Posts tagged Giving Back

Trading Halloween Candy for A Good Cause



Halloween Candy!Last night was so fun — there is nothing like the sound of kids running around the neighborhood. It is the sound of the pure joy of childhood.  Scott went around with Hannah, while Nate decided to hang out with his neighborhood friends and I passed out candy. I love seeing all the kiddos costumes and seeing how happy they are when they come to your door. I also love seeing the kids that are not encumbered by the social mores and just go in for the candy they want while you are doling it out. The call of their parents to not do it -and their carefree attitude about the whole thing. It really defines childhood to me.

The point when they get home and go through their candy and then proceed to eat more than they should that late at night is not a parent’s dream but we all have done it.  Both of my kiddos got way too much candy — Scott’s company is doing a Candy Exchange–

Your kids can exchange candy for movie tickets!

Starting on November 1, you can bring your kids’ candy to the Steve Case Center reception desk. The candy will be added to the care packages that our friends in the Military Support Group are sending to military personnel overseas.

We want to encourage kids to donate so we’re offering one movie ticket for candy donations between 1 – 3 pounds, two movie tickets for 3 – 6 pounds, etc. Kids can keep a few favorites and trade the rest in for a free movie or two.

I love this idea and both my kids will be participating. They have more candy then they will ever eat and since we don’t let them graze unsupervised, it will take them over a year to even make a dent. Last year, I took the remaining candy into my workplace four months after Halloween because they didn’t even remember they had it. It’s a good thing!! 

Lots of places around offer this type of thing to encourage kiddos to not consume all that junk –check your local pediatric dentist to start!

I am heading off for a quick weekend girls trip with Hannah starting tomorrow. Airfare was so good a few weeks back that I bought two tickets to San Fran to surprise her. I missed my little niece and family after being with them in June, that I just felt the need to go back and visit. Things have been going a mile a minute at home –with work, CrossFit, family, kiddos– that I need a break.

San Fran is one of my favorite cities in the world and it has some of the most important people in my life living there.  I need to recharge and do some thinking about what changes I want to focus on in the upcoming year. And I get to spend some alone time with my HB.  She’s growing up so fast and I am enjoying every moment of time before she decides she doesn’t want to be around me anymore.


  • 100 single jump ropes
  • 3m double under practice
  • hamstring PNF Stretch



  • 12×2 Deadlifts 135#
  • dead hang pull up progressions
  • tabata double unders/single unders (least amt of reps=60)
Hannah Halloween

A Crayola Crayon box – created by hand by Hannah

Nate the Ninja

Nate is a stealth ninja


American Cancer Society Relay for Life


It was another proud moment yesterday watching Hannah up on the stage sharing our family’s story. She worked hard to improve her presentation and it really showed. Remember, she’s only 9!

It was a touching evening overall –the videos and the stories really touched my heart. I can relate to much of it and it’s comforting to hear from others going through the same thing. It’s sad that we all are a ‘family’ because we have had to deal with some scary challenges in our lives, but it is what it is and you come together to help one another the best you can. This year they are also going to honor caregivers.

As a caregiver of a cancer fighter myself — I know it’s a really hard job in every way. So honoring those that care so much is so worthwhile!

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life sounds like a very fun event —

  • Overnight relay-style event
  • Teams of people camp out around a track
  • Members of each team take turns walking around the track for the duration of the event
  • Food, games and activities provide entertainment and fundraising opportunities
  • Family-friendly environment for the entire community

Because it’s a Relay, you’re not required to be there the entire time…but it’s so fun, you’ll probably find it hard to leave!

Now – we all have charities we support, so when looking into one –make sure that it meets your own goals and also look into how they spend their money. I am often dismayed to find out how Non-profits use the money we all donate. Be a smart with your donations and make sure they are doing what they said they were going to!

I like events that give people the opportunity to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease.

Locks of Love


I’m beyond proud of my little girl HB. She decided today to donate her hair to Locks of Love. Snip, Snip, Snip 12 inches gone. She looks beyond beautiful and hasn’t had a second thought about it. She told me – now she doesn’t have to brush her hair.

love her.


Susan G. Komen Foundation Elbows Out Charities Over Use Of The Word ‘Cure’


I am hoping this is a case of misreporting — I often tell people to make sure they know where their donation money is going. Every non-profit is required to publicly account for their money. We owe it to the cause and ourselves to ensure that our money is indeed going for its intended purpose —

In addition to raising millions of dollars a year for breast cancer research, fundraising giant Susan G. Komen for the Cure has a lesser-known mission that eats up donor funds: patrolling the waters for other charities and events around the country that use any variation of “for the cure” in their names.

So far, Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred of these Mom and Pop charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure–and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground.

via Susan G. Komen Foundation Elbows Out Charities Over Use Of The Word ‘Cure’.

SweetGreen Hosts Free Yoga Sessions FTW!


I love companies that really give back what they are ‘selling’ — SweetGreen in Reston Town Center is hosting free yoga weekend for their neighborhood at Down Dog Yoga — which happens to be super close to where I work.  What a great idea – host a free yoga session to promote healthy and fit living! SweetGreen FTW! (means For the Win!)

free yoga weekend headline
free yoga weekend image

We’re continuing the free yoga trend and spreading the love to our yogis by our store in Reston, VA! We partnered up with Down Dog Yoga Herndon to provide free classes to our neighbors on Friday, December 10th and Saturday, December 11th. That’s right – classes at one of the best studios in the area, entirely covered by sweetgreen!

