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City Harvest #FeedOurPeople This Holiday Season

 

City Harvest FeedOurPeople 2

City Harvest pioneered food rescue 33 years ago, and works to connect excess food with New Yorkers in need. Nearly 1.4 million NYC residents are food insecure, including nearly one in four children.

Many people are struggling to put food on their tables, yet up to 40% of food in the United States is thrown away. This year City Harvest will rescue 55 million pounds of nutritious food and deliver it free of charge to 500 soup kitchens, food pantries and other community food programs across NYC.

The holiday season can be an especially difficult time for families in need, which is why City Harvest is scaling up its work. Between October and January, City Harvest pledges to rescue 14 million pounds of food and deliver it free of charge to New Yorkers in need.

There are many ways to join City Harvest in helping to alleviate hunger in New York City:

  • A year-end donation will go far to help families in need this holiday season: 93 cents of every dollar donated directly support City Harvest’s hunger relief programs.
  • New Yorkers can donate food through the Daily New Food Drive: our goal is to collect 1 million pounds of non-perishable items to distribute across the city.
  • City Harvest has many volunteer opportunities for individuals and companies.

Visit City Harvest to learn more about how you can fight hunger in NYC during this holiday season, and use #FeedOurPeople to spread the word and click here to tweet your support.

City Harvest FeedOurPeople 1

Help support animals with beautiful jewelry from Sincerely Ginger

 

An old picture of our cats and dog (Bella is no longer a kitten).

An old picture of our cats and dog (Bella is no longer a kitten).

I absolutely love animals. I sometimes think I like animals more than people (LOL). I’m a proud pet mom to five cats, a dog who thinks he’s a cat and a Goldfish who fears the cats.

I have always dreamed of owning a farm. Not only do I want to grow and raise my own fruits, vegetables, milk and eggs but I also want a lot of animals.

If I was rich I would open my own animal sanctuary for unwanted animals and/or animals in need.

Pets are like potato chips – you can’t have just one. 🙂

Because of my love of animals I am always happy to support organizations, groups and businesses who do something special for animals in need. Sincerely Ginger Jewelry is one such business.

Sincerely Ginger Jewelry is a new, online jewelry store. They are pre-launching their jewelry collection with a special collection of pieces dedicated to our love of pets. Next year “every day” jewelry will be available for purchase.

Sincerely Ginger Jewelry created several pieces with a single paw print design. The collection includes necklaces, rings and bracelets. Some of the pieces are made with either lab created gems or genuine gems. Currently the available gems are sapphire and rubies. Diamond and emerald necklaces will be available later on this year around the holidays.

This beautiful collection supports PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society), a no-kill animal shelter. Fifteen percent (15%) of each purchase in the paw print collection is donated to PAWS.  The organization is 100% donor funded, and $0.91 of every dollar goes directly to lifesaving efforts.

PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society)

Not only can you feel good that your purchase is going to help animals in need, the jewelry is also eco-friendly and sustainable.

The pieces available in the PAWS collection are made out of Argentium silver. Argentium is made of reclaimed silver and is whiter, brighter, and more durable than traditional sterling silver.  The best characteristic, however, is its anti-tarnish properties, which makes it invaluable. I love that it’s anti-tarnish. That is my #1 pet peeve (no pun intended) about silver – that it tarnishes.

All of the pieces match perfectly with one another. More pieces will be added to the collection this fall.

The pieces range in price from $55 to $1,460, depending on the piece and the characteristics. Obviously the pieces made from genuine gems are more costly. I can tell you from personal experience that the lab created gems are not only cheaper but also equally as stunning.

Sincerely Ginger Jewelry sent me a gorgeous necklace to review. It came beautifully packaged.

Sincerely Ginger Jewelry 2

Sincerely Ginger

Paw necklace

Look at how wonderful the necklace is.

It appears gold in my photo but it’s actually a bright silver. I’m not sure why the color is off in the photo.

This is a substantial piece too. It’s a good weight. It’s not a filmy, cheap piece. Even the chain that the necklace comes on is nicely made.

I’ve received many compliments on this necklace. The gems really catch people eyes. It’s also obvious that it’s a paw print so people who see the necklace know that I am an animal lover.

The paw print “charm” is about the size of a quarter and it’s very sparkly, most especially in the sunlight. I can sometimes catch the sparkle when I’m in my car and looking through one of my mirrors. I love things that sparkle and shine, especially something that I find near and dear to my heart – my pets.

Sincerely Ginger Jewelry is also running a giveaway. Anyone who joins their mailing list will be entered to win one of their new paw necklaces.

For more information or to check out the pieces for yourself visit SincerelyGingerJewelry.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook and Instagram (SincerelyGingerJewelry) and on Twitter (@Ginger_Jewelry).

What do you think about the collection?

 

Sincerely Ginger JewelryKimberly

*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. 

