St. Jude’s Ranch for Children creates new chances, choices and hope for children and families who have been abused, abandoned and neglected. Their mission is to break the cycle of child abuse and have been fortunate enough to provide help and hope to children and families who need their services the most.
Over thirty years ago, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children thought up a great idea, the Recycled Card Program, as a way to thank their donors by turning the previous year’s holiday cards into new cards for the upcoming season. The children at St. Jude’s participate in making new cards by removing the front portion of the old cards and attaching a new back made of recycled paper. These cards are then sold with proceeds going back to the Ranch.
This is an awesome way not only to help a worthwhile cause, but also to get rid of the holiday cards you keep around because Miss. Manners says it’s the nice thing to do, regardless of the fact you’ll most likely never pull them out of storage again.
Donate Your Old Holiday Cards To…
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005
Currently, 1 in 3 people who are homeless are also under the age of 18. That fact alone is so completely tragic, but there is something that we can all do to help. For the past three years, Aéropostale has held an annual Teens for Jeans drive. Last year, Aéropostale was able to collect over 200,000 pairs of jeans to help homeless teens and hopefully this year, you can help them collect a lot more!
If you have any pairs of gently-worn jeans that you do not wear anymore or don’t fit, please drop them off at any Aéropostale store between January 19th and February 14th. Every pair of jeans donated will be sent to a local homeless shelter or charity so they are helping the homeless teens in and around your local area, which is a really awesome thing to do and now you have a way to get rid of all of those jeans taking up space in your closet that you don’t wear!
To thank you for helping homeless shelters and charities in and around your area, Aéropostale will also give you 25% off any new pairs of jeans you purchase the day you donate your old ones.
We are all guilty of thinking and saying stuff like this–to our family members, to our friends and even to ourselves. We are all guilty of self-criticism when we look in the mirror and notice that the skirt that fit us perfectly and hugged our hips in all the right places last season but doesn’t go past our thighs this season. We have all thought we were too fat, we have all dieted in hopes of becoming skinnier, more attractive, the “thin ideal.”
Women have more pressure than ever right now to look attractive, to dazzle with our appearance, to wear all the right fashions and to strive to look like the women who grace the covers of magazines. This is especially true of younger women and teens who obsess over this thin ideal and who will stop at nothing to attain it. These thoughts that so often enter our brains and things people tell us, whether we have gained weight and they ask if we are under stress because of it or if we lose weight and we’re told how great we look because we shed five or ten or fifteen pounds. While we’ve undoubtedly thought this was normal, it actually has a very damaging impact on women. That is why Tri Delta has launched a five-day body activism campaign, Fat Talk Free Week.
Fat Talk Free Week (October 19th-23rd) draws attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the thin ideal on women in society. This annual public awareness effort stemmed from Tri Delta’s award-winning body image education and eating disorders prevention program, Reflections: Body Image Program.
The supermodels and people we see on the covers of magazines are thinner than 98% of women and a great percentage of these women think that they too can look just like what they see on these magazine covers and on television and in movies, but often we see, especially on magazine covers, is an airbrushed and heavily-photoshopped appearance of that person. Not even the person being put on the pedestal of ideal weight and beauty looks like that! Tri-Delta is in pursuit of the healthy ideal, which has absolutely no bearing on our weight or size. The healthy ideal is all about our physical health, mental health and our quality of life and that is what truly matters. Tri Delta’s initiative this past week has been about eliminating fat talk and they believe that by eliminating fat talk, we can begin to change the way women think about their bodies and accept their bodies just the way they are because if you’re healthy, then why does anything else matter? Why do we care so much about the size that sits on the tags of our clothing or how other women and men may look at us and what they may think if they see us in a swimsuit or a form-fitting top or a short skirt.
51% of 9 and 10 year old girls feel better about themselves if they are on a diet.
Research has shown that very young girls, ages 5-7 who are exposed to Barbie, the best-selling fashion doll in the world who has unattainable and unhealthy body proportions and who if was a real person, would be too thin to menstruate, have lower body esteem and want a thinner body than they have.
As many as 10 million females are suffering from anorexia or bulimia. That’s more than are suffering from breast cancer.
Because it is the last day of Fat Talk Free Week, do something good for yourself today. Choose one friend or family member and discuss one thing you each like about yourself. Or start a journal of all the good things your body allows you to do. Learn how to take a compliment! The next time someone gives you a compliment, rather than objecting and saying something like “No, I’m so fat,” practice taking a deep breath and saying “Thank you.”
