Young Professionals Blog

Amazon Smile

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?

Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.

Can I use my existing account on AmazonSmile?

Yes, you use the same account on and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation.

Can I change my charity?

Yes, you can change your charity any time. Your AmazonSmile purchases after the change count towards your newly selected charity. To change your charity, sign in to on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”

What charities can I choose from?

You can choose from almost one million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations.

What if my selected charity does not register to participate in the AmazonSmile program or becomes ineligible?

If your selected charity does not register to participate, becomes ineligible, or requests to be removed from the program, you will have a chance to select a different charity to receive the accrued donations that have not yet been disbursed to your charity. If you do not select a different charity, the accrued donations will be distributed to other organizations receiving donations.

If I represent a charitable organization, how can I learn more about registering my organization for AmazonSmile?

Go to to learn how to register your organization to receive donations.

How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.

Can I receive a tax deduction for amounts donated from my purchases on AmazonSmile?

Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you.

How can I learn more about AmazonSmile?

Please see complete AmazonSmile program details.

First Words of Jesus | Women’s Study

Join Richmond businesswomen for this study starting Thursday, November 16th at the office of Needle’s Eye Ministries. Debbie Bannister will facilitate. Register below and buy your book today!

From the Publisher: If we didn’t need a cross, we wouldn’t need a manger. This fresh, engaging look at the beginning of Jesus’s life and ministry will change the way you comprehend Christ’s early years. With unique, thought-provoking insights and commentaries from many of Christianity’s leading theologians interspersed throughout, Epperson unwraps, layer by layer, a new understanding of the young boy who was the Son of Man.

When: Thursdays, starting November 16, 2017 and ending December 14, 2017
Time: 5:45pm to 7:30pm
Where: Needle’s Eye Ministries | 104 Berrington Court, Richmond VA 23221
Cost: Purchase your own book. (First Words of Jesus by Stu Epperson, Jr.)
Register: Click here to register!

About the Leader: A native to Richmond, Debbie Bannister has worked for Seay Real Estate for the past 20 years.  Currently she is an Associate Broker for the company.  It was through her Broker and then Board Member of Needle’s Eye, Chad Seay, that she became acquainted with Jesus.  Her Needle’s Eye relationship began with attending a speaker luncheon with Chad and other co-workers in 1999.  Through the luncheons, she was introduced to small group life.  The women’s small group she joined was just one of the ways Debbie was afforded the opportunity to grow in her understanding of the Bible and Christ.  The safe environment in which women come together from all ages and walks of life is what Debbie enjoys most about small group life.  Debbie also serves as a biblical counselor at Christian Counseling & Training Center and as a Bible study grader for the jail ministry at her church, Harvest Christian Church in Mechanicsville.  Debbie’s recent free time passion is attending Paint Nite, but she also enjoys spending time with extended family or hanging out at home with her cat, Corvette.

The God Story Behind This Event

The God Story Behind

Because of an overlooked reminder, no one showed up for the public monthly prayer meeting Needle’s Eye has for its ministries. Though no one else was there, and though she had plenty of emails and graphics to work on, staff member Kat Hodges went into the conference room to pray anyway.

I had an appointment with God on my calendar. I knew He was still showing up,” Kat said. While praying through Scripture, the thought to bless the Richmond marketplace with free headshots popped into her head.  She immediately thought of photographer James Lee, but knew she couldn’t ask him to donate work. He had just donated a large amount of his time on a Needle’s Eye project.

Kat went to share the idea with fellow staff member Jordan Maroon. He added to the idea, saying they could get someone to speak on LinkedIn and personal branding at the event, but he agreed they could not ask James to photograph.

That evening Kat got on Facebook and couldn’t believe what she saw. The VERY HOUR she and Jordan were meeting, James had posted in the Young Professionals group. He said, “I bought new equipment I want to try out. Would some people like free professional headshots for their LinkedIn profiles?”

At that point the staff felt compelled to ask James! For a year now he has been thrilled to donate his skills and business for this event that will bless believers and nonbelievers in Richmond’s marketplace.

Next up the staff needed to find someone who could give a presentation on LinkedIn.  Because the speakers from the young professionals retreat did such a great job, Kat asked them if they had connections to someone who could present on LinkedIn.  Immediately Erin Braford’s name was given, that she had trained businesses on LinkedIn multiple times!

Kat contacted Erin, someone who has never been involved with Needle’s Eye.  Here is her response:

Erin Braford

Erin Braford, our speaker September 19th.

Crazy, crazy, thing is that I was JUST thinking about Needles Eye and wondering if I could do any training…really. For a long time I’ve thought about how I can help young professionals navigate career-life skills, and LinkedIn has always been one of those underutilized tools, especially for folks who don’t go straight to major corporate careers. What’s up, God??”

The staff can’t believe how easy this event came together.  Prayer can save us so much time and effort. Are there new business ideas God might have for you, ready to give you all the resources you’ll need? Put it on your calendar to meet with Him and find out!

(After you mark your calendar for some prayer meetings, click HERE for details and registration on the LinkedIn Headshot Party.)

Prayer | Young Professional Women’s Study

If you’re looking for a relaxed environment where you can share life with other young professional women then search no more.  Friendship, conversation, spending time in the Bible, and praying for one another are key components when these YPs get together each Monday.

Whether you need a small group to commit to long-term or one for a season, this YP women’s small group would be happy to have you.  They’ll go through prayers in the Bible, learning and praying together along the way.  Come out and learn how to take God’s Word and apply it to your life!

About the Leader:  Meagan Miller grew up in Asheville, North Carolina.  She is a graduate of Wake Forest University, where she studied Health and Exercise Science.  She is currently working at VCU as a Clinical Research Coordinator.  Having been on multiple international mission trips she has a heart for the less fortunate.  Ask her about her time overseas!

When: Mondays (started September 11th, but room for more if you want to join!)
Time: 7:00-9:00PM
Where: The Fan (The exact address will be emailed.)
Cost: Just bring your Bible.
Register: Email to get connected.

LinkedIn Headshot Party

Grab a blazer and grab a friend for an event that’s been a year in the making.  Professionals from their 20s to 40s are invited to join us on the deck of Legend Brewing Company (arguably one of the best views of the city) for heavy appetizers (on us), drinks (cash bar), a professional headshot by James Lee, and a presentation and panel discussion on LinkedIn and personal branding.  You’ll leave with fresh ideas on marketing yourself, an amazing headshot in front of Richmond’s skyline to get you started, and some awesome connections with other Richmond professionals.

Who: For Any Richmond Professionals from their 20s to 40s
When: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Time: 5:00pm to 8:00pm (Presentation from 6:30pm to 7:00pm)
Where: Legend Brewing Company | 321 W 7th St, Richmond, VA 23224
Cost: $5 To Reserve Your Spot
Registration: Click here to register for the event and your specific headshot time slot!

Erin BrafordAbout the Speaker: Erin Braford is a passionate marketing professional and avid ‘connector’ – off and online.  She has years of branding and marketing experience, most recently as the Senior Strategist for Brand and Marketing at Kumveka.  Erin has a heart to help young professionals navigate career-life skills and feels LinkedIn has always been an underutilized tool.  With multiple LinkedIn presentations under her belt, she’s ready to rock and roll!


Reclaiming Faith, Hope, & Love at Work Conference


Thanking sponsors together

In the beginning… God worked.  Work was done by a holy and perfect being.  Do you think we’ll be lounging around on clouds in Heaven?  No – we’ll work together with jobs and projects that fit us perfectly.  Work was meant to be life-giving!


Bad News: Sin has changed everything.

  • Ever get the “Sunday evening blues”?
  • Ever worry that technology may take away your job?
  • Ever wonder how your work fits into God’s plan?
  • Well, you’re not alone!


Good News: This conference will inspire the churches of Richmond to experience God’s restorative plan to reclaim faith, hope, and love at work. The conference will include:

  • Sound Biblical teaching on faith, work, and economics
  • Practical advice for taking your faith to work on Monday morning
  • A glimpse into the future of work and economics (the Second Industrial Revolution!)
  • A call to ignite a 21st Century renaissance in the church


21st Century Learning:

  • World-class teaching
  • Face-to-face table discussions with Christians from 20+ area churches
  • Live electronic polling on the landscape of Richmond’s marketplace


Who: For Christians in the Metropolitan Richmond Marketplace
Conference on Faith, Work, & Economics
When: November 17-18, 2017
Where: Bon Air Baptist Church | 2531 Buford Road, Richmond, VA 23235
Why: Because Christ is Lord of all areas of life, we’re bringing churches together to equip them to be light in the area of life where we spend most our time, and where the good news of Jesus has the greatest potential – at work.
Cost: $30
Registration: Click here to register!


ken barnes

About the Speaker:  Rev. Dr. Kenneth Barnes has a background as an international executive, a pastor, and an academic.  His resume in any one of these categories is impressive.  We encourage you to view his credentials here, and see why he is one of the world’s top authorities on the intersection of faith, work, and economics.


Conference Schedule and Topics:

Friday (7:00pm-9:00pm)
Theology of Work: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  • The God of work and the work of God – where you fit in.

Table Discussions

Saturday (8:30am-3:00pm) with Light Continental Breakfast, Coffee, & Lunch Provided
How to Share Your Faith without Losing Your Job

  • From Baby Boomers to Millennials – you can confidently (and properly) share your faith with your colleagues at work.

Table Discussions

Work and Economics: Back to the Future

  • The Industrial Revolution gave birth to the Communist Revolution because the Church was absent. That doesn’t have to happen again!

