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Heroic Acts: Bucket List Foundation

by Presenta Plaque | on Oct 09, 2012 | No Comments

For this month’s Heroic Act, we are bringing you an exceptionally inspiring and heart-wrenching organization: the Bucket List Foundation. The foundation was established by Kimberly Iverson, a hospice nurse who had the desire to help her terminally ill patients fulfill their last and deepest wishes. She began to ask her patients what they most wanted to do or experience in their life, and through her own resources, she would make these dreams come true. Of the dreams she’s heard, she says, “Most are not looking for a fantastical wish. In fact, many of the responses seem like such simple requests; however, because of their disease process and physical limitations, financial means or emotional outlook on life, these simple wishes seem grandiose and unattainable.” In 2011, Kimberly turned her heartwarming passion into the Bucket List Foundation with a dream of her own to enhance the lives of terminally ill seniors and promote the optimism of making the most out of life.

The generosity of the foundation has granted a multitude of wishes to terminally ill seniors; they wish to be reunited with loved ones, travel back to their hometowns, ride in a helicopter, fly a fighter plane, or go deep sea fishing, none of which they would be able to manage or afford on their own. The foundation makes travel arrangements for family to visit or medical arrangements which allow the patients to travel. Sometimes the wishes take creativity and resourcefulness to fulfill, but sometimes, like in the case of 84 year old Delores who simply asked for the chance to ride the metro light rail through Phoenix and then go out for lunch, all it takes is time and compassion. The foundation always gives more to the seniors than is asked of them, as Kimberly and her family often are personally involved in aiding and spending time with the seniors in their last days. Kimberly involves her children in each wish granted and says she hopes to “teach our children at this young age to appreciate, give back unselfishly and love this generation who has given so much to theirs.” That is undoubtedly a lesson that should be imparted on all children.

In taking on volunteers for wish fulfillment, Bucket List Foundation takes the time to match volunteers purposefully with each need to guarantee a valuable experience for all. Their volunteers work both directly and indirectly with the terminally ill seniors from granting wishes to participating in community outreach and fundraising opportunities, so anyone willing to volunteer will be able to find their calling within the foundation.

To get involved with Bucket List Foundation, or to read more about the end of life wishes they’ve granted, grab a box of tissues and visit their website.

Rewards and Recognition: What It Means to Your Employees to be Recognized

by Presenta Plaque | on Sep 19, 2012 | 1 Comments

Many employers believe it’s unnecessary to reward employees for a job they are getting paid to do, but what employers need to understand is that materialistic reward systems are not at all the same as recognizing employees and acknowledging the effort and commitment they put into their work. Rewards tend to be a broad and impassive “high-five” to the employee for an overall job well done, but recognition is entirely about being noticed for a specific task or series of tasks undertaken especially well. In fact, the more precise and singular the task being recognized, the more effective the gesture is in motivating the employee.

However your company decides to recognize employees, what’s most important is that the gesture is meaningful to the recipient and lets them know that their performance is being noticed for its exceptional qualities. People want to feel like the work they are doing is making a difference, and that their presence and effort means something to their superiors. When recognition gives their efforts a sense of value, their morale is uplifted, and as anyone in the workforce knows, morale is infectious. When one person feels valued, chances are others feel the same. Likewise, if one person feels bitter and underappreciated, their negativity is likely a sentiment empathized by the entire team. When morale is high, the chain reaction begins: negative stress among the group and individuals is considerably reduced, absenteeism drops and retention rates go up, and all of this leads to higher productivity.

To give the gesture of recognition the greatest meaning to the employee, make sure that you’re acknowledgements are made public. If the employee is being singled out in front of his or her peers, the acknowledgement feels all the more unique and consequential. This also sends the message to other employees that with hard work, their efforts will be distinguished as well. Bear in mind that each employee has strengths and weaknesses, so don’t recognize only the achievements that are great for the entire company, but give credit to employees who excel beyond their usual skill levels or who overcome a particular personal weakness on the way to accomplishing something new.

“Thank you” is a phrase greatly underused in business, and as long as there is meaning behind it, it can never be said too much. Distinguishing your employees for their hard work and making them feel meaningful to the company shows them that you are invested in their success. When you’re invested in your employees, you’re invested in the future of your company. Check out our website or give us a call at 1-800-824-2930 or 480-966-1175 for more information on how you can show your employees just how much they’re valued.

Heroic Acts: Military Family Support Group

by Presenta Plaque | on Sep 10, 2012 | No Comments

Last month for our Heroic Acts blog series, we presented you with Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun and their annual Rock & Roll Paint-A-Thon. Turns out, there are even more heroes in our community,  giving back to those in need, and we at Presenta Plaque regard it as our mission to bring you the stories of these admirable people.

This month we are recognizing the local Military Family Support Group and their efforts to send care packages to troops positioned in Afghanistan. Contrary to their name, Military Family Support Group is not limited only to family of the military. Their volunteers consist of veterans, military parents, spouses and children, local high school students, scout troops, and anyone just wanting to show support for the troops. They declare “all are welcome,” and they truly mean it. Launched in 2003, the group meets weekly to share their experiences, stories, letters, pictures, and concerns about their loved ones who are, have been or will be deployed. The group supports all branches of the military, they are not politically or religiously affiliated, and they do not use their time together to discuss political views on the war. Rather, their weekly meetings are a chance to support one another in their individual struggles and plan their involvement in charitable community events: blood drives, angel trees at Christmas, making quilts for fallen Arizona soldiers’ next of kin, serving lunches at the Veteran’s home, and more.

On the last Wednesday of each month, however, these meetings have a different purpose; they become packing parties where members gather the donations the group has accumulated throughout the month and assemble the care packages that will be shipped to Afghanistan. Each month, they manage to send over 350 care packages to troops overseas. They collect everything from canned food and toiletries to calling cards and games. The troops provide grateful feedback when there are shortages of particularly needed items that the Military Family Support Group needs to focus on collecting, or when a fellow comrade has no family or is not receiving mail. For those soldiers who have no connections to home, the group becomes their link. They send care packages to these troops as well as personal letters and email.

In order to continue their hard work, the group is continually in need of donations to support their care package assemblies. They encourage businesses, schools and churches not only to get involved in collecting items or giving donations, but to join their group and be personally involved in the packing parties. For a full list of requested donation items or for more information on how to donate or get involved, visit their website.

Dixon Golf Named Presenta Plaque to Your Hero’s August Recipient!

by Presenta Plaque | on Aug 24, 2012 | No Comments

Every month,  the team at Presenta Plaque is always thrilled to be able to recognize amazing organizations in our community that focus much of their efforts on giving back and donating to charity. Last month we named law firm Snell and Wilmer as the July winner. Read more about their story here.

This month, we are pleased to announce that Tempe-based golf manufacturer, Dixon Golf, is the recipient of our August Presenta Plaque to Your Hero campaign! Dixon Golf is the world’s only manufacturer of a high performance, eco-friendly family of golf balls. Borne from a desire to limit its impact on the environment, Dixon also offers a golf ball recycling program through its retail locations that gives golfers credit for returning their old golf balls. Even the packaging is made from 100 percent recycled material. From core to cover, from packaging to production, Dixon Golf is setting a new standard in environmental consciousness.

What’s more, they announced in July that that they have donated more than $125,000 to charity in the first half of 2012! Through the Dixon Challenge, a fun and innovative par-3 game, Dixon Golf has focused on two things – giving back to charity and growing the brand. The Challenge has helped them do just that. Through the Challenge, money has been raised for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the First Tee, the Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Rotary Club International and the Knights of Columbus, just to name a few.

Congratulations to Dixon Golf, thank you for all you do in your community! If you are or someone you know is interested in nominating a local hero for this campaign, visit our Facebook page for more details!

Rewards and Recognition: Employee Benefits

by Presenta Plaque | on Aug 23, 2012 | No Comments

Business is naturally about the exchange of goods and services for a profit, which makes it easy for businesses to focus on the bottom line and nothing else. Company policies and the management in charge frequently lose sight of the human beings (we’ll call them employees) toiling away at the machine, making the wheels turn the profit. After all, if the final outcome is profit, does it matter how the company gets there? Yes, absolutely, and it’s essential to let employees know that they matter.

With record-breaking unemployment statistics in recent years, many companies have got it in their collective minds that they are doing their employees a service by hiring them in the first place. Shouldn’t the employee feel thankful to even have a job in this economy? But is that really the kind of mentality that you want your employees to have – that they’re merely lucky to have survived the latest round of layoffs? Certainly employees should have some amount of appreciation for the jobs they have, but employers should be thinking that they too are lucky to have their employees. That’s the kind of employee companies should want – the kind that does such fantastic work, the company would be sad to see them go.

