Try It Tuesday

Red heart in woman and man hands, on green background

 

Well, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone so you know what that means: today is #GivingTuesday! Don’t know where to start? Not to worry, I’ve found some amazing charities and foundations that make a difference in so many people’s lives!

 

Wreaths Across America 

wreaths-across-america

This organization is very near and dear to my heart. I have such a special place in my heart for veterans. We owe them SO MUCH. They deserve to be honored for their sacrifices. Each Christmas season, Wreaths Across America lays wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. For only $15, you can sponsor a wreath and honor our fallen heroes. My niece, Ellie, is a member of the American Heritage Girls. Every year, her troop raises money for wreaths and the girls also go to the cemetery to help place wreaths. My sister has said that it is such a beautiful experience for the girls as well as the adults. Click here to sponsor a wreath!

 

American Humane Association

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Even though we don’t have any animals at the Huffman Homestead (except for our fish, Darth) we still love our furry friends and want to see them thrive! The Humane Association does so much: from health care to rescue to preparing animals to be service pets, the list goes on and on! To give to a great cause, click here!

 

Operation Christmas Child

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I know I’ve talked about this charity before, but it bears repeating. This is one of my favorite charities to give to! Operation Christmas Child (also referred to as Operation Shoebox) gives presents to children all over the world who have little to nothing. Huff the Hubs and I fill shoeboxes every year and it is such a blessing! You may think filling a shoebox with simple items may not mean much, but take a look at this video and the excitement in the children’s eyes:

 

Habitat for Humanity

1692-habitat-for-humanity-webHabitat for Humanity is an awesome organization that does so much for low-income families everywhere! You can donate your time, funds, or resources to help this great cause! Click here to see how YOU can get involved!

 

There are so many charities out there that deserve our time, attention, and giving. Like this one, this one, and this one!

 

So try it! Get out there and give! What are some your favorite charities? Share in the comments below!

 

Writer Wednesday

Charitable-Contribution-Charities-efile.com

 

With Christmas coming up, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

 

Did I get everyone on my list something? Are the guest rooms ready? Did I remember to mail the Christmas cards?

 

Yes, it’s so much fun to dress up, be with family, and stuff ourselves silly. But let’s not forget those around us that are less fortunate. I’ve got a list of some awesome charities that you can get involved with this holiday season!

 

Operation Christmas Child

Try It Tuesday OCC-Logo-Banner

Operation Christmas Child—also known as Operation Shoebox—sends a shoebox full of goodies to children all over the world! They could end up in Africa, South America, Asia; anywhere! Huff the Hubs and I really enjoy doing this! Its so much fun to go shopping for a little one and knowing you’ll get to brighten up their Christmas!

 

Angel Tree

Try It Tuesday AngelTree_copy

The Angel Tree program is a great one that my family has been doing for years. This charity focuses on the children of incarcerated parents. The parents fill out the Angel decals with their children’s names and what they’d like for Christmas. Then, you pick up a decal from a pick-up spot (normally a church or mall), shop for your kiddo, bring the presents back (wrapped), and the kids get gifts from their parents for Christmas!

 

Toys For Tots

Toys for Tots

Operated by the Marines, TfT focuses on helping children have the best Christmas they can, despite financial setbacks. There are so many drop-off locations throughout the nation that you can bring a new, unwrapped toy!

 

My Two Front Teeth

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According to their website, My Two Front Teeth’s vision is: “to reduce the pain of poverty and help strengthen the bonds of society by bringing simplicity, efficiency, and personalization to the charitable gift-giving process, encouraging everyone to experience the incredible power and joy of giving.”

 

Another way to help those in need is to simply pack a bag for the homeless. Keep it with you in your car and hand it to someone you see while you’re out and about. If you need some tips on what the homeless actually need, here’s a great site with some helpful tips!

 

Have you ever worked with any of these charities? Are there charities not on my list that you’ve worked with before? Share in the comments below!

Fan Girl Friday

Iiiiiiittttssssss Friday!

And I have scoured the globe (and by globe, I mean internet) and collected the most interesting and intriguing dorky delights to start your weekend off with a bang!

 

The Lego Movie comes out on DVD Tuesday, June 17th! After you head to the store to pick up your copy, pack a lunch in this bad boy and have a movie picnic date with your sweetie!

"Every lunch is awesome!"

“Every lunch is awesome!”

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I am seriously jonesing for some Walking Dead. I’m super sad that we have to wait almost 4 months for it to come back on! And I’m a little terrified that some of my favorite characters may get the Game of Thrones treatment this season. I think I might send a picture of me drinking out of this mug to the producers, just to let them know I mean business.

daryl dies mug

Seriously.

 

Speaking of GoT, George R. R. Martin has an interesting proposal for you. He is currently raising money for two of his favorite charities, The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot, and has made it enticing for YOU to help out!

"Donate or Tyrion gets it."

“Donate or Tyrion gets it.”

If you donate, you are entered to win a bevvy of prizes! Including a helicopter ride with the author at the wolf sanctuary! Give what you can–every bit helps!

 

A few months ago, Huff the Hubs and I were talking about what else–Legos–and discussing how excited we were for Hermione to be old enough to play with them. Then I said, “I wish I could work on the development team….They should make a famous female scientist set of Legos.” So while I was perusing Pinterest the other day, guess what I found? THAT’S RIGHT! My idea! Well, sort of.

"Science girls are awesome!"

“Science girls are awesome!”

Lego will be releasing three different sets of female scientists–an astronomer, a paleontologist, and a chemist–this August! I am so. freaking. excited.

 

And finally, hungry for more Star Wars: Episode VII news? JJ Abrams, that sneaky little sneak, has been posting set pictures on his Twitter account, debunking rumors about a certain ship.

"You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?"

“You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?”

I ain’t buying it, JJ.

 

Think of Your Fellow Man, Lend Him a Helping Hand…

Thanksgiving is in three days, y’all. I can already smell the turkey and feel the blost of a full belly. We have so much to be thankful for! I know I do! I’ve got a great family, friends, and a great job. Unfortunately, not everyone can say the same.

 

With the recession, healthcare costs coming out of the wazoo, and many people facing unemployment, not everyone is in for a happy holiday season. But, thankfully, there are many great programs out there for you to show some love to your fellow man!

 

Food Bank

0804 CFS Food Finders

Just about every state has a Food Bank that its residents can go to and donate food and other items. Many Food Banks will also let you donate monetarily right on their website!

 

Angel Tree

angel tree

Project Angel Tree is a great organization that helps the children of incarcerated parents get the Christmas they deserve. Typically, these programs are run through a church, but some shopping malls also have an Angel Tree set up so you can pick a child’s name off its branches and help make a child’s Christmas great!

 

 

Toys for Tots

toys for tots

The U.S. Marine Corps started Toys for Tots back in 1948 when a corporal’s wife wanted to donate Raggedy Ann dolls to needy kids but couldn’t find an organization to do so. Over its life span, Toys for Tots has given over 469 million toys to more than 216 million less fortunate children!

 

 

Operation Christmas Child

OCC Haiti

This is another awesome charity. Run by Samaritan’s Purse (a great organization that helped Oklahomans out A LOT after the tornadoes this year) this yearly drive is geared toward helping children in third-world/developing countries. All you do is pack a shoebox full of toys, school supplies, hygeiene items, and other necessities that will help a child in need. This year, they’re partnering with America’s favorite rednecks: the folks from Duck Dynasty!

 

Make a Difference

Because I don’t have cable, I have a few choices on how to not go crazy, working from home. I can either sit in silence, re-watch Friends for the 8th time this year, or suffer through daytime television.

Today, I opted for daytime television. And I’m glad I did.

Normally, I hate TV shows that are “doctors” giving “medical” advice. Whenever I see them, the first thing I think is: “Okay, and how much money are you being paid to endorse this product?”

However today, I was actually impressed by a segment done on The Doctors.

They were talking to philanthropist Lorna Macleod. Macleod lived and worked for many years at the leading luxury safari and travel brokers in Africa. While in Africa, she became involved in many non-profit organizations. This is when she learned that 868,000 Kenyan girls miss nearly a week of school each month because they can’t afford to buy sanitary pads. Something so simple to us women here in America, but in Kenya; It’s a luxury these girls simply cannot afford.

Sadly, when these girls get their periods every month, they have to stay home because if they go to school without the proper sanitary items, they soil their clothing (which they don’t have a lot of either). However when the girls stay home, they miss school. When they miss school, they fall behind. When they fall behind, it’s difficult to catch up, meaning they may be forced to drop out.

In some cases, many girls so desperately want to be able to go to school, that they prostitute themselves out so they can afford cotton for sanitary napkins. If they choose not to, they are forced to use dangerous methods of protecting their clothes. These methods can cause damage to the girls’ bodies, and in some cases proves fatal.

This did not sit well with Macleod. Through a grant from Johnson & Johnson, Macleod was able to start a non-profit organization called Huru (Swahili for “freedom”).

Huru

Huru provides eco-friendly, reusable sanitary napkin kits to girls in Kenya. The kits are locally and sustainably produced, giving women (and men) in Kenya jobs that help to support their families.

Each Huru Kit comes packaged in a drawstring bag that doubles as a backpack, and includes:

  • Eight reusable sanitary pads
  • Three pairs of underwear
  • Soap to wash the sanitary pads
  • Waterproof bag to safely store used sanitary pads
  • Educational insert proper sanitary pad usage
  • Life-saving HIV/AIDS prevention information

I highly encourage you to check out Huru’s website. I know times are tough and, after what we’ve seen happen here in Oklahoma, some may be thinking: “If I’m going to donate its going to my people, here, in Oklahoma.”

Which, I get that. But just remember: people from all over the nation (and the world) have sent donations to our friends and neighbors here in Moore (and Shawnee, El Reno, and Oklahoma City). So maybe if you can’t donate today, you can help out later down the road. We all need a little help sometimes.