Thanks(4)giving

It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: celebration

Week 26-Half Way There! Day 7-Guest Blogger #4

This week of celebration wouldn’t be complete without a blog post from my bff Kristina!  We have had so many great memories over the years that I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her.  I always tease her that I keep her around because she always laughs at my joke, which is a great bonus to our friendship, but I really keep her around because she’s amazing.  No two ways about it.  So here’s to you Kristina, and many more laughs ahead of us!

Yep, that pretty much sums us up

Throughout our friendship, Lizzie has said numerous times that the only reason we’re friends is because I laugh at all of her jokes.  When she asked me to write this blog, I thought about how thankful I am to have her as my best friend.  Whether our friendship is based on my laughter or not, I’m certainly grateful for a good chuckle in so many ways.

For starters, I’m thankful for those who make me laugh.  One lady (besides Lizzie) that does just that is Chelsea Handler.  No matter your opinion of the First Lady of Late Night TV, we can all agree that there’s more to her than vodka & celebrity jokes.  Ms. Handler is an advocate of lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender equality, and in 2009 was even given the prestigious Ally for Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign.  HRC is trying to make the world a fairer place for members of the LGBT community by fighting for the basic civil rights they deserve.  It’s the same fight for acceptance that women and African-Americans once fought. Check out www.hrc.org or become friends with HRC on Facebook to learn how you can be part of their work.  I know Chelsea & HRC would agree with me when I say that equal rights for every human is no laughing matter!

As much as I love to laugh, I also love to watch Justin, my husband, laughing.  It’s usually in response to an E*Trade baby ad or a new Old Spice commercial.  One time he’s guaranteed to laugh is when he watches “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory”.  He’s amused by Rob’s random & crazy ideas (like having sharks & tigers attack him and making up songs about his mini-horse).  I’m constantly surprised by Rob’s man-child ways, but also because of how big his heart is.  He created the Rob Dyrdek Foundation’s SK8 4 Life program that donates skateboards to at-risk kids.  He believes that exercising and being able to legally & safely skateboard, can be wildly beneficial for kids.  It’s also why he created the idea of ‘Safe Spot Skate Spots’.  Rob & his friends work to find places where large, safe and fun skate plazas can be built in cities like Los Angeles, CA & Kettering, OH.  You can be a part of a SSSS too.  Check out robdyrdekfoundation.org to get step by step directions on how to gather your friends & petition your city for your very own SSSS!

 Human Rights Campaign Donation

Rob Dyrdek Foundation Donation

So here’s to you laughter!  You are truly medicine for my soul.  When things seem dismal or bleak, I’m thankful for the things & people who can bring me back with you.  And I’m thankful there are funny people using you for more than just a good laugh!  In the words of Chelsea Handler, “Give, give, give and laugh, laugh, laugh.”

If laughter is the best medicine, K and I are in great health!

Week 26-Half Way There! Day 5-Guest Blogger #3

That’s right folks, you have the pleasure of reading posts by guest bloggers two days in a row!  Today’s blog is written by my sweet and adorable friend Melanie, who I love more and more everyday.  She has such a giving and unique energy about her and she is always looking for and thinking of new ways to help others.  She has been an avid reader of T4G since day one and I can’t count how many times her comments on my writing made my entire day.  So here’s to you Mel, and your big, big, heart.

Reading Thanks-4-Giving reminds me to be thankful and encourages me to be a better person while helping others. When Lizzie asked if I wanted to be a guest blogger I was excited and overcome with so many things I am thankful for, it’s hard to blog about just one.  Something that has never let me down, is always there for me and I’m sure lifts you up too, is music. I am thankful for music and my favorite musician, Brad Paisley.

Last year Brad’s H20 tour ticket sales benefited the charity Pattison’s Academy, which improves the quality of life for children with multiple disabilities by providing education and rehabilitation programs. Pattison’s Academy came to be when a little girl name Pattison was born with significant brain damage as well as auditory and visual impairments, the brain damage led to cerebral palsy and multiple handicaps. Pattison’s parents were not satisfied with the educational philosophies and limited therapies offered by the schools, so they took a stand and did something about it.  They opened Pattison’s Academy where students participate in community based instruction, field trips, and outside therapy services that are not typically offered in the area’s public schools or medical facilities. Pattison’s Academy also loans equipment to families to make life and tasks that we take for granted a little easier for those affected by disabilities.

Another charity Brad supports is Musicians On Call, an awesome organization that brings live and recorded music to healthcare facilities for patients, families and health care providers to promote wellness and help patients heal. Studies show that live music can lower blood pressure and reduce depression and anxiety in hospital patients. Musicians On Call has played for over 250,000 individuals and their families. You don’t have to be a rock star to help, it’s as easy as donating old cd’s, volunteering, attending special concerts, and bidding on artist’s memorabilia- and even meet and greets!  Check out what artists gear is up for grabs and more on how to help.

Yesterday kicked off Brad’s H20 II: Wetter & Wilder World Tour where ticket sales will again benefit great charities like Pattison’s Academy, and Musicians On Call. Concert tickets can be expensive, but knowing some of your money is going toward awesome causes, make the music sound even better when you hear it.

Pattison’s Academy Donation

Musicians on Call Donation

So thank you Brad Paisley for your charming, witty and memorable songs. You’ve touched people’s lives with your generosity as well as truthful lyrics. You’re more than just a song on the radio to me, you’re an inspiration and your music turns my day around.

We love Brad! H20 Tour 2010!