Department of Labor statistics show that the number one reason for voluntary turnover is an employee’s lack of appreciation. Natural human instinct tells us that we need the satisfaction of knowing that our time and efforts are spent working towards something of value and meaning. If an employee doesn’t think that anyone even notices the work that they do, why do it? It’s incredibly rare for anyone to have a career that naturally fills them with joy and satisfaction, so it’s necessary to have the validation of a superior saying that they see the work done and appreciate the effort involved. This validation gives employees a sense of purpose and motivation that keeps them actively engaged in the day-to-day. Without that engagement, employees become disconnected from their work and from the company as a whole and are more likely to quit as a result.

When employees are constantly in and out the door, the company is hit with massive costs to find a replacement. Consider first the advertising costs and the time the HR recruiter spends on searching resumes. Then add to that the payroll hours of the person conducting the interviews and the amount of time that person is spending away from their other duties. And that’s all just in the process of finding applicants! That doesn’t even cover the costs of drug screens and background checks or any other pre-employment screening your business utilizes, or the costs of training.

Considering the value of productive employees and the astronomical costs of finding and replacing them when they resign, isn’t it best just to show them how much they’re appreciated? The more appreciated employees feel, the more they give back to the company with loyalty and longevity. Let Presenta Plaque help your company show appreciation for its employees. We can provide plaques for true achievements like “Employee of the Month” or even fun awards like “Most Untidy Desk.” Whatever your company desires or needs, we can help you find what works for you. Visit our website for more details, or give us a call us at 800-824-2930 to place an order.

Heroic Acts: Rebuild Together, Rock & Roll Paint-A-Thon

by Presenta Plaque | on Aug 14, 2012 | 1 Comments

With good deeds happening in our community every day, it can be difficult for the heroes in our lives to receive the credit and recognition they deserve. That’s why at Presenta Plaque, we strive to bring you the stories of these remarkable men and women (and even children!) who make our community so wonderful, through both our Presenta Plaque to Your Hero campaign and our new monthly blog series.

For this, our second series in the blog, we bring to you the volunteers of Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun, and their annual Rock & Roll Paint-A-Thon. Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun (RTVOS) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide low-income seniors, veterans and disabled individuals with necessary home improvement and repairs to give them independence and worry-free comfort. Typically, low income homeowners are fixed in older homes within neglected neighborhoods, but it is these older homes that require more maintenance and significant repairs to sustain even the lowest living standard. Often homeowners in these neighborhoods struggle to afford their basic daily needs, let alone overwhelming home repair costs. In these cases, homes are left in derelict conditions that can cause both personal and environmental safety concerns. With seniors and disabled persons, the biggest safety concern is often that they cannot afford to make their homes accessible to accommodate their limited mobility. It is then that RTVOS steps in to offer homeowners free repairs and improvements that considerably enhance their living conditions.

Each year, Rebuilding Together hosts its Rock & Roll Paint-A-Thon where over 3,000 volunteers from other organizations, small groups and business come together to paint the homes of qualified applicants who would otherwise not have the funds or the ability to do it themselves. By improving the outside appearance of the homes, a general sense of pride is imprinted on everyone involved, from the residents of the home and the neighborhood, to the volunteers who labored to bring about the change. Homeowners can rest easy knowing that their house is being maintained and their home value is increased, and volunteers know that they have made an impact on another person’s life.

Applicants must be homeowners aged 65 and older or disabled and must earn less than 50% of their neighborhood’s median income. Volunteers unite to form teams of 15-25 people who each spend the day painting the exterior of one qualified house. Over five years, the Paint-A-Thon has reached out to 560 low-income homeowners to improve the outside of their homes to reflect the inner pride of homeownership they each undoubtedly have.

RTVOS has had over 60,000 volunteers across 500 different organizations give their time since 1991, and they have provided $7 Million in repairs to over 1,850 homes and 55 nonprofit facilities. To be a part of increasing those incredible numbers and get involved in this year’s Paint-A-Thon on Saturday, October 27th, or to learn more about this heroic organization, visit Rebuilding Together’s website!

Congrats Snell & Wilmer!

by Presenta Plaque | on Jul 26, 2012 | 1 Comments

With so many wonderful stories from our community, we are happy to announce this month’s Presenta Plaque to Your Hero July winner: Snell & Wilmer!

