• Giving Back with Heifer International

    Do you believe you alone can make a difference in this world? Call me a dreamer, but I say yes!

    I’m lucky to participate in Latina Bloggers Connect latest promotion with Heifer International. Any chance I get to promote a cause via social media, I jump to the chance!

    Nearly 70 years ago, Dan West, a farmer, from the American Midwest and member of the Church of the Brethren went to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. His mission was to provide relief. Providing a cup of milk to refugees not enough for him. He dreamt of giving more. Perhaps a cow!

    Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Their animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.

    Just in time for my trip to Canada, I received a hand-made, beautiful, soft as a feather scarf from Heifer International. It was made with such care from a women’s group in Marcapata, Peru in which they used fiber from alpacas they raised and shear themselves. Heifer preserves the heritage and history of rural farmers while providing them resources and training.

    The second scarf given to me is part of Pass on the Gift®. This concept is each farming family who receives an animal gift is passed on the first female offspring to another in need. By the time this post is live, the lucky one to receive the second scarf is my friend’s 1o-year-old daughter. She’ll love it!

    My view in a yoga class in beautiful Canada.

    My view in a yoga class in beautiful Canada.

    During the holiday season, there are those who are struggling and being cheerful may not be the answer. You might be experiencing loss, heartache, illness, financial trouble, family challenges…Observing others enjoying their holiday may bring bitterness to you.

    Try something new.

    Give. Give to a cause you truly care about. I don’t mean money. You can give your time or your voice through social media. When you give, you give right back to yourself and all of a sudden, you begin to feel good.

    So join me in the conversation. Please click here to learn how you can be part of #GiveHeifer.

    What can you do to #giveback to #GiveHiefer to make a difference?

    With gratitude!

     

     

     

  • Why You Should Be More Mindful – Part 2

    As a new work week begins, I took my weekend to celebrate my birthday (see how I treated myself on Instagram). I would hope that you take the time to treat yourself as much as possible. Last week, I brought you the benefits in being mindful. This week I’m listing ways you can make this your daily practice.

    If you’re in a situation where you feel you can’t fit in the time to be mindful, please reconsider.  You’re giving back to you.

    Change Is Possible

    Here are some ways you can start living in a state of #mindfulness.

    • For a few times a week, close your eyes, breathe and be in tuned with your physical awareness.
    • Don’t look at your phone right before you go to bed. Instead read a book, meditate or have a pleasant conversation with someone.
    • No phones or electronics on the dinner table. Focus on your food and the company of others.
    • Step outside once everyday and take a walk. Don’t let your desk suck you in.
    • Surrounded by negative people who LOVE to complain? Excuse yourself or turn the conversation around and say one positive thing.
    • When you’re speaking to someone, don’t get easily distracted. Focus on their words and feelings.
    • Consider others with your words. Be sure it’s kind and helpful.
    • Lastly, let go, let go, let go. Easier said than done. However, when you finally let go, you free yourself and others around you.

    Do you believe mindfulness can improve your daily life?

  • Intend to Give Back

    There are many ways to give back this season. With Little Giant Life and on a personal basis, I always aim to give back to causes close to my heart.

    With the holidays just around the corneryikes less than 2 weeks! Think of those who are much need of hope. My favorite cause is supporting children in need. I revel in my students’ smiles. Why not purchase some last minute gifts for that much deserved smile? Here are some of my favorite causes.

     

    Have a Holiday #Sweater? You know you want to wear it!

    Save the Children created a fun campaign where you don your unforgettable (ok, maybe forgettable) holiday sweater, share it on social media or donate 5 bucks or do both! Round up your co-workers and have them strut their stuff with their silliest sweater. This can also be added as a fun activity for kids at school. No holiday sweater on hand? Then have them decorate one! It’ll be fun, creative, and teach kids to give back to others.

    Save the Children also has a great Holiday Gift Catalog. Here are some choices with a variation of dollar amounts:

    • Newborn care packages consisting of soap, baby blanket, breastfeeding tips, baby cap and parental counseling. $45
    • Books and other learning materials to help a young girl’s educational future. $75
    • A bicycle! Transportation can’t be taken for granted. Your donation will help healthcare workers reach needy families in their rural communities. $100

    Recently, Child Fund International partnered with Toms to give needy kids brand new shoes. Now, Child Fund has put together a detailed and very well-thought out Real Gifts Catalog.

    • For as little as $11, your donation will provide a child a mosquito net. Why is this important? It protects them for getting exposed to malaria.
    • As water is the fuel of life, your donation of just $50 can simply save a life by proving clean water.
    • If you’re feeling ultra generous, $275 will give someone the opportunity to make her clothes with a sewing machine. Better yet, you can be part of her entrepreneurial dream by starting her own at-home business!

    Macy’s and Make-A-Wish Campaign has a simple way of spreading their message of hope for children.Visit any Macy’s Department Store and drop off a letter to Santa! For every letter, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish up to $1,000,000. And since we are in the digital age, you can also enter your letter online, here. Tomorrow is National Believe Day where Macy’s will donate $2 for every letter dropped off that day.

    Speaking of Make-A-Wish, I’m excited to say that I just became a volunteer and super amped to help this amazing organization! If not able to donate dollars, then giving your time is just as valuable. Trust me when I say that non-profit organizations truly appreciate your efforts to continue their cause.

    Floral arrangement with the words, aspire to inspire and give back.

    Will you give back this season? If so, let me know below!

  • Children International Partners with TOMS Shoes

    Children International Partners with TOMS Shoes

    In this blog, my biggest inspiration is giving back. And you will see stories on helping children to take precedence. We all can make tiny steps in helping other. This action will come back to you in wondrous ways.  Child focused humanitarian organization, Children International is joining TOMS Shoes and its One for One® Model in providing new shoes for children in need.

    Imagine seeing a child walking to school, church or home without shoes. I’ve seen this first hand visiting my country, Honduras. Seeing children at a very young age running errands or working without shoes is something that shouldn’t happen. As a young child to my adult years, the image of children suffering has always stayed in my memory. Perhaps that’s why I truly value children’s well-being. Children are innocent and defenseless and only look up to us for guidance and support. Wouldn’t a pair shoes give them hope when the sights and sounds of poverty surrounds them?

    Children International’s valuable and tireless work help children from a young age to 17 years old in over 11 countries such as Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines and Zambia. With TOMS, every product that is purchased will help a person in need. For a TOMS store locator, please search here as I will be doing the same. Follow Children International on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, or see their incredible work in action on YouTube.

    Image via Children International.