It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: reading

Week 48-Costumes and Charities, Day 5-Little Red Riding Hood

Halloween is almost here!  We decided to celebrate a little early and joined our friends for a costume party last night.  Frankenstein, Carrie, a gypsy, Flavor Flav, the most interesting man in the world, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and Little Red Riding Hood were all just kicking it for a couple of hours.  Through my usual Sunday Facebooking time I also saw that there were several other Little Red Riding Hoods partying it up last night.  Her outfit is pretty cute so it’s no real surprise that she’s a popular costume each year.  Plus everyone loves a happy ending to a story.  Those Brothers Grimm were talented men.

So cute!

The Little Red Riding Hood cycling event is put on every year by the Bonneville Cycling Club to raise money and awareness about all different kinds of cancers that affect women.  This event is cool because it’s a girls only event!  With five different routes that are 18, 36, 50, 80 and 100 mile distances, there is a ride for everyone.  LRRH even tailors their t-shirts for their female riders.  No bulky Beefy-T shirts for this event.  They also make sure they take care of their riders by making sure there is endless food at all the rest stops along the rides, and put on a big finish line celebration.  LRRH takes place in the beautiful Cache Valley in Northern Utah, and gives us girls the ultimate excuse for a girls weekend.  Be sure you sign up early though if you’re thinking about riding for cancer.  The event is limited to 3000 participants and last year registration was full in only 23 hours.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it cancer.  Classic stories like LRRH are being given a new digital life by the company Speakaboos.  They combine the voices of celebrities with beautiful illustrations and original music to make reading fun for children.  They develop literary skills and learn about technology at the same time in a safe way that their parents can feel good about.  Speakaboos also donates a portion of its proceeds to a couple of charities that benefit children.  One of these is The National Education Association who envisions a great public school for every student.  Started way back in 1857 NEA knows that a public education is the gateway to opportunity, and everyone deserves that right.

Little Red Riding Hood Ride Donation

National Education Association Donation

So here’s to you Little Red Riding Hood!  You and your fashionable red cape are easy to spot at a party that is full of ghouls and ghosts.  That Big Bad Wolf almost had you tricked, but luckily you saw right through him and his big teeth and hands.  Thanks for teaching us that double checking can never hurt.

Week 44-Rocktober!, Day 4-Book it son

Book it son!

Happy first day of October!  We had a great Saturday full of shopping and hanging out with great people watching college football.  My friend Jen is a third grade teacher and she was coloring these pictures when we got over to their house tonight to watch the WVU game, and of course I had to ask what they were for.  “Did you guys do Book It when you were little?”  My reply was, “Um, yea! I loved Book It, with the free pizza and cool pin with all the stickers.”  Well that of course started a whole conversation about favorite books and where to get them, ect, ect.  Come to find out, October is National Book Month which makes that conversation totally blog applicable!  It also made me miss reading for fun, damn you grad school, and thankful that my family instilled a love of reading in me from a young age.

Who better to put on National Book Month than the National Book Foundation, I mean that only makes sense right.  NBF has been around for over half a century honoring great writers as well as great books, and raising the cultural appreciation of writing in our country.  The National Book Award is given to writers by writers, and set the ball in motion for the NBF back in 1950.  Today the award is still alive and well but they have also expanded their program to college campuses and middle and highs schools.  Their Book Up program focuses on motivating middle school students to continue reading for pleasure in the hopes that they will become life-long readers.  NBF also brings award winning authors to college campuses, and sets up live broadcasts of readings and conversations they engaged in.  One of the great things about books is that they can help bridge the gap between two family members who are separated.  United Through Reading gives deployed parents the chance to video record themselves reading their children’s favorite books a loud.  This allows their kids to read along with them and deepen their love for reading even if they can’t physically be together.  Over one million children, parents, and adults have participated in their unique program since it’s inception in 1989.  The children’s reactions to the videos are often recorded and sent back to their parent to help boost their morale as well.  Everyone deserves to have their Daddy or Mommy read them a bedtime story before they go to bed.

United Through Reading Military Program

National Book Foundation Donation

United Through Reading Donation

So here’s to you books!  You and I have been close for a very long time, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  Of course the types of you that read these days aren’t quite what they used to be.  I still have a box of you that I plan to read and give to my children one day.  You really are the gift that keeps on giving.  Thanks buddy.

