#Glass4good is now #Wearables4good!

Greetings all! Jen here. I’ve got some news…


Alicia, Bun and Jen during the #RelaySocial Lap at Relay For Life of Hunter’s Creek 2013

Short answer: Is this the end of the cause? NO. Not at all. In fact, thanks to some great people out there… we’re GROWING!

Long (no, really, LONG) answer: For the past year I have been exploring the Central Florida community (and beyond!) through Google Glass, as one of the world’s first Glass Explorers. It’s been A BLAST. I have met many cool, curious people and taken tons of random reaction shots in that time. Some are GREAT, some are only slightly embarassing.

In a year and four months’  time I have never had a single ‘negative‘ experience with the device, like the ones the media likes to report. No Sarah Slocum ‘bar brawls,’ no Daily Show run-ins; although I was told to stow the device when visiting The Colbert Report in April.

The only even remotely ‘negative’ (if you can even call it that?) experience I’ve encountered was with another Explorer, a self-proclaimedsociopath.” Which further proves a theory I’ve had since day one of my involvement with Project Glass; Perception of Glass will have every bit to do with the personality of the device wearer over the device itself. True, “reasonable expectation of privacy” went out the window with the original iPhone, possibly even earlier. However, to be factually blunt, a jerk will always be a jerk.

I have had a few ‘indifferent‘ experiences, in that, some may have feared what they did not know, but they were inquisitive enough to find out more without casting a harsh stone in my direction. Taking the time to explain how the device worked, and going one step further to explain what actions (voice, touchpad and button commands) to look for when a device is ‘on’ surely quelled even the most suspicious party… and even got them a little more curious.

Unintentional #GlassSelfie?

Blogger tour of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (wearer: Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com)

These impromptu demonstrations would happen no matter where I went and (other than being en route to the restroom) I was, and still am, happy to show people how Glass works. [And no, I do not work for Google. I wish I made a Google-size salary though.]

Because of my already active community status, these daily demonstrations quickly opened the door to guest speaking opportunities and group demonstrations via lunch and learns, conventions, staff meetings, public presentations, non-profit events and more. It’s been like a live and in-person Twitter stream at times! Hundreds, thousands of conversations overlapping and open.

I’ve been interviewed quite a bit about Glass; my thoughts about Glass, my experience with the device and so on. Our 48 Hour Film Project team even used the device in our city-winning short film last year, TechSquad! I’ve even been recognized for my efforts with #Glass4good via TechRepublic, Carpathia’s Tech Hero/Heroine program and was a finalist in this year’s Shorty Awards.

48 Hour Film Project Orlando 2013

My question was: Why do people even care about my experience with Glass? I’m not a developer or programmer. I produce television and short films. I’m a creative, not a coder! Answer? Perception of the wearer. Well, that’s the only answer I can quantify at this point anyway. I’m a nice person. (Or try to be most of the time.) Being a Glass Explorer opened doors, provoked conversation AND action in others and kept me going during some of the lowest parts of my life; unemployment, my mom’s second cancer diagnosis and more.

I must note the interesting social experiment I’ve unofficially conducted since getting the (prescription) Bold Frame accessory in May. When in public, I would get interesting looks wearing Glass as most people are used to seeing them in the media. Having an orange (ahem, ‘tangerine‘) device on my face got people curious for sure, and quickly replaced the archetypal name tag.

When I started wearing the frame accessory, this view did a surprising 180. People still recognized something, but it’s almost like the Google Glass became secondary. Most people I encountered didn’t realize Glass had an option for prescription wearers. While it was still a topic of conversation 7-8 times out of every 10 interactions, it seemed to come across as less intrusive… less creeper looking. Honestly, I totally feel like Clark Kent when I wear them now. Just add fedora! (Nevermind that Clark’s are a little closer to the Curve Frames.)

TechSquad at Otronicon (Orlando Science Center)

All told, my Glass Explorer experience has indeed been a FUN and socially educational one! So does this mean I’m hanging up my Google Glass? NOT at all. I’m not done covering events or using my #Glass4good causes. I still love my Glass and wear them often. I’m simply opening up the field to other devices (wearable and not) and applications! More good reporting and sharing… and we’re hoping more often.

This blog and journey would cease to exist without the 35 people who were so kind to me last April and helped make #Glass4good even possible. I owe it to them – not to mention the local and global community – to continue and grow.

To new friends, followers and readers, I thank you for following this blog. Our work here is NOT done. Stay tuned….


Fighting the flu with Centra Care #throughglass

[Big shout out to Central Florida Top Five for the head’s up!]

Getting sick when you don’t have insurance is just a pain. An all-around, expensive pain. In Central Florida you can get a flu shot pretty much anywhere; your doctor’s office, a walk-in clinic, CVS, Walgreens, Target. Depending on where you go, without insurance, a single shot can cost up to $40! We don’t have $40 just lying around so $40 is a lot of money. What if you’re unemployed and are trying to support a family? The total cost can skyrocket!

Here’s where our pals at Centra Care come in. For one, their flu shots are only $25. If you’re a senior and bring along your Primary Medicare card, there’s no out-of-pocket costs. If you can’t swing $25, there is still good news out there…

For the past 12 years, tens of thousands of flu shots have been donated to the community on a first come, first served basis. This year, thankfully, is no exception as Centra Care has teams up with Florida Hospital Urgent Care and Get Healthy Florida to do it all again.

Remaining Fast & Free Flu Shot Dates:

I went through and, according to Google Glass’s count, it took me 3 minutes and 20 seconds, from handing over my paperwork (name, zip code, sex, how/where you found out about the event email address) to getting my copy of said paperwork. So simple. Finding parking took longer! Pro tip: While Centra Care always schedules a bunch of people for the shot tent, these public events DO get busy. Make sure to plan your time accordingly… just in case.

Fast and Free Flu Shot Process (very strategic process)

  1. Fill out the simple form
  2. Go to the next available person (‘shot caller?’ HA!)  under the tent
  3. Have a seat
  4. Get stuck
  5. Once adhesive bandaged, say thank you!
  6. Go on with your day

Easy, right? It helps that I was there early I suppose but still, the process was figuratively and literally painless. Check out some embarrassingly (naked) arm shots below…

What does the flu shot DO?

Here’s the official word from the CDC: The upcoming season’s flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and one or two influenza B viruses, depending on the flu vaccine. 

Who SHOULD get a flu shot?

Great question! Centra Care recommends everyone 6-months and older can get a free flu shot at any one of the scheduled Fast & Free Flu Shot clinics. Because last year’s flu season impacted younger adults in particular, Centra Care physicians want to remind Central Floridians that the single best protection against the flu is the flu shot, even for healthy children and adults. And since the flu virus changes every year (Movie idea! Flu Shot: Tokyo Drift?), you need a new vaccination each year.

Who SHOULD NOT get a flu shot?

According to the CDC’s recommendations, individuals in the ‘high risk‘ category for flu-related complications (or live/care for those at risk) are;

  • Pregnant women
  • Kids >5 years old, especially younger than 2 years
  • People who are 50+
  • Those with chronic conditions
  • Nursing or long-term care residents
  • Caregivers or household members including healthcare workers, out of home caregivers of children >6 months
  • (For more specific questions, please call the CDC directly at 1-800-409-3804)

Pro Tip #2: Centra Care sends out a weekly newsletter called “What’s Going Around?” It’s VERY helpful to learn what bugs are flying around and where. There are three newsletters; Central Florida, Tampa Bay and Volusia County. You have the option of picking one or all three newsletters. 

For more info about Centra Care’s Fast & Free Flu Shots, please call (407) 833-9201 or visit the Get Healthy Florida Facebook Page.

#Glass4good: Harbor House of Central Florida’s Purple Purse Campaign

For many of us it’s hard to believe a loved one, especially a spouse, could ever raise a hand to us or an eyebrow to others. But it happens. More often than one might think or even notice, and the numbers are staggering. 42.4 million women and 1 in 10 men have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Many years ago, I ended up being stalked by a guy I dated at work. He was never emotionally or physically abusive to me, and was really sweet… until I tried to break it off with him. He wasn’t happy about it, and started displaying some peculiar – and eventually scary – behavior. And when I stopped answering his calls and avoiding him at work? He responded by showing up to my house in the middle of the night and largely carving his initials in two of my tires. I never reported this, mind you, to my employer or the authorities. Why? Because it never went beyond this scary action. Thankfully, I have never heard from him again. Other women, men and pets aren’t as lucky.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically.

Here in our Central Florida community, we are very fortunate to have Harbor House of Central Florida on our side. Harbor House’s mission is to provide safe shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, and emotional support, and legal advocacy for thousands of domestic violence survivors and their children each year. According to Michelle Palmer, Central Florida’s Chief Development Officer, they extend far beyond Central Florida in many cases. “What most people don’t realize is there’s a tremendous correlation between domestic abuse and economic abuse. One of the reasons women don’t leave often is financial abuse because they don’t know where the money is, nothing’s in their name, they don’t have the means to leave and they feel trapped.” You can help, and they even have an app to help YOU – R3 (Recognize, Response, Refer) App (iOS / Android).

Enter: The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge, a fundraising campaign for charities benefiting domestic violence Survivors. Michelle and our friends at Harbor House of Central Florida are very excited and rightfully so! “The Allstate Foundation is sponsoring! We were actually privileged to be chosen as part of a small group of organizations nationally to talk about economic empowerment and what that means,” said Michelle during last week’s kick-off event at Kate Spade in Mall at Millenia.

What we’re doing right now through the Purple Purse Campaign is trying to communicate – What does it MEAN to be financially empowered? What does it look like? We’re trying to raise the awareness so people understand the importance of, “I have my name on my bank accounts. I have an equal say in where our money is spent and where our money is saved. I know where our money is,” and elevate that discussion to a national level. We’re proud to be a part of that, and Kate Spade is helping us launch that effort tonight.

What a night it was! Kate Spade Millenia donated a gorgeous purple purse. Also, Gifn goofiness happened. We even participated in a Google+ Hangout on Air with Chef Dennis inside Kate Spade! Couldn’t make it out to the launch party? Don’t worry! The Purple Purse Challenge runs from September 2nd to October 3rd. Our friends at Harbor House of Central Florida promise more fun soon. Make sure to keep an eye peeled on their Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts for more activities, contests and some REALLY COOL prizes.

Thanks to Kate Spade and their stellar Purple Purse Challenge launch party, everyone who attended and donated helped make Harbor House of Central Florida a Top Ten organization and earned them $5,500 in donation matches from the Allstate Foundation!

[For all of you savvy online shoppers, Amazon Smile is also stepping up to the plate. Shop online using https://smile.amazon.com and Amazon will support Survivors with your purchase.]

If you know of anyone in crisis, or are in crisis yourself, please call Harbor House of Central Florida’s 24-Hour Crisis Hotline (407) 886-2856 | (TDD)  1-800-500-1119 (FL) or 911. Find out more about how you can help Harbor House of Central Florida by visiting their website, http://www.harborhousefl.com. Together we can #EndTheSilence.

#glass4good: Orange County’s #YearOfTransformation

I have been a proud resident of Orange County in Orlando, Florida for as long as I can remember. Despite being a 3rd generation transplant, Orlando has always felt like home to my family. What vacationing families and visiting companies sometimes forget is, people DO actually live here. Have roots here. Families of 3rd and 4th generation natives (although rare now) DO exist! Tourism is, no doubt, one of our biggest industries but there is MUCH more to this area than our (wonderful!) theme parks and attractions.

This morning’s State of the County address was one of hope and determination.

In the past couple of years, we have seen steady growth in many local sectors. In the next year Mayor Jacobs promises we will see more and has even invited members of the community to be Social Media Ambassadors. Mayor Jacobs is the first sitting mayor in Florida to feature a Social Media Ambassador program in her State of the County address. Alongside a core group of Orlando’s best and brightest, I am honored to be one of them! The spirit of this program falls in line with what #Glass4good is all about, so to me it was a no-brainer.

We’re transforming the way we create infrastructure and how we get around,” says Mayor Jacobs. She even communicated in Spanish, “Me da mucha alegría poder compartir este día especial con todos ustedes y me siento bendecida de poder vivir en el Condado de Orange.” Translated means: “I am very happy to share this special day with you all and I feel blessed to live in Orange County.

Along with several great partnerships, she is championing The Year of Transformation in Orange County. “There are so many things happening right now. It’s amazing!” says the Mayor in our chat with her below.

In her State of the County address this morning, Mayor Jacobs gave many shout outs to the tech community and digital entrepreneurs saying, “Thank you for engaging our online community and for sharing our message through Google Glass and Social Media. With Google Glass in the room, I guess it won’t surprise you to learn that we are legitimately cool? That’s right… there’s proof!”-  motioning over TO US!

Also noteworthy! Some newer, some known info;

Connect with Mayor Jacobs online on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | OCConnect

Keep up with Orange County on your smartphone!

OCFL 311                     Android | iOS

OCFL Alert                  Android | iOS

NEW! OCFL News   Android | iOS

**In honor of D-Day,  please take 12 minutes to learn more about the first female American pilots of World War II by checking out Orange TV GM Bill Suchy’s documentary, Silver Wings, Shattered Dreams: The Long Road to Redemption.

#Glass4good: Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation and the Birth of #SelflessSelfie

Happy Mothers Day!

Boy was Beth Bailey in for a surprise. Little did she know SHE WON the scooter raffle at this year’s Scooters 4 Hooters and Ellen’s Walk With the Angels after buying 25 tickets in support of Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation!

A friend in the audience decided to call Beth so Robin Maynard, the founder of Libby’s Legacy, could tell her the big news personally. During this phone call, another giving movement was born; the #SelflessSelfie (begins at 2:19). In the moment, Robin brainstormed on stage announcing, “Speaking of selfless selfies, if you donate in the next week… put your money up and take a selfie. And we will put it up on our website and our Facebook page!”

Also announced on stage (at 6:30) was the start of the Mammogram of the Month Club. A commitment of $100 a month will provide a mammogram to a woman (or man!) who cannot afford one. Twins Shelly and Catherine Reynolds (Libby’s Legacy Vice Chair) were the first to sign up, and as Robin put it, they are #TWINNING!

Through programs like The Hope Tree Project, C.S.I. (Cancer Screening Initiative)/Mammogram Access Project, P.A.L.S. (Patient Advocate Liason Service) and LIVE BIG, Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation provides comprehensive breast health care to the underserved Central Florida community through education, mammograms, follow up diagnostics and Hope Coaches on the journey from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. So far, Scooters 4 Hooters and Ellen’s Walk With the Angels 2014 have both raised a bunch with more donations coming in by the minute!

The funds raised help grant wishes for Stage IV breast cancer patients in order to create cherished memories with loved ones through Libby’s Legacy’s LIVE BIG program. Even more extraordinary is, as of December 2013, nearly 4000 Breast Health services have been provided, 62 breast cancers have been diagnosed through these life saving diagnostics and 7 LIVE BIG cruises have been granted RIGHT HERE in Central Florida! These services are made possible through Libby’s Legacy signature fundraising events like these. As Robin says at 7:18, “It REALLY matters. We have to have this annuity type fund because when we don’t get funded, when things are down… we have to have that money coming in.”

To find out more on how you can get involved with Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation, by emailing info (at) libbyslegacy(dot)org or visiting the following links:


*Apologies for the sound dropout around the 7:53 minute mark? It must have been a glitch in Google Glass.