The Love/Avon Army of Women is the partnership of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation for Women. It was created to recruit one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high-risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers and directly participate in the research that will eradicate breast cancer once and for all. They have also committed themselves to challenging the scientific community to expand its current focus to include breast cancer prevention research conducted on healthy women.
I love this community so much because it’s exactly what the name of the community is–it is an army of women who are not going to accept the harsh truth that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime in their lifetime. They are committed to doing something about it that goes beyond finding a cure; it’s essentially working to ensure that breast cancer doesn’t plague so many women with such devastating effects. They are demanding prevention research so we can prevent breast cancer in millions of women.
The Love/Avon Army of Women have recently conducted a Public Service Announcement contest hosted by Glamour magazine, open to film students from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and New York University’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. Their mission with this contest was to encourage one million women of all ages and ethnicities from across the nation to sign up and be part of the Army of Women movement. In just a one-week period, more than 28,000 Glamour readers and Army of Women members voted for their favorite PSA’s among the four finalists. These PSA’s have and will continue to air on Lifetime Television for Women during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, reading millions of viewers.
The winner of their first-ever PSA contest was recently announced and I absolutely love it! The winner is “Million in the Mirror” by Marc Parees and Ryan Silbert of New York University’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. For their PSA contest win, the filmmakers will receive an Apple Final Cut Studio Package and the opportunity to meet with the senior vice president of production at New Regency Productions.
More than 8,000 blogs written by people from 148 countries are uniting today to raise awareness, to educate and to inspire people to do something about climate change. These 8,000+ blogs accumulate over 12,000,000 readers and I hope that our collective thoughts on such an important and what could be catastrophic issue reach even more people than that and start conversations between blogs, between people, and I hope that those people keep in mind the threat that climate change does indeed have over us when living their daily lives.
Contrary to popular belief, climate change is not an impending doom; climate change is not something we will face out of the blue one day when we wake up, look outside and realize we’re all living in wastelands and ghost towns. Climate change is not something that will happen “to us,” it is an issue that requires our attention and our activism. It is an issue that has already begun to impact the world we live in and how we live our lives.
When you are picking out your Christmas tree this holiday season, think of those trees that are being cut down in order to decorate your home for those few weeks; they may not always be there for you to pick out, bring home and decorate with your family, in fact, because of global warming, their numbers are already diminishing. The Pink Bark Beetle feeds on and kills pine trees, the same trees that are the iconic ‘Christmas trees.’ These beetles used to be held in control by cold winter temperatures, but as our temperatures have continued to increase over the years, the species is thriving and is killing off entire forests located in British Columbia.
Beetles are also thriving in feeding on and killing ash trees in alarming numbers. Ash trees are used to make all baseball bats and because ash trees are in danger of disappearing, so are baseball bats and without bats, there is no baseball–unless we want to see professional whiffle ball or go back to our childhood roots and use large sticks.
Cultural landmarks all over the country are being threatened by climate change; in fact, the World Monuments Fund recently added global warming as a threat in their list of the top 100 threatened cultural landmarks. Melting permafrost on Herschel Island in Canada threatens the ancient Inuit sites and historical whaling town. The desert in Chinguetti, Mauritania is encroaching on an ancient mosque. A hut once used by British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott in Antarctica has survived almost a century in the freezing conditions of the location, but is in danger now because it is being engulfed by increasingly heavy snows.
Climate change is not just going to wipe out a great deal of our animals, ocean life, educational and awesome monuments and landmarks, become the stomping ground for war and famine and so many other things; it’s also going to give us more of some things… Like mosquitos! Mosquitos live in drains, sewer puddles and generally anywhere else that’s pretty disgusting. During long dry spells that are brought on by higher and higher temperatures, stagnant pools because a vital source of water for birds, which provide mosquitos with their food. These dry spells also reduce the population of dragonflies, lacewings and frogs, all insects that eat mosquitos. We will also see an increase in poison ivy, which grows lusher, taller and more resilient with increased CO2 levels.
So, now that you know what is going to happen without us, the people, taking the initiative to do something about it, what is it that we should do, anyway?
Cut down on driving. Just burning a single gallon of gas produces 20 pounds of CO2 so if you commute back and forth to work, either move closer to your place of employment, if you’re able, or start riding your bike. If that isn’t an option, carpool with your co-workers.
Consume less. No, I’m not saying don’t eat as often, but you can buy less stuff. Remember that George Carlin bit about stuff and having to buy a bigger and bigger house to fit all of your stuff in? Minimalism is the way to go, it’s cool, I promise. Get reusable grocery bags; most grocery stores have them for sale at the register but if you need reusable grocery bags that are larger, which a lot of stores don’t carry, you can find a great deal of them with one Google search, or check out Etsy for handmade and stylish larger tote bags; that way you will also be supporting an artist who probably needs the money. You can also start growing your own small garden, just big enough to feed your own family some fresh vegetables and make delicious slow cooker recipes like soup and stew throughout the winter seasons.
No more cutting down tress, and plant new trees to replace ones that have been destroyed. 33 million acres of forests are cut down every single year. That is insane and, as it turns out, unnecessary. When purchasing wood products, opt to purchase used furniture or wood that is certified to be sustainably harvested.
Unplug your electronics when they’re not in use and turn off lights in rooms when you leave. Did you know that US citizens pay more for their electricity to power devices when they are off, rather than when they are on? Televisions, stereo equipment, computers, battery chargers, iPods, microwaves, toasters, coffee makers and a myriad of other electric devices that can be unplugged when they are not in use. These devices actually use up more energy when they are “turned off,” so why not just unplug them?
Switch to eco-friendly (and longer-lasting) light bulbs. According to the EPA, replacing just one incandescent light bulb in every American home would save enough energy to provide electricity to three million American homes. Imagine the impact you could have if you switched all of your light bulbs.
Educate yourself. There are countless resources on the internet that you can use to educate yourself about climate change and what you can do for you, your family and other families around the world. Blogs are a great resource to utilize, especially when looking on how to go green because the people who dedicate themselves to green living are truly doing what they can to change the world and are always eager to pass on the tips and tricks they pick up. My absolute favorite “green blog” is Crunchy Domestic Goddess, I cannot stress enough how influential she has been to me and to many other bloggers around the blogosphere. Go check her out.
Also take the time to explore the Climate Orb from TckTckTck, which is updated constantly with top headlines about climate change published all over the world.
To make an even bigger impact with what you can do about climate change, check out 350.org on October 24th for International Day of Climate Action. People all over the world will be participating and will be demonstrating their commitment to stopping climate change.
Blog Action Day is an annual event where thousands of bloggers around the world unite for one cause on one day to raise awareness of an issue that is threatening people around the world, and this year, the world itself. On October 15th, bloggers will take part in the largest-ever social change event on the web and reach millions of people on the issue of climate change.
Climate change was selected for this year’s Blog Action Day because it affects all people living today and also poses a dramatic threat of even more traumatic issues like famine, flooding, war, and millions of refugees. Because climate change poses such a risk to the world we live in and how our climate affects us and our livelihood, Copenhagen will be home to international climate negotiations this December.
If you would like to participate in this year’s Blog Action Day but don’t know exactly what to write about, keep in mind to write about climate change (with a link to Blog Action Day somewhere in your post) as it relates to your blog; that way you won’t risk losing any of your readers because you “went all political.” Bloggers have a very unique opportunity to raise awareness, put climate change the risks it poses to the environment and people in the minds of the people who frequent your blog and do it without risk to you and your readership.
A Technology or Business blog might write about emerging clean tech and how innovative companies might be able to help address the problem of climate change.
A Health or Lifestyle blog might write about how climate change will affect our children’s health and daily living.
A Nonprofit or Political blog might write about how climate change is deeply connected to many other issues-such as poverty and conflict.
A Design blog might write about new trends in eco-friendly or sustainable design.
A Travel blog might write about the places you want to see now before climate change makes them difficult to access or, well, under the sea.
Regardless of the topic of your blog, you have the opportunity to write about climate change and how it would impact your life and the lives of your readers.
Register for Blog Action Day and spread the word through Twitter, Facebook and badges you can place on your blog. You can also take action against climate change in a variety of different ways, Blog Action Day’s website is compiling a list of the most interesting and powerful ways to get involved in the climate change movement.
Malawi is one of the world’s least developed, and also most densely-populated countries. The people of Malawi are not expected to live past 44 years of age and 89 of every 1,000 births in the country result in infant mortality; this is because Malawi is a country of extreme poverty.
During the Clinton Global Initiative Fifth Annual Meeting, Bill Clinton introduced a very unique commitment between General Mills and CARE, which have partnered together to create Join My Village, an innovative online community that is dedicated to fighting poverty in Malawi through the empowerment of women and girls. But Join My Village will accomplish nothing without the help and the dedication of caring and generous people, which is why you should check out Join My Village.
How it works:
Visit Join My Village and join one of ten village teams that will benefit approximately 75 villages in Malawi.
As a village team member, you will get to know the women and families in Malawi through frequent updates, photos and stories.
