#GivingBack

This week we are pleased to spotlight Ms. LaNai’ Whitaker, Founder of the organization, Simply Helping – Ms. Whitaker is our first recipient of our new Igniting Change Award!

As part of an initiative to Go National with its membership, Classy Living Society will honor, celebrate and fellowship with Societies in the states where it has memberships, and will go on the road and present a number of fabulous events in those locales!  

As we travel, we will honor those nonprofits and community service organizations that we hold in high regard.  The Igniting Change Award is designed to recognize those organizations that demonstrate tireless effort in giving back to the community and bringing awareness to and furthering the causes they serve.  Nominees for this award will be selected from those featured on Chronicles Too!

Ms. Whitaker received the Igniting Change Award at this past weekend’s Yellow Dress Brunch in Houston, Texas (read more about this brunch in this issue of CLS on the Move!).

Read more about Ms. Whitaker and her organization by clicking on the link below.  Congratulations, LaNai’!

https://cls-volunteer.org/ChroniclesToo/lanai-whitaker/

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This week we are pleased to spotlight Ms. LaNai’ Whitaker, Founder of the organization, Simply Helping – Ms. Whitaker is our first recipient of our new Igniting Change Award!

As part of an initiative to Go National with its membership, Classy Living Society will honor, celebrate and fellowship with Societies in the states where it has memberships, and will go on the road and present a number of fabulous events in those locales!  

As we travel, we will honor those nonprofits and community service organizations that we hold in high regard.  The Igniting Change Award is designed to recognize those organizations that demonstrate tireless effort in giving back to the community and bringing awareness to and furthering the causes they serve.  Nominees for this award will be selected from those featured on Chronicles Too!

Ms. Whitaker received the Igniting Change Award at this past weekend’s Yellow Dress Brunch in Houston, Texas (read more about this brunch in this issue of CLS on the Move!).

Read more about Ms. Whitaker and her organization by clicking on the link below.  Congratulations, LaNai’!

https://cls-volunteer.org/ChroniclesToo/lanai-whitaker/

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The Classy Living Society (CLS) story began when Founder, Mrs. LaShanda Pitts brought her dream to fruition to develop a multi-faceted women’s community service organization with a commitment to change the world!

CLS was founded in 2013, presenting to the world an innovative hands-on approach to volunteerism! May 18, 2019, marks our 6th Anniversary and as we reflect on our major milestones and achievements over the years, we couldn’t be more thrilled about all of the reasons to celebrate!

We celebrate – six years of giving back and partnerships with amazing people, nonprofits and businesses; we’ve organized over 400 volunteer efforts and worked with over 200+ community partners.

We celebrate – the sisterhood bonds we’ve encouraged and the genuine friendships formed while working in the community alongside like-minded women.

We celebrate – six years of hosting high-end, exciting and premier events, galas and social functions to the delight and enjoyment of all who have attended.

We celebrate – the role we play in helping our entrepreneurial members to thrive and grow their businesses.

We celebrate – that we’ve grown by leaps and bounds!  We’ve expanded our reach significantly and are proudly supporting communities in 12 U.S. states, in Nigeria, in Croatia, and in Dubai and connect with 200,000 subscribers through our many media platforms.

Last but not least ….

We celebrate – our members who have worked so hard to carry out our mission and vision; and the amazing people, nonprofits and businesses in the community who have supported us over the years!

written by Janine Lattimore

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As a premier national women’s community service organization, Classy Living Society’s No. 1 mission and goal is to be present in the community, while partnering with amazing nonprofit organizations and people to make a difference.  CLS was #OntheMove in a number of places this weekend!  Saturday’s activities included:

 

  • Adopt-a-Road Cleanup: As part of DeKalb County’s beautification initiative, Adopt-A-Road allows individuals and groups to adopt a road and help their local community environment by collecting litter and beautifying streets in their neighborhood. This countywide program allows the “You’re the Solution to Litter Pollution” motto to spark awareness among citizens of all ages.   CLS members arrived early to our adopted road to remove trash and litter.  We are proud of our adopted road, and our part in maintaining cleanliness and beauty in DeKalb County, Georgia!  Information about their beautification program can be found at https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/beautification/adopt-road-0
  • The Enchanted Closet:  CLS members were on hand to assist The Enchanted Closet in their 2019 Prom Dress Giveaway.  The mission of The Enchanted Closet is to physically, mentally, and emotionally outfit metropolitan Atlanta high school girls from low-income families through programs that prepare them for social and professional milestones.  Girls attending 79 schools in metro Atlanta Counties were registered for the 17th Annual Prom Dress Giveaway.  It was a joy to work with this worthwhile organization in getting girls ready for one of the most exciting days of their lives.  Find out more information about The Enchanted Closet at http://enchantedcloset.org/
  • Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC): The FODAC Community Thrift Store offers a large variety of clothing, furniture, household goods, jewelry, books and music – and so much more! All proceeds from the thrift store support FODAC’s mission of supplying medical equipment to those with disabilities at little or no cost to the recipients or their families.  CLS volunteers assisted in sorting donated clothing and various items to be placed on the floor for sale to the thrift store patrons.  We were happy to be able to work together with FODAC to make each day a little easier, and a little more affordable, for people in need.  FODAC’s website can be accessed at https://www.fodac.org/
  • Dine and Discuss: Getting together and socializing with like-minded women is probably near the top of the list of great things for women to do.  CLS strives to promote sisterhood bonding and friendship among its members, and Dine and Discuss outings are one of the best ways to encourage this premise.  A few members got together at Grand Lux Cafe, a restaurant housed in one of Atlanta’s most upscale locations, Phipps Plaza.  Good food, good conversation and sisterhood bonding = a great night!

