Celebrate National Military Appreciation Month, Armed Forces Day, and Memorial Day by Supporting Our Troops

Now is the month of Maying. Spring is here. The school year is drawing to a close, and we are beginning to plan for summer barbecues, parties, vacations, and days in the sun.

With so much stuff going on in May and with spring fever going around, it is often forgotten or unknown that May is also National Miliary Appreciation Month. Then there is Armed Forces Day on May 17, and of course, Memorial Day is a week from Monday.

I had a history professor that always told us to enjoy our holiday weekend, but he also encouraged us to think and reflect about why we were getting a holiday in the first place. He also encouraged us to avoid the holiday sales, as he felt that our soliders did not fight and die so that retailers could make a buck. While I don’t like telling others what they should or should not do, (as I don’t like being told myself) I think it is something to think about and consider over the next week and a half, as we celebrate.

And for my own part, in the sprit of giving and in the spirit of honoring the military, I decided to post a few links to some charities and causes that you might be interested in donating to. I think it’s very important that we honor all of our Veterans and those who are currently serving. They put themselves in harm’s way every day so that we can be free, and they deserve our thanks and so much more.
America Supports You – here you’ll find a whole host of charities and services to aid the military .

Sweet Thursday: Why eat Chocolate Cake when you can have Chocolate Chocolate Cake?

This post is two-fold. It is an opportunity to tell you about one of my favorite desserts, but it’s also a chance for me to tell you about a couple of great organizations.

I couple of weeks ago, I told you guys that I was attending the The Arc of Morgan County’s “Kids on the Block” Chocolate & Dessert Festival. The Arc is an advocacy organization that works with people who have diabilities & provides counseling and assitance to their families. The Kids on the Block is an organization that began in the late 70s, and one of the things it does it that it travels around and does puppet shows at schools and other locations. The shows are aimed at promoting tolerance and understanding to those who have disabilities. And they promote positive behavior, with an anti-gang, & anti-drug & alcohol message. I remember being a kid in elementary school and seeing the show at a few school assemblies. It was entertaining & it was also a learning experience. Little did I know of how big the organization would be and just how much they were doing, even beyond the puppet show.

The festival I attended takes place each year just before Valentine’s Day. Local businesses participate and bring desserts to be sampled, which gives them promotion, and visitors purchase a ticket to come in and sample all the great food, and all the money goes to charity. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Now just so you know I am not affiliated with O’Charley’s. My mother is employed at O’Charley’s, however, she does not even know I’m writing this post. Anyway, this year the O’Charley’s booth featured Key Lime Pie & O’Charley’s Chocolate Chocolate Cake. By the way, the Key Lime Pie is outstanding. It tastes like something your mom or grandmother would make, and I highly recommend it.

As for the Chocolate Chocolate Cake…yum! I love this cake. It is one of my favorite desserts to get a resturant and overall one of my favorite desserts period. It almost has sort of a dark & decadant taste to it, but it is also sweet & rich. I sometimes tell my husband, “I have to get a bite of icing to tone down the richness is of the cake.” And the great thing about this cake is that you can get it to go, and it’s good just out of the refrigerator, & it’s also a great dessert to heat up in the microwave. (I prefer it cold personally) And as far as resturant desserts go, this is a way better value than most. One slice is big enough to share between at least two people if not three or four. In fact I went out to lunch with 3 ladies that I worked with, and we all split a piece of the cake and still had a little left over. I will say, the cake may be a little rich for some, but if have a sweet tooth and you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll like this cake.
If you’re interested, check out O’Charley’s menu & current specials:
O’Charley’s Desserts – (I recommend the Cinnamon Sugar Donuts & the Caramel Pie as well)

Giving Back: Operation Home Front & Ecarepackage

One of the great things about Thanksgiving and Christmas is that it promotes the spirit of giving. I’d like to take the opportunity to spotlight a charity that is doing great work for our men and women in uniform. No matter what your political beliefs are I think we all can and should agree that we owe a lot of gratitude to our military.

Operation Homefront works to help out the families of servicemen and women. This Christmas they are partnering with the Dollar Tree and hosting a toy drive. All the donated toys will go to the children of military personnel.

ecarepackage.org – Ecarepackage is a part of Operation Homefront. At this website you can “adopt” a soldier or adopt a military family. When you sign up, you get to choose the state that the serviceman is from, as well as the branch of the military they serve in, and where they are deployed. Upon choosing from these three options, you will be directed to a list of military personnel to choose from. The list gives you the name of the soldiers as well as their interests and things they would like.

I like this program because you get to decide who your gifts go to, and it gives you the opportunity to learn a little bit about the person your helping and makes it more personal. If you decide to adopt a solider or military family through Ecarepackage, you may want to send them some snack items. Recently Bakingdelights.com did a post on the 40 best cookie recipes for shipping. You can view this list here. And the following links will give you some instructions on shipping food items:

I hope everyone will consider donating to these wonderful causes.

World Hunger Relief Week

This week, Oct 14th to the 20th, is World Hunger Relief Week. This movement is dedicated to raising the awareness of world hunger and taking donations to feed the poor all over the world. Here’s a link to the website sponsoring this event: http://fromhungertohope.com/

If you are interested in this problem, I also suggest that you search the web for similar sites and donate to the one of your choice. I, for one, am interested in the increasing problem of hunger in the United States. I found a report published by the Carsey Institute of the University of New Hampshire. It offers a summary on the poverty rate in the U.S. and how it has changed since 2000, and then it includes a table of statistics for each state. You can read the report here.

I’m from Alabama, and I’ve seen some of the dammage from the hurricanes of the past few years. I personally would encourage people to donate to these areas. The Bay Area Food Bank is doing work for people Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. Here’s a link to their site: