Corporate Social Responsibility

Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) spreads cheer and blankets of Love at painting fundraiser for animals

Eileen Smulson and her husband, Brad have been rescuing dozens of animal shelters and animal rescue organizations for several years with pet supplies and blankets of Love. Every quarter Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) hold fundraisers to raise funds to pay for their operations. On Sunday, May 22, 2016, around three dozen supporters and friends turned out for a “Wine & Painting Party” to benefit OBOL.

OBOL PAINTING PARTY“Having a painting party today to help homeless animals and animals in shelters,” said Eileen Smulson, founder, Operation Blankets of Love. “We have dozens of people here enjoying wine, cheese, cookies and food along with lots of volunteers who coordinated the fundraising event. Everyone is drawing a dog and a cat over a landscape and they don’t have to be professional painters to do it. All of these people here love animals and they’re going to help us raise money to give comfort to homeless pets because they’re committed to helping us with our mission,” she said.

OBOL’s mission is to provide comfort to animals in shelters. The charity rescues about 1,000+ animals each month through the donations and pet supplies donated throughout Southern California. They were with some 60 shelters locally, dozens of rescue organizations and OBOL teaches young children how to show respect for animals because Smulson believes society needs to educate people about carrying for their best friends. “There’s such an overpopulation in the shelters that we really need to educate people,” she explained. “We are just so glad to have all of these wonderful animal lovers who support OBOL turn out for a good cause.

OBOL PAINTING PARTYHeading up the painting party was Channing Friedman, an art instructor and owner of The Paintery, a traveling paint party. She said, “It’s an honor to be here and I’m going to be teaching how to paint step-by-step. You don’t have to be an artist because we teaching everyone the same step-by-steps to learn how to paint. We make sure everyone feels comfortable with their painting.” Friedman also noted that many people paint for relaxation. “Time and time again, people come up to me and say, ‘I haven’t picked up a paint brush since kindergarten, and haven’t touched on since,” she said. “They even said how relaxed they were and it even brought out the inner child in them and they couldn’t believe that they walked away with the beautiful painting that they have.”

Eileen Smulson was never a “dog person”, but her husband Brad Smulson loved all pets. She discovered how much she loves animals after a trip to the shelter and spotted “Ginger”, a terrier mix among some 15 dogs. Not only did they hit it off at the start, but Ginger became the mascot of OBOL when she asked the shelter manager, “Where’s the blankets to keep these dogs warm?” When Smulson learned there was no budget she started collecting blankets. Dozens soon turned to hundreds of blankets and hundred to 100,000+.

2016-05-23 05.16.56OBOL is some grassroots, community-driven nonprofit animal welfare, and emergency relief organization founded in 2008. Its’ unique purpose is to improve the well-being and survival of homeless animals and increase chances for survival and adoption — with the ultimate aim of eliminating animal homelessness. Most importantly, by improving homeless animals’ quality of life, OBOL’s services help them become more outgoing and affectionate, leading to being adopted more often and they reduced euthanasia. OBOL provides comfort and care items to shelters, rescues, pets of the homeless, sanctuaries, and fosters to improve the well-being of stray, sick, abused, and neglected homeless animals, increasing their chances for adoption which saves lives.

Eileen Smulson was a former school teacher and a founder of a singing telegram balloon delivery business at 25 in New Jersey and a fundraiser in the non-profit world for 20 years in Los Angeles. Some of the charities she worked as an executive included: The American Cancer Society, Anti-Defamation League, the largest human rights agency in the country and Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency and disaster relief/rescue services. During her years of non-profit work, she raised millions of dollars for many non-profits causes helping people and earned numerous national awards.2016-05-23 05.53.14

“I like to think outside of the box and use my entrepreneurial attitude and passion for animal welfare issues to now helping the animals that have no voice,” she said. “It all started on a cold rainy day in January 2008 when I saw puppies shivering at an animal shelter near my home. I was disturbed to think of my first pet, ‘Ginger’, a four-month-old terrier mix that I adopted in 2003 was lying on a cold, hard cement floor. I was going to try to collect 100 blankets for the shelters and through it, all Operation Blankets of Love was born. “OBOL is like the Red Cross because every day is a disaster for homeless animals and we are on the front lines, she said. “We rescue the rescuers.”

If you would like to donate blankets, towels or pet supplies visit the OBOL website for more or call 818-402-6586 for more information how you can volunteer and or donate. There are hundreds of pet stores and locations through Southern California where blankets and supplies can be dropped off.

How to reach and engage the Millennial target audience – a RTNA workshop

 RADIO T V NEWS ASSOCIATION, RTNA media workshop on Millennials.

(L-R) Britt Hysen, Editor, Millennial Mag.; Bill Dallman, V.P. & News Director, CBS 2/KCAL 9 TV News; KNX Business Hour Host, Frank Mottek; Judy Muller, USC professor and Paul Glickman, Senior Editor, KPCC Radio at RTNA “State of the News Business 2016: Focus on Millennials” media workshop in Beverly HIlls, CA.                                                                                 (Story was first published on

Radio, TV and Media experts got a wakeup call last night (Wed., April 27, 2016), at a Radio TV News Association (RTNA) “State-of-the-Industry” workshop focusing on “Millennials”.  “If you want to target the Millennials, you have to go to them said Keynote Speaker Britt Hysen, founder/editor-in-chief of Millennial Magazine. The magazine was named one of the “top 100 Most Influential Digital Media Sites for Millennials,” by the White House. According to the Pew Research Center and U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials, whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, jumping ahead of the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). And Generation X (ages 35-50 in 2015) is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028. “Millennials are so bombarded with information they need a break, and if you want to get their attention, you need to go to them on their platforms,” said Hysen.


Keynote Speaker Britt Hysen, founder & editor-in-chief, MiLLENiAL Magazine talks about myths and reality about Millennials.

Hysen said the Millennials watch Youtube, Snapchat, Periscope,, Facebook Live, and Twitter to get their info, and she said they want lifestyle news, short raw stories, real human emotions, inspirational stories and posts, but 50 percent of Millennials also want hard news. Hysen also noted the younger audience wants less celebrity news. The RTNA media panel also included Moderator Frank Mottek, host, KNX Business hour; Bill Dallman, V.P. & News Director, CBS2/KCAL-9; Paul Glickman, senior editor, KPCC Radio and Judy Muller, USC Professor.

Bill Dallman, V.P. & news director, CBS2/KCAL 9 offered TV and radio newsrooms advice about hiring in TV industry jobs. “Don’t hire interns to do your social media, because you need an intern for each social media channel,” he told the RTNA event audience. “I have a lot of job candidates who want to work in the TV news business and some don’t even own a TV. All media outlets need to hire more Millennials.” All panelists agree the younger generation bring cultural and technology skills right out of school. Many have become citizen journalists. USC Professor Judy Mullen said she started a new journalism class on “critical thinking skills, where students analyze articles for logic and sources.” She also said she consider naming the course, “Detecting Crap.”

“The Millennial audience is the magic bullet that we don’t have, “said Dallman at CBS/KCAL TV. “We thought we had a situation where people growing up were our best ali, that they would want more TV news as they got older, but now we have all these apps such as smartphones, IPad, apps, computers and the Internet. Now, it’s a much bigger battle.” Thanks to the Internet and technology, TV and Radio stations have been forced to adjust making everything that goes over the air is also online. “The Internet was supposed to kill us, and it didn’t,” said Dallman. “It made us stronger, but the phone apps might kill us as we see Millennials always staring down at their phones.”

Millennials panelists

(L-R) Moderator Frank Mottek, KNX Business Hour; Judy Muller, USC Professor; Founder/Editor Britt Hysen; Bill Dallman, KCBS/KCAL TV News and Paul Glickman, KPCC Radio.

Dallman was asked about a new trends where celebrities are interviewing newsmakers like Actor/Directors like Sean Penn interviewing a Drug Lord El Chapo, and Spike Lee interviewing Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders.
“I think everyone is trying to get into the media, they want to be producers, for example Basketball Star Kolby Bryant wants to start his own production company, and they all want a piece of that pie, because that’s where the influencers are,” he explained. “They want to own the company that creates the media. It’s a natural progression for people who have been on that side of the camera most of their lives to want to be on the other side.”

Millennials focus

(L-R) Aida Mayho, Pres. & CEO, MAYO Communications, LA; Sylvia Hysen and her daughter and founder/editor Britt Hysen, MiLLENiAL Magazine at RTNA workshop.

The biggest shift in the news and media business shows that Millennials want to be part of the conversation and love audio apps like Soundcloud, but the newest hottest online trend are podcasts. “They do want to be part of the conversation,” said Paul Glickman, senior editor, KPCC, which is one of the first in the country to offer Podcasts of their on-air news and programs. “Millennials are the prime demographic for watching, reading and listening to the news,” said Britt Hysen. “If you don’t attract those who are in their 20’s and 30’s right now, who’s going to be watching, listening and reading in the future?”  Hysen noted that some of the biggest misconceptions about Millennials is that they’re “lazy, entitled, disenfranchised, and superficial, which is true of any generation,” she said.

“At Millennial Magazine we dispel all those misconceptions about Millennials,” explained Hysen. “We’re promoting the unsung heroes, the social impact, wellness articles, the ‘How to’ stories and cultural trends of this generation. Millennial is a media lifestyle brand showcasing global millennial influencers that reflects the habits of a conscious consumer – eco-friendly, globally connected, experience driven, and entrepreneurial,” she said. “From celebrities involved in causes and CEOs disrupting industries to activists standing up for their beliefs and everyday people making a living doing what they love are the types of stories we publish.” The magazine is only online now, but they’re searching for a partner publisher to help them provide a printed magazine option. An interesting note unveiled at the RTNA workshop at the Beverly Hills Library auditorium, is the fact that many people who read Millennial Magazine are not Millennials. If you agree or disagree

“From celebrities involved in causes and CEOs disrupting industries to activists standing up for their beliefs and everyday people making a living doing what they love are the types of stories we publish.” The magazine is only online now, but they’re searching for a partner publisher to help them provide a printed magazine option. An interesting note unveiled at the RTNA workshop at the Beverly Hills Library auditorium, is the fact that many people who read Millennial Magazine are not Millennials. If you agree or disagree to these opinions and observations by the media panelists feel free to weigh in with your comments. For more photos visit: