Get Involved With Make A Difference Day!

This Saturday, October 28th, volunteers from across the country will unite for Make A Difference Day, one of the largest annual single-days of service nationwide. Since 1992, tens of thousands of volunteers and communities across the country have come together on Make A Difference Day with a single purpose: to improve the lives of others through a wide range of community-driven service projects. People who observe this day perform some form of service for either their communities or those in need.

We all have opportunities every day to change the world, whether helping clean a highway of litter or volunteering at a local shelter to help the homeless. It’s amazing what just a small effort by an individual or group of individuals can do to change the world, or at least their local neighborhood. Make A Difference Day was established to help encourage us to take one day a year to try to make a difference in the world.

Make A Difference Day also is a great way for individuals to give something back to the communities they live and work in. People who want to participate on this day can do so by picking an area of need that exists in a community and fixing that need. It’s not only a great way to give back but also is an opportunity for all of us to improve our communities.

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Make A Difference Day resonates with MONAT because the company has a deep-seated belief in giving back to the communities where its customers, Market Partners and employees live. MONAT contributes to many charitable and needy causes. Recently, MONAT demonstrated its commitment to helping others with two great initiatives. In the first, MONAT partnered with Feeding South Florida on Oct. 29 to set up a food pantry for the Homestead community, an area that was hit hard by Hurricane Irma. About 300 local residents, representing their entire families, showed up, making the total number of people served more than 1,500. About 12 volunteers from MONAT’s Miami Home Office worked at the pantry, including CEO Rayner Urdaneta and his wife and son, and Chairman Luis Urdaneta.

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“People from different races, different countries and different backgrounds benefited from our event,” said Luisaylen Urdaneta, Senior Manager of Marketing & Gratitude Ambassador, MONAT. “Everyone was extremely grateful and thanked us profusely. I think this is a great representation of gratitude as a way of life…the belief that by helping others you feel real happiness in return. I loved our partnership with Feeding South Florida! We provided these families with healthy food and I know all of us felt honored to be part of such a giving effort.”

The second recent MONAT initiative was Canadian Thanksgiving Initiative for the Markham/Stouffville Salvation Army. This Salvation Army branch offers a weekly cooking class for community women and MONAT Canada took advantage of it to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for each participant. MONAT found out ahead of class how many people were in the families of each of the 15 women in the class and then donated a grocery bag full of all the right amount of ingredients necessary to make a hearty Thanksgiving dinner--turkey, vegetables, potatoes, stuffing and gravy—along with a MONAT Junior System for the children. MONAT’s Canadian office and warehouse staff delivered the groceries to women in the cooking class on Oct. 4th so they could take the food home to their families and cook an old-fashioned Thanksgiving meal!

“On behalf of MONAT Canada, I can say with assurance that we all feel thankful for what we have today and are grateful to be able to share with those who are in need in our community and provide something for them to be grateful for,” said Bethany Baldson, Events & Recognition Manager, MONAT Canada.

Giving back makes you feel better too. The gratitude, pride and fulfillment that come from helping those less fortunate or in need is immense. So this Saturday, why not go out and Make A Difference?

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MONAT Helps Children In Need At Salvation Army, US & Canada

MONAT’s July 4th Sale Funds
Back-to-School Backpacks in U.S. & Canada

Being involved in one’s community and giving back are at the core of MONAT’s culture. The company pays it forward in numerous ways. For example, recently MONAT donated more than 320 school backpacks to The Salvation Army in the U.S. and Canada for children in need. A portion of the proceeds from a special MONAT July 4th sales promotion were earmarked for the Salvation Army’s Apple Tree Program in the U.S. and the Back to School Backpack Program in Canada.

Both MONAT U.S. and MONAT Canada purchased the backpacks and school items and then packed up every single one for a joint delivery on August 4th in both countries.

The U.S. Miami office delivered the backpacks and supplies to The Salvation Army Community & Family Shelter in Miami, where they were greatly appreciated. Said Captain Nancy Azuaje, Associate Area Commander, “Thank you so much for supporting our APPLE TREE program. Many children will be benefited by your donations. God keep on blessing the MONAT family. Thank you so much for being so generous and kind to us.” 

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Lu Urdaneta, MONAT, and Miami Salvation Army Captain Nancy Azuaje

In Canada, the backpacks were delivered to The Salvation Army Community & Family Services Coordinator in Ontario, where they were equally appreciated. As Terry Harney, Family Services Coordinator at the Salvation Army Markham/Stouffville, posted, “Thanks to friends and community partners MONAT Canada for their wonderful donation of backpacks and supplies.” Julie Hynes-Whalen Staff at Salvation Army Markham/Stouffville, posted, “We LOVE the support.”

