Posted Thursday, May 9, 2013
Stamp Out Hunger
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Please help Stamp Out Hunger this Saturday, May 11, 2013
Did you know?
- 1 in 6 Americans are facing hunger.
- More than 50 million people, including nearly 17 million children, are facing hunger.
- Nearly 6 million Americans are fed by food banks each week.
The National Association of Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger food drive-which is always held on the second Saturday in May-is the largest one-day food drive in America. Benefiting Feeding America-and now in its 21st year-the event provides relief to millions of Americans struggling to put food on the table.
YOU CAN HELP in Just 3 Easy Steps!
1. Purchase non-perishable food items.
Examples of appropriate food items include:
- Jars of peanut butter
- Canned fish
- Packaged dried fruits
- Boxes of cereal
2. Place food items into a bag and leave the bag at your mailbox on Saturday, May 11th.
Your local letter carrier will pick up your and deliver it to your local food bank
3. Spread the word.
Tell everyone you know to leave non-perishable food by their mail boxes, too.
Posted May 7, 2013
WIN CASH on CommonKindness
For 9 days, beginning today CommonKindness is running a Find The Gold Coupon Contest! All you have to do is locate the special Golden Coupon similar to the one pictured above. There will be 4 Golden Coupons posted at random times throughout the day (each of these 4 coupons will only be available to print for 15 minutes!) so you'll want to head here and check the site often.
Here's How the Golden Coupon Contest Works:
* Head over to CommonKindness.com throughout the next 9 days and keep your eyes peeled for a Golden Coupon
* If you spot a Golden Coupon, clip and print the coupon right away (these coupons will only be available for 15 minutes so you'll want to be quick!)
* Look for the unique Golden Coupon Code embedded in the terms of the coupon (you will need to print the coupon in order to view the terms).
* Send an email to the email address email@example.com and be sure to write the unique Golden Coupon Code in the Subject Line of the email.
* The first 2 email submissions received for each Golden Coupon will be awarded a $10 cash prize (there will be a total of 8 winners daily!).
* If you have additional questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fine Print: Limit one $10 cash check per person. If individual has already been selected to receive $10 cash, the next consecutive email submission will then be selected. Each of the 8 winners will be notified via email at the end of each day.
Posted April 26, 2013
Celebrate National Volunteer Week With A Buddy Fruits Coupon
The Buddy Fruits Promise has remained the same since day one: 100% Fruit, 100% Taste and 100% Pleasure! Buddy Fruits is the US pioneer of the squeezable fruit pouch and is committed to delivering our families, a nutritious alternative to unhealthy foods.With Buddy Fruits wholesome choice of natural ingredients, the products are an easy way to outsmart temptation! With a large variety of flavors, sizes and products available, all family members are able to consume healthy fruits daily.
Posted April 23, 2013
CommonKindness Celebrates National Volunteers Week
CommonKindness (http://www.CommonKindness.com) is raising a glass to the 64 million volunteers in America who, according to the Department of Labor, donate 8.1 billion hours of their time to service work each month. Commencing on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, 2013, the free printable grocery coupon website will focus on the extraordinary work of individual volunteers and nonprofit organizations in America to honor them and their efforts.
CommonKindness is a social enterprise launched by Andrew Martin, the founding chair of Annie's Macaroni and Cheese and Smartfood Popcorn, and New Zealand native Sarah Schloemer. The disruptive online coupon model they created features a pay-per-redemption model that brands love and allocates 20 percent of revenues to nonprofit organizations.
"CommonKindness has created a source of sustainable funding for America's nonprofit organizations, so volunteers can spend less time on fundraising and more time performing acts of kindness that help others," said Sarah Schloemer, president of CommonKindness.
"Thousands of nonprofits-from the Red Cross to the United Way to P.A.W.S.-are benefiting from CommonKindness and have engaged their members," says Schloemer. During National Volunteer Week, and for several weeks afterward, CommonKindness will showcase the work of individuals and organizations in its e-mail, blog, Facebook page, Twitter feeds, and other messaging. The coupon website will also suggest ways to honor local volunteers, get more involved in the community and help others.
Established in 1974 by President Richard Nixon, National Volunteer Week is the official time to celebrate the kind people who are improving the lives of others through their dedication and service work.
"Economic uncertainty has increased pressure on governments, businesses, and nonprofits to do more with less," said Schloemer. "The work we are doing to raise funds is only part of the solution. Volunteers contribute more than just time. It's their talent, advocacy, and kindness that bring about meaningful change and they deserve to be honored for their incredibly kind efforts that benefit our communities."
