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MORE FUN COMING TO DOWNTOWN GARLAND DECEMBER 5TH STARTING AT 5 PM - 2019 Magical Christmas Candlelight Home Tour event at 713 Austin Street in Garland on December 5, 2019.

In addition to tree lighting and festivities on the square, there will be a tour of historic homes nearby. And carriage rides. A tour of the historic homes is $20 a ticket and a carriage ride is $40.

Mark your calendars for Magical Christmas Candlelight Home Tour! This dog friendly event will be held from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM on December 5, 2019 at Travis College Hill Historic District plus homes in the nearby Embree historic neighborhood in Garland, TX,

call 214-886-1009 or email friendsofgarlandsmagic11thstreet@yahoo.com for more information.

Eight homes in two historic areas of Garland will be decked out in Christmas finery and open to the public!

A vintage Santa will pose for photos and will tell about Christmases in the long ago.

Carolers from area churches will perform at 20-minute intervals during much of the home tour.

Guests can sip hot cocoa in the outdoor kitchen of one of the vintage homes.

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Students with Noon Exchange Club President and GISD Hispanic Community Liaison, Javier Solis
Shopping for Christmas Presents for Kids 

The good heartedness of “giving back to others” permeates the spirit of the Noon Exchange Club of Garland Texas. Their members organize, host and raise the funds for many community events throughout the year that benefit our youth in so many ways.  Primarily, however, they do it by just being themselves--true Americans in the spirit of good-hearted generosity.  My two favorite events of the many they host are 1) our Labor Day Parade and 2) their annual Christmas Party.  I love it that there are still folks out there who remember and honor the contributions of the working people, the laborers of our nation--in fact, the people who literally built our nation from our farms to our skyscrapers.  

The second event they host that I especially love is their annual Christmas Party that benefits 100-150 kids in our City who might not otherwise have a Christmas. Adults from many service organizations and individuals assist them in hosting the Christmas Party; the youth from various high schools in our community who entertain and also assist the younger students for whom the party was hosted. Even the young honored guests themselves get into the act of giving back to others.  They color and decorate cards and write messages of appreciation that will be sent to our troops overseas.

Today was one of the many steps in preparing for the Christmas Party--the shopping spree.  We all went to a local retailer and were given large plastic sacks with information on a child on the sack--their first name, sizes, and toys  or other things like art supplies they had suggested as gifts.  I bought for a little girl, age 11--same age as my granddaughter, Erin.  Like my granddaughter, she had makeup on her list.  As I would for my granddaughter I ignored the request for makeup. Little girls need to stay little girls as along as they can!  The other child was a little boy who is 9, like my grandson, Jack.

Another step in preparation for the December Party will be the gift wrapping party.  Members and volunteers will get together and wrap each of the presents we purchased today (Each child gets $80 worth of presents--a few practical and a few not.

I love this Christmas Party because it teaches all our youth that we all have gifts to give--no matter who we are, how old or how young.  It doesn't smack of "Oh look what we are doing for you."  This event teaches the lesson of sharing and the lesson that we all have gifts to give. We have our high school students performing for the younger students--songs, dance, and  entertainment. Of course there are the adults--both from our Noon Exchange Club as well as other volunteer organizations who participate.  AND as I mentioned before, even the kids for whom this event is planned--they give back too by creating great cards and messages for our service people overseas.

We all have something to give and I appreciate our Noon Exchange Club of Garland for reminding us of this as well as teaching our youth some of the values of what it means to be an American.

A Couple of Shoppers for the Christmas Party

 

My friend, Yvonne Divine is shopping for a little girl.

Two Noon Exchange Club members of Garland making sure the shopping bags are all kept in order.

Our Friendly Sargent At Arms Noon Exchange Club Member who made sure we kept our purchases within a few bucks of $80 per bag.

And here is my dear, precious friend, and neighbor, Margie.

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Loving Garland Green joined forces to participate with Keep Garland Beautiful and The City of Garland's Neighborhood Vitality Department  to host the 'WE MAKE GARDENS' station at the GARLAND AREA MAKERSPACE BLOCK PARTY November 3.

It was a great turnout of approximately 200 people..  The theme of the WE MAKE GARDENS station was winter gardens,  The emphasis was:  Yes, you can grow flowers and edibles in North Texas in the winter.  For give-aways we features pansies, a beautiful yet tough flower that even continues to bloom in the snow.  Reba Collins from Keep Garland Beautiful chatted with visitors about the value of native plants and their give aways included native flowers.  Nancy Tunell, from the City of Garland informed visitor about all the great opportunities to improve your neighborhood including the planting of gardens.  We were pleased at the interest and the number of visitors to our station.

Some of Loving Garland Green's Give Aways:  Pansies and Swiss Chard.  Also not pictured were more pansies, Swiss Chard and Mustard.  All of these plants, including the pansies are edibles that grow in the winter here in North Texas.

Betty Roberts, President of Keep Garland Beautiful (on the left) chats with Jane Stroud, president of Loving Garland Green.

 

Reba Collins, Master Naturalist, talks about the value of native plants with a visitor.

 

Nancy Tunell, from the City of Garland's Neighborhood Vitality group talks to a visitor about neighbors and the value of community gardens.

 

Nancy's table also featured a reminder of the Neighborhood Summit coming up this Saturday.  Hope to see you there!

 

Liz Berry, President Emeritus and one of the founding members of Loving Garland Green takes a name from a young assistant for the drawing for the plants.

 

One of the winners of the pansies at the WE MAKE GARDENS station at the Garland Area Makerspace Block Party.

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HERE IS A GARDEN TIP FROM MY FRIENDS AT TERROIR SEEDS:

 

Do you know how to keep your basil growing strong until the fall frost?

If left to its own ways, basil will burst into flowers about now, with almost every stalk sporting buds that will soon bloom and stop your supply of basil leaves, as the plant’s energy is redirected to flowering instead of leaf production.

The way to stop this and extend the glorious fresh basil season is to pinch the buds off, keeping the energy in leaf production.

The top photo shows where to pinch the buds from the stem, and the photo below shows what a few buds look like.

Don’t throw those buds away! If you smell them, they have a wondrously dense basil aroma that is perfect for perking up summer salads, boosting fresh-made mayonnaise, or adding anywhere the heavenly aroma of fresh basil will be appreciated.

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Linsey Gilbert, School Nurse and Founder of the Parkcrest Elementary School Garden shows one of at least 100 gourds growing in their garden.  To the right is one of many cantaloupes. August 15, 2019

Last spring I was among several adults from the community who supported Linsey and the students at Parkcrest Elementary here in Garland, Texas in putting in their school garden.  Nancy Tunell from our Neighborhood Vitality group; Reba Collins from Keep Garland Beautiful; David Parrish from the Garland Park Board; and Matt Clennan were among the others. 

 

Althaea officinalis, or marsh-mallow thriving in the Parkcrest Elementary Garden.=August 15, 2019

 

Lindsey called yesterday and asked if I would come over and identify a plant so I dropped by this morning.  As it turned out the plant was a marshmallow plant. I was surprised to see it as it had been started from seed.  I remember joking with the students in the spring when we planted them that they could pick marshmallows from it in the fall.

The plants were quite healthy and thriving.  Althaea officinalis, or marsh-mallow, is a perennial species indigenous to Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, which is used in herbalism and as an ornamental plant. A confection made from the root since ancient Egyptian times evolved into today's marshmallow treat.  However today’s marshmallows are not made from the plant.  The leaves and flowers are edible and may be put in salads.  As an herbal remedy, the leaves, roots and stem are sometimes boiled and used as a gargle to treat mouth ulcers.

Okra, lush and healthy was not a surprise—both red and green varieties.  Okra grows well everywhere—even west Texas.

 

Rudbeckia hirta, commonly called black-eyed Susan, is a North American flowering plant in the sunflower family.  Reba Collins and her team of students planted some of these lovely plants in the pollinator garden at Parkcrest and look at them today!  August 15, 2019.

Gourds, gourds and more gourds! 

Linsey mentioned they would be making a lot of birdhouses at Parkcrest this fall.

I was particularly amazed at the huge number of plants from the Cucurbitaceous family (gourds, cantaloupes, watermelons were abundant) in the garden.  I told Linsey that the North Texas squash bugs must not have their address yet since it is a new garden.  She smiled shyly and then spoke of her de-evolution as a human being.  First she said she had a battery-operated vacuum and she would vacuum them up and then release them in the woods.  Then as they increased in number she started squishing them between her fingers. As a last and Linsey-recommended resort, she got a sharp pair of scissors and just snipped them in half.

Linsey is an inspiration and a lesson in rewards of persistence in the garden. I don’t think I’ve ever grown a squash to maturity since I moved here. Tell your friends you can defeat the squash bugs—better called curcubit bugs because they don’t limit their destruction to squash—if you are diligent and persistent and a tad mean, although I never would have thought that of Linsey as she is extremely nice.  Linsey gave me a cantaloupe and a tomato from the garden.

Lesson from the Garden: Like people never judge a food by its exterior appearance because you never know until you look at what lies within.  The melon was great and I saved the seeds.

