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Top Leaders Slated to Speak for Teen Leadership Program

Top Leaders Slated to Speak for Teen Leadership Program

Business and education leaders to share their insights, best practices and advice to the next generation of leaders as a part of the  Pebble Tossers Teen Leadership Program.

(Atlanta, GA, September 16, 2020)…Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, launched its Teen Leadership Program (TLP) in August and is now launching its impressive lineup of speakers.

The speakers represent a wide cross-section of the Southeast’s professional business community including nonprofit organizations, technology businesses, educational institutions, and a Super Bowl Champion. These community leaders and their chosen topics support the mission of the TLP to help the service-minded teens selected for the program to cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and their impact on their community and the world. 

Topics will cover the multiple benefits of service, self-awareness and a personal presence, college planning, developing an understanding of society, leadership styles, relationship skills, trends in digital citizenship and more.

Scheduled to Speak:

Jann H. Adams, PhD
Associate Vice President for Leadership Initiatives and Lead Director of the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership
Morehouse College

Leslie Anderson, M.S., LMFT, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Associate Professor
The University of Southern Mississippi

Beth Bristow
Educational Consultant: College Planning + Test Preparation
Beth Bristow Tutorial Services

Alex Desiderio
Director, Recruitment + Employee Engagement
Woodruff Arts Center

Titania Jordan
CMO and Chief Parent Officer
Bark.us

Malcolm Mitchell
Retired NFL, New England Patriots: UGA Football
Author
Founder
Share the Magic Foundation, Inc.

Michelle Schroeder
Artist Educator
Columbus Academy

Cherie Wilson
Director, Community Relations Manager
Bank of America

“In our inaugural year, we are excited to partner with leaders of this caliber who have generously offered their time and expertise to our teens,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founding Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “We know the guidance and wisdom they offer will greatly benefit our young leaders now and as they move forward on their chosen paths.”

To view a complete list of speakers, bios and topics click here.

The 32 teens selected for the inaugural Pebble Tossers TLP will be initiating, developing and organizing their own service projects that will assist in their development of the three tenets of the program: Serve, Lead, Succeed.

Teen Leadership Program (TLP) Information

The nine-month TLP includes in-person + virtual meetings, special guest speakers, and a service project that participants will create and implement as a group. The TLP supplements valuable experiences in the lives of these passionate young people and builds the sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy that our world needs in the leaders of tomorrow. The 32 students chosen for the inaugural program are not only participants but trailblazers as they will help mold the program for future participants.

For more information, visit www.pebbletossers.org/teen.

About Pebble Tossers

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

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Metro Atlanta Teens selected for New Teen Leadership Program

Metro Atlanta Teens selected for New Teen Leadership Program

Pebble Tossers congratulates 32 teenagers selected for its
inaugural 2020-21 teen leadership program

(Atlanta, GA, July 22, 2020)…Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, is launching its Teen Leadership Program (TLP) in August, 2020. In line with the Pebble Tossers mission to empower and equip youth to lead through service, the program provides opportunities for service-minded teens to cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and their impact on their community and the world.

The Teens

32 students
25 Metro Atlanta high schools and middle schools
One (1) 7th grader, eight (8) 8th graders, four (4) freshmen, seven (7) sophomores, nine (9) juniors, and three (3) seniors
Who are they?
Musicians, Artists, Athletes, Tech Wizards, Philanthropists, Girl Scouts, Writers and more!

The TLP curriculum covers personal and practical life-skills such as self-awareness, self-management, growth-mindset, social awareness, healthy relationship skills, and responsible decision-making skills. The scheduled activities also cover the ways these skills apply within the three tenets of the program: Serve, Lead, Succeed.

“I’m looking forward to watching a group of exceptional young people grow personally and come together to create their own service projects within the community,” said Ben Deignan, Youth Program Manager, Pebble Tossers.

The nine-month program includes in-person + virtual meetings, special guest speakers, and a service project that participants will create and implement as a group. The TLP supplements valuable experiences in the lives of these passionate young people and builds the sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy that our world needs in the leaders of tomorrow. The 33 students chosen for the inaugural program are not only participants but trailblazers as they will help mold the program for future participants.

“I am inspired. The applications submitted by these teens reflect how much good there is in our community,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founder + Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “These teens are well on their way to being successful leaders.”

Teen Leadership Program Information

Website:
www.pebbletossers.org/teen

About Pebble Tossers

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

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Teen Leadership Program 2020-2021 Members

Cameron Black Sophomore Dunwoody High School
Zoe Charles Freshman Sprayberry High School
Sofia Charles 8th Grade Simpson Middle School
Jack Covington Junior Roswell High School
Avery DeMoss Sophomore Walton High School
Nupur Desai Sophomore Walton High School
Alex Farquharson 8th Grade Cliff Valley School
Natalie Ficco Junior St. Pius X Catholic High School
Grace Ann Gearhart Freshman Roswell High School
Grayson Giguere Freshman Westminster
Anagha Gowda 8th Grade Autrey Mill Middle School
Katie Graebner Junior St. Pius X Catholic High School
Shreya Gupta 8th Grade Cornerstone Christian Academy
Jasmin Harris Junior Charles R Drew Highschool
Jane Holliday Junior Mount Vernon School
James Jones Senior The Lovett School
Adam Jordan II Junior Druid Hills High School
Cannon Kleinknecht Sophomore The Lovett School
Evie Louis 8th Grade Holy Redeemer
Rustin Makhmalbaf Junior Johns Creek High School
Grace Manning 7th Grade Autrey Mill Middle School
Ainsley McCaa Senior Henry W. Grady High School
Rachel McDonald Sophomore Alpharetta High School
Edgewood Nielsen Freshman Midtown International School
Caitlin Noble Junior St. Pius X Catholic High School
Davis O’Kelley Senior The Galloway School
Jazmin Perkins Junior Baylor School
Abbigail Purdy 8th Grade Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic
Gracie Rosenberg Junior St. Pius X Catholic High School
Angelina Sheeran 8th Grade St. Francis School
Annamarie ValeCruz Sophomore Marist High School
Ella Whiteman 8th Grade Notre Dame Academy

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What Your Service Signals to Others

What your service signals to others

Contributing your time, effort and energy to a community service organization like Pebble Tossers is rarely (and should never be) about resume building.  It should be about serving the community, building traits like compassion and empathy, and ultimately making the world a better place.  That being said, we all have personal goals like wanting to go to college and get a good job, and it is natural and smart to consider how time spent towards community service might help us reach those goals.  

I am beginning my fifteenth year as a professor at a large university.  During my career, I have evaluated hundreds (if not thousands) of applications for academic programs, scholarships, internships, etc.  With this post, I will share some insight on what your community service means to those of us who make these decisions.  Three factors stand out.

First, your service shows that you care about something bigger than yourself.  These are precisely the types of people we want to support, but it is very hard to differentiate between selfish people and those who care about others.  Volunteering provides evidence that you care about others.  Take a look at the Pebble Tossers Board of Directors and Advisory Council for a moment.  We see lawyers, health professionals, web designers, accountants, financial advisors, and many more high-level, powerful positions.  These are busy people who find time to give back because they care about something bigger than themselves.  These are the type of people we want in our programs, and these are the types of people our donors want to support through scholarships.  By serving, you signal that you want to become one of these people someday – you will set lofty personal goals like becoming a lawyer or CEO, but you’ll also stay grounded and use your talents to make the world a better place.

Second, serving demonstrates the type of work ethic that will allow you to reach your goals.  Rest assured that being a college student, arguing a legal case, running high-level meetings, and working with investors is rarely like what you see on TV.  Sure, parts of these jobs can be a lot of fun, but much of what we do as professionals is a grind.  Similarly, serving your community by planting trees, delivering meals, and picking up trash can look like a lot of fun in pictures, but anyone who has done these knows that they are mostly just hard work.  Most do not reach their goals because they cannot dig down deep and grind it out when difficulties arise.  Your service tells me that you can.  

Third, serving signals that you understand the importance of working with a diverse team to accomplish big goals.  This is what all successful organizations do, and the workforce desperately needs servants and leaders who can bring people together to reach goals.  Seeing Pebble Tossers on your resume tells me that you are one of these types of people.  You understand that people have diverse talents and skills, and you understand that we can accomplish great things when these people come together effectively.  

Ultimately, you should volunteer and serve because you care about others and want to make the world a better place.  However, never discount what you are signaling about yourself when you serve.  Youth with high GPAs and ACT/SAT scores are a dime a dozen.  Serving sets you apart as not only a high achiever, but also a high achiever who cares about others.  These are the type of people we want on our teams.

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Written for Pebble Tossers by Clayton Thyne, a Professor in the Political Science department at the University of Kentucky. He currently serves as the Department Chair, having previously held positions as Director of Graduate Studies and as the co-founder and Director of the Peace Studies certificate program. His research currently focuses on domestic conflict/instability, coups d’état, regime types and democratization, and international education.

