It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: decade

Week 34-Decades, Day 7-1980’s

I most certainly was!

I have saved the best for last this week, obviously because I am an 80’s baby!  Anyone else who was born in the 80’s knows that pride I feel when I think about all the insanely cool, and occasionally useless but still fun, things that were popular during the decade.  Some of the things closest to my heart were the toys I played with as a youngster.  My extensive toy collection included but was not limited to; Cabbage Patch dolls, Glo Worms, Popples, My Little Ponies, Etch-a-Sketch, Lite Brite, Simon Says, Pound Puppies, and the very collectable Teddy Ruxpin.  Don’t get it twisted though, I had my fair share of electronic toys as well.  The original Nintendo Entertainment System, better known as NES, was a prized possession of mine along with the Super Mario Brothers game it came with.  Slap on the bracelets and tease up that perm cause we’re about to thank our lucky stars for the “greighties”!

Look at that happy face!

Most people automatically think of Christmas when they think about giving toys to children, but what about all their little birthdays?  Luckily the smart people of Cheerful Giving know how important birthday presents are to children who would normally not receive a gift.  Since CG began in 1994 they have given over 414,000 birthday gift bags to food pantries and shelters.  My favorite part of this charity is that they don’t actually give the gift bags to the children.  You may be confused but stick with me.  CG actually gives the gift bags to the parents who are living in poverty, so they are able to give their child a birthday present.  They believe that this simple little action boosts self-esteem, enhances self-worth, and strengthens family bonds, and I’d tend to agree with them.  Even though I don’t have any children at the moment, I can imagine how my heart would break if I couldn’t buy them a birthday present because of my financial situation.  No parent or child deserves to feel like that.  You know what else parents and children never deserve?  Stupid cancer!  Zac Efron and some other pretty famous sports starts used their video gaming skills to help raise money for several charities earlier this year, including I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation.  i[2]y as they call themselves, was founded by and for young adults, ages 15-40, affected by cancer.  Their vision and goal is simple; save more lives and make sure that no survivors are left alone.  i[2]y empowers young people by building a strong community, improving their quality of life, as well as providing meaningful surviorship.  They’re also just really cool.  Named TIME Magazine Best 50 Websites, the Washington Post raves that “they provide a unparallelled resource for patients in their teens, 20s, and 30s.”  Us 80’s babies gotta stick together and kick cancer’s butt!

Cheerful Givers Donation

I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation Donation

So here’s to you 1980’s!  I love everything about you.  The music, the movies, the television shows, and especially the toys!  You showed us how to literally be business in the front and party in the back with the greatest hairstyle of all time, the mullet.  You were so popular you’re even making a comeback now with your leg warmers and side ponytails.  Actually, let’s not call it comeback, because you’re been here for years!

Just a few of my homies...

Week 34-Decades, Day 6-1970’s

Yes I do!

I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity to write about this very groovy decade this week.  This was the time when my parents were growing up and trying to figure things out for themselves.  I love the stories that they would tell me when I was little, and the real version of the stories that they can finally tell me now.  Plus, all the great music of the seventies will forever remind me of my parents.  The Eagles, Genesis, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Lynard Skynard, James Taylor, and I could go on for days.  To me the 70’s and the 90’s are neck and neck for the best decade of music there ever was.  And seriously, there is nothing like a pair of bell bottom jeans, platform shoes, and a polyester flower print shirt.  I’m just saying.

Even Barbie was a hippie

The hippie way of life may have begun in the late 60’s but it was certainly flourishing through the 70’s.  It only seems right that such an environmentally conscious day like Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970.  Earth Day Network was founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day, and they were determined to promote environmental citizenship all year-round.  The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.  Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day’s founder, harnessed the anti-war protest movement and focused it on the real issue that people seemed to be ignoring, our planet.  Yes, the war going on in Vietnam was important, but as Americans we were totally oblivious to the damage we were causing our planet.  Nelson took a huge gamble with putting together Earth Day, but it paid off huge as well.  On April 22, 1970 Republicans, Democrats, rich, poor, country, and city dwellers took the streets and beyond to show their support for Mother Earth.  The fact that over 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year speaks to the power of this movement, but even more powerful are the other 364 days when people are also engaged in EDN activities.  Another great environmental power house that was founded in 1970 is Clean Wisconsin.  CW protects and preserve’s Wisconsin’s air and water resources, and works to create a cleaner environment by standing up and letting their voice be heard.  CW works on three main fronts to protect its great state; lobbying, litigation, and citizen action and education.  It is the oldest and largest group working to save the natural heritage of Wisconsin.  It also just happens that Gaylord Nelson was a senator from Wisconsin during this time, and CW was actually founded on the very first Earth Day back in 1970.  I could not have planned that better if I tried.

Earth Day Network Donation

Clean Wisconsin Donation

So here’s to you 1970’s!  You were the era of hot pants, mini skirts, and go-go boots, and that contagious fever that John Travolta started on Saturday night.  You were also a time of revolution, change, protest, hugs, drugs, and free love.  Some of those I think we could probably do without today, but I think you were onto something seventies.  You knew how to make people feel inspired, and do something about it.  Thanks for showing us how to put up or shut up.

Week 34-Decades, Day 4-2000’s

Even though I don’t really love calling this decade the 00’s, I do love the events that happened in my life during this ten year span.  I graduated high school, college, I earned by masters degree, and I got married!  2000 was also the year I had waited for what seemed like for-ev-er.  I was finally able to drive!  The taste of independence was oh so sweet.  I actually think my parents were pretty excited too because they had become quite the chauffeurs over the years.  A whole new decade and an entirely new century all in one makes this decade in a class of it’s own.  Plus, everyone is thankful for a fresh start.

On September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked by terrorists, and nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives.  We came together as a nation in a way had not been seen since Pearl Harbor was attacked back in 1944.  My Good Deed was created after the 9/11 and is working to establish that day as a day of national service to honor the victims, survivors, and service men and women who helped that day.   With this year marking the tenth anniversary of that terrible day I’m sure there will be lots of people who want to get out there and show their support.  MGD gives people a place to post a tribute of their good deed online, and a place to find organizations to volunteer with.  MGD is also a great resource for teachers who want to teach their students about service learning, and provides tool kits for non-profits and employers who want to participate in 9/11 Day Observance.  Ten years later and still, united we stand.  Another monumental day for our country was January 20, 2009 when Barack Obama was sworn as the first African-American President of the United States.  You already know a little bit about the charity work Mrs. Barack Obama is a part of, but her husband is no slouch either.  A little doodle of his helped raise $7,000 for the non-profit Neurofibromatosis Inc.  Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder of the nervous system which causes tumors to form on the nerves anywhere in the body at any time. It affects all races, all ethnic groups and both sexes equally, and affects more than 100,000 Americans.  NFI is the leading national organization working to advocate federal funding for NF research and raise awareness about this disease.  Founded in 1988, NFI was formed by several strong local NF groups who wanted to work together on national projects.  That just goes to show you what can be accomplished when we put our heads together.

My Good Deed Donation

Neurofibromatosis, Inc. Donation

So here’s to you 2000’s!  You were the new beginning that we were all waiting for.  You moved us right into the 21st century and the 3rd millennium.  You’ll always have a special place in my heart because of all the memories that we made during your ten-year stint.  You were a decade that left its mark on the world, and I’m thankful I was around to experience it.

