Moustaches for Movember!

It’s the month of November and y’all should know what that means! It’s time for MOVEMBER!!!

What It Is

If you have never heard of Movember, here’s a quick description from the Movember website: “During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.”

Why I’m Doing It

And it’s not just for men (obviously, otherwise why am I writing this?). Women can sign up to support the cause by becoming a Mo’Sista. Which is what I’ve done and it’s my second year in a row doing it. Last year I raised over $100 for cancer research and this year I want to go even higher. I’m doing this for all the men in my life, but in particular, a few very close male family members who have fought the good fight against cancer (you know who you are – I love you!). I’m also doing this for the women in my life – because regardless of what type of cancer you may have fought, every cancer is bad. And there are some very very close women in my life who have battled this foe (some have won, and some have lose). This is for all of them. And all of you.

What I Need From You

Support. Whether that comes in the form of sharing my page on Facebook or Twitter or through emails to friends or whether it’s in the form of a $1 donation – every little bit helps. You can find my public Mo’Space here. At that page you can comment on my page and give me shout-outs, you can find Share buttons to promote my cause, and you can also donate directly to me (the donate button is right under that awesome photo of me with a moustache).

What else can you do? You could sign up as well! Whether you’re a Mo’Bro or a Mo’Sista, you can join the site and support the cause. You can find out more about the whole Movember movement and where the funds go by checking out their about page.

Conclusion!

To wrap up this long-winded post, if you can, please donate even $1 to my mospace page – it’ll go a long way. If you can’t, I totally 100% understand and ask only that you share this in any way you can, whether it’s online or through word of mouth. I’m taking this campaign and running with it this year and I need your help.

Have ideas for me? Want to tell me I’m awesome? Want to tell me I’m ridiculous-looking in a moustache? Comment and let me know. I’d love to hear any feedback you may have.

Happy Movember!

Today is Voting Day here in the US. A lot is riding on this election. A LOT. From finances, to medical bills, to gender equality to civil rights. It’s an important election. Here are a few thoughts I jotted down last night before going to sleep.

“The closer we get to tomorrow, the meaner and more cruel people on Facebook become – on both sides. I’ve started blocking quite a few people from my News Feed because I’m sick of the hatred being thrown around. Stop talking and act. Go out and Vote. Stand up for what you believe in. Do good, live your life well. That’s what counts. Don’t get mean. Love.

As for me, I’ve just had to stop thinking about tomorrow. You all know my side. You all know who I voted for. You all know who I love and what I stand for. Regardless of who wins, the aftermath is going to be filled with angry, hateful people. Regardless of who wins, remember this. We’re all humans. We all have responsibility. We all have a commitment to this earth and to our fellow people to put as much good into this world as we are able. We are all still Americans. We are citizens of Earth. We are pieces of the same universal stardust that make up our existence. We are the SAME.

Just remember that.”


Me in January 2009 on the National Mall waiting for the inauguration of Barack Obama.

No matter what happens, I will continue to fight for what I believe in.

Y’all know that I’m a big treehugger. I pretty much majored in camping. I’m also a big fan of DIY craft projects. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that I am absolutely 100% in love with this awesome Kickstarter project: Create Change App: Changing the Way We Consume + Create. It comes from the minds of my friend Jenelle of TrashN2Tees and software developer Sean McKenna, two ingenius minds with an amazing idea.

Of course I have to help promote something that I know for a fact that I would use the heck out of. Jenelle was gracious enough to take a few moments to answer some questions for me about the Kickstarter project and the fantastic app that needs to be made.

Kickstarting the Interview!

Tell us what inspired you and gave you the idea for the Create Change kickstarter project.

My whole life, I’ve always looked at things & automatically wondered how I can contribute and make a difference. How can this be bigger, better, amplified, successful, brighter, stronger, happier, worthier? For a long time I truely viewed this trait as a character flaw. I’d catch myself asking questions like, “who do I think you are?” The truth is, this ‘flaw’ has always been one of my greatest strengths & assets. One that I am embracing.

The Create Change App is a manifestation of my business TrashN2Tees where I design clothing & accessories using reclaimed materials. Its focuses on ways that you can creatively reuse items and keep them from our landfills, instigating a movement that changes the way we consume and create.

Give us a quick run-down of how the app will work for those who haven’t seen the video.

If you’ve got 3 minutes- be sure to check out the video here. Did you know that 70% of the items in our landfills can be recycled or reused? The app is going to be a compilation of DIY tutorials on a searchable database. Simply search the Create Change app for your no-longer-necessary items (for example: bottle caps, bike tires, ripped shower curtain, and dryer lint), you will instantly see results featuring creative ways how you can repurpose the items instead of throwing them away. The Create Change tutorials will walk you through the steps.

