Better Homes and Garden Radio

Jean Robb

Volunteer your remarketable gifts and become more marketable!

Volunteer and Market Yourself…Remarkably

“Remarkable Marketable Mehelps you share your remarkable gifts volunteering, making you more marketable along the way.

By Jean Robb

I didn’t have the best childhood. We didn’t have much, so if you needed something you had to find a way to get it. I started working at 11 years old selling candy door to door. I know very scary right, but at 11 years old all I knew was I had to sell a certain amount of candy before I could go home. When I knocked on a door, out came my foot and I didn’t move it until you bought a box of candy. The skills I learned from my difficult childhood, (my lemons) really became a blessing (my lemonade).

I learned at a really young age that persistence will open many doors. As an adult I have walked out on a stage with a tiger after Zig Ziglar and talked to over 2,000 people about overcoming their fears. I know you must be thinking…a tiger? I have volunteered for over 15 years with big cat sanctuaries and have learned you can do something you really love while helping others in remarkable ways. In today’s economy you hear lots of people say they can’t find a job. So what happens?

The longer you’re out of work, you start to lose your contacts. You’re not keeping up with the day-to-day changes in your trade. You’re simply out of the loop. The longer you’re in this position the more the fear sets in. What if I can’t find a job? I have so much to offer, how do I get someone to talk to me? Well as you can see, fear can really take a hold of you, it makes you feel like a deer in the headlights. How do you overcome these things?

First off, STOP listening to the FEAR and STOP making EXCUSES. Look, I’ve made many of the same excuses when I’ve let fear be a part of my life. I now realize that the answer to overcoming the fear is to replace it with remarkable things you can be proud of. Instead of asking why would anyone want to hire me, ask yourself why not me?

After volunteering you could say. Look at the change I’ve made in the lives of others. Look what I’ve learned along the way. Look at the skills I’ve been taught while helping others. Look at the great people I’ve met. They’ve seen first hand the type of passion I put into any job I take on. So how will this work? I have made a commitment to bring you a volunteering opportunity at least once a week. The process of volunteering can be more complicated than people may think.

Email me your news. I have included in each story all the information I received and the direct contacts to make it really easy for you to get your foot in the door.Network, Network, Network” See how you can use that experience to build your resume. Most of all how did you feel about helping others today.

My goal is to get you to share with all of us your experience. Think about how much we can learn from each other. Please email me your pictures and story to so I can post them each day. I will add the trademarks, video and links for you.

Jean Robb is a real estate agent in the Dallas – Fort Worth area who is committed to promoting the importance of volunteering for your community.We have the infrastructure in place with the best real estate team in North Texas, and the process for you and I, together can “give back” to those in need without costing you an extra dime. It’s a win/win for both of us. When you contact me, just mention this page and I'll donate 5% of my commission to any non-profit you want to help!

After reading the above information ask yourself “why would I choose any other realtor”?

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Each story is interactive. Just scroll over and click on the links in the story to get all the information you'll need for that non profit. Some links will appear as a blank spot in the story. Just scroll over it to activate the link.

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I make my living as a Realtor. It allows me the opportunity to stay involved with so many charities. If you're in need of a great Realtor please go to

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ramona Pierson was 22, she was hit by a drunk driver and spent 18 months in a coma. ~Senior citizens came to her rescue and slowly re-taught all of her life skills.


When Ramona Pierson was 22, she was hit by a drunk driver and spent 18 months in a coma. At TEDxDU she tells the remarkable story of her recovery -- drawing on the collective skills and wisdom of a senior citizens' home.Unable to see, walk, or speak. Senior citizens came to her rescue and slowly re-taught all of her life skills. Several masters and PhD's later, Ramona credits their personalized care as driving her passion for customized education in our schools.
See complete bio and all TEDxDU Talks at 

 Hi, Jean Robb here. Senior citizens are such a great resource . The knowledge they have for the jobs they once held is something really valuable. I hope that this story will encourage the seniors out there to think about sharing their remarkable gifts with others. Here's some ideas!

