Hands of Support Becomes a Microsoft Authorized Education Reseller


PRLog (Press Release) – Nov. 1, 2013 – BALTIMORE — Baltimore, Maryland, USA — November 01, 2013 — Hands of Support,today announced it has become a Microsoft Authorized Education Reseller (AER), demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft academic customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment. To earn a Microsoft AER authorization, partners must complete a test to prove their level of academic licensing and market expertise.

The AER program is designed to train participating resellers on Microsoft’s Academic licensing, authorize them to purchase and resell Microsoft Academic licenses, and demonstrate to potential customers that they are approved and knowledgeable academic partners.

Hands of Support is a privately held company founded in 2009. We own a facility in Baltimore, MD that serves as our corporate office and staging warehouse. We have enjoyed consistent annual growth based primarily on client referrals.

Our organization provides support, management, and expert advice in the areas of Computer System Configuration and Upgrades, Network Infrastructure Design and Deployment, Virus Removal and Systems Security Services, and Remote, Phone and In Person PC and Systems Support. Our charitable focus is directed at children who are in need. “This Microsoft AER authorization shows our commitment and specialism in the academic IT marketplace and demonstrates our knowledge of Microsoft and its academic products,” said Kevin Harding, Owner. “We hope to accelerate our academic customers’ successes by serving as technology advisors for their IT requirements.”

“By becoming AERs, partners show themselves to be committed and trained in providing discounted Microsoft academic products to the education market,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Education for Microsoft Corp.’s Worldwide Public Sector. “This authorization, along with our other education partner initiatives, gives our partners recognition of their areas of expertise and our academic customers the confidence that they are buying from academic IT specialists.”

The Microsoft AER Program is designed to authorize and equip organizations that deliver academic products and services through the Microsoft platform with the training, resources and support they need to provide their customers with superior experiences and outcomes.


6 Things Really Productive People Do

6 Things Really Productive People Do BY KEVIN DAUM

Have you noticed that some people just seem to accomplish tons and still appear happy and relaxed? Here are six tips for becoming more productive.


People often ask me, amazed, how I manage to do so many things. Aside from writing two columns every week, I speak regularly, travel, create videos, manage my business, write books, consult with five companies, network, socialize, cycle, run, read, cook, sleep six to seven hours a night and have dates with my wife. Oh yeah, I watch a lot of television while hanging out with my dog as well.

Okay, I know it sounds ridiculous. But accomplishing my preferred future requires this level of activity. I have the same 24 hours in a day that you do, but I have made specific choices that allow me to make the most of every day, and still feel happy and relaxed. Perhaps these tips will help you make the most of your time as well.


1. Pick Your Priorities

Make choices about the activities in your life. With most endeavors, you can either go deep or go wide. Focus on spending time that for you is fun and productive. If you like big families, have them, but recognize up front that kids require time and you’ll have to choose a lifestyle that supports quality time with them, for you to feel satisfied. I chose the life of a consultant because I like to work with companies, but don’t want the life of a big company CEO. My choices are based on the lifestyle I want.


2. Go For Efficiency

You don’t do everything well. The things you do well usually give you greater joy and require less time. Don’t take on something with a steep learning curve if you don’t have the available bandwidth. Design your life to meet your wants, and recognize when to say no to opportunities that are outside the scope of your desires. Live your life by design, not default.


3. Integrate Your Activities

Many people go crazy trying to figure out how to spend time with friends, family, work, play, etc.  Stop trying to balance time between them all. Find ways to enjoy them in a combined manner. Build your social life around people in your work environment. Find people in your company who share common interests and develop your career around the people and activities you love. If everything is out of synch to the point where you feel pulled and stressed, a change is likely imminent one way or another.


4. Actively Manage Time-wasters

Social media, family, friends, employees, co-workers and general whiners all under certain circumstances can suck precious time from you if you let them. Budget your time for necessary activities. Make a choice to limit non-supportive interactions that don’t energize you. As for social media, it can easily be a black hole for time and productivity. Use it appropriately and sparingly as a tool to support your endeavors and social needs, but lay off the Farmville.


5. Be an Active Learner

You would think learning takes more time from you, but actually there are always new tools and new ways of doing things that can save you time on mundane tasks freeing you up for your priorities. Always be looking for a new way to gain back an hour here or there. Just try it and dump it quick if it starts to drag on.


