Day 19/29 Days of Giving is…
Hey!I heard that...
as i said... shhhhh....
lean in a lil...
not THAT close!
ah better... thank you.
You see, I have a little secret to tell each of you.
Let's just keep it between us shall we?
When it comes to donating, I find that I am not really drawn to the corporate type non-profits. In my (possibly warped) mind ...big organizations tend to have equally big patrons; and while I don't dispute their value or necessity in society, I rarely enjoy giving to those causes. It has somehow become so terribly impersonal and I cultivate relationships with value in my life... I don't just want to be another name on yet another list. (Isn't that just a touch horrible of moi?) Subsequently, I like knowing where my hard-earned dollars go, and often with those places - it's a big ol' mystery that feels unappreciated.
There are so many people who fight for awareness on the 'big' issues- as there should be, after-all they are causes for a reason. However, as someone living with not so common issues (Bipolar Disorder, Tourettes Syndrome) I am understandably drawn to a different sort of genre. The people who fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. The person who doesn't make little enough to receive assistance, but doesn't make quite enough to meet their bills some months. That sorta thing. Who represents that crowd? The crowd most of us fall into, or have at least been in at some point within our lives.
What gets to me - what really gets to me - are everyday heroes. Seemingly ordinary folks - like you & I ... giving of their time, their belongings, their skills towards a common cause or a goal. Communities who rise together and help an ailing neighbor, or a group of children in need of a place to play. A mother who organizes a picnic for their child's teacher who was unfairly let go. The people that spur hope at every turn. I want to know the individual stories behind the illnesses we rally to fight against. I like a face to a name. I am inspired by those who not only hold onto hope, but fight for hope - even in the most dire of circumstances.
Sob stories, and a woe is me attitude? ... do nothing but infuriate me. They are a dime a dozen these days, and more often than not have that boy-who-cried-wolf feeling to me. If I have learned only one thing in this life - it's this: We may not be able to control the things that happen to us , or around us in life - but we CAN control how we react to them. We can choose to see the light, even on the darkest of the days ... and if there truly is no glimmer of light, we can somehow...find a way to embrace the darkness. To walk through it. We can control our reactions, and our attitudes. As someone living with a mental illness - I can attest to just how difficult this can be some days - and yet it's still a possibility. I love possibilities, don't you?
I love helping people who choose to take action in their lives. Today's giveaways (yes multiple ones - woo!)... both stem from two people I believe are everyday heroes; and I hope you are at the least... just a touch moved by them too. Additionally, I am doing something I almost never do too - asking a favor of you. - If you are at all touched by these women, would you consider helping their causes? If you can't help financially consider promoting this on your own blog, websites and twitter.
Sidenote: Please know, if you can't it's okay too - there are still giveaways I'd love for you to enter, and noone will think less of you. I want each of you to give with intent, and authenticity - and would never put pressure on you to do so. It's a personal choice and one that I happily respect!
Giveaway/Story # 1:
One of the most generous artists I have met online (and in person last summer!) is Donna Cook. I swear folks -- this woman is always helping people, giving of herself in her everyday life, as well as online -- she is just one of those special people that lives her life in a manner we all aspire to. A true, generous soul... and I feel blessed to have met her. She is one of those everyday heroes I spoke of, and takes action - as well as the woman she is helping.
She recently has been trying to help 'Save the Sawmill Strays' . Her story reached me on a multiple of levels, and I felt a compulsion to try to help. I donated the lil' bit of money I could, and am trying to spread the word... as an animal lover, and someone who once loved doing work camps ... perhaps, I just found this oh-so-relatable. I'll show you an excerpt of her story here, but i encourage you to click through to the blog she set up, and page through all the posts. I have a feeling you will be as touched as I was... and just a dollar or two, would go a LONG way in this project. Nothing would make me happier, than seeing her reach her goal!
Here's a tiny excerpt of their story -- but you REALLY need to go read the backstory too to understand.
My wildest dream is for Bev to be able to start a No-Kill Shelter. That's my wild dream and maybe her's as well, but what she wants to do right now is spay and neuter the 4 adult dogs as soon as possible, and then generate some income to have the pups spay and neutered when they are old enough. Maybe out of this will grow the dream of a No-kill shelter. Perhaps in our semi-wild dreams we can generate income to build some additional kennels on Bev's lease, so that these animals can stay safe.
We are hoping that animal lovers all over the world will help us with a donation to our "Chip-In" account. I trust Bev, but you all don't know her. I am hoping that those of you I have met "on-line" will trust me.
She has discovered a local source that will assist low income families in paying for spay and neutering services. My plan is to work with Bev, sending her payment for the first surgery and then additional payments after she sends the receipt for the previous surgery. This may not really be necessary, but I wanted the internet community to know that I am making every effort to insure that the money goes for the animals. I know that Bev will use it for the animals. I'm hoping in my wild dreams, for enough money to help build a few more kennels.
In an effort to help them both, and the poor animals that Bev saved -- I am offering up a free colored digital collage sheet of choice (except the inching along sheet)to anyone who donates at least $1.50 to her cause. and anyone can enter to win my giveaway, which is 10 ..count em 10... printed collage sheets (my choice) and 1 digi sheet of your choice (except the inching along sheet)- so even if you can't contribute, you can still win. Let Donna know when you chip in, you want a collage sheet or let me know that you donated, and I'll check with her. Chip In by clicking here! Donna doesn't even know I am doing this yet -- How fun!