 

When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It! #RiseAboveIt

I have partnered with Pine-Sol® and Social Moms to bring you this post.

When Life Gets Touch Women Rise Above It

I have to admit that I feel guilty when I complain or whine about how life hands me “lemons”. I sometimes feel like I can never catch a break. Just when things seem to be going well something always pops up to ruin it. For example, I saved for a long time in hopes of surprising my family with tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular this year, along with the tree at Rockefeller Center and a trip to the top of Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) to see New York City at night time. We went during the day this past summer. My son has been anxious to go back and see New York City from above at night.

That won’t be happening this year. All the money I had saved up went to a huge vet bills and car repairs. I literally have $0 to take my family to the city this holiday season and I a doubtful that I’ll be able to raise enough money to do it in the next few weeks.

Stuff like this gets me down. Then I hear stories about people who have it worse off than me and it makes me feel guilty. I should be grateful for what I do have (which I am) and stop dwelling on the things I don’t have.

I have a hard time rising above hardships. I don’t think I’m a strong enough person. I wish I was.

I have a cousin name Christine who in my eyes is a very strong woman. Life has handed her bushels of lemons yet she some how survives and carries on.

I’ll try and condense her background as much as possible.

My cousin grew up on the foster care system because her father felts she wasn’t his child and her mother was mentally unstable and ended up institutionalized. When her mom came out of the institution my cousin went to live with her. Her mom died shortly thereafter. Thankfully her father finally accepted her as his child and she went to live with him.

She got pregnant when she was 15 and again two years later. It was an abusive relationship which took every bit of strength she had to escape from.

Trying to make it as a young single parent was hard, but she made it.

#RiseAboveIt

Over the years she was in and out of bad relationships and had another child. She got married but when they divorced the husband left for another state and took her youngest daughter with him.

Her oldest daughter ended up becoming a teenage mom and had two children. She was not a good mother to her children and the children were removed from her home. My cousin didn’t want the boys to end up in foster care so she took in her grandsons. Without going into too much detail she ended up adopting her grandsons. They were very young at the time and she’s the only mom they have ever really known, so they look at her as their mother.

Now she is single, raising her grandsons, and trying hard to make ends meet. She works cleaning houses so that she can be there for the boys when they are home from school.

What I admire so much about her is that she has risen high above everything that has tried to bring her down all throughout her life. She doesn’t let the hard times bring her down. She doesn’t ask for help or hand outs. Even though she has not had an easy life she still smiles and laughs all the time and is always willing to give the “shirt off her back” for others without thinking about her needs or wants. To me she is a very strong woman who I truly admire.

The makers of Pine-Sol® Products has teamed up with actress and activist Rosie Perez to launch a special campaign called When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It! My cousin is certainly one of those women.

Pine-Sol® is looking for stories about inspiring women who have proven that rise above adversity. They want to share these stories in hopes of inspiring other woman and show them that they can get through any challenge in their life.

Here is an interesting survey result.

Wakefield Research conducted a survey among women across the U.S. on behalf of Pine-Sol® Brand Cleaners.  According to the results, 86% of women ages 35 plus, say their biggest female role model is someone they know personally, not a celebrity or political figure.  Additionally, women see the best female role models in their family (60%) and their communities (24%), according to a Pine-Sol survey and 65% feel they are currently a role model to someone in their life.

I agree. I see my cousin as a role model, not an actress or political person. Plus my cousin is family.

I hope my cousin’s story can inspire others to not let life, or your past, dictate who you are or your future. You have the strength and power within you to rise above it all.

I learned that Pine-Sol® donated $25,000 to Women Empowered. Women Empowered is an LA based nonprofit organization that educates and supports women of all ages and backgrounds. They also inspire women to give back to their communities.

Pine-Sol® is also hosting the Women Rise Above It Sweepstakes. Pine-Sol® is going to award a weekly winners and other prizes.

    • Once a week for 12 weeks, Pine-Sol will award one lucky winner small tokens of appreciation.
    • (Flower bouquet + Pine Sol coupons) ARV: $150
    • Three first prize winners will receive complimentary house cleaning services for a year ARV: $2,400
    • One grand prize winner will be awarded an all-inclusive trip to enjoy a peaceful spa experience at a deluxe hotel.  ARV: $5,000

I know my cousin would LOVE something like that – and she deserves it.

To learn more, share your personal story or to enter please visit the Official Site.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C. 18 years and older.  Ends 1/31/14 at 11:59 a.m. PT.  To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visit www.womenriseaboveit.com. Void where prohibited.

Also you can check out Pine-Sol® on Facebook (below).

Do you know an inspiring woman who has shown how she rises above adversity? Are YOU that woman? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Pine-Sol Logo

Kimberly

*This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Pine-Sol® blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

New from DisneyNature – Bears. Coming to theaters April 18, 2014

 

DisneyNature Bears

Just in time for Earth Day (April 22) comes the newest film from DisneyNature called Bears.

