Posts tagged ‘events’

You’re important, so act like it.

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November 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Give

(from "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein)

(from “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein)

The organizers of Blog Action Day couldn’t have picked a more timely subject for this year’s event. This year’s subject, poverty, is affecting more and more people every day in America and beyond. Many of us feel the strain of the bad economy but don’t experience poverty ourselves. We want to help others at times like these but are justifiably worried about our own finances and feel we have nothing to give.

I believe there is something that we can do to help others during these difficult times and at the same time relieve some of the anxiety we are feeling about our own finances. We can give.

It sounds counter-intuitive, maybe even financially irresponsible. But there are ways that every one of us can give today in a responsible way. Simply thinking “I wish I could help others, but I can’t afford to right now” has a psychological effect: it puts us in a negative and powerless state of mind. Money may be tight, but we can still be thankful for what we have and think about those who are much worse off than we are. Giving to those in need will reinforce our gratitude for the resources we do have and give us the power to do something good with them.

Organizations like Kiva put the power in your hands to invest in an entrepreneur of your choosing– someone in the developing world who is trying to lift him or herself out of poverty and needs capital to get started. Those who receive Kiva loans repay them at a very high rate, so when your loan has been repaid you can take those same funds and re-invest in another person. You don’t need a lot of money to invest– the money in your change jar is enough to make a difference.

Heifer International works to end poverty and hunger around the world by allowing donors to purchase livestock for families in need (pigs, and goats, and bees, oh my!) The animals are provided to families along with the training they need to become self-reliant. I love these two organizations because they empower both the giver and the receiver. By giving, we become part of one family’s path to health and happiness. By acting with gratitude and generosity, we are happier too.

Even if you can’t give your money, you can give your time. Look into local organizations providing assistance to the poor. If you’re not sure who to contact, try VolunteerMatch.Org. If you can’t commit to a regular schedule, get involved in a one-time event like a walkathon. You can even give while doing the things you love to do– be creative. If you love to sew or knit, make a blanket and donate it. If you draw or paint, donate your work to an auction for charity. Giving blood and becoming an organ donor won’t cost you a cent. Also consider joining the National Marrow Donor Registry. If you are a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant, you can actually save a life.

Now more than ever, we need to take a step back from the stress of things that we can’t control, like the uncertainty of the upcoming election and the ups and downs of the stock market. We need to remind ourselves that there are plenty of things we can do to make a positive impact, in our own lives and the lives of others.

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In the spirit of giving, today I want to empower another person to give. I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate to Kiva, which will allow the winner to invest in a project of his or her choosing. To enter, just leave a comment on this post between now and 12:00pm EST on October 22nd. I’ll contact the winner by e-mail on October 23rd and send the gift certificate via e-mail.

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Edited to add: …. The Random Number Generator picked….. Susan! Your Kiva gift certificate is on its way!

October 15, 2008 at 10:22 am 7 comments

Austin City Limits Festival Wrap-Up

I spent last week in Austin, TX with a dear friend (hi, Tiffany!) and her husband. We had a great time at the Austin City Limits Festival (check out the lineup here) and were blessed with three clear days and temperatures in the low nineties that even this New Englander could tolerate. Most importantly, we took in some incredible shows. To spread the good word about some of the great bands we saw, here is a collection of some of the standout performances.

Fleet Foxes, White Winter Hymnal / Ragged Wood (Live at ACL 2008)

The Swell Season, When Your Mind’s Made Up (Live at ACL 2008)

Vampire Weekend, Cape Cod Kwassa (Live at ACL 2008)

Gogol Bordello, Not a Crime (Live at ACL 2008)

Jose Gonzalez, Heartbeats (Live at ACL 2008)

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Sausalito (Live at ACL 2008)

Jenny Lewis w/ M. Ward, Pretty Bird (Live at Zona Rosa aftershow, ACL 2008)

October 3, 2008 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment

Backpacks, Birthdays and Broadway!

I couldn’t resist adding this little backpack to the doll for our niece’s fourth birthday, also from a Wee Wonderfuls pattern. The backpack came together much easier than the jumper did. Now that I’ve done the tiny backpack, I think I’m ready for my first try at a tote or shoulder bag.

wee-backpack.jpg

For more about putting this doll together, check out my last post, this post, and the Wee Wonderfuls patterns.

We had a nice time at our niece’s bithday party yesterday. Lots of little ones running around, but the chaos was pretty contained (it helped that it only lasted two hours!) The kids had lots of crafty activities to do, including painting T-shirts, making picture frames, and decorating their own cupcakes. The birthday girl was very happy indeed.

In other news, this week I am getting psyched up for three events I’ve been looking forward to:

One, on Wednesday, a trip with my mom to NYC to see Cyrano de Bergerac! With Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner! We were nervous for a while that this trip wasn’t going to happen because of the stagehand strike, but the strike has been settled. Yay! I’m hoping we can also squeeze in some shopping (Kinokuniya?! Purl?! Muji?!) and a visit with a friend who lives in Manhattan.

Two, on Saturday, my husband’s band is playing at a children’s charity benefit. They play a little of everything, but mostly classic rock covers. Afterward, we’ll have a little get-together at our place.

Three, on Sunday, the Bazaar Bizarre in Boston! I’ve never been before, and I’m really looking forward to it. If you’re in the area, check out the website. There are also events coming up in LA, Cleveland, and San Francisco. (I also hope to make it to Craftland in Providence sometime before it ends on December 22nd, but I’m not sure when I’ll be able to squeeze it in!)

Lots of fun things to do and post about this week!

December 3, 2007 at 2:21 pm 4 comments


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