Updated: Sep 11, 2019
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to cry,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director
WE MADE IT!!!
Twenty years of serving our communities and country through numerous life-changing outreach programs with 100% volunteer positions and no paid staff! What an accomplishment for everyone involved. On September 9th, 2019, Be the Star You Are!® is 20 years old. Yes, it has been a labor of love for me to trudge forward despite our numerous setbacks. There was a time when BTSYA had only 43 cents in the bank and I knew I would have to close the doors within a week because we just didn’t have the funds available to proceed further. Sadness filled my soul.
Then a miracle happened. Actually…THREE miracles in the same day.
#1 I opened the mail from my 18-year-old daughter who had just started her first year of college and was also working to pay her expenses. Out fell a check for $100 with a note that read, “Mom, this to help Be the Star You Are!® continue its great work. I know I’ll always have you, but if you quit, the other kids won’t have you. You CAN’T quit.”
#2 The phone rang and a restaurant offered to give a percentage of their proceeds for a full day to Be the Star You Are!®
#3 A big envelope arrived from the kids at juvenile halls that we had been providing free books and reading circles to for several years. In the envelope were numerous hand-written thank you notes from these incarcerated youth. The hand-crafted cards were colorful and happy with mostly misspelled words and messages saying “thank you, gracias, or love you for caring”. One note read “Not only was this my very first book, but it was the first gift I’ve ever received.” But the note that tugged at our heartstrings the most said the following: “Thank you for saving my life. Without Be the Star You Are!®, I would have committed suicide.”
With those three “coincidences” occurring on my darkest day, I went outside at night to look to the heavens. “If I’m supposed to keep up this mission of empowering women, families, and youth, I need to see a sign. Please send me a shooting star.” Yes, I was praying for a signal. And miracle #4 transpired. A bright star shot across the dark sky going from the far left to the far right so that there was not a chance I would miss it.
It hasn’t been easy leading a non-profit but we are still here and we are always making a difference. I am honored to work with women, families, and teens. Their successes in life give me great joy.
I want to thank every person and business who has crossed paths with our outreach through two decades: volunteers, sponsors, beneficiaries, and donors. Be the Star You Are!® has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals across the globe. We donated over $2 million in resources with a 100% volunteer workforce.
Read about our amazing accomplishments at http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results . Special thanks to Lamorinda Weekly, Mechanics Bank, and Moraga Hardware and Lumber for recent donations and to Justine Christoff for creating our new logos.
BTSYA still struggles to get funding and we hope you will be generous and make a tax-deductible donation to help us celebrate our 20th birthday. You can donate through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504
We are not throwing a party or a gala, even though we wanted to, as we will use every donated penny to help others live and thrive.
No, I never quit. And I hope you will follow your heart and never quit either.
In the trilogy of Be the Star You Are!® books, I always include the poem, Don’t Quit. You can support the charity by buying books, at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store .
But I leave you with the last verse:
For Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But, sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.
What I’ve discovered is that success rarely comes on the first, second, third or fourth try. Sometimes even the hundredth. Keep trying and don’t give up. Even when you are rejected unnecessarily, consider each rejection as character building. You are a miracle of life, and you can do it. Give yourself a break, but never quit. You are a star! Embrace each “no” and exclaim, “Thank you, I am now that much closer to a yes!”
Together WE CAN!
Thank you for being part of our galaxy. Make sure to visit http://www.BTSYA.org to see our gallery of photos from the past twenty years. In this newsletter, we share a few!
Our new motto is “Communicate, Collaborate, Innovate!” Hope you’ll join us.
