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Happy New Year!


New Year

 

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Happy Thanksgiving

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I have so many things to be grateful for this year! From all of those who donated and raised money for the March of Dimes, Alzheimer’s Walk and most recently, my Fall FEED-raiser, to the charities and organizations that are moving to make this world a better place for everyone. I continue to be blown away by people who are doing good for others, and remember every day to be thankful for what they have, by giving to those who are not as fortunate.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the little moments with family and friends, just as much as the big moments. I hope you appreciate all of those moments and remember how fortunate you are, just having them in your life. Like Charlie Brown said, “What if today, we were just grateful for everything?” I hope you are able to enjoy this day of gratitude with family and friends surrounding you! Happy Thanksgiving!

{I’m incredibly fortunate to have such supportive family and friends! What are you most thankful for?}

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

If you have followed this blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably realized that one of my favorite ways  donate is to shop for a cause (as seen here, here and here).  October is especially great since almost everything comes in pink, which is probably one of my favorite colors.  I completely understand that you have to be wary of some of the companies who “pinkwash” during Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Meaning, they change the color of the packaging or use the pink ribbon to market products that are dangerous to women’s heath or do not make any substantial contribution to support the cause.  Therefore, I have done my research for you so you know which stores, or products, really do support the cure for breast cancer.

During the month of October, one of my favorite stores, ULTA,  is giving guests the opportunity to donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) through their Donate With A Kiss campaign.  Guests who visit ULTA can donate $1, $3, $5 or $10 to get various gifts with donation, as well as an entry into win one of 532 Beauty Bags worth almost $600!!  Who wouldn’t want a chance to win that?!  Not to mention, BCRF was founded by one of the leading ladies in beauty, Evelyn H. Lauder, who was the Senior Corporate Vice President and Head of Fragrance Development Worldwide for the Estée Lauder Companies Inc.  She also helped co-create the pink ribbon with then editor of SELF magazine, Alexandra Penney, which is now considered the worldwide symbol of breast cancer and breast health (link).

Here are some more products supporting Breast Cancer Awareness.  Click your favorites for more info!

[$5 donated to Breast Cancer Research Foundation]

[$5 donated to Breast Cancer Research Foundation]

[$7 donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation]

[$7 donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation]

[$300,000 donated to NBCF since 2007]

[$300,000 donated to NBCF since 2007]

[15% of purchase up to max of $15,000 total]

[15% of purchase up to max of $15,000 total]

 

[5% of retail, minimum donation of $500,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure]

[5% of retail, minimum donation of $500,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure]

In Cedar Rapids, every year Mercy Hospital hosts the Especially For You Race Against Breast Cancer and every year, it continues to grow tremendously.  The Especially for You Fund helps women in need receive free mammograms and other breast-care services (link).

Here is a glimpse of last year’s start (I’m in there somewhere) to show you how massive of a race it is for the Cedar Rapids area:

[image via Especially For You]

[image via Especially For You]

[Are you supporting Breast Cancer Awareness this month?]

Cheers for Kota’s Cure

My goal when creating CharitableConnections was to connect young people, or people in general, to local causes.  When visiting my neighborhood watering hole, I discovered a benefit that is going to be held this weekend and thought I would look it up when I got home.  This is definitely a cause that started pulling at my heart strings.

The name of the benefit is Cheers for Kota’s Cure and is being held at Jerseys Pub and Grub on C St SW in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, July 21.  The benefit is being held for a 6-year old little girl who is fighting childhood cancer Neuroblastoma.

Here is a little more information about Dakota and her journey through life:

Dakota was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma when she was just 4 months old. She has battled through multiple relapses, progressions, surgeries, and intense chemotherapy and clinical trial treatments and today is a happy and active 6 year old girl. She continues to have some cancerous disease in her pelvic bones for which she is on a Phase I clinical trial to hopefully keep her stable. She takes a chemotherapy pill every night and must fly with her family to her hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, at least every 8 weeks for various testing including brain MRI’s, MIBG scans, CT’s, bone marrow biopsies and aspirations, and various blood work. If it were not for the clinical trials available at Memorial, Dakota would have run out of viable, life-sustaining treatment options 2 years ago. She will continue to need follow-up care in New York for many years to come.

Neuroblastoma is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that develops from nerve tissue and is usually occurs in infants and children  (source).

At the benefit, there will be a raffle and silent auction.  The silent auction features restaurant gift cards, baskets, handmade items and (my favorite) a pair of Iowa Hawkeye Football Tickets!  You know you want to win those! 😉

Bring your friends or family and help support Dakota in her fight against childhood cancer!  If you can’t make it to Jerseys on Saturday, don’t fret!  If you visit Dakota’s Dream Team on Facebook, you can still make a donation to this very worthy cause!

Dakota – you are in the hearts and thoughts of many!