Giveaway/Story # 2:
A little while back I was approached by Kary to use one of my freefor personal use only textures in a digital scrapbooking kit she created.; ordinarily I wouldn't allow a commercial use ... but this time? I was moved.
Here, read why...
This year I made the commitment to walk nearly 80 miles over the course of two weekends as a participant in two Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events. I will walk in Houston Texas the weekend of April 4, 2009 and again in Chicago Illinois during the weekend of June 7. I am excited, nervous and honored to be walking with so many others who have also made this amazing commitment to help raise awareness and funds for this devastating disease. I lost my own mother to breast cancer almost 18 years ago to breast cancer; I miss her very much and miss having a "mom" to share my life with and talk to. I wanted to honor her and DO something to make a difference in the lives of others who are living with and fighting this battle. Funds raised for the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade support their mission of providing access to care for individuals who cant afford it, and in finding a cure.
As a computer teacher and digital artist, I thought one way I could use my unique talents was to design and sell a digital scrapbooking kit. The kits theme is primarily geared towards the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, as I thought it could be used by anyone participating in the walks across the country to help document their journey before, during and after their walk. But I purposely made the kit very large so anyone who purchased it could easily use it in his or her own digital scrapbooking layouts. 100% of the net profits of the sale of this kit will go towards the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
I love the personal meaning behind this - and it's a great example that some bigger causes, know how to still stay personal. This kit folks? Is AMAZING! Seriously -- look at what all you get... then look how little it costs!
- 12 pieces of digital scrapbook paper - each is 300 dpi and 12x12 in size. Papers come in a variety of patterns and shades of pink
- 6 "torn edge" brushes for Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. These brushes can help you achieve a simple torn edge on your digi paper
- 9 vintage inspired photo frames
- 3 sets of complete alphabets that include lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters. The three styles of alphabets are GLITTER TEXT (73 characters in all), PINK METAL TEXT (97 characters) and PINK PLASTIC TEXT (98 characters).
- One set of rubber stamp alphabet brushes for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. For those using other programs, I have also included the PNG version of this alphabet
- Two glitter borders (each 12x12) and one glitter background (slightly smaller than the page)
- Four glitter hearts and three glitter swirl flourishes to accent photographs are other parts of your page
- Four felt hearts, one sewn felt heart assemblage and one felt star
- Three cut out flowers with "deep" drop shadows
- One Queen of Hearts playing card
- Sixteen tags with and without "hangers" in four colors
- Two staples and one stitch to "attach" your tags to your page
- Seven journaling tags
- Thirteen ribbons in various styles and shades of pink. Ribbon styles include gingham, grosgrain, silver lame, satin and "word" ribbons that commemorate the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
- Two bows
- One "pink ribbon"
- One chrome metal "pink ribbon"
- Six pink beads
- Eleven sequins in various shapes and shades of pink
- Four buttons - two of which are sewn
- One chalked edge word art "Pretty in Pink"
- Over 230 digital stickers that includes: All the host cities for the Avon Walk (Houston, LA, San Fran, Chicago, Charlotte, Rocky Mtns, DC, Boston, NYC), stickers commemorating the Avon Walk (We Walk as One, etc.) stickers with a "pink" theme (Pink Ladies, Pink Power, etc.) and tons of stars, hearts, flowers, crowns and "pink ribbons"
ALL of that for just $8.00. I plan to purchase one myself in the next few days... I'm not a digital scrapbooker, nor will I be walking -- but I can use these graphics (the vintage frames alone look amazing !), and papers in my digital art. I'm more than happy helping her fulfill her goal! Will you consider purchasing one too?
The kit is currently for sale on Etsy as a digital download . If someone prefers to have the kit mailed to them on a CD, they can visit her site where they can email her to make arrangements. All of the additional pics of the kit are there as well.
Did I mention, she is also giving 1 of you a kit for free? How exciting!
So to enter today's giveaways:
Which as a reminder are.. 10 ..count em 10... printed collage sheets of mine (my choice) and 1 digi sheet of your choice except the inching along sheet- and another person will win one of the beautiful scrapbooking kits!
On this post; in the comments - answer one or more of these questions:
Either tell us about your favorite cause or everyday hero or just tell me what 2+2 is!
Do this by: Sunday, January 18th, 2009
PLEASE keep Spreading the word! Blog it, Tell your friends — the works! I’m amazed daily at the impact this project is having on people. I want it to be contagious, plus it fuels me to make it bigger & better!
Donate what you can to save The Sawmill Strays -- remember just $1.50 will get you a free digital collage sheet of your choice!
Purchase the Beautiful Digi Pink Kit and help Kary honor her mom.
Whew! I promise not to be so long-winded tomorrow, and to lighten the posts up a bit again! And quite possibly come back toedit this post, so it's more clear -- I'm totally crosseyed at the moment!
Thanks to all who take part in these giveaways, and an extra thanks to those who do me the personal favor, of helping out where they can. It means the world to me.