I Love My LIfe

How Coca-Cola intends to #MakeItHappy on Super Bowl Sunday

Posted on January 27th, 2015 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Miz Meliz Newz Update

The Big Game is just around the corner!

Family and friends will gather together for the most anticipated gridiron rivalry of the year. Once again, Coca-Cola will be part of the evening as it debuts an all-new commercial for the ninth consecutive year. (Disclosure)

Since 1886, in the U.S. and around the world, Coca-Cola has proudly stood for positive ideals and values. They have communicated joy and happiness, and inspired many moments of optimism, diversity and bringing people together. Remember “Have a Coke and a smile?” or “Sing in perfect harmony?”

Now Coca-Cola’s advertising illustrates the importance of injecting a positive spirit into the real world and beyond. The folks at Coca-Cola are asking people to stand together with them to spread happiness – and help make the internet a happier place.

Let’s help them spread happiness and positivity. Together, we can inspire America to #MakeItHappy and help blunt the pervasive negativity many people experience across the internet and social media.

Look for the premiere of Coca-Cola’s 60-second ad during the first quarter of the game.

The stories that will be shared on the Company’s social channels leading up to the game, feature personal stories of online negativity. They are voiced by teens and influential people who have experienced it up close, including Danica Patrick, Michael Sam, and those who make it a mission to spread happiness online like Kid President. Please view Kid President’s video and the three teaser ads here. Leading up to the Big Game, look for new videos to be released on Coca-Cola’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social channels.

 Don’t miss the Kid President Video! See it here:

I hope Coca-Cola’s ad campaign inspires people to be more positive in their online actions. It is an opportunity to increase awareness of an important topic on the world’s biggest advertising stage.

For more information on Intentional Acts of Kindness read my post from Dignity Health. Intentional Acts of Kindness

Join me and Coca-Cola and #MakeItHappy

Tell me about some ways that you have spread positivity on the internet or share how you have seen either Coca-Cola or other companies spreading happiness via social media.

I am always happy to share information about positivity and kindness. I was not paid by any company to post this. All opinions and photographs are my own. See my disclosure for more details on why I write posts like this on my blog. The video, links, and some copy above was sent to my by the Public Affairs & Communications department of the Coca-Cola North America Group and it is being shared with permission.

Why is Christmas Still on My Mind? The Magic of it All @usfg @talktoSantalive

Posted on January 9th, 2015 by & filed under Be Inspired, Discoveries, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

Here Comes Santa Claus! Here Comes Santa Claus!

Wait a minute, that was last month. We sang Christmas Carols and listened to Holiday music all through November and December. Why am I writing about Santa Claus coming to town? Isn’t he on vacation in the Bahamas right about now? (Disclosure)

Getty Image

Santa Surfing (Getty Image)

 

Okay, okay. Hold on to your reindeer! Or hold your horses, whatever.

I am Not One to Name Drop, But I Really Do Know Santa Claus, He is a Friend of Mine.

Why is Christmas Still on My Mind? The Magic of it All

by Melissa Reyes, January 2, 2015

Our Sparkling and Happy Christmas Tree

Our Sparkling and Happy Christmas Tree

I want to share with you my feelings about the Magic of Christmas and why it had such an impact on me this year. Christmas is a tough time for lots of people. Even me. Christmas has never been the same for me since my parents passed away. It has always been my favorite holiday, but the last five years or so, I may have been just going through the motions. I suffer from minor depression and I get very stressed out at the end of the year with the hustle and bustle, time crunch, and financial pressures. Yet, I have always believed in the Magic of Christmas. I believe in miracles, big and small. I believe in Santa Claus.

This year, I was given an opportunity by TalktoSanta.com to have a conversation with the Big Man himself – a visit, an interview, a face to face – yep, me and Santa! Having the chance to talk to Santa ignited the Magic of Christmas in my heart in a way that I thought had been lost forever. I was once again excited about the holiday. I could hardly wait to have my chance to talk to Santa.

