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Tag Archives: celebrities

Week 39-What’s today again? Day 6-Manic Monday

Another week has started and if you’re reading this then you’ve survived another manic Monday.  This Monday was definitely heads and tails above my Monday last week, but it was no walk in the park.  I have been up and at ’em since approximately 6:45am this morning.  I logged in quite a few hours in the lab, prepped for teaching Biology lab next week, met with our financial advisor, back to the lab, home to make some delicious BBQ chicken quesadilla, and prepare to teach lab tomorrow, and blog of course.  You might think that this blog is the last thing I want to do when I get home after a long day, but I’m finding more and more that I love how grounded it keeps me no matter what day it is.  Thanks blog!

There are a couple of websites that I use every single day to write this bliggity blog.  Charity Navigator is my go-to website when it’s time to connect my crazy thoughts with some great charities.  Apparently I’m not the only one who turns to CN either, because since they were founded in 2001 they have become the largest and most utilized charity evaluator in the nation.  They also make it so easy a caveman could do it.  It’s like Google for charities.  It’s hard to know which charities to donate our hard earned cash too.  CN lets you know how financially responsible a charity is on a daily basis as well as their potential to sustain their programs in the long run.  They even rate the charities with pretty little stars from zero to four so you can see what you’re getting at glance.  They help me decide which charities to write about, but more importantly which charities to recommend to you guys, my faithful readers.  The other website I absolutely need is Look To The Stars.  Let’s face it, most celebrities (if not all of them) have more money than we’ll ever have.  Some of them blow it on fancy cars and shiny toys, but there are a lot of them who actually want to give some of their money away.  LTTS lets you know what charities your favorite celebrities support.  Let’s say you watched the MTV VMA’s last night and you’re so excited that Beyoncé is preggers that you want to donate to a charity she supports as an early birthday gift.  LTTS will let you know that she co-founded the Survivor Foundation with band mate Kelly Rowland to help support families whose lives have been affected by disasters and displaced from their homes.  Now you know how I get by with a little help from my friends.

Charity Navigator Donation 

Like Look To The Stars on Facebook (apparently they’re so rich like celebrities they don’t need donations 🙂 )

So here’s to you manic Monday!  You’re one of the most challenging days on the week, but at the end of the day my faithful blog is always there waiting for me.  We have been together for 39 Mondays, and I’m still excited to spend the 13 we have left together.  Thanks for loving me no matter how tired, cranky, smelly, or unthankful I may be.  You make me a better person on Mondays, and every other day of the week.

Happy Monday!

Week 36-Birthday Week! Day 2-President Obama

image

That’s right the President of the United States of America is theo big 5-0 today!  Woop woop! Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that even the leader of the free world ages too? He’s a husband, a father, a politician, and a volunteer. I’m not sure how he finds time to fit it all in, but I’m sure his administrative assistant does.

I hope we can all put our political views on the back burner for a minute and focus on the undeniable humanitarian efforts President Obama has been an integral part of. I mean this is the man who donated all of his Nobel Peace Prize money, a cool $1.4 million, to charity. Obama has also been a supporter of the Eracism Foundation that focuses on eradicating the negative impacts of all types of racism. The programs developed by EF promote cultural diversity, education, historical awareness, and anti-violence initiatives. EF serves as a vital resource between communities impacted by violence and their access to the tools necessary to improve their current situation. Founded in 2006 by Loius Gosset Jr. EF has proven that you don’t have to be around for years on end to change the world. We all know that Obama was the first African American to be elected to the office of the President, but do you know how celebrities like Sting and Alec Baldwin celebrated? By attending charity events of course! One of the largest post-inagural benefits was hosted by the Creative Coalition. Formed to bring together artists and entertainers to learn about pressing issues facing our nation, so they can help inform and influence the communities around them. CC also offers special services to prepare its members in becoming advocates and spokesmen for important causes. Standing up for what you believe in may not always be easy, but who needs easy when you’ve got integrity.

Eracism Foundation Donation

Creative Coalition Donation

So here’s to you President Obama! You were born a Leo so there was never any doubt that you would be a ferocious leader. This is a big birthday for you but I hope you’ve got plenty more big ones left. It’s a good thing giving is ageless because you’ve already shown us that you’re committed to making this world a better place no matter what office you hold.

