During the month of November my mind turns to snow, staying warm and dry, getting ready for the holidays, more snow and how much money Christmas is going to cost. Among all of the racing thoughts towards the holidays I always wonder what I can do to make the holidays more meaningful, more full of the warmth and gratitude that should surround this supposedly joyful time of year. In these tight economic times I'm trying not to let the lack of funds get me down. I've made a commitment to myself that I'm going to do all that I can to enjoy this holiday season without breaking the bank or my spirits and in the process, teach my family "the true meaning of Christmas".
Are you feeling the same way? Instead of driving yourself batty fighting for the latest toy or electronic gadget, I invite you to join me and the Collective in cheering someone who is less fortunate and giving thanks to those who are fighting for our freedom (see Wednesday's post). Or, spend a couple of hours going through your scrapbook supplies and donate extra stuff to a worthy cause. Need some ideas? Here are just a few of my faves. Check these out or search the Internet for a local cause to get involved with. I'm sure you'll find that spreading cheer and thanks will calm your harried soul and brighten your holiday season.
Send Love Today is an organization whose goal is to create hope and happiness for people suffering with any type of brain cancer and their families. Volunteers sign up to do one of two things: 1) send out a certain number of cards per week to an assigned patient (aka: friend) or 2) make cards at their leisure which they send to Send Love Today who distributes them to friends as needed.Volunteers also make dolls and knitted things such as hats and scarves. Linda Thomas is one of the amazing creators of this organization. Her own husband, Stacy's, brave battle with brain cancer was the inspiration for Linda to carry on Stacy's legacy of faith and courage through the site. Take a few minutes to read about the courage and strength of people who are fighting this disease and also those whose brave fights are now over. But be sure the tissues are handy first! Then sign up to send cheer and joy to one of the families who needs your help.
Other worthy causes:
Crop Because You Care a scrapbooking event held in February that benefits the Epilepsy Foundation of Utah.
We Scrapbook for Charity Committee is a Facebook community you can join that benefits the Make A Wish Foundation of Toronto, Canada.Pieces of the Puzzle stamp by Technique Tuesday benefits Autism Speaks. A portion of the profits go towards this organization to help raise awareness and fund research for autism.
Scrapbook Royalty is a 100% volunteer run organization that raises money for noble causes through unique scrapbooking events.
Treasures for Charity is an online shop that donates 20% of sales to Scrapbook Royalty.
Where to donate your unwanted supplies:
Operation Scrapbook strives to provide foster children and children with brain cancer their own scrapbooking supplies completely free of charge.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America To donate supplies for their activities, visit their website to find a local chapter near you.
Girl Scouts of America is always in need of supplies. For example the wish list for Utah includes glue sticks, construction paper, scissors, crayons, pencils and plastic containers. Visit their website to find contact info for the leaders in your area.In Utah, contact Julie DeLong at 800-678-7809 or 801-716-5153, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
4-H Afterschool coordinates with university extension programs to provide structured activities through a "learn-by-doing" curricula, which includes expressive arts. To find a 4-H After school program in your area, Contact Gregg Tabachow, National Coordinator, at 4HAfterschool@fourhcouncil.edu or 301-961-2869.
The Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA) uses scrapbook products during art therapy sessions, and to create albums for children when they leave the center. For more information, call 816-252-8388.
Make-A-Wish Foundation volunteers will use your supplies to create scrapbooks for each wish recipient, documenting the entire experience. To find your local chapter, visit their website or call 800-722-9474.
Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) uses donated supplies during arts and crafts time at one of their 90 summer camps for children with limited mobility or who use wheelchairs because of a neuromuscular disease. For more information, visit their website or call 800-572-1717.National Head Start Association operates the longest-running school readiness program in the country. Teachers use donated supplies to engage preschool children in projects that build motor and spatial skills.
(Information about donation spots above from http://www.sltrib.com/athome/ci_12803730 11/14/09)
LDS Journal.com Free, private and secure, I like that you can update your journal from your mobile phone and add photos or video/audio files. They also provide a service that will print and bind your journal or put it on DVD at the end of the year for you at a nominal fee.
MyTherapyJournal.com This service requires a monthly fee, but you can sign up for a free two week trial. This service is also private and secure and allows you to add photos.
Univue is an online journal but also a place to connect with family and friends. You can make your journal private or public or make certain entries public. Kind of a cool place to create a family community and further genealogical work if you're into that.
There are many more - just type journaling online into your browser and find the one that works best for you! (By the way, I found the photo of the journal above on Etsy and linked it for you just in case you're a notebook freak like me, have more than your share hanging around, are proud of that fact and find this journal a must-have - digital be damned!)
Thanks to all of you who have participated in the blog this week! I appreciate all of your comments and hope that you have been inspired to get your memories out of your head and onto some paper (or a computer).
And a special thanks to "The Collective"! Their willingness to participate made every entry fun to write and even more fun to read. Thanks, Ladies!