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Entries Tagged as window cards

The things that make our day

by Meredith · 05.24.2011

At Compendium, we're like the rest of you: there are days when we could use a little reminder that the work we do makes a difference in the world. That's why, one rainy Friday, we were so thrilled to receive this email from Kalene, who works at a drug and alcohol treatment program. Her words reminded us exactly why we love the work we do, and we wanted to share her story with you.

Kalene wrote:

I wanted to take a minute to once again say thank you so much for your products, services, and support. I bought some inspirational window cards a couple of years ago, and I give them weekly to the women in our drug and alcohol treatment program. These cards have made such a difference in these women's lives. For many, they have entered treatment with no hope, no sense of self-worth, and have extensive traumas that have perpetuated their addictions. The majority have extremely strained relationships with their families due to their use and abuse of drugs and alcohol and the behaviors that accompany their usage.

Every week, I rotate between the cards To Your Success, I Believe in You, Believe, Success, and Never Quit. The women read their card out loud and take a moment to share how it applies to them in their lives.

Since we started in September 2009, we have had 6 women graduate our program, with 8 set to graduate in June, and an additional 10 by the end of this year. At their graduation, I give each one of them a journal from Compendium, signed by the treatment team, along with a box of window cards. These women then journal about the first 30 days of their new life, using tools they learned in treatment to support their recovery, and share their journal writings with the women in treatment.

I want everyone at Compendium to know that you have had a major impact on several lives--not only those who are currently working to change their lives, but also many kids who have their moms back, parents who have their daughters back, and siblings able to re-unite. What you do really does matter!

 

» 1 Comment   Tags: relationships · window cards · inspirational products · encouragement

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Words, Wings, and Unexpected Things

by Meredith · 09.14.2010

Wow, everybody. Really.

I had no idea there were so many Compendium blog readers, and I certainly had no idea how many of you would be interested in jumping on board for our Window Card project...

Apparently, there are a lot of you! I've heard from representatives of all corners of the United States, and from four foreign countries as well. I've heard wonderful stories of what you're planning to do with the Window Cards you receive, and I've even heard lots of stories of great things you've already done with Window Cards. I've had warm-hearted and uplifting conversations with many of you. And I've responded to a lot of emails.

So let me tell you where this project stands: I have Window Cards ready, letters folded, and even some willing help around the office (they work for pizza). We're waiting on a shipment of padded envelopes, and then we'll be stuffing, sealing, and shipping packages off to you. Hopefully, without any stray slices of pepperoni.

I'm grateful to all of you for your enthusiasm, willingness, and heart. You should all be receiving something wonderful in your mailboxes, just as soon as can be.

» 7 Comment s   Tags: window cards · inspirational products

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Words Have Wings

by Meredith · 09.07.2010

As a writer, I've always believed wholeheartedly in the power of words. Words to express gratitude, words to express love, words to apologize, to build relationships, share joys, process the world around us. In the few months that I've worked at Compendium, it's become even more apparent to me how the right words at the right time can change someone's day.

One of my jobs here is to find a daily quote to post to our Facebook account. I choose quotes from books we publish, or quotes that people share with me, or quotes from our gigantic quote database, which is filled with thousands of statements from all kinds of people, on all kinds of topics. An hour in the quote database is like a whirlwind trip through the ages. There are thoughts from Roman statesmen, movie stars, saints, poets, philosophers, and football players. Most days, a quote hits me hard right between the ribs, and I know that's the one to use.

But the best part of the whole process is hearing from all of you, and knowing that those words hit close to home for someone else. I love watching the responses come in from our Facebook fans, especially when they're along the lines of "this is exactly what I needed to hear today."

A few weeks ago, I came up with the idea of sending our quotes out to a broader population--not just to those who purchase our books, or those who've added us to their Facebook network. I wanted to make it possible for our words to find people at home, in the world. Serendipitously.

So Dan Zadra and I asked our warehouse staff to stockpile some Window Cards for us--cards that arrived at the distribution center in dented or damaged boxes, but whose contents were still perfect. Now, we're giving those cards away. In a big way. We want to send thousands of Window Cards out into the world, and we want you to be involved.

How? Send me your mailing address, and we'll send you an envelope full of Window Cards. Each one will carry its own message of inspiration. They'll be assorted. And they won't be for you. They'll be for you to give to friends, or leave in mailboxes, or place on a park bench or in between the covers of a library book. They're for brightening the bus driver's day, or the waitress', or the parking attendant's. And with any luck, they'll hit close to home in just the right way.

