It can't be true. It can't be true.
For the record, I know how you live forever. Surround yourself with people who love the shit out of you and you will be a legend - just like Dale Stirek.
Years ago when we were planning to get married I wrote a blog about our live for a year of keeping an awesome secret - we eloped - that was the secret! This blog has now been imported into my Nation!
On that blog we had a ton of tags - they're all in here but here are a few of the highlights for your clicking pleasure:
Just pick a tag and replace the end of this url: http://taylorpineiro.nationbuilder.com/tags/nervous
So excited to have officially joined the board of Planned Parenthood Young Professionals LA!
Last week, I attended the Center for Nonprofit Management’s 501(c)onference. I enjoyed meeting others who care about their communities and are interested in using organizing strategies to achieve their mission. Putting people first was the overall theme of the conference. This is actually at the core of what we're doing at NationBuilder so the synergy was amazing.
How to put people first
Here are my takeaways from the conference on how you can put people first in your organization:
- The people connected to your organization create your power - even more than money!
- Find people who are passionate about your cause and utilize that passion.
- If the funding for your nonprofit grows, first invest in your current employees. By helping them grow, you’ll reinforce their passion for your cause and help your organization move forward. Long-term, this is a more sustainable model than hiring “senior” employees to oversee new projects.
- Ask a large for-profit organization if you can join them for a corporate coaching day. Leadership and management skills are transferable between sectors.
- Look for organizing trainings that are available for free online.
- Consider investing in capacity-building trainings at your organization. Trainings can provide a safe-space where employees feel free to brainstorm innovative ideas that can help your nonprofit reach the next level of effectiveness and engagement.
Embracing transparency and a culture of empowerment
Hierarchal power tends to obscure information. Larger organizations operate under the assumption that focusing on information immediately relevant to a job will help employees be more productive. The opposite is true - by understanding how other departments work and how that work fits into the bigger vision of your organization, you’ll provide employees with ownership of your organization. This will deepen their commitment to achieving your mission and increase productivity.
Remember, even if you’re the executive director of an organization, you aren’t alone. Instead of taking on more responsibility than one person can possibly handle, delegate responsibility to other staff. Similarly, define a ladder of engagement for volunteers. Creating a path of responsibility for a volunteer will help avoid burnout and help expand your organization’s reach. An empowered volunteer is more likely to recruit her friends to support your organization.
As the speakers at the 501(c)onference said, when you open up, trust people and delegate, success will come naturally.
What happens when people signup for your nation?
There are two ways to do it.
All Nations have a default sign IN with email link which will bring you through this process as a supporter:
Or, you can use a sign UP page and you will go through this process, it ends with the same activation page but you can take it off of the autoresponse and just leave it with a thank you - the email will then be in your database. If they want to make an account later they will be prompted to do so when trying to sign in!
Customizing websites is almost exactly like brain surgery - you work for hours and hours and poke one thing and maybe someone somewhere can change a font! At least it feels like it - I've been working hard on my Nation and hope that these little tips and tricks can help you along the way!
Today in custom theming - how to add a Twitter feed to your supporter nav (aka the right column)
Step by Step
- Go to twitter > find the widgets > copy the html code for the widget
- In your Nation go to websites > your nation > _columns_2.html >
- Scroll down to the bottom
- in grey it will say 'right column ends' ABOVE that and ABOVE the 'div' right above 'right column ends' paste the code from twitter
- Add the code from twitter in the _supporer_nav.html as well at the bottom above the end
That way it'll be there when people are logged in and when they're not!
New house style.
Below are some fun ways that I've worn them! If you pick one up let me know how you wear yours!
Agnes used hers to make a christmas tree out of a lamp! Adorable!
We wish you a wonderful holiday season with your friends & family!
We spent Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with the Stirek family and will be spending Christmas in Williamsburg, VA with the Pineiros. Plans are to ring in 2013 low-key here in Astoria.
Juan is a few weeks away from finishing his second feature film. Taylor is currently looking for a full-time positon in non-profit or
political organizing in Los Angeles! We are planning to move in mid February!
If you are in NYC let's make sure that we get together before we leave, and if you're on the west coast we will be seeing you soon. We know that life gets very hectic these days and we feel very lucky to have the internet to be able to keep in touch with so many people that we care about. Time and distance sometimes feel overwhelming but we are always talking about how grateful we are to have you in our lives.
Thank you for a wonderful 2012 and we look forward to many years of friendship!