Posted April 17, 2013
Congratulations to Cipper Girl, Our New Partner in Kindness
www.ClipperGirlSavingSpot.com went beyond the savings and incorporated a message of kindness for her audience. Thank you Clipper Girl for spreading kindness and helping your audience Save Money & Help Others.
Excerpt from site:
"CommonKindness.com is a great place to find not so common coupons to print. What I like best about CommonKindness is the fact that when I print coupons to help me save money on products that my family uses, I am also helping a non profit organization. CommonKindness.com donates 20% of funds received to a non-profit of my choice. Living in a small town as I do, I didn't think I would find a non profit in my area to assist. Boy was I wrong!!! There were over 7 pages of non profits listed. I've decided to support Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program. It feels good to know that even in these difficult financial times I can help provide someone with a better quality of life just by printing a coupon."
Posted April 5 , 2013
New CommonKindness iFrame Benefits Non-Profits
Nonprofits Raise Money and Attract New Visitors with New CommonKindness Coupon Gallery iframe
By adding a CommonKindness Coupon Gallery to their websites, nonprofit organizations can draw new website visitors and empower supporters and guests to save money on their grocery bills while raising money for their favorite nonprofit causes.
Nonprofit organizations can now fundraise, reward their current audience of supporters, members, and volunteers, and entice new visitors to their websites by simply adding the CommonKindness Grocery Coupon Gallery to their website. The embedded coupon gallery keeps visitors on the nonprofit's website, and can be easily implemented using HTML iframe coding.
"The CommonKindness Coupon Gallery is a fresh approach nonprofits are taking to draw a new demographic to their websites and reward their existing base of supporters," said Sarah Schloemer, president of CommonKindness. "It is a great way to associate the organization with the good feeling people experience both when they make charitable contributions and when they save money for their families.
Launched to provide an innovative way for America's cash-strapped consumers to help their favorite charities, CommonKindness is a social enterprise that gives 20 percent of its coupon redemption revenues to 501(3)(c) nonprofit organizations chosen by participating shoppers.
Seventy-three percent of consumers say they've redeemed online coupons in the last month, according to a recent survey. CommonKindness Coupon Gallery feeds growing consumer demand for discount offers, while providing a sustainable source of funding for nonprofits. The model has attracted a wide range of valuable discount offers from dozens of major brands and engagement from many local and national nonprofit organizations.
The CommonKindness Coupon Gallery employs iframe HTML coding to display coupon offers inside a window on the nonprofit's website-or any other website for that matter. Websites like LivingRichWithCoupons.com, StockPilingMoms.com, and YesWeCoupon.com are utilizing the CommonKindness Coupon Gallery iframe to offer their audience unique coupons. The sites benefit from increased site visitation and length of time visitors spend on their website-two key metrics that profoundly affect website placement in search engine results.
"Being able to offer unique CommonKindness coupons through an iframe directly on our site is amazing," said Jenny Martin of SouthernSavers.com. "We are able to keep visitors on our site and help benefit nonprofits at the same time. In the end it makes us a greater resource and helps others. It's a total win-win!"
"Our model is designed so that everyone wins," added Schloemer. "That is the essence of everything we do here at CommonKindness."
Posted March 23 , 2013
Celebrate World Water Day with New Nature's Gate Coupons from CommonKindness.com
Nature's Gate, creator of personal care products formulated from botanical remedies, is celebrating World Water Day-March 22, 2013-with free printable grocery coupons that reward shoppers and support charities. Each CommonKindness.com coupon saves the shopper $1.50 on their Nature's Gate purchase and generates funds for the nonprofit organization of the shopper's choice.
CommonKindness donates 20 percent of its revenues to the nonprofit organizations shoppers choose when they go to http://www.CommonKindness.com and start downloading coupons. In honor of World Water Day, Nature's Gate suggests shoppers consider selecting WaterAid as their designated nonprofit to support the organization's mission to help communities in Asia, Africa and Central America obtain long-term access to safe, clean water.
The United Nations established World Water Day as a means of focusing attention on the importance of safe water, and to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. WaterAid uses this day to raise awareness that 11 percent of the world's population does not have safe water to drink, and that this coupled with poor sanitation, results in 2,000 children dying every day.
"Over 783 million people around the world still do not have access to safe water," said Sarah Schloemer, president of CommonKindness.com. "Helping organizations like WaterAid bring water to those who need it is very rewarding to me-and our coupons make it rewarding to consumers."
Rainwater has always held special significance to Nature's Gate. Over 40 years ago, founders Leo and Vladimir blended rainwater and natural herbs from their herb shop to create the very first Herbal Rainwater Shampoo. Shortly thereafter, they began giving it away to their friends and herb shop customers. It became a phenomenon all along Venice Beach, California.
Nature's Gate continues to be inspired by its surroundings, creating formulas that combine proven botanical, herbal, and floral treatments with modern ingredients and techniques. Using all-natural herbs and pH-balanced formulas, each product is carefully formulated to deliver the many benefits of each unique botanical blend. All Nature's Gate products reflect ongoing efforts to preserve the earth's natural resources and develop sustainable sources of clean water.
About Nature's Gate
Since its founding over 40 years ago, Nature's Gate has been pairing nature with science to create high quality, safe, sustainable, and affordable personal care product s. Nature's Gate products are made with pure, sustainably-harvested herbs, fruits, and essential oils (no animal-derived ingredients) that enhance the overall health and well-being of people and the planet.
Posted March 19 , 2013
New Partner in Kindness for March
Congratulations to Luv Saving Money, our new Partner in Kindness!
Each month, we select one Partner in Kindness, a savvy-saver blogger that re-posts our coupons and "goes beyond the savings" incorporating a message of Kindness & Helping Others. Luv Saving Money posted an inspiring message about local non-profits. Thank you Angie for helping spread the KINDNESS message to your audience.
"As a frugal blogger, couponing definitely fits into my lifestyle. It's even better knowing my readers and I can help out a non-profit of our choosing while doing something we do anyway. I'm proud to be chosen as a Partner in Kindness."
~ Angie, Luv Saving Money
Excerpt from site: "Have you heard of CommonKindness.com? I hadn't, until recently, but I wish I would have. Y'all know I like to save some money. I love a good coupon and I certainly use coupons on my shopping trips. CommonKindness.com has a bunch of great coupons and online discount codes to save you money. They have a great selection of coupons for organic and natural grocery products as well as other brands. Even as a regular couponer, I noticed that the coupons they have on their site aren't coupons you can find on just any coupon site.
That's not all though. Sign up for a free account and select a non-profit organization to support while you print coupons. No kidding.
I live in a small town in south central PA. I honestly didn't expect to find local charities or my fave charities to support. I was so wrong, and I'm happy about that. I put in my zip code and searched. I'm able to help support a hospital that is literally 6 blocks from my house by having my donations go to their health foundation to help buy life saving equipment and other needs for healthcare in MY OWN community! I love it. I actually selected a couple in my area as well as another charity I love to support. Now, you can only have your donations go to one non-profit at a time but you can select which one when you print a coupon."
Posted March 7, 2013
Cabot Creamery Cooperative Makes Volunteering Even More Rewarding
The founding of Cabot Creamery in a small town in Vermont in 1919 was based on the spirit of cooperation, staking a claim in the fundamental idea that together they could be stronger and better than they were alone. Since that time, the farmer owners of this thriving dairy cooperative have built their lives on the principles and spirit of cooperation.
That spirit pervades Cabot not only in business, but also in the daily lives of its farm families, in their homes and in their communities. Farm life is a family affair, and success depends on the full participation of every member. Cabot farmers bring that intention to their communities as well. They are inveterate volunteers - firefighters and Sunday school teachers, classroom aids and soup kitchen servers - these families have always known that making their communities stronger, healthier and better only enhances their own lives.
Cabot's long history of volunteerism was the impetus to create Reward Volunteers®, a mobile app and computer widget that allows volunteers to log hours, post to Facebook and win rewards for themselves and the organizations they serve.
Roberta MacDonald, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Cabot sees this app as an extension of Cabot's ethos:
"Our farmers are avid volunteers. They have a long history of engagement with their communities. With this national effort, we are hoping that public Facebook posts will inspire others. This is an effort to document, and make clear, exactly how valuable volunteered time really is."
Reward Volunteers uses a simple iPhone app and website that enable and encourage participants to track their donated hours, share photos and post details about their volunteer activities on Facebook. The more hours they log and the more activities and photos they share, the greater their chances to win prizes and money for their favorite charities. The current contest - the third in a series - ends on July 14, 2013.
