Pay it Forward with Sandals Foundation #BeachesMoms

Sandals Foundation: Donate Now!

 

If you are reading this post then you have WAY more then some in this world. I am a true believer that it is better to give then it is to receive. During the holidays my family is very intentional to give back but we don’t think about ways we can give back through out the year.

While at a recent conference, I got to learn a lot about Sandals Foundation. This is a really cool foundation because 100% off the funds go to under resourced families. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in the Caribbean in three core areas: community, education and the environment. All administrative and management costs associated with the Sandals Foundation are supported by Sandals Resorts International, therefore 100 percent of all funds raised by the Foundation go directly to programs benefitting the Caribbean community.

While at Beaches I did not journey around the island to see what living conditions were like, but just driving from the airport to the resort, I saw very sad looking living situations. I got to participate in donating school supplies and back packs. I also got to meet two girls who have benefitted from this awesome foundation.

Give back! Click on the link above (in the picture) to make a donation! Anything helps!

Pay it Forward with Spirit Halloween Shops

*I was sent a giftcard to pick up a few Halloween themed items in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own and are honest!

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We love dressing up and having fun on Halloween in our house! We make a big deal about it being a time to have fun and visit with friends and family. My girls have had their costumes picked out for a few months, but Steve and I didn’t…until yesterday when I shopped at Spirit Halloween! Here is what we picked out! Easy and fun!

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Until this year, I didn’t know there were ways for my kids to give back during this holiday. We do donate candy to various places, but this is something bigger! Maybe you didn’t know either. Have you heard about Spirit Halloween’s philanthropic Spirit of Children program? The Spirit of Children program brings fun and funding to hospitals across the country for children who otherwise would not be able to celebrate Halloween. To date, Spirit of Children has raised more than $359,093 for Children’s Medical Center, which has funded a variety of resources for the hospital including music and art therapy programs, aid in purchasing games and toys for patients, and assistance in funding additional services such as hospital playgrounds, so kids can leave their room and spend time with their peers. Hospitals in the Dallas area that will benefit from the funds raised include Children’s Medical Center.

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When visiting a Spirit Halloween location, you can donate as little as $1. This year Spirit of Children’s goal is to raise $5.2 million nationally, bringing its total contribution to $21 million.

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If you want to take home a fun bracelet, then donate $2! You can also donate online here!

AD: Pay it Forward with Tyson Hunger Heros

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias

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As you have read in my last few weeks of posts, we are working hard to get everything organized and ready for back to school craziness! In order to stay organized and feel prepared, I have been stocking up on lunch box foods and more important quick and easy meals for those evenings that we are dashing off to a ball game, or other school related function. I will admit, it only took one trip to Sam’s to feel stocked! There is a new campaign that you will want to hear about and it’s awesome because not only do you score a great deal on kid friendly foods that you love, but you also get to help pay it forward and help hungry kids!

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This past weekend, we were able to sample some of my kids favorite items: Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese, Tyson Chicken Nuggets, and Capri Suns. My kids would prob eat this for every meal if they could! You can check out this awesome sampling again THIS weekend, August 9-10th.

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While we were sampling, we noticed this awesome promo:

Tyson and KRAFT have partnered for an awesome Champions for Kids initiative! Tyson and KRAFT will help feed a child in need each time these products are purchased: Tyson® Fully-Cooked Chicken Nuggets 5 lb. bag, a KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner 7.25 oz. 12-pack, and/or a Capri-Sun 6 oz. 40-pack are purchased at Sam’s Club during the month of August.

The prices are great, and we were buying these items anyways! I love that we can pay it forward and help feed hungry kids! It’s a real problem in Texas.

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This inspired us to pay it forward even more! We bought the 5 lb bag of Tyson Fully-Cooked Chicken Nuggets, the 12 pack Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinners, and the 40 pack of Capri-Sun and we donated them to the local food pantry. Texas has a large number of kids who go hungry. In fact, there are many churches that help the food banks out and pack backpacks with food for the kids to take home on the weekends. This is heart breaking to me.

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Together with Tyson and Kraft we can pay it forward and help hungry kids! Stop by your local Sam’s Club and pick up the Tyson® Fully-Cooked Chicken Nuggets 5 lb. bag, a KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner 7.25 oz. 12-pack, and/or a Capri-Sun 6 oz. 40-pack!

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Read more about how to partner with Tyson to be a Hunger Hero! And follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see post under the hashtag #HungerHero to see how others are paying it forward!

Pay it Forward: Hungry for Happiness Tour in Dallas

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The Arby’s Foundation ‘Hungry for Happiness’ Mobile Tour Stops in Dallas to Help Fight Child Hunger

Today, Monday, May 12, the Hungry for Happiness mobile tour will visit Dallas to help raise awareness about the issue of childhood hunger and increase participation in free summer meals sites for kids located in the area. Summer continues to be a vulnerable time for those who rely on school breakfast and lunch during the school year. The Arby’s Foundation, the charitable arm of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., in partnership with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign, is committed to helping kids get the food they need.

In Dallas, many school children who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches during the school year currently participate in summer meal programs. These free programs are available to kids and teens age 18 and under at thousands of summer meals sites across the country. Sites are registered with USDA and are held at safe local places such as schools, churches and community centers.

The Hungry for Happiness mobile tour has partnered with the Irving Family YMCA to provide more area children access to healthy food during the summer months. In Dallas, the mobile will stop on Monday, May 12 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Irving Family YMCA (2200 W Irving Blvd, Irving TX 75061).

The tour will provide Arby’s® Kids Meals (which are endorsed by Kids LiveWell and include a Jr. turkey and cheese sandwich, apple slices and Shamrock Farms low-fat milk) to children participating in the summer meals program, distribute information on local resources to the public, and provide fun summer activities such as hula-hoop contests, tug of war, bean bag toss, basketball and other family-friendly games to get kids moving.

 

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! :)