MORE GOOD THINGS COMING TO PARKCREST ELEMENTARY AND SCHOOL GARDENS IN THE GARLAND AREA

  • Linsey is looking into starting an after school club based on Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots.  More about this program at https://www.rootsandshoots.org

  • PATHFINDER ACHIEVEMENT CENTER (PAC)
    221 South 9th Street Garland 75040

    We will be building Garden Boxes for PAC on the 18th this month (Sunday) from around 10:30am to 12:30pm. The garden is off to the side of the parking lot, which is at the corner of Avenue A and S Tenth St. in Downtown Garland.
    Drills and 3-inch deck screws would come in handy just in case we don't have enough there. Feel free to bring other garden goodies, soil etc. as there is already produce growing that could use it.  We are also slowly building a media folder to document all our Garden/Nature projects around town which you can find here - https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1PhwbcZbDNU9sIUjAuevWPC0qY_rFIjmB?usp=sharing
  • Garden Day at Lister Elementary School – September Friday 13.  This would be a back to school all day event similar to the one held at Parkcrest Elementary this spring.  They are looking for volunteers for the following stations at this event:
    =Insect or Butterfly Station
    -soil types and composting information
    =vegetable garden
    -nutrition testing
    -wildlife habitat/native prairie
    CONTACT:  THELMA MOORE 2nd Grade – Lister Elementary, Garland Texas.
    Thelma Moore

    NOTE: Just arrived on my email:   Reba Collins, Master Naturalist volunteered to head up the butterfly station and Holly Frias from our Garland ISD Student Nutrition Services is sending two interns to assist with the nutrition testing.

 

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NUMBER 1:  If you have been recently awarded your 501 C 3 Nonprofit status from the IRS.  Go to GuideStar and update your information.

This company does not inform nonprofits that they have uploaded your information from the IRS into their database that donors use to find information about nonprofit organizations.  Worse:  on the very front page of your company's information page.  In lieu of your mission statement you will see:  "This organization has not provided  GuideStar with a mission statement."  As if somehow you were supposed to intuit they had done this.

It is unfortunate that you must play along with their schtick but you do as thousand of potential donors are sent to this database to find information about donors.  If they don't find any information about you and worse, information that looks like you've been derelict, you can kiss that donation goodbye.

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DON’T LIMIT YOUR FUNDRAISING TO  #Giving Tuesdays.

Many fundraising authorities advise small local nonprofits to not even waste their efforts on participating in these campaigns.

The people behind #GivingTuesday are in it for the right reasons.  But for small and mid-sized nonprofit organizations who don’t have lots of extra time or staff to run projects and campaigns that aren’t going to pan out, it’s a waste of their time and money.   Here are a few of the reasons that expert fundraisers give:

 

1.  Your Message Will Get Crowded Out

Non-profit direct mail fundraisers know that one of the worst times to send a fundraising letter for a charity is in the couple of weeks before a major election.  Why?  Because the candidates and their supporters are going to be flooding mailboxes with oversized postcards, self-mailers, and every other type of direct mail communication possible.

Take a cue from direct mail experts, and send your fundraising communications on a day when your communication can be the star of the show…  not a day like #GivingTuesday when you will be one of dozens of requests your donors receive.

 

2. Giving Tuesday is Primarily a social media activity. 


Social media is good for  sending people over to your organization’s website by posting links to interesting, compelling and informative content.  Then, when donors click over to your website, you should be doing everything possible to get them to give you their email address—by signing up for your newsletter or to receive a free e-book or some giveaway.  Email is still the killer fundraising app on the Web.  Read Figuring Out Your Non-Profit’s Social Media Strategy to learn how to use social media the right way for fundraising.



3. Giving Tuesday encourages spot giving

Spot giving tactics are fundraising strategies that encourage one time gifts or gifts that are so tied to an external event as to take them out of the normal giving pattern for a non-profit’s donors.

 

4. You won’t raise a lot of money on Giving Tuesday

In 2012 donors gave over $10 million to nonprofits online on #GivingTuesday.  However, $10 millions spread out over thousands of nonprofit organizations is not that much—especially considering the lion’s share of the donations go to the larger fish in the sea who have both the time and the money to launch more extensive media appeals.

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SOURCE FOR SOME OF THIS INFORMATION:  [http://www.thefundraisingauthority.com/fundraising-ideas/avoid-giving-tuesday/ Accessed 7/29/2019 at 7:18 AM}

Recommended Reading:

How to Raise More Money for Any Non-Profit.