Serve. Lead. Succeed. Metro Atlanta Teen Leadership Program

Serve. Lead. Succeed. Metro Atlanta Teen Leadership Program

Pebble Tossers announces new 2020-21 teen leadership program initiatives, milestones and goals.

(Atlanta, GA, July 9, 2020)…Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, is launching its Teen Leadership Program (TLP) in August, 2020. In line with the Pebble Tossers mission to empower and equip youth to lead through service, the program provides an opportunity for service-minded teens to cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and their impact on their community and the world.

The TLP curriculum covers personal and practical life-skills such as self-awareness, self-management, growth-mindset, social awareness, healthy relationship skills, and responsible decision-making skills. The scheduled activities also cover the ways these skills apply within the three tenets of the program: Serve, Lead, Succeed.

The nine-month program includes in-person + virtual meetings, special guest speakers, and a service project that participants will create and implement as a group. The TLP supplements valuable experiences in the lives of these passionate young people and builds the sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy that our world needs in the leaders of tomorrow.

A maximum of 30 rising 7th through 12th graders will be accepted into the program that kicks off on August 24th with a virtual meeting. Throughout the 2020-21 school year, the selected teens will participate in eight (8) meetings, several special events and presentations, and as a group they will create, develop, plan and execute a service project of their own.

“For the past eleven years, Pebble Tossers has engaged youth in service to provide the experiences they need to become leaders in our community,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founder + Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “Our Teen Leadership Program takes this to the next level as we target fundamental social, emotional and leadership skills teens need to handle the challenges of adulthood.”

Teen Leadership Program Information:

Teen Leadership Program Website

About Pebble Tossers

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

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7 ways to lead your business, your team, or even your family during COVID-19

written for Pebble Tossers by Jeff Hilimire

This is a scary time for all of us. None of us were prepared for a crisis of such magnitude, and we’re all working hard to keep our families, our companies, and even our sanity together.

I wrote my book, The Crisis Turnaround, in an attempt to help people navigate through these uncertain times. While the book is focused on leadership (of a team or a business), the principles can be applied to many areas of life, including raising a family or overseeing a nonprofit.

Here are seven of the concepts that I lay out in the book that might help you persevere through this pandemic:

#1 – Have open conversations

One of the first things I’ve had to remind myself while running my business, Dragon Army, through this crisis has been to have open conversations with my team. My thinking is: you cannot communicate enough with your team when times are hard.

This goes for my family as well. I have five children (ages 8 – 15) and, as you might expect, they all have different concerns and questions. I’ve found that the more we talk, and the more honest my wife and I are, the more they can process their feelings and be prepared for what’s to come.

#2 – Focus on the foundation

In business, there’s a saying that “cash is king”. What this means is that cash is the lifeblood of your business, and without it, your business will dissolve. Some companies, mine included, would argue that culture is just as critical as cash. While each business is different, they are all similar in that they have certain basic needs that must be met for them to function.

For a family, that foundation might be things like family dinners, Friday night pizza and game nights, worship & faith, etc. You know, the good stuff that brings your family together and provides unique connection points. Every family has them and during a crisis, it can be easy to lose sight of those foundational elements.
Take a moment to pause, step back, and remember to ensure your foundation is on a strong footing.

#3 – Optimize your time

When our schedules are thrown into disarray, and our normal lives are disrupted, it can be easy to fall prey to a lack of motivation or ambition. This is true for businesses and for families.

In The Crisis Turnaround, the characters in the book work at a business and are forced to find ways to manage their time and workload in an entirely new situation: working from home, by themselves. They reschedule their days, look for tricks and tips to optimize their time, and rely on each other for accountability.

For families, time optimization is critical. As parents, you’re forced to manage not only your calendar and to-do’s but also your children’s schedule. When doing so, I find the following good things to focus on:

Be purposeful and deliberate
Allow for freedom within the schedule
Focus on consistency
Create opportunities for rewards (achievements for completion)

#4 – Listen, but not too much

It’s important to stay on top of the news, especially during the time of a health-related crisis. Being informed is critical as you navigate your day and attempt to stay safe.

That said, it can be easy to fall into the trap of information overload, especially during times like these. Too much negative data can lead to a sense of feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and anxious.

Carve out time to check the news, see what’s happening in your social feeds, and then…put it away. There are even apps that can help you by monitoring your activity and putting thresholds on how much time you spend on certain sites/apps. However you do it, don’t get sucked into the seemingly minute-by-minute deluge of news we have access to today.

