Thanks(4)giving

It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: HIV

Week 50-The Golden Week, Day 5-Golden Girls

My girls!

Well, another birthday is officially in the books.  I had such an amazing day yesterday filled with love from so many wonderful friends near and far.  I got to do a little shopping, get dressed up, eat a yummy dinner, play some pool, and enjoy a few adult birthday beverages.  I also got lots of Facebook and text message love from those who were with me in spirit.  I was a tomboy growing up so it took me a little while to really appreciate good girlfriends.  Thankfully, I have some of the best ones a girl could ask for so it made the transition pretty easy.

There is no possible way that I could write about Golden Girls without mentioning the ever popular Betty White.  She is an avid supporter of PAWS/LA, which works to keep people and their pets together.  This is one charity that definitely stands out from the bunch.  PLA help low-income seniors and individuals with serious illnesses care for their pets.  Started back in 1989, PLA was founded in response to the companion animal crisis that faced those living in LA county who had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.  The cost financially and physically that this auto-immune disease took on the community left these innocent pets in need some love and attention.  Numerous studies have shown the mental and physical benefits that a pet adds to the life of its owner.  No one wants to give up their pet, and PLA does everything in their power to make sure no disease rips an animal from its master.  Betty is also on the board for the Morris Animal Foundation which envisions a healthier tomorrow for all animals.  You could say that Betty is a bit of an animal lover.  She even posed for the hilarious 2011 MAF calendar.  MAF is a world leader in advancing veterinary research that treats, protects, and cures animals all over the world.  Founded in 1948 by a veterinarian with a vision, MAF has funded more than 1,700 research projects which have led to many breakthroughs in the field of animal health.  MAF supports over 300 research projects every year at zoos, colleges of veterinary medicine, and research institutions.  No wonder the quintessential Golden Girl loves this charity!

Betty White goes all out for MAF

PAWS/LA Donation

Morris Animal Foundation Donation

So here’s to you Golden Girls!  The ones I love on the television screen and the ones I love in my life.  You’re there for me on the day of my birth, but more importantly, every other day of the year as well.  Another birthday has come and gone, but I know the Golden Girls in my life will be around till we’re old and gray.  Thank you for being a friend!

A golden night indeed

Week 46-I seriously hate, Day 7-Being hungry

I feel like I have been hungry all day long.  You would think that I skipped a meal, but that would be false.  Tuesdays are just such long days for me, so I don’t usually end up eating dinner until at least 8:30 pm.  Yea, I feel as old typing that as it sounds.  Today as I was mentally willing the second lab section to hurry up and finish their experiment so I could go home and grub, I realized how lucky I am to have dinner every night.  Plus Scott is an excellent cook so I’m double lucky.  Hungry has been a pretty constant topic on my blog, and even though it’s partly because I like to eat, it’s also because it has been and still is an issue.

One place where people have faced the challenge of hunger for as long as most of its inhabitants can remember is Haiti.  Yéle Haiti was founded in 2005 by singer and fellow Haitian Wyclef Jean and Jerry Duplessis and Hugh Locke.  YH was forever changed by the earthquake that rocked Haiti in January of 2010.  So for the past two years they have been focusing on programs to help improve the lives of Haitians through agriculture.  Yéle Vert commissions farms to operate tree nurseries that can provide food, building materials, and fuel.  These farmers also share their seeds, knowledge, tools, and training to help other farmers improve their crop production and incorporate planing trees into their own farming practices.  By teaching these communities how valuable trees can be, it reinforces the need for their protection for years to come.  We are only as strong as our weakest link and The Food Chain has shown that it’s pretty strong.  The only thing worse that being hungry and not having any food, is wanting to eat so badly but being too sick to keep it down.  TFC helps those with HIV have free access to food and nutritional information that enable them to make informed decisions and live healthier lives.  The hot meals that TFC provides to the doorstep of HIV fighters that are nutritionally designed just for them is a service that is priceless.

Yéle Haiti Donation

The Food Chain Donation

So here’s to you being hungry!  You are the growling in my stomach when I haven’t eaten.  Unfortunately I feel like you more times a day than I should.  You also make me crabby and my brain really fuzzy.  You’re a pain in my you know what, but I do love saying bye-bye to you because that means I’m eating a tasty treat.  Thanks for being a cute little monster that I’m lucky enough o feed three times a day.  Minimum.

The Hunger Moster strikes again!

Week 25-Celebrity Apprentice, Day 4-La Toya Jackson

You may have heard about this family called the Jacksons.  They’re a pretty big deal.  La Toya has been at the front of the entertainment-driven family since she was a wee tot.  CA gave her the perfect opportunity to keep carrying on the charity work started by her late brother Michael.  She may be lumped in with her very famous family but La Toya has made a name for herself by having her own solo music career and a very infamous Playboy magazine appearance.  She may be the fifth of ten children but she was never one to hide in the crowd.  Usually I’m not a fan of people using their names to get where they want to be in life, but because La Toya wants to be in place that helps people, I’ll let her slide.