Week 25-Celebrity Apprentice, Day 1-David Cassidy

This week the finale for the still very popular Celebrity Apprentice airs on NBC.  I haven’t recently watched the CA but all the stink Donald Trump has raised lately about Obama’s birth certificate and his almost attempt at running for the presidency have put this show back on my radar.  Plus have you seen the people they have on this season?  Some of my favorites are crazy-as-ever Gary Busey, steroid-pumping Jose Conseco, and Real Housewives of Atlanta diva-extraordinaire NeNe Leaks.  I actually got to see a couple of them in person when I was strolling about NYC one fine October day.  They pulled out all the stops this season.  Even though the contestants they chose may be off their rocker, they are still giving back to some great causes.  I’m thankful that buried underneath the midst of this reality show chaos are great causes for people who really need to be hired.

I may not be old enough to say that I watched The Partridges but I certainly know who Mr. David Cassidy is, mainly due to my mother who was a big fan.  She probably still is, who knows.  Unfortunately he was not quite as popular on CA.  Who am I kidding, he was the very first person be to fired, he sucked.  What didn’t suck was the cause he was cause he was playing for, Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation.  This is a matter closer to Cassidy’s heart because he took care of his father who suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s and now his mother who is suffering from severe dementia.  ARPF has been working since 1993 to reduce the occurrence of this devastating disease that robs families of their loved ones even before they have passed away.  They also conduct research on how they can slow down the progression of the disease and the best holistic approach in treating Alzheimer’s and dementia.  They are also in the business of educating patients, families, healthcare professionals, and the entire public on in the ins and outs of Alzheimer’s.  The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is also addressing this serious disease by “caring for the nation…one person at a time.”  AFA is hoping that they can help remove the stigma of Alzheimer’s by educating the public and encouraging them to utilize the community resources that surround them.  In the case of Alzheimer’s the caregivers often need as much support as the patients.  I watched my Dad and my brother take care of my grandfather who suffered from dementia, and gained a better understanding of what unconditional loves means.  Even though he may not have been able to express it towards the end, I know my PaPa was thankful for the home they gave him.

Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Fund Donation

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Donation

So here’s to you David Cassidy!  Sure you were the first loser on CA, but your cause is more than admirable.  You were pretty cute back in the day when you were better known as Keith Partridge.  It is true that you’ve had your ups and downs since your teen heartthrob days, but you seem to be back on the right track now.  You are still pretty handsome, generous, and your name is safely written in the history books for acting.  I Think I Love You.

Week 15-Mis Amigos, Day 4-Jodi Marie

This one's for you Jodi!

I was planning on writing an entry about Miss Jodi Marie this week but after receiving a threatening email from her yesterday, I decided today was the day.  This is what I love about her.  She calls a spade a spade.  She and I went to middle and high school together, and roomed together two (basically three) years at NC State.  I can always count on her to be there when I need her, no matter what.  She would drive for hours, spend all the money she had to her name, and drop whatever she was doing if I told her I needed her.  I’m thankful for her wit, humor, and her love and loyalty to her friends.  Even if she tries to hide it most of the time.

We didn’t major in the same thing in college, but Jodi and I did believe in minoring in good times and high heels.  She majored in textile apparel management which was about as foreign to me, as sticking my arm up a cow’s butt for my animal reproduction class was to her.  I think we can both agree that fashion unites millions of people and makes for a great platform for charity.  Hero In Heels takes advantage of this connection and channels women’s passion for shoes into big bucks for women with cancer.  Everyone from Taylor Swift to Jennifer Aniston have donated their peep-toes and pumps (some even have their John Hancocks) to be auctioned off in the spring.  The funds raised go towards buying wigs, prosthesis or granting any other wish women with cancer may have.

