Tag - Charity

A Few Of Our Favorite Things Holiday Gift Guide

These are a few of our favorite things…

This Holiday Gift Guide edition features lots of our favorites and we know you will love them too!!

 

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Favorite Kid Reads

Do you have a superhero lover in your family?? Downtown Bookworks has some pretty awesome book collections for your DC Comics loving kid! While Miss A is partial to Marvel, the new DC Superhero Girls series has definitely caught her eye. Here are some great DC books you’ll definitely want to pick up this holiday season.

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Favorite Tech

The MEEM Memory Cable is GREAT for those who don’t always remember to back up their phone. It’s easy to use and backs up your phone every time you charge. The MEEM App gives full control; your personal data remains safe in your hands and inaccessible to anyone else.

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MEEM is available for Android (16gb / $49.99) and iPhone (32gb / $69.99) and on Amazon

Favorites for Her

I love a good picture of my family and can’t wait to get some pictures up on the walls of our new home. Diamonds in Ice features a great line of really unique glass photos at great prices. I especially love their coasters and ornaments great for gifts for mom or grandmom, pet lovers {or anyone really}.

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Anything from Kristin Schmucker, she has beautiful devotionals, awesome mugs, and even pretty jewelry all infused with inspiration for a grace-filled day. If you subscribe to her emails she has some pretty great deals too. Head over to:  thedailygraceco.com

Favorites for Him

If your guy is a fan of football, especially Texas football then Pigskin Rapture will be a great gift for him. Pigskin Rapture: Four Days in the Life of Texas Football by Mac Engel and Ron Jenkins is a first-ever, one-of-a-kind, 360 degree look at the athletic and cultural phenomenon that is Texas football, and launched the new Lone Star Books imprint this fall. This book is just under $13 right now on Amazon. Click the link above to purchase through my affiliate link.

 

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Favorite Stocking Stuffers

I love heading to Etsy for stocking stuffers. The creations that people come up with are a great addition to fillers. Depending on how big or small you go for stocking stuffers here are some great sites.

Vintage Stamp Jewels – pretty delicate pieces

One More Sunshine – adorable custom clothes pins

CurioPress – fun designs {love their stamped pencils}

BumbleFly N ButterBees – awesome handmade wooden toys

 

Favorite Charities

I love companies where you can purchase a gift and in turn you’re also giving to a charity. Giving Soaps is one of those small companies that is using their business to help others. They sell great, quality items that are organic and smell heavenly! Shipping is free and they always use recycled products to ship. This is a great gift option for someone who is very earth-focused.

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Sometimes giving to charity is a better gift than receiving a physical gift. Our family currently sponsors a little boy named Haftom in Africa and I’m so thankful that we have enough to help someone else in this world out. Whether you gift someone else the sponsorship or decided that your whole family will sponsor a child I personally recommend World Vision. {There are a lot of other amazing places to sponsor a child, I can only vouch for World Vision because we use their services.}

Thanks so much for checking out the holiday gift guide. Have a blessed holiday season and remember giving is where your heart is, not what gift you buy.

 

While this list could go on and on with loads more ideas we want to hear where your favorite places to shop and what your favorite items are this holiday season. Leave a comment, feel free to leave a link!!

 

I received samples of some of the above products, but was not paid for my opinion or inclusion on this list. The above companies and products are all things my family and I would recommend organically.

Showing Kindness with #KleenexCare

Care Package #kleenexcares
I did some acts of kindness with Kleenex® Brand products as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #KleenexCare

 

For our family November is a time to be thankful for all that we have in our lives. That includes special people like our friends, neighbors, and family. Sharing Kleenex® Brand Tissues. is an easy way to show you care especially now that cold and flu season is here. Kleenex® is a small act of care with major impact.

 

Acts of Kindness with Kids #kleenexcares

 

Acts of Kindness:

Consider creating a Care Kit for those less fortunate.

We try to keep a care package or two in our car for people in need that we see in our day-to-day travels.

 

Care Package #kleenexcares

 

The bags include hygiene products like toothbrushes, bandaids, and of course we put some Kleenex Brand Tissues in as well. Sometimes we include some non-perishable foods like granola bars as well. These bags are very easy to make and leave a lasting impact when you hand them out too! Plus the kids love getting involved in making them.

Another act of kindness that the B girls love being a part of is packing Christmas boxes for children overseas.