A note from Compendium, April 2011:

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Words Have Wings project! We received inquiries from all around the United States and the world, and sent thousands of Window Cards off to meet people in surprising and unexpected ways. The project is closed for now, but please check our blog regularly for updates--we hope to create similar events in the future, and look forward to your participation!

» 23 Comment s   Tags: relationships · window cards · inspirational products · encouragement

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You Have the Power to Make Someone’s Day

by Dan Zadra · 08.19.2010


Some people just have a way of giving us a much-needed lift. They make our lives brighter or our hearts lighter---but we don’t always get a chance to stop and let them know how much we appreciate them.

Did someone walk you home from school when you were little? Who sat up with you all night when you were sick? Who taught you how to catch a fish, or ride a bike, or write a paper, or carry a tune?

Who knew you way back when?  Who taught you how to kiss with your eyes closed?  Who believed in you before you believed in yourself?  Who gave you your first break, or bet on your dream, or told you how good you could really be?

Looking back, who was the most amazing neighbor, teacher, doctor, camp counselor, coach or minister to ever come into your life?  And what about the special people who are with you on your journey today?  Someone always keeps the lamp of friendship lit, or the home fires burning, or lends you an ear, or writes the eulogy, or bakes the cake, or makes you laugh until your sides ache, or tells you they care and mean it.

These people have meant the world to you at one time or another.  Today, a personal note or thank you card from you---out of the blue---would mean the world to them.

Looking back on my own life so far, I realize that some of the people who were so good to me are gone now.  Did I thank them?  I hope so, I meant to.  Yesterday is gone forever, but today is a great day for all of us to stop and just say a simple heartfelt thanks to those who have made a difference in our lives.

 

» 5 Comment s   Tags: window cards · gift books · friendship

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A Celebration of Fireworks

by Steve · 07.09.2010

This past weekend, I was given the gift of participating in my son's engagement here on the roof of the Compendium offices. I've worked here at Compendium for over 16 years. When I first started, my oldest son was only 8 years old; he's now 24. Early on, Kobi, our president, would come over and give me direction in my home office. When I turned back to work, he would play with my three children until they were sent off to bed. That's just to say that we're all kinda family here. So not only was it a treasure for me to be a part of this engagement, but it has touched several others here as well.

While the engagement has been in the making for quite some time, the decision to "pop the question" on the 4th of July was a surprise, especially for his fiancee. Over the past few years, several Compendium employees and their families have used our rooftop vantage point to watch the Lake Union fireworks display. This year, my son told his fiancee that she and some co-workers of mine were invited to watch the fireworks together. My entire family came early to the office and transformed the rooftop deck into a romantic bistro for two. We set out flowers, champagne, lights, tiki torches, her favorite "chocolate fondue," and Compendium's own Love window cards. As expected for Seattle, it rained and rained right up until an hour or so before they arrived, adding just enough anxiety to our already stressed excitement. Off to the side and out of sight was a camera capturing the entire event to remember forever. When everything was perfect, we all hid and waited.

When my son entered the deck from the stairwell, the surprise was over. In an instant, she knew. She turned around to see her "knight" on one knee. Her reaction to this posture was completely and overwhelmingly filled with joy. I had forgotten how exciting true love is at its inception. They hugged and cried and soaked up the moment for as long as they could. It was truly inspiring. He called us out of hiding along with some special friends and we watched the fireworks together, both theirs and those in the sky.

Love is amazing.

» 6 Comment s   Tags: love · wedding · relationships · window cards

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To the Best Friends We've Never Met

by Dan Zadra · 05.14.2010

 

Who can explain the magical sets of circumstances that conspire to create a lasting friendship or bond between people?

 

Here at Compendium some of our most cherished relationships are with people we’ve never even seen face-to-face. Sure, we may have talked with each other by telephone, communicated online, or even collaborated from a distance on mutually important projects. But we’ve never actually sat down and looked each other in the eye, or shared a handshake or a hug.

 

And yet, we know in our heart of hearts that these people who we’ve only known from afar have come into our lives for some important reason, large or small. We count them among our friends and kindred spirits. Over the years I’ve adopted a special name for them—a term of endearment that you are welcome to use if you, too, are lucky enough to have similar people in your life. I call these people “the best friends I’ve never met.”

 

Let me introduce you to one. Back in the 1990’s Compendium received a phone call from an elderly woman who lived on a small pension in a trailer park in Lacy, Washington. Her name was Betty Kieler, and though she spoke in a gentle, wavering, grandmotherly voice, we quickly discovered that she could be very tough and determined when it came to fighting for her causes.

 

Betty proudly informed us that she was the newly-elected President of the Northwest Senior chapter of Random Acts of Kindness. Their goal was to somehow feed and clothe hundreds of disadvantaged children in the Pacific Northwest, and also teach them to read. Betty wanted Compendium to help by donating our Gift of Inspiration books and our window cards to their causes.

 

 

 

 

Over the next decade, Betty became one of the very best friends we never met, staying connected across the miles by phone or email. We marveled as she overcame recurring heart attacks and cancer on the way to recruiting dozens of senior citizens to her organization. Over time, Betty and her elderly volunteers fed and clothed thousands of students, and created a wonderful student reading program that became a national model.

 

We didn’t have to meet her face-to-face to know who she was, or what she stood for. It was clear. To all of us at Compendium, Betty Kieler was a kindred spirit, a familiar and reassuring soul, a beautiful example of what we like to call the “inspired community”—and one of the best friends we never met.

 

There have been lots of others along the way—people of all ages and walks of life with whom we share something special, hopeful and affirming. And now, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and other far-flung ways of connecting across the miles, there are more of us getting connected than ever before. Here's to the inspired community, and to the best friends we never met. People like Betty. People like you.

 

» 3 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · volunteers · compassion · window cards · inspirational products · friendship

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The Right Words at the Right Time

by Meredith · 04.06.2010

 

Hello! I'm Meredith, the newest addition to Compendium's creative team. An incredible set of circumstances brought me here to Compendium, but I'll save that story for another post. Today, I'm writing to tell you about a famous fashion designer who crossed paths with Compendium long before she was a household name. It's one of those stories we love to hear--where a single insight helps to alter the course of a life.

 

A recent edition of Pacific Northwest--the Seattle Times' Sunday Magazine--tells the story of Luly Yang, the couture dressmaker whose elaborate and meticulously constructed garments have gained her a worldwide following. There was a time, however, when Yang doubted her ability to make a living in the fashion industry, and took work as a graphic designer instead. She continued making dresses in her spare time, and held onto the hope that she might one day make her passion into a permanent career.

 

One evening, she had dinner at Seattle's Palomino restaurant. If you dined at Palomino from 1998-2009, you probably remember receiving one of Compendium's Window Cards at the end of your meal. More than 20 million customers of Palomino received one of these "Thoughts for Good Friends" cards during those years, and Luly Yang was among them. Yang's was this quote from Jonathan Winters: "I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it."

 

 Photo by Kirsten Sessions

 

Yang took the quote as a sign, and decided it was finally time to start putting her passion first. With a home-equity loan, she rented a studio for dressmaking, where she spent her off-work hours. Over the next several years, she built her shop from a one-woman business to today's thriving operation, with a staff of seven, and a steady stream of international accolades.

 

Today, Luly Yang's shop is full of lace, buttons, thread and silk, and the dreams that fit these pieces together into something bigger and more meaningful. For us at Compendium, it's a good feeling to know that, years ago, our work connected with Yang's work at a key moment, just when she needed an encouraging reminder.

 

What about you? Over the years, we've sent nearly a billion Window Cards out into the world. Did you receive one that sparked an idea, or somehow made a difference that day, or in your life? We'd love to hear your story, and we'll try to share it in a future blog or on our Facebook page. Until then, live inspired!

 

» 3 Comment s   Tags: window cards · inspirational products · encouragement

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A Billion Messages of Hope and Inspiration

by Dan Zadra · 02.10.2010

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Careful what you set your heart upon, for it surely shall be yours.” It’s true. If you have a dream, write it down. The moment you set your dream to paper all sorts of unforeseen support, people and material assistance will quietly conspire to make your dream come true.

That’s how Compendium got its start. In the mid-1980’s I watched as the McDonald’s hamburger chain updated its signs to read, “50 Billion Served.”  I remember standing on a sidewalk in Seattle, looking up at that sign and thinking, “Hey, if someone can serve up 50 billion burgers, someone else ought to be able to find a way to serve the world something a little  more inspiring.”

[Read more »]

» 8 Comment s   Tags: window cards · inspirational products

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