We came across recent press about this law firm’s nationwide policy to give back to their community and found them to be a worthy recipient this month. Snell & Willmer is a full-service business law firm with more than 400 attorneys practicing in nine locations throughout the western United States and in Mexico. They contribute considerable resources to nonprofits focused on early childhood education, the working poor, including Valley of the Sun United Way (Phoenix); San Xavier del Bac Mission (Tucson); Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver (Denver) and AFAN AIDS Walk (Las Vegas). Their attorneys also consider Pro Bono activities an important professional responsibility, and Snell & Wilmer strongly encourages all attorneys and paralegals to commit at least 50 hours per year to some type of Pro Bono activity. In fact, Snell & Wilmer has received numerous awards for their Pro Bono work.

Congratulations and thank-you to Snell & Wilmer, who continues to give back to their community in a big way!

Did you catch our previous of Presenta Plaque to Your Hero winners? You can read about Valley Leadership or BillingTree on our blog! If you know of an organization, an individual or anyone who you feel should be recognized, make sure you nominate them today for month of August! Include their name, address, and story in our nomination form at:

Rewards and Recognition: Why It’s Meaningful to Recognize

by Presenta Plaque | on Jul 13, 2012 | No Comments

With good deeds happening in your community, great work done by employees or a challenging program completed by your child, recognition is a crucial part of our lives and others’ lives. Here at Presenta Plaque, we greatly value hard work and good deeds, which has led us to not only recognize the heroes in our community, but to be the go-to award provider for various needs of companies nationwide.  Therefore, we were inspired to begin a series on our blog regarding recognition, whether it’s ideas for how you can recognize someone, the positive benefits of those receiving it or even how recognition in the workplace leads to high employee retention.

With that being said, it’s important to understand why it’s truly meaningful to recognize others. It is human nature to want our actions to confirm that what we are doing matters.  In fact, recognition can be an easy but effective way to build self-esteem and confidence in an individual, especially when they are younger. In next month’s blog post in this series, we will delve more into the idea that recognition in the work place leads to happier employees, which also results in higher employee retention and a strong company structure.

Join us on Facebook and share a memory of when you received recognition! We would love to hear from you!

Heroic Acts: Junior Purple Society

by Presenta Plaque | on Jul 10, 2012 | No Comments

At Presenta Plaque, we are constantly hearing of the wonderful heroes in our community, especially through our Presenta Plaque to Your Hero campaign. With so many stories to tell, we decided to begin a new monthly series on our blog and share these amazing heroes and their touching stories.

For our first story in the series, we chose to highlight the Junior Purple Society. As you’ll see when you watch the video, this is a school sanctioned, student run club for students grade 1 through college. The Junior Purple Society club involves students in providing local resources, hope, and inspiration to childhood cancer patients and their families. While engaged in community service, the students learn valuable lessons in humanity, compassion, and leadership. The Junior Purple Society Clubs visit local hospitals, deliver food to families in active treatment, deliver Nitalia’s Blankets to children in the hospital, visit children in treatment, plan and execute awareness campaigns, and many other activities.

For more information about this great club, visit their website  and to get involved with their September walk, click here.

Thanks Junior Purple Society for all you do!

Stock up on Plaques for Your Summer Programs!

by Presenta Plaque | on Jul 05, 2012 | No Comments

We recently provided some ideas to keep kids busy this summer, including programs for the little ones and even teens!

As the summer gradually winds down and talk of school begins again soon, it’s important to remember to reward children for a job well done at their summer sports program, reading program at their local library or even recognizing their commitment to keeping a summer job. It’s not about who the winner was or what they placed, but how they grew as individuals and the lessons they learned.

Whether if they receive a certificate of placement or completion, or even if you create an award for them, make sure to show them your support and added personal touch by placing it in a beautiful plaque and hanging on the wall for all their friends and family to see.

Whether they receive a certificate of placement or completion, or even if you create an award for them, it’s important to reward children for their participation and progress.

There are several ways to acknowledge a job well done, according to netplaces:

  • material rewards (toy, stickers, book, etc.)
  • intermediate rewards (trip to the mall, city park, or library)
  • social rewards (hugs, praise, positive acknowledgment)
  • a keepsake or memento like a plaque 

Our plaque kits are the perfect way to show you care without spending a lot of time and money!