On Sunday, a group of CLS volunteers arose super early(!) to assist Publix with their annual Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K race sponsored by the Atlanta Track Club.  Read about that exciting volunteer activity in a separate post on this week’s #CLSontheMove Blog!

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Using her personal journey through teen pregnancy, homelessness, abandonment, abuse, and divorce, Briana Robinson founded My Sister’s Keeper Houston, a transitional living program dedicated to restoring the lives of single mothers and their children who are facing homelessness.  She founded the organization because she identified with the life experiences of the families she works with.  I applaud her dedication to the community!  Read more about her and MSK Houston by clicking on the link below.

Briana Robinson

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CLS kicked off March 2019 with a morning of giving back at Books for Africa’s warehouse to sort and pack books according to category and age level.   Books for Africa is the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 40 million books to 53 different countries since 1988.  Volunteers work in their warehouses in Minnesota and Georgia to collect, sort, ship and distribute books to students of all ages in Africa. Their mission and goal is to end the book famine in Africa.

Books for Africa believes that education is the great equalizer in the world, and books are at the foundation of a strong educational system. Access to an education is one of the only opportunities young people have to end the cycle of poverty and attain a better quality of life than previous generations.  CLS is honored to once again assist Books for Africa in their global effort to ensure an education to those in need. 

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Matters of the heart…

Just Heart Foundation is dedicated to helping families in crisis, particularly those with a hospitalized child.  They are a dynamic nonprofit organization with a program in place to “pay it forward” and provide assistance to families in crisis by paying their mortgage or rent, utilities, or in some other appropriate way.  Their primary focus is on children with neonatal and cardiac issues. 

In turn the families they assist are encouraged (not required) to pledge to raise funds, when they are able, to help other families, in the hopes of creating a chain of giving, making a difference in the lives of others indefinitely.

For more information on the Just Heart Foundation, and how you can help by donating, visit their website at www.justheartorg.

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“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Anderson

As most of you know, I am a member of Classy Living Society, which is a national women’s community service organization.  This past weekend I, along with several other members and CLS Founder LaShanda Pitts, went to Tampa, Florida to sisterhood bond with Tampa members.  As part of the MLK Weekend of Giving, we went on a community service mission to Random Acts of Flowers, located in Dunedin, Florida.  RAOF is an organization that uses recycled flowers, vases, ribbons and a few good volunteers in a community outreach of the most beautiful kind – improving the health and well-being of individuals in healthcare facilities by delivering fresh bouquets, encouragement and kind words.

With the help of the friendly ladies at RAOF, CLS members selected vases, flowers, greenery, ribbons and other decor and crafted beautiful bouquets, each with our own personal touch.  It was so much fun!  RAOF loaded the 76 bouquets we completed onto their van and together we delivered the bouquets to Atria Senior Living.  Atria Senior living houses seniors who are active, require assisted living and are in hospice care.  We walked through the halls of Atria, delivering flowers, kind words and warm-hearted smiles…but not one of our smiles could have ever matched the smiles we received from each senior (including the men!) who received an unexpected bouquet from us.

I love flowers, don’t you?  The soft feel of the petals, the different hues, fragrances, shapes and sizes – ahh-mazing! It is said that flowers have healing powers; and I suppose that’s the reason why they are the No. 1 well-received gift at hospitals.  I’d like to believe that, by our surprise gift of flowers, we provided a bit of healing to someone that day.  I’d like to believe that, if we were the only outside visitor someone received in days, that our visit provided an emotional and mental boost.  I’d like to think that some cute little old lady pressed one of the flowers between the pages of her Bible, so that each time she looks at it, it reminds her of the lovely ladies of CLS who visited her one day.

My mother used to always say “give me my flowers while I am alive” whenever we gave her flowers.  I always thought it was a pretty profound statement, since we always seem to inundate people with flowers when they are sick or have passed over to the other side.  The phrase comes from a gospel song of the same name and the lyrics say “give me my flowers while I yet live so I can see the beauty they bring.”  I’d like to believe that if no one else ever gave flowers to the people of Atria Senior Living, we are the ones who gave them their flowers while they yet live.

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“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is the day we observe the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and give honor to Dr. King and his legacy.  The Corporation for National Community Service asks that you make it a day on and not a day off.

What is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Why is it a “Day of Service?”

Legislation signed in 1983 marked the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a federal holiday. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a “day on, not a day off.” MLK Day of Service is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.” (Corporation for National and Community Service website).

For more information on how you and your friends and family can make today a day of giving back to the community – or a day that you make a commitment to giving back all year – visit the Corporation for National Community Service website: https://www.nationalservice.gov/serve-your-community/mlk-day-service.

 

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Born out of her own experiences with low self-esteem and identity crisis, Sharmayne developed a passion to reach out to girls and women, to help them avoid falling into the same crisis.  She established Pretty Girls, Inc., is a 501(c)3 organization that enhances girls ages 3-18 to embrace their internal and external image through developing positive mental health, hygiene, academic excellence, healthy alternatives and etiquette, for their current and future endeavors.  Read more about the lady and this wonderful organization, by clicking on the link below.

Sharmayne Bolling

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Welcome to the NEW Classy Chronicles!

Formerly, the Classy Chronicles was the official online digital magazine of Classy Living Society. The newly revamped Classy Chronicles is now a platform housed on the Classy Living Society website! Through easy-to-navigate dropdown menus, the Classy Chronicles provides an outlet to many subjects of interest at the click of a mouse – articles and features that highlight people who are doing amazing things in the community, health and wellness, work-life balance, beauty and fashion and more!

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