May-Day, May-Day!

Tomorrow starts a new month, and with that new month, a new set of causes, holidays, celebrations and commemorations. It’s a lot to keep track of, especially if your business or organization is counted on to know about these things, promote them, celebrate them or raise awareness about them. I’m one of those people myself, counted on to know what’s going on on a given week or day, and honestly, I’d be lost if it weren’t for a really handy, but under-promoted page on PinMart’s website: The Awareness Calendar!

This calendar, which we update throughout the year to reflect the most accurate dates and distinctions of given holidays or awareness causes, is definitely my event calendar. It gives me a heads up on when to wear my American flag lapel pin (though I could argue that that’s a good one to wear every day!), gives me a clue as to why people are suddenly 850wearing puzzle piece lapel pins (Autism awareness in April), and when to get my dad’s father’s day card to him (June 15th). Our Cause/Awareness calendar is really thorough, and also provides good ideas on pins that can help you represent and celebrate anything upcoming.

May’s a big one, with National Teacher’s Day, National Nurse’s Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and let’s not forget about Cinco De Mayo, to name but a few important happenings over the next 31 days.

And whether you get decked out in lapel pins for all of these events, or just give your thanks and support with words and actions, check out the Awareness Calendar to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Happy May!

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Earth Day Turns 45!

Earth Day 2015 marks 45 years of celebrating this one of a kind planet that we call home. Started in 1970 as a reaction to a horrible oil spill, Earth Day organizations have spawned not only grass-roots movements but also helped bring to life the EPA, and many laws that protect both the land and the wildlife we share this earth with.

And despite being in its 45th year, the purposes behind Earth day are more important now than they ever were. Every year we have more tools with which to protect earth and to decrease our carbon footprint, and every year we need to start creating new eco-friendly habits, and inspiring others to do the same. But don’t get daunted: you can take small 710steps that will lead to big changes down the road.

Consider volunteering at a recycling center, or organizing a local recycling drive. Take the time to locate all of the local addresses and phone numbers for recycling facilities, and what they offer, and share that information at school, at work, and your extra curricular activities. Because sometimes the biggest thing holding people back from change is researching the who, what, when, where, and how.

Even just doing something as simple as wearing eco-green pins to spread the word and start conversations with people can help inspire change. PinMart has an entire line of pins that are made from recycled materials, and can be worn year round to remind others to do their part on Earth Day, and Every Day.

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Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

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3 Tips for Coaching Your Child’s Sports Team

Do you have fond memories of your mother or father coaching a pee-wee sports team when you were younger? Do you remember having a friend’s mother or father act as an assistant coach for your softball or baseball team? There’s something wholesome about a mom or dad offering to coach a youth sports team and you may be ready to take on responsibility for your son or daughter’s sports team. You want to be the best coach you can be, so you understandably feel a little nervous. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to be a professional umpire or coach to successfully coach a pee-wee sports team; just make sure that you follow these steps:

Always be supportive

Everyone makes mistakes; even professional athletes occasionally miss shots or mess up. The kids you’re coaching may have a passion for sports, but that doesn’t mean that they’re experts. Don’t be afraid to help kids that are struggling with certain things, but don’t make them feel bad for it. Too many coaches get caught up in wanting to make their teams winners, and their drive to win makes them way too critical of their team. Don’t lose sight of what the league is supposed to be about, and don’t get too hard on the kids when they make a mistake or lose a game.

Don’t focus on your own kid

If you’re the coach of a team or league your son or daughter is in, you may subconsciously focus on what they’re doing more so than their teammates. They may already feel a little self-conscious about having their parent be their coach, and you don’t need to make it any worse by giving them too much attention. Allow your kid to mess up, learn, and make friends on their own. Watching them improve as the weeks go on will be very rewarding,415new but so will watching the rest of the kids in your league. Never play favorites, and make sure that everyone gets equal amounts of attention from their coach.

Build a team spirit

The kids may all wear the same uniform, but that doesn’t mean that they’re automatically going to work well together. As a coach, it isn’t just your job to make sure that the games go smoothly, you also have to encourage teamwork with your kids. Stress the importance of working together during games and practices, and encourage them to work together whenever they’re on the field. Consider buying them custom baseball trading pins as rewards for when they win games or overcome an obstacle. Anything you can do to encourage them to work together will help foster a healthy spirit of teamwork.

