Author Archive: Community Refresh Projects

Find that moneymaking business idea

Business-IdeaDeciding to start your own business or coming up with an idea to earn more money is actually not that difficult, you just need to do your homework and source out the competition. But, with so many people setting up businesses or becoming self-employed it can be extremely hard to think of something that has not been done before, or is not very common and there is room in the market for one more…yours!

To give you some unique ideas here is a list below to get you started. Perhaps you can even add an extra take to some of the ideas just to make it your own and really deliver something unusual.

Turn your hobby into a business

There are a lot of successful businesses out there that literally started with someone who decided to make money from doing something they enjoyed most. Do you have a hobby that could be turned into a business venture? Some examples of unique companies that started from a hobby are sculpture companies that produce hand carved sculptures from iron, steel, wood and even plastic and then sell them to hotels, restaurants, casinos, libraries, theme parks and so forth. The more unusual your hobby, the better. For example, one woman from the USA was obsessed with dolls and so she set up a doll hospital to repair and renovate damaged and old dolls. She even makes unique doll costumes. Other hobbies that can be turned into a business include jewellery making, painting, sewing, writing and even gardening.

Theme your business idea

If you have always wanted to run a café, or a gift shop for example, why not put a unique twist to it and theme the entire establishment? Some of the most profitable businesses have done this. One good example is a café that themed the entire place on pigs. Everything is served on china that is either shaped like a pig or has pig images on them. The food options contain dishes such as ‘the daily trough’ which is a big portion of an all-day breakfast. The café even has chairs that are shaped at the top like pig ears. It’s a great idea and customers love the ambience and décor which makes it very popular. You can apply a theme to almost any establishment as long as you are consistent throughout. A world-wide famous restaurant with a theme has to be planet Hollywood where everything is based on famous stars, the burgers, the décor and the music. There are many shops that have used themes such as the moon, Greek mythology, animals, famous people and even simply themed on the colour where everything sold is blue for example.

Specialize using the career you have now

Another good idea is to think about what you do now, or what skills you have and see if there is a way to specialize in a certain area that could make you a bit unique. For example, a vet decided he wanted to set up his own practise but didn’t want to be simply an ordinary animal surgery so he decided to specialize in exotic animal care and not only treat the animals but also give advice on caring, handling and breeding exotic animals. He now has people traveling from all over Europe to come and see him as his services are rare to find. Another example of this is payroll services that offer a tailor-made service to companies that need help sorting out salaries for staff. There are manyways you can take your skills and apply them in such a way that you can provide a specialized service that not many other people are doing, so get your thinking caps on and come up with that great new entrepreneurial idea!

Grill the Perfect Burger At Your Next Community Cookout



No other food tops the list of items people love to grill as much as burgers. The major hiccup: most burgers end up dry, under-cooked or devoid of flavors. The reasons behind this are: the kind of meat and the type of grill used as well as the amount of time for which the patties are grilled. Today, we have a number of tips for you that will help you grill the perfect burgers.

Use these tips to deliver the perfect, juiciest and tastiest burgers at your next community cookout.

Tip No. 1: The secret is in the meat. 

The juicier the burger, the more fat content its meat should have. So, when you are out shopping for the right burger meat, do not skimp or go health conscious. For the best burger recipes, there is no alternative but to choose the 80/20 blends. Some experts also opt to grind their own beef in the comforts of their homes. While this is a good idea, one must make sure they know what they are doing. When using leaner meats, some amount of beef fats must be added to come closer to the store bought 80/20 mix.

Tip 2: Do not overmix

The key to the perfect burger lies in how its ingredients are mixed. Over-mixing is a sure-fire way to failure. Once you add in the eggs, breadcrumbs, onions and other seasonings, divide the meat into sections and work on each one by patting it gently. This helps the juices flow freely when you grill the burgers on the Weber rotisserie. The best time to add the seasonings to the patties is also right before you place them on the preheated grill. Give a healthy dusting of salt, pepper or other dry rub mix before placing the patties on the grill.

Tip 3: Tips to avoid shrinking and swelling of burgers

Burger patties tend to shrink after being placed on the grill. So make sure you account for this loss and form the patties to a size that will fill the buns just right. (None of your guests want to end up eating more bread than the actual meat). Also, once you place the patty on the grill, make sure you make an indentation with your finger in its center. What this does is, it helps prevent the swelling up of the patty owing to the heat of the grill.

