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Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
It always feels better to shop when you know you’re giving back. Right now, a variety of companies are donating proceeds to benefit kids with cancer. Check out a few of our picks below—you’ll feel great donating to a good cause and getting a jump start on your holiday to-dos!
As you may know from years past, St. Jude has an expansive gift shop full of products that give back: 100 percent of proceeds from your purchase will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital! Their tote bag was an American Baby pick, but we’re also partial to the cozy sweatshirt and container of hot chocolate mix. There’s something for everyone on your list. And, if you’re shopping for a star-struck family member, check out the St. Jude celebrity collection.
Have a teething baby? We love Chewbeads, and half the proceeds from this creamsicle-colored Perry Necklace goes to Cookies for Kids with Cancer. Check out the Cookies website for more of their retail partners plus information about events they hold nationwide.
Donating to a charity in a loved one’s name is a great way to express gratitude while benefiting an individual in need. Maybe Grandma has all the jewelry she could ever want, but we bet she’d love to provide a special necklace to a mother who lost her child to cancer. By donating $40 to the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation, a mother will anonymously receive a locket complete with a photo of her child and E.E. Cummings’ poem, “I carry your heart with me.” In return, donors will receive a special letter, information about the recipient, and a gift from the PRET*TY store, which was founded by Cindy Campbell, who lost her own son, Ty, to childhood cancer.
Have a turtle lover in your house? Cloud b is creating Super Max the Turtle for 2015, inspired by 7-year-old Max Wilford, a young cancer patient. Max was calmed by the Twilight Turtle while he was healing. The product comes with a special book telling the story of Max the Turtle, who turns into a superhero, in order to help kids feel at ease before bed. A portion of proceeds from the $23 turtle will go to the MaxLove Project.
Watch one family’s experience with childhood cancer:
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GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear
Thursday, August 14th, 2014
You’re always looking for an excuse to make a T.J. Maxx run–the store is chock-full of on-trend clothing, funky home items, cute stationery, and more. Now, it’s possible to shop and give back when you purchase one of the Save the Children products available in every T.J.’s location throughout the country. Save the Children has worked since the 1930s to care for, protect, and provide education for children in the United States and around the world.
T.J. Maxx has maintained a partnership with the organization for three decades and is currently selling special Save the Children blankets ($17) and reusable shopping bags (99 cents each) featuring kid-friendly designs. The blankets make great birthday or holiday gifts (it’s never too early to start gathering for friends and relatives), and 25 percent of profits benefit Save the Children. The tote bags are just 99 cents each, with all profits going to Save the Children. They’re ideal for toting to the supermarket and are also great for stashing laundry and dry cleaning.
Short on space? You can still assist the organization by donating any amount of money at checkout. Odds are you’re making some back-to-school shopping trips in the coming weeks, so stop by the store to donate! Products will be sold through the end of the month.
Photo courtesy of T.J. Maxx
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Friday, August 1st, 2014
The back of the wrappers show where your money is going.
I distinctly remember the first time I got detention: I was behaving perfectly in 8th grade health class when the teacher asked: “What’s in your mouth?” Busted. I had forgotten that I was chewing some “illegal” post-lunch gum and ended up having to pay the price of a 30-minute after school time out. But I suspect if I’d been chewing Project 7 gum back then, I would’ve had a stronger case in my defense: “I’m doing it for a good cause!”
Founded by father of three Tyler Merrick, Project 7 is a company dedicated to making “products for good.” Each flavor of their chewing gum is dedicated to its own charitable mission — and with choices like Birthday Cake and Coconut Lime, doing good can taste good too! (Plus, it’s sugar-free, calorie- free, and contains the good-for-teeth ingredient, xylitol.) Check out the delicious options:
- Fresh & Breezy — planting trees
- Mint Julep — cleanwater
- Peppermint Vanilla — fighting hunger in the U.S.
- Front Porch Lemonade — education
- Birthday Cake — antibullying
- Coconut Lime (2014 Gum of the Year!) — helping with homelessness
Available in resealable packets for just over a dollar, Project 7 gum makes it possible for almost anyone to make a difference. You can find the gum in grocery stores and coffee shops, and the mints are now available on every American Airlines flight! Bonus: The graphics on the back of each packet make it super easy for moms to start a conversation with their kids about the importance of giving back.
