A Letter to Those (Including Myself) Seeking for Long Lasting Love

  |  Nathan Pham  |  

40361-be-you-large Two words: Don't Settle. Let me share a real life story that leads me to this conclusion. My name is Nathan Pham and I’m a byproduct of divorced parents.  Growing up in both cultures, Vietnam (East) and US (West), I’ve observed so many unhappy and broken relationships that got together for reasons other than “love.”  The experiences have shaped my perspective on what it’d take to discover love and have a lifelong and happy relationship. This past week, I had family (aunt, uncle-in-law, their son and his girlfriend) visiting from Vietnam. They spent a week with us here in San Jose, CA. We also had my cousin fly in from Seattle and an uncle fly in from Texas.  It was the biggest family reunion I could remember since moving here in 1992, and spending so much time together made it very special. There were endless gatherings of eating, drinking, catching up, and escaping the daily grind. Among the many discussed topics, the most frequent was, "Why isn't Nhan (my Vietnamese name) getting married?  He's already 33, and in Vietnam his cousins already have multiple kids."  There were many speculations, with the most popular one being "he's gay." This was the only way they could make sense of why I’ve shown no interest in the women they’ve introduced me to over the years. My family wanted an answer.  Everyone, especially my mom, wanted to get inside my head and see what I'm thinking.   Fundamentally, I...

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A Goodjoe ode to Mom

  |  Jenny Huynh  |  

175843-rocking-with-mommy-gallery Dear Mom,   You rocked me to sleep with funny lullabies, And you always made sure I had enough to eat.   You made me work hard in school, And made me finish all my evil vegetables.   You taught me how to share with others, And how to care for others.   I love animals because you love animals, And I love who I am because you love who I am.   Thank you for everything, every day. You're special and silly and beautiful and kind. Happy Mother's Day, momma! I love you!   J

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"Just take care of our children"

  |  Jenny Huynh  |  

942138_10151629987880539_1707378049_n Hello May! I’ve waited a whole year for you (haaaa). Do you know what time it is? It’s nonprofit time! This is when you’re all supposed to cheer with me because that means I’m about to share with you another SPECTACULAR organization that’s doing some SPLENDID things! Excuse my CAPS, I’m trying out different variations of “amazing.” To celebrate the start of this sunny month, you and I are going on a picnic with Our Military Kids. Mentally, of course, because they’re in Virginia, you’re on your computer, and I’m inside because it’s so hot today! Our guest of honor on this fine afternoon is Greg O’Brien, Communications Associate. Let’s mentally clink glasses and say “cheers!” because Greg just celebrated his 3 year anniversary with Our Military Kids and he’s got some great stories to share. Whose Military Kids? Our Military Kids provides grants to two different audiences: children with a parent deployed with the National Guard or the Reserves, and children of wounded service members. But what makes Our Military Kids truly stand out is the purpose of these grants: it allows their kids to choose the activities they want. The organization has funded sports, fine arts, Falconry lessons, materials for prom dress-making, gymnastics (!!!—remember this for later), and much, much more. In fact, Our Military Kids has provided more than 41,000 grants to date! The grants...

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To teach is to touch the future

  |  Jenny Huynh  |  

Tfa%20classroom In my life, I’ve had all types of teachers. I’ve had funny ones, serious ones, crazy ones, and ones that assigned so much homework that I thought I would die. Though no two teachers were ever the same, what my favorite teachers all had in common was a shared passion that was both infectious and inspiring. Under their guidance, the future seemed limitless. And I laughed and learned a lot, too. But not everyone has the privilege of learning under the wings of such talented individuals. When Emily Bobel, executive director of Teach for America – Bay Area, found Teach for America in her senior year at Stanford University, she was well on her way to a career in biotechnology and law. But the more she learned about the organization the more fascinated she became. As a Palo Alto native, Emily had a privileged upbringing. She had great teachers who were committed to her success. So how is it that right across the freeway in East Palo Alto (and all across the country), kids and young adults are receiving an entirely different level of education? As Emily learned more about these children and their poor schooling, she began to see her future playing out a lot differently than she had expected. So, of course, the biotech company was rejected. She was accepted into Teach for America and soon found herself in South Bronx, New York teaching middle school science. Emily was the first science teacher to arrive at the school, and quickly saw that the culture of th...

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Shine Bright!

  |  Jenny Huynh  |  

Hello all! Here's a quick guest post from our friend, Thuy, offering some springtime insight with a side of motivation. I'm loving the quote! Thanks Thuy! -Jenny Magnolias stand tall, unweaving to its surroundings. In nature, one's inner nature becomes reveal as we seek only that of which we are. In solitude, light is found and it is within us to foster all that we are, to shine brightly.    Attitude, determination and discipline enables the desire to forge ahead as well as balances time and patience. Peace brings forth reality and most importantly, the truth. Be free, shine as bright as the sun!  "All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose." - Brian Tracy

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Girl vs. World

  |  Jenny Huynh  |  

Gfclogo_350 It's Daylight Savings weekend! I hadn’t realized that spring was in the air until I was driving the other day and saw a tree covered in pink. Then I realized I was paying some serious non-attention because a ton of trees were covered in pink. Not only did this remind me that I need to stop and look at trees more often, but it made me pretty darn excited for some warmer, longer days. Longer days mean more things to do, and warmer days mean t-shirt weather! Like, you know, some Goodjoe t-shirt weather. Just sayin’. Now I’ve got duties to fill and there are billions of people in this world that I’d like us to meet. So let’s get on with it! Last month I got on the phone with Nhu Anh, the Director of Development and Communication for the nonprofit Girls For A Change. Girls For A Change (GFC) is a nationally operated organization dedicated to empowering young women to create social change. GFC provides a free after-school program that empowers girls living in the Bay Area’s low-income neighborhoods with the self-confidence, leadership skills, problem solving ability, and project management experience to be proactive, contributing members of our community. As a girl who had awkwardly stumbled through middle school and hid in the shadows of high school, I was eager to learn how this nonprofit was changing what it meant to be an adolescent girl in school and in life. It’s a Girl’s world Girls For A Change came into Nhu Anh&rsq...

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Pencils of Promise: Education for All

  |  Nathan Pham  |  

Pop1 Over the past few years of Goodjoe, so often we’ve been asked, “Why are you only working with nonprofits?” Well, the obvious answer is that we believe t-shirt design competition serves the need of helping nonprofits expose their cause and engage their supporters, both existing and new, in a very fresh and effective way. But there is so much more to the stated business reason. Here at Goodjoe, we believe that nonprofits are the foundation of society. Eachnonprofit that comes to life is rooted with generosity and sacrifice from its founder. To us, this generosity and sacrifice are very noble and must be recognized. Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to meet so many incredible nonprofit founders. Their stories are liberating and are the fuel behind the Goodjoe mission. So, today I’d like to share one of those stories. Some time ago in 2012, after our successful campaign with One Percent Foundation, I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Lana Volfsun, Executive Director of OPF. Since OPF is a community of Millenials that donate 1% of their earnings to other nonprofits, I asked Lana to introduce me to other nonprofits that might be fun for Goodjoe to work with. Instantly, she thought of Adam Braun, Founder and CEO of Pencils of Promise. She said, “They do amazing work in building schools for kids in under developed countries such as Laos.” She then connected me to Adam. (Thank you, Lana.)   &nbs...

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Brightfunds.org

  |  Jenny Huynh  |  

It's hump day! Here's a little encouragement to get us through the rest of this busy week and into the Super Bowl weekend! Go Niners!!! Unless you're a Ravens fan. That's cool, too. Today's guest post is brought to you by Brightfunds.org, who reminds us beautifully why we should give and work together to make a better world. Their question: how would you invest in a better world? The experience of givingLife can be thought of as a series of actions: a plain performance of everyday duties and obligations; a recurring route that always begins at point A and ends promptly at point b; a monotonous procession from one task to the next.   This bare bones approach to life is focused solely on the end result, reaching a destination-- and not about enjoying the scenery along the way.  It is a utilitarian understanding, a matter of fact means of navigating the world.At Bright Funds, we have different take on things: life should be filled with rich and meaningful experiences. The actions themselves are important, of course.  But these tasks are just the frame, a vague map suggesting which direction we should take. The substance-- the body and bulk of it all-- is made up of what we encounter along the way. The emphasis should not be so much on the task at hand, but what we learn and what we feel in the process of completing it.  It is about the knowledge we gain, the sensations we experience.  We should be fully immersed and wholeheartedly involved.&nb...

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Goodjoe no. 1 meets innov8social

  |  Nathan Pham  |  

Img_8000 Happy Monday! Today I'm sharing with you a repost of an awesome interview done by innov8social with our very own Goodjoe no. 1, Nathan! The official webpage for the interview can be found here. Read on, readers!   Interview with Nathan Pham, Social Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Goodjoe.com Behind the big idea of social enterprise Goodjoe---a community-based T-shirt company with a passion for doing good---is co-founder Nathan Pham.    Nathan's path to social entrepreneurship started  in tech and marketing. He graduated from UC Davis in 2003 with a degree in computer science before going on to work as a sales engineer at a few different hi-tech firms.    For him, the idea for a social enterprise sparked when he came across a Life is Good store in Chicago in 2007. He began researching the tshirt industry and crowdsourcing and reconnected with college friend Jourdan Yeh.   Together they worked on the concept of creating a platform to sell t-shirts with social impact messaging by crowdsourcing design from professional and amateur designers. In their business model, they built-in avenues to support non-profits looking to use Goodjoe by providing the service free of charge and promoting the non-profit 'stores' on the website and through design contests.  The concept gained momentum and Goodjoe officially launched at the end of 2008.    Goodjoe now carries thousands of products featuring the work of numerous design...

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Down Home Yoga

  |  Jenny Huynh  |  

Yoga2 Where have I been?! I’ve missed you Goodness Blog, and I feel like my insides are stuffed to the brim with words and thoughts left unspoken for 3 weeks. A little prelude to today’s events: 2012 has treated me to a wonderful series of opportunities to meet amazing founders and members of nonprofits that are doing what they love. Not only have these interviews given me a grand dose of inspiration, they’ve also given me a chance to do what I love: write. So thank you to Goodjoe and everyone that has taken time out of their busy day to give me these incredible experiences. I look forward to a 2013 filled with more amazing people and amazing stories, and all to share with readers who are seeking a little goodness, too. Now if you recall from my previous interviews with nonprofits, one of my faaaavorite questions to ask always goes something along the lines of “how did this first begin?” which would then lead us into a discussion about where the nonprofit came from, where it’s been, where it’s going. But my very last interview of the year was an all-new experience for me.  My fellow Goodjoe, Frank, and I found ourselves welcomed into the home of one Antonia Wong on a gorgeous San Franciscan day. Sitting around a table set for three with gracious plates of finger foods to snack on (how about those apricots, Frank?), Antonia let us into the exciting and hopeful beginnings of her new course in life, better known as Down Home Yoga...

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