#PeaceBegins With You This Holiday Season and Beyond!

"Peace begins with a smile." -Mother Teresa

With so much strife in the world and even in our neighborhoods, it can feel like peaceful coexistence is beyond reach. However, believing in peace can connect us - and we believe that peace is within our reach. #PeaceBegins with us - #PeaceBegins with you. 

According to Google, we searched for "hope" more than "fear" in 2014, and #PeaceBegins with hope. Imagine looking around the room - or the virtual world - and being able to see others who believe that #PeaceBegins within us.

What inspired #PeaceBegins?

#PeaceBegins was inspired by the Christmas Truce of 1914. During World War I, over 10,000 German and British troops temporarily ceased hostilities to come together peacefully for Christmas. You can read more about the Christmas Truce here.

How Can You Help?

  • It's true that #PeaceBegins with you! Here are some things you can do to brighten the world peacefully.
  • Perform one act of kindness.
  • Pay it forward.
  • Play A Better World, the game on Facebook that rewards charities when YOU perform good deeds!
  • Spread the word on social media sites by adding #PeaceBegins to your tweets and posts! Tag us in your posts and we might share: 
                        Facebook: Click here to share your #PeaceBegins story on Facebook
                        Twitter: Click here to tweet with #PeaceBegins
                        Instagram: Say it in a picture and use #PeaceBegins

Do you have other ways to support #PeaceBegins? Let us know! 

Kindness Matters: An interview with Orly Wahba

Today we’re chatting with our friend Orly Wahba, the founder of Life Vest Inside, a non-profit dedicated to empowering the masses to engage in acts of love and kindness. Life Vest Inside is hard at work preparing Kindness Corner, an after school program focused on getting young people involved in acts of kindness. We’re very excited about this new program and think you will be, too!

BetterWorldians: What is the Kindness Corner?

Orly Wahba: Kindness Corner is Life Vest Inside’s very own after school program, designed to get children more involved in acts of kindness, and spreading good will and compassion to those around them through a creative outlet! Every child has a talent and the Kindness Corner helps children share those talents while inspiring others to live kindly! After all, why not use those powers of creativity for good?

BetterWorldians: So, how does it work?

Orly Wahba: Simple!

Here’s the deal:

Step 1: Each month, LVI posts a new creative activity of the month (kids are also encouraged to email us with ideas for upcoming monthly activities). You complete the current activity for the month.

Step 2: Children, teachers, parents, etc. can download the instructions for the monthly activity from our website.

Step 3: Activities are uploaded/submitted by the deadline.

Step 4: LVI selects a winner each month and displays the activity along with a brief description of the winner and a short description of the meaning behind their project loud and proud on our website for all to see!

Not all children are as strong academically, but LVI wants to draw attention to the talents and creativity that every person and every child has within themselves. We want to celebrate that beauty!

BetterWorldians: What kinds of activities will there be?

Orly Wahba: Activities/projects vary from month to month and can range from art, to music, to poetry, to film, to photography. The list is endless! For example, one of our activities calls for either one person or a group of people to create a Kindness Quilt! This is a great example of a project that can work well in the classroom. Teachers can give their students challenges or group projects focused around the Kindness Corner Activity of the Month and submit it on behalf of the class or school.

BetterWorldians: How can people get involved?

Orly Wahba: Currently we are working hard over at LVI to get things ready to go! Click HERE to see the Kindness Corner landing page. We hope to launch the Kindness Corner by World Kindness day (November 13th, 2014). In the meantime, there are endless ways to get involved, whether you have 30 seconds, 3 minutes, or want to get even more involved with Life Vest Inside! Click HERE and visit our Take Action page to see the possibilities!

BetterWorldians: What do young people gain by participating in acts of kindness?

Orly Wahba: Simply put, confidence, self-value, inner validation, and a glimpse to the great potential they have to affect change in the world. These benefits only touch on the surface of what kindness gives to a person in general. Kindness allows us to see the world through different eyes, recognizing just how special we are and by so doing, recognizing just how special each person is. It creates a greater sense of respect, understanding, love, equality, and, ultimately, peace!

One of the greatest issues plaguing society today is a lack of self-value and self-worth. People fail to recognize that although they may be one in seven billion, they are significant and they most certainly matter.

BetterWorldians: How does kindness help make the world a better place?

Orly Wahba: How do we make the world a better place? It might sound strange - but it starts by respecting and loving ourselves in the greatest possible way!

When a person engages in act of kindness they begin to catch a glimpse of their beauty and their potential and are validated for the right reasons as opposed to what society may tell us. It’s not about how many “followers” we have, how many likes we have on a picture, or how much money we have in the bank. What matters is the lives we touch, the imprint we leave on others. Kindness is the greatest way to empower a person to see their inherent value. Kindness helps a person love themselves for the right reasons and once a person loves themselves, loving others is simple!

