Pay it Forward and Bless Teachers at Office Depot #TeachersChangeLives #CGC

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I have a special place in my heart for teachers! I remember my 1st grade teacher with great joy. She was very patient with me and loving when I flat tipped my markers and squeezed my glue too tightly. She taught me how to read and how to be a great friend. I am friends with her on Facebook now and she’s truly a special lady to me. My girls have had a few teachers who have gone above and beyond as well. In fact, one of my girls has a teacher currently that practically lives at the school. She has Facetimed with my daughter over Christmas break and gone out of her way to check in when things were stressful. She is constantly thinking about her students and how to help them learn and grow. She is truly a special lady. (My 3rd grader had her when she was in 1st and she still seeks her out to give her hugs!)

Brian Copes is a pre-engineering teacher at Calera High School. He pushes his students to shift their focus from themselves to others. Brian’s students make prosthetic limbs out of old car and bike parts, and even help make utility vehicles for people in Honduras. How cool is that? I want my kids to be challenged to think about others and how they can contribute and pay it forward.

#TeachersChange Lives – Thank You These students are proof. Watch the video above as students express how much their teachers mean to them.

How to Donate to the Teachers Change Lives Program

How to Register Your Classroom as a Teacher

  1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website (http://clvr.li/1emq4KF)
  2. Click on the red box that says “Register Your Classroom,” which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
  3. Follow the corresponding steps from there

Teachers spend money every year out of their own pocket, especially in underfunded areas. I know that my girls have had some quality teachers who pour unlimited amounts of time, emotional, physical and financial resources into their classrooms, and ultimately their students! This is one of the reasons that I am always happy to donate what they need when requested! Teachers are doing innovative things in the classroom and you can help them do more by donating.

Donate to the teacher highlighted in the video, or a teacher in your local community. Adopt-A-Classroom is a nonprofit organization that helps connect donors with teachers to enhance the learning environment for students. Office Depot and Adopt-A-Classroom have partnered to raise awareness about teachers, and all that they do in the lives of their students. Spoil them as they spoil your babies!

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Disney Jr Give a Book, Get a Book #DisneySMMoms

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Disney Jr not old provides adorable fun loving characters that your kids fall in love with on TV, but they also are taking BIG steps to help educate kids world wide!

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While at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we were treated to some royal fun! Disney Junior stars Tim Gunn, Ariel Winter and David Arquette and a childhood favorite of mine, LeVar Burton of the award-winning Reading Rainbow app, participate in storybook readings during an announcement of Disney Junior’s “Give A Book, Get A Book,”. The goal is to donate one million books to U.S. communities in need as well as present families with free digital books from Disney Publishing Worldwide. This announcement was made by Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide and First Book Board Member, Dr. Martha Bernadett.

Go check out GiveaBookGetaBook.com, which is stacked with fun storytelling and offer interactive activities. Starting on April 21, Disney Store locations you will find two ways to Give a Book, Get a Book. For a limited time, with the purchase of any specially-marked Disney Junior book or product, receipts or packaging will include a redemption code allowing kids and families to direct the donation of a book to First Book in the region of their choice and to access a free Disney Digital Book to share as a family. And, Give a Book, Get a Book bookmarks with redemption codes will be distributed to visitors at participating public libraries and Radio Disney events throughout the summer.  Disney is looking to donate upto a MILLION books!

I love this!

Join #GivingTuesday and Bless Others

Have you heard of #GivingTuesday? It is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations. In 2012, more than 2,500 recognized partners participated in #GivingTuesday, resulting in over $10 million in online donations and milestone trending on Twitter.

Even though #GivingTuesday is already here, it is not too late to consider a charitable donation this holiday season. Between now and December 31st, there are many worthy causes to give to, spreading joy to others and adding to your own year-end tax deductions. But with so many worthy causes to choose from, how can you know where to give? World Vision offers five tips to help with choosing a charity:

1. Find a charity with a track record; review the organization’s IRS tax status, check how it spends money and makes important decisions. Good places to find this information are Charity Navigator and GuideStart.
2. Be thoughtful about an organization’s overhead and administrative costs; cost efficiency is an important factor when choosing a charity, but effectiveness is the key.
3. Ask questions before you give – visit a charity’s website, send an email, or call if you have concerns.
4. See what others are saying about the charity of your choice via social media and trusted online forums.
5. Watch for scams; be on your guard for emails that ask for credit card or other personal information. Check the Better Business Bureau Charity Reviews website ( www.bbb.org/charity-reviews) before giving.

World Vision, a humanitarian non-profit organization with an impressive track record in the fight against poverty, has been helping struggling children and families in the U.S. and around the world for decades. With a financial contribution of as little as $25 to the World Vision Gift Catalog, the gift giver can select one of 36 handcrafted items (a few are listed below) that can be given to a loved one and at the same time help a person in need.