#5 – Learn to pivot

In business, a pivot is an action that a business takes to change its course, usually when it realizes a change needs to take place for it to survive. Oftentimes this is required during a particularly difficult time.
Change can be scary, but leaning into change can help a business, and a family, weather the storm they find themselves in. Look for ways to shift your S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure) in order to be more effective, both while working and also with your family.

For instance, you likely don’t have to get up as early as you used to since no one is rushing to catch the bus in the morning or fight traffic to get to work. So perhaps you’re sleeping in, and maybe that’s causing you to feel lazy (since sleeping later is what you do on your ‘day off’). That’s ok! Now you have a new time to get up, just make sure you embrace that and officially start your day when you wake up.

#6 – Find ways to do some good

Everyone likes to help others – it’s part of what makes us human. However, we can fall prey to taking our do-good efforts and putting them on the sideline while we make our way through a tough time.

I would argue that doing good during difficult times is just what the doctor ordered. In The Crisis Turnaround, the characters decide that they will take a day to help several nonprofits in their area, even while they are struggling to maintain a profit. The result is massive: the team is energized and motivated, and their community is better off for it.
Find a way to allow your family to do some good during this crisis. I promise it will help in ways you can’t even imagine.

#7 – Stay positive

It can be hard to stay positive during difficult times. But as the leader – of your business, your team, or your household – you should work hard to focus on the positive things that are taking place. And in almost all cases, there are positive aspects to your struggles.

For example, while during this particular crisis we are restricted from going out into our communities, the positive might be that you are able to spend more time together as a family. Or that you were able to clean out that closet (which you’ve been putting off for years, haven’t you?). Or that you’re eating healthier foods because you can’t eat at your favorite restaurant right now.

Your team (or family) is looking to you to see how to respond to this crisis. Show them that there are bright spots and that, all things being equal, you have it pretty good right now.

In conclusion, I think you’ll find that if you’re more purposeful about your time and more focused on how to lean into these changes vs. fighting against them, you just might come out of this crisis better than when you entered it.

About the author:

Jeff Hilimire
CEO | Author

Jeff Hilimire is an accomplished entrepreneur who has launched multiple successful for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and who has successfully sold two companies. His current business, Dragon Army, is one of the fastest-growing digital agencies in the nation. Over the course of 20 years, Jeff has applied his knowledge of entrepreneurship and innovation to help guide leaders from some of the most well-known global brands to mobilize growth using an entrepreneurial mentality. He is also the co-founder of 48in48, a global nonprofit that produces hackathon events to build 48 nonprofit websites in 48 hours.

When Jeff isn’t running Dragon Army, mentoring, or volunteering at 48in48, he is working hard as the founder of Ripples of Hope, a collection of for-profit and nonprofit organizations focused on business as a force for good in the world. Jeff is also an accomplished author, and his books, The 5-Day Turnaround & The Crisis Turnaround, are a reflection of his drive and personal purpose to have an outsized, positive impact on the world.

Jeff lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his lovely wife, Emily, and their five children.
See the many other ways he’s worked to help leaders increase their satisfaction and success via his personal blog, jeffhilimire.com.

Atlanta Area Production Company Partners with Pebble Tossers for Their June Volunteer Project

As we continue to experience the challenges with the ongoing health climate, Pebble Tossers is working to curate volunteer opportunities for you and your family to continue to safelyserve from home. Several of the available opportunities include a virtual element such as a Zoom Cooking Classes with Two Thumbs Up.

This past week The Atlanta Community ToolBank hosted a Virtual Workshop via Zoom for Pebble Tossers Volunteers. They showed basic hammering techniques while showing those attending how to build a small Keepsake Box. This project was perfect to show kids how to use a hammer (with adult supervision).

Pebble Tossers was excited when they heard that Brownieland Pictures, a full-service production company in the Atlanta area who partners and supports nonprofits throughout the Atlanta area, chose this event as their June volunteer project. We received several pictures from their participants with big smiles on their faces. Be sure to check out what they had to say about this project by visiting Brownieland Pictures blog.

To see pictures of this volunteer project and many more, be sure to follow us on bothInstagram and Facebook.

together for justice + equality

As a community service organization, Pebble Tossers provides opportunities for youth to develop compassion and empathy. These traits are needed now more than ever. Our hearts break over the senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many black men and women before them. Our community needs to come together to listen to each other and to actually hear the voices of our black brothers and sisters. Our country has work to do to eradicate racial discrimination and inequality and a first step can be to speak out and condemn these situations and indifference to suffering when we see it. Our country has the opportunity to learn from past mistakes and never make them again.