Christmas Boxes #kleenexcare

These boxes can only contain certain items and Kleenex Brand Tissues are a great addition for the hygiene category, plus the travel packs are the perfect size. Lil’ C’s school is packing them up this month and she was so excited to add them to fill up her box for a little boy.

Packing Christmas Boxes #kleenexcares

 

Now it’s your turn to join the “Share the Kleenex Care” movement.

Here are some ways you can partake in acts of kindness this month and share the care of Kleenex with others:

We all know that it’s no fun when you need a tissue and there’s none to be found.  It’s easy to leave a package of Kleenex Brand tissues where there aren’t any.

or

Create a quick and easy get-well basket for a sick friend or neighbor, filled with soup, Kleenex Brand Tissues (because Kleenex softness is a catalyst for showing kindness and care), and other healthy remedies. This will brighten their day and help them to get the rest and care they need.

Head to KleenexCare.com to find out how your acts of kindness can make a difference and get ideas from others doing good deeds.

What are some ways you show that you care??

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Socialstars and Kleenex Brand. All opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions. 

Shoes that Fit – Giving Back Locally

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes, all opinions are my own.

While our kiddos may be worried about buying the trendiest backpacks and having the coolest new outfits for school, there are many children who are headed back to school with shoes that are old and worn or that just don’t fit well, or even worse they have no shoes at all.

This Back to School season, Rack Room Shoes is proud to partner with Shoes That Fit, a national non-profit organization that provides shoes to disadvantaged children. This program helps children in your community start the school year off on the right foot.

The more money that is raised, the more resources available to purchase shoes for needy students in your area.

 

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How you can participate:

  • Shop at your local Rack Room Shoes store for your family’s Back to School shoe needs.
  • Donate $5 or more in-store to the Shoes That Fit campaign to benefit disadvantaged children in your local community, or donate online.
  • If there’s not a Rack Room Shoes store near you and you would like to help another community click the link above to donate online as well.

In exchange for your donation, you will receive a special colorable Shoes That Fit tote bag. Color your tote bag with your children for a fun family activity and support your local community at the same time. This also provides your family with a great opportunity to talk about serving the community and helping others.

Miss A, Lil’ C, and I worked on their bags, had a chance to talk about children who are in need of good shoes for the school year. The girls decided to donate some of their own money to the Shoes That Fit Campaign to help other kids.

Here are their creations:

Rack Room Shoes - Shoes That Fit MommyB

 

Be sure to share your Shoes That Fit tote bag creations on social media and let others know about this great program that will offer children the opportunity to focus on their studies and not worry about what’s on their feet.

For more information on Rack Room Shoes and the Shoes That Fit program, check out their website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Reasons to Teach Children to Feed the Hungry

I worked with The Motherhood on this post, sponsored by ConAgra Foods. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you read my last post on Steps to Help Feed Hungry Kids this Summer you know how many children who receive free or reduced lunch are missing out on those meals right now. If not it’s roughly 90 percent, meaning almost all children who count on those meals during the school year.

Aside from the obvious reasons to help feed these children, there are a lot of reasons to teach your children and involve your entire family in feeding the hungry. Wanna know what they are???

Reasons to Teach Children to Feed the Hungry #hungerfreesummer

 

1. Serving others teaches your children empathy. This character trait is so important in today’s society and can only be taught by, “putting yourself in other’s shoes” and one BIG way to do this is to serve others. In this case when your children collect food or purchase food and give it directly to a family in need they are seeing the result of their giving face-to-face. How impactful.

2. You will expand their worldview when you help them to think about others. When you are taught to do something for someone other than yourself you realize that the world is a big place with many different kinds of people. It’s good for us to think outside of ourselves.

3. You help them realize life isn’t always fair. When you serve you have the opportunity to open up communication with your child to speak about the fact that some people don’t have money or food and you and others do. This is a chance to let them know how life works and answer any questions they may have. You don’t always get rewarded for good behavior or punished for bad behavior in the real world, and unfortunately sometimes good things go unrewarded or sometimes even punished.

4. Hopefully, this will create in them a desire to continue to volunteer. Kids may not always love helping others out, but for some children this desire will be laid on their heart and they will in turn be excited to tell their peers or even invite their peers to help out. We have had friends whose children {on their own} have asked for charitable donations instead of birthday gifts, our family hosts lemonade stands to profit local causes. When kids get that giving is a good thing be sure not to put their fire out, hop on their train and be their #1 supporter.