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GET AHEAD OF THE CROWD

Send out your solicitations and plan your fundraising drives for late July to early August.  If you are a small local nonprofit, then make as much of your appeal face to face with small local businesses.  Like you, they too are small fish in an ocean filled with big box competition.  You are not going to have much appeal at a national level and you not going to have a lot of appeal even at a regional level when you are competing head on with large multinational nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity or the Cancer Society.

 

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THE SUPER TIP OF ALL FOR NEWLY MINTED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS:

Update the information for your organization on GuideStar.

What?  You never heard of GuideStar?  Well you can get in line with hundreds of other new small nonprofit organizations.  GuideStar is a nonprofit organization that is currently merging with another nonprofit called “Candid”.  But GuideStar has been around for at least 5 years that I know of.

GuideStar is a database with the names of all the nonprofit organizations who have registered with the IRS.  If you have registered and been certified as a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, you are in their database.  GuideStar is the database that many donors use to check up on a nonprofit that is asking them for money.  For example, it is reported that 55,000 from Facebook used GuideStar to check on organizations asking for donations on Facebook.

Big problem with GuideStar

They download the IRS files but the information is not sorted into a format that most donors will understand.  But more importantly GuideStar does not notify the nonprofit organizations that they have downloaded half-baked information about the organization and uploaded it to their database.  You have no way of knowing this has been done.

I never heard of GuideStar until almost three years after founding Loving Garland Green and we participated in North Texas Day of Giving and we were told we had to update our information in this database.  At that point in time we had already been in operation for almost three years.  So, for almost three years when any potential donor would look up Loving Garland Green on GuideStar, they would see a screen that looked like the following example.  [I’ve blanked out name of Nonprofit, Ein number and name/address of a member that appears on this page.

 

 

Notice in the image above, for the Mission statement GuideStar has taken it upon themselves to write in:  “This organization has not provided GuideStar with a mission statement”  --as if somehow this is all our fault that we didn’t write a mission statement to be included in the database of GuideStar, an organization we never even heard of.  But that doesn’t matter.  And even worse, the whole tone of this implies the nonprofit is somehow out of compliance, or lax in their duties—which is totally false.

This is just another example of how small fish swimming in the sea of multinational corporations have the odds stacked against them when it comes to fundraising in competition with large nonprofit organizations such as the American Heart Association, the Cancer Society and others.

It’s the same story in the world of for profit organizations. Mom and Pop local operations face the same one-sided type of competition with large corporations.  For example, here in the USA our government defines a “small business” as any company with fewer than 500 employees.  This means that subsidiaries of large multinational corporations like Bechtel can compete with small mom and pop operations for government subsidies.  As far as the true definition of a small business in the USA is concerned:  Of the 28 million small businesses in the USA, 22 million are individually operated without any employees. The United State’s small business community contributes roughly half of the total $17 trillion GDP (approximately $8.5 trillion.)

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ADVICE TO DONORS:  Give more to local nonprofits!

Make a special effort to learn about and seek out your local nonprofits this year.  Like any local organization, more of the money you give to them will stay and directly benefit the people in your community and less of it will go for operating expenses for the nonprofit. If you come across a profile in GuideStar that looks like the one in this article, don’t just automatically write them off.  Seek them out.  Make a small effort to find their website or Facebook and learn who they are.  Don’t just depend on one source.  It’s to your advantage and to your community’s advantage to do this.  My three favorite nonprofits in my community of Garland:

Garland Area Makerspace (Garlandmakers.org)

Loving Garland Green (LovingGarlandGreen.org )

Good Samaritans of Garland (goodsamofgarland.org)

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TIP 1 FOR LOCAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: Update your GuideStar information.

I know, it’s not fair but if you want to give your organization the best chance possible to profit from fundraising efforts, you’ve got to go to GuideStar and update the worse than non-information that may be showing there for your nonprofit organization.

Go to this link and search under the name of your organization.
https://www.guidestar.org/search

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TIP 2 FOR LOCAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS:  Use technology to help contact donors.

Visit this Nonprofit Tech for Good.  It has some fabulous information to help you.
https://www.nptechforgood.com/

 

TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND TELL THEM TO TELL THEIR FRIENDS:
SUPPORT LOCAL NONPROFITS THIS YEAR!

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ADDED AFTER ORIGINAL POSTING:

This is what a GuideStar listing for a nonprofit organization looks like after the members of the organization update it:

 

Below you can see what the Dallas Makerspace looks like.  Keep in mind Dallas Makerspace has been a nonprofit for almost 10 years and has over 400 members.I don't know why their site has SEE SCHEDULE O instead of  “This organization has not provided GuideStar with a mission statement”   as does the current site for Garland Area Makerspace.  I do know that Schedule O is the form for submitting supplemental information to the IRS Form 990.  I couldn't tell you why they have not updated their site in this database as did Loving Garland Green and others.  Perhaps they are less like sheep.  Perhaps their update is to simply reference donors to this IRS supplemental form--which is a little like saying "go play 52 card pickup" because that information really isn't very helpful--not that I would blame them for doing this at all.    

if nothing else this is a testimony to the reliability of the information in the GuideStar database.  The Dallas Makerspace has been around for almost 10 years has over 400 members and is a great organization deserving of community support but you wouldn't learn that here.