Over the past several years, DisneyNature has released nature/animal films around Earth Day. A percentage of the ticket sales goes towards a specific charity.

Previous DisneyNature films include;

  • Wings of Life
  • Chimpanzee
  • African Cats
  • Oceans
  • The Crimson Wing
  • Earth

Some examples of charities that have benefited from these amazing films include the Jane Goodall Institute (which works to protect chimpanzees and their habitats from the film Chimpanzee), Save the Savannah (African Cats) and The Nature Conservancy (Oceans).

DisneyNature’s Bears is no exception. A proceed of the ticket sales will go towards the National Park Foundation. That is why it’s important to get out and see these films. Not only are they entertaining and educational, a portion of the ticket sales goes towards great charities to preserve nature and wildlife for generations to come.

DisneyNature Bears

Here is a little more information about DisneyNature’s Bears.

In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure Bears showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. Bears captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—Alaska!

Directed by Alastair Fothergill (Earth, African Cats and Chimpanzee) and Keith Scholey (African Cats), Bears arrives in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.

Check out the film’s trailer. It looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I can’t wait to see it.

 

If you would like to learn more about the film, or keep up to date, visit Disney.com/Bears. You can also follow the film on Facebook and Twitter.

The film will be in theaters on April 18, 2014.

What do you think about the film? Do you think you and your family will go and see it? Have you seen other DisneyNature films? Do you have a favorite?

DisneyNature Bears

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers.

Give Jewelry – Bracelets with a Purpose ($100 gift code giveaway ends 3/20/13)

Give Jewelry

Who doesn’t appreciate lovely jewelry. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, male or female, most of us can appreciate beautiful jewelry. Even my teenage son likes to wear bracelets (manly ones of course :-)).

You can buy jewelry just about anywhere – online, off line, high end ($$$) jewelry stores or your local street fair. But does any of the jewelry you buy serve another purpose aside from adorning your ears, neck, fingers or wrist? Probably not. Give Jewelry does.

Give Jewelry serves a whole other purpose aside from providing you with a beautiful piece of jewelry. Give Jewelry also provide FOOD for a child in need.

If you read my blog regularly you’ll recall my experiences with Feeding America and Child Hunger Ends Here. Needless to say any organization or business that helps provide meals to those in need I am happy to support.

According to the company’s website;

Give Jewelry is a sustainable movement to provide food for children in orphanages throughout Indonesia. The vision is simple: every bracelet purchased directly benefits kids in need. So no matter what type of bracelet you choose; friendship, charm, leather, beaded, cuff or any of our other bracelets, you’re really choosing to make a difference.

They have been running their mission since 1992.

For every ONE bracelet purchased one week’s worth of food (21 meals) will be donated to a child in need. If you purchase 5 bracelets then 5 children will each receive a week of meals (105 meals in total will be donated for 5 children). Of course if you purchase 10 bracelets food will be donated to 10 children for a week, and so on.

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You might be thinking to yourself that Give Jewelry is expensive. It would have to be in order for them to donate a week’s worth a food to a child in need.

WRONG!

Give Jewelry is very affordable and budget friendly. In fact most of the jewelry is around $9 – $12. There are a few piece upwards to $20, but most are in the $9-$12 range. That means if you purchase a $9.00 bracelet you can provide food for a hungry child for an entire week. Talk about a win-win situation! You get a beautiful piece of jewelry and a child won’t be hungry for a week.

Give gave me a gift code to pick up a few bracelets for me and my family to try out. It took me a long time to pick out what bracelets I wanted to order because there were so many that I really liked.

I picked up several bracelets. Some I gave to my daughter and my son, the others I kept for myself.

Here are a few photos of some of the bracelets from Give Jewelry that I picked up.

Clear bead and rainbow bead "Friendship" bracelets,

Clear bead and rainbow bead “Friendship” bracelets,

Rainbow Wrap Bracelet

Rainbow Wrap Bracelet

Rainbow Elastic Bracelet - Notice the heart shaped "Give" charm.

Rainbow Elastic Bracelet – Notice the heart shaped “Give” charm.

Triple Wrap Leather Bracelet

Triple Wrap Leather Bracelet

Double Wrap White Braclet

Double Wrap White Bracelet

Double Wrap Black Bead Bracelet

Double Wrap Black Bead Bracelet

You’ll notice that I chose a lot of bracelets that I can wrap around my wrist 2-3 times. I happen to like that look. My kids opted for regular Friendship bracelets.

Each bracelet comes with a beautiful little heart shape charm attached to it that says “Give Jewelry” on it. You can remove it if you want (I oped to keep mine on). My son had me take his off. I don’t blame him. That might get a few chuckles from the boys at school. LOL!

