2016 Holidays, Brands with a Cause, Gift Guides, Healthy Living, Kids

Holiday gifts that support children with cancer

This content was sponsored by MD Anderson Cancer Center but all thoughts and opinions are my own. #ad

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For several weeks I have been bringing you fun gift ideas for my 2016 Holiday Gift Guide. This feature is one of the most precious and important gift ideas I will be sharing with you this season. Along with gift guides I feature throughout the year, I also feature brands with a cause. When I have a choice to purchase a unique gift, I want my dollars to give back and support brands like Children’s Art Project at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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Children’s Art Project at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has gifts featuring artwork from pediatric patients at MD Anderson are available to purchase online. Net proceeds from the sale of art-inspired merchandise help fund pediatric education and creative arts programs as well as support groups and camps.

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I wanted to see for myself the quality of such artwork so that I can help you understand what arrives to you. First of all, when you browse the website, you may find just how difficult it is to choose. The artwork is so precious and you want to support the art of every artist, but with over 50 artists to choose from you will eventually narrow down the perfect gift and design to purchase. I received artwork from MD Anderson pediatric cancer patients Ksenia and Michelle. I have a precious ornament, cutting board set and night shirt.

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When browsing all of the great gifts, you can find the following products:

  • Apparel: aprons, tees, onesies, scarves, ties, bib, nightshirt
  • Cards: assorted birthday, notecards, collections, contribution cards, notepads
  • Gifts: towels, potholders, totes, trays, bookmarks, umbrellas, soap, tumbler, cutting board and more
  • Jewelry: necklaces and charms

Prices run from $4 to under $60 with so many different products to help fulfill that shopping gift list of yours. More than just a memento of a gift that you know will be treasured by your recipient, the art that goes into these projects provides much more to the kids.

See more and Save!

Participating in art projects while in treatment is therapeutic and healing and the kids feel that the art classes help them. Be sure to check out more from Children’s Art Project and get 20% off by using the coupons code HEALTHY20 at checkout!

This content was sponsored by MD Anderson Cancer Center but all thoughts and opinions are my own. #ad

2016 Holidays, Brands with a Cause, Kids, Parenting

Build-A-Bear Life is Good Bear & Matching T-shirts for Charity

Sample sent for feature

Build-A-Bear Hero

Life is Good + BuildABear have teamed up to create a new branded bear, bear T-shirts, matching kids T-shirts and accessories. 10 percent of net profits of the Life is Good bear T-shirts going to the Life is Good Kids Foundation in support of their work with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.

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This is the Classic Life is Good Teddy and his red Life is Good T-shirt. Then my son was sent a matching T-shirt in his size. These red T-shirts are available from toddler to kids sizes and 2 other Teddy’s-Holiday Rocket and Free Hugs.

[bctt tweet=”What an adorable partnership @Lifeisgood and @buildabear! Matching tee for child and teddy for charity!” username=”3sonshavei”]

Build-A-Bear

A note from Life is Good co-founder:

“Helping to make life good for more kids is central to our brand and the work of the Life is Good Kids Foundation,” said John Jacobs, Life is Good co-founder and Chief Creative Optimist. “Partnering with BuildABear Workshop allows us to spread the power of optimism to more families while also helping kids overcome violence, poverty and illness.”

“Life is Good shares our mission to inspire kids and help them have a bright future, and this partnership gives the gift of optimism while helping kids across the United States and Canada,” said Gina Collins, chief marketing officer, BuildABear Workshop. “Our efforts with Life is Good are a great complement to our existing Merry Mission holiday fundraising campaign for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada this holiday season.”

Build-A-Bear shirt

Life is Good Kids Foundation partners with organizations serving the most vulnerable children to improve the quality of their care. The Foundation’s Playmaker program connects with schools, hospitals, camps, and a variety of social service agencies to give childcare professionals the resources they need to make a positive, life-changing impact at a pivotal time in a child’s development. For more information please visit LifeisGood.com.

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Get your Life is Good Bear, T-shirts and accessories at Build-A-Bear/LifeIsGood.

2016 Holidays, Brands with a Cause, Food, Natural Foods

Family Charity Activity with the Bake-it-Better Challenge

Samples sent for feature

Bake-It-Better baking challenge

What inspires you to bake during the holidays? Bake up a treat of your choice using Miss Jones baking mix and/or frosting, and they will donate $1 to the SF-Marin Food Bank. It makes a great family charity activity. Just use the hashtag #betterwithmissjones on social media or visit their website for more info at www.missjones.co/better.

Your creativity is the secret ingredient! Great ideas could include candy cane Christmas cookies, maple cheesecake brownies, chocolate cake waffles, or any other tasty treats you can conjure. I joined as well.

Bake-it-better challenge

I let my son make some treats for my work Thanksgiving potluck at work. I work at the local High School in the kitchen and we have a lot of fun at work. Celebrating holidays and birthdays with foods and gifts is something well do often.

I kept it simple for the 8 year old so off to the supermarket we went to find fun toppings for out Miss Jones Baking Co. inspired treats. He knows his creations will give back to charity so it is very inspiring to him.

bake for family charity

cookies for family charity

You can win too! Use the hashtag #madewithmissjones within your contest promotion posts to be entered. So the 2 hashtags to use are #madewithmissjone and #betterwithmissjones. One gives to charity and one enters you into contest prize for a Grand Prize, valued at over $1,500.

A great way to sneak in some charity over the Holidays with the kids! Find Miss Jones Baking Co. mixes and frostings at their website shop and retailers like Whole Foods and some Target stores and Target.com.

2016 Holidays, Brands with a Cause, Fashion, Infant Toddler Products, Natural Products

Baby Hero Onesie that Saves Lives #HolidayGiftGuide

Sample sent for feature.