My kind of charity

HIH was created by The Wish Upon a Hero Foundation which is dedicated to helping all types of wishes come true for individuals and organizations.  I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to be a hero?  Speaking of heroes, local firefighters came to the rescue when Jodi’s home was destroyed by a fire a couple of years back.  Firefighters risk their own lives everyday to keep countless others out of harms way.  The 100 Club of Arizona works to make sure that firefighters and other public safety officers and their families are taken care of.  Started in 1968 100 Club provides financial assistance to families of service members who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.  Over $5 million dollars have been donated through the 100 Club’s program and benefits during the past forty years.  They proudly stand behind the men and women who stand behind the badge.  There’s a reason little kids want to grow up to be firefighters, and it’s not because of that cool pool they get to slide down.

The Wish Upon A Hero Donation

The 100 Club of Arizona Donation

So here’s to you Jodi Marie!  You are funny, creative, intelligent, lovable, and generous.  You’re the only person I would want to get lost on a Raleigh city bus with, go to the C-store for hot dogs with, walk to Cameron Village with my car keys with, or call my “mom”.  You may have other people fooled, but I know you’ve got a soft spot in that heart of yours.  You love to do things for others, make people laugh, and you make even the most mundane chores a blast.  Thank you for making my fairy Halloween costume, buying me shots of I-don’t-even-know-what at the bar, hosting my fabulous 25th birthday surprise party, and sticking by my side since the seventh grade.  I love you mom.

Oldie but a goodie

Week 13-The Oscars, Day 4-Actress in a leading role

Let’s’ face it, behind every really good movie there is usually an awesome actress.  The women who are nominated this year are beautiful, talented, and extremely giving.  Natalie, Nicole, Michelle, Jennifer, and Annette are all in the running for a tiny little gold man and a lifetime of bragging rights.  Sometimes they are mothers, sometimes daughters, and other times ballet dancers, but I’m always thankful for them.  No matter who they end up playing in the movies, these women play an even bigger role off screen.  Giving back.

FINCA Ambassador Natalie Portman

There are two women who seem to be heading up the pack in this race for best actress.  Natalie Portman may be raking in dollars hand over fist but she’s the first to realize how lucky she is.  Natalie helped launch the Village Banking Campaign for the non-profit Foundation for International Community Assistance, FINCA.  FINCA works to provide financial assistance to low-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living.  Since their inception in 1984 they have helped hundreds of thousands of people in over 21 different countries.  FINCA has been lending a helping hand in Haiti for over 20 years, long before the earthquake in 2010.  FINCA is in the business of helping other help themselves.

You can bid on this shirt!

Annette Bening is right there with Natalie at the top of the favorites list for this category.  She is also willing to give the shirt off her back to help out.  No really, she is a big supporter of Clothes Off Our Back, which is a non-profit who auctions off the clothes of the hottest celebrities around.  Annette is even giving one of her outfits from the Oscar nominated, The Kids Are Alright.  The auction is on until tomorrow so you still have time to get a little piece of Hollywood and help charities at the same time.  COOB uses the funds raised to give back to a couple of charities that we’ve talked about here like Feeding America and Malaria No More.  Over $7 million has been raised by COOB since 2002 with the help of over 700 celebrities and 300 designers.  Get a new outfit and give back?  Sign me up!

Foundation for International Community Assistance Donation

Clothes Off Our Back Donation

So here’s to you actress in a leading role!  Whoever ends up taking home this very prestigious title is more than deserving on and off screen.  Budding actresses everywhere watch these women perform and aspire to be just like them one day.  If they do grow up to be just like them then they’ll be really successful actresses, as well as incredibly giving human beings.

Week 8-TV Shows, Day 6-United States of Tara

I hate moving.  Boxes, trash, packing paper.  I hate it.  We’re in the final stages of putting our entire lives inside cardboard boxes and I am over it.  Lucky for me, the cute little red envelope that Netflix DVDs come in made my day.  I was so thankful we decided to pop in the second season of The United States of Tara when we were running out of steam .  For anybody who hasn’t heard of this show it’s about a woman with one husband, two kids, and multiple personalities.  It’s funny, exciting, complex, and a great distraction from packing.  Did I mention I hate moving?

You never know who you're gonna get

Over the past couple of years there has been an increase in the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder or as it’s now known, dissociative identity disorder (DID).  The National Alliance on Mental Health uses education, advocacy, and awareness to improve the lives of individuals and families with mental illnesses.  NAMI gives a face and a voice to mental illness.  NAMI uses supportive networks, educational programs, and years of experience to educate thousands of people about a variety of diseases.  NAMI has  StigmaBuster Alerts to speak out and challenge stereotypes about mental illnesses that are portrayed on TV, film, print, and other media.  I think even NAMI would be please with all of Toni Collete’s characters in USOT.  In her real life with only one personality, the Aussie native has a passion for Greenpeace Australia.  Greenpeace does pretty much exactly what it’s name says.  It fights to expose environmental problems and find solutions that provide both a peaceful and green future for the world.  I mean, green is the new black.  She was even a member of the Greenpeace City to Surf team in 2004 that participated in the 14 kilometer race to support the charity.  She urges everyone to get out and do something simple and enjoyable for the planet.  I couldn’t have said it better myself Toni.

National Alliance on Mental Illness Donation

Greenpeace Australia Donation

So here’s to you United States of Tara!  You gave me a much needed break today when I felt like I was packing my whole life in a box.  You are wildly entertaining and always a good thirty minutes of complete distraction.  You make me feel a little less crazy after watching an episode, and you’ve given me the ten cent education about DID.  So no matter if you’re an Alice, Buck, or Tara you can always be thankful.

Week 2-TV Shows, Day 3-E! News

As I have previously admitted I am a entertainment news junkie.  I love it.  I get a daily email from US Weekly, have the E! app on my phone, and watch E! on a nightly basis.  I’m even so invested that I starting watching Giuliani and Bill on the Style Network.  I just love them.  I think they are so courageous to document their journey to try and have baby, and give others hope who are going through the same thing.  Contrary to popular belief there are a lot of stars who like to give back.  I am thankful for those who do.

Team E! News

Even though they’re not there every day Giuliani Ranic and Ryan Seacrest are the core of E! News.  Give Back Hollywood Foundation works to help those in the entertainment industry raise funds and awareness for non-profits.  As you can imagine the causes that celebrities support are as diverse as the fashion we saw on the red carpet last weekend, so GBHF tries to benefit as many organizations as possible.  Last week the Ranics hosted “A Night of Miracles”, a private cocktail hour with musical performances, to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Ryan is no slacker in the charity department.  He supports lots of causes but my personal favorite is Malaria No More, which has set a goal of ending all malaria deaths in Africa by 2015.  MNM is working to make sure that Africans have the tools they need to diagnose, treat, and prevent malaria.  They are also using the social network phenomenon to get people all a twitter about malaria and spread awareness.

That's what she said

Give Back Hollywood Foundation Donation

Malaria No More Donation

So here’s to you E! News!  You keep me abreast of all the latest entertainment fodder, and the hottest new fashion trends.  You have helped to make Ryan Seacrest the entertainment giant that he is, pun intended.  You’ve helped me realize that there are a lot of entertainers out there who really care about the world.  Now if we could just get a C! News so we can keep up with charities and not just the Kardashians.

Week 4-Holiday traditions, Day 6-Movies

It always seems like at someone, or multiple people,  in my family gets one of the best movies of the year as a Christmas present.  This year Clay, my brother, got Inception.  Last year it was The Hangover.  Naturally when you get something new for Christmas you want to break it out and use it, and that’s exactly what happens with all these movies floating around the house.  That’s how we get to the holiday tradition of watching a ton of movies.

It was a little challenging for me to find charities that I thought really reflected my thankfulness of family movie nights over the holidays.  Charity Films is one of those great organizations.  You are able to go to their website and watch inspirational and entertaining short films for FREE!  Who doesn’t love free?  Let’s say you like the movie and want to buy it.  You can buy the DVD and CF will donate 30% of the profits to the charity sponsoring the film, or donate to the charity directly.  It also dawned on me while searching for charities that a hit film isn’t a hit without the actors.  The SPIRAL (Spinning Potential Into Resources and Love) Foundation is a celebrity favorite.  Everyone from the Jonas Brothers to Steven Speilberg are behind this humanitarian charity whose work is focused in Nepal and and Vietnam.  Oh did I mention Oprah is a fan too.  Is anyone noticing a pattern with the charities I seem to pick and the big O?  Yea, me too.  Since 1999 SPIRAL has worked diligently to promote “aid from within the country” by employing over 1000 Vietnamese and Nepalese locals with fair salaries and a multitude of other projects.  These projects are funded by the profits of the SPIRAL store which sells a wide variety of hand crafted goods.  All of the products are also very environmentally conscious and usually made with recycled materials.  Celebrity approved?  Check!  Green?  Check!  Totally worth checking out and donating too?  Check!

Charity Films Donation

The SPIRAL Foundation Donation (donations made by purchasing hand made goods)

So here’s to you family movie night!  You always seems to bring us together around the television during the holidays.  We get to see some of the best films of the year from the comfort of our very own living rooms.  The popcorn is cheaper, the seats are more comfortable, and we never miss a scene due to a potty break.  This is one family holiday tradition that I will definitely be participating in for years to come.

Week 3-Stuff, Day 1-My coat

Some people say stuff is just stuff, but I think those are the people who have plenty of stuff.  The past few days as I’ve bundled up before braving the ridiculously cold temperatures and wind outside I have been extra thankful for my coat.  I can’t imagine not having a coat, and I would even be embarrassed to tell you how many I have hanging in my closet right now.  Plus these aren’t the best economic times so more people than ever are struggling to meet their basic needs.  So, that’s where we come in.

Coats for Kids believe that every child has a right to a brand spanking new winter coat.  Plus as a bonus the kids also receive a new pair of gloves and a hat!  Coats for Kids is also great because they distribute coats all winter long (October-March) and not just during the holiday season.  Since they began in 2004 CFK has given over 35,000 new coats to kids all over the US.  Pretty impressive.  One Warm Coat is a great non-profit organization that helps give coats to people of all ages in need.  You may have seen them team up with Good Morning America for a coat drive called Warm Coats and Warm Hearts.  This year marks the fourth time these two power houses have joined together to make a difference.  Big names like Sting, Donny and Marie Osmond, and recent Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton have already donated coats this year.  The cool thing about OWC is that you can either donate money or donate a new or gently used coat.  Plus when you donate a coat (to any of the participating Burlington Coat Factories) you can get 10% off your purchase!  So you can give away that coat that doesn’t fit anymore and get 10% off a new one or a last minute Christmas present.  Win, win.

Donate to Coats for Kids Inc.

Donate to One Warm Coat

Or click here to see where you can donate a coat!

So here’s to you my coat(s)!  You keep me warm, help me look fashionable, and have always been there for me ever since I was little.  Ok so maybe not the same coat, but I have always had a coat and plan on having at least one less now that I’ve written this blog.  So no matter if you wear a wool coat, a rain coat, trench coat, or a coat of many colors, remember to be thankful for it.

Definitely thankful for my coat that day

Week 2-People, Day 3-Oprah

The Big O

Last night I was watching the Barber Walter’s interview special with Oprah, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am thankful for Oprah, and there are millions of other people are thankful for Oprah.  You know people like Dr. Phil, Nate Berkus, and you may have heard of Rachael Ray.  I mean seriously, the name Oprah is synonymous with changing the world.  She has a talk show (or THE talk show to some people), a Sirius/XM radio station, a magazine, a book club, a leadership school in South Africa for girls, and her own foundation to name a few.

Oprah has topped Forbes Celebrity 100 list in 2007, 2008, and again this year.  So basically she doesn’t really need us to help support her causes, but she does give us great ideas of other organizations that do need our help.  She’s a girl after my own heart.  She helps us figure out where to donate our old cell phones AND how to adopt an orphan elephant in Africa.  Kristin Davis is a big fan of helping those adorable orphan elephants for all you Sex & the City fans out there like me.  If you’re more into buying really chic gifts for yourself or someone else Oprah knows about the gifts that keep giving.  Like this awesome solar powered Sunnan Lamp from Ikea.  For every $20 lamp that is bought another is donated to a child in a developing country living without electricity.  You can get and give all at the same time!

Oprah’s Benefits of Giving

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Donation

So here’s to Oprah Gail Winfrey.  You got our attention in The Color Purple, brought us to tears during the Oprah Show countless times, and helped us find some pretty darn good books to read.  Oprah is living proof of her quote, ” What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you.”