[Note: Gum is a choking hazard for children under age 4. Use caution.]
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Monday, May 12th, 2014
Odds are, the majority of your photos these days consist of you flaunting your baby bump, snuggling with your little one, or kissing your partner, so why not post these pics online for a good cause? Maternity fashion brand Séraphine’s #JustforLove campaign began this weekend, and the company will donate $1 to Baby2Baby for every photo uploaded here. Baby2Baby “supplies families in need with essential baby gear and clothing for their children up to age 12,” according to its website, and it also has a huge celeb following.
Pictures should capture a “personal moment of love” and include the #JustforLove hashtag. Need some inspiration? When you click on the link to upload, you can also view photos others have submitted. Feel like submitting a belly photo? Check out our tips!
The campaign will run for one month, so keep snapping away! Also, those who donate $20 to the campaign will have the opportunity to receive a special #JustforLove t-shirt, and all funds will benefit Baby2Baby.
Now that you’ve gotten some cute pics, it’s time to hang them up! Here’s some advice on how to deck out your walls:
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Monday, December 16th, 2013
With the holiday season comes the gift-giving spirit, and I, for one, have always been a fan of gifts that “give back.”
It all started with a proverb my mother told me as a child: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Ever since then, I’ve favored what I like to call “experiential gifts,” those that you can do or share with someone, or charitable gifts, which in some way support a cause I value.
This year, I’m going the charitable route. (Sometimes, the giving of an “experiential gift” feels like I’m selfishly giving myself a present, too. Anyone else ever feel that way when you buy two tickets for your special someone to a concert you’re both dying to see?) Fortunately, I was introduced to Pikolinos’ Maasai Collection, a line of shoes and bags featuring traditional beadwork embroidery. The brand partnered with over 1,600 women from the Maasai tribe of Kenya, one of the most threatened on the planet according to the UN, to design the collection. This sustainable collaboration wins my vote for the fashion-forward gift that gives back this year because 100% of the proceeds from this line go directly back into the Maasai Community in the form of fair wages. Thanks to this unique partnership, more than 1,600 families have a stable source of income that allows them to obtain basic needs items, like food and medicines.
As I browsed the collection, I thought, now here’s a gift I can feel good about giving—with comfort and style that’s so worth receiving.
Image: Olivia Palermo wears Pikoloinos via stylist.ca
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Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
With the food riches of Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas is looming just around the corner (about three weeks to be exact). Though many get caught up trying to find the perfect gifts for family and friends, it’s easy to forget that presents don’t always need to come in shiny packages.
Today’s #GivingTuesday, a national movement that started just last year. The goal: create a national day of giving where people can pay it forward. Whether that means donating to a favorite charity or volunteering at your local shelter, being charitable is all about finding the causes that matter to you.
One toy company is taking that mentality and spreading the joy throughout December. Tegu, known for its award-winning magnetic blocks, recently introduced a new member to the family: the Tegu Elf. And he’s on a mission to give back this holiday season.
From now until December 20, he will be tracking the hashtag #TeguElf across social media–Tegu’s Facebook wall, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Once he finds a person in need, he’ll send a special present your way, anything from free Tegu products to a restaurant gift card.
To get the elf’s attention, just send out a message with the hashtag and the thing you’d like most this Christmas. Don’t forget to look outside your immediate family, too. The elf is on the lookout for charities to donate to as well.
In the weeks to come, be sure to track his movements and announcements on Tegu’s Facebook page. Each day, he offers something new (such as free cubes placed in every fifth order on the site). In the meantime, if you have your own plans to give back today, share a picture explaining your good deeds using the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #UNselfie.
The time it takes you to do something for others will feel so much better than battling a sea of frenzied shoppers.
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Doing Good, GoodyBlog, Holidays, Your Life
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Just like many others, my family’s holiday season is all about tradition. Though Thanksgiving is a couple days away, I already know we’ll be having my aunt’s garlic “smashed” potatoes and my gram’s pimento-stuffed celery (even though she’s the only one who likes it). We keep these recipes in the rotation because they’re near and dear to us. But this year, sharing them with others gives bigger benefits to those in need.
Go to Dish Up the Love to submit your favorite recipe and $1 will be donated to Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks leading the fight against hunger. Each dollar provides nine meals for families who need them.
Partnering with the program is Top Chef alum and mom Antonia Lofaso, whose first book The Busy Mom’s Cookbook was recently released in paperback. A single parent, Antonia relishes her time at home with her daughter, Xea, making memories through food.
“For me the holidays are about making memories with family and friends around the kitchen table and giving back. Dish Up the Love celebrates these special holiday moments,” Antonia says. “I shared the recipe for my grandma’s lasagna because it’s served at all Lofaso family holidays. At Thanksgiving, we have turkey, but there’s always lasagna and tons of other Italian food.”
Serves: 6 to 8
Total time: 85 minutes
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ¼ cup chopped garlic (about 8 cloves)
• 3 (16-ounce) cans of peeled, whole plum tomatoes
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning, or 4 teaspoons fresh marjoram or oregano
• 1 (9-ounce) package of no-boil, oven-ready lasagna noodles
• Sauce (from above)
• ½ cup shredded or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
• 2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
• 4 cups shredded whole-milk, mozzarella cheese
• 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 6 to 8 slices each
• 12 medium to large fresh basil leaves
1. For the sauce, head the olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and just as it starts to brown around the edges, throw in the canned tomatoes. You don’t want the garlic to burn, so have the cans open and ready to go beforehand.
2. Add the salt and sugar and whisk it all together. Let the sauce simmer on medium-low for 40 minutes while you prep the other ingredients. If any foam rises to the top of the sauce, skim it off. That’s the acid from the tomatoes, and your sauce will taste better without it. Using a hand blender or counter top blender, blend on medium until smooth.
3. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a 10-inch sauté pan heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the ground turkey and the salt. Cook the turkey for about 5 minutes, until it’s browned throughout. Just as it’s finishing the cooking process, stir in the Italian seasoning. Drain any excess fat or liquid from the pan.
4. Cover the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with 3 sheets of pasta. Ladle 1 cup of sauce over the noodles. You don’t want the sauce to soak through, so you don’t need to overdo it. Layer on half of the meat, followed by half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and half of the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle on one-third of the mozzarella and arrange one-third of the fresh tomatoes on top of it. Top with one-third of the basil.
5. Repeat the process for the next layer: 3 sheets of pasta, a cup of sauce, the rest of the meat, the rest of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the remaining ricotta, a third of the mozzarella, a third of the fresh tomatoes, and another third of the basil. The last layer is your presentation layer, so make it pretty. Add three more sheets of pasta.
6. Top the noodles with the last of the sauce, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, rotating halfway through. The top should be a crispy golden brown when the lasagna is done, and the pasta sauce around the sides of the dish should be thick, not runny. Let the lasagna stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. If you cut into it while it is still piping hot, it will fall apart.
For more information and to share your favorite family recipe, visit worldkitchen.com/dishupthelove. After submitting a recipe, you’ll be entered for weekly sweepstakes to win Pyrex, Baker’s Secret, and CorningWare products.
Get more kid-friendly recipes from Antonia Lofaso.
Recipe and image reprinted from The Busy Mom’s Cookbook with permission from Avery, an imprint of Penguin Group.
Image of Antonia and Xea by Alex Martinez.
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antonia lofaso, charity, chef, Christmas, cooking, dish up the love, Feeding America, Food, giving, holiday, recipe, Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo, thanksgiving, the busy mom cookbook, top chef, world kitchen | Categories:
celebrities, Doing Good, Food, GoodyBlog, Holidays
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Parents caught up with tennis star, humanitarian, father (and now snack-creator) Andre Agassi upon the launch of his new snack line for kids, Box Budd!es. Agassi teamed up with V20 Foods to create snacks from milk boxes to granola bars.We particularly enjoyed the fun new Peachy Apple Fruit Pouch as a twist on traditional applesauce. The chocolate granola bars win the Parents vote since they’re the perfect size for a lunchbox treat, with only 100 calories and 5 grams of sugar each. Not to mention, all of the proceeds from these foods benefit the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. But aside from this endeavor, as dad to Jaden, 11, and Jaz, 9, this pro has plenty to say about healthy eating, kids and sports, and teaching your child kindness.