Through simple online activities like answering a quiz questions, telling a friend about Join My Village, or joining a village team, $1 will be unlocked by General Mills and will go to CARE’s poverty-fighting programs in the Malawi villages. (There is a limit of 3 activities per person per day and $15,000 per online village team, or $150,000 in total.)
General Mills will also match persnal contributions dollar-for-dollar for up to $50 per donor, $15,000 per village team, or $150,000 in total.
CARE will distribute all funds raised directly to Malawi to provide economic opportunities for women and increase access to quality education for girls.
I think it’s always amazing to see heavy-hitting companies that can truly make a difference, like General Mills, stepping up to the plate and doing what they have the power to do in order to make a difference in the regions less fortunate than most. The Clinton Global Initiative pairing General Mills with CARE was a great idea and I hope you all take part in Join My Village, especially considering it isn’t going to cost you money in order to help the villages of Malawi; all you have to do is participate in online activities you’re most likely participating in anyway on other websites, like answering quiz questions. This is truly an initiative that everyone can participate in, so go participate and unlock funds needed by Malawi’s women and girls.
Senator Ted Kennedy, the Liberal Lion who dedicated his career to equality and health care, passed away the morning of August 26.
Senator Ted Kennedy served his country, but unlike a great deal of politicians in office today, he served each and every single person of his country without bias. His list of accomplishments is long and varied. He fought to reverse the injustices that his fellow human beings encountered daily. He was a strong supporter of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and later authored amendments strengthening enforcement of key provisions of the Act. He played a central role in fighting discrimination in both the Age Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He was also the original Senate lead on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 1994, in 1996 he voted against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and in 1997 he was the original sponsor of hate crimes legislation. He also fought to end the funding of the very much failed abstinence-only education programs, voted for the increase of funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and he was also an outspoken supporter for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, that prohibits gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly in the military.
But what Senator Ted Kennedy is most known for and what he devoted his career to is ensuring that each and every American citizen has the right to universal, affordable health care. He had first introduced a bill to ensure universal health care for all in 1970 and he worked tirelessly to make this a reality for the past four decades. This past summer he had also wrote an essay on the need for universal, affordable health care services, appropriately titled ‘The Cause of My Life.’ He wrote in that essay:
It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver — to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, “that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege.” For four decades I have carried this cause — from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me — and more urgency — than ever before. But it’s always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.
Senator Kennedy indeed accomplished quite a lot in his life and while his person, tenacity, and ambitiousness will be missed, I hope that his life’s work will inspire others in our Senate and in our government as a whole to ensure that each and every single American has the right to receive health care that they not just need, but deserve.
Just a few months ago we wrote about Share Our Strength, an organization that has seen that the multi-layered epidemic of childhood hunger. They saw the harsh reality that hunger affects 13.4 million American children and they stood up to do something about it. About three months ago they launched Pledge to End Hunger, an initiative that brought the epidemic of hunger to us and asked us what we were going to do about it. They asked us to give, volunteer, or share the word of Pledge to End Hunger and in just three months, the work that they have accomplished is astronomical.
Pledge to End Hunger has teamed up with Hum Office and Tyson Foods to successfully bring semi trucks of foods to food banks to cities all over the country.
Tyson Foods has donated more than 54 million pounds of chicken, beef, and pork–enough for approximately 216 million meals–to food banks and agencies serving local communities all around the country!
Tyson Team Members in more than 50 communities across the country have started a fund-raising program called Powering the Spirit and have raised more than $150,000 for the fight against hunger in partnership with Share Our Strength. They have also engaged high school students to help collect food for local food banks in partnership with America’s Second Harvest–the Nation’s Food Bank Network. They have teamed up with Lift Up America as well as professional and college sports teams to donate protein and bring hope to the less fortunate. Tyson has also been a first-responder on the scene with much needed protein in the aftermath of a natural disaster or other major crisis as part of their Disaster Relief. Finally, they have collaborated with organizations such as League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), as well as colleges and universities associated with Tyson’s own Executive Diversity Business Council to fight hunger in communities across the country.
Pledge to End Hunger has certainly accomplished so much and has helped countless communities and families. Help support Pledge to End Hunger and spread the word about their cause and help other communities and families all across the country in need. Visit Pledge to End Hunger to give, volunteer, or share and you can even spread the word through Twitter using hashtag #HUNGERPLEDGE and also be sure to follow WomanTribune on Twitter, we’ll be tweeting some helpful information on Pledge to End Hunger as well as other great initiatives you won’t want to miss!