Tip 4: Cleaning and preheating the grill

Poorly pre heated grill is sure to either burn the burgers or leave them undercooked. Therefore, preheating to the right temperature is a must. Experts recommend placing the coal only on the sides of the grill so that the center temperature reaches an optimum 400 F. Then you can place the patty near the 2-zone fire for the initial searing effect and later move the patty to the cooler end to cook them in the center. Also make sure that the grill is devoid of any remnants of the previous cookout, as nobody likes a patty bedecked with older crumbs. For this purpose, heat the grill and when it is hot enough, dip some paper towels in oil and wipe the grill plates clean.

Tip 5: Temperature: how much is too much? 

According to experts, the right temperature for cooking ground beef thoroughly is to ensure it reaches a temperature of 160 F. Do not flip the burgers too early; let each side cook for at least 4 minutes ensuring that you also press the patties down from time to time.

Once cooked well, allow the burgers to rest for a couple of minutes before assembling them in the buns. These tips will surely give you perfect burgers every single time.  


The Many Benefits of Property Mentors


As the recession continues to ease up a bit, now is the perfect time to invest in properties. By using property mentors, you can find great investment properties to help you earn an extra $300 to $1000 each month.

Buying property is very much like driving a car: you choose your final destination, you could take the most scenic route along the way or you can even stop occasionally to admire the view. When done right and passionately, property investment can give you total financial independence. It can be an added source of income which lets you earn even while you learn or do a 9-to-5 job. In many cases, successful real estate investors have taken the reins of their destiny completely in their hands by earning great passive rental incomes. Many have even quit their day jobs as they have arrived at their ‘final destinations’.

All this can be achieved easily with the help of property mentors. Property mentors can be considered as traffic police who help you ‘drivers’ as you face road blocks or traffic jams along the property investment highway.

Here are some of the key benefits of using property mentorships .

1. Mentors show you easy-to-follow investment strategies 

Property mentors show you strategies specifically designed to help you profit from the current market conditions. They are targeted to help you make the most of the economic recovery. They show you how to seek low property prices, so you can buy real estate for less. And on the basis of these, you can earn between $300 and $1000 per property, each month, within months of purchasing.

2. Property mentorship is for everyone 

Almost everyone can benefit from property mentorship. Whether you are 18 or 80, student or businessman, experienced or inexperienced, full time or part time worker, it does not matter. Nor do you need any prior property investment experience.

3. Property mentors are investors with experience

Ask any successful real estate entrepreneur the key to his/her success, and the answer would likely be “a good mentor”. A property mentor can help you get on the right path. S/he has successfully invested in property portfolios for self as well as others.

4. Property mentors guide you on legal matters 

These experts are well versed with all legal aspects of investing in real estate and you can trust them to look after all your conveyancing and legal matters.

5. Property mentors help in financial matters 

The property experts also show you tools as well as simple tried and tested systems that they themselves have used in everyday life to buy properties. They can help you come up with financial strategies to ensure that your assets remain protected.

6. Property mentorship lets you in on the secret golden rules of real estate investment

Property mentors live by certain golden rules-standards they themselves follow while investing in properties. These include seeking real estate which is bound to give long term capital growth, buying properties close to cafes, parks, or those within walking distance of public transports, as well as those which are in line with the dominant architectural style of the location. These and other secrets are at your disposal.

Just like anyone can drive a car, provided one fulfills the legal requirements, property investment is for everyone, men or women. Property mentors aim to help you in the world of property investment, no matter what your current location is. Whether you think your “little investment car” is stalled, or in state of repairs, property mentors can give you the necessary push so you can be on your way.

For more advice on property investment and finding a mentor, click here.

Community Camping Trip

If you’ve been thinking about trying to find something to do for your next community activity, why not try a community camping trip. Many people love camping trips and it can be a great thing to do after doing a cleaning project to “enjoy” the area that was just cleaned. There are many other reasons to have a community camping trip as your next refreshing community outing.

It’s An Eco Friendly Activity

A classic camping trip is one of the most eco-friendly social activities. When you are out camping you are just enjoying the outdoors in its natural state, burning firewood, telling ghost stories over a fire, playing out in nature, all of these are activities that don’t harm the environment. Many companies know how eco-friendly camping can be.

