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

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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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

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

Five Things: Beauty Products that Give Back

Coco Chanel once wisely observed that, “nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”

So when it comes to beauty products, it’s a topic we gals take very seriously.

Lucky for us, the luxe and healthy options for getting your gorgeous on – with meaning -are unlimited.   In the push to make a positive impact, numerous cosmetic and boutique companies are stepping up to the plate and introducing beauty and skin care products that are giving back in a big way. These multitasking do-gooders in today’s Five Things have managed to create quality cosmetics products housed in environmentally aware packaging that benefit worthy causes all the while helping us gals to look and feel our best:

(M-A-C Viva Glam Nicki (Minaj) lipstick. Proceeds help those affected by HIV and AIDS.)

(The Body Shop Lily Cole Lip & Cheek Dome.  Vegetarian and 100% cruelty-free.)

(Shea Terra  Madagascar White Clay Drawing Masque.  Shea Terra collaborates with NGOs that teach locals how to support themselves while respecting the environment in which they live.)

(PeaceKeeper “Paint Me Provocative” vegan nail polish.  PeaceKeeper donates all of its after-tax, distributable profits to women’s health advocacy and urgent human rights issues.)

(Philosophy “green” Fresh Pear Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath. 100% of philosophy’s net proceeds from the sale of green go directly to the rain forest foundation.)

UNICEF & Hallmark’s Philanthro-Chic Greeting Cards

“Style is as much under the words as in the words.
It is as much the soul as it is the flesh of a work”
~ Gustave Flaubert

I’m a greeting card sap.  I’m not going to lie, a sentimental card gets me every time.

Tears. Sniffs. Snuffles.

…Every. Time…

If you’re a fan of greeting cards for special occasions (birthday, anniversary, Groundhog Day…or any day, really), you’re going to love the simply chic new line of Hallmark for UNICEF greeting cards that give children in need, a better chance at life.

Recently, I discovered this Hallmark and UNICEF “match made in heaven” at a local card retailer, and much to my delight, there was a great selection of beautifully crafted UNICEF cards to celebrate all occasions including birthdays, weddings, the birth of a new baby or to send a special message like good luck, get well or bon voyage.

I was instantly hooked!

The great part about these cards is that the back of each card describes its impact for your recipient. An anniversary card can help UNICEF provide Vitamin A doses to boost children’s immune systems and preserve their sight. While a birthday card can help provide measles vaccines or oral rehydration salts to treat diarrhea, one of the leading killers of children under 5 years old. One of the cards that I purchased provides one dose of polio vaccine for a child.

How can you not feel great about that?

What’s more, UNICEF cards are made with a commitment to sustainable forest management and are reasonably priced to boot! ($3.50)

Get ready to swoon:

{Simplicity is supreme.} 
{Elegant and sweet}
{The undeniable impact}

Miranda Cosgrove, Vanessa Hudgens, Hayden Panettiere – Neutrogena’s Wave For Change Bags

Emma Roberts has has got on board the Neutrogena’s Wave For Change campaign by promoting Neutrogena’s new range of pretty Tote bags. The profits go to charity Global Giving. So you can feel good AND get a stylish bag.

The bags have been designed by the Neutrogena Brand Ambassadors Vanessa Hudgens, Hayden Panettiere and Miranda Cosgrove.

As Neutrogena ambassadors, Miranda, Vanessa, and Hayden were asked to help design a bag to support the cause of their choice. Miranda’s (center) is a heart constructed of pencils – made to benefit educational courses. Vanessa’s (right) benefits disaster relief projects in the United States, and Hayden’s (left) benefits environmental charities.

The bags are available from July 1st to August 31st at Target stores.

Also, during July and August, Neutrogena® will be donating $1 for every Neutrogena® Acne, Cleansing or Cosmetics product sold and registered on their website, with a minimum of $100,000 and up to $250,000 to GlobalGiving.

Wave For Change is a charitable program that makes it easy for teens everywhere to give back in the U.S and other parts of the world where can make a huge impact before they head back to school and this year doing good has a stylish reward

Fulfill your Wildest Dreams at

Have you ever wanted to visit the Glee set and sit down to lunch with Matthew Morrison? (Um, yes please!) Attend the world premiere and after party of the new Justin Timberlake flick? Have a private shopping experience with design icon, Nicole Miller? These wild stylish dreams are just a click away, available in a auction, the auction site that offers a myriad of fashion and beauty experiences. At charitybuzz, you can win one-of-a-kind experiences with your favorite celebrities, luxury travel, designer merchandise, access to VIP sporting events and much more. Their innovative auctions feature something for everyone! The best part? Your winning bid raises money for some of the world’s most well-respected charities in support of dozens of different causes.

