Tag Archive: charity

Giving Tuesday #unselfie

Well we certainly hear a lot about Black Friday, Black Weekend, Cyber Weekend, Cyber Monday, Cyber Week, etc. but we don’t hear much about ‘Giving Tuesday’. Did you know the day after Cyber Monday (today) is called Giving Tuesday? The idea is that instead of just being a consumer like you probably were over the weekend, you give back a little.

You may also notice that my title had the hashtag #unselfie. Well, since ‘selfie’ was the word of the year (puke), someone had the brilliant idea to make today about ‘unselfies’. In other words, your face is covered up with a message about your giving on this day.

photo (15)

Let’s help this great idea spread. Post a picture of yourself on social media with the cause you are supporting today with the hashtag #unselfie (tag me too because I would love to see all of your pictures).

If you need help figuring out who or what to support on this day, below are some ideas. Yay!

http://www.stbaldricks.org/participants/mypage/659705/2014 (this is my st. baldricks page)

Arms Around Adele (a close friend’s page who is raising money for their little princess with cystic fibrosis)

Project Chinelas (a friend’s non-profit that provides sandals for children in the Philippines)

Northern Illinois Foodbank (feed your neighbors)

091Last week I posted a blog entitled Listen up B*tches. In the post I expressed some frustrations about selfishness and poked fun at things like selfies and our warped priorities. At the end of the post I said “I feel like I need to do something big”. Well, this post is about my something big. But first, I’m going to talk about myself for a minute. 🙂

Confession 1: I am a little vain. Okay, ‘little’ was thrown in there to make me feel better about myself. Let me try again… I am vain. I take my appearance seriously and I put a lot of value in how attractive I am on any particular day. That is very embarrassing to admit, but I believe I am not alone here. I wish we lived in a world where people were valued more by the content of their character, but alas, we do not.

Confession 2: I have had an easy life. I had the typical suburban middle class upbringing in a safe area with good schools. My old college boyfriend joked that I grew up in Candyland. “Everyone drives an SUV in Candyland” “No one locks their doors in Candyland”. You get the picture. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we were fine. We were healthy, got good grades, student council, sports, etc. With the exception of losing a close friend, I have never had to deal with a tragedy or overcome anything. My life has been cake.

Confession 3: I am super emotional. I am completely incapable of seeing sad or sentimental things. You know that cheerios commercial where the little girl is sitting with her mom and talking about how their dead grandma used to eat cheerios with the mom when she was little and then the girl is like ‘so it’s kind of like we are eating breakfast with Nana’. A normal reaction to that would be ‘awwwwe’. An emotional reaction would be to tear up a little. What do I do? Sob like a maniac. The other day I was fast-forwarding thru that comercial and it STILL made me cry because I knew what it was about. Oh, and by the way, my grandma is still alive! I can’t even relate and I’m doing the ugly cry. I have problems.

A couple weeks ago, a friend on facebook posted this video (WATCH IT!) and I was hysterical. I mean ‘snot-running-down-your-face-weeping’. It is a beautiful video about the brave and happy and hopeful side of a children’s cancer wing in a hospital made by one of the nurses. And I couldn’t shake it. These poor children with cancer are living a life that I can’t even pretend to understand. I have two healthy, beautiful children. They are healthy because of nothing I have done personally. They are healthy because we got lucky. Simple as that. It doesn’t seem fair. So… I had a mini-quarter-life-crisis. What am I doing with this 1 life? What can I do that will help others? What is my legacy if I die tomorrow? What does the fox say? After processing this information and crying for maybe 87 hours, I made a decision.

I am going to shave my head for cancer!

That is right, Mrs. Vanity Magee, is going to be bald. I literally just signed up for St. Baldricks. March 1st, Brat Stop, BUZZZZZZZZZZ. (I want to throw up. No turning back. Christ.)

I know I am going to be asked about a million times between now and then ‘why’. Well, here is my short answer: Because it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and what does it say about my life if a haircut is the hardest thing I have ever had to do?

roald dahl quote

So, here’s is where you all come in. I am going to need a lot of support and I’m asking for your help. If I am going to do this, I would like to make it worth it! I want to raise A LOT of money. Like- break records kind of money. Here is the link to my donation page. Any and all donations are welcome. If you can only afford $5 I’ll take it. If you can’t afford $5, share this with your friends and maybe one of them has some extra cash laying around. I would also love to have all of you there at the brat stop on March 1st. More details on that to come.

