Sharing a Sweet Future with Truvia

Disclosure: This post was written by me on behalf of Truvia  in partnership with One2OneNetwork. The opinions are my own.

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I make it a point to use my blog every now and then to call attention to various charitable efforts and awareness efforts. A long while back, I told you about Truvia. It is a natural sweetener that is both calorie free and diabetic friendly, and today I’m going to tell you about how this company is partnering with the World Food Program in “Sharing a Sweet Future.”  You can find stories and videos about the program here. [Read more…]

Avoid Distracted Driving #DecidetoDrive

This week I’m teaming up with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance to promote a very special cause.  The Decide to Drive campaign was started to raise the awareness of distracted driving and its dangers.  Having known people, including family members who were involved in car accidents, this is a very important issue to me.  In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes. [Read more…]

Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives and Publix Giveaway

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As you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Each year Yoplait helps out with this cause with their Save Lids to Save Lives campaign.  Though this and other programs General Mills has donated more than $50 million dollars to the cause.

This year, people are being asked to participate in Pledge Your Part, a new online initiative designed to encourage and empower them to make a pledge to help fight breast cancer, whether through saving lids, participating in a breast cancer awareness event, or in any way they choose. [Read more…]

World Vision: Give a Gift. Change a life. (Plus a giveaway!)

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I’m happy to team up with World Vision this holiday season.  World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.

So how can you help?  You start by looking through World Vision’s catalog.  They have a list of items that you can choose to donate to someone around the world.  For example, a $25 donation will buy someone 2 chickens, while a $75 donation will buy a goat.

Aside from livestock, you can also choose to donate money to send children to school or buy a sewing machine to help a woman life herself out of poverty.  And your donations can also go towards things like Bibles, new clothing, and toys.

This is a great way for you and your family to get together and help to make a difference for someone else this Christmas, or purchase a gift in someone’s honor.

Here’s a video on how it works:

To view their catalog and connect, check out World Vision on Facebook  and Pinterest.
 

To say thanks for your generous donations, World Vision lets you choose a free gift.  These include plush animals like the ones pictured above, artisan jewelry, ornaments, and other great items.

Giveaway! One Simply Sweet Home reader will win three plush animals  from World Vision.

To enter, please use my Rafflecopter form.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclosure: I received the same plush animals featured in this giveaway but received no other compensation. The opinions are my own.

 

Buddig Be a Reader Virtual Book Drive (and a $50 Amazon Giveaway)

As children, we all have our favorite books.  One of my childhood favorites was Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox, and as a teen I instantly loved The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

Unfortunately there are many children living in poverty who don’t get a chance to discover great books.  In many areas of these low-income neighborhoods,  there is only 1 book for every 300 children.  Fortunately a new campaign has been launched to help these kids. [Read more…]

BeadforLife Review – Eradicating Poverty One Bead at a Time

I recently received a cute bracelet from BeadforLife, and I’m really excited to share their jewelry and the mission of this wonderful organization with you today.

What is BeadforLife?

BeadforLife is a Colorado 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with a wonderful mission to lift impoverished women out of poverty through their BeadCircle. On their website, you’ll find fascinating stories about their inspiring members who work in Uganda. The members are impoverished, hardworking and intelligent women with a strong desire to improve their lives. They make beautiful handcrafted paper beads from recycled paper and turn them into necklaces, bracelets and earrings, while the farmers in Otuke collect the finest quality shea nuts and press them into Shea Butter Soap and Peppermint Lip Balm, which is also sold on the BeadforLife website.

How can you help?


Make a Donation. Make a direct donation to the organization.

Make a Purchase. You can help buy purchasing jewelry and beads from the BeadforLife Store 
Host a Bead Party. This is a great way to raise awareness and introduce this organization to your friends, while at the same time, having a fun night of beading. Plus, when you host a Bead Party, you are helping BeadforLife meet their goal to raise $155,000 (enough to fund  a full year of entrepreneurial training for their members in Uganda).

Win an African Safari! Hold a BeadParty between June 1st, 2011 and September 30th, 2011 and you will be automatically entered in the Party to Safari Sweepstakes, where the GRAND PRIZE is an all expense paid trip to Uganda to meet BeadforLife’s Members and experience an amazing Safari!
Refer a Friend. No time to host a party?  Then refer others. Have your friends and family host a BeadParty and put your name in the promo code.  You will both be entered to win the grand prize! And for every 5 people you refer, you will automatically win a $50 gift certificate to BeadforLife.