Buzz on over to now to place your bids — and make a difference for kids in need.

Eat Chocolate ~ Do Good! The Cadbury Bicycle Factory

For a second year in a row Cadbury Canada is supporting kids in Ghana with a purpose in mind – sending 5,000 bicycles to Ghana so children can to go to school, do their chores, and hang on to their life’s dreams – a well suited cause for a company that sells chocolates and candies to children in the industrialized world, using cocoa as an ingredient farmed in Ghana – well done!

Cadbury is keeping their 2010 Bicycle Factory campaign open until November 14, 2010 so UPC codes from candy and chocolate wrappers can still be added – each UPC code represents a single part of a bicycle – each bike in the campaign needing 100 parts or UPC entries. In 2010, this campaign has already built 3799 bikes and is striving to reach its goal of 5,000 bikes by mid November. Real-time monitoring captures the campaign’s progress on its microsite of a virtual factory at

Last November 2009, in its first year, the Bicycle Factory successfully delivered 5,000 bicycles to more than 200 communities in Ghana. Cadbury saw the Bicycle Factory program as an opportunity to help under privileged children, particularly those in Ghana, a region close to Cadbury’s heart due to its involvement in the country for over 100 years.

A global marketplace where every purchase makes a positive impact

More than 15,000 eco- and socially conscious goods are
available (some from as low as $2.50) on Shop by gift category,
or, if you’d like, “purchase impact,” be it eco- , animal-, or people-friendly.
Each product is vetted and comes with a short description so you can see exactly
where your money is going. Fair-trade lip balms, organic soaps and bath fizzers
are all under $15 and make excellent stocking stuffers.

Yoga Challenge to Beat Arthritis ~

On Sunday February 27th, 2011, do yoga for a good cause.  Join the yoga challenge to beat arthritis and autoimmune conditions.  Power of Movement is the largest yoga fundraiser in the world in support of arthritis research! It’s not just a condition that elderly people have; arthritis and related autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis affect people of all ages, even kids. Register today to improve the lives of millions of Canadians by being proactive about your own mobility. Sign up at When you register you’ll be prompted to select either a Power of Movement MEGA-SESSION or a VIRTUAL CHALLENGE for February 27th, 2011.If you can’t take part in this great event, please support my Personal Challenge! I’m one of thousands of people making a difference through this yoga challenge. I’m not seasoned at the art and zen of yoga by any means.  However, I’ve been introduced to this great exercise a few months ago and have to say, I am completely addicted.  I love the yoga.  And I love that I can help others with one day of this yoga challenge.MILLIONS of people need our support! Please support my yoga journey by contributing

GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK ~ Handmade, Fair Trade Chocolate Treats!

A gourmet delight that lives up to its name, Divine Chocolate is made with only the finest quality, fairly traded cocoa beans from Kuapa Kokoo, a cooperative of smallholder farmers in Ghana. The cocoa is grown in the shade of the tropical rainforest,and slowly fermented and dried in the sun by farmers who take great pride in the chocolate company they co-own. Choosing delicious Divine gives you guaranteed pleasure — and the farmers a guaranteed fair deal and chance to invest in a better future.

•Dark Chocolate ingredients: cocoa mass (70% cocoa solids), sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier: soya lecithin (non GM), vanilla

•Milk Chocolate ingredients: sugar, cocoa butter, dried cream, cocoa mass, whole milk powder, emulsifier: soya lecithin(nonGM), vanilla

•White Chocolate ingredients: sugar, cocoa butter, skimmed milk powder, butterfat, emulsifier: soya lecithin (non GM), vanilla

•Fair Trade Certified

•Net wt. 3.5 oz 100G

•Handmade and fairly traded from Ghana

Created to help women worldwide gain economic security for themselves and their families by earning fair wages for their handiwork, Global Girlfriend sources women-made, fair-trade imported, eco-friendly products. By supporting long-term partnerships with the artisans, it fosters equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance, and development strategies to help reduce poverty, one community at a time. Become a “Global Girlfriend” and help build a brighter future for girlfriends around the globe! At just $5 per bar, this treat goes a long way, funding up to 25 cups of food when purchased at

GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK ~ Charity Holiday Cards

U.S. consumers purchase approximately 7 billion greeting cards each year, generating some $7.5 Billion in retail sales. The good news is we can purchase greeting cards that give back. You can find beautiful Holiday cards from many of your favourite organizations like UNICEF and the American Cancer Society at local retailers and online. 100% of your card purchase’s net proceeds will help worthy causes.

Make your holiday cards go even further: After the holiday’s you can recycle your cards by sending them to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a home for abused children in Nevada, where they make new cards from old ones and sell them to support the ranch. Go to for instructions.