Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pretty In Pink...

My heart nearly broke when my friends voice quavered and her eyes filled with tears: "I have to have surgery next week... a mastectomy. They found 3 pea-sized lumps at my last mammogram. It was very sudden, but they can get me in right away."

I hardly had time to process the news. She'd mentioned some strange tests coming back from her doctor but who could have imagined such shocking results. Strangely enough, only a few weeks earlier, a neighbor of ours had her second mastectomy. Then, my twitter friend announced that she was participating in a 39 Mile Walk for breast cancer (yes, 39 miles!) She posted a touching story of several friends of hers who are also battling the terrible disease.

With the subject of breast cancer swirling around our home, we decided we wanted to make our February gift to a local cancer organization, but we didn't know too much about which ones served this area. To my delightful surprise, my local networking group, the Tweet Divas, announced that our New Year's gathering would support a vital breast cancer organization serving North Carolina: The Pretty In Pink Foundation.

A vibrant and articulate Pretty In Pink Foundation representative, Bernadette, attended our luncheon and talked about their work. The agency provides funding to women who are not able to pay their medical bills when diagnosed with breast cancer. The website told of one woman who was freshly divorced and was no longer on her husbands insurance policy. Some women have insurance but not enough to cover all the additional expenses, including the recovery time that can often last for months.

Bernadette told the story of many women who discover there is no way they can ever pay the bills (that often skyrocket above $100,000), so they don't tell their families about their condition. The cancer spreads, taking their lives. Hundreds, if not thousands, of women in North Carolina are dying from a disease for which they could have received treatment.

We knew immediately that we had to choose the Pretty in Pink Foundation as our charity of the month for February. In addition, we decided to make the gift in honor of our friend and in honor of all the courageous women who, right now, at this second, are battling this ferocious disease.

Bernadette passed out a bag of pink ribbons in delightful patterns for the TweetDivas. I wear mine with pride.

View the Pretty In Pink Facebook Page
Follow them on Twitter @PrettyInPinkNC

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Angels in our Midst

When my daughter was born, I strived to do everything right. It was my mission to be the best mother possible to this precious, new little life. From regular feedings, to scheduled naps, fresh air and playtime, we make sure to give our daughter the best start possible.

It saddens me to think there are mothers in this world that can't give their children the best that life has to offer: living in huts with dirt floors, no fresh water for miles... no protien rich foods, no vegetables, no clean bottles or diapers. I'm sure some of them would be shocked by our sanitation rituals for every little thing that comes into arms reach of our babies.

I didn't start thinking of any of this until we learned about an organization called Vitamin Angels. This agency provides critcal vitamins to babies and young children to help reduce mortality rates, improve young immune systems and boost healthy development.

Amazingly, 25 cents will provide two doses of vitamin A and antiparasitics - enough needed for one year... enough needed to reduce the morality rate in children under five by 23%. As little as 25 cents can make a huge difference in the life of a child!

In 2010 alone, Vitamin Angels has reached over 24 million children! Their website shows the amazing breakdown in countries worldwide: 30,000 in Afghanistan, 45,000 in Ghana, 940,000 in India, and 1.4 million in Haiti, to name just a few. Imagine the millions of mothers that have been saved the tragic sorrow of losing a child to disease and infection because of this inspiring organization.

Their programs are incredible: Operation 20/20 is a worldwide vitamin A campaign and Thrive to Five "gives children under five the vital first step to excel physically and cognitively, rather than simply survive their key developmental years."

As such, we are proud to choose Vitamin Angels as our January Charity of the Month. What a wonderful way to kick off the New Year!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Does this ever happen to you:

You come up with a great idea and spend lots of time working to perfect and maintain it only to have other things begin to take priority. Before you know it, your great idea ends up on the backburner with all the other great ideas: piling up like a mountain of great ideas that go nowhere.

Unfortunately, this happened with our dear 12 Charities of Christmas Project last year. Life took over and our poor project suffered. As such, we only ended up with 6 out of 12 charities for 2010.

Not that the project was forgotten - it ended up more in the back of our minds as a soft voice that kept repreating "hello, what about me? - I need attention..."

Of course, the New Year always brings a period of reflection and reprioritization. It also helped that I read a great article in the September 2010 issue of ODE Magazine called "Giving is Getting" that reminded us that the best way to be happy is to make others happy.

So, in our long list of things to do this year, re-launching the 12 Charities of Christmas project shot to the top. We have rededicated and recommited ourselves to make sure that 2011 is full of fantastic charities that truly make a difference in our world and in our communities.

We're in the process of choosing our charity for January and it will be an exciting selection. Stay tuned! ...and Happy New Year! We truly hope that some of your great ideas will flourish this year.