Tag Archives: Rita Rich

Baltimore Culinary Program Shines

imageIt seems every morning television and news show are producing culinary segments, to teach people to cook, and showcase recipes. But, as the holidays approach, we will be sharing with our followers and listeners food ideas with a purpose.

We approached Baltimore Outreach Services with the idea to create a mini-series of podcasts and blog posts toimage help them raise awareness of their life-changing culinary, social and housing programs. We also wish to inspire our audiences to chip in and buy this beautiful book, as it helps raise money for this nonprofit. It was born when a bunch of women at a church felt compelled to do something about the homeless women and children they encountered every day in Baltimore. It is our hope you will embrace these American made cooking stories with similar passion and support during this culinary journey with Baltimore Outreach Services (BOS).

Please click here to hear our first BOS Cooks Podcast.

Food has always gathered families together. Now, communities are coming together proactively, in Baltimore and doing more.

image

Some Background: In 1999, Baltimore’s city government became alarmed at the number of women and children who were homeless. City representatives met with the churches and community leaders to assess how to address the needs of this vulnerable and growing population. At that time, Christ Lutheran Church was already providing emergency shelter in its basement, providing daily meals and school help for kids and their moms.

In 2002, Baltimore Outreach Services obtained in tax and lawful status as a non-profit. It became the fourth, of what was previously only three homeless shelters, available in Charm City for women and children. That’s how great the need is.

From the beginning, BOS has been committed to the core principle that to move from homelessness, residents needed more than just emergency shelter.

The BOS cookbook is for sale, and it is a celebration and culmination of providing ten years of services to homeless women and children of Baltimore’s inner city.

Chef Connie Crabtree-Burritt, a long-time Federal Hill resident, has more than 30 years of professional culinary experience as a prep chef (including feeding hordes of workers and volunteers during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics) restauranteur and caterer.

BOS Executive Director Karen Adkins joins Chef Connie, and Deputy Director of Bos, Donna Rich, in the podcasts. They explain why culinary arts and food safety provide good jobs, with benefits to their clients. They also talk about the life-skills training BOS programs provide to help women and children make it in society and workplaces.

The recipes, tips, stories and art in the Boss cookbook is the organization’s way of sharing the women’s culinary journey with the broader community, and hopefully the world.

BOS Cooks is broken down into a compilation of progressive dining recipes, as a sort of a smorgasbord of vignettes which blends art, story and food in each chapter of the cookbook.

Please return for our next post with more details about BOS COOKs.

We leave you with this quote from The Chef ~ “You only get one chance to make a good impression. First impressions with food are also important. Appetizers and hors d’oeuvres set the tone for the rest of the meal. In class, we talk about the impression we make when we meet someone, and how important it is to be consistent and reliable. The same is true when working with food. I like relating a lesson to a life lesson. After all, they both go a long way to sustain us.”

Buy a cookbook for the holidays! It supports homeless women & children’s many needs.

2015 Labor Day Commentary

If You’re Reading This Today-Caught You!

Why are we writing this? Well, click here and you can hear our commentary.
It’s Labor Day weekend! What are you doing right now? Are you listening to the sounds of children playing? How about something grilling on the bar-b-que or Hibachi? Are you at a beach or driving in your car? Thanks for downloading our podcast and listening to the commentary of Patriot-Made Audiocast’s Rita Rich.

It’s not that Rita’s anti-social. She’s just like 26-million Americans who run a micro-business. That’s a business defined as having one to five employees. So, when she used to hear former employers joking around, “It’s tough being a boss,” she’s got a better understanding of what they meant. Or, does she? Is being the boss all that different now, then it was, say 50 years ago? Can bosses disconnect from those with whom they work? If not, why not? And, why not on this holiday weekend that is supposed to promote and celebrate advances of the U.S. workforce?

Thanks for listening.