I will be using this blog and facebook to solicit support in many different ways- not just to ask for money. I will also be blogging and discussing the experience. Time to put my money where my mouth is. Please stay tuned and please let me know if you have any clever ideas for fundraising.

Listen up b*tches

photo (13)Okay, I got your attention. I don’t really think you’re all b*tches…. But, I am about at my selfishness, non-sense, unaware of the world around you, entitled attitude limit for the year. I think I might lose my mind. This is like a diary entry I am sharing with the world because these thoughts have been consuming candysbrain for a long time now.

Have you noticed how the world seems to be spiraling out of control? The planet is dying, the people on the planet are starving or killing themselves or eachother, no one seems to give a shit about any of it, and we just keep buying the latest crap. One of the most hilarious headlines I’ve seen recently (I believe it was The Onion) was talking about some new cell phone that came in different designs/colors, etc. and they joked about ‘which color best represents my desperate need for attention?’. Nailed it.

“This sparkly pink cover will really pop in my next selfie!”

The point of this post is simply to say that we should focus a little less on ourselves and a little more on the rest of the world. A little less instagraming our dinner and a little more feeding the hungry. A little less talking and a little more listening and learning and reading. A little less sharing of opinions and a little more sharing of resources. Living in a society takes sacrifices; it always has. Sometimes you have a little more and so you give a little more. But it’s not about what you give or how much you give, it’s that you have the awareness to know that there are people out there besides yourself that could use a break. You know that you are not fundamentally better than they are. You know that some day you might need a hand and hope that someone will be there for you. You know that you are not kind to others because it gets you into heaven, but because it makes you feel good in your heart and soul to help another human being (or animal for that matter).

There is so much misdirected anger at the strangest things. People are angry because they have to press ONE button for English. One GD button! Talk about first world problems. People are angry at poor people. People are angry because a tiny portion of their income goes to making sure poor kids get at least 1 meal a day and the most basic health care.

This matters. Anger and hate and violence are contagious and I fear it is spreading through our world. Anger turns to hate which turns to violence and the tiniest little thing matters. But, the good news is- so is love and giving and sharing and compassion. The best way to ‘fight’ the hate in the world is to love more and bigger than ever before.

When is the last time you truly did something for someone else? Not your family. Not for your kids. But for a stranger, or a neighbor, or a charity? This is not asked to shame you. This is asked to hopefully inspire you. This is asked to be a wake-up call for those that need it.

I have been thinking about my own selfishness lately. Once you learn to recognize the behavior it is very easy to notice it, even when others don’t. I think we are all a little selfish and I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. I just know how lucky I am and have always been. I have never really had to ‘want’ for anything that I needed. So, how do I remain a happy modern women who appreciates nice things, and yet consistently think of others and help those that need help. I think it’s about finding the balance between giving so much you lose your identity and it’s to your own detriment vs. thinking only of yourself and being a detriment to society.

I feel like I need to do something big. Start a revolution or something. I don’t know what that looks like and who knows if anything I say will ever make a difference, but I want to try. Stay tuned because it’s coming.

In the meantime, I am curious…. What do you do to give back to your community? How do you teach this next ‘entitled’ generation what is really important? What types of conversations do you have with your kids so they know what kind of need is really out there? My daughter is too young, but my son is five. I want to start now so that he accepts this giving/caring/sacrificing as a part of his life. Any/all comments welcome.

Party with a Purpose

me and foodAlmost a year ago I had an idea to throw a party and the theme would be that we would some-how give back during the party. In other words, my friends and I would get together and a choose a charity or a cause and support it while we ate, drank, and got merry. Well, it is funny how quickly 1 month turns into 12 months without following thru….

Friday night my delightful sister-in-law hosted a girls night in at her house. She provided food and too many drinks. The only catch was that everyone who came was asked to bring some non-perishable food items for the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The boxes and bags piled up quickly! No one broke their bank, and we still managed to collect a decent amount of food to be donated. It was just how I imagined it.

food drive

We all get together with our friends, we all go to parties, we all host parties- why not turn them into a party with a purpose? One of the things I hope I never forget is that I am blessed. I grew up and had a lot of advantages. We were by no-means rich, but I lived in the suburbs and went to a great school and was far-removed from any danger or real risk. I always knew I would go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, etc. It is EASY to take all of this for granted. So many people are just trying to make it thru high school. So many kids are going to school hungry. So many people are out of work. So many people need a little bit of help.

