Golden Girl Finance – How to use your Powers for Good

How Kelly Killoren Bensimon and her family are using the forces of social media, traditional media and personal brand building to make positive change in the world.

Hey baby, how’s your brand? Everywhere you turn these days, otherwise normal, well-adjusted people are talking about the importance of their personal brands, the proper use of social media and how to grow their network of followers and friends. Wasn’t it just a few years ago you thought Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were frivolous past-times, like playing Minesweeper or Candy Crush Saga?

Now it seems to be commonly accepted that for anyone launching a business or seeking to be recognized as an expert, there’s no shying away from social media – or any media, frankly. A strong personal brand requires visibility – which leads you to more customers, more paying gigs and…wait for it…more power.

That’s right, we said “power”. Your media presence gives you a platform upon which you can speak, tweet and share your views. As respect for your voice (i.e. your brand) grows, you begin to influence people’s opinions and actions. They turn to you for your perspective on certain matters. That, dear friends, is power.

Now before you get all Lex Luthor on us, we recognize that the reason most people build a brand is not because they are power-hungry supervillains; they merely seek to get more people to buy their services or books or cupcakes or whatever it is they are selling. However, once you have built a brand and established an audience, you have an amazing opportunity to create social change – hopefully, positive social change. In other words, you really can use your powers for good!

A powerful example

The Real Housewives of New York City alumni and friend of Golden Girl Finance, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, is a terrific example of someone who has established a powerful personal brand, which she tirelessly uses for good.

Three years ago, Kelly was filming on the site of Housewives, when Haiti was hit with the devastating earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people and left some three million people without homes, jobs, schools, food or water. Kelly immediately began thinking about how she could use her platform as one of the ‘Housewives’ to help with relief efforts. She reached out to her fans, began to fundraise and ran a marathon to raise even more money. With the funds secured, she traveled to Haiti where she helped dig wells to bring clean drinking water into impoverished communities.

This summer, Kelly and her 15-year old daughter returned to Haiti, this time on a mission with Generosity Water, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean water to communities in developing countries. Before they went, they once again raised money and awareness for the charity. As Kelly says, “With a media platform, even more than the money you raise is the database you can compile for these charities. Millions of people and supporters. One tweet can go to millions of people. Just think of the actions you can inspire.”

Generation of change

Kelly believes that the teenagers and kids of today are the ones with the real potential to implement social change. They are growing up naturally interacting with social media, reaching huge audiences and connecting with others around the world, without so much as raising a pierced eyebrow. It is therefore incumbent upon older generations to help guide them toward a sense of social responsibility and awareness, teaching them how to use their powers for good.

“I took my daughter twice to Haiti,” said Kelly. “I wanted her to go and see the wells we have built, to show her how much change can happen when people do what they say they will do. She visited the children at an orphanage and saw for herself what a difference having water from a well can make to their lives.”

Beyond building wells, Kelly wanted her daughter to meet the other mission volunteers. “She saw all these doctors, consultants and professional people who were using their vacation time to do exhausting work around the clock in order to help others. I want my kids to be exposed to people like that: inspiring, hard-working, generous people.”

Kelly’s daughter went on to raise $7,500 and built a well of her own that will supply water to people for 20 years. “The experience has given her more empathy,” says Kelly, “and a greater understanding about the hierarchy of needs.”

Of course, you don’t need to go to Haiti to teach your kids about helping others. Kelly started out taking her girls on food drives for the Salvation Army and on trips to the Food Bank for New York City.

“I didn’t expect anything of them at first, just brought them along when I would go volunteer or visit,” said Kelly. “Afterward we would talk about what they saw and I would offer positive encouragement. ‘Did you see the effect you had on people? When you handed that woman the bag of groceries, did you see how she smiled at you? Can you imagine how different her week will be knowing she has food to eat?’”

Kelly sees it as making kids comfortable with social responsibility. “Many kids are just not exposed to real levels of poverty and crisis. They know other people have less than them but don’t really think about how those people feel or what they can do to help. The more exposure they have, the more empowered they feel about helping and it becomes ingrained in them. They feel comfortable contributing on their own terms.”

Wielding your power

We all have finite resources. Once you and your family begin using your powers for good, you will quickly find that there is always more work to be done. More great causes, more people in need and more donations required. There will always be more requests for support than you can ever handle. So how do you choose what to support and what to decline?

Kelly offers these tips:

-Be aware and be proactive. When you choose to work with a charity, get to know how it works, financially and operationally. Always be hands-on when raising money and understand exactly where and how that money will be used. Unfortunately, there are people out there who create charities just to host parties. Seek out quality organizations that really need your help and where you can make the most impact.

-Focus your efforts. Choose one or two causes or commit to a sector. Kelly and her daughters have chosen to support charities that provide food and water to people in need. In addition to being a Celebrity Ambassador for Generosity Water, Kelly and her girls support the Food Bank for New York City.

-Give what you can. You receive a request from a friend or a charity asking for support. You believe it’s an important cause and want to help, but you don’t have the means to provide what they are asking for. Be honest. There are always different levels of support. If you can’t afford to buy a gala ticket, offer to help stuff swag bags instead. If you don’t have the time, maybe you can help corral a couple other volunteers.

Your own mission

We love the way Kelly and her family are using the forces of social media, traditional media and personal brand building in order to make positive change in the world. The philanthropic work they do to help others has the add-on effect of bringing them closer together as a family unit. It is a virtuous cycle of goodness that we hope will inspire you to find your own mission, too.

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Posted on August 14, 2013 by KKB Team, under HOME, KKB Blog

Haiti

After the Earthquake, Haiti suffered, but the people of Haiti lived with hope. Its my third time to Haiti and every time I come back, my biggest reflection is not what Generosity Water or Operation Blessing are going to do for this amazing culture, but how this culture survives while smiling. They want for nothing and need everything. Its an impressive culture. The Bassin at Jacamel has the most gorgeous water, Rebo coffee and Vanilla extract is delicious and strong in flavor. the jewelry is incredible, and the wood work and furniture is unbelievable. WIth all that talent, now I see why they smile. They have hope despite adversity. Thank you to all the donors who have supported me in my clealn water initiative,and thank you Generosity Water and to Operation Blessing with your amazing fish farm. You are bringing a school to Jacamel with Dev Pro, so now they have water, educated, and are learning to fish to feed their country. Im humbled and grateful for the beauty I have been exposed to.

Posted on July 19, 2013 by KKB Team, under HOME, KKB Blog

“S” Is for Summer

The summer of 2012- even though its not over yet has been one of my favorite summers ever. From relaxing on the beach in my Charlie bikinis made by Matthew Zink, to hosting my Summer Souk for Generosity Water at Sunbarth Southampton, to working out daily at Barry’s Bootcamp to riding at Wolfer to fixing up my gorgous house and giving it all the “Kelly Kare” I can. I have been feasting my eyes on the incredibly inspiring Olympics and have been able to spend tons of quality time with my girls: tubing, waterskiing, kayaking, playing tennis and just plain goofing around. My book, ‘I Can Make You Hot’ really inspired me to get back to what I love this summer caring for my family, for my home and for body. Above are some of my favorite pictures of the summer.

There are obviously more to come. Send me some of your favorites too, I love to see what you love.




Posted on August 1, 2012 by KKB Team, under KKB Blog

Shop The SunBarth Souk With Me!



Saturday July 14th, 2012
3:00p.m. – 7:00p.m.
Hosted @ SunBarth Souhthampton
53 Jobs Lane
Southampton, NY 11968



RSVP Here>>>



Posted on July 10, 2012 by KKB Team, under KKB Blog

Perez Hilton : “Kelly Bensimon Is In Haiti Doing Wonderful Work!”

 

 

 

Awww! What a wonderful thing to do!

Kelly Bensimon went to Haiti with Generosity Water, an organization building clean water wells in developing countries. She even visited one of the wells that she raised money to fund — which is now providing clean water to over 500 people every day.

That’s so cool to see the results of your hard work and donated money!

The kids then showed her a dirty stream — where they had originally gotten their water — that has caused many people to get sick. The new well means everything to them!

