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}




What Makes You so Damn Fabulous?

Everything is “fabulous” these days.


Oh, you drive a Prius and get 45 mpg in the city?  Fabulous! 



You ran a half marathon in under three hours? So fab!



That sleek Ralph Lauren maxi-dress you’ve been lusting after? Insanely fabulous!



The incomparable Coco Chanel once wisely asserted that “a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”  But with fabulousness so eagerly doled out to every idea and incident that creates interest and attention, what is it that makes a girl fabulous?  Better yet, what makes you so damn fabulous?



Most of us believe that there are two types of people in this world:  Those who have it and those who don’t.  And, when it comes to gauging the fabulous gene in ourselves, sadly, we often land undoubtedly in the latter category of complete and utter lack. (Of course, when we’re constantly bombarded with the media’s (false) messages and measures of “extraordinary” we simply aver that, next to fabulous creatures like the Marilyn Monroe’s of the world, none of us ordinary gals are really that remarkable.)



The truth is there is an allure with those who seem to have it – that “fabulous” gene.  At first glance, we naturally assume that person to be well heeled with charisma, charm and intelligence – all wrapped up in a fierce social-package.  On deeper reflection however, we realize that some of the most fabulous women we know (both our besties and beauties on the big-screen) are usually a more inconspicuous type of fabulous – without all the hype and ooziness.


For all the millions of women Marilyn Monroe inspired, she still remains very much an anomaly.  In the book Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC (US),  Marilyn is much like the rest of unassuming gals; always late for class. Slipping in without makeup, hair hidden under a scarf, trying to be inconspicuous. Speaking in a tiny wisp of a voice. And trying to not draw too much attention to herself. And this is when she was already one of the most famous people in the world!


What made Marilyn – and what makes you – so damn fabulous, then, is authenticity. Yes, Marilyn was a shy, insecure goddess who came into her full glory upon the big-screen, but she never completely became void of the uncertainty of her belonging up there.  Nonetheless, she wholeheartedly went for it. And she kicked some serious ass in the process.  Perhaps, this is what people never really “got” about her.  



As for me, I kind of like the unassuming gals. The cool chicks – with all whole heap of  hot-mess baggage securely in tow – and completely unapologetic for it.  Fabulousness isn’t about impeccable behavior, housed in a two-dimensional guise.  It is about embracing and striving from each place of yourself, even the dark and wish-I-could-change places, to live a full and meaningful life.     


So, what is it that makes youso damn fabulous?



You.


The real you.


All of you.



You are fabulous!

  

California Chic

The best part of summer is indulging in nature’s bounty – sun, surf and soft-sugar beaches, to name a few. I simply adore the modest and graphic-style bathing suit options from Lime Ricki, a retro, Cali-chic, swimwear collection that epitomizes summer “indulgence” and hits right on target with my philanthropic style.

(lime ricki donates 10% of all their proceeds to charity.)

{ Photo source: www.limericki.com}

Women’s Bean Project Giveaway WINNER!!!

Thank you all that entered our Women’s Bean Project Tasty Giveaway!  What fun it was to get to know our visitors more!  Its time to announce our lucky winner:
#57 Belinda Nicholson Cage Skuta


CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Thank you all who entered!  Please stay tuned for our next giveaway! (ps. It starts tomorrow)


Day 15 of 30 Days/30 Ways to Give: BLOCK PARENTING

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.

Today’s Give Back Action – Become a Block Parent



Join a Block Parent program in your community and provide a safe haven for children. A child in trouble (whether they’re lost or frightened for any reason) can turn to a Block Parent house (distinguishable by the Block Parent sign placed in your front window). For more information, visit LoveOurChildrenUSA.org. Canadians can find more information at BlockParent.ca.
 
Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!!

~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.


A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.

In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!


5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.


Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back

Day 11 of 30 Days/30 Ways to Give: DONATE FLYER MILES FOR SICK KIDS

Many sick children require state-of-the-art medical treatment that is not always available where they live. That’s where you—and your unused frequent-flyer miles—come in.

Today’s Give Back Action: Donate Air Miles!

American Airlines’ Miles for Kids in Need Program (aa.com/milesforkids) allows customers to donate their frequent-flyer miles to send kids to the top hospitals and treatment centers in the country. Most of the other major airlines run similar programs and allow you to donate miles to numerous charities. Get in touch with the customer service department of your preferred airline to find out how you can donate your frequent-flyer miles.GIVEAWAY!!!

 
Don’t Forget Our

~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.



A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.

In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!


5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.


Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back

Vote for your Favorite Cause and your Charity could win $20000!

Want to help your charity but don’t know where to start? Snack Alliance, the maker of

riceworks® Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps, is here to help. Recently

riceworks® launched “Show Us Your Goodness,” a social campaign

that invites consumers to nominate and vote online for the

charitable program they believe has gone the extra mile to “serve

the greater good.” As a way to help promote “goodness”,

riceworks® invites you (and your friends) to nominate and vote

for the nonprofit organization or charitable cause you find most

inspiring. By doing so, your charity then has a chance to win

$60,000 in shared prize money. Nominations are due by February

28, 2010, at which time a panel of judges will select 33

finalists to be considered for $60,000 in support funds during

the final round of voting. The top three finalists will win

$20,000, and $5,000 each, while the remaining 30 winning

nominations will share $1,000 each as part of a Sponsor’s Choice

Award. Do something good today. Visit http://www.showusyourgoodness.com/ to

nominate and vote for your charity, and tell your friends about

this great cause too.

Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week!

Get inspired with Nicole Bouchard Boles’ book How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist—and help us spread the word! Forward this message to your friends, family, and business associates, or cut and paste a favorite suggestion and include it in your email signature.

Here is a week’s worth of simple things you can do:

Monday – USE YOUR COMPUTER: Click to Donate

Log on to www.care2.com/click-to-donate. Choose any cause, click, and an advertiser or sponsor will make a charitable contribution on your behalf!

(How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist, page 37)

Tuesday – USE YOUR TRASH: Sort Your Mail

Go to the Direct Marketing Association at http://www.the-dma.org/ and request that your name be removed from marketing lists and help save 150 million trees a year!

(How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist, page 105)

Wednesday – USE YOUR BODY: Be Someone’s Eyes

Provide a free reading service for blind and low-vision people through Read This To Me, at http://www.readthistome.org/. All you need is a working phone and a fax.

(How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist, page 9)

Thursday – USE YOUR TALENTS: Give Warmth in a War Zone

Like to knit? Afghans for Afghans provides hand-knit and -crocheted blankets and garments to the people of war-torn Afghanistan. Visit http://www.afghansforafghans.org/ for details.

(How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist, page 63)

Friday – USE YOUR COMMUNITY: Buy Green Electricity

Over 50% of Americans have the option of purchasing green power directly from their utility company. To find out how, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website at eere.energy.gov/greenpower.

(How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist, page 136)

Saturday – USE YOUR TIME: Give a Vacation Day . . .

Volunteering just one day while on vacation is a unique way to experience part of a new city or country that most tourists never see. Cheap Tickets has a handy search tool (volunteer.cheaptickets.com) to help you find a volunteer gig that coincides with your travel plans.

(How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist, page 122)

Sunday – USE YOUR FAMILY: Nurture Nature

Connect your kids to their environment through activities and games on http://www.kidsface.org/.

(How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist, page 27)

For 223 more ways to make a difference (without breaking your wallet)—buy the book at a bookseller near you!

HOW TO BE AN EVERYDAY PHILANTHROPIST By Nicole Bouchard Boles

Workman Publishing

ISBN 978-0-7611-5504-1 / Price: $10.95 U.S.

www.workman.com/products/9780761155041/

Visit http://www.nicolebouchardboles.com/

Hot Website to thank overseas troops…

Thank the Troops!