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Heather Anderson, Distribution Lead Hand, and Stephanie Chandler,
Graphic Designer, MONAT, MONAT Canada Gratitude Team
and Julie Hynes-Whalen, Ontario Salvation Army

With hundreds of happy children now fully ready to board the school bus, you can see that MONAT really does practice giving back as a way of life!

“Thank you for participating in our July 4th More Than a Hand Cream promotion,” Lu Urdaneta, Senior Manager of Marketing and Gratitude Ambassador, MONAT, said. “Thanks to you we were able to do this donation in the name of the MONAT GLOBAL FAMILY! You’re not just enjoying soft hands, you are also making a difference. That’s the beauty of our GRATITUDE program.”

Slow Mo Selfie

Show Us Your “Slow Mo Selfie!”

Slow Mo Selfies Are Fantastic and Fun

We've all done it. You wash your hair with MONAT and you can't believe how incredibly soft and luxurious it feels. So you run your fingers through your hair over and over again, turning your head and swirling your hair. You feel like you’re in a hair commercial! In fact, you feel so great you take a video of your own hair in slow motion:

Check out some examples of “Slow Mo Selfies:”

Send MONAT Your Slow Mo Selfie!

Let’s have some fun! Send MONAT your Slow Mo Selfie! Simply tag your video with #MONATinSlowMo for a chance to be featured on our Instagram page!
Isn’t long, luscious hair wonderful?

Gratitude List

Want To Be Happier, Healthier? Keep A Gratitude List!

Do you ever feel like you’re down in the dumps and can’t climb out? Do you ever wish you had more energy? The antidote? A gratitude list.

Gratitude List Helps

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Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships, say researchers.1

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Wow! Who doesn’t want to feel that way? The most common way to cultivate a pervasive feeling of gratitude is to keep a gratitude list – it will change your life! People who keep a gratitude list report feeling:

  • Alert, alive, and awake
  • More joy and pleasure
  • Increased optimism and happiness
  • Less lonely and isolated2

Writing Your List

When writing your gratitude list, use a full sentence for each item like, “I’m grateful for…” or “I’m grateful that…”

This allows you to put down a thought that is giving thanks as opposed to just listing things or people.

 

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart,
it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
—  A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

 

Try it yourself! Within only a few weeks, you will find that doing a regular gratitude list can actually change your entire perspective on life!

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Here at MONAT, gratitude is a core part of our culture.

Which is why we all exhibit a MONATtitude of gratitude! Gratitude is what makes our world go around!

1 MAIN, D.5 SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE. NEWSWEEK. NOV. 25, 2015. HTTP://WWW.NEWSWEEK.COM/5-SCIENTIFICALLY-PROVEN-BENEFITS-GRATITUDE-398582
2 EMMONS, R., Ph.D., Why Gratitude Is Good. Greater Good Magazine. Nov. 16, 2010. http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good/

MONAT Raises Funds For Wounded Warriors

Being grateful and appreciative of services performed is something MONAT knows firsthand since gratitude is at the very core of its culture. The company expresses gratitude in many ways.

For example, recently for a Memorial Day sale, MONAT included a special donation offer with all proceeds earmarked for the Wounded Warrior Project in the U.S. and Wounded Warriors Canada.

Wounded Warrior Project U.S. serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families.

MONAT wanted to give thanks to those who fought for our country and gave of themselves to protect us. While Canada does not celebrate Memorial Day, MONAT Canada took this opportunity to participate in the sale to help their country’s Wounded Warriors organization, which was developed to support all Canadian Forces members wounded on operations and to improve the general morale and welfare of the injured soldiers and their families.

The U.S. raised $14,000 USD and Canada raised $5,000 CAD for the cause. The donations were given to each organization this past Friday, June 16, during live Facebook events streaming from Miami, Florida, and Ontario, Canada.

MONAT really does practice giving back as a way of life!

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1 Engaging Families 2015 Special Editions—Mother’s Day. https://www2.ed.gov/news/newsletters/engagingfamilies/index.html
2 O'Reilly, Andrea (6 April 2010). Encyclopedia of Motherhood. Sage Publications (CA). p. 602. ISBN 978-1-4522-6629-9.
3 Recession or not: Mom comes 1st (phillyBurbs.com) | Local Business. http://phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/147-05082008-1530894.html

Today Is National Visit Your Relatives Day!