When you are out camping, just make sure that everyone picks up their trash and cleans up the camp area when they are finished.

It’s a Great Bonding Activity

When people are out camping, they are not quite as likely to pull out their cell phones and start texting their BFFs. Instead, they are likely to put their phones down (possibly because they don’t have any signal) and just look around to enjoy the natural wonders of nature. As they do this, people will naturally start talking to pass the time.

This won’t go for everyone of course, a few people might just be content passing time watching nature, and that is just fine, but others will start to talk and learn more about each other.

Simple activities, such as cookouts, hikes, or night time ghost stories, during the trip, can be a great way for people in the community to spend time with each other.

Watching sunrises, sunsets, or the stars at night can be a great way to rekindle the romance in a marriage, or a peaceful way to spend time with the family.

Just remember that if you have young children, bring some lighting along with you just in case they get scared during ghost story time or at night. Try choosing a flashlight or choosing a headlamp, as they make great sources of lighting.

It Provides Opportunity for a Great Workout

If you have heard other members of your community complain because they have put on a few extra pounds, a camping trip might be a great community activity. There are many things that you do during camping trips that provide an opportunity for a workout. Pitching tents, going on hikes, riding bikes, and gathering firewood, aren’t sedentary activities. They require you to get up and get a workout. This is why many support groups that are dedicated to weight loss go on camping trips as rewards for achieving some goal.

A community camping trip can be a great bonding experience for the entire community. It can teach children about the importance of teamwork, and being thankful for family and all of the things you have. It can also be a great way for overworked businesspeople to get away from technology and enjoy all of the great things nature can provide. Either way, a camping trip can be a great experience that can be remembered by all for years to come.



Postmenopausal Women and Osteoporosis Prevention: Can Community Exercise Help?

getty_rf_photo_of_seniors_in_aerobics_classWomen often juggle many roles including work, family and community involvement as a result of which, their exercise takes a back seat. It is seen that rigorous exercise regimes can be even more difficult for women in the post-menopausal age, particularly for those who have always led sedentary lifestyles. Therefore, more studies are necessary to see if it would be possible to develop community based exercise routines to improve bone health in women in their 50s and 60s. These community workout routines for women could perhaps prevent osteoporosis, incidences of which are on the rise, apart from general improvement in physical and emotional well being.

Components of community based workouts for osteoporosis prevention

Certain studies have shown good results in prevention of osteoporosis with the help of supervised community exercise sessions lasting for 60 to 75 minutes three times each week. These exercise routines typically include following components:

  1.  5 to 10 minutes of warm up- including walking.
  2.  25 minutes of weight training- Stepping and stair climbing
  3. 40 minutes of resistance exercises for small and large muscle groups-Back extension, leg press, rotary torso, seated one-arm dumbbell military press etc for larger muscle groups and the use of 1-3 pound dumbbells as well as exercises on physiotherapy ball for small muscle groups. .
  4. 5 minutes of Abdominal exercises including pelvic tilts, heel and foot lifts, knee ups, and leg slides (done in 3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions). Ankle weights can be strapped for increased resistance.
  5. 5. 5 minutes of balancing and stretching including wall presses, single leg balancing, etc.

Naturally, for the success of such community exercise programs, it is essential to have excellent exercise facilities that offer proximity to participants’ homes, have the necessary training equipment, walking tracks and stair climbing availability etc. The facilities might offer free annual membership to participants and could also have administrative areas for the trainers.

Incorporating other social and community support in the exercise sessions

To incorporate other kinds of social and community support, the study encouraged following events which helped women adhere to the program and also form friendships and alliances that went beyond exercising.

  1. Community meals - Participants often met twice a month over meals which could be held in local parks or restaurants. Potlucks were also encouraged where each woman bring in her favourite meal.
  2. Educational guest lectures and forums - Psycho-social concerns of post menopausal women were addressed through meetings with expert doctors or annual forums.
  3. Follow ups through emails, newsletters and phone calls - If participants were staying absent from the community exercise for post menopausal osteoporosis prevention, then follow-ups were done by the active members through emails and phone calls.
  4. Community photo books - Annual photo books showcasing the pictures or videos of exercise sessions along with supporting educational articles, inspirational poems and workout timetables were printed along with important phone numbers.
  5. End of year party - This was an important social support for the test programs as they helped the community acknowledge accomplishments of the group. Certificates of excellence or participation were also distributed for further encouragement.