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Lorenzo Lamas, 1989 My Mom had a picture of herself with him!

My Mom always said that she knew Santa personally. She said she had photos to prove it. She also said she knew Lorenzo Lamas. But that is another story.

Even when she was a Grandma she loved to get her picture taken with Santa. The following year she would show the little kids that picture and say, “See? Grandma really knows Santa! He is a personal friend of mine.”

My Mom with Santa, Dec. 1997

My Mom with Santa, Dec. 1997

We are a religious, faith filled, and mostly traditional family. One of the traditions that my mother maintained, (that I also do) was keeping a youthful spirit alive by proclaiming our belief in the unknown, the unproven, and somewhat mystical ways of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. I feel like that is a way of teaching our children that it is okay to act like a kid and enjoy the fun, light, and magical celebrations as well as that you do not have to have proof to believe in things. After all, that is the cornerstone of our faith – believing in the miraculous.

It is no wonder then, when I doubted my faith and when I was depressed and grieving the loss of my loved ones, that it was difficult for me to entertain, enjoy, and engage in the fun and spiritual traditions of the holidays. If you are familiar with the story of The Polar Express, you will know what I mean when I say that for that time in my life, I could not hear the sound of Jingle Bells.

My time of grief may be over, or I may just be in a better place, but since I got the news that I could actually talk to Santa via video cam on my laptop – I have not stopped hearing the Christmas Bells ringing! I have been joyful and excited. I enjoyed singing and listening to the Holiday music, shopping, wrapping, cooking, sending cards, hosting parties, all of it. And I still feel good.

I have video proof that I know Santa personally. My mother would be so proud!

Roman and Me Getting Ready for our Chat with Santa

Roman and Me Getting Ready for our Chat with Santa

I shared this experience with my son, Roman. He is the youngest and most willing candidate in my family. He is theatrical and often helps me with my blogging ventures, especially the ones relating to entertainment. He is also the one who has always been the most skeptical about Santa’s existence and when he was little he stopped at nothing to prove that my husband and I were the ones who left the gifts under the tree. He has always needed a little coaxing to believe that which he cannot see, or prove. As much as I appreciate his scientific nature, he challenged me when it came to explaining why, at 46 years old, I still believe in Santa. I may have finally convinced him. After talking to Santa online, I think he gets it. Yet, he may never understand, and I may never be able to explain to him, why I needed to believe.

t2s_300x100_bnnrTalking to Santa was easy and anyone can do it. First, just going to Santa’s website is amazing! There are fun things to do and see. Children of all ages can interact with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There you can schedule your own personalized online chat with Santa or watch other videos to see what it is like. Just before Christmas Eve, you can even see where in the world Santa is delivering gifts.

After scheduling the online chat and filling in a little information about myself and Roman, I received a confirmation letter from Santa. When the big day came, we were prepared with a few questions to ask and we even got a little nervous about what Santa might ask us. It was so much fun and very easy. Now we will both have that video forever and I will definitely be showing it to my grandchildren someday. Roman and I also had a nice experience together, which as he gets older, I value very much.

Not long after our talk with Santa, and before Christmas, Roman and I each received a certificate stating that we were both officially on Santa’s nice list. It sure was nice for Roman to have that guarantee! Just kidding, I know he is a very good boy. I am pretty sure we both got what we wanted for Christmas.

Next year, add this to your list, for $20 you can get a video with your child talking to Santa. What could be better than that?

I want to thank TalktoSanta.com and the U.S. Family Guide for giving me this opportunity. I received the chat with Santa free of charge for the purpose of reviewing the service. Please see my Disclosure for more details on why I write articles like this. All opinions are my own. This is a true story, written from my heart. It is my intention that it warms your heart. All photos are my own, unless otherwise noted.