Table Discussions and Lunch (Chick-fil-A)

Love Works: A Renaissance for the 21st Century Church

  • Automated jobs are expected to put 40% of us out of work by the year 2030. How do we respond?  Though our future is uncertain, our God is not.


Ken will be preaching at Community West Church (meeting at The Steward School) at 10:00am | 11600 Gayton Road, Richmond, VA. 23238

Ladies Movie Night | Chonda Pierce

Women of all ages are invited to take a break from the hustle and bustle to enjoy a night of fellowship with other professionals over good food and good laughs.  Come watch Christian comedian Chonda Pierce as she draws on her southern upbringing, shares messages of faith, and tells stories with down-home humor that are sure to have you roaring.  Dinner will be provided, and space is limited, so register today!

When: Thursday, August 24, 2017
Time: 5:45pm to 8:00pm
Where: Needle’s Eye Ministries | 104 Berrington Court, Richmond VA 23221
Cost: FREE!
Register: Click here to register!

Career Development Workshop | Fall 2017

Needle’s Eye is offering a highly-structured seven-week course to provide skills training and assistance for adults who are trying to find employment, transition back into the workforce, or become more marketable. We’ll help you take steps to improve your prospects! Topics include:

  • Discover your calling and purpose
  • Attitude adjustment
  • Identifying your strengths
  • Enhancing your resume
  • Networking skills
  • Interviewing strategies
  • Evaluating job offer compensation

When: Wednesdays, starting September 13, 2017, ending October 25, 2017
 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Needle’s Eye Ministries | 104 Berrington Court, Richmond VA 23221
Click here to register!

*Partial scholarships are available. For more details, contact


For questions or comments about the Career Transition Group or Career Development Workshop, please contact:

Kathryn Dixon
Ministry Administrative Assistant

Parking Lot Prayers, Hindus, & God’s Voice

YP Workshop cropped

Spring/Summer 2017 Young Professionals Workshop

“I’m a Christian. Is there any way I can pray for you?” is what Rachael Newmister asked the 80 year-old woman in the grocery store parking lot. The Lord had nudged her to pray for this woman, and sure enough, He knew what He was doing. The woman was going to celebrate July 4th with her family and all were mourning the loss of three grandchildren. The woman was about to cry, moved by God’s love for her in this tough time.
Rachael is the Executive Director of East End Pregnancy Center and participated in our Young Professionals Workshops that wrapped up last week. “When [the group discussed] the 6 Ms for Fruitful Living on the Frontline we talked about how these are some things you can use to evangelize in the workplace and it doesn’t always start with sharing.”
Whole-Life Discipleship Handout

Rachael is seeing this play out with Hindu neighbors she is building relationships with.

“I talk about Jesus, but I haven’t been able to share the Gospel yet. I did give one girl her first Bible the other day, and I prayed with her and she said, ‘Wow! I felt the power of God in that. Can you teach me?’ It’s just neat. I think God gives us moments every day to show His glory to others.”
Sometimes God calls us to pray for a complete stranger in a parking lot. Sometimes He asks us to simply love our neighbors and wait. It’s the same in our workplaces. Needle’s Eye Ministries wants to equip you to hear His voice amidst deadlines and emails.  We do this through our many marketplace ministries, and November 17-19th we’re doing this by bringing one of the best conferences on faith & work Richmond has ever seen.

Reclaiming Faith, Hope, & Love at Work

Ken Barnes for print with black outline

Who: For Richmond’s Christian Professionals
Conference on Faith & Work
When: November 17-19, 2017
Where: Bon Air Baptist Church
Save the date!  Details coming soon!

About the Speaker:  Prior to embarking on a career in academia, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Barnes spent more than 25 years as a senior international executive for several multi-billion dollar companies doing business on six continents. Ken has also worked with enterprises and start-ups and continues to serve as a company director and mentor to young executives.

ken barnesHe was named a Fellow in the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Charles Dickens, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx, William Hogarth, John Diefenbaker, Stephen Hawking, and Tim Berners-Lee are some of the notable past and present Fellows.

Dr. Barnes’ main areas of research and teaching are: The Intersections of Theology and Economics/Faith and Work; Christian Apologetics; Old Testament Hermeneutics; Reformed Theology; Reformation History; and Philosophy of Religion. He has published numerous papers in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. His publication Spirituality and Business Ethics: Religious Perspectives on Business, Routledge Companion to Business Ethics, is due out this spring. Two forthcoming books include: God and Mammon: Wealth, Virtue and the Redemption of Post-Modern Capitalism, and Light From the Dreaming Spires: Reflections on Ministry to Gen Y.

In July of 2016 Ken began serving as the Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics, and the Director of the Mockler Center for Faith & Ethics in the Workplace at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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