Check out these fun items that are included:

Silver Vines Cuff: This gorgeous adjustable silver cuff bracelet features an intricately laced vine pattern designed by artisans in Old Delhi, India. This stunning piece is the result of once mistreated jewelry makers banding together to support their families through fair trade practices.

Chiang Mai Leather Bands: Loved by both men and women, these expandable wristbands are made to support children of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Hand-Woven Headband: This beautiful 100% cotton headband woven by skilled workers in Lake Atitlan in Guatemala helps address urgent needs of children, families, or communities that might otherwise go unmet.

Colors of Africa Bracelet and Earring Set: This gorgeous Zakale jewelry set is handmade from recycled materials by Kenyan artisans reclaiming their own lives from poverty.

“Prosperity” Cinnamon Box: Vietnam’s renowned sweet cinnamon is a renewable resource collected from the Cassia tree by skilled artisans. It is presented in a beautifully carved cinnamon bark box that bears a common Asian character for prosperity.

Hand-Carved Serving Spoons: This beautiful set of two hand-carved olivewood serving spoons is delivered in a hand-sewn gift bag of African fabric and can be used as a decoration or for serving.

Fair-Trade Coffee Set: This set includes coffee from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Costa Rica blended by OneCup.org and is delivered in a bag of African fabric hand-sewn by local women with a hand-carved olivewood scoop.

Check out the World Vision Gift Catalog on their Facebook page.

The Tooth Fairy takes our Halloween Candy

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The last few years the Tooth Fairy has visited our house on Halloween to trade new tooth brushes for my kids candy. This gives me sanity from them begging for it daily until it’s gone! Now what do I do with the left over candy? Well, hubby enjoys some of it, and I use some of it for rewards here and there, but we have three kids and live in a very generous candy giving subdivision! My dentist buys it back for the troops. He pays $1/lb. I also take some to the workroom at school…because what volunteer doesn’t want some candy to snack on!

What do you do with your left over candy?

Pay it Forward with Operation Christmas Child #ShoeboxSi

http://www.samaritanspurse.org

Si Robertson from Duck Commander has partnered with Operation Christmas Child! You can join in and this is a great way to get your kiddos in the giving spirit!

Giving the Gift of Sleep with Pampers #PampersBabyBoard

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I am beyond privileged to be a part of the Pampers Baby Board. They seriously are one of the most giving brands that I have ever worked with! I love their “outside of the box” ideas on how to pay it forward!  This month I was challenged to “Give the Gift of Sleep” to a new or expecting Mom in honor of the biggest innovation in Pampers’ more than 50 year history.

With Pampers newest diaper, that is three times drier than ordinary diapers…keeping the baby dry for upto 12 hours, I knew this was going to be a fun mission!  If baby sleeps and doesn’t need a diaper change…that means mom gets to sleep too! So gifting Pampers diapers is gifting sleep! I love it!

I knew I wanted to spread the wealth and bless several mama’s with the gift of sleep and set out to find just the right people! One mom I didn’t know anything about. I simply text her, got her address, and dropped them off! She is expecting a baby in December and could really use the help. She text after receiving them and was elated and blown away that someone would do something so kind for her. I am just a middle man and it truly touched my heart to get to bless her like that. She is having a girl and I am excited to say that I will be able to help her out with a few other things as well. I still do not know her name. (How fun is that!)

Another mom that I choose to bless with the Gift of Sleep is a new first time mom. Her baby is 12 days old now and she is just trying to figure it all out. She said sleep was over rated, in jest. As you and I know…getting more rest makes everything run more smoothly and helps keep the balance.

The last mom really needs sleep. Her little one is only a week old and was admitted into Children’s Hospital via ambulance this past weekend, after he stopped breathing. The Dr thinks it was SIDS and they were super lucky to revive him. He is doing really well and they hope to bring him home in the next few days. I know his mama will not sleep well for a while out of worrying about him. Especially with not having answers to why he stopped breathing. One thing that she will NOT have to worry about for a while is HIS rest. With putting the new Pampers on him, he will rest peacefully and stay dry longer.

You can see my haul of diapers in the photo above. I was lucky to get in on an awesome promo at BabysRUs where I got a $10 giftcard for every two boxes of Pampers I bought. These promos are awesome as they allow you to use coupons on top of that for extra savings. LOVE IT!

I am in love with the new wipes packaging as well. The designs are adorable and fun!

Thanks to Pampers for providing a gift card allowing me to surprise these deserving mama’s and their new little ones!

I am currently visiting the Pampers HQ in Ohio and would love to get your Pampers diapers questions answered. Leave them as comments on this post and I’ll get an answer for you! :)

ENDED: 5K Run/Family Fun Harvest Hustle Saturday Nov. 9th (+ Giveaway)

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I love a chance to pay it forward! When I can, I try to support and involve my family in these great ventures.

