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Thank You to Those Who Make a Difference!

Over the last few weeks, a lot of people have been doing things to make a difference for an organization that I care about a lot. It’s called Compass House. During my December challenge, Kate Ellis and Theresa Gray each pledged to make a difference for them, and I was really grateful when they told me they were making some great donations. Mrs. VanEtten’s seventh graders also did a HUGE clothing drive for them too, which was really impressive AND inspiring.

I know I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my blog and with my service work. I’m learning more about the different ways in which people use blogs, and I have some ideas about what I want to do here for the next year. I like the idea of trying to use my blog as a way to share ideas for how people could do small things to make a difference for ANY cause.

Next month, I will be going to Idaho to take part in the Special Olympics World Games. There are so many great things that kids and grown ups can do to make a difference for this organization. I plan to use this month to blog about what I am learning about the Special Olympics. I also want to share some ideas that anyone can use if they want to make a difference for a cause they care about.

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December 5, 2008

 Laura:

Today I am grateful for Nina’s laugh and smile.

Nina has always cheered me up, especially with her laugh. Her laugh is really small, but it is really nice to hear. For some reason, it always make me feel warm and smile. When she laughs it’s kind of like cold medicine when you have a REALLY bad cold and like music after a deaf person becomes able to hear.

Her smile is really refreshing too. Nina’s smile is like when you finally get to see that pretty night blooming flower come out. I can’t stand it when she is unhappy. I like to see her smile, it is a pink blossom of light into a dark spooky room, it always will show.

So today, because Nina means so much to me, I am going to play doll house with her when I’m done tweeting and blogging for today because I know that she really wants to and I want to give the gift of happiness to he too.

 

Nina:

Today I am thankful for my friends.Today I helped one of them do the baseline for hot cross buns on recorder.

Surprise!!

Since today is Laura’s 11th birthday, I’ve snuck on to her blog today to surprise her with this little message: Happy Birthday Lu!!!!! We love you!!!!

Our morning was filled with balloons and flowers and long-awaited presents. Laura headed out the door this morning eager to see her friends at school. She is lookinig forward to celebrating with the cookie cake that she balanced in her hands as she tip-toed across the ice that last night’s storm left in its wake. I often wonder, though, who enjoys Laura’s birthday most? Being the mom is often quite a lot of fun on days like today. Giving is always a gift in itself, and putting a smile on your own birthday girl’s face is one of the greater rewards that parents get to reap.

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When Laura decided to support Cheerful Givers this month, I could not have been happier, and today seems like the perfect day to spread the word about this wonderful organization. Cheerful Givers promotes gift giving for underprivileged children. What we like best about this organization is the fact that we are able to give locally. In order to be a “cheerful giver” you may work alone or with others to create birthday gift bags that you may then donate to a local shelter, food pantry, or other organization that services the needy. Gifts are then provided to parents who may not otherwise have the ability to purchase a birthday present for their child. Cheerful Givers provides guidelines that help ensure that the gift bags are filled with items that children will love and use, and they credit volunteers for their efforts by asking you to let them know how many bags you fill, how many volunteers you worked with, and where the bags were distributed.

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The Efforts of One Brownie Troop

Laura and I have been in frequent contact with Karen Kitchel, the President of Cheerful Givers, for several months now. This week, Karen shared a great idea with me. In honor of her brother’s birthday, she made a donation to Cheerful Givers so that other children could celebrate their own birthdays as a result. Talk about paying something forward! If you are interested in celebrating a birthday in a similar way, you may make a monetary or supply donation here. There is also a birthday certificate pdf file that you may download and give to someone that you care about as well. Laura will be receiving one of these certificates from our family tonight after dinner, and I know that this last small surprise is certain to make her smile.

“Doing charity work is a wonderfully selfish thing to do,” someone mentioned last week, and I couldn’t agree more. There is so much good that comes from giving, and there is so much joy that it brings to the giver. Discovering this has been a tremendous gift for our family….better than anything that comes wrapped up in boxes with paper and bows.

This month, Laura will be using her bottle return money to create gift bags on behalf of Cheerful Givers. These will be donated to her friends at Compass House. Laura will be back tomorrow, writing about Compass House and Cheerful Givers. In the mean time, we have some cake eating to do!

Happy Birthday Laura! We love you!

Love,

Mom

Announcing the Winners of the February 25 Day Challenge

This month, I helped the Pajama Project and Project Linus! There were a lot of surprises during this month’s challenge, but one of the nicest surprises was hearing from Erin from West Seneca! Erin is a teacher, and she collected some pajamas with her students! I just found out about this last week, and it made me really happy.

Erin is the individual winner of this month’s challenge! She will be able to pick any charity or cause, and we will be making a twenty dollar donation to it! Just let us know where you would like your donation to go, Erin.

Lindbergh Elementary School won the group prize for this month. I am going to talk with my principal, Mrs. Parsons, about where this twenty dollar donation can be sent. I want to say thank you to all of my friends and the teachers at school for helping with this. I also want to thank Mrs. Parsons, too. It was fun doing a pajama drive!

My mom has spoken with Mrs. Cardena from the Pajama Program about collecting the pjs and books. And I actually got to meet and work with Christene Lewandowski from Project Linus. What was REALLY cool was visiting Compass House this month and SEEING all of the blankets there that Project Linus has donated in the past! That was really neat.

In March, I am going to be supporting Compass House and Cheerful Givers. I am really excited about doing all of this. I have some ideas for new contests too and some neat prizes this month, so please keep reading. A new month is starting!

Ways to Win Free Cards or a Charitable Donation

Already, I have several people entered in my first weekly giveaway contest. You can win too, by doing ONE thing to help spread awareness of my blog. Find out what you can do here. Those of you who have voted for me on the Bloggers Choice Awards you are automatically entered!! Voting is open until almost the end of the year, and I have been in a tight race for first place, so I really appreciate all of your votes!

Tomorrow, I am starting my pajama drive at my school to support the Pajama Program. I would like to say THANK YOU TO MY PRINCIPAL MRS.PARSONS for helping me. THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN ENTERED IN THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE TOO!

Also! I am still collecting bottles this month! So far, I know that our neighbors, the Jungs, and my Aunt Kate and Uncle John have bottles for me. All of my bottle money this month will be donated to Project Linus!

Remember that there are chapters of the Pajama Project and Project Linus all over the place, and whether you support the Buffalo chapters with me or your own local chapter in some way, please let me know! You could win this month’s 25 Day Challenge!

Your Turn to Make a Difference: Win the February 25 Days to Make a Difference Contest!

This month, I am helping to support our local chapters of The Pajama Project and Project Linus! There is a lot that you can do to support your local chapters as well!

If you live in my area, you can organize a pajama and book drive, or fundraise and donate money directly to their organizations, or even simply SPREAD AWARENESS! Mrs. Cardena said that because her chapter of the Pajama Project is so new and the demand for pajamas is so high, she really needs to get the word out in our area about what she is trying to do! This is a great service project for groups, families, and even just one person!

If you don’t live in my area, there are local chapters of the Pajama Project just about everywhere! You can help your local chapter out too and still be entered to win a prize in my challenge.

This works the same way with Project Linus! You can help our local chapter by making and donating handmade blankets for babies, children, and teenagers. You can also make a donation directly to their organization! And there are chapters of Project Linus all over the USA!

The individual who makes the most difference for one of these organizations in February will win a $20 donation to any charity of your choice!

The group that makes the most difference for one of these organizations will also win an additional $20 donation to a charity of their choice!

I will also link to you on my site and list you on my sidebar too, so everyone who visits this page can see how you are making a difference too!

If you want to join in this 25 day challenge, please email me or leave a comment on this site so I know this!

To Kick Off A New Month

This month I am supporting the Pajama Program and Project Linus!!!!! The Pajama Program donates pajamas and books to local homeless shelters and other organizations that care for children in need. Our local Pajama Program is run by a woman named Ann Cardena. She just started our local chapter in OCTOBER OF 2007! She would really like help spreading awareness of the Pajama Program too! Even though Mrs. Cardena started out helping just four area organizations in need, she told me that in order to keep up, they need about 850 pair of pajamas per month!

Those who run Project Linus make blankets to donate to children who are very sick, homeless, or who have been abused. We have been talking with Christene Lewandowski from our local chapter, and she has given me some ideas for helping to support them!

I am supporting the Pajama Program at school by holding a pajama drive and asking everyone in my school to donate NEW pajamas that will fit babies, children, and teenagers. They can also donate NEW BOOKS. My principal, Mrs. Parsons, has been a really big help to me as I get ready to do this. Thank you, Mrs. Parsons!

Also, my daddy is supporting  the Pajama Program by also holding a pajama drive at his office too!! I am supporting Project Linus by going to Make a Blanket Day at a local firehall to make tied blankets all day on February 16. I AM REALLY PUMPED UP ABOUT THIS!!! I will also be holding another bottle drive this month and will be donating the money to the Pajama Project and Project Linus. SO PLEASE CONTINUE TO DONATE YOUR BOTTLES TO ME!

REMEMBER, I am holding a  contest this month for you to win handmade, blank Valentine cards. The contest is about spreading awareness of my blog, because when I get more readers, the charities I am trying to help get more support too! If you link to my blog, blog about my blog, put my badge on your blog, Twitter about me, or vote for me in the Blogger’s Choice Awards, you will be entered to win my handmade cards on February 7th! You can also do my MEME below. Just answer the questions here or on your own blog (and link back to me, please)! Make sure to leave me a comment or email me to let me know how you are spreading awareness of my blog, and you can win!

1. Did you have a special blanket when you were a kid (or now if you are a kid)? Explain what you liked about it.

A: Yes, I do have a special blanket. I call it Blankie ( it’s capitalized because that’s it’s name) and I’ve had it since I was a baby. I still sleep with it and love it very much!

2. What is your favorite pair of pajamas like?

A. My favorite pair of pajamas have colorful, fuzzy and striped bottoms and a light blue top. I like them because they keep me warm and they are comfy.

3. What is your favorite book(s)?

A. I would have to say Esperenza Rising and The Paper Bag Princess. Both of these books are filled with adventure and they both have strong characters who are girls! I like this!

Now, copy the questions and answer them below. Or answer them in your own blog! That’s all you have to do to be in the drawing to win the cards I’ve made!