Thursday, June 16, 2011

america's moms for soldiers

My little brother has been a Sailor in the US Navy for 14 years. He has three kids and is currently deployed. He will not be home to celebrate Father's Day with his family this year (or his birthday a few days later), as in many years in the past. But, his family will send him gifts and packages and messages filled with love. He can be guaranteed of that.

There are a lot of soldiers who have no such guarantee. Some get deployed to the other side of the world and to some extremely dangerous places. And while they're there some never receive packages filled with comfort, reminders of home, or words of love and encouragement.

In honor of our mom whose birthday was yesterday, my brother on Father's Day, the brave soliders who won't be home to celebrate Father's Day with their families, and the fathers left at home to parent on their own, I want everyone to know about America's Moms for Soldiers. This all-volunteer 501(c) (3) organization sends monthly care packages to soldiers, Marines, and Airmen serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who receive little or no mail from home. Many of the servicemen and women are assigned to Forward Operating Bases or Outposts and do not have access to basic items like snacks and hygiene supplies. America's Moms For Soldiers works directly with Chaplains and Commanders to coordinate their efforts to provide support to those who don't receive care packages from home.

Amazing. Thank you.

If you're not convinced yet as to why this is such a worthy charity, first, they claim that because they are all volunteers, they are able to keep their administrative costs down and 95% of all donations go directly to packages for troops. And if that's not enough, or if you are just a sucker for heart-wrenching, feel-good stories, please visit their Photo Gallery and read some of the letters from the soldiers explaining what receiving packages meant to them. I challenge you not to cry. Go ahead...I dare ya'.

And then make a donation of money or supplies to send some love from home to our brave troops overseas. Happy Father's Day.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011


We are on the verge of a major victory for marriage equality in New York. With that, and continuing the thread from my last post, I want to tell you about another skincare company that is helping fight the good fight: LUSH. I take a deep inhalation every time I walk past the open doors of a LUSH store to get a much-appreciated whiff of sweet mango or zingy lemongrass (which is very different than the usual aroma of New York City in the summertime, believe you me).

I've always been a fan of their Bath Bombs (that probably has an entirely different meaning to those of you with kids & babies), but they also have soaps, shower gels & smoothies, haircare, skincare, lip balms, deodorants, perfumes, and more. LUSH believes in making effective products from the finest, fresh organic fruits and vegetables (they are 100% vegetarian) and the finest essential oils and safe synthetics. They only buy ingredients from companies that do not commission tests on animals. They make their products fresh by hand using little or no preservatives. And, appropriately for bath products, many of them come naked (no packaging).

All of that is pretty cool, but here is what makes them really awesome: the people at LUSH believe in marriage equality, and are actually partners with another organization previously featured on this blog, Freedom to Marry. Their website, in addition to being full of yummy-smelling goodness, is also chock full o' ways you can take action in the fight for the freedom of all people to marry the one they love.

LUSH believes in equal rights for all families and couples and you can join them and stand up against marriage discrimination by adding your name to their petition. This weekend, June 18, bring your significant other and/or family to your local LUSH shop to kiss marriage inequality goodbye, or send a photo of you kissing a loved one along with your hopes for marriage equality across America. You can also help the cause by buying a Freedom Foamer - a limited edition bubble bar with the uplifting and refreshing scents of lemon, lime and grapefruit oils and from which all proceeds will be donated to Freedom to Marry to support their "Why Marriage Matters" campaign.
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Monday, June 13, 2011

peace love makeup & apothecary

It's summer, so today we're talking about skin. Make the leap with me, people (men, too! You've got skin and mothers, don't you?).

Today I am introducing a wonderful website featuring natural, organic, vegan beauty products called Peace Love Makeup. (And don't you just love the branding?) Peace Love Makeup offers the healthiest, hippest, most eco beautiful products without any parabens, petroleum, harsh chemicals that are also eco friendly and cruelty free. The proprietor of this little venture is an experienced makeup artist, and if you're lucky enough to live in Miami (she is also available for out of state bookings), Marcie is available for healthy makeup makeovers, photo shoots, weddings, etc.

And here is what makes this boutique really special: Peace Love Makeup is a proud partner of The Girl Effect. A portion of each sale will be lovingly donated to help change a girl's life and change the world.

And since we're on the topic of skin, I also want to remind you of some products mentioned earlier on this blog. Dermalogica, the world’s preeminent professional skin care brand, is the founding partner for FITE. FITE is a global empowerment platform that is designed to foster Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship for women in the developing world. Buy Dermalogica products in specially-marked FITE packaging and unlock a loan for a woman entrepreneur! Each product contains a unique code that can be redeemed on the FITE website. Do some good while being your beautiful self!
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Thursday, June 9, 2011


Our attention has been brought to this next issue by some very high profile news stories about disgusting dignitaries taking liberties with other people's bodies. Enter this wonderful organization that is doing something about it. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, and publicizes the hotlines' free, confidential services; educates the public about sexual assault; and leads national efforts to prevent sexual assault, improve services to victims, and enure that rapists are brought to justice.

First of all, if you're in NY and into Broadway and/or Tori Amos, get tix to Broadway Sings Tori on June 27th 8pm featuring a star-studded Broadway cast singing the music of 10-time Grammy nominee Tori Amos. All proceeds from the concert go directly to RAINN.

You can very easily help fund RAINN's important mission by shopping! Use the EZ Shopper App to shop for just about anything that you would normally buy (say...Brita water filters), from the brands and stores you would normally choose (, at the prices you would normally pay (2-pack for $26.99). But when you shop through this site, you're also helping RAINN benefit from all your purchases!

In order for your purchases to count toward a contribution to RAINN, download the EZ Shopper App to your computer, then any purchases you make from any listed retailer's website will benefit RAINN even if you don't start your shopping from the site. If you haven't downloaded the EZ Shopper App, just start shopping from here and RAINN will benefit from your online shopping.

A note about where your money is going: the nonprofitshoppingmall (NPSM) only pays 60% of revenues collected through the site to the RAINN on a quarterly basis, so it's not 100% of your contribution. But I look at it this way: a very worthy cause is receiving funding from major corporate retailers at no cost to you, so bring it.

Don't need linen pants or ebooks but still want to help RAINN? Make a donation.
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Our girl Oprah is gone *sob*, but I am still here! And I have returned with a FREE and EASY way that you can make the world a better place simply by doing something you have always done: searching the innernets. recently launched, a free online search service that enables anyone to help protect the environment every day simply by doing searches on the innernets. is powered by Bing and Yahoo, so you still get high-quality search results, but by using, you also help the environment at the same time. Each search generates proceeds that support environmental projects and organizations that are supporting renewable energy, reforestation and other efforts to reduce pollution, clean our air and water, protect habitats and wildlife, and fight climate change. Envirosearch's current projects include the Haiti Reforestation Initiative, India Mangrove Project, and United States Reforestation Projects.

I set my Google Chrome browser to automatically default to envirosearch whenever I do a search. It was easy and I feel real good about saving a tree every time I search for social work careers and/or espadrilles. Now you go and follow the simple instructions on the website (click "Add ES to your browser") and do the same!
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