The #1 thing that bugs the crap out of me is store bought wrapping paper! It is expensive, it is wasteful, it is boring! There are SO many more fun ways to wrap your gifts! This year I'm digging deep into my craft pile (not a room or a box, a pile) and trying something different with each one.
First up is fabric!
What you need for fabric DIY wrapping paper:
- A thoughtful gift!
- A scrap of fabric - I used extra I had on hand but this is also a great way to recycle an old t-shirt
- Needle & thread
Simply cut the fabric the way you would wrapping paper, no need to iron the fabric you'll be pulling it as you sew. Start with the middle crease tape down the bottom layer (just like with paper) and fold over the top layer and tape to hold. Hand sew the seam and remove the tape (obviously the tape on the bottom will still be there, but it'll be hidden). Fold the first side down as you would wrap and sew all the seams pulling lightly as you go to smooth the fabric. I'm cool with it getting messy a bit under the seams since it is easy to hide folds as you go.
That's it! Much easier than it looks. The fun part will be to watch your friends and family try to open it, scissors might be required for that too.
After the holidays you can use the fabric again and again (on smaller and smaller packages) or use it to make patches, bags, aprons, add it to a quilt for a great memory... sky's the limit!
We've been wanting to move for a long time. We've talked about LA and then Austin and then back to LA. The west coast makes the most sense for JCPE with his job right now and I have always enjoyed it there and have a great network of friends & colleagues to plug into! This is the perfect time for us. JCPE's second feature film, Know How, is almost complete. I'm looking for jobs after recently leaving my Assistant life (hopefully for good). Why not start to look for jobs in LA?!
I don't have many answers, and it's likely that this will take longer than we anticipate but we are really excited about the new chapter in our life!
Here are some FAQs from family and friends:
Why are you moving exactly? (Mama Stirek) - We've been in NYC for almost 13 years which is a really long time! For me personally I have done SO MUCH of what I wanted to do while I was here. Recently my book club read Rules of Civility a novel about women in the 30's in NYC. While reading it I was so moved by all of MY NYC memories. JCPE and I went out for late night Jazz and I started drinking just gin! If I hadn't ever lived in NYC a book like that would have made me SO sad. Instead it made me SO happy and grateful for all of my experiences here. I will treasure them always and never say never we might hate it out there and come back!
What happend to Austin? (Sister Blair) - At behest of my therapist we went to visit the places we were considering living. Austin was really high for a long time, we have great friends and a great sister there! After going to visit it affirmed our love but we wanted to see LA as well. LA just felt right for where we are in our lives right now. We want to take a chance (a serious earthquake might dump us into the ocean chance!) on living the dream there for a while! I anticipate we'll move to Austin or somewhere similar in a few years when we start to have expensive children! It's not out for the count at all.
What about all your non-profit work in NYC? (Everyone we are on boards with) - Right now I'm continuing my work as is, because you never know and the worst thing would be to be here in April with nothing to do! A lot of we both do can be done digitally and over the phone for a while during transitions etc. We never want our passion for our projects to suffer so when we anticipate it being a real issue we will act accordingly!
What do YOU (Tay) want to do in LA? - Right, it makes sense for JCPE to move there obvs. For me, it's not just following him to the west coast it's also been a dream of mine to move somewhere warmer and closer to my family for years now. I'm grateful to have been let go from my former position in such a way that I'm able to job search from home for the next few weeks. I recently went to PA for the Obama campaign for just two weeks but I absolutely loved it. I'd love to do some sort of political organizing in the Los Angeles area. I have a few contacts there that I will be talking to and sharing my resume and applying for jobs that I might love! I'm thinking organizing, social media, progressivism are my key words. California is a fun state politically and I think I can do a lot of good there!
What is the timeline like? - I'm looking for jobs starting now. If I get something I will go and sublet and search for apts while JCPE finishes up work here. We understand that this could take months, but are hoping for Jan/Feb.
How will you get your stuff there? (Dad Stirek) - well! I have no desire to drive a U-Haul across country so Mama Pineiro and JCPE will do a mama/son road trip! It'll be adorable.
What neighborhoods are you looking at? - Silverlake, Los Feliz, and Echo Park probably. We want something walkable for dinner/drinks and we have no concept of where we will be working so these places are the best NYC transplant starter-kit 'hoods.
When can I come visit? (Gugs) - Soon! Let's go to the beach all the time and hide under umbrellas and full body sun proof suits!
Can we go to Spago in LA? (Gugs) - yes! haha let's do everything LA fancy! Including star-maps and possible the TMZ bus tour!
Got more questions? I can try to have answers!!