I end with these lyrics, appropriate for Thank-4-Giving’s motto- be thankful! It’s called One of Those Days from Brad’s new cd, This is Country Music. Give it a listen.

It’s been one of those days; I let things get to me. I got no right to complain, cause when I look around I see folks that are fighting for every breath, and it makes me realize it’s just been one for those days for me, but for them it’s been one of those lives.

Week 26-Half Way There! Day 4-Guest Blogger #2

I couldn’t think of a better person to be the second guest blogger for Thanks(4)giving than the woman who has supported me from the very inception of this blog, my Mom.  She is a source of inspiration, a shoulder to cry on, and a sounding board for me as I work my way through hundreds of blog posts.  So here’s to the most special woman in my life and her insightful and moving post!

Like mother like daughter 🙂

When Lizzie asked me to write a guest blog entry to mark the halfway point in her blogging adventure of being thankful, I had no idea what my topic would be. This past week while seeking inspiration for my post, I found it – on the Oprah Show finale. Now, I have only been a “hit and run” viewer of the Oprah Show in its 25-year run but while watching the final show, I understood why Lizzie holds her in such high regard. Oprah is inspiring and influential in many, many people’s lives in lots of diverse ways. I am thankful that she has been a positive role model in the media to Lizzie and others. I mean, come on. I grew up in the 60s and my TV role models were Miss Kitty, Samantha Stevens and Elly Mae Clampett!

During Oprah’s last show she talked about everyone having a calling. This has been a theme on her show throughout its years on the air. Over the last two years I have given much thought as to what my calling truly is. I know that my passion – what lights me – is creating through video, film and photography. But when I became a mother, I began to understand that I had a golden opportunity to create and shape a person. Mothering is truly one of my life’s calling and I am proud of my greatest creations, Lizzie and Clay. I am grateful for being a mother with a calling and thankful for my remarkable children.

Like Oprah, I believe that reading IS fundamental for all. Oprah’s Book Club has encouraged and rekindled people’s passion for reading in the USA as well as other countries. Room to Read is a charity that seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in the developing world. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, they develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and ensure girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education. Through the end of May, Room to Read is having a special “Celebrating Our Mothers” campaign. All donations go to their Girls’ Education program and will be matched up to $350,000 by a group of generous supporters.

I am thankful for so many things in my life. It really is hard to choose just a couple to write about for this post. I know I may not have all I want but I have enough. I have the essentials I need – housing, food, health and family. In the last two months so many natural disasters have hit our country that many people do not have those essentials. Images and stories of flood, fire and tornado damage are constant in the media and on the Internet lately. Since March 31 the Red Cross has launched 32 relief operations in 23 states to help people affected by tornadoes, floods and wildfires. I really like the Red Cross as a charity because you can donate not only money but time. There are many opportunities to volunteer for the Red Cross, nationally and locally. While I can’t travel out to Joplin, Missouri now or donate monetarily, I can volunteer on a local level. I pledge to call next week to do exactly that!

Room to Read Donation

Red Cross Donation
As some of you know, I have been unemployed for over two years. In a strange way, I am even thankful for my unemployed status because it has given me an opportunity to re-evaluate my calling in life. I have so much to be thankful for EVERY DAY, including one very inspirational daughter with a loving, giving spirit.

Week 26-Half Way There! Day 2-Guest Blogger #1

Today is a very special moment for my 365 project, because I have my very first guest blogger!  My sweet, loving, and supportive husband Scott has graciously agreed to join the week 26 celebration and share his thoughts about what he is thankful for.  So here’s to Scott and his fabulous guest post!

Scott and I

To allow Lizzie a break from writing this day she has asked me, her loving husband, to write about what I am thankful for.  Today I am thankful for charity, simply defined as the giving of help to those in need.  When you think of the word charity what instantly comes to mind are organizations that provide a service to those in need, but I think that charity is, and can be, so much more than that.  Some synonyms for the term charitable include kind-hearted, generous, sympathetic and philanthropic.  So, in some form or another, we have all been the beneficiary of charity.  Whether the charity came in the form of a kind word from a friend, a c-note from mom and dad or help from a complete stranger; at one point in time each and every one of us has been in need.

Sometimes time the easiest form of charity is to help those in need of the basic things in life.  With the natural disasters that have recently occurred in Midwest, many more American families are in desperate need of food and shelter.  The organization Feeding America was established to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engages the country in the fight to end hunger.  FA estimates that they deliver over 3 billion pounds of food each year, providing a source of nutrition to 1 in 6 Americans.  This is what FA does on a daily basis, but currently their focus has been on providing food and shelter to those who lost their homes in Alabama, Missouri, and Oklahoma.  However, the homeless and hungry can be found throughout the world.  Architecture for Humanityis a charity that designs and constructs temporary housing for victim of natural disasters in impoverished nations around the world.  In addition to helping those in immediate need, AH also works to develop sustainable energy solutions for communities lacking infrastructure found in industrialized nations.

The work of Architecture for Humanity

Feeding America Donation

Architecture for Humanity Donation

If you have made it to this point then I am doing better than I expected!  Clearly, Lizzie is the better writer of the family but we both have passion about helping those in need.  Having been the beneficiary of many forms of charity I am very thankful for it but I also feel the drive to return charity to others that are less fortunate than I.  Bringing awareness to the multitude of charities that Lizzie has blogged about over the past 26 weeks has shown me that charity really does come in all shapes and sizes, and all the ways I can be charitable without simply donating money.  So go forth and be charitable, in whatever way you see fit.