Naturally, the success of such community exercise programs mainly depend upon participants concern related to risk of developing osteoporosis. It is also important that trainers provide individual attention, constant feedback and ongoing motivation and support to the women. Removal of barriers like suitability of trainer hours could help increase the participation in the program. Finally, the community and training staff should create an atmosphere of fun as well as an enjoyment factor to encourage participants to show up for each training session.

For more information on developing community based workout routines for women in the
post menopausal age for osteoporosis prevention as well as the efficacy of the program, click here.

Handcraft Work from Home: A Way to Help Your Community

Community-based projects are an excellent way to bring out positive changes in your community. Whether it’s redesigning artwork for your street or clearing trash from an alley, it can provide even a small positive change.

However, improving your community will only work best if there is an active participation of the residents. As I noticed, a lot of people are very eager to help their community, but only few are really active. It’s either they don’t have the money or the time. So despite the deep aspiration to thrive, many communities across the country are still struggling.

Community Participation

But it’s important for you to know that making a positive impact in your own community doesn’t necessarily need a heap of money or loads of time. In fact, even while you’re just at home watching your favorite TV show, you can still make a difference. Simply think of great ideas, use your skills, and share them with the others in your neighborhood.

One effective way to do this is to encourage your neighborhood and involve them in handcrafts or DIY projects. Doing handcrafts from home can be enjoyable and fun. Not only that, it’s also satisfying and financially rewarding. People in this age are looking for unique gift ideas for birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations, as well as special accessories that they can use for everyday wear.

So if you are a community group or an individual seeking to create a wonderful project, making handmade items is a great option. There are hundreds if not thousands handcraft ideas to choose from. And one of the popular ideas is making bracelets, particularly leather bracelets.

Why Leather Bracelets?

Leather bracelets are so on trend right now. Leather is a very durable material and owning an item that is made from it is supposed to be a status symbol. For many years, it has been one of the best choices of popular and not-so-popular individuals when it comes to accessories. In fact, even in today’s modern generation, it’s still considered one of the best choices of fashion conscious people.

Aside from the quality of the material, people wear leather bracelets because they provide an undeniable sexy and enigmatic appeal. Furthermore, leather bracelets work well for any kinds of wardrobe. If you’re wearing a casual suit and want to add some sense of formality, just wear a leather bracelet and you’ll instantly get that smart tailored appeal. And if you’re wearing a simple shirt and jeans but want to get some creative or rocker look, just wrap around a leather bracelet on your wrist and you’ll acquire that cool charm you’re looking.

Leather continues to be an in demand material in jewelry fashion, so it’s definitely a great idea for a new community-based project. The process is easy that it requires almost no tools. The best thing is it can even be done by beginners. It’s an easy step to encourage your neighborhood, even the students, to participate in the improvement of your community.

As we all know, people in today’s society are always busy and focused on things that don’t have any connection with the community at all, especially the youth. So helping the young generation experience community service provides them an opportunity to not only fill their resume for school or job applications, but also give back to the place that helped raise them. As anyone who has been part of a community service knows, the fulfillment that comes from helping others can be meaningful and life changing.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready your stuff and make some handcraft materials for your community. Make sure that everyone in the neighborhood knows your plan, particularly the chairman of your community to be able to run a successful program.

Are Upright Vacuum Cleaners Still In Demand Today In Your Community?


In the US and particularly in California, upright vacuum cleaners are probably still in demand though the models still in use can be relatively old. This is because there are so many other types and brands of household vacuum cleaners that you can already buy within your community. The value of upright vacuum cleaners is that they allow you to clean your home or office (or even your home office) without having to stoop or bend awkwardly. However, the advent of other types of vacuum cleaners might signal a shift to more convenient types of these machines by the public.