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Disclosure: I received a free bracelet from BeadforLife.  I’m not affiliated with the organization in any other way. The opinions are my own.

Tornado Relief in Alabama

As most of you probably already know, my state was hit hard by tornadoes on April 27.  Towns and communities across the state have been devastated.  Countless people have lost everything.  It is just heartbreaking. 
Seeing this map and also seeing a map on our local news, which showed the path of the storms, I am still amazed that it missed my hometown which neighbors us and it only hit a tiny area in the industrial section of my current town.  (Perhaps even more miraculously, the tornado that touched down in the industrial complex didn’t hit anything that would cause a massive explosion, which could have destroyed the city.)
We were very lucky!  You only have to drive 15-20 minutes in either direction from our house, and you’ll come to areas with damage, even total ruin.  It’s just unreal!

I’m sure that every little thing that we can do is helpful, so I’ve decided to create this post with links to places where you can donate money or goods to help those in need.  I saw a local report yesterday which listed some items that are in great shortage.  The list included pet food, laundry detergent, toiletries, paper plates, cookware, powdered gatorade, yard tools (for debris cleanup), batteries, and basically anything you would need for daily operations. 
And of course I’m sure there’s still need for non-parishable foods, bottled water, baby items (diapers, formula, wipes), blankets, clothing/shoes, etc.

Here’s some places where you can go to help.
Alabama Possible has a comprehensive list of charities where you can donate.  There’s also links to local places and events that are taking donations.  If you live near or in some way connected to a particular area you may want to check out the list.
Church of the Highlands is a relief effort organized by 25 churches.  They have a “Dream” center in Birmingham where they are distributing supplies to those in need.
American Red Cross – once on the website you can choose the cause for which you wish to donate.  Disaster relief is the first thing on the list.  You can also text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10.

Salvation Army is committing food trucks to Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.  You can also text “GIVE” to 80888 to donate $10.

Feeding America is bringing food and water to affected communities.

Blog Events:

The Wannabe Athlete is hosting a Blogger Baby Shower to benefit Tuscaloosa.  A baby registry has been created on Amazon, and the items on the list start as low as $8.99. All purchases will help those in Tuscaloosa, and they’re even offering giveaway prizes to those who participate.

Like to help by purchasing from or participating in a charity auction?  Restore Interiors is coordinating an ongoing online auction and fundraiser.  If you have something to sell and would like to donate the proceeds to tornado victims, go check out the site for details.  Items being auctioned off will be linked up here as well, so if you’re interested in buying something, go take a look.

If you know of a charity or you’re hosting an event, let me know and I’ll add it to this post.

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Lose-a-Palooza – Lose for Good Campaign

Wouldn’t it be great if you could help fight hunger – and encourage your friends to do the same – simply by using your favorite social network to spread the word?
On September 14, 2010, you can! Lose-A-Palooza is a one-day social media event created to encourage participation in the Lose For Good campaign** to benefit Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger.
For every accepted mention or acknowledgment of “Lose For Good” made on September 14th through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and check-in via foursquare, Weight Watchers will donate $1 – up to $60,000* – to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger.

Here’s what you can do to help fight world hunger on September 14:
1. Help via the Blogs. Just comment on this blog post!  Don’t forget to include the phrase “Lose for Good” in your comment!  And if you find any other Lose for Good posts on other blogs, comment there as well!  You can also write your own Lose for Good post!  And you can also post about Lose for Good at the Weightwatchers.com Community.
2.  Help via Twitter by following @WeightWatchers, @Sharestrength, and @acfusa.  And tweet or retweet using the hashtag: #LoseForGood.  Also, install a “Lose-A-Palooza” Twibbon to your profile picture (Available 9/14).
3.  Help via Facebook.  You can like Weight Watchers, Share Our Strength, and Action Against Hunger on Facebook. Also, like or comment on any of the Weight Watchers “Lose-A-Palooza” updates that are posted throughout the day.  Add a “Lose-A-Palooza” Twibbon to your profile picture on Facebook as well(Available 9/14).

When they make it that easy, there’s no reason not to help out, so get to commenting! It’s for a good cause!