An Intentional Act of Kindness Can Take You to a Happier Place #IAK #Hellohumankindness

Posted on December 13th, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, sponsored

Thanks to Dignity Health and InNetwork for partnering with me so that I can bring these words to your eyes, and hopefully, to your heart. (Disclosure.) #Sponsored

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“I believe that an intentional act of kindness, is a unique stance of being that comes from the heart, that impacts your own life as much as it helps others in their time of need. For it is in giving that we receive, and when we give with intent without expecting anything in return, it is then that our heart is filled with love, peace, and joy.” ~Melissa Reyes of MizMeliz.com

 This blog post may blow your mind, and hopefully warm your heart.

I want to tell you about an innovative way that Dignity Health is providing help to those in need and share with you an inspirational story about someone who shows intentional compassion in his daily life. I hope to express what motivates me to use my talents and strengths to help people in need as well as spread awareness about the effects that acts of intentional kindness and service can have on society and in our own lives.

The Volunteer Match on the Hello Humankindness website unites people with ways to go above and beyond a random act of kindness and provides the most effective and impactful ways to give to non-profit organizations. This is especially handy during the holidays, but it doesn’t stop there.

Follow @HumanKindness on Twitter

Follow @Humankindness on Twitter

It is important for us to realize that we can make a difference. By helping someone in need, we are not only helping that one person with one act, we are changing the world and making it a better place for EVERYONE. It just takes one person and one act at a time. We can make a difference in our own lives, in the life of the person we help, and we can produce growth and prosperity for everyone in the world by sharing our experiences and spreading the positivity. That is what the Hello Humankindness campaign is all about.

Check this out:

At the heart of the Hello Humankindness.org website – you will find the Volunteer tab. This is where you are called to action. This is where you can connect and if you act on it, this is the door to finding your happy place and your next experience in helping to make the world better, healthier,and happier. Use the “Volunteer” tab on the Hello Humankindness website to find opportunities to perform an Intentional Act of Kindness.

Through their partnership with Volunteer Match, Dignity Health has compiled information about the most meaningful and impactful ways to give to non-profit organizations, when the need for these organizations is highest, and what kind of volunteering actually helps the most in need in the most effective way.

hello humanOur social news feeds are being inundated with short-form examples of kindness – Random Acts of Kindness, Upworthy videos, and Buzzfeed lists. These posts promise easy ways to perform token acts that have little impact on the beneficiary and mostly serve to boost the ego and get attention for the giver. This is especially acute around the holidays as people wrestle with their own sense of charity and altruism.

During this holiday season, there is an opportunity to cut through the noise and promote Intentional Acts of Kindness – acts of compassion that aren’t necessarily easy to commit, but are thoughtful, impactful, and have the potential to lead to a more kind world.

Here is my favorite thing that Hello Humankindness is doing and it is on Instagram! Nothing to download, no website to connect with, just go to your Instagram, follow @HelloHumankindness and check out suggestions for Intentional Acts of Kindness – some are as simple as reposting and spreading awareness.

Here is my favorite thing that Hello Human Kindness is doing and it is on Instagram! Nothing to download, no website to connect with, just go to your Instagram, follow @HelloHumanKindness and check out suggestions for Intentional Acts of Kindness - some are as simple as reposting and spreading awareness.

Here is my favorite thing that Hello Humankindness is doing and it is on Instagram! Nothing to download, no website to connect with, just go to your Instagram, follow @Hellohumankindness and check out suggestions for Intentional Acts of Kindness – some are as simple as reposting and spreading awareness.

“Our goal is to cut through the noise of token acts of kindness and promote Intentional Acts of Kindness #IAK.” ~Dignity Health

I want to help inspire and celebrate Intentional Acts of Kindness by sharing my story with you.

niceI am proud to say that I see many intentional acts of kindness happen all around me in my daily life. Starting with my kind, generous and thoughtful family, I was raised to be helpful and to always give unconditional love. I also work in a place that teaches and practices what is called apostolic works. More than community or Christian service, it is a form of selfless aid to those who are in need of our unique talents and strengths. I am also quite fortunate (and believe me, very grateful) to live in a society and culture that is willing and able to come to the aid of the needy. Especially during devastation and times of hardship (including personal tragedy) I have seen first-hand how people can come together and enrich the lives of others when it is most needed.

