How you can help animal shelters

help animal shelters

Beautiful ways you can help animal shelters

Short or time or funds (or both?) but you desperately want to help animals at a local shelter? Here are some beautiful ways that you can make a big difference, and get your furry-friend fix.

Be a caring cuddler: Oftentimes, shelters across the country are short on staff to help exercise, cuddle and socialize their animals. If you’re good with furry friends, volunteer an hour or two once a week to spend time with the animals at a local shelter. Play time has huge psychological and physical benefits for waiting animals (not to mention, the heart-warming benefits to self).

caring cuddler

beautiful ways you can help animal shelters

Donate wish-list items: Every shelter has a “must-have” list of items as well as wish-list of items to help accommodate shelter pets, whether it’s food, toys, stuffies (for cuddling) extra towels for bedding, newspapers (for puppy training), litter, crates or cleaning supplies. Pick up a couple items next time you’re shopping or donate some of your new or gently used items at the local shelter.
donate to animal shelters

beautiful ways you can help animal shelters

Party Plan with Pets in Mind: Your birthday, anniversary, first-date, etc. Pet Parties are the perfect way to gather donations for a shelter and perhaps encourage pet-fostering or adoption. Everyone wants to be nice to you at your party, right? Make it easy for your friends to gift you with a fundraising website like or, to raise money throughout the month of your birthday or anniversary, or the day of your party, or you can ask anyone attending your party to bring a gift for the shelter instead of for you. You could even host a fabulously fun party at a shelter or dog park for extra joy and inspiration.
party to help animal shelters

beautiful ways you can help animal shelters

Why you should do something good in your community

make a difference

Why you should DO SOMETHING good in your community

A lot of people ask me, where can I make a difference? I want to make that as simple as possible for everyone; Make a difference at home, in your community!

Serving your community—the place where you live and work and where you’ve planted roots—is everyday philanthropy at its most relevant. Because when you serve your community, you serve yourself. It was the New Orleans Town Gardeners, a community group of local gardening enthusiasts, who were the first to suggest that the Samuel J. Green Charter School (where more than 90 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced school meals) grow a vegetable garden. When they proposed the idea, the school officials said they weren’t interested. It was barely a year after Hurricane Katrina, and they were still getting back on their feet—they couldn’t possibly take on such a big (and unusual) project. Undaunted, the Town Gardeners found the school a partner in the Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley, California, the brainchild of chef Alice Waters and the Chez Panisse Foundation. Three years later, with the hard work of local volunteers, the Edible Schoolyard Project New Orleans ( is a beautiful green space and a source of pride in this proud community, for students and residents alike. Much of Green Charter’s curriculum is built around the garden. Kids tend the garden themselves, take Creole cooking classes using the organic crops, and learn about plant and insect life cycles firsthand. And once a month, the school invites members of the community into the garden to help care for the rows of eggplant and corn. Green Charter’s schoolyard garden is such a prized part of the community, it’s amazing to think that the New Orleans Town Gardeners initially faced resistance. But any community activist will tell you, when it comes to making local improvements, it’s not enough to have a good idea—you need to be persistent, and have a good plan.

the law of attraction. perfection.

law of attraction

I think a lot about the law of attraction. I believe in being in the “flow” of life where you do not seek the light, you see it. You do not look for beauty. You be it. You do not search for self. You know it. You do not strive to be happy. You are.

To me, this is the natural law of attraction. You aren’t seeking something outside yourself, but rather drawing the outside goodness into the inside goodness you recognize. You aren’t trying to draw in a car, a boat, a better lover, a different you. Instead you are asking the outside world to reflect your inside world. It’s true that often what we think about the world is what we think about ourselves. So if we are fearful and bitter about the world around us, guess what? That thought is what we are feeling about ourselves.

It’s time to elevate our thoughts. Little by little. One small thought at a time. It’s time to honour ourselves with small beliefs about our beauty, gifts, and Source. Small beliefs grow into small experiences. Small experiences grow into bigger beliefs. Bigger beliefs grow into bold moves. Bold moves show the Universe that we are on board and ready for the ride of our life.

Trust the flow. Go on the wild ride knowing you are fully supported. Make the decision to elevate your thoughts about yourself and your inner world. Change will reflect in your reality. Slowly but surely.

