#GivingTuesday Offers Charitable Gift-Giving Opportunities

November 23, 2014 2 comments



If you’re at a loss to find thoughtful gifts for family and friends, you can make a difference in communities that need assistance while putting a smile on a loved one’s face. This holiday season, please consider purchasing gifts that positively impact local businesses, artisans, and non-profit organizations, and share this post to inspire others to give gifts that make a difference. Thank you.

For a list of #GivingTuesday sites, please check out 21 Ways to Give Back Through Your Holiday Shopping by Julia Claire Campbell. In addition, you can access lists from my prior blog posts: Tis the Season and Make a Difference When Gift Giving, Give a Goat.

“We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

#GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. Together, with a team of influencers and founding partners, we launched a global movement that has engaged over 10,000 organizations worldwide.” – #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Categories: Gifts Tags: , ,

How the US is Changing (21 Informative Charts)

October 30, 2014 Leave a comment



Twenty-one charts explain how the US is changing, shedding light on “…who we are, where we live, how we work, how we have fun, and how we relate to each other.” Thanks to Danielle Kurtzleben and Vox for sharing!

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

-Bob Dylan Copyright © 1963, 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991, 1992 by Special Rider Music


Join the Kind Campaign Movement

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

This is an exceptional organization advocating for female empowerment and an end to bullying. You can read about the Kind Campaign or watch the Kind Campaign » Documentary to find out further information. Please consider sharing this post to help bring awareness to this cause. Thank you.


Kind Campaign is an internationally recognized movement, documentary and school program based upon the powerful belief in KINDness that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl “crime.” – Kind Campaign Mission Statement

Is Your State on the Patient Dumping List?



Office of Inspector General U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Over the past five years, 20 states made the Patient Dumping list. States include Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. To see the full list with patient-dumping details, please visit the website of the Office of the Inspector General for the United States by clicking the image above.

Please note, the list only includes known cases.


“America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.”
Walter Cronkite

Archived Posters Remind Us of When Government Worked for the People

Thanks to the WPA, Posters for the People, and Berkeley for this image.

WPA Poster Image from Posters for the People and Berkeley.edu

I was reading an old magazine—one that I hadn’t read at the time it came out. The cover asked, Tired of the Doom and Gloom? I could give you the same answer then as I would now. Yes, I am tired of the doom and gloom.

This slice of timely irony encapsulated by an Utne Reader from September/October of 2008 came out at a not-so-great time for many of us. It reflected my feelings perfectly, then and now. So much so that I couldn’t even read what it had to offer at the time, but now it was one of the my last mags left to keep or recycle. This one was a keeper.

Halfway through the magazine, I came upon The Art of the New Deal by Joseph Hart who was touting socially responsible posters from the Works Progress Administration, a part of FDRs New Deal. The WPA was responsible for putting people to work, including construction workers, miners, office workers, but also artists, actors, and writers. It was a true slice of progressive Americana.

The article advised that these historical posters would be available online through an organization called WPA Living Archive. I kept repeating the phrase in my mind until I got to my laptop. (It was early morning; I hadn’t finished my first cup of coffee, and my brain requires java for memory.) I entered the address, and came up with nothing. I searched the words and found Posters for the People, and an incredible collection took over my screen—remnants saved from a bygone era when government, at the very least, seemed to care.

For those of you who aren’t aware, we wouldn’t have Mount Rushmore, the Hoover Dam and bridges like the Golden Gate without the WPA. It was a socially responsible program to get people back to work after the Great Depression. I know the concept sounds foreign, especially after dealing with a congress that can’t even pass a jobs bill.

To be blunt, it’s a shame we can’t find that kind of determined love of country in our government now because we would be in a heck of a lot better shape if politicians put workers first, so I say the American citizenry needs to demand it. Only then is it possible for a new congress to emerge—a congress that actually cares to do its job, and do it well.

Change will only happen if we do our job. We need to call our elected officials out, and if that doesn’t work, vote them out. And on that note, I raise my second cup of mud with a toast, “Here’s to a new deal for us all.”