Blessings and Gratitude,
Be the Star You Are!®
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
VOLUNTEER WRITES ABOUT BTSYA EXPERIENCES
Volunteering is a great way for teens to band together or to work individually to make a difference in the community. BTSYA offers the opportunity to become a leader and learn communication skills with its numerous volunteer opportunities. Brigitte Jia is a university sophomore interested in helping to bring the flaws of society to light. A volunteer with BTSYA, she is a host and reporter on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio, artist, and published writer. She enjoys reading, playing the violin, and weightlifting. http://www.expressyourselfteenradio.com
Read Press Pass with the full story from Brigitte:
Read the newspaper article: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1314/Local-literacy-nonprofit-celebrates-20-years-of-service.html
COME SEE US AT THE PEAR AND WINE FESTIVAL
On Saturday, September 28 from 11-3pm, Event Teen Director Siri Phaneedra and BTSYA volunteers will be offering fun and free activities at the Be the Star You Are!® booth at the Pear and Wine Festival at Moraga Commons Park in Moraga. Henna, face painting, reading circle, pop up concert, teen radio reporters, and more will be available to celebrate our 20th anniversary. The canopy will have the name of our sponsor, The Lamorinda Weekly. Stop by with the family, enjoy the festivities, and make a tax-deductible donation. More info at https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org/events. To aid with sponsorship, email info@Bethestaryouare.org.
FIND BOOKS AND HONEST REVIEWS
Be the Star You Are!® partners with The Reading Tub to increase literacy by offering first hand, honest reviews of books for young people. BTSYA Star Book reviewers read and write reviews which are published at The Reading Tub at https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/
and also in our creative community at http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html . You’ll find more than 3000 reviews of books. We thank Founder and Executive Director, Terry Doherty, for her passion and dedication to books while collaborating with Be the Star You Are!®
“WOW! 20 years. That is awesome. Perseverance and passion ... you have them in limitless supply.” Terry Doherty, Founder and Executive Director, The Reading Tub
'Give yourself a boost of positivity by buying copies of our signature books in the Be the Star You Are!® series. 100% of the proceeds benefit the charity and you’ll treasure the stories for a lifetime. Buy now at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store.
PPS: Read how BTSYA is Making a Difference: https://www.ibpa-online.org/news/460747/IBPA-Member-Spotlight-Cynthia-Brian.htm
“I Am Because We Are”
by Karen Kitchel
Photo from Wiccanbipolarforum’s Post
An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits.
When he gave them the signal to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat in a circle enjoying their treats.
When he asked them why they chose to run as a group when they could have had more fruit individually, one child spoke up and said: “UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”
‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are.”
Contributed by volunteer Karen Kitchel who is passionate about scattering kindness. Currently, she serves meals to the homeless, is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. She wrote the chapter, The Gift of Adoption, in our book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World and she continues to volunteer as a contributor to our newsletter. www.scatteringkindness.com
LEND US YOUR EARS!
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with our two upbeat, life-affirming, innovative radio broadcasts from Be the Star You Are!® Radio heard on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel. StarStyle® airs Wednesdays LIVE from 4-5pm PT with host Cynthia Brian as your empowerment architect bringing you edu-tainment that will change your life for the better. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are
Express Yourself!™ airs on Sundays at 3pm PT with teen and young adult hosts interviewing a variety of authors, musicians, celebrities, and experts on topics of interest to the younger generation. https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself
Visit www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com to see the descriptions and photos.
To sponsor or advertise on any of our programs, please email info@BetheStarYouAre.org.
DISCOUNTS & MORE
We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504
Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556
Other easy ways that assist our mission and don’t cost you a penny!
1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882
2. Discounted books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity
4. Use GoodSearch to search the web & buy from your favorite stores. Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too!http://www.goodsearch.com/goodto-go/be-the-star-you-are
5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA
6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net
7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 3300+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc
8. Designer Clothes to Buy or Sell: https://www.unionandfifth.com/charities/be-the-star-you-are-moraga-ca/shop
9. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” T-shirts and tanks $19.99 at StarStyle® Store: https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store
10. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4
Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
Positive Results: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results
About Us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us
How to Help: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help
Contact us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact
GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/
We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504
A FINAL STAR SPARKLE
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Be the Star You Are! 501 c3, PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556.
Celebrating 20 years of stellar service to the world!
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
Press Pass B;g: https://blog.voiceamerica.com/2019/09/10/we-made-it/
All donations are 100% Tax Deductible according to law. Thank you!