Donate Non Perishable Foods May 12, 2012 To Help Stamp Out Hunger

Stamp Out Hunger 2012

 

You may have received a white grocery bag in your mailbox this week. As part of the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, the National Association of Letter Carriers will be collecting your non-perishable foods when they deliver your mail on Saturday, May 12th, 2012. Every year, for the past 20 years I’ve set out a bag or two of food. I do it not only to help those in my community but also to honor my grandfather who worked for the US Postal Service.

Fill up a bag, it doesn’t have to be the ones left for you, with any non-perishable food items and leave it by your mailbox. If you have a group mailbox leave it there. I hope you’ve picked up some of the extra deals these past few weeks. So clean out those pantries and pare down those stockpiles. Think of it as spring cleaning for a cause!

Thank you for your generosity. Together we can give help and hope to those in our community who need it most!

Sara

365 Project Day 46 – Inside Is A Heart

Build A Bear

Instead of a birthday party, BabyGirl decided she’d rather use the money to buy animals from Build A Bear for kids at Childhelp USA. Childhelp is a wonderful organization that works with kids who have been abused. It partners with local law enforcement and children’s hospitals to ensure that kids are not only protected once they come to Childhelp but also that they receive the care and treatment needed. Every child who comes to Childhelp gets to choose a toy. I know first hand how important that one toy can be to helping a child feel at ease. For many kids this will be their reminder that they are, indeed, children worthy of love, compassion and kindness.

BabyGirl loves her Build A Bear animals. Through the wonder of Twitter, an amazing gift arrived for BabyGirl’s charitable giving. Maxine Clark, the Chief Executive Bear, responded and wanted to support and encourage a young girl who would give up a birthday party to help other kids. Thanks to her generosity BabyGirl and I spent several hours at Build A Bear creating new friends for kids who need them.

The photo was taken with my Nikon d3100 in Aperture mode with an ISO-800. This is a picture of one of the little hearts that is in one of the animals that will be shared with Childhelp.

BabyGirl and I are thankful to Ms. Clark for making this phenomenal experience even better.

Note: BabyGirl figured that the kids would get gifts for Christmas so she wanted to wait until a time when Childhelp might not have so many people giving them gifts.

Sara

Helping Others – Tikkun Olam

Asia } Cambodia } Angkor Wat } Aug 2010
photo credit: travelmeasia

When I picked BabyGirl up from religious school on Sunday she had a paper with information about a family her class is adopting for the holidays. She drew a picture on the paper of a boy who has happy and holder her hand. She told me that she is going to buy him some things and then he will be able to go to school and play with his friends and that will make him happy.

Every week, twice a week, BabyGirl goes to religious school. And each time I make sure she has money to donate. It’s called tzedakah (suh-dock-uh). The translation is ‘charity’. Money is collected in special containers as part of the classroom and at the end of the year the money is given to a charity the class chooses.  This year, though, the class is raising money for two separate things. Until December they’re tzedakah will go to help outfit an ambulance in Israel.

Back to the ‘adopt a family’ program, though. The congregation is adopting 6 families in addition to the families each class will adopt. It’s part of our social action to help make our community and our world a better place. Tikkun Olam (tea-coon oh-lahm), it’s literal translation is ‘Repair the World’. It’s another way to describe charity.

But it’s more than just giving money. Tikkun olam is about actively helping others and reaching out to people in need. It can be anonymous, as is the case with the families. The names are not disclosed to us, but nonetheless we know their story and why they need help. The children are taught that by helping others we are fixing things that are not right in the world. And like many people who make charitable giving part of their family, it’s is a very important part of our family.

Regardless of what we have, if we can give of our time or our services or our money then we should help others. I learned this very early. I can’t think back to a time where tzedakah or tikkun olam weren’t part of my life. Even now, at 90, my grandmother still does for others. Never because we have to. Always because we want to.

It’s about doing good for others to make the world better, not to get recognition or credit. I was so proud of BabyGirl for understanding, at almost 8 years old, that even though she thinks I never give her things that there are children who truly don’t have. Immediately, she wanted to help. She even told the teacher that she will bring in a whole bag of stuff because she’s going to ask me for coupons. The teacher said BabyGirl suggested people check out my website if they want to get a lot of things with coupons or for free.  Gotta love my PR agency!

I grew up being that unnamed family that other children bought for. I was that child whose mother was embarrassed to ask for help but did so that her children would have something special to open for the holidays. I was that child who knew that when I grew up, if ever I could pay it forward that I would. And now I get to teach my own daughter that doing for others is a mitzvah (a good deed), not because we’re told to do it but because it can bring as much joy to the giver as it does the recipient.

As the holidays approach, there will be plenty of opportunities to be help. Give with no expectation of getting. Give with no strings attached. Give with loving kindness. And if you’re not in a position to give, then receive with loving kindness. Allow others to do for you.

What will you do to repair the world?

This post is linked  at Robin’s Mingle Monday on her site, Add A Pinch. There are many others who are linked up, so check out what others are saying this fine Monday.

Sara

Blog Action Day: Give a Child a Glass of Clean Water

Today, October 15th, is Blog Action Day. This day has been designated so bloggers around the world can come together to raise awareness about a single issue. To not only create dialogue but also action. As we all know, talk only goes so far. To make an impact we must take active steps and DO SOMETHING!

The issue this year is WATER. Water, you say? We all have water. The earth is covered in it. You can find it most anywhere. I drink water all the time, every day.

Unfortunately, though, over a billion (that’s 1,000,000,000!) people (about the population of China) do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. And let’s not forget that animals need clean drinking water too. As do all the plants and vegetation that keep our environmental cycle on track.

This summer I had the pleasure of meeting the people who work for the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program. The program has many facets, with the ultimate goal of providing safe and clean drinking water to children around the world. I saw first hand how a tiny PUR Sachet can change contaminated water into crystal clear drinking water, sufficient to hydrate a family for several days. I spoke with a woman who, because of selling and distributing these PUR Sachets, has overcome poverty herself and has singlehandedly helped dozens of other women escape prostitution by joining the efforts to bring clean water to all the children of Africa.

Further, I am a board member for Global Family Philanthropy which does outreach in Haiti as well as parts of Africa. After the devastating earthquake that nearly destroyed Haiti in January, Global Family Philanthropy has returned several times to help rebuild. Lori Goldberg and her husband, Seth, have seen first hand what contaminated water can do to their little children. They have been fortunate to be able to gain access to safe drinking water, but only after finding out that their parched and thirsty children will drink anything. Regardless of the fact that it is brown and teeming with parasites.

Earlier in the year, I wrote about Lori returning to Haiti to start the recovery and rebuilding effort for their orphanges. Lori just returned from another trip and has beautiful pictures of the children up on the GFP Facebook page. Lori was able to take PUR Sachets with her so the orphanage will never have to worry about clean water  should their water source become contaminated.

There is a biblical reference to wheat being the staff of life. While there is a lot of truth to that, it is also very true that without clean, safe drinking water life can not be sustained. And this type of death is 100% preventable!

WE can stop children from dying simply by providing them with clean water. H2O. Agua. Eau. Vatten. Wasser. Het. Apa. Su. Nero. Ura. Yaku. Jo. Dlo. Paani. Nam. Mizu.
So many ways to say it. But it’s all the same. Clear, refreshing and hydrating. Water!

Clean water means survival. It means being able to go to school or hug your parents or play with your friends. It mean children get to be children.

And WE (as in you and me) can make a huge difference! On this day I ask you not only to share this message but also to take action. If you can donate, CSDW’s program is where I am suggesting you give. You can give whatever you feel is appropriate. If you have to go to your car or search your couch cushions to find $1, then donate that. If you have to save your change from the next few purchases, consider doing that. Do you use coupons? Then designate a portion of that savings to CSDW. I think we can all find at least $1.00 to support the mission of clean water around the world.

What can your donation do?

$1.00 gives a child clean water for 50 days.
$7.50 gives a child clean water for a year.
$30.00 gives a family clean water for a year.

Are you ready to HELP? Click on the word DONATE and you’ll be taken to the CSDW site. At the bottom right is a DONATE button. It will take you to paypal where you can give as generously as you can.

Together we can give children clean water! DONATE NOW.

Thank you for reading my post and being part of Blog Action Day 2010.

Sara

Doing Something Good For Someone Else

Breast Cancer Site logo

As the new year gets underway, gone are all the bell-ringers, pleas for donations and reminders to give so you can take a tax-deduction.  But the need for food and services still goes on.  Recently, there was a Facebook meme going around that encouraged women to post their bra color in their status as a ‘silent’ way to keep breast cancer awareness in forefront.  It was fun and the comments often funnier.  I was glad I wasn’t the only one wearing a boring bra, but I was inspired by those who had on something truly different.

My friend ‘L’ posted on her FB today that we should actually do something for breast cancer awareness and included a link to The Breast Cancer Site.  It got me thinking about the bookmarks I have for the various giving sites and how I click on them daily without really thinking about what each click means.  I’m so focused on my life and thinking I should be doing more, not realizing or giving myself credit for actually taking a positive step toward doing something good for someone outside my family.  ‘L’ reminded me that a simple action of clicking a mouse can really make a difference on a daily basis.

I admit that I’ve worn ‘the yellow bracelet’ and CycleGuy wears his every day — we have 60 or more in the storage cabinet in the garage.  Yes, we supported LiveStrong and each day we show that.  It was cool and fashionable, but the main thing was that we gave and it shows we are part of a something bigger than us.  But we don’t always need that external display letting others know we support a cause.  But I digress, so back to clicking at a website and doing something good.

Without even going anywhere we can all do something good for someone else each and every day.  Often the psychological boost we get from being socially conscious is enough to get us out of that slump of having to face another day filled with laundry, work, traffic, grocery shopping and making dinner.  You don’t have to be a social activist nor do you have to commit large sums of money to make a difference.

Everyday can be a ‘Make a Difference Day’ simply by clicking your mouse.  Here are some easy ways to Do Something Good for Someone Else:

The Breast Cancer Site

The Hunger Site

The Animal Rescue Site

The Rainforest Site

The Literacy Site

The Child Health Site

Bookmark these sites and click daily.  Encourage your friends and family to do the same.  In only a few seconds you can make the difference in the life of a total stranger.  How good does that feel?  I think it feels pretty great!

Feel free to post a comment and share your thoughts on how you feel when you can do something good for someone else or tell me what you do to help others.