Renee RhodesHeading Home is a non-profit that provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, and supportive services to homeless and formerly homeless families and individuals in the Greater Boston area. “Renee is a Program Manager at Heading Home and she approaches her work from a base of love and compassion, working with homeless families to overcome difficulty and help them thrive,” said Meaghan O’Donnell, Director of Family Services, Heading Home.“In her three-year tenure, Renee has worked with close to 50 clients and their children to help them see all the possibilities in their lives. When clients arrive in our shelters, they are often completely broken, not able to see what they can achieve. Renee is especially gifted in the way she assists clients to regain lost hope and passion in their lives. Starting from a base of compassion, genuinely curious to know their story, Renee listens closely for a small spark of positivity. Somehow able to tap into the smallest mustard seed of hope, Renee helps clients hear themselves and begin to realize that success comes in small steps. By lighting the smallest flicker of hope, clients begin to realize what they can do! Renee is a master at building worthiness, in spreading light, and giving hope to those who are often hopeless,” said O’Donnell. Arnie CarvalhoArnie Carvalho is co-creator of Venganza Media Inc., an independent multimedia company and home to the Venganza Media Podcasting Network which includes podcasts about collecting and also Now Playing Podcast. Since its 2007 launch as a short-form, off-the-cuff movie review show, Now Playing Podcast has grown into one of the most successful and celebrated listener-supported programs online.“We love doing our podcasts because of the friendships we have made, both with the others who work on the shows or listeners who share our passion for movies and collecting,” said Carvalho. “However, the joy of podcasting deepened for us when we started getting notes from listeners telling us how our shows helped them through rough times. One person discussed their bout with depression and medical issues and said she thought she would never laugh again. Then she found our show and found herself laughing while in the hospital. She told me laughter is the best medicine, and honestly that’s why I started doing podcasts. Growing up I went to movies and video games for my entertainment. A tough day at home or at school could get me down, and a movie could bring me back up. When I turned 22 and started to really question what I wanted to do with my life, the answer was to entertain people. It’s often considered ignoble, but my thinking is that people need something to bring them up when they’re feeling down.”Carvalho continued, “I never thought Now Playing and the other shows would have the reach that they do…EVER…but when I get e-mails like these it reminds me why I started doing this in the first place. I understand the power of entertainment and consider it one of the essentials of life. So, I started podcasting with the thought that maybe people would be entertained, and it would take their mind off some troubles the way I needed.” Lisa CarrollWhen Lisa Carroll lost her sister to cancer, she battled fierce depression. “Painting became a form of therapy for me, and I began painting and hiding rocks for others to find all around my town and the surrounding areas – fun rocks, inspirational rocks, love rocks, all kinds,” said Carroll. “Now, I paint hundreds of rocks a month as part of my way of spreading light. I choose to Be the Light in someone’s day even if it’s just one person. The best part is the messages I receive about how much my rocks mean to them and the community.” Country star Jessie Chris was recently named ambassador for an exciting new partnership between Sylvania Light Bulbs and the Be The Light Campaign.Holding the elevator for a stranger. Buying a coffee for the next person in line. Cheering up a friend who is down. Giving a warm smile while working the drive-thru window. These are just some of the small ways people make the world a brighter place. LEDVANCE, the makers of SYLVANIA general lighting in the United States and Canada, and the non-profit Be the Light Campaign are announcing the “Who Lights Up Your World?” Contest to find, recognize and reward people who give off positive energy, joy and light.“Be the Light is focused on the importance of hope. We believe that mental health is just as important as physical health, and that small moments of kindness can alter the course of someone’s day. These can have a rippling effect that positively impacts more and more people over time,” said Melissa Syler, founder of Be the Light Campaign. “Working with the makers of SYLVANIA general lighting, we invite the nation to be an agent of change. Be a part of something larger than yourself. Be the Light.” Starting today through July 31, 2019, you can nominate anyone who exemplifies what it means to “Be the Light” by clicking here to thank that special person who lights up your world. Examples could include a person who exudes positivity, is always willing to help when needed, or is an inspirational role model. You could nominate a friend, family member, co-worker, or anyone you know. Out of the nominations, 25 people in the United States who best embody the “Be the Light” concept will receive a Thank You Gift that includes a $50 VISA Gift Card and SYLVANIA LED lighting products. If your nominee is selected, we will reward you with a $20 VISA Gift Card and SYLVANIA lighting products too! These selected stories of light-hearted people will be shared online with the hope they will ignite a movement toward positivity and help inspire others to Be the Light.SYLVANIA LED light bulbs can last up to 22 years and save up to 85 percent on electricity. “SYLVANIA lighting products have been illuminating homes and businesses for over a century, providing light where you need it. It’s heartwarming to know that people across the nation are also providing light when others need it through simple acts of kindness,” said Wolfgang Mailaender, Head of Marketing for U.S. and Canada, LEDVANCE.Billboard Artist to Watch Jessie Chris is a brand ambassador for the joint campaign between the makers of SYLVANIA light bulbs and Be the Light Campaign. Growing up in Massachusetts where being a country music fan wasn’t popular in school, Jessie was constantly bullied by her peers. She didn’t let that stop her from following her dreams of performing. Now she is a recognized country music artist, performing at concerts, walking red carpets and releasing music with other top musicians. “I feel it’s important to me to Be the Light for others, like how my parents were for me when I was going through dark times,” said Chris. “This is why I have been traveling to over 100 elementary schools across the nation to share my story of overcoming adversity to help students that are dealing with being bullied. That’s also why I am so excited to be a part of this initiative to recognize those that spread light.”Examples of Powerful Sources of Light What does it mean to Be the Light? Here are some examples of everyday heroes that make a difference in the lives of others. Jaron Albert Fisch, Kay Kay Clivio and Tanya PergamentThe Felix Organization was founded by Run-DMC Founder Darryl McDaniels and Emmy-award winning casting director Sheila Jaffe, who were both adopted. Their annual event “Dance this Way” honors Dream Makers that bring love, light and generosity to children living in the foster care system. Previously, fourteen-year old Jaron Albert Fisch donated more than $8,000 from his rap bar mitzvah to the organization and was honored at the event. This year, yoga teachers Kay Kay Clivio and Tanya Pergament will be recognized for their efforts over the past seven years to bring yoga to children in foster care. As volunteers for The Felix Organization, they bring light to this population of children at the annual Camp Felix, a summer camp specially designed for this population in upstate New York. The duo also created the charity’s annual fundraiser OM THIS WAY and have raised thousands of dollars to enrich the lives of children growing up in the foster care system.