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How to Honor Our Heroes

Many people today look up to celebrities and athletes who are constantly in the spotlight. While this may be true, it’s important that they do not forget those who sacrifice their lives for others. Our men and women in uniform often go unnoticed but risk their lives every day to protect our nation’s freedoms and keep us safe from harm. They are true heroes and it’s important for individuals to honor and support them. Whether someone is a policeman, firefighter, coast guard or marine, there are plenty of ways to thank them for their service.

Here are some ways to honor everyday heroes:

Say Thanks – Ever heard the phrase “a thank you goes a long way”? Well, it’s absolutely true. Saying thank you to your servicemen and women is a great way to show your support and appreciation. Whether you see a police officer on duty in their uniform or an army veteran wearing military pins, approach them to say thanks. Their job can be difficult and disheartening, so a simple thank you can really brighten up their day and remind them why they chose their job in the first place.

Pins – Pins are the perfect way to show your support for public service and military personnel. Give military coins or public service pins as gifts for public servants in your 105family. Or, you can give one to someone who has gone above and beyond. You don’t have to be a public servant or in the military to wear a pin or challenge coin. You can get one for yourself and wear it to show your support for the cause.

Letters – Cards and letters are another great way to honor those who are in the line of duty. Have your family and friends send thank you cards during the holidays, especially to military men and women. The holiday season is a difficult time to be away from your family, so send a care package filled with cards and holiday treats to military men and women overseas. You can also encourage your child’s school to have students write cards and donate items as well. Sending a thank you card is also a great idea if you have been directly impacted by the service of others. If a police officer or firefighter went out of their way to help you in a special way, you should send a thank you card to express your gratitude.

Attend A Memorial – Honoring our heroes also means commemorating those who passed away in the line of duty. You can attend a memorial service or visit a memorial site to reflect and honor the deceased. Many communities hold memorial services on holidays, such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
How will you honor your heroes?

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MLK Day at 29

MLK day has been around ever since I can remember. But there are many people out there who remember a time before and a time after this national holiday. It was first proposed back in 1968, and finally was brought to a vote in 1979, where it failed to get through the house by five votes. Some members of congress were unconvinced that his work was worthy of being commemorated with a national holiday, but by 1983 Reagan signed the bill to create a national holiday commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and by 1986 it was observed all over the US.

And now, 29 years later, I think the importance of Dr. King’s work is clearer than ever. The news is full of things that remind us we still have a long way to go before the work that Dr. King started can be considered complete. And even though I’m at work on this day (like 171newmany of you I’m sure!) I’m proudly wearing an MLK lapel pin to remind myself and others of this ongoing struggle for racial equality.

People are afraid to bring it up, certainly. It’s a touchy subject, and not one that everyone is trained to to discuss. But even if it’s done imperfectly, these conversations still need to be had. And if broaching the subject is difficult, maybe something like an MLK lapel pin can help start the conversation for you. People speak volumes without saying a word when they wear lapel pins, whether they’re breast cancer awareness ribbons or “Proud to be a Republican” pins.

Dr. King was unable to keep pushing the conversation of racial equality, so now it’s up to us. Let’s change the tone, change the fear, change the stereotypes, and really get to the heart of the matter. Dr. King’s dream is one we can all see through, if we just start talking, and don’t stop.

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Belonging

Recent studies have shown that belonging to a group is important to both our physical and mental health. When we belong to a group we tend to maintain better psychological health and are usually in better physical health. Some of the studies conducted created two groups: the first asked people to think about the groups they belonged to and the second asked people to think about the value of other people and help others had provided them. Then they asked both groups how much meaning they felt life had. The group which was asked to think about the groups they belonged to responded with a much higher value about the meaning of life.

It’s not really a surprise that these studies came out this way. If we look back through history we can see that humanity has banded into groups since the time we were hunter gatherers. Groups have always been an important part of society and will probably continue to be. One fun aspect about being in a club is having a small token that shows your membership. A good example of this small token is custom coins. Custom challenge coins have been employed by many groups for a long time. A challenge coin is a two sided coin that bears a logo or insignia of the organization its owner belongs to. The meaning behind calling it a ‘challenge coin’ is when people in the group want to reaffirm that each other belong to the same one, they can challenge each other. Then they reveal their coin and if they’re from the same group they will have the same coin.
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Another great aspect of belonging is the feeling that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. Many organizations and groups will last longer than our lifetime and have existed since before we were born. This gives us a link to past generations and to future generations. It helps us feel like there is more meaning in our lives, and often a group is a great place for finding support when we are in times of need. Many soldiers refer to other members of their squadrons and platoons as brothers because of the bonds they develop in the heat of battle. They look out for and care for each other. Be sure to find a group that values you, and find relationships that are high in quality, for that is more important than quantity.