SO ONCE AGAIN, DONORS:  Please don't rely on one source when seeking information regarding nonprofits who deserve support.

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MY WISH IS THAT ON THIS DAY MORE AMERICANS WOULD SPEND MORE TIME CONTEMPLATING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PATRIOTISM AND NATIONALISM.

Patriotism is, according to Merriam Webster, a "love for or devotion to one's country." Nationalism is a "sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups."

A flag is merely a symbol.  it is not THE nation nor is it THE people.  Its reverence should never be put above that of "we the people."

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This 1920 depiction of Betsy Ross in the company of George Washington is most likely historically inaccurate.

About the Origin of the USA Flag

Once again it would appear that we've been sold a bill of goods when it comes to the history of our flag.  Most of us believe the story that Betsy Ross was visited by George Washington and sewed up the first flag in June of 1776.  There are no historical documents to substantiate this.  In fact, there is much to refute this claim.This pattern of the thirteen stars in a circle is now commonly called the "Betsy Ross flag", although claims by her descendants that Betsy Ross contributed to this design are not generally accepted by modern American scholars and vexillologists.  

  • There is no evidence to show that Betsy Ross and George Washington knew each other, or that George Washington was ever in her shop.
  • The Flag Resolution of June 1777 was the first documented meeting, discussion, or debate by Congress about a national flag.
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Burgi and Liz with some of the harvest

 

Today was a harvest morning in the garden.  It always takes longer than I expect.  We started at 7:30 and finished at about 9:30.  Then we delivered to Good Samaritan's of Garland--as always a lovely place to visit.   Pam Swendig and the volunteers at Good Sam's do such a great job of managing the place.

Burgi and I picked three containers of blackberries; 12 grocery bags of Kale (about 4 servings each); four bags of red spinach; one bag of Malabar spinach;  two bags or oregano; four bags of basil and two bags of mint.  Our total count in weight this visit was 13 pounds.  But it all adds up over our long growing season.  For the past three years Loving Garland Green has averaged 450 pounds of produce a year.  Never hesitate to give because you think the gift from your garden is too small.  Feeding even one person one meal is never small.

 

"Ole Blue" loaded with fresh produce from the Garland Community Garden.

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FIRST IN A SERIES ON THE VALUE OF A MAKERSPACE AS THE MISSING LINK TO BRIDGE TO NEW TECHNOLOGY AND JOBS OF THE FUTURE:

With a makerspace, creating prototypes for new Inventions and getting them to Market is not as difficult as it once was.

Elizabeth Berry

Since the time of Thomas Edison, invention has been as much about manufacturing and marketing inventions successfully as about having great ideas in the first place.

Some of the most famous inventors in history have developed existing ideas and made them successful. Edison didn't invent electric light, but he did develop the first commercially successful, long-lasting electric light bulb.

In much the same way, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconican't really be credited with the invention of the radio. Other people, such as German Heinrich Hertz and Englishman Oliver Lodge, had already successfully demonstrated the science behind radio and sent the first radio messages. What Marconi did was to turn radio into a much more practical technology and sell it to the world through bold and daring demonstrations.

Successful inventions often have to dislodge existing ones, both from our minds (which often find it hard to imagine new ways of doing things) and from their hold on the marketplace (which they may have dominated for years or decades).

In the past it was difficult and expensive for an individual to create the prototype and then launch a new invention.  Thus, such activities remained largely the province of giant corporations with the expensive tools and space to build.  Our modern technology and the Internet today have changed all that.  And now with makerspaces to bring these expensive tools and latest technology together in a collaborative diverse environment we have the potential of a fast track the world has never seen for new inventions and technology.

Makerspaces Do Not Replace Manufacturing Companies

In conclusion, it is important to note that while makerspaces can spawn new inventions and technology, they are not in competition with manufacturing firms.  Makerspaces are not there to mass-produce items.  Makerspace are there to create one-of-kind things—as art or as prototypes to be produced in a manufacturing environment elsewhere.  A makerspace could not afford to allow one or two of its members to tie up use of their shared tools and technology for the ongoing mass production of one product.  If a maker invents something, they must approach a manufacturer to mass-produce it.