Vacuum’s in California Communities

In California communities, vacuum cleaners are an important household helper because the dry weather means that dust tends to settle on carpets and flooring easily. Upright vacuum cleaners allow you to clean carpets without having to get on your hands and knees. This makes them handy especially when carpeting in California homes and offices tends to span from wall to wall. Since often carpeting does not get peeled off the floor and cleaned outdoors, the next best solution for cleaning is to use a vacuum cleaner. Some may do away with carpeting in their home or office to show off great floors (especially wooden floors that have been sanded and varnished to a nice shine) but carpets are important to some because of the design and style of the carpet or because the carpets can absorb sound which is great if footsteps tend to be distracting.

Downside of Vacuum Cleaners

One downside to using vacuum cleaners is that they use up quite a lot of electricity, especially the more powerful ones. Generally, the more powerful the suction power of the vacuum the more electricity is required to make it run. Not surprisingly, in the less affluent California communities you might not see people cleaning their homes with vacuum cleaners so much – but then in such communities you probably would not find wall to wall carpeting either. So these less affluent California homes and businesses probably don’t use vacuums, to keep their electric bills down to affordable levels. By the same principle, homes and businesses in the richer California communities which probably do have carpets (and high end carpets at that) would also most likely have vacuum cleaners to clean inside their carpeted rooms, because they can absorb the cost.

It is not surprising that some people hesitate to buy vacuum cleaners due to the cost of electricity in California. If you are worried that your budget for electricity will be trashed if you switch to using vacuum cleaners you may want to check out online calculators to compute your electricity consumption right now and your potential electricity consumption should you switch to upright vacuum cleaners (or any vacuum cleaner for that matter). Incidentally, the frequency by which you use vacuum cleaners is just as important as the power of the machine that you use for cleaning. Keep a record of your monthly payments for electricity as well so you can monitor the rise and fall of your consumption during the period when you use vacuum cleaners regularly.

What to Be Aware of Before Jumping Into Property Investments


Building a great property portfolio is never an easy endeavour to begin but once you get deeper into the subject matter and master a few cool tricks, all the hurdles you had to leap earlier will be

well worth it. That is, of course, if you get out on top of it and not sink with those that did not plan

ahead properly and, naturally, ended up loosing rather than gaining money. Planning well ahead

and considering all possibilities and circumstances is key to success, always has and always will. Wondering what you need to pay attention to being a complete rookie? Here are a few handy suggestions:


Raising starting capital

Not an easy matter once again but an essential one just the same. Do you have the needed financial means to purchase your first property or you are on the lookout for opportunities to get some? If the former holds true, then congratulations, you are ready to go (to the next planning stage). If not, consider taking a bank loan as one of them least favourite options. Its quick and easy if all your documents are straight but comes with a rather big string attached to it called interest. Way better to just have a wealthy friend invest in your project or have mom dig out all them savings from under the mattress and start a whole new life for all of your family. That is, of course, if you manage alright.


Property coaching

Not sure if you can handle the burden of your new investment struggle? That is fine, nobody was

born with all the knowledge in the world. But knowledge did accumulate over the years and certain experts emerged to shed some light into the mystery world of property investment. So brace yourself and hire a property mentor to reveal key, strategic information of what and how so you can rest assured while others worry about the details. For a piece of the pie of course, but hey, they did the work and can then rightfully claim a small percentage of the deal. Just beware not to get scammed as there are many reported cases of people falling for empty promises and exagurated claims to ultimately end up at the very bottom of the financial food chain. All of that just for neglecting to background check the people that are to take care of your hard-earned money.


Short term vs. long term

Here, you have a choice. Generally speaking, investing for the short term happens in the form of

buying a property that needs some work on. Say the interior is not in good shape, the chimney has fallen in the decaying garden or mold has taken hold in the bathroom, you name it. The idea here is to buy low and sell high. For that to happen, you need to take advantage of the so-called added value term and provide the necessary repairs. You can even go as far as to introduce lucrative features like swimming pool (if you can afford it), or refurnish, install solar panels… there is a lot that could be done in there. Once all the great new improvements are done, you can raise the price sky high and pocket the proceeds. Well, maybe not sky high, but you got the meaning. Long term is a bit of a different story. Purchase a property and simply rent it out. Payments coming in every month will make you happy and property prices are known to increase over time. That of course is, if you got a good one.

Hope these tips are getting you in a mood to plan carefully before jumping into the action. Don’t shy away from researching the subject even more as there is plenty of useful information to check out on the web.