Holiday Gift Guide Feature: Baby He.ro

Baby Hero Logo

If you have a baby or toddler on your holiday shopping list, I highly encourage you to visit Baby Hero. There are a few reasons why they are your go-to clothing gifts for this season. From quality fabric to a brand that gives back, here are the reasons why Baby Hero stands out.

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Quality Fabric

Baby Hero clothing is luxurious in the way it feels. It is made with 100% organic, chemical-free, and eco-friendly material. Nothing but the best for baby and toddler

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Baby Hero Saves Lives

Every Baby Hero product purchased through Babyhe.ro funds a “Neonatal Survival Kit” for a mother and her newborn in the developing world, helping them survive childbirth and the vulnerable first weeks of life. And if that isn’t enough, Baby Hero also pays fair prices to the cotton farmer and fair wages to the garment worker making its products 360 degrees ethical, from source to user to beneficiary.

Bundled Gift Sets

If you head to Baby Hero and click on gift sets, you get bundles gifts for all ages and gender. There are onesie and stuffed animals as well as footie and blankets. Buy individual gifts or get a combination of toys and apparel and feel good about your purchase helping others in need.

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Head to Baby He.ro to see the entire selection. The tag on the product tells your recipient that their gift helped others.

Website | Facebook | Pinterest

Visit the 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for the master gift list-it is updated daily.

Brands with a Cause, Healthy Living, Parenting

5 Ways to Give Back for Hunger Action Month

You-Give-Goods-Donation-Drive | Parenting Healthy

September is Hunger Action Month. Courtesy of Lisa Tomasi, Philanthropy Expert and Founder of e-giving site YouGiveGoods, she offers these tips below of how you can start a drive this month.

Tips to Fight Back During Hunger Action Month:

  1. Advocate. Use your voice to spread the word about hunger in your community. Social media has made this quite easy to do. Alert your online community that we are in the midst of Hunger Action Month and about the plight of the hungry in their own backyards. Share quotes and statistics about hunger and ask them to support their local hunger relief organization.
  2. Volunteer. Most food banks, pantries and soup kitchens rely on volunteers to make their operations work. Volunteers can sort donations, stock shelves and help with distribution. Volunteers can also frequently help from home in the form of virtual volunteering. Contact your local hunger relief organization to see if you can utilize your specific skills to help them with business operations like accounting, marketing, website and administration.
  3. Run a food drive. You can really increase your impact by organizing your own food drive. Food drives run in conjunction with your company, school, church or group tend to have the best results. And, always add an online component to your traditional drive (or run your online drive alone). Use YouGiveGoods.com to run an online drive for your local food pantry. The online drive service is free to use, easy to share on social media, and simple for supporters to shop online for brand-new most-needed food items which are shipped directly to the pantry at the close of the drive.
  4. Donate money. Hunger relief organizations need monetary donations to operate. Any size donation will be welcomed.
  5. Donate food. Don’t just walk by the donation bin at your school, store or company. Make a point to donate food whenever the opportunity arises.

I am a member of an online community group for my town. Last month I agreed to be a point of contact for our struggling food bank. I am responsible for gathering non-food items that our food bank is very low on. They need laundry, cleaning and toiletry supplies. I post regular updates, photos of how the large box I have is filling up and when full I announce dates I will make a food bank run. Members have my address and can porch drop off to me on this side of town. Our food bank is only open for donations for 2 short hours a day so having another location for such organizations is a huge help for those who want to help but cannot drop off at their times. I open my porch for drop offs 24/7.

Donation-Drive-Hunger-Month | Parenting Healthy

Tweet: September is Hunger Action Month. Come learn how you can give back http://ctt.ec/iage0+
I did create a You Give Goods drive for the Food Bank as ell. To see how a drive looks, you can peek at mine at https://yougivegoods.com/lsfoodbank. What donators can do is shop right through the shop tab for the goods I chose are needed. These are bulk items-like Costco size that get sent directly to the Food Bank in the donators name. Once you purchase these bulk goods you are sent a donation receipt for your tax purposes. This is great as I am just a drop off spot so those that want to shop and need donation vouchers can get one this way. It is easy to do-just put a call out in your community. With Facebook Groups, almost every town has one to join. From there you are a voice to reach out to locals who may want to help. September is a great month to start!

Books Reviews, Brands with a Cause, Deals, Education, Gift Guides, School

Back to School with Kohl’s Cares

Post written for Kohl’s Cares and product was sent free or at reduced price for feature

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It’s back to school time with Kohl’s Cares. What a better plush and book character then the friends of Clifford. Clifford The Big Red Dog collection includes a backpack, creativity kit, toys, and hard cover books to finish the summer reading and move on to the next level this school year.

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I have always loved Clifford and remember his stories when I was learning to read. In fact, the Clifford The Big Read Dog series was the standard learning set within my kindergarten class I remember. Now they are at the special $5 price point in the Kohl’s Cares selections in store and online. 100% of the proceeds go back into child health initiatives.

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The Scramble States of America is a fun addition to the school collection and the activity set is full of coloring fun with a how-to-draw animals book.

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To date, Kohl‘s has raised nearly $300 million through the Kohl’s Cares merchandise program. To reinforce the company’s commitment to children’s health, Kohl’s has donated financial support to hospitals across the country. The donations fund hospital outreach programs focused on children’s health initiatives and address the specific issues needed most in each hospital’s community. These tailored programs provide vital resources to families at no cost and include topics such as injury prevention, asthma awareness, dental care, and fitness.

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The Kohl’s Cares section is always our favorite stop inside our Kohl’s store and I am so excited to see Clifford featured so my own son can share in the fun stories.

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