Here’s what Kelly said:

“The best part of this whole experience is spending time with the kids in the village, and seeing how happy they are. Its pretty amazing to see how we can have such an impact on a village by simply building a clean water well.”

Beautiful! Watch video above and wait for the Prezzer shout out! SO MUCH LOVE!

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Posted on April 2, 2012 by KKB Team, under KKB Blog

My NYC Half Marathon Run

Thank you New York, and thank you to all my friends for their support. I wanted to finish strong  for I’ve seen the amazing teen girls walking with 40 lbs of water on their heads, so this race meant a lot to me. Running through Central Park with the music of DonnaD’Cruz was amazing and very New York. Then when it couldn’t get any better, I ran down 7th Avenue and through Times Square. I took pictures of other runners, and helped them with videos. It was an amazing experience. And when I finished, a calm came over me. I was so proud of my amazing friends and how they cared for me and for my endeavours. I felt very lucky, and was definitely emotion filled when I finished.

To my dear friends,I want to thank you for supporting me on my nychalfmarathon run for Generosity Water. On March 18, 2012, I ran 13.1 miles in 2:18.I am so incredibly grateful for and proud of the work the NYC Marathon does for so many charities and for Generosity Water’s amazing accomplishments. I’m humbled by my incredible contributors on crowdrise.com/kellykillorenbensimon,
facebook fans and friends, my twitter followers, and to my friends and family who ran with me and were so supportive of each and every mile I trained for and ran on Sunday, and helped me raise $9850.

I am committed to always doing what I say I will do, always helping in the best way possible, and being the best citizen, parent, and friend that I can be.I am humbled by your support, and grateful for your continued encouragement.

I’m just getting started, so get ready. We ve got a lot of work to do and bringing clean water to families in need is just the beginning.

With all of my Love and Gratitude,




Posted on March 21, 2012 by KKB Team, under KKB Blog

Run For A Cause – The NYC Half Marathon for Generosity Water

 

To help me raise more for Generosity Water, as I “Run For a Cause” on March 18th at the NYC Half Marathon.  Such a great cause to support!





Posted on March 13, 2012 by KKB Team, under KKB Blog

Am New York – A perfect Pair: Fashion & Philanthropy

The one thing I’m reminded of throughout the holiday season is to stand up for those who are less fortunate.

Since the age of 15, I’ve volunteered at the Salvation Army, and today, I’m lucky enough to work with organizations like the Food Bank for New York City, Generosity Water and MSG’s Garden of Dreams Foundation.

Which is why, this holiday season, I find myself dressing in an understated yet chic way. I do this to show thanks to all of the local heroes who go beyond their comfort zone to do something special for those less fortunate. Like Angelina Jolie, I’ve recently opted for suits because they embody sophistication. I’m loving dark blue and white versions by Rogan, chic Chloe tops and ’50s-inspired Marc Jacobs sweaters.

For this year’s Holiday Rock & Roll Bash, hosted by James Dolan of Cablevision (amNewYork’s parent company), not only was $1.7 million raised for the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, but the party drew an amazing crowd with Jim at the helm of his band, JD & the Straight Shot. This week, I also took a group of children from the Garden of Dreams Foundation to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and it was a delight to watch them enjoy the show.

And for those who love fashion and philanthropy (my favorite combo), I recently put a pair of worn-once Jimmy Choos up for auction on eBay, with 100% of the profits being donated to Generosity Water  to provide clean water wells in Ghana.




Posted on December 16, 2011 by KKB Team, under HOME

Fashion Hunters Tonight – Kelly’s Closet

 

Ambria Miscia and Karina Lepiner take a look inside Kelly Killoren Bensimon’s closet for a good cause, to help Generosity Water.




Posted on December 6, 2011 by KKB Team, under HOME

Jimmy’s Little Helper

 

I wore these Jimmy Choo’s to the FIFi awards and they stole the show. At 4 inches, even Fergie loved them. They only been worn once and 100% proceeds  from the shoes are going to my Generosity account to build a clean water well in Ghana.

Check them out on my ebay account.

Help me help others. Love, Kelly




Posted on November 29, 2011 by KKB Team, under HOME

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