Help make wishes come true with Macy’s Wish Writer Stylus and Believe campaign



Did you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® this past week? My family did. We never miss it. We watch it from start to finish. I have to admit that when Santa comes riding his giant sled I tend to get misty-eyed. The moment I see him I am instantly transformed back into a little child and thinking Santa is real. I do believe. OK… maybe I don’t believe in a cute, chubby old man in a red suit that flies around the world one night a year delivering toys to children – but I DO believe in the magic and wonder of the holiday season.

During the parade a commercial aired that was a wee bit longer than a regular commercial. It was actually part of a larger mini-movie put out by Macy’s. The commercial/mini-movie is known as “The Wish Writer.” The short film shares the heartwarming story of the gift of generosity.

The film follows a young girl and her brother as they discover the power of kindness and generosity using the help of a magic pencil known as the Wish Writer.

The young girl tries to use the Wish Writer to wish for something for herself, but discovers that those wishes disappear. Then she writes wishes for other people, and those wishes come true.

Wish Writer

It’s a heart warming mini-film. If you haven’t seen it yet you can view it here – Macys.com/Believe.

This film is part of Macy’s annual Believe campaign inspired by the TRUE story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897 asking if there really was a Santa Claus. The paper’s response, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist …,” written by Francis P. Church, became one of the most famous newspaper editorials of all time.

To date Macy’s has raised $90 million for Make-A-Wish, with $10.8 million donated over the last seven years through the iconic letter writing campaign during the holiday season.

“We’re proud to partner with Make-A-Wish for the eighth annual Believe campaign, which continues to be one of our most beloved programs of the year,” said Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer for Macy’s. “After many months of development, we’re excited to launch Macy’s Wish Writer as a fun, new element of this year’s campaign, which will benefit Make-A-Wish and teach children how acts of kindness can spread holiday spirit this season.”

Up until December 24, 2015, customers can visit their local Macy’s store and drop off a stamped letter address to “Santa into their big, red letterboxes. For each letter collected in stores, online (Macys.com/Believe) or through their mobil app, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

This year Macy’s has introduced something new to the Believe campaign – the Macy’s Wish Writer.


The Wish Writer is an interactive stylus and app, featuring a series of fun games to teach children about the importance of kindness and generosity, while also providing a way to write the most magical letters to Santa. Dr. Steven Fox, a leading child psychologist and expert in play therapy and gaming, served as a consultant during the Wish Writer development to help create a motivating, relevant and positive game for children. The Wish Writer experience is designed to encourage a sense of adventure and exploration, while enhancing children’s altruism and compassion toward others.

I was sent one of the Wish Writers to check out for myself. It’s a beautifully made stylus that can easily become a part of every holiday season. The Wish Writer can also be enjoyed year round. It even lights up when pressed on a surface such as a tablet or smartphone.

The Wish Writer has an accompanying app that is compatible with both Apple and Android devices. I would recommend using a tablet to enhance the experience. The app is free with the stylus purchase.

You can download the app on iTunes or Google Play. You can download a free version of the app (without purchasing the stylus) for limited play. The full version (free with stylus purchase) is available for $1.99. One dollar from each app purchase will be donated to Make-A-Wish.

Children can also write letters to Santa via the app and Wish Writer stylus. For every letter sent, $1.00 will be donated to Make-a-Wish as part of Macy’s $1 million goal. In addition, $1.00 from the purchase of the Wish Writer will also go towards Make-a-Wish.

The Wish Writer stylus is available at Macy’s stores across the country, as well as online.

Check out this video that shows you all the fun things you can do with the Wish Writer.


The Wish Writer would make a delightful gift and fun stocking stuffer – although I would recommend giving it to your child/grandchild before Christmas so that they can enjoy the games and be able to send a letter to Santa before Christmas.

Not only are the games fun and entertaining, this is a great way to teach children about kindness and generosity and giving to others. I think it’s a wonderful idea and I applaud Macy’s for coming up with such an ingenious to teach children about the true meaning of the season (doing good for others).

In case you were wondering about the “Yes, Virginia” animated television special, it will air on ABC on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 8:30 PM (EST) / 7:30 PM (CST). Please check your local listings.

