Thanks(4)giving

It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: troops

Week 43-Fall Favorites, Day 3-Beer

Happy first day of fall everybody!  I don’t’ know what the weather is like where you are but it was nice and brisk here in Morgantown today and I loved every minute of it!  So in order to celebrate the inauguration of my favorite season of the year I’m celebrating with a delicious Oktoberfest Leinenkugel brew.  Yes, that’s right I am enjoying an adult beverage.  I mean I am 26, I’m allowed.  Quite frankly, after a hard week of working and shaping young mind (shea right) I think I deserve one.  So let’s raise of glasses to the season of cool temperatures, hot football rivalries, and seasonal beers.

I know you’re probably wondering how in the world I am going to connect booze to charitable organizations but get ready to be surprised kids.  The Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, CA has been hosting annual charity events, like Beerfests, for fifteen years!  One of their favorite charities to raise money for is The Surfrider Foundation.  TSF was founded over 25  years ago when some very dedicated surfers got wind that their favorite wave, at First Point, was going to be destroyed.  Now, I’m gonna be honest with you guys.  I have NO idea how a wave can be destroyed forever, but I know I would be really upset if my favorite thing in the world was taken away from me.  So even though I can’t wrap my mind around the concept, I totally empathize with the feeling that motivated the three founders of TSF to take action.  They are a grassroots organization that protects what they love; oceans, waves, and beaches.  So you’re probably pretty impressed, but would you believe me if I told you that you could buy beer and 50% of the profits would go to charity?  50 Back does just that.  Paige and Kim wanted a way to say thank you to all of the service men and women who have or still serve in our nation’s military.  They wanted to establish a method that would be well received and capable of donating again and again, so they landed on crafting their own beer.  Totally makes sense if you ask me.  The charities that are supported by the purchase of 50 Back beer include the USO, Homes for Troops, American’s Vet Dogs, and more.  The only thing better than drinking to the beginning of fall is drinking to brave men and women.

I'll take a give-pack please!

Surfrider Foundation Donation 

Where to buy 50 Back Beer 

So here’s to you beer!  We’d had a chance to get to know each other over the past five (ok maybe a couple more) years.  I never thought you and charity would get together, but you’re like peas and carrots.  Thanks for being there after a long week, and giving back in a very adult way.

Week 19-Letters, Day 3-W

ork, watermelon, workouts, wishes, water, and wildflowers are all great things, that obviously, start with W.  I started my day this morning with a snazzy little leg workout from Cosmo.  It may not be P90X but it’s been a while since I worked out and it felt good.  Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  I also worked a couple extra hours at my new job today.  Everyday I go to work I think about how lucky I am to have a job, and how doubly lucky I am that I like the people I work with.  I’ve heard that Americans live to work, and that European work to live.  I strive to stay somewhere in the middle of those two and enjoy my time on and off the clock.

In my opinion, nobody works harder than the brave men and women of our country who protect our freedom.  That is one job I am positive I could never do, and can’t even imagine the things they go through for their work.  Carolina Patriot Rover is a non-profit that is enhancing the lives of servicemen and women who have been diagnosed with PTSD by giving them a trained golden retriever.  CPR is committed to giving veterans a life-long companion who provides tons of love and therapy free of charge.  CPR also has a long-term goal of growing their organization so they are able to help employ veterans returning home and re-entering the workforce again.  Working with adorable golden retrievers and great people who have sacrificed for our freedom sounds like a job I’d like to have!  The HOPE Program in New York helps give those living in poverty “a way to work” and “a way to grow”.  THP was founded in 1984 in a time when homeless New Yorkers were being given hand-outs and THP was doling out hand-ups that help them find, keep, and advance in their jobs.  1 in 5 people who live in New York city are living in poverty, and over 300,000 New Yorkers are dependent on soup kitchens and food pantries in order to feed their families.  There may not be W in hope but they are giving some down and out New Yorkers a big W.

Carolina Patriot Rovers Donation

The Hope Program Donation

So here’s to you W!  Where would we be without you?  Let’s see, that last sentence wouldn’t exist, there would be no waterfalls, wigwams, or Washington Redskins.  No kids would be plagued by wet willies or enjoy Willie Wonka candies after school.  The world would not be the same without all the Williams, Walters, or Wandas.  So remember to be thankful the next time you see a weeping willow or take a juicy bite out of a watermelon.

I feel the same way buddy

Week 18-Potpourri, Day 1-Ruby

My girl!

Yesterday we added a new member to our family.  No we didn’t get another dog, and no I did not pop out a kid, but we did buy a beautiful Ford Escape named Ruby.  She’s three years old, she has automatic windows and locks, warm tan interior, a sleek maroon paint job, and six cylinders under her hood.  She’s roomy, quick, and she’s plays a mean version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”.  I am truly thankful for all of the different subjects that I write about everyday, but after being a one car family for a year and a half, I am really, really, really thankful for Ruby.  I feel like I’m sixteen again in my very first car.  You know that saying good things come to those who wait?  I’m gonna have to agree.

