I love me some national park. Every time I go to one like Yosemite my body relaxes. I breathe in that delicious air and think, “Why do I live in that hell hole? Why don’t I live in the country?” Then after 4 days of cafeteria food I go, oh, that’s why. But, I still like to go every year if we can afford it. Here is a way to get a little help to go visit some of America’s treasures.
I encourage all of you to “CREATE YOUR DAY” by going to WWW.QUAKEROATS.COM/CREATEYOURDAY and discovering an oatmeal creation that will best help you tackle the day that lies ahead for youth. For every bowl of oatmeal created on this site, GoodBite.com & Quaker will donate $1.00 to “Share Our Strength”, a charity dedicated to ending childhood hunger, up to $25,000. This goal is no small feat, but with your help we can do it. $25,000 will go a long way to helping Share Our Strength continue their important work.
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Barack Obama has asked everyone to perfom a charitable service. I think that because the economy is struggling, the best way to help out is to spend your money. Consumerism is the new charity. Don’t break the bank; just, you know, buy a cupcake or two.
This is one of the bleaker Christmases I can remember. Most everyone is totally freaked about money. Even if they haven’t lost their own, they worry they will. Even in prosperous times, I think spending a bunch of money on adults is silly. Buy the kids presents. My family does a Secret Santa for the older set, so there is something to open. But years back, I got physically and financially exhausted from buying everyone presents. And as I said years ago to my family, “Unless you can give me a development deal at ABC, anything I want I can get myself.” Since I don’t think they are going to buy me a week cruising the Greek Islands, that’s basically correct. And isn’t better to give to charity?
But this year I’m having a change of heart. Businesses, small and large even, are the charities. Witness how charitable our government has to be to the financial markets, to the car companies. I know some sweet small stores that wait for hours for a $30 sale.
So if you have any, go ahead, and spend some money. The law of circulation; it all goes around. I don’t know if it’s what Jesus would do. But with these great sales, maybe he would.
How many times have you gotten a request from a friend to support them in a run/walk/swim/trip to a developing nation? I just gave some money to one request as I periodically do, but I’d love to blow most of them off. Oh, wait, that’s right, I do.
Number two, it takes a certain amount – sometimes quite bit – of the money raised to actually finance the triathlon or what have you. If the person wants to raise money for a cause, I would be more apt to give if it was, “Hey, I decided this year I want to raise money for (fill in the blank disease or cause). I’ve kicked in a grand, would you please give what you can?” I think too often, while part of their heart is in the right place, part of it also wants to see if they can do a 10k. I don’t ask anyone to pay for my training. If I had any.
My feeling on this is also colored because years ago, a boyfriend was going on an AIDS ride in Alaska. He loved to work out, so he liked the physical challenge. He had to raise about $3,600, at least half of which paid for the ride. It was a drag while he was raising it, and he would be gone for two weeks. I didn’t want him to go. I said, “Raise a grand, give it to AIDS, and stay at home.” He went anyway and came home talking about what an “incredible experience it was.” I couldn’t share his enthusiasm, much as I guess Jennifer Aniston didn’t share Brad Pitt’s excitement for his film “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Weeks later, he finally confessed what I had an inkling of: he’d had oral sex with a female masseuse from New York in a tent in Alaska. What charitable people!
Here’s a cute thing that was one of the first products I featured on my “Mommy Must Have” segment on my TV show, The Fashion Team. Although come to think of it we haven’t done that segment in months, which means the producers must have cut it without telling me…hmm. Typical.
Anyway, I was trolling a star-studded benefit for the March of Dimes last year, eyeing the swag available to the famous and hoping to get ideas for my show. When low and behold I see a very nice, unassuming mom with her t-shirts and matching books. These are not just shirts with a familiar story or song on them, they’re Nursery Rhyme Tease, and each shirt comes with a little book that matches. So I got Vivien “Wheels On The Bus,” and “5 Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed.” She loved them, got so excited when I gave them to her. She likes reading the books, knows the words and wears the shirt like a rocker wears his AC/DC shirt, to show what a fan she is!
As I recall they were about $25 dollars for the set. Order a few and have them in an emergency gift nook for when you realize, “oh, crap, we have a kiddie party today!”