Not everyone in our world is as fortunate. In fact, most people will go their entire lives without ever knowing such goodness exists. Some may fall victim to the random acts of kindness, acts that are completed for self-gratification or status, without forethought. Perhaps meaning well, but terribly misinformed, our society has turned to performing these acts to attract attention from the public. I am sure that many people are helped in these momentary instances, or are made to feel good at the time. Yet, what is truly needed is a deeper understanding of how we can help our fellow man and make a positive and lasting change in their lives.

I have thought about this quite a bit, in fact for this entire year I have had a blog post in my draft folder that I have kept going back to and not publishing about a special person in my life who is the most selfless and kind man I know. It is more difficult than I thought to highlight the goodness of a truly kind person. More than just being nice, or kind, this man lives each day with an enormous amount of compassion. He makes his goal to help those who are often forgotten in our society, all the time – not just in the midst of media hype or at the holidays, or after a storm or earthquake – all   the   time.

My brother, Jonathan Lopez, is one example of a person who has an enormous capacity for intentional compassion. When Dignity Health asked me to help out in spreading the word about Intentional Acts of Kindness, his story is the first thing that came to mind.

*Read my blog post about Jonathan Lopez: “Who is Creating Sustainable Change…”

Connect with Dignity Health and Hello humankindness on Facebook

Connect with Dignity Health and Hello humankindness on Facebook

The powerful influence of goodness is astonishing.

You will be surprised how easy it is once you get started. By using a website or an app, like Hellohumankindness.org – you will be well on your way to making a real impact on our society and making positive differences in the lives of people everywhere.

I realize that for most people, it isn’t easy to know for sure if an organization is legit and if you don’t know someone who needs your help, where do you turn? Who can you trust? There are many places one can go to find information about volunteering. This is when you can use the Volunteer Match tab on the Hellohumankindness.org site that helps people find volunteer opportunities in their neighborhoods.

Find the Instagram tab a Dignity Health  on Facebook

Find the Instagram tab at Dignity Health on Facebook

What blows me away is how once you get started with being kind and taking it outside of yourself and putting aside your own needs to help others, it becomes a part of who you are. That is what I mean when I tell you that one act can and does make a difference. This is something good that we want to spread.

This will knock your socks off – but it doesn’t surprise me as it has become the norm. As I am writing this, believe it or not, I received this text message from my brother, Jonathan:

“Melissa, I am supporting Living Purpose Community Center in Chatsworth. They are having trouble collecting toys for 50 homeless kids attending elementary schools in the West Valley. These kids live with a parent in their cars and in people’s garages. Please let me know if you know of any organizations that may have extra toys or if you know anyone who can refer me to someone who might be able to help.” Thx, Jonathan

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Jonathan is ALWAYS doing this kind of thing. He thinks and acts way beyond his own course of action and abilities. He engages others to help out when he can’t. He asks for assistance, he develops relationships and connects people with others who need each other. Jonathan’s values are just like those of Dignity Health. It has become a part of his character to be kind and helpful to those in need.

How could he possibly know that I was just considering reaching out to help someone in need? He doesn’t need to know. He just acts, with intention, with compassion. You can too!

My family helped this kind woman move out of homelessness and into an apartment in Las Vegas when Jonathan knew we were going to be in the area. He asked me to deliver some items to her and we made a friend for life. Talk about random!

My family helped this kind woman move out of homelessness and into an apartment in Las Vegas when Jonathan knew we were going to be in the area. He asked me to deliver some items to her and we made a friend for life. Talk about random!

After years of connecting with organizations like Dignity Health, projects seem to come to me at times when I am willing and able to forge action. I know how special that is and I never take it for granted. But it is not that easy for everyone. One way to see beyond your front door and find opportunities to help others is at your fingertips right now.

I encourage you to think broader past the small daily acts of kindness, to focus on the most impactful ways you can help, give, and donate your time, your talent, your abilities, and your generous spirit during the holiday season, and always. When you do, you will see how doing so takes you to a place that is beyond happy.

This year at the holidays, I will be collecting toys for the homeless kids who live in my very own community and I will be sharing my experiences with you.

Use #hellohumankindness and #IAK on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest

Use this link to the Volunteer Match on Hellohumankindness.org and share your experiences.

Share the countless ways people around the world are acting with intention to be kind.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to partner with Dignity Health for this campaign and look forward to learning about ways that you have made a change for the better and live happier, be healthier, and share kindness every day. (See full disclosure here.)

 

 

Who is “Creating Lasting Sustainable Change for Those Who Need It the Most”?

Posted on December 13th, 2014 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

His name is Jonathan Lopez, I like to call him “John.”

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He is my brother. He inspires me daily by his example. Here are some things he has accomplished, and these are just a few ways he has made his life’s work to help others…

Kaiser Permanente Program Provides Hope and Resources to Homeless Patients

By Michael Carter

Homeless patients are getting the help they need to rebuild their lives thanks to a unique program at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center. Led by staff member Jonathan Lopez, the Homeless
Navigator Pilot Program aims to find shelter and other vital community services for homeless patients who seek care in their emergency department.

The program is the first of its kind for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. This unique program addresses the needs of homeless patients by using a coordinated approach that involves a dedicated team of staff and community resource providers. The team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, case manager, administrators, and the Homeless Navigator.

Since its inception in April, 2012, the program has placed more than 576 homeless patients into shelters, transitional housing, permanent housing, and substance abuse treatment programs. That’s a dramatic increase from 2011, when just 25 homeless patients were placed in shelters during the entire year.

“We offer an atmosphere of hope and caring to our homeless clients and we are making a significant difference.” ~Jonathan Lopez

The program has been so successful in ending homelessness for Kaiser Permanente patients that it has become a new model of care for this vulnerable population. During the past year, the program has received many accolades, including the 2013 Community Impact Partner of the Year Award from Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission and the Community Partnership Award from The Salvation Army in March 2013.

“Kaiser Permanente is not only a leading provider in health care, but now they are leading the way in health and human services through their Homeless Navigator Program,” said Ken Craft, president and chief operating officer for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. The Mission is a non-profit agency serving thousands of men, women, children and their families in the San Fernando Valley.

“Through the leadership of Mr. Lopez, homeless people who come to the hospital are treated with dignity and respect and they are connected to community resources. The program links the homeless with service providers that assist them with accessing case management and wrap around resources. ,This unique program has been a catalyst in transforming the landscape of homeless service providers. Now, thanks to Kaiser Permanente and the San Fernando Valley Homeless Service Providers we are all working together to assist the most vulnerable in our society,” added Craft.

Here’s how the program works:

Lopez serves as a liaison between Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center and nonprofit community partners that offer an array of services, including shelter, food, clothing, job assistance and substance abuse treatment. That’s in addition to permanent housing which is the main component to ending homelessness.
Working with emergency medicine physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers, and deputy administrators Lopez connects homeless patients with the services they need to end their homelessness.

Tom Gray, 46, credits the Homeless Navigator Pilot Program with saving his life. Addicted to crystal methamphetamine, he lost his home and job and had been living on the streets for many years. He came to the attention of homeless team after seeking emergency treatment for an abscess on his leg.

With the team’s support, Gray is now rebuilding his life. He is living at the Cabrito House, a sober living home for men overcoming alcohol addiction. He is also working as a sales representative for a heating and air conditioning company in Canoga Park, where he has been the sales leader for three out of 11 months. In his spare time, Gray gives motivational speeches to patients at the Tarzana Treatment Center, a behavioral health care organization that provides substance abuse and mental health treatment to adults and teens.

“Without this Homeless Navigator Program, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I would have gone back to the streets,” said Gray. “It’s a great program.” The homeless navigator team is committed to helping more people like Gray.

