Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

Posts Tagged "give"

Pinching Pennies? Time to Give

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 in Family, Friends, Rants and Raves, Giving |

Somehow I’ve always believed that the more you give, the more you get. Of course, it’s not true, but I like the idea of it being true. It’s sort of like karma and justice mixed together — give and you’ll receive. Maybe I give so I can receive? I know that when I receive I think it must be in response to something I must have given and if I can’t think of how I’ve given, I try to make it up and give right away to make sure the scales are balanced. When we’re waiting for payday, I try to take leftover food with me in the car and find a homeless woman to give it to. Somtimes that backfires (one woman screamed at me that she didn’t want my sloppy seconds). Sometimes when I feel particularly fortunate, I make sure I give, however small, as a bargaining chip for my own desire to stay in the good graces of karma.

It seems that no matter where I turn, I hear of charities in desperate need since in economic times like we’re in now, people give less. Actually, correction, well-off people give less percentage to charity. Believe it or not, poorer people give more of their income during hard economic times.

Today is a good day to take a moment to give. No matter how small. Tip the karma scale today.

Some of my favorites:

The George Mark Children’s House — Hospice for Young, Dying Children here in the Bay Area is in deep jeopardy.

Sacred Heart Community Center – Offering clothes, food and shelter to families in need in Silicon Valley

and my personal, most dear charity: Pro Mujer — Microloans (as low as $5) to women in Latin American countries to benefit their health and families

What’s charity is close to your heart? How about giving just a few bucks today?

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Thank You!

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 in Family, Friends, Rants and Raves, Giving |

This note is from our buddy at Sacred Heart Community Center. I can’t thank you, my literal and the online communities, and especially Twitter colleagues, for your generous gifts. Sacred Heart delivered, and delivered big, thanks to you.


I wanted to thank you and all of your friends and family for helping to make a difference in our community!

I truly I witnessed a miracle the last two weeks we were way down in donations and ultimately we came out with abundance (loafs and fishes comes to mind)

Click here to see the miracle unfold yesterday.

Thanks again and God Bless,


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Sacred Heart Community Center Needs 1000K Backpacks — now

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 in Friends, Seasons |

It is almost time for Pack-a-Back 2009 and we don’t have all the supplies that our neighbor children must have for the coming school year. We need your assistance collecting these critical supplies.

Every year, we register 1,500 children for this program. This year, due to the great need in our community, it was with great pleasure that 1,740 children were guaranteed a backpack on August 14th. At a time when state budget cuts have deeply affected children’s services, and impoverished children are constantly disregarded, we need your help to achieve this audacious goal!

We will be collecting backpacks and school supplies until Friday, August 7th. Any items can be dropped off at the Sacred Heart donation station , 1381 S 1st St, in San Jose.

Our most critical needs are backpacks, scientific calculators, notebooks, and subject folders. Read our brochure for a full list of what each backpack will contain. Or you can donate directly to Sacred Heart for this campaign.
Any school supply donation or financial donation will directly impact the lives of the children. Your contribution, especially right now, is greatly appreciated.

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The Girl Effect

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 in Family, Friends, Rants and Raves, Giving |

If you read my blog, you know how important women are to me — moms and grandmothers, best friends, cousins, aunties, and life with a great gaggle of girlfriends (no, not girlfriends) always in my hip pocket.

I thrive on the value of women and their amazing relentless, innovative spirits. Just ask my biotechnology neighbor who quit her job in this recession to raise her daughter (that took six years to conceive) and bakes so well that her scones are sold throughout the country. Right, those women.

If you know me, you know how I feel about raising a son, and, my deep passion for raising a daughter.

I like this video, it ain’t brain surgery, but it’s a reminder: us girls can change everything.


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Project: KidGive

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 in Giving, Holidays, Thing 1, Thing 2 |

“This feels like I won the championship,” Thing 1 told me today as he held the Salvation Army tag he’d pulled from the Christmas tree at the mall. Thing 2 kept showing people in California Pizza Kitchen her tag, telling everyone around her, “There is a 9-year-old girl who isn’t going to have Christmas presents and I’m going to get her a real art set!”

Project KidGive is an idea LaGringa and I have been thinking about for awhile. The plan was, like so many other families, to pick a child’s name off the Christmas tree at the mall and have the kids earn money themselves to make enough to buy the toy for a child this Christmas.

Project KidGive became the focal point of the kids’ days, doing chores, talking/fantasizing/questioning about the child they were so determined to help.

In the end, it took six weeks of cleaning out mommy’s car, taking out the trash, folding laundry, being the “light police” by turning off the lights in the house, offering to help neighbors and grandparents.

When it was time, we went and picked out the toys. It took They looked and sampled and price scanned dozens of toys, looking for the most special, coolest, most fun one they could find. At last, they were satisfied and we took the gifts to the mall.

The holiday crazed mall concierge caught on fast when I started coming toward her with two beaming kids, arms laden with presents, handmade notes and drawings that were to go with the gifts. I took photos and cried with pride. Mission accomplished:: The Things worked from their hearts for a stranger in need and for more than a brief moment, got to live the true spirit of Christmas.

How We Did It:

1. We told the kids about the project with great anticipation before we went to the mall to get the Salvation Army tags. That way, they knew what was going on and we didn’t spring it on them. I didn’t multi-task, I went to the mall for that reason only and I read them every single tag, allowing them to pick them for themselves.

2. We made everything very visual. We posted a progress chart that they could fill in daily. There was an unexpected bonus with this, since we were able to count how much we made for the day and how much was remaining. Good math skills!

3. La Gringa and I praised constantly for their work. We showed visitors their chart. We touted them as givers, we told them they were like Jesus (and they always added: and like Santa!). We didn’t confuse household responsibilities with these special chores.

4. We made the goals attainable. This took some work, as I had made the dollar values too low at first (10 cents per chore, on average was way too low). As time went on, we had to get more creative ($3 for reading a book). We made sure there was always room for a chore (30 seconds to run around the house and shut of lights to 15 minutes of putting away laundry).

5. We let them have control over picking their gifts. Gave them the money they’d earned and took the time to drive them to (three!) stores they wanted to investigate for their gifts.

6. We gave them one present on Christmas Eve: it was the same gifts they had earned for the other children. We praised them and talked about their giving, the feeling of giving and reinforced how they had made someone else’s Christmas a good one.

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