Kindness is a universal language that transcends race, religion, ethnicity, and nationality. Through kindness, LVI has created connections and opened dialogue with people across the globe, including parts of the world torn apart by conflict. By creating this dialogue, we have established peace in place of conflict, love in place of hatred, hope in place of fear, and kindness in place of mistrust. Kindness is that common ground that ties us all together and provides an opportunity for us to focus on something we all believe in, rather than what we may disagree upon. By doing so, we will notice a drastic change for the better in the choices people make, in the way they treat themselves, and, therefore, the way they treat others.

Life Vest Inside utilizes the transformative power of kindness to empower and inspire people to see the amazing potential they have to make a difference in the world.

BetterWorldians: How can people support the Kindness Corner?

Orly Wahba: Life Vest Inside is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that runs solely on the gifts of giving from people who believe in the power of kindness to truly transform the world. In order to help us continue to inspire and provide resources, we ask our fans and kindness enthusiasts to contribute and have a hand in our growth! You can donate to our cause HERE. We are also looking for dedicated and committed volunteers to assist us with managing the Kindness Corner! Feel free to reach out to me directly at orly@lifevestinside.com (Subject Line: “Kindness Corner”).

If you play our game on Facebook, A Better World, you’ve already supported Life Vest Inside. In June, we teamed up with LVI and challenged our players to complete 500,000 good deeds in the game. They did and we released funds to help build the Kindness Corner. Play A Better World {link the the game here} and help charities every month!

Thanks so much to Orly Wahba for taking the time to chat with us. To learn more about Orly and Life Vest Inside, check out her website or you can listen to her episode on BetterWorldians Radio about everything Life Vest Inside does by clicking HERE!

3 Ways to Pay It Forward

Kindness is contagious, and the best way to encourage kind acts is to pay it forward. When you commit an act of kindness, you inspire gratefulness, positive attitude, and a warm feeling in the person you helped - and then he or she goes on to help others. This chain effect is called ‘paying it forward,’ and it’s easy to see how one simple act of kindness can positively affect a community at large. Although being kind is often a selfless thing to do, acts of kindness can come back to help you.

Paying it forward is also a wonderful habit for kids. Science has shown that those who do kind things for others are happier themselves. Encouraging a child to be kind can be as simple as demonstrating how to save a few extra allowance dollars each month to put towards charity.

3 Easy Ways to Pay it Forward

Paying it forward can involve spending a few extra dollars if you have them, but not all acts of kindness cost money. Here are some inexpensive and free ideas to pay it forward:

1) Buy Some Coffee - At a coffee shop or any restaurant with a drive-through window? Brighten someone’s day by shelling out a few dollars towards their coffee. This recently happened in St. Petersburg, FL, where over 750 Starbucks customers participated.

2) Pay the Toll - Bridge and highway tolls are minor annoyances. Why not ease the strain of the morning commute by paying the toll of the person behind you?

3) Start a Kindness Boomerang - Sometimes, acts of kindness come back to you. And if they don’t, it’s likely that you’ll still feel great about having done something to help someone else! Check out Life Vest Inside’s video all about the kindness boomerang. This one involves some free kind acts.

Share Your Story

Kind acts are integral to A Better World. In the game, you can perform many acts of kindness. Head over to the Positive Post to send a kind note to a friend - or send a special heart from the Heart Cart.

Have you ever performed an act of kindness? Share your story in the comments or reach out to us on Twitter to let us know all about it. If you’d like to pay it forward, why not get some Acts of Kindness (AOK) Cards from Life Vest Inside?

Do-Good Gaming: How Doing Good Makes a Difference in A Better World

A Better World is a popular social game on Facebook that rewards players for doing good deeds while raising money and awareness for charities. To date, over 2.5 million people have reported over 22 million good deeds in A Better World.

Each month, A Better World highlights a different charity. We set do-good goals for our players - and when they meet the goals, we release funds to support the charity.

How Can You Make a Difference in A Better World?

There are many ways you can help others and perform good deeds in A Better World. Explore your world and interact with the different settings, such as:

  • Gratitude Grotto: What are you grateful for? Support others’ messages of gratitude and share your own.

  • Heart Cart: Do you want to share a kind picture with your friend? Send along a heart from the Heart Cart. We have hearts made especially for holidays, specific family members, and even hearts featuring your favorite BetterWorldian pets!

  • Sanctuary of Hope: Share a wish or a hope. If you want to make the world a better place, this is the place to share your aspiration.

  • Positive Post: Send uplifting messages to children in need via CURE International. Your encouragement helps!