The Pebble Tossers mission is to equip and empower youth to lead through service. By service we mean providing help and assistance to our community, to our environment, and to people – regardless of racial, economic, social, ethnic backgrounds. We work side by side with youth and families of all colors, backgrounds and faiths. We want to empower youth with the opportunities and resources to help others. The nationwide protests are scary for kids and difficult to process, but this is a time when honest, authentic conversations can provide life lessons and help mold kids into compassionate, resilient, and unbiased adults. Open conversations with families can start with the current protests but should also discuss root causes of systemic racism, oppression, overt and covert racism. We can start by looking within ourselves and honestly assessing our own biases. We believe in the power of youth and know that teaching kids about justice, humanity and inclusivity is a step in the right direction. In the words of Pebble Tossers’ President of the Board, Rebecca Sandberg, “the most important things we can do right now are listen, learn, reflect, and then act.”

During presentations, we often explain that through service to others, you see things that cannot be unseen. When you interact with someone experiencing homelessness, you get to know them and learn they are just people in a rough situation. You make a connection and that affects your heart. That situation cannot be undone. Watching the tragic video of the officer pushing his knee into the neck of George Floyd cannot be unseen and the world is forever changed.

What can we do as a community?

~ we can remember names;
~ we can educate ourselves on history + root causes;
~ we can listen to all sides of an issue;
~ we can vote for justice + equality;
~ we can use our voice to speak out against acts of inhumanity;
~ we can shop local + minority-owned businesses;
~ we can serve;

~ and we can treat others the way we would want to be treated

Pebble Tossers has compiled a list of resources to provide families with tools, books, videos and experts to help us learn and take action and for families to have open, untempered discussions. It is our desire that our nation comes together to affect change, bring justice, and promote equality.

In solidarity,

The Pebble Tossers Team
Jen Guynn, Lisa Gill, Beth Freeman and Eric Greenwald



Pebble Tossers has compiled the following list from our own research and posts by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein, and our friends at
Doing Good Together.

Resources for white parents to raise anti-racist children

Books:
Podcasts:
Articles:

Articles to read:

Videos to watch:

Podcasts to listen and subscribe to:

Books to read:

Films + TV series to watch:

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO
  • Talking Race With Young Children – NPR
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

Organizations + people to follow on social media:

More resources to check out:

Atlanta Teens Change Their World

Atlanta Teens Change Their World

Pebble Tossers COVID-19 Youth Impact Grant recipients display their strength and leadership by helping others.

(Atlanta, GA, April 29, 2020)… Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, gave out $10,000 to metro Atlanta teens. The Pebble Tossers COVID-19 Youth Impact Grant required teens to submit ideas for innovative projects which would positively benefit low-income/at-risk youth and their families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ten $1,000 mini-grants were awarded on April 6, 2020 and the teen grant recipients completed their grant projects with impressive benefits to the community.

From a pool of 48 submissions, recipients were selected and given a week to implement their projects. In providing youth with a voice and a platform to make a change in their community, the COVID-19 Youth Impact Grant fulfills Pebble Tossers mission of empowering youth to gain leadership skills through service.

Grant Recipients (grants awarded to individuals or small groups)

  • Adam Jordan, 10th grade – Druid Hills High School
  • Anna Banner, 7th grade – Westminster School
  • Angela Sheeran, Allie Knight + Hunter Knight, 7th grade – St. Francis School
  • Grace Manning, 7th grade – Autrey Middle School
  • Kimberly Guzman, 8th grade – Peachtree Charter Middle School
  • Hayden Jacobs, 11th grade – Riverwood High School
  • Chad DeWitt + David DeWitt, 10th + 12 grade – St. Pius X Catholic High School
  • Jasmin Harris, 10th grade – Charles Drew High School
  • Thomas James + Ryan James, 7th grade – Peachtree Charter Middle School
  • Juliette McKinley + Nicholas McKinley, 11th grade – Capstone Academy

Impressive overall impact:

  • 900+ people benefited;
  • 3,000+ meals provided;
  • 17 computer tablets provided access to online education;
  • Hundreds of critical items, such as PPE, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, and feminine products delivered;
  • Hundreds of comfort items, such as reading materials, games, & toys delivered;
  • Critical care documents translated into multiple languages;
  • Inspired others to join in to increase funding and reach;
  • Leadership skills, such as project management and budgeting, gained;
  • Teens empowered to directly help their communities.