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7 Ways to Keep Employees Happy and Motivated in 2015

Pin Mart- Infographic- edited

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Perfect Pins for Any Purpose

Despite their sometimes understated nature, pins are a timeless accessory used by individuals from every background and companies of every shape and size. From sports logos and awareness campaigns to fashion and political statements, pins are a great way to convey your ideas. And at PinMart, we’ve got a pin for every need.
With over 2 million pins in stock and ready to ship, plus the option to have custom pins designed and made, you’ll find what you’re looking for at PinMart. We offer a wide range of pins for all occasions. Looking for custom lapel pins with your event or logo on it? Let us make a custom pin designed to fit your exact needs. Here are three of the most common types of pins that we sell:
Employee Appreciation – If you are looking for a way to show your employees that you care, pins are great way to send this message. Pins are an easy, yet effective way to showRCGJ1247 your employees that you recognize all the hard work they do. They are a form of positive reinforcement that encourages and motivates your workers to continue their efforts. Everyone loves to be shown appreciation, and finding a beautifully-designed pin shows your employees that they are valued at a relatively low cost.

Awareness/Support – Awareness pins keep the members of your organization identifiable, easy to find, and unified. You can show support for your preferred cause and add your logo for personalization. We have everything from trading pins to nursing pins, and anything we don’t have we can make! These make an especially smart item for events in which you are representing a business or non-profit. Whether it’s706NEW for a charity walk or a company job fair, your group will look good when wearing the same pins. This will also provide you with a simple way to find your coworkers or other participants again if you get separated.

Holiday Cheer – Last but not least, what better way to get into the holiday spirit than with a fun, whimsical pin? We carry a complete line of Christmas pins, Santa pins, Valentine’s Day pins, Halloween pins, Saint Patrick’s Day pins and more! Pins make a great low-cost gift for friends, acquaintances, employees, and just about anyone you meet. Best of all, our holiday pins are priced to R644make the perfect inexpensive gift or party favor for all your friends and family.

If you are looking for the perfect accessory for any and every purpose, there is no better option than a good pin! Browse our fabulous selection today!

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From an acorn to a mighty oak

A lot of my day is spend discussing the dreams, goals, and the passions of my customers. Lapel pins are not a product like pencils, printer paper or file folders. They aren’t a necessity per say. When someone calls me to discuss a pin project, it’s a labor of love, whether that’s to recognize hard-working employees or to remember a fallen loved one. There’s sentiment in every pin order, and I’m always glad to be a part of that creative process. But very rarely, if ever, does my involvement in a lapel pin last longer than the process of having it made. Then it goes out into the world and does its magic without me.

But sometimes the projects I help bring to life stay with me, and I stay with them, and those are the truly wonderful experiences that make my job one I love. One in particular deals with awareness ribbons. I received a call just about this time 2 years ago from a gentleman who was part of the community dealing with the horrifying, devastating loss of 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. They were victims of a school shooting, and it was a story that had sobered the entire country, especially so close to Christmas.

What started out as a way to help his community heal, especially the family of one little rememberchase (4)boy in particular, one of the victims, has turned into something so much more. Little green awareness ribbons proclaiming “Remember Chase” have found their way all over the country, and all over the world, and from that response has grown a charity. This charity supports health and wellness programs aimed at young children, which is a reflection of the passions that Chase had for sports and teamwork. These little awareness ribbons have built not only a legacy for one little boy who’s life was cut short, but they’ve also built futures for other children; hope and promise that might otherwise not exist.

On top of that, the gentleman who instigated this whole thing has become a very dear friend to myself and the entire PinMart team. He even made the long trek from Connecticut to Chicago to thank us in person for our help with the pins, and that is a day that none of us here at PinMart will ever forget.

I never met Chase, unfortunately, but I think of him every day. I think about all the good that one little lapel pin has done in this world, in response to an act of senseless violence. I’ve been given my own sense of hope and promise from this project, restored faith in humanity, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

So as the 2nd anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings approaches, do all the things they tell you to do in response to situations like this: hug your kids, your loved ones, do something nice for a stranger, donate to a charity, and just remember, for all the horrible things that happen in this world, there’s a man like my friend out there to counteract that with love, hope, and lapel pins.

Visit the Chase Kowalski Fund to donate, educate, and participate.

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