Tag Archives: santa monica

Giving (anonymously)

IMG_4516Maybe it sounds weird to some people, particularly this time of year, but I love to give things to people I don’t know, or who don’t know I’ve made a gift.  Maybe that’s why I love our cooking group at the Downtown Women’s Center: Each month, we make a meal for a group of women we never get to see, but we know they need it, appreciate it, and that it’s delicious.

That’s why I went to the USPS facility on Central Avenue the other day and chose a few “North Pole letters” to fulfill.  I don’t know these kids, but can you imagine how cool it is to get something in the mail from someone who may or may not be….Santa? Most of these letters aren’t written from zip codes where good news is necessarily proliferating: If a kid asks for clothing, it’s a pretty good bet he needs it.

In that spirit, I’m sharing this video about someone who lives in our building here on Bunker Hill, Kayce.  She’s a beautiful young woman, in her twenties, who happens to use a motorized wheelchair due to a disease that’s wracking her spine.  I met her in the elevator a few months ago when she got on with about 10 women around my age.  “My moms,” she said.

Kayce and the cupcakes, donated by Big Sugar bakery

Kayce and the cupcakes, donated by Big Sugar bakery

We held a fundraiser for her last week here on Bunker Hill to rally the neighbors, many of whom have dogs they illegally claim to be service dogs, to see if we could help her out. See, Kayce needs a trained, legitimate service dog to help her gain independence.  She happens to have a handsome fiance, but who wants or needs someone with them 24-7 to do what many of us consider basic tasks? (And a local bakery even donated the cupcakes we served, just because we asked.  Nice!)

If you’d be inclined to help Kayce get this dog after watching this video a friend of hers made 

I’d be grateful. (This is the link at which to do so.) And you, too, can learn (if you don’t already) about the joys of giving in this selfless way.

Merry winter holiday (aka Christmas, Hanukah, New Year, etc) to you!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chain Reaction: St. Joan and the Fast Food Fortune

ImageNew year, new topic: Although not that new, to me.  I’ve been immersed in my research about Joan Kroc for two years now, and am ready to ‘come out’ and talk about it, just as I delve deeply into the writing of my book about her.

ImageOn Saturday, January 18th, please join me at the beautiful Insight LA center in Santa Monica, where I’ll tell the story of this remarkable woman’s connection to an art work just blocks away–which inspired me to dig into her backstory, and how she became one of the greatest (and least-recognized) philanthropists of our time.

Details, click here


Tagged , , , , ,

A million dollars of happiness for Santa Monica

The city of Santa Monica has been awarded a million-dollar grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to develop an index for well-being.  (You can read about the other winners of the”Mayors Challenge” in this NY Times story.)

ImageSanta Monica’s produced a slick promotional video for the effort (shot on the Big Blue Bus, buses being indicators of happiness because they avert that antidote to happiness, commuting.) While it incorrectly claims they shall be the first city to chart happiness (Seattle beat them to the distinction, and then there’s what’s been doing in the state of Vermont) it’s still exciting to see the city leaders commit to understanding, and then hopefully improving, quality of life.  By actually factoring quality of life into the equation, rather than treating it as a sideline.

The question they pose in their proposal: “how can cities use limited resources more effectively to create conditions needed for people to thrive?”

And of course all these efforts derive from the Gross National Happiness movement that emanates from the Kingdom of Bhutan….and, if you’re reading this, you likely know my interest in all that.

Now of course, none of this makes anyone happier. (And happiness is a squishy thing to define, right?)  It just makes people aware of the component parts that make a community a good, productive, proactiveplace to live.


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Shangri-La meets Bliss: @lisanapoli in conversation with @eric_weiner on happiness, happy places, the meaning of life, and, yeah, #Bhutan

Can you come out next Tuesday March 6th to Track 16 at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica to hear/see bestselling author and all-around swell guy Eric Weiner (Geography of Bliss, Man Seeks God,) talk to me about happiness, happy places, travel, random coincidences, the media, the meaning of life, and maybe a bit about Bhutan?

It’s a private event we’re doing to promote the paperback release of Radio Shangri-La, which Broadway Books is publishing on April 3rd.  (And we’ll give you a sneak preview of some big Shangri-La news, which involves a major retail chain as well as a philanthropic gift being made to READBhutan.
(There’s a new subtitle, new cover, fresh afterword, and a reader’s guide.)

8pm.  Doors open at 7:00 with some snacks etc.  Feel free to circulate this invite to someone who might be interested.
Just let us know you’re coming here so we can keep count:
And if that’s not enough of an incentive….don’t you want to see my broken foot?
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,