Manscaping With Classic Shaving

HARTFEAT_1

Let’s face it. When tasked with trying to write this blog, we hadn’t a clue what we were going to find during our research. Sure, it’s pleasant to look at beautiful photos of the history of shaving and all the heirloom shaving products available.  But during our research, we came across a stylish men’s retro shaving company that explains why wet saving is seeing a resurgence. Our many thanks to second generation ClassicShaving owner Danielle Dupont, for her time via our Skype interview. Classic Shaving offers Razors, Brushes, Mugs, Toiletries and many other men’s grooming accessories.  [And, a personal thanks from Rita- for laughing with me, and (not at me) when asked to record, “the sound the leather strap makes when you scrape a straight edge razor against it.”]

Listen to the podcast here and you’ll quickly figure out what that leather thing is called.

Then we did what everyone does these days about new ideas or terms.  We researched the word “manscaping” on the web. And, you’ll thank us later,  for not sharing some of the hairiest images we found. (Not to mention the body parts) It’s just too gruesome. There are some ugly hairy body parts out there.  Fortunately, there are some handsome products and shaving tools out there for all types of grooming and shaving needs. With much pride, they’re  Made In America and you can browse through the pictures, while listening to our report.  pretty

Just look at how classy the shaving bowl and brush set is to the left. There are so many lovely gifts; like distinctive beard soaps. Classic Shaving makes these aromatic bars in the back of their Palm Springs, California warehouse. CS-SS-3

You’d think that these items would be popular among men of a “certain” generation. Surprisingly, that certain generation are the Millennials, and the generation that comes after the Millennials, Generation Z . There’s something about taking time to make one presentable by using tools that will last a lifetime,stead of disposable that are just tossed out with the trash. History has proven that once you lather up, you wont go back to a plastic razor and it’s a class act step forward. Here are some how to videos developed by Classic Shaving.

engraveable military brush
engravable military brush

Danielle says that she gets lots of correspondence from military men. Listen to our audio and you’ll learn about changes in the shaving habits of American men from one theater of war to the next.

Strop
A Strop–AKA-That Leather Thingy

For those who are inspired to try a more classical way of grooming, we implore you to save some time. Don’t search the Internet, because you will come across some images that may be shocking, and not suitable for young eyes.  Go here to the Classic Shaving How to Page. That way you can research some of the more technical aspects of wet shaving and then scope out some great looking tools and maybe even buy some gifts for someone special who may be heading to campus, this fall.  Or, maybe a gift for that special someone you want to inspire, in building a class act using.

You’ll also be able to say that you bought your manscaping tools from a company that prides itself in US Made products. Plus, you’ll enjoy manscaping, the Patriot-Made-Way by owning artisan made razors and blades, and that “leather thingy.”

Rita Rich

Urban Ashes – Reclaiming Wood & Lives

8bsR5DxnPatriot-Made Audio’s current podcast feature (one of  two) is about Urban Ashes, which is an Ann Arbor, Michigan company who takes diseased or damaged wood from from urban area trees andReclaimFrame2 mills to make beautiful hand-made goods including ready-made photo frames, custom frame moldings, home goods, custom-made furniture, and custom-designed products.
As you’ll learn from our two podcasts in this series about Paul Hickman (click here), the President and founder of Urban Ashes, the company is proud to recycle lives as well.

Urban Ashes is built upon the belief that too many of our natural resources and human lives are wasted.  Their commitment to reclaiming these lost resources and lives enables us to create a collection of hand-made goods that tell a uniquely human story to pass down generations.

Reclaiming Natural Resources

Since 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer beetle has destroyed between 50 and 100 million Ash trees in at least 15 states and two Canadian provinces.  The blight threatens to destroy most of the approximate seven billion Ash trees growing throughout North America.  While the Ash tree is the impetus behind the Urban Ashes name, their frames are not limited to Ash wood alone.  Urban Ashes uses a wide variety of domestic urban wood species that are often discarded as waste wood.

And, such waste wood is all to often left for public works departments to simply dump and or burn the lumber. Most lumber mills won’t work with wood from trees from your backyard, or that have been cut down from the “county strip” in front of a suburban home. That’s because the wood grows at odd angles and twists and turns. It’s not so easy to work with. But, Urban Ashes does work with that wood.