P: What got you started on the nutritional front for kids?
AA: The impetus was about education and it morphed into educating on two fronts. All the money goes to my Foundation for Education, so we can educate our future, and we also educate parents on how to make better choices for their kids.
P: The snacks are a bit healthier and the proceeds support education, but I have to imagine taste was a factor. Were Jaden and Jaz your taste-testers?
AA: They were two of them, let me put it that way. Their cousins were four more and their friends. As we got closer to the end product it became a fun thing in the house. We would line up all these blind taste tests and cut them into little tiny squares so you could compare them and then they would all do their little notes about them. It was actually a pretty fun process.
P: So are applesauce and chocolate milk some of their favorite foods?
AA: We have the same dilemma every parent has in that you keep your kids living a well-balanced health lifestyle and it starts with educating them on their choices and forcing them to eat something healthy before they eat something that’s not as healthy.
P: What are you tricks of the trade in getting them to choose that healthier option?
AA: Well, it’s a mandate. If you want something that’s unhealthy for a snack, you first have to eat an apple. You want to go to dessert, you have to finish this on your plate. It’s filling them up on the good stuff before they choose the bad stuff. If they ask for snacks, as long as they eat something healthy they can have the snack. We don’t discriminate against the snack as long as they start with the healthy option.
P: I know that you are involved with the Boys and Girls club, an organization that mixes education and athletics. Do Jaden and Jaz play sports to keep active and healthy?
AA: Yeah. My son plays baseball, full stop, and my daughter’s on two hip hop dance competition teams. She is rock hard now and she’s nine. I didn’t even know bodies could do those movements. It’s crazy to watch her do it.We’re there at competitions and games cheering all the time.
P: In your autobiography, Open, you talk a lot about how tennis felt pressurized for you. How do you keep athletics, or dance, or physical activity in general fun for your kids?
AA: Well, we’re not the kind of parents who expect them to do this for a lifetime. We try to nurture what they gravitate towards and they both found their niche pretty quickly. We just support it. There’s nothing to push them at. They just have to see through their responsibility. It’s really smiple: You’re going to fulfill your responsibility. Jaz is part of two dance competitions. She doesn’t have to do it next year, but this year I say, “You’re going to every practice, you’re going to go to every competition.” Same with Jaden—he can make his choices year to year if that’s what he chooses, but I harp on being responsible.
P: Through your Foundation and all of the wonderful causes that you’ve been a supporter of, giving back is clearly an important value to you. How do you go about instilling that value in your children?
AA: All of those things I did that led me to education. I got tired of sticking band-aids on issues and I wanted to give the tools for real systemic change. But I will tell you this, and one thing I’ve learned most profoundly as a parent: children will learn from what they see way more than what you tell them. So the fact that I’m in New York right now for two days and I’m not home with them, they want to know where I am and why I’m going. I walk them through what I’m doing, as an example, with Box Budd!es. They all of a sudden realize that I’m not really doing something I want to do—I don’t want to travel, I don’t want to leave them—but I have to because it is the right thing to do. So they see that more than telling them. Next thing you know on the weekend they’re having a lemonade drive for the ASPCA to save pets and animals. It’s remarkable how that correlates.
P: I know that Jaden has a birthday coming up, he’s about to turn 12. Do you have birthday plans?
AA: Both of them actually. Jaz wants to take her entire dance team to the Jabberwockies. So that would be the third year in a row she wants to do that. They’re better athletes than anyone I’ve ever seen on a tennis court. They’re remarkable what they can do. Jaden, his birthday is late October so he’s still sort of morphing back and forth between a very understated barbeque with just a few friends or a big movie night with his entire team.
P: Will you serve Box Budd!es at the birthday party?
I’m gonna push this as much as possible. I hope this brand builds. I hope that when people see that seal, that logo, that this is really going towards our future, that they trust the source, and that 100 percent of all my proceeds are going directly to our future.
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