Senior Citizens Improve Brain Functions by Participating in Volunteer Social Service
First study to demonstrate that social service programs can have the added benefits of improving the cognitive abilities of older adults volunteers

Dec. 15, 2009 - Volunteer service, such as tutoring children, can help older adults delay or reverse declining brain function, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers found that seniors participating in a youth mentoring program made gains in key brain regions that support cognitive abilities important to planning and organizing one’s daily life

The study is the first to demonstrate that valuable social service programs, such as Experience Corps - a program designed to both benefit children and older adults’ health - can have the added benefits of improving the cognitive abilities of older adults, enhancing their quality of life. The study is published in the December issue of the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. About 78 million Americans were born from 1946 to 1964. Individuals of retirement age are the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. population, so there is great interest in preserving their cognitive and physical abilities, especially given the societal cost of the alternative. "We found that participating in Experience Corps resulted in improvements in cognitive functioning and this was associated with significant changes in brain activation patterns,” said lead investigator Michelle C.Carlson, PhD, associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health and Center on Aging and
Health. “Essentially the intervention improved brain and cognitive function in these older adults." The study is the first of its kind to examine the effect of Experience Corps, a national volunteer service program that trains seniors to help children in urban public schools with reading and academic success in other areas. 

The study followed 17 women aged 65 and older. Half participated in existing Experience Corps programs in Baltimore schools, while the other half were wait-listed to enroll in Experience Corps the following year. Participants were evaluated at enrollment and again six months later, which included fMRI brain scans and cognitive function testing.
“While the results of this study are preliminary, they hold promise for enhancing and maintaining brain reserve in later life, particularly among sedentary individuals who may benefit most urgently from behavioral interventions like Experience Corps,” said Carlson, who is now leading a larger fMRI trial as part of a large-scale randomized trial of the Baltimore Experience Corps Program. “As life expectancies increase, it’s important, from a public health standpoint, to delay the onset of diseases associated with aging,” said senior author Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. “This study suggests that new kinds of roles for older adults in our aging society can be designed as a win-win—for addressing important societal needs, such as our children’s success, and simultaneously the health and well-being of the older volunteers themselves.” Additional authors of “Evidence For Neurocognitive Plasticity In At-risk Older Adults: The Experience Corps Program” include Kirk I. Erickson, University of Pittsburgh; Arthur F. Kramer and Michelle W. Voss, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Sylvia McGill, The Greater Homewood Community Corporation, Baltimore, Md.; Teresa Seeman, University of California, Los Angeles; and Natalie Bolea, George W. Rebok and Michelle Mielke, Johns Hopkins University.The research was co-funded by a Research and Career Development award to Dr. Carlson from the Johns Hopkins Claude D. Pepper Center and by a gift from S.D. Bechtel.
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Volunteer Spotlight

Vivian Littlefield, American Red Cross

Meet Vivian Littlefield: Through her passion for nursing and dedication to the Red Cross mission, she has revitalized the ability of volunteer nurses to save lives, promote health and safety, and serve our communities.