That year and half without a car of my own might have seemed like a long time, but it was the best decision for our family.  The non-profit Yellow Ribbon Fund is helping out the families of disabled veterans by providing lots of great services including free car rental and cab vouchers.  Even though YRF has only been around for six years they have already provided 1,400 car rental and 18,000 taxi cab rides free of charge.  YRF doesn’t stop there, they help veterans and their families with job mentoring and internship programs, free lodging, and free tickets to different sporting and cultural events.  I that think taking care of our veterans when they come home is so important, because they have taken care of us by serving while we were able to stay in our homes.  You might expect that Ruby with her nice V6 engine would entice me to speed a little, but I think I’ll leave the fast turns to the pros like Kasey Kahne.  Kahne may have a serious need for speed but he channels that energy into cool fundraisers for his charity the Kasey Kahne Foundation.  The money that KKF raises through sprint car races, concerts and drifting challenges (think 2 Fast 2 Furious) helps chronically ill children and their families, as well as disadvantaged youth.  The KKF has raised and given money to The Ronald McDonald House, Make A Wish Foundation, Victory Junction, and the Red Cross to name just a few.  In 2006, Kahne was even appointed by President Bush to serve on the President’s Council on Service & Civic Participation, which was only one year after he started the foundation.  You can also bid on some pretty sweet schwag on eBay to help support KKF.  Keep up the good work Kasey!

Yellow Ribbon Fund Donation

Kasey Kahne Foundation Donation

So here’s to you Ruby!  I haven’t known you very long but I have a feeling you are going to be there for me through thick and thin.  You are pretty, you tell me what songs are on the radio, you automatically lock the doors to keep me safe, and you’ve got some get up and go.  I see furniture, road trips, jam-out sessions, dog hair, airport shuttle missions, traveling games, and car seats in your future.  Welcome to your new home and thank you for making our family complete…for now 🙂

Week 8-TV Shows, Day 4-Dirty Jobs

What’s a better way to start a work free Saturday than watching somebody else do dirty work?  If you said there is none, then we’re in the same boat.  Watching Mike Rowe castrate lambs, shovel various types of waste, shear llamas, and wrangle alligators never gets old to me.  It’s like a car wreck.  You don’t want to watch but you can’t stop staring right at it.  I’m not envious of these insane jobs that he doesn’t get paid enough to do, but I am thankful that I get to watch these crazy experiences he takes on.

Hottie with a body

Ok now that I’ve given my preamble about how I’m thankful, here’s the real truth.  Mike Rowe is hot.  He’s in great shape, he’s adorable, and he could charm the pants off a pig.  He’s also a concerned citizen to boot.  Dream boat?  I think so.  Mike supports The Mission Continues, a non-profit with a mission to build an America that allows veterans to continue to serve their country again as a citizen leader.  TMC likes to say, “It’s not a charity.  It’s a challenge.”  CEO Eric Greitens founded TMC after returning home from Iraq in 2007.  After visiting wounded Marines in Maryland he discovered that every single one of them still had the desire to serve their country even if it wasn’t in the armed forces.  Eric used his own combat pay and the generous contributions of a couple of veterans to found TMC.  It seems Mike has a soft spot for those who serve our country because he also supports Any Solider.  There are lots of us out there who want to support our troops but we don’t know where, what, or who to send packages to.  That’s where AS comes in.  They have a list of thousands of military and service member contacts, what to send in their care packages, and the easiest way to send them.  They have made it so easy a caveman could do it.

The Mission Continues Donation

Any Solider Donation

So here’s to you Dirty Jobs!  You let us see what working hard is all about.  You give us Mike Rowe as eye candy which is reason enough for the female population to watch all day long.  You help us realize how lucky we are to have our own jobs, both dirty and clean.  So roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty in some charity work.

Week 4-Holiday traditions, Day 1-Christmas tree

In honor of the Christmas holiday that is fast approaching this week is focused around holiday traditions I love.  Some people buy real Christmas trees every year, and some people invest in a really nice faux tree to last for years and years.  Growing up we always bought a real tree that filled the house with the smell of pine, and I loved it.  I still do to this day.  Even though I totally get the convenience of a fake tree I prefer the trouble of a real tree.  There is no feeling in the world like finding the perfect tree to take home and call yours for a month….or longer.

I am a big fan of those who serve in our armed forces particularly because I could never do what they do on a daily basis.  So I am a big fan of anything that supports them considering how much they support all of us.  Trees for Troops Program is part of the Christmas Spirit Foundation that works to provide free Christmas trees for those in the military around the U.S.  You can also send a holiday message to the troops from your comfy couch.  A little bit of Christmas spirit goes a long way.

Send 'em so green love

Angel Tree may only have tree in their name but their mission is no less amazing.  There are over 1.7 million children who have a parent in jail this Christmas, and Angel Tree believes they should have a cheerful Christmas as well.  For over three decades AT has worked to bridge the gap between prison parents and their children through Christmas presents and love.  No child should have to spend Christmas without their parents and the joy of a gift as simple as a new book.

Trees for Troops Donation

Angel Tree Donation

So here’s to you Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree!  You light up the lives of children of all ages during the holiday season.  You make the house smell like a pine forest and huddle the presents underneath your full bows.  So as we rock around the Christmas tree this year stop and smell the branches.  Even if your tree is fake you can still smell the thankfulness.