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Disclosure:  This is not a paid post.  I found out about this campaign through the One2One Network.  I am not affiliated with any of the organizations involved in the campaign.

Help the Troops this Election Day

On this election day, I’ve chosen to write a post about a non-partisan cause that anyone and everyone can get behind. With all the campaign rhetoric and the talk of the “economic crisis” we seem to have forgotten that our soldiers have been fighting for our freedom overseas, and since Veteran’s Day is coming up, as well as the holiday season, I think it’s a perfect time to highlight some charitable organizations that help our men and women overseas.

So for today’s post I’d like to tell you about the 2008 Thanksgiving Thank You Project. This is a project to help our wounded veterans. All you have to do is visit the website and put your name & other information in the form to send a Thank You/Get Well card to a wounded Veteran. You also have the option of writing a personal message to the veteran. This only takes a minute or two of your time, and it will give the card a much more personal sentiment. You also have an option of giving a donation to the wounded veterans, but this is not required. Please take a moment to go here and send a card to our wounded troops. It’s the least we can do for our wounded vets.

I also encourage you to take a look at Operation Homefront. This organization does a lot to help military members and their families. They provide assistance in emergencies and they provide financial assistance, furniture & appliances, baby items, car donations/repairs, and other items and services for those in need. Their organization also has adopt-a-family opportunities & programs to send holiday gift baskets to military families. You can also visit Ecarepackage, which is a part of Operation Homefront. At this website you can learn about how you can sponsor a military member or family.

Also, check out The Wounded Warrior Project, which works to raise awareness of the needs of severely wounded vets and works to provide aid and services to these vets.

Hope you’re all having a good election day, and I hope you all consider giving to one of these great charities this holiday season. Thanks!

Energy Independence Day


If you’re like me, you love the idea of having alternative energy sources. However, you realize that even though these alternatives may be available in the near future, there will still be a huge demand for oil. And even though alternatives may be readily available in the next few years, there are a lot of people who will not be able to afford such alternatives and will have to continue driving cars that run on gasoline.

I like to use my dad as an example. He’s worked in a plant of his life, and he’s never made a lot of money. Much of his income goes toward bills, and after that there’s little to spare for extra stuff. A lot of people’s answer to the gasoline consumption “crisis” is to use less. But my dad couldn’t possibly use less. He drives to work 5 or 6 days a week and does a few general errands around town. Everywhere he goes is within a ten or fifteen minute drive from his house, except for his church which is a little farther out in the country. In short, he couldn’t possibly consume less.

I know there are a lot of people out there that are just like my dad, in that they live in a small town or a rural area that does not have public transportation, and their job is too far away for them to walk. And in many cases, due to health problems or because they have to send kids to college, or whatever reason, they are on a tight budget. These are the kinds of people that need the relief most, and yet these are the very people who can’t afford Hybrids or other new technologies that may become available in the future.

In fact, my dad has never had a brand new car since I’ve been alive. The car he drives now is a mid 90s model car that has about 200K miles on it. He’s thinking of getting something with a little less mileage on it soon, but I can tell you right now, it will not be brand new, and it won’t be a Hybrid. And whenever other energy sources do become available, I doubt that he’ll be able to afford that either.

They say that if the bill to drill for oil had not been vetoed in the 90s, we’d already be reaping the benefits of these valuable resources now. Prices would be lower, and we would be less dependent on resources from foreign countries. It’s tragic that the bill was not signed into law, but it’s not to late to correct the mistake. I think this is a time when we should put all politics aside and do what’s right for American families, for workers and for consumers. Unfortunately there are many who don’t agree.

American Solutions is a non-partisan organization thats goal is to get beyond the partisan gridlock and have cooperation to come up with solutions to Americas problems. They focus on a variety of issues from education to Social Security, and many more. Currently they are working on a campaign to secure America’s energy future. They advocate a variety of new energy alternatives and tax credits to companies that come up with ways to utilize these alternatives. They’ve also said that it will take an effort of massive proportions to have energy independence.

And one key component to energy indendence is the ability to use our own oil resources. This 4th of July I’d like to invite everyone to join the movement. Sign the “Drill Now” petition, and find out what else you can do help us achieve energy independence.

Thanks for Reading and Have a Happy 4th of July!
-Jerri