If you want to feel inspired to give back to your community and help empower others to do good, you MUST meet Jeannette Pawula of Charity 4LIFE. Not only is she gorgeous and has a vibrant energy and personality, but she is extremely business savvy and reaches every goal she sets.
Jeannette visits Balanced Babe to share her journey with Charity 4LIFE, her career advice, and her extremely useful tips for keeping calm and focused when you live an on-the-go lifestyle. Please meet, Jeannette!
Hello! My name is Jeanette and I am the founder & CEO of Charity4LIFE.org, and Development Advisor at Iamselfless.com. I am 30 years old and live in Wicker Park, Chicago with my rescue English Mastiff, Caesar.
BB: Tell us all about Charity 4 Life and how you established it!
There is an epidemic around the world growing at an alarming rate. Worldwide there are millions of street kids left alone and unsupported by responsible adults. They sleep on the streets, steal, are victims to abuse and prostitution, and are led down a path of drugs to curve their pain. We have found that there are very few organizations that support this demographic of kids. They are seen as delinquents and vermin, a problem to the community rather than vulnerable children who are looking for safety and love. Many people do not believe that these kids are worth investing in and that they are too much of a risk to see any rehabilitative results. But we feel differently and have seen the impact of what can happen when they are given the opportunity and motivation to succeed.
Charity4LIFE is a 501c(3) non-profit that donates 100% of all public proceeds to put street kids on the path to success by empowering them to overcome the barriers of street life. Our primary focus is to be able to aid street kids by providing them with the proper tools (education, life skills, recreation) that will give them an opportunity to thrive. The team dedicates a large portion of time researching the most effective strategies and techniques to improve conditions of street kids through collaboration with international NGO partners. Charity4LIFE was launched in 2010 to provide social awareness of street kids and provide a forum and avenue for Chicago based professionals to get involved in humanitarian efforts in innovative ways around their typical workweek. These charitable efforts are invested globally through sponsorships, partnerships, donations, and talented volunteers with various backgrounds to help aid street children.
BB: What is the mission behind Everyday heroes? Where can we watch it?
Everyday Heroes is a TV show that I am hosting and co-producing about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Everyday, there are people everywhere doing wonderful things for society, helping heir friends, loved ones, or even complete strangers. We’re going into their lives to capture their story, hear from those they’ve helped show and how its impacted their lives. This is a change to recognize deserving individuals for their good deeds not for their drama. Finally, a show about real people doing real things. Service doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to brng happiness onto others. It’s time to captivate everyday deeds that will leave you touched, moved and inspired.
Everyday Heroes will be airing on My DealTV Summer 2014
BB: How do you stick to achieving your goals and your tips to maintaining your focus during a busy week?
Really, when it comes down to it there are only so many hours in a day. I grew up with an immigrant father that taught me it’s all about how hard you work. I used to believe that until I completely burnt myself out and stopped giving back to the one person I needed to take care of most, myself. It’s about how smart you work and your ability to prioritize the importance of your tasks. In the midst of the hustle of daily work it’s easy to lock down on tasks that give you an immediate sense of progress such as responding to e-mails or returning phone calls, but sometimes the most effective activities fall to the side in the process. Everyday think about what task is going to get you closer to your goal and work on that. You have the choice to pick and choose.
Allocate two times a day for responding to emails.
Use your morning to tackle the most important task (We all know that as the day progresses there somehow becomes more and more tasks tacked on and then the I’ll do it at 4 turns into I’ll do it tomorrow).
Set checkpoints to make sure what you are doing is really in line with your vision to make sure you stay on track.
BB: Best business advice you ever received?
“My goal is to tell you as straight as I know how. I believe you’re capable of more, and that your best work is still ahead of you. However, all the positive thinking in the world will not amount to anything without decisive action. The rest of us need you to act, if you don’t, you’re robbing yourself, your parents, your family, your organization, and the world of a contribution that only you can make.” -Todd Henry
BB: How do you wish to inspire others to get more involved with giving back to society??
Charity4LIFE began filming a series of documentaries in the countries we work in. We successfully launched our first documentary, Cite Kids. The documentary is intended to spur social discussion & and be an inspiration to develop creative solutions from our member base. The entire documentary produced, filmed and edited by members of Charity4LIFE’s founders and volunteers & illustrates how children living in the slums of Cite Soleil can overcome adversity through the opportunities & skills afforded by education. We hope this will create some social awareness on the conditions kids are forced to overcome daily and demonstrate the impact of our work.
Charity4LIFE launched their Micro Project Initiative in 2014 to create an open platform to leverage the collaborative skills & talents of their supporters & followers to develop crowd-sourced solutions to target and address the immediate pressing needs of their partner organizations on the ground. We hope to create develop more solutions to immediate and pressing issues in the countries we work by tapping into the skill sets of our community members.
BB: Let’s talk lifestyle – How do you maintain The Balanced Babe lifestyle?
I need to first chuckle at this question. I don’t think I can consider myself the most balanced babe but I do consider myself a fulfilled babe. I don’t think I am the best person on giving advice on balance because my time is not distributed in equal proportions. What I can speak to however is finding moments to pause and self reflect in order to re-balance so when you are totally out of skew you can find time for what is important. As a woman who works a full time job while also operating a volunteer run non profit, what free time I have is committed to my passion of aiding street kids. People are often shocked when I discuss the charity as they find out this is not what I do full time for a living. They ask, “how do you find the time”? My response is always, “its not about finding time its about using the time you have wisely.” For me, I assess my life by breaking life into four tiers: Work, Spirituality, Health, and Relationships and then reflect and readjust if I begin to ignore more than one of these areas.
Some Helpful Tips:
Find time once a week to catch up over dinner with a girlfriend. Enjoy a quality night of catch up. Talk family, relationships, career and passions and drink some wine!
If you are in a relationship, do not take your stress out on your partner. Use each other as landing mats for support and encouragement rather than a punching bag. If you are single don’t snap at your mother for giving you advice you don’t want to hear.
Give yourself one consistent day and time a week where you commit to NOTHING and make it routine. That day has become Sunday evenings at 6PM for me. I decline barbecues, tickets to sporting events, etc. in exchange for a night in cuddling with the boyfriend and pooch over our favorite shows. It’s my favorite time for unwinding and recharging for the week to come.
Invest in a cleaning lady. The hours you save cleaning can be spent more productively. You will have a cleaner more organized space to come home to. Your work can be hectic. It does not mean your home should be too.
Spend 10 minutes every morning straightening up. If you are anything like me, I am constantly rushing to make the next meeting or event. I run home from work take the dog out, try on about 3 outfits before deciding on what to wear and then run out the door. This quick routine works wonders and will prevent you from reliving your college days where the majority of your clothes can be found on the floor than in your closet!
Take a forced mental break. In the middle of the day I take a short break to read a minimum of 30 minutes. It clears your head and helps you regroup. Especially in moments when you are most stressed!
Prep your food for the week. My lifestyle does not allow for time to cook on weeknights. My boyfriend and I do our grocery shopping on Sundays and make healthy snacks prepackaged for the week. We know if we don’t do this on Sunday, our new week will get away from us and we’ll eat out.
Find your uninterrupted “Zone Time”. I personally love staying in on Saturday evenings to do work. It is a non disruptive time where I can drink some champagne, play some music and cultivate creative ideas without the stress of having to wake up early.
Spa time is a must. If you are on a budget create a romantic night in for yourself. I love filling the bathtub with bubbles, lighting candles and playing Andrea Bocelli while I do some home spa remedies.
Travel! Get out of your comfort zone and explore. I used to have gilt around taking personal travel since the majority of my travels are spent in third world countries. But what I have come to terms with is you don’t have to be the barefoot hippy that travels the world on a limited budget. I am a business professional who is applying my skills to find improvements in areas that can use my expertise. There is nothing wrong with loving yourself and taking that beach vacation you worked hard for.
Power off. Disconnect to Reconnect. Spend time away from facebook, twitter, instagram, emails, the Internet, text messages and your phone! Even if you devote a few hours to non-phone time you will be amazed at how much more present you become.
Support your friend’s passions. You will feed off their energy and reciprocity will aid your own success.
Approach your work with the question, “what can I add? Rather than “What can I get?” – Todd Henry
BB: Ok Jeannette- You most certainly DO life a Balanced Babe lifestyle! What is your quick tip for maintaining your fit figure?
Again I laugh. You won’t find me at the gym pumping iron or paying someone to yell at me for one more rep. I like peacefulness and feeling grounded and found this through practicing yoga and taking leisure walks. It is important to get your body moving and release those endorphins but also to enjoy that mental break. Yoga is a form of meditation for me and leisure walks allows me to be present in my surroundings.
BB: What does a typical meal plan for a day look like for you?
I have to admit I am a foodie! I love to explore restaurants and enjoy the experience of ambiance, new foods and sharing meals over company and drink. Ask anyone who knows me and they will comment on the amount of oysters and champagne I devour. But believe it or not I find time to prepare healthy lunches and dinners during my weekdays and try to plan most meetings at coffee shops instead of restaurants.
Mornings I enjoy Blended Smoothies, Fruit or Yogurt on the go. My favorite snack is cut cucumbers with a splash of Siracha sauce. I also love toasted bread with avocado and red pepper flakes. I also eat a ton of seafood for dinner. The important thing is to implement fresh fruits and vegetables. See these foods as energy and nourishment for your body.
BB: What can we expect from you in the near future?
Charity4LIFE hosts a series of Networking fundraisers the third Tuesday of every month. Over 150+ like minded business professionals come out to socialize at hot new venue locations and support our mission to support street kids. Our next Happy Hour is on Tuesday, July 15th from 6-9PM at American Junkie.
I will was accepted into the Global Nexus Conference on philanthropy and entrepreneurship hosted by the UN that I will be attending in July followed by a trip to Haiti to visit with Charity4LIFE’s project partners and kids we support.
Our Charity4LIFE 2 Year Anniversary of Happy Hours will be at Castaways Tuesday, August 19th from 6-9PM
I am taking a girls trip to Istanbul in September and extending it into Santorini where the boyfriend is meeting me for a romantic trip.
We will be taking a holiday trip to Sri Lanka and India where I will be volunteering at an Elephant Refugee Camp over Christmas.