Detailed results:

  • 1300lbs of food delivered to the Community Action Center;
  • 150 “sunshine boxes” delivered to three youth-care nonprofits to assist low-income youth shelter in place mandates;
  • 17 baskets of personal hygiene and snack items delivered to 17 at-risk teenagers at the Rainbow House;
  • 34 fully stocked hygiene packs (two-month supply each) delivered to 34 teenage girls at Social Justice Cafe for Girls;
  • 17 tablets purchased and delivered to 17 elementary school children in need to provide access to their classes and connect their families with internet services;
  • 13 food boxes plus translation services for families in quarantine Clarkston, GA through Friends of Refugees;
  • 208 breakfasts, 40 boxed lunches, 185 dinners and 172 snacks provided to the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities – Scottish Rite;
  • 25 3D printed facemasks for first responders at Smyrna Fire Department Headquarters and the Tillman House plus 90 meals;
  • 35 no-sew masks made and distributed;
  • Bilingual uplifting signs placed throughout communities;
  • Delivered food, hygiene and cleaning supplies to the 80 teens sheltering at Covenant House.

“I see the impact our youth make on our community every day and yet I am continually impressed by their creativity, compassion and desire to lead,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founder + Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “In a very short timeframe, these teens created, planned, executed and reported on a project that had real impact on other kids hit hard by this pandemic. Many of the kids were able to stretch or add to their grant funds by reaching out to their community.”

The winning projects ranged from creative food drives and care packages to 3-D printing of masks and software tutorials. All recipients of donated items are considered at-risk community members and organizations hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. A complete list of winning projects is available on the Pebble Tossers website, www.pebbletossers.org.

About the Grant

The grant program, organized by Halle Tecco, an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, started on March 19, 2020 as an initial investment of $50,000 by Ms. Tecco and quickly grew to $400,000 as additional donations poured into the fund. Within days, 362 applications were submitted and Pebble Tossers was one of 36 nationwide recipients. For details: https://medium.com/@halletecco/supporting-the-helpers-during-covid-19-7cd506ec219d

About Pebble Tossers 

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

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Leaders Are Artists

Leaders Are Artists

written for Pebble Tossers by Denard Ash

 

Leaders are artists.
We (leaders) create new ways of seeing the world and living in it.
We are needed most during times of crisis. 

During crisis, people look to us to redefine reality. This is what the great ones do.

  • King
  • Churchill
  • Fauci
  • Greta
  • Malala
  • Teachers 
  • Healthcare workers

We all have the ability to create a new reality.
We create with our words.
We create with our attitudes.
We create with our service.

In the end, the question is never whether we succeeded or failed, but “What art did we create?”

Denard is a leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team and Movement Director for Be The Church Network. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Chawanis, and their two rescue dogs, Brewster and Sasha.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/denardash/

50 Years of Earth Day: The Health of Our Planet and Our Own Health are One and the Same

by Our Friends at LiveThrive Atlanta

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

On April 22, 1970 – the first Earth Day in history– over 20 million Americans took to the streets to protest America’s inaction to combat the damaging effects of 150 years of industrial development. It was a uniting cry for all Americans, regardless of zip code or political affiliation, realizing the health of our people mirrors the health of our planet. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in over 190 countries, connecting us globally to promote human behaviors and policies that protect and enrich our natural resources, combat our climate crisis and realize a zero-carbon future.

A series of events sparked the first Earth Day, galvanizing the nation into action. The 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller ‘Silent Spring’ exposed the dangerous effects of pesticides to environmental and human health. Soon after, a 1969 record-breaking oil spill in California received national attention as it killed thousands of birds and sea mammals, leaving even more doused in oil. Later that same year, Cuyahoga River in Cleveland erupted into flames, exposing the dire state of the pollution of the waterway. Within six months, people all over the country were rallying for change on Earth Day.

Earth Day was the catalyst for the modern environmental movement. This directly led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in late 1970 as well as the Clean Air Act, Water Quality Improvement Act, Endangered Species Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act– all passed under a Republican administration in the 1970s.

On the 50th anniversary of this important day, Live Thrive and CHaRM are more committed than ever to create real, positive environmental change. Every item you bring to CHaRM helps ensure that hazardous materials do not poison our lands and waters. Every conversation you start about something you learned through Live Thrive ignites a fire in someone else to make a change, find a solution, and fight for stronger protections. As we celebrate this milestone in the environmental movement, it is a reminder that this is everyone’s fight – and that the health of our planet and our own health are one and the same.