Last summer, Lopez expanded his scope of responsibilities, assisting homeless patients that had not entered the emergency department and consulted with dozens of homeless clients monthly after they were discharged from the ER. As the Homeless Navigator, Lopez develops community partnerships, through which Kaiser Permanente’s NavigationTeam is able to arrange for transportation and placement in local shelters, transitional housing and substance abuse treatment programs, when needed.

The goal of the Homeless Service Provider partnerships is to facilitate access to a continuum of care and coordinated services enabling them to identify long-term solutions to improve homeless clients’ living conditions and ultimately end their state of homelessness through permanent housing. Community Partners include the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, House of Hope, LA Family Housing, Columbus and Corbin House, San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission in North Hollywood, the Bell Access Center, Genesis House and The Lighthouse, a shelter for women and children in Ventura County.

In addition the Homeless Navigator Pilot Program works closely with Tarzana Treatment Center, Northeast Valley Health Corporation, and the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center. The newest community partners include the Frequent User System Engagement System (F.U.S.E) and SSG Alliance – Project 40.

Paul Read, president of the Cabrito Foundation, which oversees the operations of the Cabrito House, a sober living house for recovering alcoholic men, praised Lopez’ hands-on role in assisting homeless individuals.

“It is a great privilege to work with someone as dedicated as Mr. Lopez. He works tirelessly to find people just the right place that will give them the best chance to regain their status in the community,” said Read. “We are fortunate to be a part of his team.”

The Homeless Navigator Pilot Program benefits not only homeless patients but the community partners as well.
For the past 18 months, Kaiser Permanente employees have volunteered to prepare and serve dinner at L.A. Family Housing, The Lighthouse, and the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. The staff also helped paint the library at The Salvation Army and partnered with the agency on several events. Joint activities include The United Way 5K Walk to End Homelessness, the 2013 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count and tuberculosis screening for residents of the organization’s residential substance abuse treatment program.

“We’re developing an interactive, supportive resource-sharing partnership with our homeless service providers,” said Lopez. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality of care for our homeless neighbors and to be the best community partner possible.”

*posted with permission from Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills

Jonathan shared this note he received from a colleague recently:

“Just wanted to congratulate you again for the Hope of the Valley award Saturday night.  Well deserved and truly a labor a love.  Where would we all be without the support of people like yourself and your ‘friends’ when things go bump in the night and you feel totally helpless, scared and hopeless…..  “

“Thanking you from the bottom of all our hearts…. Kaiser family & framily : )” 
 

14517984Jonathan Lopez with Kaiser’s Homeless Service Provider partners:
Ken Craft, HOTV, Tim Walker, Columbus House, Tim Pardue, House of Hope, David Faustina, HOTV.
accepting the

Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission 2014 CATALYST AWARD:

Presented to Jonathan Lopez, 

“Creating Lasting Sustainable Change for Those Who Need It the Most”

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Intentional Acts of Kindness

In 2015, Jonathan begins a new path on his journey as the V.P. of Development for Hope of the Valley. With his partners and community connections, he will lead the way in establishing a new facility that will offer transitional care for homeless and needy people when they are discharged from the hospital and have nowhere else to turn.

In addition to all that he does for the community at large, John is always there for me. He actively supports his own family and mine in everything we do and he leads our family with great pride and undoubted unconditional love. Joyful, joyous, caring, sensitive, funny, humble, celebrated and beloved, he is the best friend to have and of course, an amazing person to have as my brother!

Jonathan has been honored with many awards for his service and commitment to helping others. I am quite proud of him for that. My entire family is immensely proud of all of his and my sister-in-law, Jennifer Lyons Lopez’ work as they both devote their life’s passion to helping others. By posting this, I not only commend them for their actions, but it is my hope to inspire you to do something. Every little bit helps.

Together we can make a difference.

I wrote this post and shared the articles above for the simple joy and pride it brings me. I am not affiliated in any way with any of the organizations mentioned above, other than in connection to my family members who serve as employees or as volunteers.

Do You Have Character?

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe, Quotes & Notes

Character -- the willingness to accept (1)

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