About Vivian

Vivian Littlefield has always been passionate about nursing. After all, she served as the Dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing for 16 years, and was active in local, state and national roles related to health and health care. Then she was asked to serve on the Board of the Badger Red Cross Chapter in Madison, Wis. That was the beginning of a 25-year relationship that has reshaped the entire Red Cross organization and expanded Vivian's own impact beyond anything she would have imagined. When she joined the board of the Badger chapter, Vivian learned that the American Red Cross humanitarian mission matched her own professional commitment and professional preparation as a nurse: To save lives, promote health and safety, and respond to individual and family needs through service to communities. She was also intrigued by the importance that nursing played in the early development of the Red Cross, and how Red Cross nurses, including Jane Delano, Clara Noyes and Julia Stimson, played strategic roles in the development of American nursing. Vivian became the Chairperson of the Badger chapter board, and served on the State Service Council. She was also the volunteer chair of the chapter's Health and Safety Department. While the chapter was searching for a new Executive Director, Vivian stepped in to fill the interim role.
Managing a Response to 9/11
Vivian was excited about this opportunity, and felt confident that she could lead the chapter effectively given her previous involvement with chapter activities. Not long after she accepted the position, she came into the office one morning and was waved over by the staff to listen to the news. The date was September 11, 2001, and Vivian was running a Red Cross chapter. Almost immediately, the normal functioning of the organization at a state and national level was thrown into chaos. "We were into planning 'what if,'" Vivian relates. Her role as leader was to assure the staff that they were up to the challenge of responding to what was needed elsewhere, and that they could continue to provide the services their community needed and expected.
Volunteers and staff from around the area were deployed to ground zero, the neighboring New York Chapters and several points in-between to help with the overall American Red Cross response to the crisis. As increased numbers of people wanted to contribute blood, Vivian coordinated with blood services that depended on the Badger chapter for volunteer management. "I believe that I was able to lead in a challenging time," Vivian says. Vivian also served on the Regional Committee of the Red Cross and on the National Nursing Committee. Twelve years ago she became the National Chair of Nursing, a position that is over a century old. "The Red Cross at the local and national levels respected my background and experience," says Vivian. She felt that the work they gave her was important, and used her leadership skills and professional nursing experience
Reorganizing the Nursing Program
When Vivian had been the National Chair of Nursing for nearly seven years, the Red Cross was facing a significant financial crisis and a large number of staff people were eliminated. The layoffs included the Chief Nurse and all the resources allocated for supporting the 20,000 volunteers in nursing that relied on the Chief Nurse, the National Chair and National Nursing Committee to guide and support their efforts across the country. In short, Vivian was left with no support or resources for a large national program. Then she was asked to lead Red Cross Nursing as a volunteer. Vivian was well aware that the volunteer nurses looked to the Chief Nurse as an important leader, advocating and guiding their efforts. She also recognized how difficult leading would be when funding and even an administrative home were not identified. However, she still said yes. "I could not let Red Cross Nursing be eliminated," Vivian explains. She gathered a group of nurse and non-nurse Red Cross leaders to become the revitalized National Nursing Committee. "We had a planning session as to how we would proceed to not just 'save' Red Cross Nursing, but to revitalize it," Vivian recalls. She and the members of the National Nursing Committee worked to strengthen the State Nurse Liaison Network, created working groups, and requested that the Chief Nurse title and position be reestablished.
The Red Cross leadership heard them and their external supporters. Ten months later, they had a new Chief Nurse. When the new Chief Nurse, Sharon Stanley, arrived in March of 2009, they had a functioning State Nurse Liaison Network, an administrative home and a promise of funding for critical activities. "We had a base to build on," Vivian says. Today there is an infrastructure in place to support volunteer nurses across the country, a plan for the future of how nurses can assist in meeting corporate and business line goals in health related activities, and a strong National Nursing Committee with members who are advocates and advisors for what nurses can do to assist in meeting the mission of the Red Cross. "I feel good about where we are given the challenges," says Vivian. "But I know there are still challenges ahead." "Vivian has been the glue that has held the nursing function together while it went through some difficult reorganization," says Sharon Stanley. "Without her, nursing could not have revived in the way it did." Now Vivian is stepping down from her role as National Chair of Nursing. "I hope to be supportive of Red Cross and Nursing in the future, but believe it is time after 12 years to let others assume the major leadership roles," she says. She feels sad that she won't be as large a part of the next steps, connecting with so many colleagues daily. But there is also joy that there are talented leaders ready to step up and continue the mission. "I'll be in the cheering section!" she exclaims.
Volunteering with the American Red Cross allowed Vivian to continue her involvement in her profession of nursing post retirement, gave her new challenges, new learning and a lot of great colleagues. "Vivian was more than a volunteer for the Red Cross," says Sharon Stanley. "It was her full time job, but most of all, it was her full time mission. "Volunteering gives you new learning opportunities," Vivian says. "It brings you in contact with committed, interesting people and it allows you to give back and to use your past learning and experience." So to others she only has one thing to say: "VOLUNTEER!"
Vivian, we think that is excellent advice.

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