A Call to Action

Like many of you, I often feel powerless to affect change in a world which seems to be heading ever closer to giving greed, hatred, and fear the right of way.

Rather than remain in silence, I’m joining forces with my writer pal, Laura to put out an anthology to raise money and awareness for those who are in the trenches fighting for gun control.

We are tired of seeing the death toll rising. We are tired of sending “thoughts and prayers” to the families of the victims.

If you’d like to get involved with DISARM, check out Black Heart Magazine for full details and submission guidelines.

#DisarmHate

Hashtag DisarmHate

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Coupons For Kindness

Earlier this year, my friend Sue came over to visit (and meet my newborn). While we were catching up, she mentioned that she’d been “couponing” to get supplies(food and more) to donate to her local food pantry. I thought this was a pretty awesome idea, so I suggested that she start a blog so others could see what she was up to, and maybe learn how to do the same thing.

While she initially thought it would be too time consuming, Sue quickly decided that it would be easy enough to get going, and definitely worth the effort. We brainstormed a bit on name ideas, eventually coming up with “Coupons For Kindness.

After setting up the blog, Sue and I talked about whether or not she should set up a Facebook page, or group, or… something. I’m a huge fan of Facebook pages. While the changes in FB algorithms seem to have made it more difficult to promote pages without paying, it’s still an incredibly necessary tool to have in this day & age. I know so many people who look at Facebook to find out about a person or business before trying to find the official website; and I know a lot of people who don’t take a business seriously if it doesn’t have a Facebook page.

For this specific case, I recommended that Sue set up a page (rather than a group) for Coupons For KindnessMy thought process here is that groups are kind of hit or miss, people generally have to join or be added in order to see the content, and some people really resent being added to groups (kind of the same way that no one seems to be happy about getting game requests via Facebook).

Additionally, right now the aim of the blog is more informative than interactive, and while it would be awesome to get a community going that is helping others more proactively, it’s not there quite yet. Soon though, I’m hoping that Sue & Coupons For Kindness will be empowering others to make even more of a difference!

I’m so proud to know Sue; she and I have worked on non-profit events before, and she’s always made sure to include (and help) as many people as she can (it’s the Italian in her).

It’s been an honor to help her develop, plan, and create the groundwork for an awesome new initiative.

Check out what she’s doing, it’ll inspire you too!

Crossing Bridges: An Outreach Community

A few years ago, at brunch with friends, my husband and I raised the question, “If you could throw a bunch of money at a problem, what would you fix?”

Answers varied: cancer, education, healthcare… and conversation flowed around the topics, what would we change, how would we do it, what challenges would we face… then one idea took hold of the whole table.

Homelessness. We would fix, cure, and solve homelessness.

After parting ways with our friends, James and I couldn’t stop talking about the concept of eradicating homelessness. Was it even possible? How could we do it?

The easy first answer is to give everyone a home.

Since we first started talking about this, I’ve read numerous articles and studies showing that, in fact, providing a place for the homeless to stay is, in fact, the best way to solve a very expensive problem.

But we want to do more than just provide people with a place to stay.

We want to provide people with a community, a place they can safely leave their belongings, a place they can feel safe sleeping: a place they can actually call home.

We envision a large piece of land, with dorms, cabins, and a central community center (basically college meets summer camp). Families would be able to stay together, people would have an address to list so they could get a license, apply for jobs, register for classes. They’d have regular access to showers, women wouldn’t have to worry about getting pads and tampons every month.

Everyone would have access to job training if they wanted it, daycare and transportation to school and work would be provided.

Basically three rules: nothing illegal, no violence, and help out when you can.

Most people who are homeless just need a hand, a safe place to be while they get their footing back. The end goal for each person is that they find their way back home.

I was thinking about this one day while watching my son play with a train set, that this could be a bridge back for so many people, and I was put in mind of a song my husband wrote, and so “Crossing Bridges” was born.

We’re still in the planning stages, there’s a lot to take into consideration with getting something like this up and running, but it is definitely a huge dream of mine to make this happen.