"We are all in this humans race together and it's our job to make sure we all cross the finish line as one."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

From the Mouths of Babes: Ending Childhood Hunger through Share Our Strength Dine Out 2011

It’s funny how kids are.

My daughter overheard me discussing my companies involvement in the Share Our Strength Great American Dine Out program and about the fact that kids were going hungry everyday in our own backyard. She seemed puzzled that children had to deal with such issues as she sat at the dining room table noshing on chicken fingers and “bean beans” (her way of saying Green Beans).

“Some kids have no food?” She asked. My wife and I explained to her, in the best way we could, the reality of some children’s lives. She asked what we can do to help and I explained that my company is helping the best we can as is so many others are. She wanted to help so, short of getting her to help on a Tweet-Out (Tweeting is not very easy on her little fingers) or hiring her at our restaurants as a Dine Out Ambassador, she volunteered her busy block building time to appear in our PSA awareness video.

The point here is that if a 3 year old can get involved in Dine Out and Share Our Strength to make a difference shouldn’t all restaurants be doing it? We are so fortunate to have so many amazing restaurant groups and independently owned businesses joining in on this amazing campaign. But we could always use more! The other point I want to compose is ‘make this personal’. Make this a view from the parental mind’s eye about the fragility of this situation.

I look have to look at it from a parent’s point of view.

What if, heavens forbid, something was to happen to me or my wife’s economic situation? What if the school my daughter attends ran low on funding for a proper meal program? Sometimes we take for granted what others long to have and have rights to like a meal for their children. Even slightest experiences with hunger can leave lasting negative impressions that impair health, learning and well-being on children as young as 3 years old. The same age as my daughter. That is something that I as a parent cannot risk.

When you think about the fact that 17 Million children in this country have to deal with daily hunger, that number alone should be a call to action for those that have the ability to alter and redirect the course of that tragic fact. Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ brings together thousands of restaurants and millions of consumers across the nation to help make sure no child in America grows up hungry.

That’s why it’s so very important that people, particularly if you are a parent, come out the week of September 18-24, 2011 as restaurants raise funds in a variety of winning ways to support the Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® Campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Visit for a direct link to restaurants participating in your area.

As a parent I want to thank all the amazing people from the trenches to the boardroom at Share Our Strength who make this program work. It’s a group like this that will help us as a human race, cross the finish line together.

Escape from The Planet of the Social Media Apes: The Burnout

 The joints of their knuckles ached. Their wrists were stiff as the first sign of primate related Carpal Tunnel Syndrome waged war on their usually limber joints. Many of the Apes had gone to be fitted for reading glasses as the hours spent in front of computers had taken its toll. The hunt for those filthy human pests, once the primary focus of the work day, was now just a “real world” distraction to the social media frenzy the Apes had fallen victim to.

Social Media burn out had come to the PLANET OF THE APES!

It had been 1,310 years since the rise of the Apes and the planet was falling into chaos as young apes started to be absorbed into the video game circus and were more interested in reaching the highest level of Street Gorilla Fighter or Ape Escape 3.

Apes had forgotten about ape on ape interaction and the pleasantries of popping by a fellow apes home with a fine bottle of banana wine for an evening of chat. Quick and convenient online dialogue with the new aPhone 5G from Banana Computers had replaced the personal conection.

Dr. Zaius: Bored. Going bananas at home. What are you doing tonight?

Dr. Milo: Working on a time traveling rocket ship to take me away from it all, LOL.

Dr. Zaius: Seriously? Up 4 a quick chat before “Housewives of Chimp City” comes on?

Dr. Milo: No thanks. Want to get this done so I can update my status. Then escape in my rocket.

Just like the humans who turned their brains to taffy a thousand years earlier the Apes needed to take a step back, and take stock of how to manage their social media and real world activities. The same rules apply to them that did to the humans:

-Set defined parameters for what you really need social media wise especially if it’s primate, I mean primarily personal branding you are engaged in.

- Pace your use by setting times to check in with all your social media outlets and make a schedule of times of the day to do so. Shut down at 5:00pm! That should be personal time and if you have family? It had better be spent with them or there will eventually not be much of one to come home to.

- Take 5! 5 days that is and step away from the social media circuit. Spend it with friends in the real world that you have and or met online and share a bottle of Banana Wine! If you’re more concerned about how your Klout score will look at the end of that week than you are about knowing the score of life then you have gone ape! I mean….Human.

Oh this just in; it’s been reported that Doctors Cornelius, Zira and Milo have escaped from the planet in a rocket ship in an attempted  to find peace and quiet in Earths past. We will of course Tweet, text, interrupt G+ chats and update Fuzzyfacebook with developments. We now return you to your regularly scheduled real lives.