HOW URBAN ASHES BEGAN

In 2008, Furniture Designer Paul M. Hickman set out to design a product that would increase the utilization of urban salvaged wood. 2detoitdenailedbldgsHickman says that de-nailed wood from blighted and abandoned homes in Detroit is also reclaimed and reused.  To support their efforts and to find a store location that sells reclaimed wood from Urban Ashes click here.

Reclaiming Human Lives

Urban Ashes draws their employee base from Michigan’s transitional or disabled workforce. Hickman says that they employ former prisoners who are returning to society after spending years “on the shelf,” or locked up. While they’re at Urban Ashes they learn a lot about what it takes to re-enter society including; getting to the job, maintaining a job; getting the skill sets they need to do a job and rebuilding credit and other forms of a reputation.  Now it is also producing home goods and furnishings for businesses, such as tabletops made from reclaimed wood for restaurants.

Urban Ashes Latest News

Urban Ashes has hired five people over the last year to keep up with its production, including four ex-felons. It is also looking to hire two people to add to its staff of seven employees.  They are all striving to keep product in the company’s  225 retail locations across North America. The 6-year-old business consolidated its operations into one building adjacent to the home of Leon Speakers on Ann Arbor’s south side. It now has 3,000 square feet of work space and a symbiotic relationship with Leon Speakers to help it grow its business.  “Now it’s all in-house (manufacturing) and in one location,” says Paul Hickman, founder of Urban Ashes.

Great Campout Challenge

It’s summertime and this month Patriot-Made Audio is featuring an interview with The National Wildlife Federation’s David Mizejewski (read his bio here). He says you may already have the basics for camping at home and encourages everyone to take the  Great Campout Challenge. Listen to our exclusive interview with David.

Tent camping with your family can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have as a traveler. There’s something about being away from home and then setting up your shelter together as a family or group, organizing your gear, your kitchen, cooking and working together: it’s always fertile ground for creativity, improvisation, comedy, and bonding which will undoubtedly create endearing life long memories.  

For example, I have many memories of hiking and camping with my kids and it used to be my strategy to wear the kids out before they wore me out. So, needless to say we’ve put a lot of miles on our boots, over the years. We’ve camped in California, Utah, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Here is one of my lasting memories, a memorable mid-night moment, when we were camping in the Shenandoah National Park one year.

Chelsie June 21 2014We had all gone to bed and Chelsie Girl our family dog had dug through the bottom of the tent…still attached to her rope. She was barking and barking her head off at 2:30 in the morning. Let me just say, she WOKE UP EVERYONE in the campground. But, this collie/lab/sheltie mix dog was gonna guard the entire camp ground, and that she did.

We armed ourselves with our flashlights and stepped out into the night air. We found Chelsie completely stretched the full length of her rope barking at what seemed like a thousand eyes staring back at us. We then saw that she was barking at a large herd of VERY ferocious deer. Embarrassed, we got her quieted down and back into the tent, as quietly as possible. We were relieved, but she had a much harder time going back to sleep than we did.  Also, I have this wonderful camp box I built with supplies which gets reviewed at the beginning of each summer I love it, and it makes the camping preparations much easier. There is a list duct taped on top of the lid. And, my daughter has built one for her growing family now as well. What’s in your camp box?

Patriot Made Audio researched and compiled the following useful camping resources:

Here are some links to some of the best places to camp in America:

Patriot-Made Audio encourages you to take the challenge and get out there and camp this summer! Camping gets people out of their comfort zones and into places and scenes they wouldn’t have found otherwise. It can be one of the greatest “classrooms” for everyone in your family.

When you’re knee-deep in camping gear, it’s easy to forget some of the most important items like flashlights or band aids of even food items. Before your next trip, create a must-bring bag or box with all 12 of the camping essentials we mentioned, so you’re never be without that one thing you forgot to bring.

