In the News


Monday, September 15, 2014

To Switch or Not

There is has been much discussion over the past week about domestic violence in the national discourse including the recent news over the weekend about an NFL player using a 'switch' on his 4 year old child.  As any parent knows, kids can be so frustrating.  They cry, throw temper tantrums, whine and lose their patience easily.  It's part of being a kid, they are learning to understand and resolve differences, they are also watching you all the time to see how you handle conflict. It's our job as adults to teach them how to work through problems or disagreements.

I admit that there have been many times I have yelled at my children and sometimes, smacked their hands when they were little and I was upset.  Every time I have lost my temper, I have been so upset with myself, and frustrated that I haven't been able to keep my emotions under control.  Discipline is essential to teaching but should never out balance love or guidance.

The story this weekend went way beyond this though.  A 4 year old boy spent a weekend with his father and went back to his mother with black and blue bruises from a beating, broken skin and blood from a stick?  This is just plain wrong.  

Can you imagine even one hit from a stick?  The player's excuse was that he grew up this way and was disciplined like this.  Ugh, ugh, ugh. Many of our parents had a much more rigid approach to parenting than we do today.  Much of that behaviour would be considered abusive by today's standards and for good reason.  My parents raised eight children and moved several times over the course of their long marriage.  I cannot imagine how stressful it was to feed them, clothe them, change cities and manage it all.  It was a very strict household, too strict in my opinion.

I have tried to take the best of their upbringing and very deliberately not follow the worst of it. Children can spend a whole lifetime trying to overcome the disapproval or abuse of a parent.  If you are feeling like you need to hit your child excessively, and make no mistake, taking any item and using it on your child is abusive, walk away.  Walk outside and shake it off.  Count to 10, breathe.  Have a listen to Cris Carter on his thoughts.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Michael Franti To Be Honored with Universal Smile Award in SF

Michael Franti pictured with Three Little Bears in honor of being named
Operation Smile’s first San Francisco Universal Smile Award recipient.

Musician and Do It For the Love Foundation Founder Michael Franti
to Receive Universal Smile Award at
San Francisco Operation Smile Gala

San Francisco, CA (September 23, 2014) – Musician and Founder of the Do It For the Love Foundation, Michael Franti, will be honored with the Universal Smile Award by Operation Smile, at the San Francisco Smile Gala on Saturday, October 11, 2014, at the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel. Shab Farzaneh and Shirin Gonili will co-chair and Lisa Lori, Founders’ Circle member, will serve as honorary chair. In addition to accepting the award, Franti will entertain guests with a special, short acoustic performance at the Gala. Liam Mayclem, Host of CBS 5TV’s Eye on the Bay will serve as the evening’s emcee. 

 We are proud to present the Universal Smile Award to Michael Franti in recognition of his foundation’s work to better the lives of others through the healing power of music,” said Operation Smile Co-Founder, Kathy Magee.   
Operation Smile, is an international children’s medical charity, which provides free surgeries for children worldwide suffering from facial deformities - healing their smiles and transforming their lives. Kathy Magee will personally present the Universal Smile Award which recognizes individuals who exemplify an extraordinary commitment to helping others in need who are facing medical challenges. 

Founded by musician and Bay Area native, Michael Franti and E.R. nurse Sara Agah, Do It For The Love’s mission is to inspire joy, hope, and lasting powerful, family-centered memories through the healing power of music. The Foundation 
( grants live concert music wishes for people living with life-threatening illnesses, children with severe challenges, and wounded veterans. During the event, a live auction will be held to raise money to provide life changing surgeries for children around the world.  For $240, a child will receive a smile surgery and both the donor and an Operation Smile patient will receive one of the Three Little Bears ( named after Lisa Lori’s three sons. 

“It is an honor to be Operation Smile’s first San Francisco Universal Smile Award recipient. Sara and I have both witnessed how moments of joy can bring inspiration and hope to people at times of greatest need,” said Franti.
Individual tickets for the Smile Gala begin at $150. For more information, please visit

We love Michael Franti and his concerts are fun, joyful and energizing experiences.  We are so happy he will be accepting the award.