“We can only attract to ourselves what we already feel ourselves to be, what we feel is natural. So in order to attract something different (and better) into your life you must first change the underlying beliefs upon which your life is based. This ‘inner change’ will, in turn, bring about a change in your thoughts and change in the outward manifestation of your life. Thus, the “Law of who you believe yourself to be” or the “Law of Being” determines what you attract; the “Law of Attraction” is secondary, it is wholly de-pendent upon the deeper and more fundamental law of your own Being.”

The Most Generous Celebrity Philanthropists

As we settle into the new year, it’s always fun to look back.  Since we dish on philanthropy and giving back daily here at, today, were taking a look at the top celebrity philanthropists of last year.

So, here’s a pickle for you:  Who do you think was the most generous celebrity of 2012?

Need a hint?  She’s the girl next door…

Ok, ok, that’s probably not a giveaway.  But, I’ll tell you this, 2012’s most charitiable celebrity is  not a fairly obvious pick like Oprah or Brangelina.

To be honest, none of the most generous celebrity philanthropists of 2012 are blantantly obvious. I think you”ll be quite surprised to learn who are the big givers in Hollywood…



1.  Jami Gertz 

This actress from hit films like Twister and TV’s The Neighbors made most generous celebrity philanthorpist of 2012 for a record donation with her investor husband, Anthony Ressler, for over $10 million dollars to the Ressler-Gertz Foundation which focuses on scholarships, Student Financial Aid Services, awards.

2.  Herb Alpert 

Although I’m not overly familiar with this generous musician, I was pleasantly astounded to learn that Herb Alpert gave $9,104,829 to the Herb Alpert Foundation in 2012, which focuses on the arts, compassion and well being. You rock, Herb!

3.  Nora Roberts 

An author! Fabulous. Well, …let’s be honest. Ms. Roberts is not just an author, this American bestselling author of more than 209 romance novels happens to moonlight as a seasoned philanthropist too. In fact, in 2012, she donated over $3 million to The Nora Roberts Foundation, which supports literacy.

4. Matthew McConaughey

This hunky actor and father of two donated over $1.5 million dollars to the Just Keep Livin’ Foundation that he established which focuses on distributing education grants.

Editors Note:  Sorry about the nearly-newd picture of Mr. McConaughey.  I just couldn’t find any with his shirt on 😉

 5.  Charlie Sheen

I got to be honest, this one surprised me.  Charlie Sheen is known for many things.  Philanthropy, is certainly not one of them.  Nonetheless, this actor has a generous side and isn’t afraid to show it… The Anger Management star recently donated $1 million to the United Service Organization’s Operation Enduring Care, which is a campaign to support wounded, ill and injured troops and their families.

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Fashion + Philanthropy: Designers That Care – Spotlight on Rachel Roy

Acclaimed fashion designer and fervent activist Rachel Roy has long demonstrated that fashion + philanthropy can be much more than an affable catchphrase for social responsibility.  In fact, throughout the years, this caring designer has increasingly incorporated eco-chic and philanthro-chic initiatives into the Rachel Roy brand – proving that saving the world in style is just good business.

As for Roy’s international philanthropic initiatives throughout the years, many would be surprised to hear how often and how devotedly she gives to charitable causes.  On her thirty-sixth birthday, for example, Roy launched her own charity: water campaign, asking friends, family and fans to “help make my birthday the best I have ever had — by helping to provide clean water to 750 people, 150 families and 3 communities.”

Some of Roy’s other initiatives include: OrphanAid Africa and Heart of Haiti, as well as a fabulous partnership with Fairwinds Trading, in which Roy creates limited edition designs that are hand-crafted by women artisans affected by genocide and abuse in third world countries – in an effort to help create sustainable jobs and a potential source of income and independence.  (The Rachel Roy Fairwinds Collection is available at Macy’s and at And for every purchase, you will help support women’s independence through employment.)

The fabulous Rachel Roy is also quick to assist the victims of disaster in whatever way she can. In the aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquakes, for instance, she travelled to Port-au-Prince, where she explored business opportunities with Haitian artisans and promised to help protect Haitian women being physically and sexually abused in tent cities that have popped up across the island nation.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, amongst other efforts (like donating a percentage of Rachel Ray merchandise proceeds to the American Red Cross), she joined the Fashion for Sandy Relief, auctioning off  a “Meet Rachel Roy experience, complete with a personal styling.”