Week 35-Shop till ya drop, Day 2-Macy*s

When I need essentials that only a department store can provide Macy’s is my go-to store.  They have everything.  At least the good stores do, and if you can’t find it in the store you can most likely find it online.  Let’s just say I got a little spoiled going to the Herald Square Macy’s in NYC when I needed some new clothes or fancy cooking pots.  Now we have to travel about 45 minutes to a Macy’s store, but I’m still a fan.  I really fell in love with Macy’s when we registered there and we got points (that translated to dollars) for the presents on the registry that other people bought us!  That’s right we got the presents and the points to buy more stuff on our registry that we didn’t get.  Double-dipping rocks my world.

Climb those books!

I’m not going to try to impress you with a bunch of fancy numbers today, and I really don’t need to because the work Macy’s is involved with speaks for itself.  Macy’s has teamed with Reading is Fundamental, the nation’s largest and oldest literacy organization since 2004 to help children “Be Book Smart“.  RIF’s mission is to motivate kids to read by working with them, their parents, and their community to make reading fun!  RIF dreams of a literate America where all children have access to books so they can discover the joys and value of reading.  RIF’s founder Margaret McNamara could see just how fundamental reading was 45 years ago when she started the program in Washington, D.C. in 1966.  My favorite part about RIF is that they give disadvantaged children a chance to own books, not just go to their local or school libraries and check them out.  And they don’t just have some assembly line where they hand out the first book they grab out of the box to any child either.  They set out dozens of books for children to look through and decide on their own which they’d like to have.  I don’t know about you but that would make me want to read!  Another organization that Macy’s and it’s employees whole heartedly supports is the United Way.  UW is one of those great charities with a simple mission.  Improve lives.  Isn’t that really what it all comes down to?  We are all connected in this world is one way or another, so when one of us succeeds then we all do.  UW focuses on encouraging financial stability and independence, improving people’s health, and helping children and youth reach their potential through education.  I know I said I wasn’t going to through a bunch of numbers at you, but this one is pretty impressive.  Macy’s employees and the Macy’s Foundation donated $10.7 million dollars to UW just last year.  Again, double-dipping rocks my world!

Reading is Fundamental Donation  and get Book Smart

United Way Donation

So here’s to you Macy’s!  There is something that makes you undeniably magical.  You always seem to have just what I need, and lots of other things I can’t live without once I walk through those doors.  You were there when we registered for our wedding, you’re there for us when we need to buy baby shower gifts, and I know you’ll be there for life-changing organizations for years to come.

Week 35-Shop till ya drop, Day 1-Target

I can’t really think of anyone, especially someone with two X chromosomes, who hasn’t enjoyed shopping at some point in their life.  You go grocery shopping, furniture shopping, wedding and baby shower shopping, and the ever popular clothing shopping.  You know where you can do all that in one place?  Target!  I love, love, love Target.  I have for a long time and I’m sure I will continue to as well.  I mean seriously where else can you go to get a new purse and a gallon of milk at the same time?  And don’t even think of saying that store that starts with a W.  It doesn’t even compare.

Let’s just start off with a few numbers.  430,000.  That’s the amount of community service hours volunteered by Target team members.  Not court ordered like Lindsay Lohan.  76.  Number of libraries in schools that Target has completely made over.  3 million.  The amount of money Target gives back to the community every, single, solitary week.  If you’re not impressed then there may be no hope for you.  One of the great organization that Target teams with to rebuild school libraries is The Heart of America Foundation.  HOAF has provided children living in poverty with over 2 million library and take home books, and have engaged volunteers in more than one million hours of service.  Now you can see why they would want to team up with Target for these makeover projects.  Since 1997 they have uniquely promoted volunteering and literacy.  HOAF has also received several accolades in the philanthropic community, and were featured on Oprah last year.  That’s how you know you’ve made it big folks.  Target is also actively involved in improving the well-being of the people in their communities.  Starting last year Target has sponsored bike kiosks and programs for the non-profit Nice Ride Minnesota.  NRM is the largest bike-share program in the United States.  Let’s face it, bikes can be expensive.  NRM gives pedestrians an eco-friendly way to get from point A to point B without breaking the bank.  You can get a subscription for a bike for a day, a week, a month, or even a year.  They are like the Netflix of biking.  You can rent a bike when you need it and return it to any kiosk when you’re done.  The health and environmental benefits to biking around town are endless, so I won’t bore you with them, but be sure and remember that the next time you’re in the twin cities.

The Heart of America Foundation Donation

Nice Ride Minnesota Donation

So here’s to you Target!  You’re the place my husband knows with no uncertainty that we can never spend less than 30 minutes in on any given trip.  You are also the place where I pursue bathing suits, stilettos, CD’s, frying pans, cotton balls, and digital cameras.  You may have started off as a place that I love for its cool displays and trendy clothes and accessories, but now everyone knows that you’re here for good!

I think I will!