Nov 292016
 

Do you remember what it was like to become an “adult” or turn 18 and what an exciting time that was? I know I do. It’s a time of exhilaration and uncertainty and it’s a time when teens may need family the most as they hit that next milestone in their life. Sadly though, many teens don’t have a family to help them make that transition. Every year 20,000 youth age out of the foster and adoption system. That’s 20,000 teens a year who don’t have someone to stand and cheer for them at graduation or help them move into a dorm room. Teens who age out of the foster care system face a number of struggles including homelessness and unemployment. Becoming an adult is difficult enough without having to go it alone.

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In the U.S. there are over 400,000 children in the foster care system and over 100,000 are available to be adopted. So often we think about young children when we think about adoption and foster care but there are so many children, from tweens to teens that are in need of a family. The majority of children are ages eight and older. Teens who have been adopted are more likely to finish high school and go on to college. Continue reading »

Dec 012015
 

For over 100 years, Stop & Shop has been committed to being a better neighbor to New England. This year they will donate over 300,000 holiday meals and $12 million to families in need through their ongoing hunger relief programs such as Turkey Express, Food for Friends and Trimmings Boxes. With the holiday season in full swing, they are encouraging their customers to give back as well – and they asked for my help!

This year, Stop & Shop challenged me to jump-start the holiday season with a pay it forward challenge that enabled me to give back to my community.  They asked if they could send me a gift card so that I could go and make a purchase at Stop & Shop and use what I purchased to pay it forward in any way that I chose.  How could I say no to that?  As soon as I accepted the challenge, I knew exactly who I wanted the donation to go to: The Sacred Heart Food Pantry right in my hometown of Middleboro, MA. There are so many great charities, but I wanted to keep it close to home.

I emailed them to ask for list of what they really needed to stock up on.  They emailed back and said that they really needed pancake mix, pancake syrup, canned meals, microwave meals, baked beans, ketchup, mayo, mustard, boxed pasta (not spaghetti or elbows), and soups.  That made it really easy when I went into Stop & Shop to make the purchase.

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When I got there, I looked at what was on sale so that I could make the most of the money (gift cards) that I was sent. Continue reading »

Nov 242014
 

**This is a partnered post on behalf of Unilever’s Project Sunlight, to help spread awareness for the Share A Meal initiative. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way**

When was the last time you were able to help someone in need? In no way shape or form should we only help those in need during the holidays, but it is a great time to do so.

Can you believe in the world we live in “1 out of every 5 children do not know where their next meal is coming from?” That means 16 million children in the United States are suffering from hunger at any given time.  Unilever wants to help turn the tables on child hunger here in America and they want us all to join the fight.  I’m teaming up with Project Sunlight because I also believe that no child should face hunger.

I have never gone hungry and it makes me sad to think that there could be children right in my own neighborhood who don’t have enough to eat. In order to give back, we’re Sharing a Meal too! The way we’re sharing a meal is by giving to a local food bank in my hometown. Of course, I had to get the boys involved in something so important, which is why we documented the process and want to share it with you!

The boys and I each wrote a reason on a sticky note about why we wanted to share a meal.

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As you can see, this is what we’re donating to the food bank. The boys enjoyed helping pick out food to donate. Continue reading »