Clearly, giving back is one of Rachel’s greatest passions and one of the founding principles of the Rachel Roy brand. Rachel always looks to create opportunities to help others through her impressive stature and style, and this holiday season is no different. Right now, at One King’s Lane, you can purchase Rachel Roy’s designer wrapper paper (on sale today!) with proceeds benefiting OrphanAid Africa.

‘Tis the season to give.  And, in my humble opinion, no designer gives more gorgeously than Rachel Roy!

25 Ways to Spread Kindness during the Holiday Season (…without breaking the bank)

President John F. Kennedy once said, “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” We think that sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving prescription to spread a little (or a lot!) of goodness this year.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to save the planet or to make a difference in someone’s life. You can make a difference today, everyday… and change the world forever!


25 Ways to Spread Kindness this Thanksgiving (without breaking the bank):

1. SMILE!  “Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”  ―    Mother Teresa

2. Hold a food drive. Enlist help from family,  friends, and members of your community to host a food drive, collecting canned  goods for your local shelter or fresh produce for a local soup kitchen.

3. Donate old sneakers to Nike-Reuse-A-Shoe!  They’ll turn them into safe playground surfaces for children.

4. Bake a Difference!  Bake cookies for a local fundraiser to support a chosen cause or host a charitable bake sale of your own to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

5. Give!  Give what you can, when you can.  As Anne Frank said in The Diary of Anne Frank, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” There is always something you can give.

6. Test Yourself. Learn new words with the free vocabulary test at, and for every answer you get right, the site’s sponsors will donate enough money to purchase twenty grains of rice to the UN World Food Program.

7. Do consider using your skills, experience and talents to help out as an alternative to giving money.

8. Clean your closet and donate career attire to Dress for Success for women or Career Gear for men. Your donation will provide professional clothing to low-income people seeking employment.

9. Surf for the earth. Powered by Google, returns search results with an environmental kick: The site donates 100 percent of search revenues to nonprofits, such as Rainforest Alliance and the Sierra Club.

10. Tutor. Whether you’re helping a student understand Macbeth or teaching an adult the basics of reading, literacy tutoring can be a fun–and important–way to donate your time. Log on to to learn more.

11. Get crafty. Put your creative talents and hobbies to work and make afghans for needy families or quilts for seriously ill or traumatized children.

12. Invite a solo friend or acquaintance to your holiday meal.

13. LOVE! “Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people that are reckless with yours.”  ―  Mary Schmich

14. Volunteer to walk and play with homeless animals at a nearby pet shelter.

15. Give gifts that give back.

16. Donate books to a good cause (a nearby school, hospital or library).  You’ll give the tomes a second life and spare the landfills.

17. Give Blood. One pint of blood can save up to three lives.  Donate blood at your local Red Cross. Community drives happen regularly and many large communities have places where you can donate throughout the year.

18. Don’t worry about giving “small” – “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”  ―    Desmond Tutu

19. Give a small loan to help budding entrepreneurs by lending to a Kiva project.

20. Volunteer a few hours at a local food bank, community kitchen, hospital, elderly home or charity drive.  Your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give!

21. Knit for good. Knits hats for the homeless, blankets for newborn babies, teddy’s for foster children.  There’s nothing quite like a handmade gift.

22. Deliver Thanksgiving dinners to housebound people.  Contact your local Meals on  Wheels group and offer to deliver holiday meals to elderly and sick people in your area.

23. Donate coats.  Provide winter warmth for children and families in need: Donate jackets, mitts, scarves and the like to local coat drives or schools.

24. Thank a soldier! Show your appreciation for our Military Men and Women and Thank the troops. Send a card of thanks to a hero.

25. Make it simple, make kindness your religion. The spirit of Thanksgiving is all about the thanks and the giving.  It’s about  gratitude for your blessings and sharing with others. Express gratitude this holiday season with graciousness and gratitude.  And don’t forget — be kind to yourself too!  You deserve it.


Missoni Plush Teddy Bear …for the Philanthropist

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Ok, so I know it’s far too early to think about Christmas shopping BUT, when I saw this legendary design that helps a worthy cause, I just had to share it with you!

Missoni for Orphan Aid Africa:

Here are the new, adorable Missoni teddy’s, exclusively at Holt Renfrew, in support of OrphanAid Africa.


This plush teddy bear and elephant have been designed in iconic Missoni trademark zig zag-print in support of OrphanAid Africa ( to help orphans and vulnerable children in Ghana grow up in safe in family settings with appropriate care and protection.

In addition to being incredibly chic, these limited-edition stuffed animals are helping children with a portion of the sales from each $50 stuffed toy going toward Holt Renrew’s $100,000 donation to OrphanAid Africa.

As for me, I’m getting a head start on Christmas shopping and picking up a few of these kind-hearted creatures for each of my children (and one cuddly shelf-ornament for me too!).  I’ll be sure to let my children know that their little teddy is warming hearts all around the world!

To purchase go to Holt Renfrew or click here.  ($50

Five Things: Breast Cancer Awareness Month Jewels + Gems


How sweet it is!
I’ve always looked for any excuse to buy beautiful jewelry and pink just happens to be my signature hue, so this month, I’m obsessed with all the gorgeous jewel + gem options that give back to the cause.
Rose Gold.  Pink Diamonds.  Pastel Ribbons.
October is the time to get trendy and charitable with these gorgeous Breast Cancer Awareness Month pink Jewelryoptions:
PureVida Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet:  Go surf, snowboard, or even take a shower with them on. Wearing your bracelets every day only enhances the natural look and feel. Every bracelet is unique and hand-made therefore a slight variation in color combination may occur. This delicate bracelet donates $10 from the sale of each to The National Breast Cancer Foundation. ($40
David Yurman  Infinity Necklace: It’s a little pricey, but this rose-quartz pendant wrapped in David Yurman’s signature cable  strikes the right balance between class and compassion. 20% of  sales goes to the Breast  Cancer Research Foundation</a>. ($395
Tory Burch Double Wrap Bracelet: Tory Burch has done it again with this limited edition pink wrap logo studded bracelet to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. The company is donating 15 per cent of these sales to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) with a maximum donation of US$15,000 (S$18,000). ($95
 BeeCharming Zipper Bracelet: Dainty and ever so trendy, this rose metal bracelet from BeeCharming sends$10 from the purchase of each bracelet to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. ($25
Evelyn Lauder Legacy Collection Necklace by Ann Taylor: Ann Taylor will donate 65% of full-priced purchases of The Evelyn Lauder Legacy Collection to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. ($98

Wine Pairing Tips for a Cure

My sincere gratitude to Gwendolyn Osborn, Director of Education and Content and resident wine expert for for today’s guest post on Wine Pairings (using fabulous wines that give back!). xo!:

Over twenty years ago the pink ribbon was introduced as the official symbol of Breast Cancer Awareness month (now known fondly as ‘Pinktober’ to many). Here at and we’d like to raise a glass to the anniversary of the powerful symbol and the importance of awareness, specifically with a few of our labels at that give back directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation:

ONEHOPE California Chardonnay – ONEHOPE donates 50% of profits from the sale of every bottle of its Chardonnay to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This Chardonnay is handcrafted with a blend of grapes from select vineyards throughout Napa, Sonoma and the      Central Coast of California. It is blended with Muscat and Chenin Blanc,  displaying a pale gold color with aromas of fresh apple blossom and      honeysuckle, and flavors of crisp pear and apple. The balance of oak and bright acidity makes it a great match with broiled or grilled seafood,      poultry dishes and a wide assortment of cheeses.

J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon –  J. Lohr donates $2 of the sale of every bottle of Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This Cabernet Sauvignon is a classically dark color with a bright hue with aromas of currant, cherry and black plum, complemented by a bouquet of roasted hazelnuts and espresso. The entry is fruit-driven and supple, while the finish shows an integration of fruit and oak components from the  traditional French oak barrel aging.

Wines 4 Cures 4 Her, Chardonnay – 4 Her Chardonnay was created to raise funds and awareness for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This is a classic, cool-climate example of Chardonnay – clean and crisp, with flavors of lime and green apples, with a hint of vanilla. It’s a great match for scallops with mango salsa.

Cheers to a happy ‘Pinktober’!

Gwendolyn Osborn is the Director of Education and Content and resident wine expert for She’s a wine educator at heart, hoping her enthusiasm for wine will increase peoples’ enjoyment of the beverage. She received the Diploma in Wine & Spirits through the London-based WSET though this is by no means an end to her studies – wine knowledge is a never-ending pursuit – the more you know, the more you learn you don’t know and the more you want to taste!


Five Things: Breast Cancer Awareness Month Guilty Pleasures

This month marks the 27th anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a national call to raise awareness of the disease and funds for a cure. To support the cause, a slew of baking extraordinaire’s have launched limited edition gorgeous treats with proceeds benefiting breast cancer charities. Here are some of our favorite (not-s0-guilty) pink picks:

Magnolia Bakery is offering a pink ribbon cupcake during the month of October for $3.75. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation will receive $1 of each pink ribbon cupcake sold. 8389 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, www.

Yoplait conducts the highly successful Save Lids to Save Lives® program, which takes place from September through December each year. For each pink lid redeemed by customers, Yoplait will donate 10 cents to Komen, up to $2.5 million. For more information about the program, including the Save Lids to Save Lives mailing address, visit

 Crunch into one of Lily O’Brien’s delictable, limited Edition Crispy Hearts signature chocolate bites & support a very special cause. 10% from every pack is donated to Breast Cancer charity.

Enjoy the refreshing and exotic taste of pomegranate with the delicate, fragrant taste of hand-picked elderflowers – and support a truly great cause at the same time. During the month of October Bottlegreen will donate 10% of the proceeds from their Limited Edition BottlePink Cordial to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

During the month of October, Panera Bread is featuring its signature, Pink Ribbon Bagel. Sweetly made with cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar – with a portion of proceeds go to benefit breast cancer charities – this is a sweet charity in every way.

The Best of Pink Products: Coach for a Cure

I’m all about going PINK for a cure!  And, I especially love the idea of COACH donning the hopeful, pastel hue on some of its most stylish designs to help raise funds for The Breast Cancer Research Fund.  My favs?  The delicate ballet-slipper toned Phoebe Watch and the elegantly supple Kristin Hippie leather purse.  With COACH donating 20% of the proceeds of its COACH for a Cure offerings to The Breast Cancer Research Fund, shopping for a cause couldn’t be easier – or more effortlessly chic!




The Best of Pink Products: Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Watch

You don’t need to spend a fortune to give back in style! Avon’s slim, stylish, and affordably priced, silver-toned Breast Cancer Crusade watch has a pink imitation crocodile strap, pink pearlescent face and a silver-edged pink ribbon to show your support.  Even better this watch retails for just $20 and  100% of the net profits are donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.  Each watch comes with a free Breast Health Resource Guide.

The Best of Pink Products: Estee Lauder

Every October, store shelves magically awash in a sea of petunia-hued products, all in the name of breast cancer awareness.  In the vast world of ubiquitous “pink” – where one can buy shoes, shirts, mix-masters, mattresses and more for the cause – one name stands synonymous for the campaign of breast cancer awareness: Evelyn Lauder.

The late Lauder, who passed away at age 75, was the co-creator of the now famous Pink Ribbon breast cancer awareness campaign back in 1992. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the campaign, launched by Evelyn of the famous cosmetic company Estee Lauder.

In honor of Evelyn Lauder, we start our parade of The Best Pink Products with this year’s breast cancer awareness offerings from Estée Lauder:

Limited Edition Evelyn Lauder Dream Compact

With translucent pressed powder and a stunning compact, the Estée Lauder Evelyn Lauder Dream Compact ($75; makes it easy to preen for the cause no matter where you are. This heart-shaped compact with a beautifully adorned ribbon design (including a blue ribbon to represent the 1% of men affect by breast cancer) is filled and refillable with the smooth Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder.  A truly powerful and elegant way to show your support of Breast Cancer Awareness with all proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Limited Edition Evelyn Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley Dream Lip Collection

A beautiful way to show your support of Breast Cancer Awareness, with a Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Candy, Pure Color Gloss in Pink Innocence plus a chic pink snakeskin-printed clutch. ($29.50; For each purchase of the Evelyn Lauder Dream Lip Collection, Estée Lauder will donate 20% of the suggested retail price to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. August 2012 – June 2013.

Limited Edition Evelyn Lauder Dream Pin

Proudly display your support for the cause with this twinkling collectible pin in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Estee Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. ($12.50; 20% of the suggested retail price goes to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. August 2012 – June 2013. 

About BCRF:  BCRF is an independent, not-for-profit organization that was founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder to fund the most promising breast cancer research worldwide. It’s mission: prevention and a cure within our lifetime. For more information about BCRF visit