Come join us for an OM-azing session using these easy steps:

1) “Like” us on Facebook!
2) Go to Down Dog Yoga’s website for the schedule and register for any class on the 10th or 11th (make sure to click on the Herndon tab!). Drop-in spaces are also available for those who aren’t into online commitment.
3) Get your free sweetgreen gift bag from the instructor after class and fill that post-yoga tummy with sweetgreen salad and frozen yogurt at sweetgreen Reston Town Center!

Breast Cancer: How much pink turns into green?


Breast Cancer: How much pink turns into green?

How much pink turns into green?

It can be hard to know what good comes from buying products that promise profits to breast cancer causes. The American Institute of Philanthropy gives out grades to help clarify the choices.

Pink toothbrushes, pink bottles of wine, pink debit cards — there’s a chance to donate to breast cancer pretty much everywhere you shop. But how can you tell how much good comes from each piece of pink?

It’s a reasonable question, considering the complexity of charitable giving and the millions of dollars involved.

“People of every age are very sympathetic to breast cancer and willing to help, and fundraisers take advantage of that,” says Daniel Borochoff, president of the American Institute of Philanthropy, a nonprofit organization in Chicago that helps donors make informed giving decisions. “They are motivated to help, but may not look into whether or not they are being efficient.”

The makers of some pink products donate proceeds only for a limited time, says Borochoff. These products may command a higher price tag, and sometimes they will remain on sale after the donation period ends — even with the higher price.

Companies often place a cap on the amount they will give to a breast cancer cause no matter how many items are sold. And while some manufacturers promise to give a percentage of total profits, in a poor economy, those profits may be scarce.

“It’s really tricky because there’s a lot of fine print,” Borochoff says.

The American Institute of Philanthropy gives grades to charities so that donors can see which ones will use their money most efficiently. The highest grades are awarded to organizations that spend most of their revenue on their mission — not on fundraising itself.

The top breast cancer charities include the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (A+), the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund (A), the Breast Cancer Fund (A-) and Susan G. Komen for the Cure (B+). The Fs went to charities with similar-sounding names: American Breast Cancer Foundation, United Breast Cancer Foundation and Coalition Against Breast Cancer.

To earn an A, charities had to spend at least 75% of the money they raised on the mission they claimed to support, with the rest going to fundraising activities and employee salaries. C-range companies devote about 60% of their revenue to their stated mission. But there’s a gray area — sometimes an organization counts a fundraising plea as part of its mission to educate by tacking on a reminder to get a mammogram.

“As long as direct mail includes some kind of ‘education,’ then they think they can count that as one of their programs,” says Laurie Styron, an analyst at the American Institute of Philanthropy who combs through the finances of charities to separate fundraising from programs.

To Styron, the most surprising grade went to the Avon Foundation for Women, which sponsors the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The organization gives 69% of its fundraising dollars to programs, but it was penalized for blurring the line between the foundation and the beauty products corporation.

“The bottom line is to buy the best product for the best price,” Borochoff says. “Any money you save you can donate to charity, and then you get the tax deduction.”

Billionaire challenge: China’s wealthiest


The next billionaire challenge: China’s wealthiest – Sep. 10, 2010.

The gap between the have and have nots seems to be getting wider all the time and on one hand it’s great that Gates and Buffett are trying to persuade others in their tax bracket to give back — it’s also shocking to see just how much money some people have. I mean jaw dropping sums of it while there are many many many more that don’t have enough to buy food for tonite’s meal.

Giving back not only helps others, it feeds your soul. Everyone should take some time & think about ways they can give back – whether it’s time, money, food, experience, clothing — even writing notes to armed forces is a way to give back.  You don’t need to be a billionaire to make a difference – so while Gates and Buffett try to persuade the rich folk to give dollars, we can all give in ways that fit our ‘middle class’ lifestyle and it will still make a difference — i guarantee it!

Gates and Buffet are coming to push their pet cause — the so called Billionaires Pledge — trying to persuade the rich, no matter where they may live, to donate half of their wealth to charitable causes.

Loudoun Interfaith Relief Food Pantry Items being collected in Ashburn


Part of living a healthy and fit life is doing things for others — giving back. Here’s an easy way to help that I found out about via LivinginLoco

The Ashburn Library in Ashburn VA is currently taking donations of cereal, juice, canned meat, and canned fruits for the Loudoun Interfaith Relief Food Pantry until September 30th.

Give back when you can –

Welcome to the Kindness community


Welcome to the Kindness community

Thought this was a good site even though it is filled with annoying ads. Reminders on a regular basis of the kindness that happens around the world.

Wish you could find more positive stories in the news — stories that inspire and uplift you? You’ve come to the right place.

Kindness is your daily source of inspiration and guide to making a difference in fresh and exciting ways, no matter where you are. Each day, this site will unearth unique stories of giving with exclusive interviews, fresh takes on news stories, plenty of tips, and links to interesting resources.

Lemonade Days 2010 | Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation


Help Put the Squeeze on Childhood Cancer

Stir up some fun as you raise money to help find a cure for pediatric cancer by taking part in our 7th Annual Lemonade Days, on the weekend of June 11, 12, and 13, 2010. Host an Alex’s Lemonade Stand fundraising event along with more than 10,000 volunteers across the country. Our Lemonade Days goal this year? $1 million raised for childhood cancer research… And YOU can help us get there!

To take part in our Lemonade Days, hold your Alex’s Lemonade Stand fundraising event anytime during this year’s three designated days—June 11, 12, and 13. You can set up in your front yard, at your school, at your workplace, church, temple, community center or anywhere you like!

Find out all you need to know, register to participate, and download materials right here to make your Lemonade Days Fundraiser a success.

via Lemonade Days 2010 | Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

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