Today is #Shop4Siloam – Help My Company Feed The Homeless

Today is Shop4Siloam! 

The amazing company I work for, ICUC, is based in Winnipeg, Mannitoba, Oh Canada.  In their fair city is Siloam Mission, a resource for homeless people and those living in poverty.

Today is a drive to raise money for Siloam Mission!

Details are here: link to ICUC’s blog post about the event (Snoo.ws)

Donate Online here – just please choose “#Shop4Siloam” from the menu.

Use social media to share about the event – #Shop4Siloam is the Twitter trend @ICUC and @SiloamMission are involved.  Say hi to my boss @alishaizanne who’s at the event right now.

The Mission is wonderful – they offer all kinds of services from hot meals, emergency housing, to job training, health care, therapy, classes, and more.

In planning Shop4Siloam this year, I was able to work with the Siloam team, and they’re all so great.  The passion for their work is so tangible in everything they say, the difference they  make is painted all over Winnipeg.

Easter Sunday is this weekend and ICUC is helping to provide the folks at Siloam Mission with a hot Easter Dinner.  A feast, even!  Every since cent and every dollar collected goes straight to the Mission and into funding food, programming, everything.  We’re just the messengers and the organizers of this drive.

Donate Online here – just please choose “#Shop4Siloam” from the menu.

It’s actually our 3rd annual Shop4Siloam event.  I know you’re thinking shop – well, right now, in Winnipeg, the ICUC crew that lives there is hanging out with some good folks from Siloam at a local grocer (Sobey’s St. Anne’s on Bishop Grandin from 11am – 2pm CST) today to collect food and donations. See what they’re up to on Instagram (search for Siloam Mission) and of course FB and Twitter has real time updates about today’s drive.

Also known as “Winterpeg,” the snowy winters up there are no joke.  Thus, protecting the homeless and vulnerable populations has an urgency to it not seen in various other cities with milder climates.  Just keep that in mind, please!

For less than $24 you can provide food and care for eight people. EIGHT PEOPLE.  What an incredible gift to offer someone.

Donate Online here – just please choose “#Shop4Siloam” from the menu.

Even if you’re unable to donate at this time, please post about the project on social media to keep spreading the word.  Part of the twist is that we primarily use social communication to propel the project every year – harnessing the power of the platforms we work with everyday.

Thank you everyone for your kindness and generosity!  

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not just for inmates and foreign kids: it’s good to give, part one!

It’s Good To Give. Part 1

So I know I’ve already posted about a couple of the venues for holiday giving that we’ve participated in this year (we, as in Duggs and myself) – holiday gift bags for local lady inmates, and making some amazing shoebox care packs for Operation Christmas Child.

But our holiday giving this year isn’t just for inmates or kids in faraway lands!  We’re getting into other forms of giving, some that impact our communities.

Here what’s we’re doing… and how you can do so in your very own land:

Holiday Cards

Who doesn’t love a sweet cheerful card?  I know it can seem weird to send out an anonymous card, but for someone in a tough spot, a random act of kindness can mean such a big deal.  Really!

I think it may already be too late… but just in case it’s not, you can send a card to a Wounded Warrior at Walter Reed Hospital:

Holiday Mail For Heroes

P.O. Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Now, the rep I spoke with on Friday said that it was basically the last day to have cards/mail post marked that could get to an injured service member in time for Christmas… but hey, it didn’t sound like a hard deadline.  And what’s the worst that could happen?  It gets there a couple days late?  I say go for it, but I am a bit of a rule-bender.

I’ve been making these cute Christmas tree cards at home:

easy and cute, just write the message on the back

I’m checking in with the VA hospital out here today just to make sure, but I plan on bringing in the cards to them.  You can also make some easy “happy holidays” cards with paper snowflakes and blue markers, or Hanukkah cards with Stars of David and some gold glitter for gelt.  Easy-peasy, yeah? I’m planning a seasonal craft blog later this week, and then I’ll give the step by step how-to.

I really wanted to send cards to anonymous wives/spouses/caretakers of Wounded Warriors this year.  But .. I got on the idea too late.  I haven’t been able to find a program that has anything like that in place, now.  The good people at Operation Homefront have emailed with me about possibly gearing something up for next year.  How awesome would that be?!?!

Make some cards.  Buy some.  It doesn’t matter.  And take a few minutes to write a friendly message and then bring them to people who could use a smile: your local hospital, your local old folks home, the local businesses you support and enjoy; maybe it’s not a stranger, but someone you know who could use a smile? Cards are so easy and so nice. Bonus points for using recycled materials.

Toys for Tots

The United States Marine Corps Reserves run the annual drive to collect toys and stuffed animals every year.  This year, my friend Becky (who is one of the most generous people I know!!) sent me some toys to donate at a local Toys For Tots drop-off out here.

(also: Hallmark channel is airing some sort of Parade tonight that goes to benefit Toys for Tots, so tune into that too!  That sounds fun.)

But like I said, my friend Becky sent me a box of toys to give out.  So Duggs and I decided to chip in our own toys, and bring them all together to the drop off.  The one at our bank is due by this afternoon, so either before or after our big doctor’s appt run for the day, we’ll be going by there.

toys, that will go to tots! thank you becky!!

It’s easy to find your own local drop off, and really… toys don’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to drop off half a dozen Leap Pads to make a difference (and if you did, could you please give me the location and time of your drop-off?  haha, I kid.. I kid…).  A little goes a long way, think of how great it feels to just make one child smile.  Aww.  That warms your heart, admit it.

Hawaii Food Bank

The good people at Hawaii Food Bank make sure that hungry families are fed.  This is so amazing and important.  We will be giving food to their drive for this year.  I love picking out some of my personal faves to share with others.  Like those Annie’s Organic Pasta Stars.  I always donate those!

I actually love to donate high quality food.  Just because one is having a tough time financially doesn’t mean one wants to be unhealthy.

But that’s nit-picky.

In all earnestness, I suggest finding your local food bank and making an edible donation today!

Can you tell that I like to give things, rather than money?  I do like to work with charities where I can make or buy items to give.  I can be picky about charities to donate to, and so giving a tangible item is nice.  It feels controlled.

But some forms of giving just go the farthest when you make a monetary gift.

Doggies!

I plan to give some cash money to our local Humane Society, the Hawaiian Humane Society (note, NOT the national one, that’s a different beast altogether, ya feel me?).  I can’t even click on the Humane Society’s webpage without getting all misty-eyed.

Another great one is Hawaii Dog Foundation, where our very own JJ came from.

Is there a local shelter or rescue in your area that needs soem support?  (I mean, what animal rescue doesn’t need financial aid, overpopulation and crappy owners have made un-homed pets a crisis in our country).

And So On…

I’m thinking that’s about it for this year.   But ya never know!  I’m such a tenderhearted sucker, I end up always trying to give, give, give to everyone.

If you’re stumped on a gift for someone, you can always give a donation to a cause of their liking in that someone’s name.  Or you can choose a cause of my liking, and then I can barrage you with thank you emails!

It really is better to give than to receive.

I do so want everyone to enjoy whatever presents they hopefully get this year, but please, don’t scrimp on the giving either.  I know it’s hard times, I know it is.  But when times are tough, we just have to dig deeper.

You can do it!

So… Where are you giving to this year?  What are your charitable holiday plans? 

Tell me all about them, and maybe others reading will want to join in with you too.

As always, thanks for reading everyone!  Happy Giving!

xoxo, hhr