Other like-minded parents and bloggers have joined in the effort to serve hungry kids this summer. In an effort to spread the word on social media we have a Pinterest board, “A Childlike Summer,” on the ConAgra Foods Feeding America page and I would love it if you would take a moment to check it out, there are some great ideas for helping and getting your family involved in something that may change your life and the lives of others.

Also I encourage you to watch this video – for every view, like or share of this Kid President video NOW through July 31, the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America (up to 2 million meals):

 

 

And remember it’s never too young to start teaching your children to feed the hungry.

 

 

Have you volunteered yet? What benefits have you seen from volunteering with your children?

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood. This message is important to me personally and I am honored to be able to pass on this information and truly encourage you to thoughtfully consider helping Feeding America and ConAgra Foods give kids a hunger-free summer. Thank you for your readership!

 

Steps to Help Feed Hungry Kids this Summer

I worked with The Motherhood on this post, sponsored by ConAgra Foods. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kids Summer Fun MommyB

 

As parents, we often focus on the goal of Summer as time for our kids to have fun and relax before school starts up again. We try to make sure they’re not eating too much junk food and sweets with all the celebrations and parties, but there are parents who don’t have those options, their children are not having a fun summer, relaxing and eating sweets, their family is worrying about their next meal will come from because they’re not offered the reduced and free meals that schools offer. That breaks my heart and hopefully yours too.

I’ve joined forces with The Motherhood to help promote the Hunger-Free Summer campaign, and bring awareness to child hunger.

The ConAgra Foods Foundation has continued to raise awareness and invest in solutions for child hunger in the summertime, but we need your help!

This summer, 26 food banks in 18 states will use Hunger-Free Summer grants, funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation – ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 – to expand their summer feeding program, bringing more healthy meals to more children during the summer.

 

Please watch this video – for every view, like or share of this Kid President video NOW through July 31, the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America (up to 2 million meals):

ConAgra Foods Foundation is a leader in the child hunger space partnering with some of the largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to child hunger.

ConAgra Foods’ Hunger-Free Summer initiative with Feeding America has a goal of reaching at least 25 percent more children in need during the summer than before, over the course of five years. There are ways that our families can help too.

Ways you Can Help Give Children a Hunger Free Summer

Aside from donating by liking, sharing, viewing the above video, here are some additional Steps to Help Feed Hungry Kids this Summer:

  • Volunteer: While providing meals is a top priority, fun activities are also important in attracting children to feeding sites. During the summer, volunteers can help transport food, help an existing feeding site with lunch preparation and clean-up, or do activities with the children. Visit www.feedingamerica.org to find a nearby food bank in need of volunteers.
  • Host a Food Drive: Find out the items needed at the feeding site and collect food through your church, organizations, and even play groups. Every item helps.
  • Advocate: To find meal sites in your area, call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479).
  • Learn: To learn more about the issue of child hunger, visit www.childhungerendshere.com and click on the “tacking action” tab.

It’s awesome when big businesses do their part and equally awesome when we do ours. What will you do to help fill an empty stomach this summer?

 

Hunger Free Summer MommyB

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood. This message is important to me personally and I am honored to be able to pass on this information and truly encourage you to thoughtfully consider helping Feeding America and ConAgra Foods give kids a hunger-free summer. Thank you for your readership!

 

How Your Oral Hygiene Can help a Charity in Need

This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood, however a very important message and cause that was laid on my heart to write about.

I like to think our family takes pretty good care of our teeth, both flossing and brushing, but with our busy schedules brushing time is often rushed. With such a quick brush and not even a thought of a mouthwash or oral antiseptic {for me specifically} and all the coffee and soft drinks I enjoy, I know my teeth aren’t quite as clean as I would like them to be.

Did you know that there are more germs in your mouth than there are people on earth? That’s right – and believe it or not, even if you brush and floss, you’re likely missing millions of them! In fact, brushing alone misses 75% of your mouth, which is why it’s critical to go that extra step to achieve optimal oral health for yourself and your family.

Recently I headed to my second home Super Target to pick up some items for my Listerine challenge. I found that the Listerine brand carries several products that I never knew about {but I’ll save telling you more about those till my next post}. Luckily, my family and I have the opportunity to be able to take great care of our teeth and in turn our overall health. I know calling oral health and opportunity may sound weird, but there are so many children that don’t have a choice when it comes to oral hygiene.

Surprisingly, oral disease has become the most chronic childhood illness in the U.S. Millions are affected, suffering from various forms of oral disease like tooth decay, and experience pain so severe it affects their ability to eat, sleep and learn. It impacts children of all backgrounds, but especially the millions who are unable to afford access to regular professional care that can help treat these conditions.