  • Department of Do-Good: Report your good deeds. Let the world know what you did to help others. Your kindness is appreciated.

  • Sanctuary of Prayer: Support your friends’ prayers or initiate a prayer circle. Put your positive energy out there to support your loved ones.

Our Charity Partnerships

By playing A Better World, you join other BetterWorldians in supporting the charity of the month. When players reach over 500,000 good deeds, we release our donation - that means your kindness and hard work helps others!

We have helped the following charities:

  • HEALTH: In April, 2014, we partnered with CURE International to help suffering children get medical treatment.

  • KINDNESS: Have you ever paid it forward? Life Vest Inside’s mission is to promote kindness and kind acts.

  • COMPASSION: In September, we’re supporting KaBOOM, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America's children. Their mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities.

Since January of this year, we have partnered with the following organizations:

  • January- Operation Warm

  • February- Angels & Doves

  • March- The Miracle Foundation

  • April- CURE International

  • May- Cradles 2 Crayons

  • June- Life Vest Inside

  • July- One Simple Wish

  • August- The Jed Foundation's Love is Louder

Additionally, A Better World is a safe, fun, family-friendly environment that includes pets, fashion, and mini-games. Do Good, Have Fun, Change the World. Start playing today.

BetterWorldians Blog: Welcome!

Welcome to the BetterWorldians Blog! Whether you’re a player of A Better World game on Facebook, a regular listener of BetterWorldians Radio, or new to our vision, we thank you for visiting our site.

Our goal with everything we do is: Do Good, Have Fun, and Change The World. We focus on positive thinking, positive values, and positive actions. In short, our vision is to “Bring Out the BetterWorldian in Everybody” so we can all make it A Better World.

We’re very excited to launch the BetterWorldians Blog - and we want to let you know about all the fun and uplifting content you'll see here:

1) A Better World - Play Games, Do Good

A Better World is a virtual world game on Facebook that creates a fun, inspiring environment allowing you and other players to help others and make the world a better place. The game is creating a powerful legion of do-gooders known as BetterWorldians who are rewarded for doing good deeds while raising money and awareness for real life charities.

Over 2.5 million BetterWorldians have reported over 22 million good deeds in A Better World.

The core mechanic of the game is "Do Good, Feel Good, and Have Fun." As a player, you can earn Do-Good Gold for doing acts of kindness like expressing gratitude, sharing hopes and dreams, sending get well notes to real world sick kids, and more. And you can use Do-Good Gold for fun activities like decorating your dream house, dressing in your favorite fashions, and playing with your pets.

Every month, we set do-good goals for our players that, when met, release funds to support causes like providing new coats for kids in need this winter, improving facilities for orphans in India, supporting the anti-bullying movement in schools, providing life saving surgeries for kids in the developing world, and many more. Are you ready to make it A Better World?

Learn more at http://Facebook.com/ABetterWorld.

2) A Better World - Game Walkthroughs

A Better World is SO big and there are so many fun things to do! Our virtual world offers lots of ways to do good and have fun. You can do neat stuff like:

  • Caring for pets

  • Decorating your home

  • Doing good deeds

  • Playing mini-games

  • Shopping and dressing your character

  • Visiting neighbors and making friends

We’ll share walkthroughs and supporting content to so you know how to have the most fun in A Better World!

Have a tutorial suggestion? Please feel free to comment on this post, send us a message at Facebook.com/ABetterWorld, or email us at: ABWSupport@toonups.com.

3) Resources: How To Make the World a Better Place

Do you want to improve the world? We’ll offer plenty of resources to help, including original tips for YOU to make the world a better place and additional tips from our friends. Lots of these tips involve activities for children and things that families can do together so you can help your community and your friends with family support.

We want to help you do three very important things:

  • Be happy

  • Do good

  • Share your enthusiasm for helping others

4) Interviews with BetterWorldians Radio Guests and Related Topics

Have you ever listened to BetterWorldians Radio?

BetterWorldians Radio inspires you with "the people and ideas that are changing the world." Learn how doing good leads to feeling good and hear how small acts make a big difference.

Each week, we interview the experts, authors, volunteers, business owners, spiritual leaders, and everyday people dedicated in their work or craft to making this A Better World.

Every BetterWorldians Radio guest brings a special theme and message to us and listeners just like you. Past topics include:

You can expect topic tie-ins related to the week’s radio show.

Do you know a BetterWorldian who you think should appear on our radio show or blog? Send us an email: Radio@BetterWorldiansRadio.com.

At the BetterWorldians Blog, we believe that social media and do-good games are all about conversation. We love to hear from players of our game and listeners of our show, so please send us your suggested topics.

Thank you!

The BetterWorldians Blog Team