There are lot of ways you can do your own party-with-a-purpose:

-Have a food drive like I mentioned above
-Have a birthday party but instead of bringing gifts for you, everyone brings a book to donate to a school in need
-Have a party and instead of bringing a dish to pass or a bottle of wine, everyone brings a donation for a charity (save a pet, food banks, cancer society, etc.)
-Have a girls night in and everyone brings 2 pairs of shoes to donate to the women’s shelter
-Have a block party where everyone in the neighborhood comes with an item to donate to the homeless shelters (they always need socks, underwear, tooth paste, deodorant, feminine products, etc.)
-Have a party where you play a bunch of games and do raffles where half of the money goes to a charity (50/50 raffle, bean-bag tourney, flippy-cup, poker, etc.)

Be creative. There are literally hundreds of ways to get involved!

***Did you know that summer is the time of the year when the hunger problem is the worst? Normally, low-income children can get a meal or two at school thru the various programs available. In the summer, when kids don’t have that opportunity, they are often hungry. It is very sad and very scary. Regardless of your politics, kids should not suffer. There are a ton of great organizations that help feed our most vulnerable. Do a little research in your area and see how you can help. Cereal and Peanut Butter are very hot-commodities that they always need.

Here are a few organizations worth donating to:

http://www.bbbs.org (matches at-risk youth with mentors, graduates 100% of participants, A+ rated, award winning charity)
http://www.solvehungertoday.org (feeds northern Illinois, has great ‘buying power’ and can provide 6 meals for every dollar donated)
http://www.hfa.org (promotes humane farming, very important to me)
http://www.projectchinelas.com (donates shoes to kids in the Philippines, a friend from high school started this organization)

There are so many out there, and so much good to be done. Be kind.

This is my version of giving back this week for my 30 Day Challenge.http://wp.me/p2kXHK-6C  As a blogger, I am always trying to find ways to get people to read my posts and to get new readers. I have some good friends that have shared my work for me. I thought I would pay it forward and recommend some people that I think are very talented. These are all kinds of different people with different talents and businesses. Please take a minute to read this and see if you are in need of any of these services. Many of them are in the chicago land area, but not all, so even if you’re not local- check it out. Thanks!

Project Chinelas: My friend from high school Archie Reyes started his own non-for-profit that provides sandals to underserved populations in the Philippines. These shoes are not just something to wear. To these people their shoes are a form of transportation, health care (disease prevention) and a vehicle for education. Every $1 = 1 pair of shoes. There is no excuse not to donate. $5 can provide shoes for 5 people! Please go to this site! www.projectchinelas.com

Aesthetician extraordinaire: My friend Megan is wonderful and beautiful and friendly. She works at Mario Tricoci in Libertyville. Her work name is EMME and she can handle all of your waxing and facial needs. She is really THAT good (even though she makes fun of me for being wimpy). (847)202-1900 and ask for Emme (said ‘M’)

Klutter King: My friend Justin started a business that will come into your home (or where ever you keep your clutter), he will help you organize and get rid of whatever you don’t want or need (haul or sell, etc.). It’s a really good idea and we all have too much junk. www.klutterkingil.com

Alden’s Piano Company: My friend Nate’s family has a business that handles all things –Piano. Tuning, Moving, Renting, etc. The are the best! www.chicagopianorental.com

Kate Bogot: We got our pictures taken by this talented woman 2 years ago and are over-due to get them done again. She is amazing, just check out her website. She is talented and original and I think everyone should use her. www.katebogot.com

Jay cakes: There is a lady named Jackie who makes ridiculously good cupcakes called jaycakes. She has all kinds of different flavors. Check out the site and try not to drool on your computer. www.jaycakes.com

Party Lite: Most of you are probably familiar with partylite. They have the best candles and house decorations in the world. My neighbor is a sweet wonderful woman who sells this stuff. The beer bread and pumpkin bread alone are worth going to her site. www.partylite.biz/beckyrand


I think that is everyone for now. I may do this again in the future, so if I forgot you sorry- I’ll remember next time.