The award-winning, half-hour holiday program features an all-star roster including Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alfred Molina, and Beatrice Miller in the title role. When the animated special first debuted, a wish came true for 11-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient Taylor Hay, whose voice and likeness were captured for one of the film’s characters.

What do you think about the Wish Writer? Do you think it’s a fabulous idea? What about the whole Macy’s Believe campaign as a whole? Has your child ever deposited a Santa letter into one of Macy’s big, red letter boxes?

To find a Macy’s location near you please visit Macys.com. You can also connect with them on social media (all of their links are found on the bottom right of their website).

macys logo


*I received a free stylus in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted and not influenced in any way. 

Related Posts:

Give a Bears for Humanity Teddy for Christmas – the Gift That Gives Twice!


close up of woman in sweater with christmas ball

It’s the holiday season – time for good will towards others, finding the perfect gift for that special someone and enjoying quality time with family and friends.

I love that people are more charitable this time of year. I only wish that the good will towards others extended well past the holiday season – even better – year round.

We do what we can throughout the year when it comes to making charitable donations. We donate food (both food for people and food to our local animal shelter), cash and products. When the holiday season swings around my family and I increase our efforts to do good for others. We donate more food and buy gifts for children.

Two years ago my family and I were visiting a local plant nursery, checking out their holiday decorations (they have a section that sells holiday decor). The nursery also sold real Christmas trees. That year we paid for a Christmas tree and told the young lady at checkout that the next person who comes in to purchase a Christmas tree, use the money we gave them to pay for it.

As luck would have it the next family came in shortly after we left. We were able to see them at the cash register from our car through the windows. As we were pulling away the man came running out into the parking lot, waving at us with a huge smile on his face.

We live in an affluent area, but there are plenty of people who struggle to get by. We’d like to hope that the family that benefited from the tree we purchase needed a little holiday magic.

Outdoor Family Choosing Christmas Tree Together

We meant to do that again last year but we couldn’t afford it. This year we’re a little better off so we plan on doing that again.

What if there was a way you could purchase a holiday gift for someone on your shopping list and give to charity at the same time? It would be a win-win situation all around.

When you purchase a teddy bear from Bears For Humanity™, not only do you (or the gift recipient) receive a beautifully made teddy bear, the purchase also instantly doubles as a gift for a child in need.

When you purchase from Bears for Humanity you can select from one of the listed charities for your donation bear to be delivered to. The donated bears are personally delivered to a needy veteran’s house, a children’s hospital or an underprivileged household.

What a wonderful idea! I wish more companies would consider doing something like this. As a person with a big heart who believes in supporting charities, I would purchase from companies that did something like this over a company that doesn’t.


Currently the charities benefiting from the donated bears are;

The bears come in two different sizes and several colors.

The 16″ Premium Bear is $39.99 and the 7″ Baby Bear is $19.99. They come in colors such as white, light brown, dark brown, blue and pink.

Check out this brief video that explains more about Bears for Humanity.

About 10 years ago I helped out a young lady with her Gold Eagle project for Girl Scouts. It was called The Bear Fair. Funds collected from the event were used to purchase teddy bears to donate to local rescue organizations (Police Department, Fire Department and Ambulance companies).

When a child is scared they need something to provide them with comfort. That is what the Teddy Bears that were donated were used for. They were given to children involved in car accidents, house fires and other tragic situations.

I truly believe that a teddy bear can provide comfort for both young and old alike.

I have teddy bears. In fact, I sleep with one of them at night on occasion. If I have been having an especially stressful day I find that snuggling with “Mr. Bear” (which is what I call him) makes me feel a lot better.

All of the charities that Bears for Humanity work with work with children, adults and families in need. I am proud to support such wonderful charities. I have linked to each of them (above) so that you can learn more about them. Toys for Tots is one that we donate toys to every holiday season.

The bears sold at Bears for Humanity are not just ordinary bears. Bears for Humanity are made with only 100% Certified Organic Cotton/ Hemp. Plus, they are naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic which gives parents the peace of mind they don’t get from polyester plush toys.

Baby Bears

Large Bears

The bears are made here in the United States through CalWorks. CalWorks provides jobs to at-risk mothers, fathers and caregivers.

Even toy industry experts have also taken notice of this new company. Dr. Toy was first to award Bears for Humanity the Green Toy Company award followed by National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, Playonwords.com PAL
Award, Able Play Seal of Approval and most recently, Mom’s Choice Award—GOLD seal of approval.

The Parents’ Choice Foundation also awarded the company their Gold Award.

The Choice Foundation said, “Among the ways we learn is through imitation and practice – of tasks, process and behavior. Be it the importance of reading, or teaching children empathy and responsibility, parents set the stage. But busy lives can interfere; giving to and helping others takes time, thought and understanding. Making a contribution with a positive impact, even in its smallest form, feels good. Doing it again feels better.

Creating a pattern becomes habit and habits create change. Enter Bears for Humanity. From the materials sourced to the workforce employed, to the carefully screened “Buy One, Give One” program, this company is as much a teacher as it is a manufacturer. These lessons of philosophy and business practice are worth patterning and passing along.

My Sammi Bear

My Sammie Bear

When giving a bear to a child, be sure to share the bear’s story. Present it as an age appropriate introduction to empathy and responsibility: getting a hug feels great; giving one feels pretty good too. And by the way, “hugs” can take many forms.”

The Premium Bears have jointed limbs, making them a great addition for any childhood adventure or tea party.

Currently the available bears are;

  • Sammie—iconic beige
  • Sassie—pink
  • Snowie—white
  • Snugglie—chocolate brown
  • Sweetie—blue

Bears for Humanity

The company also makes the non-jointed 7” baby bears (mentioned above) and assortment of accessories for the Premium Bears.

I was sent one of the bears to review. I chose Sammie, the classic iconic beige bear.

I love that his arms and legs move. It’s not often that you come across a bear with movable limbs. You can position him (or her if you choose to make it a girl) sitting down, standing up and a variety of other positions.

This is a quality bear. You can tell from the very first time you hold it in you hands. You can tell that this bear was made with love and attention to detail. I don’t see any lose strings, holes or shedding.

These are not the type of bear you put on a shelf and just look at it (unless you want to). These bears were made to be played with, snuggled with an fully enjoyed.

My review bear also included the opportunity for me to donate the same bear. I chose Toys for Tots.

Teddy bears are not just for children. I’m an adult and I love teddy bears very much (most plush toys – I have a collection of them).

If you are looking for a special gift for the holiday season (or year round), I hope you’ll consider Bears for Humanity. These would also make great gifts for baby showers, new parents, birthday’s and more.

Be sure to let the gift recipient know that another bear will be donated to the charity of your choice.

For more information please visit BearsforHumanity.com. Look for the brand on social media too.



*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Gifts for the whole family for $5.00 from Kohl’s Cares



If you follow my blog on a regular basis you probably have read some of my posts about the Kohl’s Cares program.

Kohl’s Cares sells books, toys and other items through out the year that benefit the Kohl’s Cares program. New products are introduced throughout the year and are available for a limited time both in stores and online at Kohls.com.

Pproceeds from the sale of products in the Kohl’s Care collection goes towards children’s charities. Kohl’s Cares donates 100% of the net profit to Kohl’s Cares charities that support kid’s health and education programs nationwide. Since 2000 Kohl’s Cares has raised and impressive $257 million dollars.

Now is a great time to shop for Kohl’s Cares products. Not only can you get wonderful gifts for $5.00, you can also feel good knowing that the proceeds are going towards children’s charities. After all, the holiday season is about good will towards others. What a better way than to purchase wonderful gifts for those on your holiday shopping list AND help out children’s charities at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.


Currently Kohl’s Care is offering adorable, soft and snugly plush animals and matching books by Nancy Tillman. The stories are charming and the illustrations are beautiful.

I LOVE the book/plush combinations that Kohl’s Cares puts out year round. I have many “sets” in my family’s library collection. I like to display the book and plush together on the bookshelf. I rotate them every few months.

I’m just a bit kid at heart and I love displaying charming things around my home. I am also making a nice collection of children’s books for my future grandchildren. I’m looking forward to reading them the books while they cuddle with their furry friend.