We all do it. We get so caught up with our busy, busy lives and fast-paced lifestyles that we barely see our relatives unless they live with us. In fact, far too many of us lose touch with relatives that aren’t close by. National Visit Your Relatives Day reminds us to stop for a moment, take time out and call or visit those relatives we care about and haven’t seen for a while. Life really is too short not to make time for family and that goes for extended family too.

Seeing a special aunt, uncle or cousin brings back memories, usually of childhood when get-togethers seemed to be more common. Be grateful for your relatives, as few or as many as you have. There’s a unique thread that’s woven through all families that ties us together. Who among us doesn’t have a favorite relative who acts as a stalwart support, helping us get through tough times and celebrating with us when we have successes? We need our families and they need us.

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Your relatives are your past, present and future. The older ones are living history. Not only can they tell you stories about your heritage, they can tell you what the world was like when they were young – far, far different than today. Your older relatives also are important when it comes to finding out genetic health issues that might be passed down. And don’t forget that the younger ones are the future and will carry on your family’s legacy.
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Even if it’s only by phone, keep the connection. A favorite, 90-year-old uncle can answer questions you may have about your mother if she’s passed. Your cousin and you can dissect family dynamics. It’s quite likely you had holiday diners together when you were younger and no one can erase those memories. Like the time your aunt put a Brussel sprout on top of your cousin’s piece of pumpkin pie because he refused to eat them? We all have funny memories.

And yes, some of course are sad. That’s part of life. But if you regularly keep your arm extended to your entire family, you can share your melancholy with people who really, truly understand what you feel and will walk down memory lane with you.

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Think about it for a second. What would life be like without your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and/or nephews? Pretty dull, heh? Take some time right now and pick up the phone. Better yet, get in your car and go for a visit!

The Science Behind Gratitude

At MONAT, gratitude is one of our core values. We believe that gratitude has the power to transform our perception. And science is backing us up. Within the past decade, there has been an increasing number of studies demonstrating that “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships,” according to Harvard Medical School (2015).

Additional benefits resulting from a regular practice of gratitude, as found in a University of Birmingham study (2013), include:

• Few intellectual biases
• More helpfulness toward others
• Raised self-confidence
• Better work attitude
• Strengthened resiliency
• Less physical pain
• Improved health and longevity

And it doesn’t stop there! Extensive research reveals that those who actively practice being grateful for the things they have feel better mentally and physically compared to those who think more about what they lack in life. Research published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research (2009) showed that study participants who expressed gratitude frequently “slept better and longer than those who didn’t.”

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, studies the psychology, sociology and neuroscience of well-being. Scientists there have corroborated other findings about gratitude and found that people who make gratitude a consistent part of their life enjoy numerous other benefits:

• Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More joy, optimism, and happiness
• Acting with more generosity and compassion
• Feeling less lonely and isolated

Just What IS Gratitude?

The word gratitude comes from the Latin word gratia, meaning grace or graciousness. As reported in the Harvard Mental Health Letter, “Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.”

Interestingly, whatever one’s current outlook toward life is, it’s possible to develop the trait of gratitude on one’s own. Here are some techniques you can use:

Take the Time to Write a Thank-you Note - You will make yourself happier and also can cultivate a relationship with a friend by writing a thank-you note, telling them how much you enjoy and appreciate how much they mean to you. Mail it or read it to them in person. Regularly send one gratitude letter a month. Occasionally even write one to yourself.

Why do this? A study at the University of Pennsylvania found that when study participants’ assignment was to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone they felt they had never truly thanked for a kind act, participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores, with benefits lasting for a month. Other research reinforces this concept.

Thank Someone Mentally - You get the same benefits of gratitude if you simply think about someone who has done something nice for you and thank the person in your mind.

Keep a Gratitude Journal - Develop a daily habit to write down thoughts about the gifts of life you've received that day. In a study at the University of Miami, those who wrote about gratitude vs. those who wrote about things that displeased them for a 10-week period were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Interestingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Count your blessings - Decide on a special time each week to sit back and write about your blessings, contemplating about the good things that happened or what you are grateful for. When you write, focus and remember how you felt and what your mood was like when something good happened.

Gratitude makes people appreciate what they have versus continually wanting something new, thinking that will make them happier…or believing they can't feel satisfied until all their physical and material needs are satisfied. Gratitude enables people to gain joy from what they have instead of feeling pessimistic or down over what they don’t have.

At MONAT, we make gratitude a way of life. We share our time, our energy and our resources with our families, friends, partners, clients and customers. You can too! At MONAT, this is Gratitude Week. Embrace it, share it and make the most of it!