Thanks for reading our Patriot-Made Blog and listening to our Podcasts! Please share our great American Made camping resources and APPS with your friends.

 ~ Written By: Alice M. Fisher

Leslie Marshall & 5 Yr. Old Alex

Progressive Voices host Leslie Marshall shares one of her best childhood summer memories that involves pennies, chocolate and her six year old memories about taking a road trip out of Massachusetts [to find out more about Leslie Marshall please visit her websiteHear The Patriot-Made Audiocast Here20150630_113838-1_resized_1

We also provide some cute contrast with five-year old Alex and his debut podcast story from Germantown Maryland. He very excitedly tells our field producer about his favorite summer memory, thus far. Of course, it involves sand, which is important to five-year old boys! Congrats Alex! And, everyone listening he starts kindergarten in the fall!  He just might be the youngest person on a podcast show or to do a podcast story?

Record your child’s favorite summer memory and send it to us.

Please call your local talk station and request that they carry our podcast show! You can support the show by becoming a podcast subscriber and get a commercial free podcasts of Patriot-Made Audio. We are also available on iTunes.

Got a summer memory? Tell us all about it and share it with us by sending your voice recording to patmadeaudio@gmail.com or text your audio memo to us at (202) 594.6138. Learn more about us and our production team at patriotmadeaudio.com

Thanks for listening to Patriot-Made Audio!

A NYC & West Coast Summer (Tara Devlin & Elisse Western)

This is part 5 of Patriot-Made Audio’s ongoing summer memories series. Two women share their New York City and West Coast summer memories with you. We bring you comedian and activist Tara Devlin of the Progressive Voices Channel and Elisse Western. Listen to our current guests recorded stories right here!

What’s more American than summer bar-b-ques and the smell of suntan lotion?  Not every family pitches a tent or gets their kids out of the city a summer vacation. Sometimes families are simply stuck in the city, all summer long. Take a listen to Progressive Voices Channel host Tara Devlin‘s memories. She burst our summer fantasy bubble and we’re delighted that she did.  You can follow the Twitter page of Comedian/Activist Tara (dacktyl) Devlin and listen to her 2-minute tirades via the Progressive Voices Channel or via Soundcloud. She tweets from Twitter @RepubDirtyTrick.

Conversely, we also bring you Elisse Western, a proud employee of the Olive Garden Restaurant in Frederick, Learn more about the Olive Garden Italian Restaurant nearest you!Maryland. Elisse is a fresh-faced, 21-year-old who has a great summer memory with her dad. 

Listen to our current guests recorded stories right here!

We thank you for listening to this Patriot-Made Audio  Got a summer memory? Share it with us by sending your voice recording to patmadeaduio@gmail.com or text your audio memo to us at (202) 594-6138.

Nurses Tell Tales [Summer Memories #4]

Summer Girls HuggingPatriot Made Audio is publishing your recorded summer memories to our readers and listeners. Do tell us your favorite summer tale. Do you remember running around the yard catching fire flies, soccer camp, fishing expeditions, s’mores, hiking, camping, making a lemonade stand with your best friend, going off to camp for the first time, fireworks or endless games of Whiffle ball?  Here’s a sample sent to us from Nurse Talk Radio who shared their favorite summer memories. So don’t be shy, record and share your best summer memory with us, see our great tips below.

TIPS ON SUMMER STORIES TO RECORD & SHAREFamily Summer outing2

1) Tell A Story From This Summer. You may have just had the most awesome 4th of July this past weekend, or watched the Women’s National Soccer Championship, camped or went to the beach. Tell us!

2) Create A Summer Story From the Past. You can record a summer story about memories from your childhood or a story that was shared with you from their childhood. Share the best time you had as a kid.