The current available book titles are;

  • You’re Here for a Reason
  • On the Night You Were Born
  • Where Ever You Are My Love Will Find You
  • I’d Know You Anywhere My Love

The books are truly beautiful and each one expresses love in its purest form. I enjoyed reading each and every one of them.

The matching plush animals are adorable. The Panda is especially fuzzy. Every time I pick it up I utter the words “It’s so fluffy!,” just like Agnes did in the film Despicable Me.


Each item is only $5.00 (a book/plush combo will cost you $10.00). Where else can you get a beautiful hardcover book AND a quality made plush toy for $10.00? Most hardcover books will cost you that amount, and the plus animals would sell for MORE in other stores.

These “sets” would make for great holiday gifts as well as “grab bag” gifts for school. You can also buy them as sets or individually and donate to a local children’s charity such as Toys for Tots to give to underprivileged children and families in need. Not only will you be promoting literacy, you’ll also be provide a child in need with a new “friend” which will provide comfort and joy.



color me Christmas

Another fun children’s product from the current line of Kohl’s Cares products are Color Me Christmas Cards. Your child can color and decorate their own holiday cares and write their own personal messages inside. The set comes with 20 cards to color, envelopes and three markers. You can also color the cards with colored pencils. The lines are very thin, so crayons might now work as well.

Kohl’s Cares always has products from grown ups too. This time they are offering a holiday music CD by Blake Sheldon – Blake Sheldon Christmas. The holiday CD features the following songs;

  • Jingle Bell Rock – featuring Miranda Lambert
  • Oklahoma Christmas- featuring Reba
  • There’s a New Kid in Town- featuring Kelly Clarkson
  • Home featuring Michael Bublé
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Silent Night- featuring Sheryl Crow
  • The Christmas Song
  • Blue Christmas- featuring Pistol Annies
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  • Silver Bells- featuring Xenia


I’m not a fan of country music, but I do enjoy this CD. I especially like the duets with Kelly Clarkson and Michael Bublé.

Kohl’s Cares is also offering a holiday book called Holiday Delights featuring recipes, crafts and gift ideas from Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Country Living. Not only would this make a great gift it would also be nice for you to buy for yourself to help you with yummy recipes for your holiday meals and gifts you can make for family and friends.

The holiday book, Christmas CD and Christmas cards are also only $5.00 each and all the proceeds goes to the Kohl’s Cares program.

For more information or to find a Kohl’s location near you visit www.Kohls.com. You can also find Kohl’s on the various social media sites (all the links are found on the bottom of their website).

Have you ever purchased Kohl’s Cares products? What do you think about the new collection? Feel free to share your thoughts.



*I received some of the products free in order to do this review. The remaining products I purchased myself on my own. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Related Posts:

Support Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Breast Cancer Research with TracFone


I am participating in a VIN campaign for TracFone. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with TracFone and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Most people are well aware that October is officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I consider myself very blessed only to know one person personally who had breast cancer. When you think of the staggering statistics about this type of cancer, it’s amazing that I’ve only known one person. Believe it or not that person was my own grandfather. That’s right – men can get breast cancer too.

Back in the early 80’s it was discovered that my grandfather had a tumor in his left breast. A biopsy confirmed it was malignant and he had to have his entire left breast removed.

I’m assuming such an operation on a man is a lot different than a woman. He was left with a huge scar across his chest. He looked a bit lopsided too but a breast implant wouldn’t have worked in his case.

If the man in your life discovers any bumps or lumps in his breast area he should get it checked out. Don’t let him think that breast cancer can’t happen to men – because it does!

I like how to help raise awareness and funds for research, many companies offer pink products where a percentage of the sale goes towards breast cancer research.

TracFone, one of America’s leading no-contract cell phone service providers, has a lovely pink phone which is available at Dollar General stores and online nationwide in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. The phone is available for $9.00 at Dollar General (yes, you read that correctly – $9!) and airtime service plan is required for activation. TracFone is donating 10% of the sale of the special Pink LG306 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s important breast cancer research.

TracFone Pink LG306

For the past six years, TracFone has shown it’s commitment to this important cause. They will give the foundation a minimum guaranteed donation of $25,000.

Our kids used to have TracFones phones years ago. It was their first phones. We loved that there was no contract involved, especially because they were children. We also loved that we could buy plans that were suitable for our kids. For example, our daughter is older and she discovered texting first so we needed a bigger plan for her that included texting. Our son only used his phone for emergencies for the most part.

We never had a problem with TracFone as far as their service was concerned. They have nationwide coverage and a dependable service.

To be honest, I don’t use my phone often and my husband and I both consider going to a TracFone when our current contract expires. We’re tired of paying a huge bill. We would rather have something more customized to us. Plus there are no activation or cancellation fees, and we can change our plans according to our individual needs and not get stuck in a plan that clearly doesn’t suit our needs.

They even have Data-only Cards and Text-only cards.

In addition to being a no-contract phone service provide, TracFone also offers Unlimited Carryover®, allowing customers to keep unused minutes, text and data as long as the cell phone service is active and in use within any six month period. I love this because there is nothing worse that unused minutes going to waste.

If you are interested in purchasing the Pink LG306 TracFone visit your local Dollar General store or check them out online. There is a store locator on their website – DollarGeneral.com.


For more information about TracFone Wireless please visit TracFone.com. You can also check out TracFone on social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and they even have their own blog.

Check out the hashtag #CallitPink to see what others are saying about TracFone’s Pink LG306 and/or their commitment to breast cancer awareness and research.

What do you think about the TracFone Pink LG306 phone?

Are you familiar with TracFone? Have you ever used their service?

Have you personally been touched by breast cancer?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.



“I am participating in a VIN campaign for TracFone. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with TracFone and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.”

Related Posts:

Head back to school with supplies from PBS KIDS


PBS KIDS School Supplies

Have you finished all of your back to school shopping yet? Do you still have supplies that you need to pick up?

We’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to wait until the first few days of school before picking up school supplies – unless you have a specific list. As children get older teachers are less inclined to send out supply lists. You are pretty much left to guess what your child might need.

Over the years we have over estimated supplies that our kids need. As a result we created a stock pile of supplies that we would draw upon throughout the school year whenever needed. This year we barely had to buy a thing because we had most of the stuff my kids needed for school.

If you find that you are still in need of more supplies, or would like to stock up on supplies so that you don’t run out of things you might need, you might want to check out the new PBS KIDS school supplies that are currently available at Whole Foods Markets across the country.

I WISH we had a Whole Foods Market locally. Sadly our nearest one is too far of a drive for me to visit.

The new line of school products from PBS KIDS are made with our planet in mind. Notebooks are made from recycled paper, organic cotton was used to make their backpacks and they have reusable lunch totes.

PBS KIDS Lunchbags

Here is some additional information on this wonderful new product line.

PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market have teamed up to offer a new line of back-to-school products, available exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores. Proceeds from the new PBS KIDS back-to-school line will help support PBS KIDS’ mission: to open worlds of possibilities for all children through engaging media content.

One-hundred percent of PBS KIDS’ net proceeds from the line will support PBS KIDS educational programming, dedicated to helping all children succeed in school and in life, while Whole Foods Market will donate a percentage of total sales, up to $25,000, to Whole Kids Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving children’s nutrition and wellness. In addition, for every Esperos backpack, pencil case and lunch tote purchased, Esperos will donate 10 percent of proceeds to help fund education for children in need through the Esperos Carry Hope™ initiative.

“PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market share a commitment to the healthy development of children and families,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Media, PBS. “Proceeds from the new PBS KIDS back-to-school line will help support PBS KIDS’ mission: to open worlds of possibilities for all children through engaging media content.”

In addition to Esperos’ line of PBS KIDS organic cotton canvas items, Whole Foods Market will debut a line of PBS KIDS reusable food keepers from Lunchskins—perfect for sandwiches, snacks or fruit. Lunchskins is committed to reducing the amount of plastic waste produced every year, as each one of the brand’s reusable bags can replace 500 plastic bags. The grocer will also carry PBS KIDS notebooks and folders for school and play from Mudpuppy, which supports children’s education throughout the year, including a multi-year partnership to support PBS KIDS, as well as other school programs.