6. Lighten Up

No need to beat yourself up if you can’t do all the things you want because you are handling other stuff that needs attention. It happens. The world won’t come to an end in most cases just because you left a few things undone. Celebrate progress and keep refining toward a happy productive existence. This is why making lists and crossing off items is a staple in any productivity handbook. Every completion is a small victory that adds up in a big way.

2013 International Day of Giving

Help us support more than 2 million people in 60 countries by supporting the supervision, coordination and administration of HOPE worldwide’s programs around the world. Examples of the use of your support are the ongoing development of local Chapters in more than 100 cities throughout North America and the expansion of volunteer programs like HOPE Youth Corps and HOPE Volunteer Corps. HOPE worldwide is blessed by the churches from the International Churches of Christ who provide core support for the ongoing sustainability of HOPE worldwide as a global charity.

Learn More & Donate



McElderry Park is a community in the process of revitalization

“McElderry Park is a community in the process of revitalization and we are looking for residents and investors who want to be a part of our forward progress”.

The neighborhood is rich with assets to help us in our effort: – A strong community association and active group of stakeholders – Housing stock available at affordable prices – Two Community gardens, murals and restored lots – Community Resource Center and local libraries – Two Schools, several daycares and lots of afterschool programming partners – Monument St. shopping corridor and proximity to Northeast Market – Close to Hopkins, Patterson Park, Butchers Hill, the Highlandtown Farmers’ Market, Canton & Fells Point – Easy access to all major highways and routes.

McElderry Park is part of the East Monument Historic District. Development began in the area in the 1870’s. The district was the center of the city’s Bohemian immigrant community. Many of the two-story Neoclassical row houses in this area were built by a group of Bohemian builders, including Frank Novak. Frank Novak later became the city’s most prolific builder of reasonably priced two-story houses, concentrating his efforts in the eastern and southeastern sections of the city as industrial expansion brought even more jobs to this area. Construction in the neighborhood was essentially completed in 1926. Modern day organization of the community began in the 70’s by a group called NAG, Neighbors Against Grime. In 1985 the McElderry Park Community Association was formed.”

Recommended ‘New Business’ Resources

There is more opportunity nowadays than there ever has been in the history of western civilization to market and expand our businesses. However, with so many options out there, in regards to services and products that you can utilize to help grow our business, it can sometimes become a little confusing.

I figured it would be a good idea to put together a list of helpful resources that you can come back to regularly for your ‘new business’ needs. Because of this, I anticipate updating it often, so I strongly suggest you create it as a separate bookmark (hit Ctrl+D now!), for easy access in the future.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you purchase through them, I might earn a commission, or be compensated in some way. However, please note that these are resources, tools, etc, that I’ve either used in the past, or continue to use personally; or come from helpful companies or individuals that I know and trust… That’s why I’m listing them here for you! If you click on any of ’em, thank you!

Support, Management, and Expert Advice


Hands of Support – My technology company. Since inception we’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses bring calm to small business and technological chaos, by providing customized customer centric, technical solutions. If you’re looking for a solution that provides the technology support management and expert advice, this is where you need to go.


Freedom WheelsFreedom Wheels provides customers with quality, reliable, low-cost used cars while allowing customers to enjoy an informative, no-pressure, no-haggle, educated, and comfortable buying experience.

North American Power – As my gift to the planet, I switched to using renewable energy! You can too & earn income at the same time.

Building an Online Presence

WordPress -This is the only way to build your blog and business sites, as far as I’m concerned. Everything I do online is based around the WordPress platform. Easy to use, extremely customizable. Enough said.

Email Marketing and List Building

MailChimp More than 4 million people use MailChimp to design and send email marketing campaigns. Join them today.

Entrepreneurial Productivity

Dropbox – The quickest, easiest and most reliable way to share documents (written, photos, audio and video files) with your virtual assistants and co-online buddies and partners. I seriously use this thing almost hourly during my work day!

Evernote – Great note collector that can help you become super productive. Available on the web, iPad, iPhone and everywhere else where you need to make a note, clip something to read later and then move on. I love this thing



Government shutdown: Obama urges Congress to reopen government.

3:28 pm, October 7, 2013

President Barack Obama, in a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Monday to spotlight the loss of government services because of the shutdown, urged Congress to reopen government and raise the debt limit immediately.

“My very strong suspicion is there are enough votes there” to pass legislation, he said. “Hold a vote. Call a vote right now. Let’s see what happens.”

FEMA had recalled employees who were idled in the shutdown to deal with Tropical Storm Karen but the storm has weakened and Obama said the agency would now send about 100 of them home.

The federal government shut down most of its operations and idled all but its most essential workers October 1 after congressional Republicans continued to make defunding or delaying healthcare laws part of spending bills.

The country faces the possibility of a debt default if lawmakers do not raise the federal borrowing cap by October 17.

Congressional Republicans have similarly insisted on White House concessions for doing so, and Obama has said he would not negotiate over raising the debt limit.

Obama said at FEMA that he would be happy to hold talks with congressional Republicans on healthcare or other issues, but not under the threat of shutdown or debt default.

A default would have “catastrophic impacts” on the U.S. economy, a White House official told reporters.

Earlier Monday, the White House reiterated that the president would not negotiate with Republicans over the threat of a debt default, sticking to its line as stock prices fell and a government shutdown moved into its second week.
But White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling did not rule out a short-term increase to the borrowing cap, such as two or three weeks, which could offer more time for an agreement. Speaking at a Politico breakfast, he said that while the administration prefers an increase that would last as long as possible, the length of the increase is Congress’s decision.

“The longer the debt limit is extended, the greater the certainty for our economy,” Sperling said. “That said, it is the responsibility of Congress to decide how long and how often they want to vote on doing that.”

Conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives have resisted funding the government for the current fiscal year until they extract concessions from Obama that would delay or defund his signature healthcare law.

Many of conservative Republicans want a similar condition placed on raising the debt ceiling, as well as measures aimed at cutting deficits.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner vowed on Sunday not to raise the U.S. debt ceiling without a “serious conversation” about what is driving the debt, while Democrats said it was irresponsible and reckless to raise the possibility of a U.S. default.

The last big confrontation over the debt ceiling, in August 2011, ended with an 11th-hour agreement under pressure from shaken markets and warnings of an economic catastrophe if there was a default. A similar last-minute resolution remains a distinct possibility this time.

Equities investors were unnerved by the apparent hardening of stances over the weekend, with European shares falling to a four-month low on Monday and U.S. stocks trading lower.

In comments on Sunday television political talk shows, neither Republicans nor Democrats offered any sign of impending agreement on either the shutdown or the debt ceiling, and both blamed the other side for the impasse.

“I’m willing to sit down and have a conversation with the president,” Boehner said on ABC’s “This Week.” But, he added, Obama’s “refusal to negotiate is putting our country at risk.”

In his list of demands for raising the debt ceiling, Boehner did not mention the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, but rather focused on the debt.

“It’s time to talk about the spending problem,” said Boehner, including measures to rein in costs of entitlement programs such as the Social Security retirement system and Medicare, the government-run health insurance program for seniors.

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, whose constituency includes Wall Street and New York’s financial hub, on Monday said Boehner would be forced to act as the deadline for the nation’s debt ceiling gets closer, calling it “too dangerous” to not raise the U.S. debt limit and saying any default could lead to an economic “recession, depression or worse.”

“The economy could collapse. Will it? No one’s certain, but there’s a high enough chance that no one – no one – should risk it,” Schumer told CNN’s “New Day.”

China, the biggest foreign holder of U.S. Treasuries, urged Washington to take decisive steps to avoid a crisis and ensure the safety of Chinese investments.

“The United States is totally clear about China’s concerns,” Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said in the Chinese government’s first public comment on the October 17 deadline.

“We hope the United States fully understands the lessons of history,” Zhu told reporters in Beijing, referring to the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor’s in 2011.


The two issues of the Federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling started out separately in the House but have been merged by the pressure of time.

Harry Reid, leader of the Democratic-led Senate, is expected to decide soon on whether to try to open formal debate on a “clean” bill, without extraneous issues attached, to raise the U.S. Treasury’s borrowing authority.

Passage of such a measure would require at least six of the Senate’s 46 Republicans to join its 54 Democrats in order to overcome potential procedural hurdles that opponents of Obamacare could erect.