Week 34-Decades, Day 3-1920’s


The roaring twenties were the best of times and the worst of times.  Babe Ruth was hitting home runs and the Spirit of St. Louis was flying non-stop from New York to Paris, but the 18th amendment had prohibition in full swing.  The 20’s were also the age of jazz, flappers, and the magic of the traveling circus.  I love the hairstyles, fashions, and general spirit that the 1920’s exuded.  They kept it classy and we can all use a little more of that in our lives.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center is on a mission to keep the spirit and love of jazz going for generations.  With their world-renowned orchestra and inspirational educational programs JALC is making people think about jazz in a whole new capacity.  They bring people together for one single purpose; to have a good time.  You can be a kid or just a kid at heart but JALC welcomes everyone with open arms to experience what the world of jazz has to offer.  They produce thousands of events every season and work to bring in the big names in jazz from around the world to their venue in New York.  They sound like my kinda people.  My kind of people are also the adults who like to enjoy a nice glass of red wine or a cold beer.  I know not everyone can have just one beer, and places like Crossroads Centre in Antigua exisit to help them recover from their addiction.  Founded by Eric Clapton, CC helps individuals and their famalies recover from alcohol, drug, and other compulsive behavior addictions.  They help their patients achieve abstinence from their drug of choice and major lifestyle changes which in turn enables them to maintain their sobriety for longer periods of time.  As a recovering alcoholic and drug addict Eric had a vision for a treatment center long before CC finally opened its doors in 1998.  The foundation for a sober life that patients build at CC is both vital and priceless, and I can only imagine the thankfulness they posses for those who belles them along their journey.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Donation

Crossroads Centre Donation

So here’s to the 1920’s!  Where would we be without you?  Not nearly as smart or as refined that’s for sure!  You were the days when a man could make an honest living with just his hands and his heart.  Thanks for reminding us what it was like to live in a time when people truly treated others like they wanted to be treated.   

Week 34-Decades, Day 2-1990’s

Who doesn’t love the 90’s?  I loved it because it represents the time when the only worry I had in the world was what time supper was, and making sure all my homework was done.  Even though I was way too young to appreciate it then, there were so many great movies and music during this decade.  You may have heard of Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas, Forest Gump, Braveheart, Titantic, American Beauty, or Tombstone, and the list goes on and on.  Music taught us in the nineties that we were “too sexy for our shirts”, that you’ll have to tell it my heart “my achy breaky heart”, and lastly that “you can’t touch this.”  So maybe it wasn’t all good, but it was definitely a decade full of diverse achievements in the entertainment industry.  Word.

You tell her Jimmy!

One of my all-time favorite movies is A League of Their Own.  I was a total tomboy growing up so it can as no surprise that I immediately loved this movie when it came out in 1992.  Everybody knows, “There’s no crying in baseball!”  Like a lot of folks out there Dottie, played by Gena Davis was my favorite character of the movie.  She was everything I wanted to be when I grew up; smart, beautiful, talented, and loyal.  I also wouldn’t mind being like Geena Davis herself, and supporting the Geena David Foundation, which works to ensure better gender balance among children’s role in the media.  GDF has a unique program called See Jane that focuses on working with entertainment creators and educate the public about the need to increase the roles of women and girls in media aimed at kids.  Even though females are half the population, research by the GDF has shown that for top-grossing G-rated films there are three male characters to every one female.  What kind of message are we sending to our children?  I know I want my son or daughter to know that their gender isn’t going to stop them from being a successful actor.  Geena inspired me almost twenty years ago as a little girl, and she’s inspired me again tonight as a big girl.  I will have to admit that my taste in music during the 1990’s was not the best.  I was just developing my chops and I didn’t really know where I fit in between country music overload being from the South, and the classic rock my Dad always had the dial tuned in to.  Musicians On Call was formed in 1999 (bonus point for that one!) to bring smiles to the faces of patients through live and recorded music.  MOC uses music to help supplement the healing process for not only patients but also the family and caregivers.  Where do you go to get the music you need to heal your soul?  The CD Pharmacy of course.  This incredible program provides hospitals with a huge collections of CD libraries and disc players for the patients to use.  And if the patients are in the mood to listen to something more original, Project Playback gives them the chance to have their very own music recorded and produced.  Just writing about MOC is making my day, and I’m not even sick!

Geena Davis Foundation Donation

Musicians On Call Donation or Donate your old CDs to a CD Pharmacy (seriously you don’t need that Chumbawamba CD anymore)

So here’s to the nineties!  You weren’t the decade I was born in, but you did nurture me during my youth.  You gave us Britney Spears, Friends, Power Rangers, grunge, PlayStation, and slap bracelets.  You were the “Information Age” when we learned that we could clone sheep and surf the world-wide web.  You taught us how to make the world a better place, and party like it’s 1999.