“Whole Foods Market’s partnership with PBS KIDS continues to raise the bar for quality children’s products and offers alternatives to what’s commonly found in the marketplace,” said Jeanne Tamayo, global lifestyle buyer at Whole Foods Market. “By working with suppliers like Esperos, Lunchskins and Mudpuppy, kids can get school supplies that truly do more—proceeds from every product support children’s education through PBS KIDS and healthy-eating education through Whole Kids Foundation—plus, each product is either reusable or made with recycled or organic materials.”

To further prepare young children for back to school season, exclusive Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood content including clips from the TV series, printable learning activities and family-friendly recipes, will be available for free at wholefoodsmarket.com.

PBS KIDS sent me a few of their products, which I donated to the children I work with.

PBS KIDS Back to School

One of the products that I received was the LunchSkins reusable sandwich bags. I actually kept this for myself. Not only is it cute it really does a great job keeping your sandwich fresh instead of wasting plastic with regular plastic sandwich bags. It has a really strong Velcro closure to prevent it from accidentally opening up and exposing your sandwich to air (which will make bread stale).

I also received a spiral notebook with an adorable robot on it, a folder and a nice zippered pencil bag.

I love that PBS KIDS kept kids in mind with bright colors and adorable characters. Making them more Earth friendly makes them even better.

If you are in need of more school supplies I would suggest you check out the PBS KIDS line at your nearest Whole Foods Market. You can visit the above link to find a location near you.

What do you think of adorable PBS KIDS school supplies?

whole foods pbs kids


*I received a few free product samples in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Related Posts:

School supply shopping for charity thanks to Toyota


Back to school

Back to school shopping used to be a lot of fun when my kids were little. I truly enjoyed helping them to pick out their character lunchboxes, colorful backpacks and folders decorated with animals and funky graphics.

My kids are teenagers now. They rather we give them money to buy their own supplies, or they stuff everything into one binder. I think I would be in total shock if either of them had a folder with a cute character on it.

Sigh… I miss those days.

When children are little, back to school shopping can be the highlight of the year (next to their birthday and holidays of course). Sadly, many children across the country and their families cannot afford even the most basic supplies. That breaks my heart. That is why each year I take advantage of the awesome Back to School sales and purchase more than my kids could ever use to donate them to kids in need. I know a lot of people who do that.

This year Toyota is partnering with Volunteers of America’s Operation Backpack to donate school supplies for kids in need too.

Operation Backpack wants to help children start the school year off right. Your donation to Operation Backpack provides backpacks, supports after-school and mentoring programs, and offers other vital services to a child in need.

It’s not just about school supplies – it’s also giving a child a chance to learn and grow.

Toyota was kind enough to send me a 2015 Toyota Camry and a $50 gift card to purchase school supplies to donate to children in need. For me that will be where I work. I see a lot of children whose families don’t have much, let alone school supplies.


This past Saturday my husband and I canvassed local stores (Staples, Office Depot, Target…) to see what sales were going on for Back to School shopping. I was determined to get the maximum amount of supplies out of the gift card.

Notice how empty the trunk is in the Toyota Camry. I was determined to fill it up with school supplies.

I’m glad that Toyota sent us the Camry. We did a lot of driving that day. We hit up eight stores that – EIGHT! Not to mention we had to stop for lunch.

Our daughter had to work so we took our son along with us. It wasn’t exactly what he wanted to do that day but after a while he really got into it and it turned out to be a great lesson in budgeting, looking for the best deal and giving to those in need.

The first few stores we stopped at DIDN’T have any great deals. They did in their flyer, but we didn’t come across any in the stores.



I was hoping to find crayons for less than $1 each.

We hit up four stores in the same shopping plaza. We really didn’t see anything that we thought was a great deal, so we hopped back into the Camry and drove up the road to Staples.



Staples had a lot of awesome sales going on and plenty of products in stock – except for the crayons I wanted to stock up on.

Staples didn’t have any small boxes of crayons in stock, but we were able to score single subject notebooks for .25 cents, loose leaf paper for .75 cents and two pocket folders for .15 cents. Talk about a great sale!





We made sure to pick up a variety of colors for the notebooks and folders (two of each color).

We also picked up pens, pencils and a few more goodies.

I was shocked that the bill came to $18 and change. WOW!!! We picked up 18 single subject notebooks, four packages of lose leaf paper, nearly two dozen folders and more. That meant we have a little over $30 left on the gift card. It was time to go to another store.



Filling up the trunk of the Toyota Camry with school supplies.

Filling up the trunk of the Toyota Camry with school supplies.

We still had more to get. I was determined to get crayons. I also wanted to get pencil pouches or cases to make up a few “sets” to hand out to children.

Our next stop was Target. There we did find crayons. They were more than I wanted to spend, but, at least I had them.

We also picked up erasers, pencil sharpeners, scissors and a few other goodies.


My husband, son and I were very pleased with all the goodies we purchased, and we still had a little money left on the gift card Toyota sent me.

Target 2


The Capt’n Crunch was for me – not back to school shopping.

After a quick lunch we headed over to our local Dollar Store to see if they had pencil cases/pouches and rulers.

Thankfully the Dollar Store had some awesome pencil pouches. Because I was running low on funds we were only able to get six of them – but that was OK. We picked up three girl-friendly colors and three boy-friendly colors.

In addition to the pencil pouches we picked up small flash cards (alphabet, colors, shapes, numbers…) to put one pack into each pencil pouch. We also picked up six books. I was hoping they fit in the pencil pouches. They did but once we filled the pouches the books no longer fit.


When we got home we poured out our “bounty” on the coffee table to separate everything. My husband and son helped me to fill the pencils pouches with crayons, scissors, an eraser, pencils, stickers, flashcards and other goodies.

My “game plan” is to give each child a filled pencil pouch as well as a folder, notebook and reading book. All the additional supplies (the left over glue sticks, notebooks, folders…) I’ll also donate.


I am very pleased with how they turned out.

Currently I have all the supplies and filled pouches in a tote bag that I am going to take to work with me this week. I cannot wait to see the look on a child’s face when I hand him/her a nice assortment of supplies to start their school year off on the right foot. I just wish I could have picked up more.


supplies 2

This was such a fun day and I a glad that my husband and son were able to help me on my quest to get as many supplies as I could. Although he won’t admit it (you’ve got to love teenagers) my son enjoyed himself too.

It always feels great to give back. It makes my heart smile.

A special thank you to Toyota for letting us use one of their Camrys and for the gift card to purchase supplies.

The 2015 Toyota Camry that we drove is really nice. I have never been in a Camry before. I have seen them but never had the opportunity to drive one.

The Camry is very roomy. Even my son, who has long legs, was very comfortable in the backseat.

The trunk was also very roomy which was great because it held all our school supplies.

I love the color of the car they sent. Its an awesome blue color.





The Toyota Camry is a great family car. Both of my kids said they felt like they had plenty of room in the backseat. As both a driver and a passenger in the car I also felt like there was more than enough room.

The car drove very nicely – very smooth.

It has great pick up too. We live near a parkway which we drive on frequently and we were able to merge into traffic with ease.

Everything was positioned nicely as far as the interior is concerned. Everything was easily accessible.

We received a hybrid and it was VERY quiet. At one point when I was driving and stopped in traffic I thought the car had turned off because I didn’t feel or hear anything. It shocked me for a moment. I thought the car had broke down or shut off.


front seat

We used the car a lot so far and it’s doing good with the gas as well. We haven’t had a need to fill up yet and we’ve used the car every day as well as the air conditioner.

If I hadn’t just purchased a new (used) car a few months ago I would certainly consider the Toyota Camry. So far I am enjoying the ride.

For more information about Toyota, or to find a location near you, visit www.Toyota.com. You can also connect with the brand on social media (all of the links found on the bottom of their website).

Be sure to check out the hashtags #ToyotaGivesBack and #LetsGoPlaces too.

I hope this post will inspire you to donate school supplies to children in need in your community or to donate to Volunteers of America’s Operation Backpack.



*I received use of a car for one week as well as a $50 gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Related Posts: