Tuesday, November 27, 2012

25 Days of Giving 2012

            Wow! Since last year at this time, we have more than doubled our Frike count (by the way, you’re a Frike if you follow us on Facebook- you’re a friend/like all smushed into one… a Frike!) and with more Frikes comes a greater chance of making a positive impact in the world. That’s an opportunity we refuse to miss!

            For the third year in a row, we are hosting our 25 Days of Giving, which is a celebration that counts down to Christmas and honors the idea that we can all change the world, one action at a time, by being helpful, loving, and considerate of one another. Making a positive difference is not hard to do and it’s not an all-or-nothing event, but most people just have no idea where to start! We are compiling the two suggestion lists from the previous two years into one, to give you a jump start. You could follow this list entirely, or come up with your own great ideas!
            Additionally, this is also the time of the year that we like to reach out to families and offer help during difficult times. Some people are concerned about anything from medical and household expenses to Christmas dinner to putting presents under the tree and we would like your help in finding them. We are asking for nominations of people in need during this time of the year- if you were helped last year, please do not nominate yourselves again this year. We would like to touch as many lives as possible and do not have the resources to accommodate everyone; please understand that at times, our list of those who are in need is overwhelmingly long, but that we constantly do our best to help everyone on it! Nominations, which should include contact information for the individual or family being nominated so we can pass along the help, can be sent to: cathy@cathyscreationsjewelry.com. All nominations are confidential!
            If you would like to help us help others, here is how you can! We always accept donations for our causes through our PayPal address, cathyscreationsjewelry@yahoo.com. When sending the money, please mark it as a gift- it is a gift, and a wonderful one, so let’s make sure the full amount goes toward its intended purpose! Please also specify in the notes section: “25 Days of Giving” so we can apply your donation appropriately!
            Also, we will be hosting Deal of the Day (DOTD) specials in the near future and the proceeds from these deals will go toward fundraising to help those who were nominated. We have some upcoming DOTDs lined up for other causes, too, so keep an eye out!
            Now, without further ado, here is our list of ways you can give back or lend a hand this holiday season! Feel free to add your own ideas or stories of giving to the comments section of the blog- we love a good, touching story!

Volunteer to help with projects in your local school district. The kids will love seeing a new face, and you might learn something new!

Compliment a stranger or someone you don’t normally talk to often. Kind words are a gift that we have all appreciated at one point or another.

Wash your partner’s car for them. If the weather is too cold, grab a garbage bag and clean out the inside!

Leave an extra large tip when you go out to eat. You could make the day of someone who is working hard!

Drop off your old towels at an animal shelter. Shelters are always looking for odds and ends to fill needs. If you don’t have towels, bring in toys, paper towels, or bleach.

Invite a local family over for dinner and make new friends.

Clean up your clutter and donate the usable items to a privately owned thrift shop. Not only do you straighten up your own space, but you keep a small business owner open this holiday season!

Ask your local soup kitchen if you can help out for a day.

Make handmade cards for the elderly in a nursing home.

Buy a cup of hot chocolate for a utility or construction worker standing outside in the cold. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere warm, treat them to lemonade!

Donate soap, shampoo, or toothbrushes to a homeless shelter. Even if they are from the dollar store, someone could use them!

Offer to clean the home of someone who is elderly, just had a baby, or could use a break.

Use your extra yarn and crafting skills to knit or crochet hats for babies at the hospital. Premature babies are often unexpected and parents are not always prepared for their arrival, so extra-small hats could make a big difference without using a lot of yarn!

Put your spare change at the checkout into the penny jar, or into the can of a worthwhile cause that someone is collecting for.

Sit down with your children and draw pictures for family members. It sounds simple, but it’s a gesture from the heart and loved ones appreciate knowing they are being thought of!

Shop local stores for presents or goods. Giving your money to your community benefits everyone!

Donate your gently used clothing to a family in need instead of a resale shop. Ask your local church if they have a drop box.

Bring someone else’s cart back to the corral at the store. You can help out a busy parent who has their hands full, as well as the employees who have to go out and try to catch them all. You also might be saving the paint on someone’s car!

Buy or make hats and mittens and donate them to a preschool or elementary school so there are no chilly kids on the playground this winter!

Donate used board games to schools for inside recess or class parties.

Offer to post signs promoting a local fundraiser around the town, or help tack up signs of someone’s missing pet.

Blog or post on Facebook or Twitter asking people to help one another. Inspiring others to help spreads the love and makes a difference!

Donate money in any increment to your local heating oil company and ask them to apply it to an account with a past due balance. Helping someone catch up so they can heat their homes this winter is invaluable!

Ask a nursing home if there is a special patient who could use some visitors and try to spend time with them. A mutual friendship is something that can give to you both!

Turn off your cell phone while driving, or at least put it in the back seat, the glove box, or in your purse. Doing this every day could make it a habit, and you could give someone the gift of their life- including yourself or your own family!
Pay for someone's coffee/tea.

Pay for someone's toll.

Make a food donation at the supermarket.

Bake a treat and bring it over to an elderly person/nursing home.

Call someone you have been putting off calling.

Bring a well behaved dog to a nursing home for a visit.

Hold the door for the person behind you.

Make soup for a sick friend.

Take a friend’s kid for the day. The parent could probably use the break.

Volunteer for a charity. Pick a cause that's near and dear to your heart and donate your time to them.

If you head out of town, drop off your monthly public transit pass at a youth or job center. They'll pass on the pass to someone who is in need of it to job hunt or attend school.

Take your neighbors trash to the curb while you're taking yours. Imagine their surprise when they see that the chore is already done.

Pay for the person behind you at the drive thru. It will make someone's day!

Donate blood. One single donation can help up to 4 people – that should be inspiring enough.

Donate your used clothes and housewares to charity. By doing so, you can help people meet basic human needs. Your old sweaters will keep someone warm during the winter and your old housewares can help someone furnish their new apartment.

Find a holiday angel program in your community. You can donate basic things like toothpaste, towels, sheets and PJs for a family in need to open on Christmas morning.

Take a CPR class. You never know when you might be in a position to put those life-saving skills into practice.

Offer to babysit a friend’s kids one night so she and her partner can enjoy a romantic evening out. You friend will certainly be grateful for the night off.

Write a letter or e-mail to a good friend or family member to let them know how much you value them.

They say that smiling is contagious. Pick a day to smile at everyone you pass on the street.

Pass on your books after you've read them for someone else to enjoy. Take them to a local shelter or give them to friends.

Being angry at someone requires a lot of energy from both people involved, so go ahead and let go of an old grudge. Forgiving someone who hurt you will open the door for a friendship to be rekindled.

When you come across a two for one deal (which are popular at book and movie stores), donate your free product to a local shelter or youth group.

Next time you're at your favorite restaurant, leave your server a very generous tip.

Next time you do your grocery shopping, pick up a large bag of cat or dog food to donate to a local animal shelter.

Host a movie night for 10 of your closet friends. Charge $10 admission, provide the popcorn, candy and drinks, and donate the $100 to a charity you all decide on. It's a perfect way to feel good about having fun.

Shovel a neighbor's driveway.

Make an extra batch of soup or chili that you can freeze and give it to someone you know who is pressed for time to cook healthy food during the holidays.

Offer to wrap presents for a friend who has a hectic work schedule.

Donate mittens, hats and scarves to the Warmth tree at your children's school. If they don't have one, start one.

Don't just give your child's teacher a Christmas gift, give a gift to the whole class too -- a book, a puzzle or other indoor game for indoor recess time.

Don't forget to get a little something for the little people you forget: School Secretary, School Librarian, Bus Driver, School Custodians, Principal/Vice-Principal -- they make your children's school life successful too!

Send in boxes of tissues to your child's classroom BEFORE your teacher is forced to ask for some. Trust me, they'll need them.

Make your husband's lunch for him, or move the car for him, or give him a massage after a hard day.

Stop cleaning and sit and watch a movie with your kids instead.

Take a friend for a pedicure.

Invite your In-Laws over for tea and cookies.

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

Call a women’s shelter and see what items they need, then donate them.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Supporting "Bringing Home the Browns"


Sean and Heather Brown are your typical young couple. They met, fell in love, got married, and after seven years of trying, finally got pregnant with a beautiful little boy. Sean was a police officer who decided to become a National Guard soldier, and was dutifully serving the country in Afghanistan when suddenly, at 34 weeks pregnant, Heather went to the hospital with complaints of back pain and a headache. There was a massive bleed in her brain, and she began having seizures. Doctors acted quickly and performed a C-section, delivering John Michael Thomas Brown and rushing him to a nearby hospital with a NICU. Heather slipped into a coma and since that day, September 15, 2012, has not woken up.


Sean was sent home to be with his wife and son and finally arrived at their bedsides a grueling 72 hours after hearing the horrible news. He visited his small, precious newborn son and saw him for the very first time. Then he went to visit his wife, and has been with the two of them every day since. Baby John was finally sent home with his daddy, and Sean now divides his time between creating a routine at home with his newborn son, and sitting at his wife's side with the son she has not yet seen.

Heather’s doctors say she may never wake up from her coma, but the Browns are not giving up hope. The Brown family is asking for (and receiving) a lot of positive love, prayers, and support, and we are glad to be part of their journey. We want to invite you along.

We are honored to present cause jewelry in the name of the Brown family and in support of their efforts on Facebook on their page “Bringing Home the Browns.” When Sean left for Afghanistan, Heather hung up yellow ribbons on the trees outside of their home with plans to leave them there until he came home. Sean is now leaving them up until she comes home; the yellow ribbons symbolize a hope that all of the Browns will once again unite in the comfort and safety of their home.

Please click the image of the cause jewelry you are interested in to view the product description, personalization options, prices, and ordering information. ALL proceeds from the sales of these products are donated directly to the Brown family.

We will also be hosting a Deal of the Day soon to help purchase a digital video camera for the family to record John’s growth, special memories, sweet baby noises, and amazing milestones. We have full faith that Heather will overcome this challenge and will someday rejoice in the moments that will be captured on film for her to cherish forever. Please follow us on Facebook to find out more!

Additionally, we understand that not everyone is able to participate in fundraisers but your thoughts and prayers are always appreciated by everyone. Please feel free to leave comments on this blog for the Brown family and their supporters, or add their page on Facebook to follow their story as it unfolds. Also, cards or letters can be sent to this address: PO Box 644, Gladewater, TX 75647

Please consider sharing this blog on your social networking sites or passing it along to friends to help spread the word. The more love, positive thoughts, and help we can bring to this family in their time of need, the better!

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's Movember!

Meet Dylan, or as you may know him, Mr. October.

November 1

November 7

November 14
 This is dedication!!! He even stopped shaving his head and grew an afro within a week!

 November 21
He shaved the head but left the 'stache!

Dylan was featured in last year’s Susan G. Komen calendar and raises breast cancer awareness year round. He has decided this month to dedicate his efforts on men’s health by focusing on prostate cancer and participating in “Movember”- men begin the first day of the month clean shaven and then use the next 29 days to grow a moustache to symbolize dedication to the cause. (See the Movember official website for more information!)

Dylan is asking for donations to support this very worthwhile cause, and of course it’s something we also believe in, so we’d love to do whatever we can to help encourage his success!

For every donation you make, you will be entered to win this bracelet:

In order to enter, visit Dylan’s donation website and commit to any comfortable amount. After you submit your donation, please email me at cathy@cathyscreationsjewelry.com and I will confirm your submission and enter you into the drawing. A winner will be drawn on December 1.

And that’s not all! On the Friday of each week, one donator from that week will be chosen to win six of these deliciously adorable cake balls!

Winners will be announced on this blog, so please stay tuned! (Also, check back to see pictures of Dylan’s great ‘stache at the end of the month!)

Thank you for your help in raising awareness for important causes such as these. If you are unable to contribute, please consider sharing this link with friends and family through email and social media so we can reach as many people as possible with our efforts!