Spin Off Benefits of Frac Sand Mining To Surrounding Communities

With the growing concern about the environmental effects, especially the ill effects of oil and natural gas, there has been a growing consciousness about fracking and sand mining all over United States of America. As technology is advancing year by year, the expectations of common man has also been increasing with an eye towards protecting the environment and saving the surrounding communities from the ill effects of frac sand mining. The geological formations that lack the prosperity of oil and natural gas and free flow of these from the wells have dramatically changed the future of Oil and Natural Gas industry in the US.

Why would anyone care about the frac sand mining? The main reason is the underlying benefits associated with it(get a quote here). Though there are number of disadvantages associated with frac sand mining, they still have a few benefits. This article talks about various benefits of frac sand mining.

sand frac mining

General Benefits

The economic benefits of sand mining are planting roots. Besides this, the epicenter of natural gas and oil boom is also thriving. This also triggers the resurgence in the local freight rail. Frac sand mining attracts new avenues in jobs and helps the farmers to a great extent. This increase in the demand of fracking of oil and natural gas has created a great demand for frac sand companies to build their empire.

Labor Saving and Technological Change

Though labor productivity is more as compared to the labor requirements, sand mining has always emerged as the surface mining operation. Many of the manual processes have been eliminated by the automated and automatic techniques with the advancement of technology. This is just a onetime investment; hence there is no cost of paying the additional labor. Hence, many companies are cutting down their labor and introducing the latest technologies in the market. With lesser number of labors, the industry is able to survive and produce the same quality work with the most modern tools. Since the processing involves mechanical process like crushing the sand stone, washing, sorting, chemical coating is being performed using the automated processes with the help of new technologies. This can be slightly disadvantages as some people might lose their job. But the weight age of advantages is higher.

Broader American experience

This property is closely related to economic development through mining. This is not unusual or surprising at all. Though mining dependent communities are termed as unemployed and below poverty line, Federal efforts in improving the quality of life of the mining community is continuous.


Mining and local economy have very loose coupling. The reason being all the machinery, vehicles, raw materials and chemicals will have to be imported from elsewhere. This will again impact the local economy. This ripple or the spillover usually affects the settings in a very small quantity which is of great advantage for the miners.

High paying

Mining industry offers one of the highest paying jobs among all the jobs adding to our local economy. Hence there is every possibility that mining can replace other dependent industries in the near future.

You can learn more here

How to start a community book project

books projects

Step one: Find your target market/goal

It is imperative to know why your community is coming together to create a book drive and to have a specific goal for the book project. Perhaps there is a local school which needs books, a library was flooded and needs its books replaced, or you are gathering books to send overseas to children who otherwise do not have books to read and learn from. Having a specific purpose will help to set collection goals and know how to better set up, and manage the project.

Step two: Find a collection site

Depending upon how big your book project is, you may need more than one collection site. Some places which may be willing to be a book drop off site are: local libraries, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, local businesses, fire departments, or children’s hospitals. The important part to finding collections sites is to find high traffic, conveniently located placed where people can easily drop off their books. Be sure to get permission from each collection site prior to any book collecting begins. Another important item to ensure you receive a lot of donated books, is to make sure there are visible signs and collection bins so people know exactly where to drop off their books. Be sure to include the mission for the book project at every collection site, as this will encourage new donors to give and allows the community to see where their efforts will be helping.

Step three: Promoting and marketing

Be sure to properly promote and market the book drive project so that the entire community is aware the event is taking place, where the drop off locations are, the mission of the book drive, and how long the drive is lasting. Another key piece of information to make sure the public is aware of, is the condition of the books you are accepting, as well as what genera’s you are, and are not, accepting. You do not want to receive donated books which have missing paged or water damage, or to receive books with explicit content. There are a wide variety of ways to advertise the book drive including: word of mouth, flyers around town in local businesses, libraries, and schools, via social media, as well as through email.for more details, go straight from this source.

Step four: Organize the collected books

Separate and organize the collected books to ensure all are in acceptable condition and have appropriate subject matter. You may also need to separate the books if they are going to various locations.

books projects

Step five: Deliver the collected books

Once all of the books have been collected, sorted and packed up, you are ready to deliver them to the previous place of contact who will be anxiously awaiting its new reading materials at