Browse the beautifully photographed galleries by choosing a category on on the home page and be inspired to create change. These tutorials are original (and eventually curated) content. You can instantly share photos of your finished projects: show us how you infused your own personality! Post your favorite tutorials directly from your phone on Twitter & Facebook. Submit your own tutorials to possibly be featured in the curated updates! All of the budget friendly projects range from stylish modern industrial chic home decor builds to quick & easy kid-friendly crafts!

What’s your favorite part of this whole project? The marketing? The creating? The brainstorming?

I was going to cop-out and say I loved it all, but sat with the question a moment. I love the collaborative brainstorming being able to exemplify my vision through unexpected creative mediums.

What do you hope the Create Change app will accomplish? Big Hairy Audacious Dreams here!

Big scary things happen in the world everyday, and a lot of us think there is nothing we can do about it. That is bullshit, we can DO something. I want people to really look in their trash cans & think about what they’re consuming. Think about how it affects our environment and realize that it doesn’t disappear after the garbage trucks come pick up. The app instigates action: a movement to change the way we consume and create.

Any big projects after the Create Change app is a big success?

There is still a lot of work to be done, I’m currently looking for an intern to assist with organizing the Create Change Pledge Event in November. (Send applications to contact(at)trashn2tees.com) We’re going to be spreading Create Change with live events in your town: including hands on upcycling/creative workshops, live music, and eco-handmade vendors.

Conclusion

Conclusion? FUND THIS KICKSTARTER! Don’t you want to have this app on your phone? Right now, Jenelle has a little over $1300 and she needs to reach $17,000 in 15 DAYS! You can check out the video to learn more about where the money will go and how the app will be created. All I know is that this is an app that NEEDS to be made. How wonderful will it be to go to your phone to find a use for something you might have otherwise thrown away?

I for one have helped fund this Kickstarter. Will you?

My Birthday Wishes and A Giveaway!

Yes, I said it. It’s my birthday on the 19th and to celebrate, I am joining up with PrintRunner to do an awesome business card giveaway! Because I’m super nice and believe in the Hobbit tradition of giving away presents on my birthday. To one lucky winner anyway.

But first, I have a request for you. I would LOVE it if you could donate to an organization that is near and dear to my heart. No, it’s not required to enter the giveaway – it’s just something nice you could do for me on my 26th year of life (and for them).

My Birthday Nonprofit: Amazon CARES

This is a personal plea from me. Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety (CARES) is a nonprofit organization that was founded by my good friend Molly Mednikow. This is a one-of-a-kind organization that operates in Iquitos, Peru, that offers animal rescue, spay and neuter services and education to the Amazon community, runs a no-kill shelter, and is the only charity dedicated to animals in the entire Peruvian Amazon region. The amount of good this small organization does for a very large area is astronomical.

Unfortunately, earlier this year, the Amazon was hit with a tremendous amount of flooding that devastated the organization – the shelter they had spent years building was destroyed. Molly and her trusted troupe of staff and volunteers carry on the work they have dedicated their lives to, but they struggle as not enough funding goes to rebuilding and less goes to the animals. They need your help.

For my birthday, I want everyone who reads this to donate $5 or more to the Amazon CARES ChipIn and help them raise the money to rebuild their organization and help give relief to the animals of the region. You can donate and see updates at this page, or you can donate via the ChipIn widget below.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. It would be the best present ever to see Molly and Amazon CARES continue the good work they do.

Edit: Molly just put this post up and it breaks my heart. If you were thinking about donating, now is the time! They could use all the help they can get right now! Let’s do this!

And Now… The PrintRunner Giveaway!

I haven’t done a giveaway in awhile, so I was totally excited when PrintRunner asked if I wanted to take part in theirs (and get my own cards too). I was also super stoked when I discovered the green aspect of the company – they’ve adopted some pretty stellar eco-friendly printing practices, which y’all should know is important to me. You can try PrintRunner’s online business cards printing through their online printing services.

Giveaway Details

Business Card Size and Style Business Cards: 2×3.5 (Standard)
Quantity: 250 cards
Colors: 4/4 Color Both Sides
Paper: 14 pt. UV Coating on Front, 14 pt. UV Coating on both sides,
Proof: NONE
Rounded Corners: NO
Ready To Ship In: 3 Business Days
Awards: May 31st, 2012
*Giveaway is open to US Residents only, ages 18 years old and above.

Deadline

This giveaway is open NOW and will close on my birthday, May 19th (at 11:59PM CST). What do you need to do to win? Comment on this post and, just for fun, tell me what your favorite charity or cause is. I would love to see what you guys care about. Don’t forget to follow PrintRunner on Twitter and Facebook – they’re pretty great. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday via the Random.org generator.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful May and happy Giveaway!

The Girl EffectYou may have already heard of The Girl Effect. If you don’t know, it’s “the unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world.” In other words, it’s an organization dedicated to improving the lives of young girls and giving them the means of educating themselves and working towards making the world a better place.

“The Girl Effect is a movement. It’s social change in action. It’s about you using your voice, your talents, and your community to help girls help themselves—and, as a result, everybody else.

Created by people at the Nike Foundation, the Novo Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls, its purpose is to spread the word about what girls can do and to recruit other powerful girl champions, like you. Armed with the tools and the network you need to raise awareness—and a little elbow grease—you can change the world.”

I won’t bore you with any more descriptions. Just watch this.

The Girl Effect

It’s a small ripple. Helping just one girl. But that ripple grows and causes more and that one, that one counted. It’s like the Starfish Effect. Every single one matters and it makes an impact on generations. You can make a difference too. It’s our responsibility to make the world a better place and we can do it. This isn’t just about giving one girl a few more years of schooling. This is about the small that makes up the whole. This is about HIV and poverty and it’s about Human Rights and the values we place on people that are seen as different from us. This is about saving a planet before it throws itself off the edge of the universe.

This is about doing what’s right. And it starts with one girl. That’s what the Girl Effect is.

What You Can Do To Help

Raise awareness. This post isn’t just from me. Starting today, bloggers from all over the world are blogging about the Girl Effect. It’s a campaign to make people see that this HUGE issue has a simple solution. Want to help? It’s easy. Write a blog post. You can find more information about what to write and what to include on Tara Mohr’s Girl Effect page, and you can see a lot more blog posts from other folks on the campaign page.

Please join us.

Find out more about The Girl Effect:

365 Days of Animal Advocacy (& Life)!

I know it’s been awhile, but life has been pretty much insane. So much so I’m not quite sure I can call it a life. Doesn’t life include sleep? Don’t think I haven’t been blogging. I blog every single day but it hasn’t been here. Over at I Love Rescue Animals, Ash and I have taken on an epic year-long challenge: to showcase a different rescue, shelter, or other animal welfare organization every single day this year. It’s called the 365 Days of Animal Advocacy project and if we’re not blogging or taking pictures, we’re emailing organizations and spreading the word pretty much every second of the day (when we’re not at work).

Regardless of how time consuming it is, the project has already proved incredibly worth it. We have already gotten in touch with some fantastic organizations and the amount of positive feedback we’ve gotten has been wonderful. Want to know more about it? Check out the last five posts we’ve done:

Please take a moment to read more and find out how you can help this project. We would love to hear from your local shelter and share your story. And don’t worry – I’m getting back into the blogging habit and I’ll be back here soon.

And Now For a Short Break!

BREAK! I shall be scarce from the web this week as I prepare for BlogPaws 2010 West, a conference that has all to do with pet bloggers and celebrating the love for our furry friends. This is the second conference and this time I will doing a presentation about some tips and tricks for basic WordPress design. I’ll make sure to make it available after the conference. Ash and I are representing I Love Rescue Animals and will be gone from Thursday to Sunday to beautiful Denver, CO. Until then, we’ll be running around trying to get everything done and prepared in time for us to make our flight. We’ll get back on the normal blogging schedule on Monday. Be well, all!

Updated 9/16/10: We made it back from Colorado safe and sound, but the BlogPaws buzz has not died (and I have not had a chance to catch up on blogging here). I will write about it here next week after my life gets back to normal (and I catch up on emails and projects), but for now, please head over to the I Love Rescue Animals blog and read about our journey and all the people we met. It was incredible. Thank you to all who support our group and our mission!

ILRA Nominated for the Petties!

You may remember this post we wrote up earlier about asking people to nominate ILRA for DogTime’s Petties Awards. Well we asked and you came forth and did it! I Love Rescue Animals is now one of the four finalists for Best Cause Related Blog! Thank you so much to everyone who entered our names. Just making it to the final four has blown us away. You are all amazing.

Vote Again!

But it’s not over! Now that we’re in the final four, how about trying to get us to #1? I know we here at ILRA would be absolutely estatic if we managed to take the top spot, and we feel that with your support, we have a good chance.

Vote For ILRA!

So please take a moment to vote for iloverescueanimals.org in the “Best Cause Related Blog category. If you support what we do and what we stand for, this is a great way to show how much you appreciate it. With a few clicks, you have helped us take one step forward to getting our message to a bigger audience.

Thank you so much for getting us this far! Feel free to share this with friends and family. We could use all the support we can get it. Voting ends on August 20th so please get your votes in!

The Blogging of ILRA

If you haven’t noticed, I Love Rescue Animals is bursting with brand new content in our blog. Not only do we try and have a blog a day up now, but we’ve also got four, count them – FOUR, different series going on that I wanted to take a minute and showcase here. AND we’ve welcome on a new member of the team! How awesome is that? Check out what we’ve been up to!

Click here to continue reading this article.

2010 Animal Welfare Campaign!

2010 Animal Welfare Campaign

Recently, I Love Rescue Animals was approached by Great Nonprofits to partner with them on their newest project: The 2010 Animal Welfare Campaign! Of course, we said yes, and we are busy promoting this new resource for animal nonprofit groups.

Please check out our blog post about the campaign to find out more about what we need you to do to make this a success! Please pass on the message – the more people who take part in this campaign, the better!