LetsSayThanks.com is an easy way to send a free patriotic postcard to military personnel serving abroad. Pick a postcard on their website, write your message, and Xerox will print the card and send it overseas. These cards let soldiers know that we’re thinking of them here at home and appreciate their… sacrifice. http://www.letssaythanks.com/Home1280.html

Help St. Jude in Target’s Super Love Sender Promotion

Facebook users can help the kids of St. Jude at no cost, thanks to Target’sSuper Love Sender promotion.
Target is giving away $1 million toSt. Jude and other charity partners, and Facebook users will determine how much each charity will receive.

From now through February 14, visit www.facebook.com/target to send customized, football-inspired, Valentine’s Day video cards to friends and family. You may send up to 10 cards per computer per day. St. Jude will receive one vote for each card sent.

The total number of votes will determine the percentage of the $1 million that St. Jude will receive.

On February 15, Target will announce the final donations to each charity. Funds donated to St. Jude through the Super Love Sender promotion will support the hospital’s groundbreaking research and lifesaving care, including the St. Jude School Program.
Join or log in to Facebook and visit www.facebook.com/target to get started.

Click your Mouse to help Haiti

Care2.com’s daily action is Click to Help Haiti. If you have 30 seconds, you can make a difference.

Click to Donate websites are probably one of the most ridiculously easy ways to harness the Internet for everyday philanthropy. When you log on to certain service-oriented websites, like Care2.com, you can click on a variety of causes and make a small donation in the process (at no cost to you—this is completely free). Advertisers and other sponsors will make a charitable contribution on your behalf (usually ranging from a few pennies to 25 cents) toward whatever cause you select.

Go to http://www.care2.com/dailyaction/homepage.html to click and 100% of the donations raised go directly to Oxfam America and help provide emergency water and sanitation services to earthquake survivors in Haiti.

It couldn’t be any easier and every little bit counts! What are you waiting for? Combine your computer time today with some everyday philanthropy!

Pine-Sol’s Make a Powerful Difference Contest

The Makers of Pine-Sol® Launched the Make a Powerful Difference Contest, which will award grants online to women who are helping improve their communities and are making extraordinary change.

One grand prize winner will receive $10,000 to make a powerful difference for their community or cause and an additional nine finalists will receive $1,000 to help support their initiatives.

Since 2007, when the Pine-Sol Powerful Difference program first started, the company has awarded dozens of grants to over 80 difference makers.

To enter this year’s contest, submissions can be made online at http://www.powerfuldifference.com/ until March 22. All entries must include an essay of 200 words or less on how you are making a powerful difference in your community. A panel of judges will then select the 10 Powerful Difference Maker finalists based on originality, creativity and relevance to theme, but ultimately it will be up to the general public to help vote for the lucky grand prize winner. People can vote daily for their favorite essay from April 7-21, 2010. The grand prize winner will be announced by May 5, 2010. Visit PowerfulDifference.com for official contest rules on how to enter for the $10,000 prize.

About PowerfulDifference.com

PowerfulDifference.com provides the latest tools and resources to everyday women to help them make a difference in and for their communities. The site also honors women from across the country and shares their inspiring stories. Among the site’s content is a downloadable Make a Powerful Difference Action Kit that takes visitors through an easy process of identifying their passion and taking steps to put that passion into action to affect change. Visitors can follow the Powerful Difference campaign on Twitter via @PowerfulDiff for the latest tips, content and resources to make a powerful difference this year.

Organizations Helping Haiti

How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist: Major humanitarian effort. An International Red Cross Spokesperson warns that up to 3 million people may have been affected by the Hatian earthquake. How you can help: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/impact/

CNN Impact your World details and links a number of non-profit organizations specifically helping Haiti.

I want to extend my deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones, and I hope the survivors can find the strength to make it through this terrible tragedy. Let’s do all we can to support the people of Haiti and their families. If planning to donate in 2010 – Now, would be a great time.

Be well!
Nicole

Don’t forget to join my Facebook Fan Page! The First Annual “Four-Week Philanthropy Experiment” begins on March 1st. Each day, you’ll find tips for giving to charity – that cost you nothing! Tell your friends and let’s make 2010, The Year of Giving!