Not only is this beautiful, quality made jewelry, it’s also affordable AND helps a child in need. It doesn’t get any better than that.

If you would like to check out Give Jewelry for yourself please visit GiveBracelets.com. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They even have a blog you can check out, http://TheGiveTeam.com.

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Give Jewelry would like to give a lucky reader a $100 gift code to use at the Give Jewelery website. You can buy A LOT of bracelets for that money. :-)!!! Thank you Give Jewelry.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on March 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please leave a comment on this post and tell me what you might buy if you won the $100 gift certificate to Give Jewelry and/or who the jewelry would be for?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify. Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free gift code to pick out jewelry to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way. Give Jewelery will be providing the gift code.  

Legitimate Charity or Fraud?

The holiday season is fast approaching. Soon our thoughts will turn to Thanksgiving dinner, out of town guests, which in-laws to spend Christmas with and what gift to get that someone special. Along with the holidays, charities try and boost their donations while people are in a giving mood. Personally I think it’s a wonderful gesture to think about others during the holiday season, whether it’s buying food for those who don’t have food, or donating unwrapped gifts for children who might other wise not get a visit from “Santa” this year. I wish to encourage everyone reading this post to commit to at least one charitable act this holiday season.

It makes me so angry when people donate money out of the kindness of their hearts, only to become a victim of fraud. If you don’t think stuff like this happens – it does! Criminals will use any tactic possible to gain access to your money, even if it means tugging on your heart strings.

I receive a lot of e-mails on a regular basis between my blog and my personal life. Those e-mails seem to double during the holiday season. I get pitched on a regular basis to write about a variety of charities, including prompting to make my own donation. Trust me, I would love to donate to just about every charity, but I simply do not have the funds. I have to pick and choose who I can afford to donate to.

I’ve checked out a few of these sites online to learn more about the organization. There are a few I’ve come across in the past few years that  set off some red flags. There is just something about the sites that don’t seem right. They don’t come off as legitimate charities. Charities are almost always non-profit so it’s very likely they couldn’t find a professional website design to donate their time to create a fancy website. That is perfectly understandable and I would never fault a charity for that. However in this day and age you can never be too sure.

If you are considering donating online and have even the slightest concern that the charity might not be legitimate, do some investigating. Google the company’s name and website and see if you find anything that would lead you to believe they are a fraud. You can also ask friends, family and co-workers if they know of the company and/or have had any experiences with them.

Another way to check is to contact the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) even has a page specifically for donations and charities – www.BBB.org/US/Charity.

If you typically donate money during the holiday season (or even year round) another suggestion I have for you is to purchase a pre-paid debit card. Instead of making a donation using your bank’s debit card (which is linked to your checking and/or savings account) or your credit card, use the gift card instead. That way if your card is compromised the thieves cannot get away with all your money. Instead they can only steal the money that is on the gift card.

I had something similar happen to me recently. There were two purchases for an Xbox Live membership from Walmart – each costing $49+. THANKFULLY both charges were made to a gift card and not my debit card, or who knows what else they thieves could have purchased (although personally I think it’s an inside job at Walmart – who refused to refund my money). The gift card they used originally had $250 on it but on $109 and change at the time theh thieves purchased those Xbox Live memberships. Had there been more money on that card, of if it was my debit card, who knows how much more could have been purchased.

Another suggestion would be the make a charitable donation in cash (make sure to get a receipt) or in products (such as non-perishable foods, clothing, new toys…). A great way to donate to a charity that wouldn’t put you at any risk for fraud is a donation of your time. Volunteering is a fantastic way to help out your favorite charity. Even a few hours once a month would be greatly appreciated.

The best way to protect yourself against fraud when making charitable donations online is to have a ID protection in place, such as LifeLock. LifeLock monitors your identity, searches known criminal websites for illegal selling of your personal information and alerts you to any potential threats. Not only that, if you are victim of ID theft, LifeLock can help you get your life back in order.

For more information about LifeLock you can visit them online at LifeLock.org. You can also find LifeLock on Facebook or check out their Twitter page.

I mentioned on my site last month about the LifeLock for Life sweepstakes. Readers have a chance play every week for great prizes. Each month’s questions pertain to a specific topic. This month’s topic will pertain to donating.

For more information about the sweepstakes you can check out my original post here, http://bit.ly/NXxMTR, or visit the LifeLock for Life sweepstakes page on Facebook, http://www.Facebook.com/LifeLock/app_260986044011824.

Some readers might find it interesting to know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and National Crime Prevention Month. 🙂

Do you have any special tips for protecting yourself when making donations? Have you been a victim of fraud? If so, how did you find out about it and what did you do to fix the situation? I always love to hear from my readers. Please feel free to comment on this post.

Kimberly

*As a brand ambassador I am compensated for my participating however all opinions expressed are entirely my own and are not influenced in any way.