Saturday, November 24, 2018

Book Giveaway!

I am giving away two Kindle books! You have an opportunity to win a Kindle Version of my book by visiting the link below. Good luck! The giveaway ends tomorrow, November 25th.

AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Essentials for Cultivating Passionate Volunteers and Leaders: Guidelines for Organizations that Value Connection (Kindle Edition).


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Just Published the book Essentials for Cultivating Passionate Volunteers and Leaders!

I am excited to share that I just published the book Essentials for Cultivating Passionate Volunteers and Leaders. It is available at and and

I wrote the book because it is very important to value volunteers and staff and to know how to effectively honor them and the needs of the organization. Creating a culture where individuals can thrive and discover their strengths and purpose is essential. When volunteers and staff find their niche and focus on their strengths the organization is more effective and more good can be done in the world.

I have had a lot of volunteers that I have worked with over the past 20 years and many I am still in touch with today. What they tell me most impacted them from working with me is that their voice was heard and that they were guided to discovering their role to play in the organization.

My book will help:

*Inspire and motivate volunteers and staff
*Listen to others effectively and offer quality feedback
*Reduce turnover and cultivate passion in the workplace
*Improve productivity
*Develop a culture of mentorship and learning
*Individuals and volunteers choose the right organization for them

Here are some reviews:

"Mr. Zacapa provides straight forward, practical ideas for engaging and inspiring employees and volunteers to perform at optimum levels for the good of any organization. His short and very well written book inspired and validated my own principles applied during my own, lengthy career as a CEO of a nationally respected affordable housing developer/operator. Eddie Zacapa understands the importance of finding passion in those we lead and offers excellent tips on how to apply empathy and understanding for the promotion of work excellence."

Rob Pearson, CEO, Santa Barbara Housing Authority

"Eddie powerfully lifts up the concepts of 'love thy neighbor' in this book. He illustrates how volunteering time and skills to our communities teaches teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, critical thinking, project planning and other important life skills. Eddie especially captures how human beings can bring out the best in each other through volunteerism. He also reminds us to preserve and treasure our interconnectedness as global citizens."

Ami Pascual Spear, Founding Director, South of Market Foundation, Community Economic Developer practitioner 

Books ships quicker from and 

Beyond Praise - Expressing Gratitude

There seems to be a widespread assumption that praise is always a good thing. It is not uncommon for teachers to be told to praise a child every day. Some are even evaluated on how close they come to this standard. Many books on parenting encourage praise and don't mention any negative effects of using it. 

Yet there is now research that shows that using praise can be unhealthy. What can be unhealthy about praising kids or others? 

Dependency on Praise for Approval
Well for starters children can become dependent on praise and not be able to self-motivate themselves. Alfie Kohn in his book Punished by Rewards shares a story of a teacher who would say, "Good job! You really helped me out today!" to two boys who she concluded were insecure. Yet their desire to please her grew and they were no closer to achieving the confidence and security she was hoping to build. Their mood depended on whether she approved or did not and they felt better about themselves when she did.

Kohn also writes that children may end up not being as creative and relying more on adults to make decisions for them as a result as well.

Kohn states, "Praising children for the way they behave, meanwhile, gives them no reason to continue acting responsibly when no one is likely to say nice things to them after they do so, and it gives them neither the skills nor the inclination to make their own decisions about what constitutes responsible behavior."

It is true that not all children react the same way to praise. This may have something to do with their background and personality. For instance research shows that girls do not respond favorably to praise and are actually less interested in doing the work that they are praised for doing after being praised. This may have something to do with how often women are complimented for being nice or sweet that they have come to realize that the praise is just an attempt to control them or get them to do something.

Continue reading here

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Taking Responsibility for Meeting Our Needs

Photo Courtesy Rumi Facebook Page.

"Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being." - Rumi

So many times in life we look for others to make us happy and we put our happiness in their hands. We may depend on others to do things that we believe will bring us happiness and when they do not we blame them or become angry. This is a recipe for disaster.

In my journey with Nonviolent Communication (NVC) I have come to understand that I am responsible for meeting my needs and that other people are not.

I have learned to not attach myself to one person having to meet my need(s). The same goes for groups of people (organizations, clubs, fellowships, etc.). When I have expectations of others I put myself in a place where I can be disappointed. When I believe it is others' responsibility to meet my needs I give my power away because they have the power to affect my happiness or sadness. I am no longer in control of my happiness. I am less empowered. I also put a heavy burden on others. I play a game where no one wins.

Continue reading here.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Feature Photo

PHOTO CAPTION: "Photo Courtesy of Brigette Christensen."

I hope that you enjoy your visit to Harmony of the Heart. You will find inspirational articles, stories, poetry, beautiful photos, links, motivational videos and much more. This blog was created to spread positive and inspirational messages that enrich people's lives. I hope that you will be a part of that by sharing posts that you like via email, facebook, twitter or other social networks.

Feature Photo
Every once in a while we post the Feature Photo, a striking photo. To view all of the other feature photos we have posted at Harmony of the Heart simply click here.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Vision Comes To Life at White Rock

Markos Egure of Wes Kos Images paints final touches on mural for youth room.

The Youth Enrichment Room is a project to create a safe space for youth to connect with one another at White Rock Village, a property of Mercy Housing. White Rock Village is a property of Mercy Housing in El Dorado Hills that provides affordable housing to create stable and healthy communities by developing, financing and operating affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities.

Some of the programs offered in the room include youth leadership, homework club, KidZone, and arts and crafts. The Mercy Foundation contributed a grant of $15,000 to make this happen. The last part of the project was to do a mural that would reflect the White Rock Village community, include ideas from the youth and the messaging to inspire the youth who use the room.  

Read the full story here that was published in the Village Life. You can also watch a video of how this project came together with youth involvement at this link.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Former Resident Gives Back to His Community

Joshua Alexander and his family lived at White Rock Village, a property of Mercy Housing that provides affordable housing to create stable and healthy communities by providing affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities.

He volunteered while living there and worked with the youth as a youth leader. Know he works for Mercy Housing. Read the inspirational story here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

White Rock Village Community Care Team Makes a Difference

The White Rock Village Community Care Team is committed to serving its community. The team consists mostly of residents who live at White Rock Village and have decided to give back to the neighborhood and community at large.

The team of volunteers wear T-shirts that read on the back “Demonstrating our care by doing our neighbor good” and they are doing just that.

Iva Bartley volunteers by facilitating the KidzLit Reading Program and teaching an art class at White Rock Village.

“I enjoy reading a story with the kids and taking their understanding of the story to another level and seeing the expression on the their faces as this happens is priceless,” she said. “When that happens you know you have been successful.”

Monday, March 07, 2016

Knitting for a Good Cause - White Rock Village Knitting Team Makes a Difference

It started off simple enough – a group of women living at White Rock Village wanted to knit hats for family and friends.

It is very helpful to receive these caps, Rebecca Drahmann, who is the Patient Services Supervisor at the El Dorado Community Health Center, said. It is nice to receive something that is hand-made. It is obviously made with love. Anything hand-made comes from the heart. It just means so much more.

The WRV knitting team has donated 1186 caps to various organizations since they started last year. 
The team has donated to Marshall Hospital, Kaiser Roseville, Mercy San Juan, the Cancer Resource Center and the Infant Parent Center in Cameron Park and plans to continue to donate to these organizations.

White Rock Village is a property of Mercy Housing in El Dorado Hills which provides affordable housing to create stable and healthy communities by developing, financing and operating affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities.

Eddie Zacapa, the resident services coordinator at the property said, It is inspiring to watch these ladies grow the team and donate these caps to local hospitals and organizations. We all benefit when we have an opportunity to give to others.

The knitting team meets on Wednesdays and Fridays at WRV at 10 a.m. and is looking for more volunteers and more donations of yarn and fleece to make more caps and blankets. If you are interested in helping or making a donation please contact Resident Services Coordinator Eddie Zacapa at 916-941-2357.