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January 2010
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Archive for January, 2010

Haiti and The Human Cause- What’s Your Response Time?

Posted in Community on January 13th, 2010

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By the time I got to work this morning (8 time zones ahead of DC), it had already been at least 6 hours since the earthquake struck Haiti.  By that time, I saw a few updates on facebook, and a few links on how people could assist the victims.  I joined my friends in posting links to helpful sites as my status update.  8 hours later, at the end of the workday, I donated money to the Red Cross.

Wyclef Jean left for Haiti that day and put out a call for donations for the earthquake relief via his foundation, Yele Haiti.

President Obama sent rescue teams less than 24 hours after the earthquake.

The United Kingdom sent 61 firefighters in roughly the same time frame.

What is your response time?

Right now the opportunities to be usefully involved are amazing.  There are several ways one can help in the immediate and in the long term.  There are also several ways one can NOT help.  You decide what type of impact you will have when the human cause arises:

How to have an immediate impact:

1) Send a text message.  Right now you can actually text to the Red Cross or to Yele Haiti (Wyclef Jean’s humanitarian foundation) and it will automatically send money to the organization.  You’ll get the charge via your cell phone bill.  This is probably the BEST and MOST EFFECTIVE way to be involved.  The money goes straight to humanitarian relief efforts and not to administrative expenses.  How do I know this?  It’s because emergency relief doesn’t have a line item for administrative costs.  That’s what makes it emergency.  But if you’re still concerned, you can go to to find out how much of an organization’s total budget go to administrative expenses (for the Red Cross, it’s 6%). 

You can text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.  You can text “YELE” to 501501 to send $5 to Wyclef’s Yele Haiti Foundation. 

2) Be MLK.  Monday we celebrate the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Most people I know, including myself, will use at least part of the extended weekend to party.  But how about BEGIN the weekend by having a fundraiser for one of the organizations listed above?  For years, we let this historic Monday pass us by without doing any service.  Now, in 2010, it’s easier than ever to positively impact someone’s life.  So let’s begin the weekend by reaching out to our friends and making sure each person donates before the weekend begins.

3) Social Networking.  If you find information on how others can donate, post it on facebook.  Tweet it.  That’s how I found out about the Red Cross and the Yele Foundation.  Maybe you’ve got friends that are unaware of what’s going on.  Change your status message AND let people know that you’ve done something by donating. 

Think about it… American Idol received 78 million text messages last year.  How many will you send to save a life?

4) Next Vacation? Rebuild.  The Port-au-Prince airport will reopen soon, and it’s not expensive to get to Haiti.  If you were looking for your next spring break service project, you’ve found it.  In the medium term, Haiti will need able bodies dedicated to heavy lifting.  Houses need to be rebuilt.  Meals need to be delivered.  Hospitals need willing volunteers.  Hit up Google and find out which organizations are doing what on the ground, and then organize 3-5 friends and get out there for a week. 

How NOT to Help Haiti

1) Change your facebook status.  A link by itself will not do it.  Lead by example.  If you are one of the ones who is simply changing a facebook status without any action behind it, it’s an empty gesture.  Haitians don’t need a facebook status. 

2) Watch TV.  If you’re watching tv and going “wow,” you’re not helping Haiti.  Changing from a spectator to an activist could be as easy as sending a text message WHILE watching television.  That’s 15 seconds of time I think everyone can afford.

3) Be Political.  Rallies, petitions, marches.  That’s not going to help Haiti right now.  Nuff said.

4) Take a shot of Patron.  When the weekend hits, I envision a group of friends at the club in half-drunken slurs “hey, we gotta keep it real.  This one’s for Haiti.”  Don’t let that group be you.

Though hardly Nastrodamus, Lil Wayne made an excellent point when he singled out celebrities who sang and made speeches for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  “You weren’t helping the people of New Orleans.”

(If you want more helpful tips on how to have an immediate impact, read the article from the NY Daily News: How To Help Haiti Earthquake Victims)

Diddy Collabs with Dr. Dre for Diddy Beats Headphones release

Posted in Entertainment, Fashion on January 10th, 2010

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I came across this article at, never ceases to amaze me the way my man Diddy the entrepreneur is able to slap his brand name on the widest range of products with instant success…you have to respect how he’s able to market himself and his brand to maintain one of the most powerful names in the urban market. Details below…

“First it was Dr. Dre, and then Lady Gaga, and now Diddy has become the latest music superstar to team up with Monster Cable and Beats By Dr. Dre for his own line of headphones.

The hip-hop mogul has been working with Dre and Jimmy Iovine on the Diddy Beats, a stylish in-ear headphones set developed in collaboration with Monster.

“We designed some ear buds called Diddy Beats that will be out next year,” Diddy said of the Diddy-Dre collabo. “We also have an iPod speaker base for your house coming out. That experience as a whole was good, we [Dr. Dre and I] had a great chemistry with each other.”

According to a press release, the headphones will retail for $149, will be available in black or white, with a sleek black and silver chrome finish, and boast the Beats By Dr. Dre bass and sound quality…”

Read more here.

Inspirational Words from Big Willy

Posted in Uncategorized on January 8th, 2010

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Got the following clip from my LA associate G.Vitte at, take some time out to be inspired by one of the most successful entertainers in Hollywood…my man Will Smith.  Be Moved. Stay Esface.

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