According to one Senate Democratic aide, the debt limit hike might be coupled with an initiative to reform the U.S. tax code and achieve long-term savings in Social Security and Medicare, whose expenses have soared along with the population of retirees.

Republican lawmakers have floated other ideas, such as a very short debt limit increase, which would create time for more negotiations at the expense of further market uncertainty, and repeal of a medical device tax.

The tax is expected to generate some $30 billion over 10 years to help pay for healthcare insurance subsidies under Obamacare.

Some Democrats favor repealing the tax, but they insist that replacement revenues be found and repeal be considered only after the government reopens and the debt limit is raised.


Agreement in the Senate would send the tangle of issues back into the House, where the Republican caucus has adopted a hard line on both Obamacare and the debt ceiling.

There may be enough support in the House to pass a clean spending bill, according to some analysts. That would require almost all of the House’s 200 Democrats and about 20 of its 232 Republicans to vote in favor. But taking such a vote would require Boehner to violate his policy against bringing a vote on any legislation favored by less than a majority of House Republicans.

Reid’s spokesman Adam Jentleson issued a statement on Monday attacking what he called “Boehner’s credibility problem,” including the speaker’s assertion that there are not enough votes in the House to pass a clean bill.

“There is now a consistent pattern of Speaker Boehner saying things that fly in the face of the facts or stand at odds with his past actions,” Jentleson said. “Americans across the country are suffering because Speaker Boehner refuses to come to grips with reality.”

The Pentagon said over the weekend that it would recall around 350,000 of its furloughed civilian workers. The rest of the 800,000 or so federal employees idled by the shutdown faced another week off the job.

For the moment, neither side is moving toward accommodation, and the stakes rise with the passage of time.

For any deal to work, negotiators probably would have to choreograph a multipronged approach that allows all sides to declare victory, even if it is one that sets up another battle in mid-November or December.

While the shutdown so far has not caused major disruption in the markets, a fight over the debt ceiling could. From July 31 thru August 2 during the debt-limit standoff in 2011, the S&P 500 index lost 3 percent, and the deadlock led to a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating to AA-plus from AAA by S&P.

The outlooks from Moody’s and S&P, the only agency so far to have lowered its rating on U.S. debt, are both at “stable,” but Fitch Ratings has indicated a negative outlook for the U.S. debt rating.

All three agencies have said the U.S. debt profile has improved substantially over the past two years, with gross domestic product growth, while slow, proving to be persistently positive and the budget deficit trending lower.

Fitch said in a note last week that the U.S. rating is at risk in the current showdown over the debt ceiling because failure to raise it sufficiently in advance of the deadline raises questions about the full faith and credit of the United States to honor its obligations.

Political gridlock remains the greatest risk to the U.S. outlook, Fitch said in the note on October 1, the first day of the partial government shutdown.

“This ‘faith’ is a key underpinning of the U.S. dollar’s global reserve currency status and reason why the US ‘AAA’ rating can tolerate a substantially higher level of public debt than other ‘AAA’ sovereigns,” Fitch said.

Raise Funds Without Lifting a Finger

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raising a finger

We understand that it’s not always easy to raise funds for your favorite organization. And while bake sales and car washes only generate one donation a time, we have a fundraising program that can provide funding month in and month out.

Now, non-profit organizations can raise funds by simply sharing our customer referral program with their members and supporters. There’s no money to collect, no cost to get involved, and everyone benefits. How’s that for a win-win-win?

Perpetual fundraising is a click away!

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And many more!

Happy Independence Day

July 4th 2013 (and beyond) Military Veterans Discounts and Active Duty Military Freebies

Many wonderful organizations have put together special Independence Day “thank you” offerings for veterans and active duty military members (in some cases their respective families as well). Here is a growing list of what some of these companies are offering for July 4th and beyond:

Miller’s Ale House (added 7/3/2013)

Only July 4th, any veteran, current active duty military, or reservists get 50% off an entree of choice with valid military ID card or VA Card.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (added 7/3/2013)

Throughout 2013, any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman is entitled to a free one time admission at either SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens®, Adventure Island®, Water Country USA®, or Sesame Place® and Aquatica San Diego (Monday – Friday Weekday admission only) for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.

(Maine) Ogunquit Playhouse (added 7/3/2013)

This Fourth of July week, military personnel are invited to purchase special two-for-one tickets (limit of 4 tickets total per person) to select performances of Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Sally Struthers, on Wednesday, July 3rd at 8:00PM and Friday, July 5th at 2:30PM. In order to take advantage of this limited offer, please call the Box Office at 207-646-5511 and present your proof of military service at the Box Office when picking up tickets. This offer is available only for new purchases on select dates. Not valid online.

Legoland Florida (added 7/3/2013)

All active duty military personnel including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists are now entitled to a free one-time single day admission to LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND Water Park throughout 2013.

Walt Disney World Resort (added 7/3/2013)

Walt Disney World Resort is saluting U.S. military personnel by offering 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for just $156 each, plus tax. The Park Hopper Option is included, so you can come and go as you please through all 4 theme parks each day of your ticket! Purchase through September 25, 2013 and receive admission on any 4 days through September 28, 2013, with the exception of July 4, 2013, when tickets are not valid at Magic Kingdom park.


From July 1 to July 4, any fuel purchase made with a Military StarTM Card at Army and Air Force Exchange Service Express locations will be reduced by 10 cents per gallon. Click here for more details.

Blue Star Theatres

The Blue Star Theatres Initiative is offering free or discounted admission to more than 90 theatres and playhouses throughout the country. This offer is good for servicemembers, their families and veterans.


Carowinds amusement park in North Carolina is offering free admission to any active, inactive or retired servicemembers with a valid ID on July 3 and 4, 2013. Click here for more details.

Cedar Point

Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio is offering free admission to any active, retired or honorably discharged servicemember July 4-7, 2013. Click here for more details.

Kings Dominion

The Kings Dominion amusement park in central Virginia is offering free admission for active, inactive or retired service members with a valid military ID on July 4 and 5, 2013. Please note this offer does not include family members. For discounted tickets for the family, visit your installation’s Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) office. For more info click here.

King’s Island

All military members – active and retired — will receive free admission to King’s Island, and amusement and water park in Ohio July 3-5, 2013. They are also offering discounted tickets for family members. Click here for details.


Lowe’s is offering their 10% military discount to military personnel in active, reserve or retired status, as well as retired veterans and those receiving VA benefits.

Naples Zoo

The Naples Zoo in Florida wants to honor those who serve by offering free admission to all military personnel from July 4 to 7. Their adult and child guests can also purchase discounted tickets online.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are hosting a Salute to Vets on July 5. All active duty service members, veterans and their families can buy discounted tickets. Click here for more details.

Raging Rivers

Raging Rivers Water Park in Illinois is offering free admission from July 1 through July 6 as they host their annual Military Days week. Immediate family members can also get a reduced admission.

Travel Centers of America and Petro Truck Stops

On July 4, any veteran, active duty or reservist can receive a complimentary meal at more than 170 participating Iron Skillet, Country Pride and other full-service restaurants within TA and Petro Shopping locations.


Valleyfair Amusement Park in Minnesota is offering free admission during their Military Appreciation Days July 4 through 7. This includes both active duty personnel and veterans, and discounted tickets are available for immediate family members.

Home Depot

Home Depot is offering a 10% discount to all active duty, National Guard and reserve, retiree and disabled servicemembers, honorably discharged veterans and their spouses. For more details, visit the Military.com Discount Center.

Wild Adventures

Valdosta, Georgia – Wild Adventures is offering FREE admission to all active or retired military, disabled veterans and military reservists July 4 – 7 with valid military ID. Offer only available at the park for military member at the designated ticket kiosk.



Thursday, July 4, 2013 Military with active ID can receive up to 4 complimentary Thank You tickets. Available at the stadium after 3pm on the day of the event.For more info contact the Rose Bowl at  626-577-3101.

Outback Steakhouse

The Military Mates 10% OFF discount is open to Military Personnel who have one of the following forms of identification: 2013 U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Veterans Organization Card (i.e., American Legion and VFW), DD214 Certificate, Veteran Identification Card (VIC), Photograph in U.S. Uniform or wearing U.S. Uniform. Military Personnel with any of the foregoing forms of identification, will receive 10% OFF their entire guest check (excluding alcohol, applicable taxes and gratuity)

Adventure Landing

Jacksonville, Florida -All active & retired Military receive a FREE Water Park Pass & all Military family members receive $5 off each Water Park Pass! Or, All active & retired Military receive a FREE 3-Attraction Quest Pass & all Military family members receive $5 off each Quest Pass! Choose from the following attractions:  Mini Golf, Go-Karts, Wacky Worm, Frog Hopper. Must show valid ID at location.  Offer for July 4th only. For more info click here.

Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa, Florida – Members of the  military (active-duty and retirees) and up to three direct dependents will get FREE Admission to  the Zoo for free on July 4-7.  The military member will  need to show a Department of Defense photo ID at the Zoo’s ticket counter.  Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though  an adult with a valid military I.D. must accompany minors. Not valid with any  other discounts or offers. No rain checks.

Boston Market

Print a coupon for 50% off a Family Meal purchase valid for July 4th, 2013 only! Good at all participating Boston Market restaurants. Not valid with any other specials or offers, coupons, or reduced priced meals. Present coupon when ordering.

California’s Great Adventure

Join us Independence Day Weekend, July 4 – 7, as we pay tribute to our brave military service men and women by offering FREE park admission to active or retired United States Service men and women, including veterans, with a valid military I.D. Up to six (6) family members accompanying service personnel can get tickets for just $19.99.

Michigan Adventure

Michigan’s Adventure will be celebrating Tribute to the Armed Forces by offering military personnel of the Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserve a free admission. In addition, military personnel may purchase up to six additional tickets for family members at $21 each. For more info click here.

Worlds of Fun

Worlds of Fun lights up the sky with a huge fireworks show on Thursday, July 4, Friday, July 5th PLUS every Saturday in July! Fireworks begin at 10 pm. July 4th Twilight ticket: $34.99 plus tax. Please Note: On Thursday, July 4th, Worlds of Fun Avenue will be closed from 7:30 p.m. to Midnight. The pick-up and drop off area will be moved to Oceans of Fun’s parking area and will be accessible to guests of both parks. For more info click here.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Special Savings! Show your Military I.D. card and save on Knott’s Berry Farm Regular admission tickets! Show your ID to purchase Knott’s Berry Farm Regular admission tickets for only $35.99. (offer does not apply to Special Ticketed Events, i.e. Halloween Haunt). For more info click here.

Gilroy Gardens

July 4 – 7 and August 31 – September 2 • Join us in saluting our heroes! Active Duty Military personnel get FREE ADMISSION to the park, on the dates listed above, when presenting an Active Duty Military ID—one complimentary admission per ID. For more information click here.

Dorney Park

Dorney Park prides itself on providing world-class thrills, fun and family entertainment for guests of all ages. Dorney Park is also proud of the brave men and women who serve in the U.S. military and will offer free admission to any active or retired military personnel Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27) and Fourth of July (July 3-5) as part of the park’s Tribute to the Armed Forces program. For more infoclick here.

Many offers come with disclaimers. Please be sure to contact each company directly with any questions/concerns. Hands of Support is in no way affiliated with any of the aforementioned businesses or special offers.  This information is being provided for veterans, active duty military and their respective families.  Please check with each business with any questions about the offer listed above.  We do not guarantee any of the above information, we are solely providing a list of businesses offering discounts and freebies for our country’s military heroes and their families

Fatherly (Shopping) Advice

Research suggests men are better shoppers than they think

by Jean Chatzky June 13, 2013 Email

We learn a lot from our fathers. Mine taught me more than I can list here, but among the lessons that stick out: how to make a milkshake, how to talk to just about anyone and how to work hard to achieve a goal, whatever that goal may be.

You’ll notice that list did not include shopping. For all his wonderful qualities, my dad did not teach me about couponing, sticking to a shopping list and avoiding shopping while hungry. (He was, in fact, not particularly frugal—especially when it came to clothes.) However, according to research out of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, many other dads and men in general, have a lot to teach the rest of us about shopping. In this research, Wharton marketing professor Stephen Hoch concludes that “men buy, women shop.” In other words, men have a specific focus on what they need to buy, while women are more likely to enjoy the whole shopping process.

This may seem like a small difference, but the male “buying” tendency is one that can limit both overspending and needless time at the mall. Here’s what you need to know to shop more like your father:

Have a clear mission. A man I once interviewed told me that his shopping motto is, “Get in, get out, get home.” This is consistent with Hoch’s findings. “Men tend to be more focused on ‘I need this, I’m going to get it and not waste a lot of time.’ Women are more likely to treat it as a social experience,” he said. However, he was careful to note that just because men are focused on their “mission” does not mean that women are not capable of this skill. “You look at YouTube and type in ‘coupon lady’; you don’t see coupon men,” Hoch said. “There are clearly very accomplished shoppers that are women that are mission-focused. They go in with a plan of attack and are focused and save money.

The salesperson is not your friend. You may recognize this line from my book Money Rules, but it bears repeating here because Hoch said that while men and women both want salespeople to educate them about the product, engage with them and expedite the process, women are more likely to want a salesperson who interacts with them. “Women set a higher standard in terms of what they expect the salesperson to be as the engager,” he said. “Women tend to be more attentive to other people rather than their own goals. I think what women expect is, do unto others as you expect others to do unto you.” However, that friendly salesperson who is complimenting you on that sweater you don’t need is doing your wallet more harm than good.

Use the Internet as a shield. While Hoch’s research didn’t extend to online shopping, he suspects there wouldn’t be as much of a difference between male and female habits online because the act of searching for a specific product on the Web is, by nature, more “mission-focused.” Technology “tends to level the playing field,” Hoch said, noting that on the Web you can search for the best deals and stay focused on one specific item. “If women really feel like they have impulse control problems, what they ought to do is go online,” he said. Note, however, that this strategy necessitates self-control. If you subscribe to retailers’ e-mails, a good way to handle them is to send them straight to an archive that you check only once or twice a week.

Beware the impulse to overspend. All of this being said, men are still just as likely to overspend as women—in fact, according to some studies, they’re actually more likely to overspend. Glenn Geher, evolutionary psychologist and co-author of the recently released Mating Intelligence Unleashed, attributes this likelihood to an innate desire to attract a mate. “A lot of this stuff is unconscious,” Geher said, explaining that if a guy buys fancy cars, it’s probably just because he likes cars. However, “an outcome of having that stuff and spending ends up being female attention. I think a lot of the overspending you see, especially within young males in the mate-selection part of life, most of that is probably unconscious and it’s a display mechanism. A display of resources that are ultimately tied to mate attraction.”

Geher noted that this effect is present in older men, too—think of the stereotypical midlife crisis in which a highlighter-yellow convertible ends up in the driveway. The takeaway? No one is safe: not men, not women, not younger adults, not older adults. We’re all capable of overspending. Stop the impulse with a purchasing pause of at least 24 hours. If you still want the highlighter-yellow convertible, at least you’ve slept on it.

—With Maggie McGrath

Jean Chatzky is a leading personal finance expert, award-winning journalist and best-selling author. She is also the financial expert for NBC’s Today show.

Revolutionizing the Wireless Shopping Experience

Jennifer Lopez launches Viva Móvil at CTIA 2013.

Elva LimaMay 22, 2013

According to a report published earlier this year by Nielsen, 63 percent of Americans own smartphones, and that number is even higher for Latinos. Seventy-five percent of Latinos in the U.S. own smartphones, making the demographic an important customer base for the wireless industry.

Earlier today, Verizon Wireless introduced the newest premium retailer to give consumers the ability to purchase the latest smartphones and tablets on its 4G LTE network – Viva Móvil by Jennifer Lopez.Jennifer Lopez launched Viva Móvil in collaboration with Brightstar, a global distribution and services company, and Moorehead Communications, Verizon Wireless’ largest premium retailer. Viva Móvil will offer consumers a full service shopping experience online, in customized stores and on mobile devices.

Viva Móvil will revolutionize the wireless shopping experience for Latino consumers with a unique social shopping experience through its Facebook page. While on the page, consumers can get personalized recommendations, shop with their friends, comment on devices and share what device or accessory they purchased – all while staying connected on Facebook. Consumers can interact with Viva Móvil on getviva.com and the Viva Móvil Facebook page beginning today.

In the next few weeks, the Viva Móvil by Jennifer will announce store opening in major markets including New York, Los Angeles and Miami.