Smile Across America with #LISTERINE and MommyB

For every person who posts a “Swish Selfie” to Listerine Brand’s Facebook page, Listerine will make a contribution to help Oral Health America’s Smiles Across America program toward their goal of connecting 210,000 children with needed oral health services in 2014.* Through your support we make a difference in oral health for ourselves, our families and children across the U.S.

*$5.00 will be donated per “selfie” up to a grand total of $64,000.

What are your biggest oral health/hygiene struggles??

“I received a Target gift card to purchase LISTERINE® Brand products from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the LISTERINE® 21-Day Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.”

How to Teach Children about Global Ministry and Goodwill

Often times I hear the argument from people as to why we should bother helping people in our own countries when there are so many people struggling with poverty, healthcare, and other issues in our own nation.

Last I checked, no where in the Bible does it say that we are to only help those who are our neighbors. If we want to single out only those that are in other countries, what’s to say that we shouldn’t start segregating by gender, ethnicity, religion, age, and so on?

I enjoy helping people whether they live under my roof, are in my community, live in my state, have a home in America, or live on the same planet. For me the word “neighbor” isn’t specific to the zip code I live in.

One of the reasons I’m so passionate is because I love helping others. I hope that is evident by posts on volunteer projects with my family, working with a local domestic violence non-profit, and other events/things I don’t need to list out. I don’t help others only because I truly have a heart for others but because God commands us to help one another.

James 2: 14-17 says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Sure, we can memorize all the Bible verses in the world, and talk to others about our faith, but if we’re not putting God’s love and grace into action how are we truly reaching others?

How are we teaching our children about global ministry and goodwill??

Teaching our children about other countries and their needs whether they are preschool age or in college, we can all learn new things about what life is like around the world. In the Five-Day Experience your family can enjoy learning about Kenya. By taking 15 minutes a day, sitting down as a family, and participating in this devotional you’re offering your family chances to openly discuss, pray about, and grow a heart for neighbors in other countries.

I love this experience because it gives families personal stories of real people living in Kenya, fun facts about the country and then ties it in with a compelling bible verse. There’s also a student version available for bible studies and student groups.

How can we apply what we are learning?

One organization, Awana Clubs International, encourages families {and non-families alike} to help their neighbors by putting their faith into action. Right now in Kenya, Awana is reaching 122,000 kids, creating life-long disciples that will help transform their slums, neighborhoods, villages and cities. As you’ve seen in the news, Kenya is a place that needs hope, the hope of the Gospel, and that’s where you come in.

Through their current project, Not the End, you can purchase limited edition t-shirts for $15, where more than 40% of each purchase goes to helping fund training and further the reach of ministry in Kenya. To “sweeten the deal”, Crossway publishing company is donating a Bible for each shirt sold.

Not the End Awana Social Media Graphic

For many of these children, this Bible will be first one they may have owned. What’s even more incredible, if a person, family or organization sells or buys 30 shirts, their name will be entered into a drawing from which five people and a guest each will be selected to travel with Awana to Kenya in 2014 to minister in the slums of Kibera, do service work in an orphanage and distribute Bibles.

Buy your Not the End shirt HERE and change the world. Also make sure you follow We are Not the End on Facebook, Twitter and when you buy your shirt make sure to hashtag #wearenottheend

Not The End MommyB

 

 

I received a Not the End T-shirt and marketing materials and was asked to write about this project. I gladly agreed. My family and I love supporting great causes and if you see it posted on my blog it’s something that I stand behind or think you should know about. Thank you for reading and sharing!

Sponsored Video – Finish the Fight Against Cancer

This post is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

Do you know someone who is undergoing cancer treatment? Did you realize that often times the best medical treatment for that patient is often far from home? Unfortunately, due to all of the costs associated with their care, there are thousands of cancer patients that just can’t afford a place to stay.

Can you imagine a small child not being able to receive chemo treatment for neuroblastoma because there was no room for him and his family to stay? How about the mom who is battling breast cancer and fighting with everything she has, only to have to turn down medical care because there’s nowhere for her to stay? These scenarios are only a few of many and you may even know someone who is in this very situation, struggling to get the care they need but bound by financial hardships.

I hope that, especially this time of year, you are thinking to yourself, how can I help, what can I do. If so, please take a moment to watch this video, and if not, I encourage you to search your heart and remember that by putting others first you’re making this world a better place.