The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Eco Home Ideas – Old Pictures, Memorabilia and Family Heirlooms

My second article for Eco Home Ideas, a website filled with eco-friendly articles:

Eco Home Ideas – Old Pictures, Memorabilia and Family Heirlooms.

old photos

As you go through the attic, basement or storage space of your home or a loved one’s, it’s difficult to know what to do with old pictures, memorabilia and family heirlooms. You want to keep it all, but it’s not possible. Not to worry, you can find a respectful home for items you cannot keep.

One rule of thumb is to give what you can to family members, especially articles of sentimental value, and distribute historical artifacts to organizations that can provide a setting where the viewing public can appreciate it.

The first step is to get your boxes and labels ready, so when you peer into the eyes of an old doll, flip the pages of a revered book or grasp the handle of a timeworn teapot, you can consider who in your family can truly appreciate its significance.

Here’s the tough part: giving away pieces to non-family members. What can make this an easier task is having comfort in knowing that a much-loved keepsake is going to a home that your parents, grandparents or great grandparents would appreciate. You can contact a local historical society, sports club or museum in your town, city or state about submitting treasured items. Likewise, if your relative is from another country, you can contact a local library, museum or college for guidance. In the United States, the following institutions welcome gift donations:

The National Archives and Records Administration accepts documentary materials.

The Naval Historical Foundation accepts photographs, artwork, books, physical artifacts and paper documents through its Naval History and Heritage Command. The NHHC headquarters is in Washington, DC, but it has museums located throughout the United States.

The Library of Congress takes books and other materials.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum accepts artwork, clothing, uniforms, textiles, documents, correspondence, diaries, propaganda and other objects directly associated with the Holocaust. In addition, the museum accepts prewar, wartime and postwar photographs as well as liberation photographs.

The National WWII Museum accepts books and periodicals, photographs, letters and journals, medals, uniforms and insignia as well as service documents, scrapbooks, ration books, postcards, leaflets programs, tickets, souvenirs, news articles and wartime brochures as well as Axis pistols and rifles.

Since guidelines vary, prospective donors should contact organizations directly about gift-giving procedures. Furthermore, donors should avoid vigorous cleaning of an item; unintentional damage can occur, making the item unfit for donation.

~Maureen F. 

Categories: Environment Tags: , ,

Eco Home Ideas – Online Social Recycling

It was my pleasure to write an article for Eco Home Ideas:

Eco Home Ideas – Online Social Recycling.

Online Social Recycling

online recycling

It’s happening again. You’re online connecting with friends, posting pictures, and responding to event invites. Eventually, you become vaguely aware that clearing out the closet is fast becoming a fading dream, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do it all with social recycling.

Invite Friends to Spark Online Chatter

With social media, you can invite your friends to an event, group page, or hangout without using your personal homepage as a source of contact. Instead, you can create an alternate way to exchange information for your online recycling project:

  • Facebook events: set a date and time for a recycling event and invite your friends
  • Facebook groups: create a group page focused on exchanging and recycling items
  • Google Hangouts: have a video chat with friends to plan upcoming recycling plans
  • Twitter: tweet about your upcoming event or post photos of items looking for a home


If you can create an event to meet friends for dinner or a birthday, you can create one to host a recycling party, event, or both. Do yourself a favor and ask if a few guests can arrive early to help sort clothing types and sizes, books, toys and other items. Consider these event ideas as a starting-off point:

  • Throw a clothing-swap party in the day for kids or at night for adults
  • Schedule a yard-sale event or combine forces, making it a neighborhood event
  • Create an online flea-market event or page, so everyone can post photos of wares to share

Volunteer Meet-ups

Sometimes it’s not possible to host a gathering in your home, but you can still host a meet-up with your Facebook, Google and Twitter friends at an organization looking for volunteers. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Meet at your local animal shelter and bring blankets, sheets, bath- and beached-sized towels
  • Choose a non-profit, such as Dress For Success or Career Gear, and donate gently used clothes
  • Volunteer at a local library and donate your used books, CDs, cassettes, records, and DVDs
  • Roll up your sleeves and build your own Little Free Library in your neighborhood

When you create events with friends and family, you create memories. These are special because of the company and the intention. So the next time you’re whiling away the time online, have some productive fun with social recycling—create new memories and clear that closet out.

~Maureen F.


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