There is a 5K Run/Family Fun Walk on November 9th, called Harvest Hustle, at Fair Park.  Benefitting Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, this year’s event will bring awareness to the growing percentage of families who are now homeless.  More families than ever have become homeless because of foreclosures and job losses in recent years. Dallas schools had more than 2,500 homeless students last school year. Thousands of children across North Texas are living in shelters, cars, motels and other temporary places.

Slappy and Monday and Lone Star Circus will be there to entertain.  Face painting and more. A circus extravaganza!

Location: Fair Park Embarcadero Building
1229 Admiral Nimitz Drive
Dallas, TX 75210

Entry: $35 Adult Pre-Registration through October 31 (until midnight)
$40 November 1-7 (until midnight)
$45 Event Day, Saturday November 9
$18 Children 18 and under
$100 Family Package which includes two adult entries and two entries for children 18 and under
*No online registration availability on Friday, November 8. All remaining registrations are taken on race day. The registration fee includes chip timing and an event t-shirt.

Convenient parking is adjacent to the Embarcadero Building, with access from Gate 3 (off Parry Avenue). There is a $10 parking fee after 8AM. Cash only. We also encourage attendees to ride DART. Check their website for schedules and routes.

Registration and Event Info: www.HarvestHustle.org

GIVEAWAY: I am excited to giving away a family 4-pack for this event! To enter to win the tickets, please leave a comment on this post with your favorite thing about Fall. A winner will be picked by Oct 20th at 5PM CST. 

Pay it Forward with St. Jude’s and Chili’s

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Grab a friend and dine with Chili’s® Grill & Bar TODAY, Monday, Sept. 23 where they are contributing 100 percent of net profits to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® as part of their annual More Hope Campaign for St. Jude.

You can dine in-restaurant or place a To Go order to help participate in this awesome pay it forward opportunity.

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases, and every September Chili’s partners with St. Jude to help continue the hospital’s lifesaving work. The More Hope Campaign also coincides with National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, giving guests yet another reason to come into their neighborhood Chili’s and take advantage of all the different fundraising opportunities the brand has to offer.

In addition to Donate Profits Day, there are a number of other ways guests can donate at their local Chili’s restaurant between now and the end of the More Hope Campaign Sept. 25:

  • Doubling up on the giving by indulging in Chili’s new Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cake with 30 cents from every dessert ordered going to St. Jude;
  • Coloring the brand’s signature chili-pepper shaped coloring sheet for a donation of the guest’s choice; and
  • Purchasing a ready-to-color T-shirt featuring the More Hope Campaign logo for $12* and a MORE HOPE slap band for $4*.

*62 percent of the purchase price of each T-shirt, and 70 percent of the purchase price of each Slap Band sold will be donated to St. Jude.

To learn more about the More Hope Campaignvisit morehope.chilis.com. Stay in-the-know by following Chili’s on Facebook or joining Chili’s Email Club.

Pay It Forward: Buckle Up for Safety Pledge = $1 Donation

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Go take the “Buckle Up for Safety” pledge on Graco’s Facebook and they will donate $1 to Safe Kids Worldwide until they get 10,000 pledges!

If you have questions about your kiddos and which seats they should be in for the safest scenario.. look at the infographic above!

Pay it Forward with BGCA as you get ready for Back to School #Tools4BT

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

School starts in two week here and we are starting to get into a better sleep routine. Sleeping in is a perk of the summer, but when going back to school we have to retrain everyone to get up and get moving early. Another thing that we do is we always go back to school clothes shopping. We try to buy a few things for the first week of school and of course, with having girls…this means matching hair bows and shoes! Picking new shoes for school is not just a fun thing that we do, but it’s always needed as they wear flip flops all summer and can’t wear them during the school year. This means that their feet grow and I have no clue. They all three jumped two sizes over the summer. Last, we treat them to dinner out the first day of school so we can talk about their day and how much they loved it!

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Each year, 1 million students fail to graduate high school. This scary statistic, proves it is increasingly important to support today’s youth. This Back-to-School season, BGCA and long-time partner Disney have launched an online supply drive. By simply playing a pop-quiz style game, you can help donate school supplies to local BGCA Clubs. For every five correct answers, a donation of supplies will be made!

Click over to play and help get some supplies donated!

Here are a few tips from the BGCA website:

  • Discuss the importance of goals with your child.
  • Develop a goal achievement plan – set a timeframe for completion, identify resources to support the attainment of the goal and obstacles to be overcome.
  • Recognize any and all progress through verbal praise or incentives.
  • Be a positive role model. Share personal goals and strategies for attainment.