A room shouldn’t be the difference between life and death. Last year the American Cancer Society provided lodging for 50,000 patients and caregivers. Let’s continue to make sure that everyone who needs a room gets one! Join the American Cancer Society and make noise to finish the fight against cancer.

Go find out what you can do to help those who need lodging for cancer treatment.

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Unruly Media and American Cancer Society. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinions. Yours may vary.

Shop maurices and Support the American Cancer Society

I received compensation in the form of product and gift cards in return for spreading the word about this great cause and administering and hosting a giveaway on my site.

 

Are you a conscientious shopper? Are you mindful of where your money is going and do you seek out purchases that have a “greater good” behind them?

Several great brands have programs where profits from sales are donated to a charitable cause, which makes the purchase that much more meaningful. It’s rare, however that you see a retail store donate more than 50% of a product sale going directly to help support as well-known, a non-profit organization as the American Cancer Society. However, that is exactly exactly how women’s fashion retailer, maurices is getting involved this holiday season.

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This 2013 maurices Holiday Necklace includes three fashionable necklaces packaged together and comes in both silver and gold. Retailing for $12, the company will contribute a minimum of $6.00 from the sale price of every necklace to the American Cancer Society to support its mission to finish the fight against cancer by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.

This year, through sales of the new Holiday Necklace, the company hopes to raise more than $400,000 helping to make a difference in the lives of those families impacted by cancer.

We all know someone who has been directly affected by cancer and it’s a cause that is extremely important to the maurices family,” said Brad Hartmann SVP, Chief Creative Officer. “Holidays are a time for giving and we are excited to introduce the latest addition to our accessories collection and offer consumers a gift that gives back in a big way.”

For the last nine years, maurices partnership with the American Cancer Society has raised more than $8 million for the organization from combined fundraising efforts within their retail stores through the sales of custom designed jewelry, in-store fundraisers and corporate financial contributions.  Now through January 5, 2014 (or while supplies last), maurices invites consumers to join in the fight against cancer by purchasing the necklace set at one of the more than 875 stores nationwide or online.

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maurices is donating one of their beautiful holiday necklaces to a lucky MommyBKnowsBest.com reader. {This would be a great win because wearing the necklace and telling others about the necklace and the donations to American Cancer Society would only increase their efforts to fight cancer.}

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also be sure to enter my maurices gift card giveaway that’s going on right now as well, if you win, you can buy a few necklaces for friends and family!

This holiday season the goal is to raise $400,000 in addition to their annual $8 million. Please consider purchasing a few of these gorgeous necklaces so you can shop and do some social good at the same time. For more information on maurices charitable efforts or to shop, check out their social channels here:

https://www.facebook.com/maurices

https://twitter.com/maurices

http://instagram.com/maurices#

http://www.pinterest.com/maurices/

Although I received compensation for my promotions of this program, all of the opinions stated in the above post are my own honest words and thoughts. All-in-all I think this is a great charitable cause and am thankful to be able to bring this to you.

Earn FREE Scholastic Books with Kelloggs® Mini Missions Program

Giving. December is THE landmark month for giving to others. I feel like lately I’ve written a million posts on how our family is giving back, whether it’s sponsoring a child in Africa, packing Christmas boxes for needy children, giving a homeless person a meal, or helping a stranger with the door. There are opportunities to give your services every single day.

We want our girls to know serving is an opportunity and not a chore. They loved making finger puppets for little ones in the local children’s hospital and placed each adornment with care, knowing their work would brighten another child’s day. This my friends, is what life is about. Not YOLO or “doing you”, but genuinely caring for others.

That is why we love the Every Day is a Big Day program. This program encourages families to completes a Mini™ Mission {this month is Give and Get Back}, and as a bonus, you can earn free Scholastic books and a chance to win prizes for your school and community too.

This month, log in and complete the Mini™Mission to earn 2 free Scholastic books for your family, and while you’re there, check out

Visit scholastic.com/minimissions to register your family for the Every Day is a Big Day program and start giving back to those in need.

Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats® and Scholastic have partnered to bring you the Every Day is a Big Day program, created to benefit families, schools and communities across the country.

Your family is invited to complete monthly Mini™ Missions to get free books for your family. Also, each month you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win one of 131 valuable prizes for your school and community. As you earn books and enter the sweepstakes, your family is sure to have a blast and learn something new along the way!

Start here and register for your first monthly mission!

This is a sponsored conversation by me on behalf of Kellogg’s(R) Frosted Mini-Wheats(R). The opinions and text are all mine.