3) Make a Summer Audio Journal. Have your or your children ever been asked at the beginning of the school year to write about their summer and they come to you and ask, “What did I do this summer?” While your kids are in the midst of their experiences, they don’t think they will ever forget but give them a few months, and they may not remember all the fun things they did during their time off.  Record a summer memories audio journal with your kids voices. Start at the beginning of summer and record dates of special outings, favorite activities, foods, unusual events, sleep overs, etc. Send it to us before school starts and we can post it up for your child to share at school. Record your best family memories with your kids.

IMG_3377HOW TO SEND US YOUR SUMMER STORY

You have two ways you can send your summer stories to us:
1) via email at patmadeaudio.com, or…
2) text it to us from your cell phone at (202) 594-6138.

HOW TO TEXT YOUR SUMMER MEMORIES
1) If you have a cell phone, record your voice, or your kids voices.
2) Just use the voice memo or download a voice recorder app
3) Once you have recorded a story, save it with your name
4) Oregon SummerThen share it with us by just typing in our cell phone number (202) 594-6138 or email.

Summer is always a special time in America. It’s  a time when families take vacations, run marathons, take time to ha1st Summer Marathonngout at the beach, or take a road trip to visit relatives, go to a bar-b-q or have a picnic. When taking time off creating summer memories at family gatherings you might just hear a bit of family fable; war stories, stories of riding that fabulous ocean wave; body surfing off of Montauk Point or a summer camp crush.  Don’t be shy. You name it and send to us and we’ll put it together in a Patriot-Made Audiocast.

SCOTUS From Sea 2 Shining Sea = Marriage 4 All

Thscotusgayviareutersis is a commentary from Patriot-Made Audio Producer Rita Rich, about SCOTUS. June 26, 2015 will go down in history as the date, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) caught up with Canada with regards to civil rights, but more specifically gay rights. SCOTUS proclaimed that gay marriages shall be recognized in every of our Union. And, not just the handful that previously performed them.

This commentary contains the thoughts of Rita Rich, and how she personally relates to the story. We welcome your views on our Facebook page.

We are not a breaking news service at Patriot-Made Audio, so we ask that you to please visit other sources for the latest news about this story, such as the Washington Post, or the Associated Press (AP) Twitter Feed.

MORE ON RITA”S THOUGHTS

She’s very grateful that her rights in partnership with her husband, Chuck will now be extend to her Gay, Lesbian and Transgender friends. She knows within in her own marriage that Chuck has legal rights to be her advocate in financial, medical and other legal matters.  It’s comforting for her to know that those rights now extend to the life-partners of her friends, as we all experience the same challenges of growing older in America. The U.S. has now caught up with Canada in this regard.

Now, let’s get on with employing thousands of more citizens to help rebuild our cities, the roads, bridges and rails that connect us, and the tunnels that take us places.

The Changing Face of Agriculture

Alices Chicken CoopClick on this link to hear our latest story as it sounds on the Progressive Voices Channel via TuneIn.

Patriot Made Audio covers a lot of ground on a number of topics and our host Rita Rich dips her toes into some fresh dirt to explore the changing face of agriculture this spring, with a homestyle twist.  

As many of you know, spring usually cultivates a positive outlook across rural America. Warmer temperatures sprout fresh beginnings and hope as farmers, garden hobbyists, and the entire agriculture industry begins breaking earth with anticipation of planting, which never seems to grow old.

But, farming, growers and the agriculture industry is experiencing many changes and challenges:

  • sharply lower crop price predictions for 2015
  • the avian chicken epidemic
  • drought and water needs
  • an aging farm demographic
  • a dwindling number of farms

Unlike inner cities, the above noted issues are the new climate for farms  (big and small) and the current reality for a U.S. business sector that provides food for millions of American households and world citizens. With shrinking profit margins and higher land values it makes it doubly tough to “herd in” a new generation of farmers because the huge risks, which are far less forgiving these days.

Enter the hobby farmer and the small home gardener. There’s a resurgence in getting back to basics, organics, NGMO food, seed saving, conservation, rebuilding and leaving big cities to live a simpler life while holding on to older Made in America products, even if the parts to maintain and repair it are hard to come by.

It’s also a story about a movement that families and communities are participating in: growing their own food because they distrust the chemistry behind big ag food products. It appears more and more people are refurbishing and rebuilding whatever they can because of great old American made products were meant to last.

Troy Bilt wo engineRita RIch has produced a great little story about a recent find  that is about a nearly 40 year old Troy-Bilt® rototiller which was placed out on the side of the road with a large cardboard sign on it that read, “FREE – The engine has no compression, and it does not work.”    Troy Bilt Owners manualTake a listen here to learn more about this great “find.”

Troy-Bilt® introduced the very first rototiller into the American landscape, it was considered a remarkable innovation for its time.

Mike working on the engine of TroybiltA local independent certified small engine mechanic Finished Troybilt 2(Mike Hass) was hired, he took the engine off,  ordered a new 6.5 HP engine and then the rototiller was fitted with its brand new engine (the engine is manufactured as a Honda clone.

This is one American made product built to last a life time (or two) and it’s  been saved from a trip to the landfill.  This”little red engine can,” now turn the earth till the cows come home!  What a great find!

Let us know which Made In USA product you refuse to get rid of, even though there’s a “newer-better-lighter” version of it on sale!

Post comments here on our Facebook page or send an email to rita@flatlandsavellc.com.

Rita Rich hosts the Patriot-Made Audio, produced by Flatlands Avenue Productions, LLC.

Memorial Day Kudos to Hero-Dogs

Angelee & Hero Dogs FranklinThis time of year we pay our respects by remembering the people who’ve died while serving in our country’s armed forces, our Veterans and to those who continue to serve our country.  Many families visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.  And, many volunteers place an American flag on gravesites across America.  Hero Dogs Executive Director Jennifer Lund

But, if you are looking for another way to volunteer this Memorial Day, then listen to Rita Rich by clicking here to learn more, as she interviews Jennifer Lund, Ph.D. – Founder & Executive Director of Hero-Dogs.  This Memorial Day, we at Patriot-Made Audio pay tribute to a uniquely heroic work in process through Hero Dogs.org.

If you will be in Washington, DC on Memorial Day during Rolling Thunder, consider stopping by their booth to volunteer with Hero-Dogs! 

8459194544_3022eb5881_zMORE ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION:

Imagine having a dog that can turn on lights, pick up dropped keys or open a door.   A service dog not only assists with physical tasks, but also provides social and emotional support.

Hero-Dogs.org is a Maryland 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with our nation’s Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.    Take a look at some of those who have graduated from the program.

Hero-Dogs now have five staff members and more than 100 volunteers committed to the success of our disabled veterans. 

Hero-Dogs provides service dogs to Veterans who:

  • have served in any branch of the uniformed services in any era; and
  • have received an honorable or a general (under honorable conditions) discharge; and
  • have a disabling medical condition (does not need to be service-connected); and
  • have been released from all service and reserve obligations; and
  • have met all Hero Dogs’ requirements for application into the program, applied, and been accepted into the program; and
  • have successfully completed all required Hero Dogs training and certification requirements.

There is no cost to a Veteran for the service dogs we raise, train, and place, or for the training they give.

To learn more about applying for a Hero Dog, click here.

And, if you are looking for some helpful Veteran resources  see the list on the Hero-Dogs website.

 

Bitcoin? Or No Bitcoin?

Alex McAdams
The “Bard” or Shakespeare will have to forgive us as we borrow from his play “Hamlet.”  If you’re like most of us you have more questions than answers about this cybercurrency.

So, we asked Nerd Wallet personal finance analyst Alex McAdams about Bitcoin because he is a supporter of the currency, as noted in a recent article he wrote.  Please listen to our discussion about tax season and Bitcoin with Alex McAdams here. Rita shares her personal angst about taxes and why tax time is an emotional time for many Americans.

McAdams, (@NerdTax) comes from a military family, is a Harvard graduate and validates the emotional stuff during tax season during Rita’s and Alex’s conversation, which can be listened to by clicking here.   Then they talk about the pros and cons and different arguments for holding Bitcoin, please click here and take a listen or read our second post in this series.Lots of Bits

The value of Bitcoin, or how much U.S. or any other currency is needed to buy into the system does vary, so those who decide to invest in the Bitcoin currency have to be prepared to ride the “roller-coaster” of currency stability.  Two years ago it cost 10 times the amount, in U.S.dollars to buy one bitcoin as it does this year.  If varying exchange rates make you nervous, this might not be for you.

But, on the other hand, if you know you’ll be living in an area where you have great access to mobile phone technology, and no access to traditional banks, Bitcoin may be the best option for you to participate in buying and selling things in the global economy.

Digital CoinTo find out more about the international community that supports Bitcoin you can visit their Wiki site.

Please share our blog and iTunes page feed with your friends and family.  We enjoy feedback and story suggestions.

How to Change Lives & Communities

So, How Does a Social Enterprise Work?   Well, let’s start with a semi related story that I came across. First, if I called out for some help to my extended community and social network,  would you come help?  What if I said, “Tomorrow, there will be a minga.”  You’re probably saying, what the heck is a minga?

To better answer what an actual minga is, there’s a fabulous story which did not begin in the US, but in a mountain village in Ecuador (read the entire story!).   To summarize, there was a huge need to get a very big task done by these two guys – build a school in less than 48 hours.   And, it was n’t happening. So the chief put the call out that there will be a minga the very next day.  She explained to the two guys that a minga was a call to action, to EVERYONE.  Roughly translated, it means: “a community coming together to work for the benefit of all.”

Once a minga is called children are sent as runners to neighboring villages (there are no phones).  They all understand that by helping others in another village they helped their collective future. Someday the people of this village—and their children—will return the favor.

So, let’s take this minga story a step further. What is a social enterprise and what does social enterprise do?  In short, it’s a business whose sole existence is to make a direct positive social and/or environmental impact on a community.

Around the world, and here in the United States more and more companies are choosing to use and partner with businesses to create social good. It is innovative and unique because:

  • A social enterprise aims to make a profit, and then use the profits to support its charitable, social and/or environmental goals to accomplish good for the community.
  • A social enterprise also provides products and services that further the charitable, social and/or environmental goals.
  • When a consumer purchases a product or a service from a social enterprise, he or she makes a tangible, positive impact on a community.

Social enterprises differ from for-profit businesses which only promote social responsibility. While these businesses often support social change through their policies of corporate social responsibility, the company’s first goal remains to make a profit.

A social enterprise, on the other hand, takes social change as its primary goal, and uses its profits to reach it.  Social enterprises also differ from traditional charities, which ask you to make a donation of money and/or time. People have only a finite amount of both.   A social enterprise unlocks other ways to make a difference through consumer choices and actions.

Below are a few examples of others who are enacting their own tribal call, “Tomorrow we will have a minga!”

  1. Detroit has many complex social needs. And, Romy Gingras is telling stories via a new podcast about people starting and running social enterprises. Take a listen to some inspiring stories of change @  podcast.  In her latest story,  Romy shares a great discussion with Chef Josh Stockton and one of the owner/partners April Boyle of Gold Cash Gold, a Detroit restaurant that opened up in what was a vacant pawn shop in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.
  2. Airbnb launched an innovative campaign to raise awareness about the Big Apple’s growing homeless population on the popular house-sharing platform.  On any given night in the United States, there are 578,424 people without homes, according to a homeless population count conducted by cities in January 2014 and reported to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. About 15 percent of the homeless population – 84,291 people – are considered “chronically homeless.” Over 200,000 homeless people are in families, including children.
  3. Outpost Natural Foods, is the fourth largest  consumer food cooperative in the US. 
  4. 22 Awesome Social Enterprise Models
  5. Entities are providing information on how to fund a social enterprise

Remembering the Women Who Died Making it America

We are Remembering the Women, Girls and Men Who Died Helping to Make America, as a result of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Manhattan, New York City (<click on that Manhattan link to an interactive map to see their names and where they lived) on March 25, 1911.

Lest we forget, it was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers – 123 women and 23 men. The 104th anniversary of the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire, marks more than a century of worker safety reforms.

More Information from Triangle Fire

Learn More

These resources provide detailed information on the events of March 25, 1911, working conditions at the beginning of the 20th century, and the impacts of the tragedy on workplace safety and health:

New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health booklet “Don’t Mourn – Organize” (See page 7: Dr. David Michaels “We must. We will.”)

“Triangle Fire” Documentary from American Experience on PBS.

The Kheel Center at Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations – This site houses an extensive archive of information on the fire. Primary documents include newspaper accounts, interviews with survivors, and a partial transcript of the trial of the factory’s owners.

American Society of Safety Engineers – ASSE, America’s oldest professional safety organization, was founded six months after the Triangle fire. Its “Century of Safety” site provides information on the fire and the events leading to the establishment of the society.

Triangle Fire Open Archive at the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. An online collection of documents, photographs, and artworks submitted by the public that serves as “a living repository for stories, images and objects about the Triangle fire’s history, context, and impact on labor, immigrant, and women’s rights and everyday life today.”

More Than A Living Wage

walmartThe elephant in the room in recent national news is about how people can no longer live on the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 an hour. Some have even gone so far as asking people to take the challenge to livetheWage. The push to increase the national minimum wage has steadily intensified in the past year–as the minimum wage has remained unchanged since 2009, and the wage for tipped workers has remained at $2.13 an hour since 1991.  Someone who works full time on the minimum wage earns only $290 a week — after housing costs and taxes, that breaks down to just about $77 a week to spend on food and transportation.  We’ve seen advocates and protests calling for better living wages in the news.  And, as a result, some incremental changes are unfolding.

For example, CNN Money reports that Walmart will be giving it’s lowest-paid workers a $1.75 an hour pay raise, beginning in April. And, there are other large retail companies like TJMaxx who will increase pay.  And, a week after Walmart said it would bump its roughly 500,000 lowest-paid employees up to $9 per hour wage, other retail chains announced a similar plan to hike wages. Be sure to check out the list of 10 big corporations who are paying more than minimum wage.

logoWe want our Patriot-Made Audio listeners to know there are small companies out there who are doing more and one of those stories comes out of Seattle, Washington.  Listen here to Jeff Guite (pronounced Getty), who is the CEO of American Preparedness.com.  Patriot-Made Audio talked with Guite about how much he pays his hourly workers, his views about our country and its responsibility in taking care of its most vulnerable citizens, when it comes to preparing for natural and man-made disasters.  Guite explains that he pays his employees $16.50 an hour. Guite  is a disabled American Veteran who employs other veterans to assemble emergency preparedness kits. He further explains to Rita Rich of Patriot-Made Audio how he’s just a  Minnesota farm “boy” trying to make a difference in veterans lives by providing a livable wage. Guite who is almost 70 years old by the way, and is still working hard to make a difference.  His emergency kits range from fanny-paks, to backpacks, and even large shipping containers filled with the best emergency supplies that you can get, most pf which are sourced in the United States.

Since 1981 his company has been recognized for raising awareness, creating jobs, and donating thousands of emergency kits to those most in need, as well as helping individuals, communities, schools and organizations be better prepared for emergencies.

American Preparedness is committed to serving and educating citizens on emergency and disaster preparedness.   Jeff Guite’s business is a service-disabled, veteran owned business and a leading manufacturer and distributor of emergency preparedness kits (Emergency kits are on Amazon.com as well) for government, military, businesses, disaster relief organizations, and individuals and families.

To contact American Preparedness call 888-431-4511 (TOLL FREE) or send American Preparedness an email at: info@AmericanPreparedness.com.

American Preparedness
17800 Des Moines Memorial Drive, Suite D
Seattle, Washington 98148-1745

Written By: Alice M. Fisher