The charity that La Toya is playing for on CA is the AIDS Project Los Angeles.  This charity was close to her heart because Michael was such a big supporter before he passed away a couple of years ago, and she can honor his memory while she helps those in need.  La Toya has helped APLA by visiting with patients who have AIDS, bringing them food, and assisting them in any way she could.  APLA is dedicated to improving the lives of those with HIV/AIDS and reducing the incidence of this terrible auto-immune disease.  Founded back in 1982 APLA uses education to empower LA and realize there is nothing more important than protecting yourself.  Another great charity that is fighting back against the AIDS epidemic is Keep A Child Alive.  I actually found out about KACA because they started following me on Twitter!  I knew that week of blogging about social networks would pay off.  There are so many great things about KACA but I absolutely love their Daily Inspirations page.  It gives the public a place to see why they do what they do day-in and day-out.  KACA knows there is a profound difference between life and living.  They work in South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and India to save lives of innocent people by giving them anti-retroviral medication and endless care and support.  The best part is, you don’t have to go to any of those places to save a life.  You can just buy it.  Seriously, when you donate to KACA you are buying a life.  “Because the more  you buy, the more you save.”  Simple, inspiring, and powerful.  Amazing.

AIDS Project Los Angeles Donation

Keep A Child Alive Donation

So here’s to you La Toya Jackson!  You may or may not have had too many surgeries, but we all know that beauty is not only skin deep.  Your heart and your pocketbook are both made of gold, and you love to give of them both freely.  You and your brothers taught us ABC was as simple as 123, and tonight I’ve discovered that it is so simple for you because charity is number 1.

Week 22-California!, Day 4-Mercedes

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Let’s just discuss all the incredibly awesome things that have happened to me in the past 24 hours.  I had my very first experience at Ruth’s Chris steak house, I bought some sweet new kicks, I got to hear some very funny stories, and I got to ride in the most pimp car I’ve been in ever.  This Mercedes has everything from the sweet rims to the blacked out windows so we truly felt like movie stars.  It also rides like an absolute dream.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever own a Mercedes at any point in my life but I sure am thankful that I had the chance to ride in one this week.  The people I get to ride around with are really what makes the experience unforgettable.

I don’t know how many of you out there watch America’s Next Top Model, but on the second season (or cycle as Tyra as coined it) there was a contestant named Mercedes who was also battling lupus.  Watching her tell the other girls that she had this autoimmune disease was really inspiring, and even today she continues to work the Lupus Foundation of America.  There are many kinds of lupus and it affects everyone a little differently and, like a lot of other autoimmune diseases,  it is treatable but there is still no cure.  Over 1.5 million people in America alone suffer from some form of lupus.  The research conducted by the LFA is vital in discovering the causes and potential cures for this terrible disease.  Another devastating autoimmune disease is HIV/AIDS.  A few years back, tons of celebrities came together to sign a Mercedes-Benz C350 to be auctioned off to benefit Nelson Mandela’s charity, 46664, which raises global awareness about HIV/AIDS.  The charity takes its name from the prison number Mandela was assigned during his incarceration in South Africa.  46664 utilized fun and unique events like live concerts and other music related events.  I’m sorry but if Nelson Mandela doesn’t inspire you to get out and change the world then nobody will.

Lupus Foundation of America Donation

46664 Donation

So here’s to you Mercedes!  You are the epitome of luxury and style.  You are loved by celebrities, professional athletes, and regular Joes.  You come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, but you always deliver top of the line quality.  Thanks for showing me it’s great to have nice things, but they mean nothing if you can’t share them with people you love.

Week 10-Groups of tens, Day 6-Things I Hate About You

Nothing to hate about Heath...

Many of us first fell in love with Heath Ledger in Ten Things I Hate About You.  We all wanted to be Kat, aka Julia Stiles, and have a diamond in the rough kind of guy like Patrick, Mr. Heath Ledger, sing to us on the bleachers and buy us fancy guitars.  It has been just over three years ago since Ledger’s tragic death, and I am thankful to have experienced what he was capable of as an actor and a humanitarian.  I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

Two bucks for a heart? That's a steal

Variety-The Children’s Charity has adopted the mission of improving the lives of children in local communities and around the world.  Ledger and his Brokeback Mountain co-star Jake Glyllenhall shared this mission, and auctioned off a couple of their shirts from the screenplay for Variety.  Over 80 years ago a group of eleven men from the entertainment business gathered in Pittsburgh, PA (better luck next time Steelers) to discuss their newly formed charity to help children.  Today they have their Kids on the Go! program that helps families afford walkers, wheelchairs, specially-designed adaptive bikes, strollers, prosthetic limbs and other devices to help kids gain mobility and confidence.  You can also bear a heart of gold like Yogi starting next month.  Patrick used music to win Kat over, but Ledger believed that the power of music can educate young people about HIV/AIDS prevention.  Enter Lifebeat, the non-profit charity that was created nineteen years ago to bring awareness to a terrible disease through beats and lyrics, and some famous faces.  Britney Spears, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Jay-Z, Tina Turner, Ozzy Osbourne, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Moby, OutKast, Sarah McLachlan, and Destiny’s Child have all invited LB to be a part of their tours and distribute condoms, and life saving information about HIV/AIDS prevention and testing.  LB also harnesses the talents of singers to lift the spirits of those living with HIV or AIDS in New York City.  Even Jewel and LL Cool J have crooned for LB’s Hearts and Voices program.

Variety-The Children’s Charity Donation

Lifebeat Donation

So here’s to you things I hate about you!  You gave us a movie to watch again and again, and a beautiful boy to fall in love with over and over again.  You gave us a catchy poem that has it’s own web address so people who didn’t memorize the words from watching the movie can enjoy it as often as they like.  How do we love charities?  Let us count the ways!