Prizes, which will be awarded monthly and at the end of the contest, include:
- Monthly $500 cash prizes plus a $1,000 grand prize for individual volunteers
- Monthly $1,000 cash awards plus a $1,500 grand award for nonprofit organizations
- Vermont's Liberty Hill Farm vacation
- Couture Farm vacation
- Smugglers Notch Ski Resort vacation
- Ski Vermont ski passes (2013-2014 season)
- $100 King Arthur Flour gift cards
- $100 National Cooperative Grocer's Association gift cards
- Gift baskets of Cabot Creamery Cooperative's award-winning cheddar
- Cabot Community Celebrity Southern Caribbean cruise for two grand prize
Sarah Schloemer, president of CommonKindness.com, says:
"Just like our coupons and other programs, Reward Volunteers offers another way you can benefit from the work you do for your favorite charity. Although the prizes are fun-and valuable-Reward Volunteers is really about recognizing everyday heroes and celebrating acts of kindness. It's a beautiful model."
Posted March 4, 2013
Fresh Baby Food Chopper and Steamer Coupon from Munchkin ~ Save $5
Save $5 on the purchase of a Fresh Food Chopper and Steamer and raise funds for your favorite nonprofit organizations using new printable coupons from www.CommonKindness.com.
Homemade Baby Food, Fast and Simple
The Munchkin Fresh Food Chopper and Steamer makes preparing baby food at home easy and painless. This two-in-one tool allows you to chop food quickly with its stainless steel cutting blade, and then steam it in the microwave. It comes equipped with a cleaning tool and dishwasher-safe parts, and it is BPA free.
You Control What Goes into Your Baby's Food
The Munchkin Fresh Food Chopper and Steamer helps you to take your baby's food from "boring" to "bon appétit. The possibilities for feeding your baby do not stop at what you find pre-prepared on supermarket shelves. And since you control what you are feeding your baby, you know the ingredients are fresh and safe.
Saving Money and Helping Others with CommonKindness
CommonKindness.com is the free grocery coupon website that empowers you to generate funds for your favorite nonprofit organization every time you make a purchase using a CommonKindness coupon. The company gives a whopping 20 percent of its revenues to nonprofits. The best part is that you get to choose which charities receive donations generated by your CommonKindness coupon purchases.
Posted February, 28 2013
Save $2 on the purchase of any full-size KINeSYS with coupons from http://www.CommonKindness.com
Posted February, 25 2013
Kindness in Action
CommonKindness is proud to name Discount Queens as February's Partner in Kindness for encouraging kindness in the Discount Queen's family. Discount Queens recently published the following blog post, promoting kindness and CommonKindness coupons as a way to spread kindness:
CommonKindness Valentine's Day Coupons!
Can you feel the love?Everyone know it's important to be kind to yourself but it's just as important to be kind to others. We know that all you, our Discount Queens family, care about being kind to others too! Showing a little kindness can be as simple as holding the door open for someone OR shopping using coupons from CommonKindness. Every time you use a CommonKindness coupon a donation goes directly to the non-profit YOU choose! Pretty easy, huh?
"We are honored to be your Partner in Kindness,"said Christina of Discount Queens. "We have loved sharing CommonKindness with our fantastic Discount Queens family and we look forward to continuing to help you help people save money while helping non-profits. We love being your partner in promoting kindness! Thank you for the opportunity!"
Posted February 8, 2013
East Bay Community Support
Many of us are lucky to have the support of family and friends when we make mistakes or disaster strikes. They encourage us, help us take the next step, remind us of our goals. For more than 3,000 people in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, Rubicon is that support.
Since 1973, Rubicon has provided employment, housing, mental health, and other services to low-income residents of some of the hardest hit communities across the East Bay.
One Rubicon client, Dorothy, became homeless after depression and drug addiction got the better of her. Living under a bridge, alienated from her children, and scared for her safety every night, Dorothy lived through dark times. She tried to end her own life. Someone suggested she come to Rubicon.
Dorothy was determined to make her life whole again. She accessed the services she needed at Rubicon–customized to meet her challenges. Her depression combined with physical problems like diabetes and addiction kept her from being able to work. Rubicon’s legal support staff helped Dorothy access Social Security benefits.
“I felt people cared about me again. I felt better after coming to Rubicon.”
Bridges to Home
Rubicon’s Bridges to Home program found Dorothy a place to live in a peaceful neighborhood in Pinole–away from the violence and temptation of her Richmond life. One-on-one counseling with a caring therapist, group therapy, and home visits helped Dorothy learn how to cope with difficult feelings and overcome drug addiction. Rubicon staff gives Dorothy rides to doctor’s appointment and to Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
Rubicon aims to treat clients with respect, and as whole people. To help people who have been struggling with mental illness most of their lives define what health and happiness is for them – not what we say it is. And it works. We decreased hospitalization rates for people with serious mental illness by 54% last year.
Regaining Family Members’ Trust
Dorothy regained her family members’ trust and spends time with her children and grandchildren. Her son is proud of her and picks her up for dinner each week. Without Rubicon, Dorothy says she would be homeless, not taking her medication, drinking, using drugs, and ending up in the hospital like she used to.
“I’m just happy now.”
Rubicon’s mission is to prepare very low-income people to achieve financial independence and to partner with people with mental illness on their journey of recovery. To learn more, go to: http://www.rubiconprograms.org
Posted February 7, 2013
Quality and Innovation
Green Tea Tropical
Green Tea Tropical green tea boasts smooth green tea leaves that harmoniously blend with sweet tropical fruits to create a sensation as uplifting as a breeze off the isle of Papenoo. A healthy and refreshing blend rich in antioxidants, Green Tea Tropical makes an ideal introduction to green tea. We sourced the finest loose leaf green tea to infuse our silken tea pouch, our twist on the gourmet teabag, with an extraordinary flavor experience.
Chamomile Citrus Herbal Tea
Chamomile Citrus herbal tea is a refreshing infusion perfected to curl up with and savor by the sip. Made with Soothing Egyptian chamomile flowers and subtle slices of citrus fruit, this vibrant blend will rejuvenate the spirit. From intoxicating aroma to sweet flavor, this signature herbal tea infusion in our silken tea pouch, our gourmet teabag twist, with chamomile, fruits and herbs reflects our vision of the artisan tea experience.
Organic Earl Grey Black Tea
Organic Earl Grey black tea is made of rich organically grown black tea leaves and golden buds with a twist of citrusy organic bergamot. Mighty Leaf perfects the classic flavored tea with an elegant, balanced and full flavored cup and organic tea leaves. Earl Grey himself would be proud – especially drinking this blend in our silken tea pouch, our take on the gourmet tea bag.
You can find Mighty Leaf Tea at a store near you. If the store you typically frequent doesn’t carry Mighty Leaf Tea, locate the nearest store to you using the handy Mighty Leaf Tea store locator–and then be sure to ask your store manager to start carrying Mighty Leaf Teas!
Thank you for partnering with CommonKindness to help create sustainable funding for your favorite nonprofit organizations!
Posted January 30, 2013
Best Pet Food
Primal Freeze-Dried Formulas
All of Primal Pet Foods' raw foods and treats are produced using the freshest, human-grade, antibiotic-free and steroid-free meats, poultry and game, certified organic produce, certified organic minerals and unrefined vitamins. Primal Pet Foods procures its meats, poultry and game from ranchers throughout the United States who take pride in producing wholesome sources of protein through natural, sustainable agriculture.
Fresh Ground Bone for Calcium
All Primal Freeze-Dried Formulas contain fresh ground bone for calcium supplementation. This combination of ingredients offers optimum levels of the amino acids (protein), essential fatty acids, natural-occurring enzymes, and necessary vitamins and minerals that are the building blocks for your pet's healthy biological functions.
Fighting Diet-Related Pet Diseases
Primal Pet Foods feels it is imperative to offer an alternative source of nutrition to our pets as an alarming number of our beloved animals are being diagnosed with diet-related disease. Produced with only the highest quality raw ingredients, all Primal products offer pets a superior form of highly digestible amino acids, vitamins and minerals, the building blocks of every animal's biological function.
Primal Pet Foods is committed to elevating the health of all pets and to educating their owners as to the benefits of feeding high-quality nutritional foods and treats as a superior alternative to processed pet foods.
About Primal Pet Foods
Primal Pet Foods is a San Francisco-based manufacturer of fully prepared, human-grade raw foods and treats for dogs and cats. Primal Pet Foods was founded with the goal of improving the quality of life and overall health and happiness of pets through wholesome raw foods that mimic the diet of animals in the wild.
Posted January 29, 2013
Image by: Chelsea Lynn Photography
My brother Dusty and I were good kids. Our parents' divorce upset us, but we were still too young to understand. We were raised by our single mother. My "Mama," Regina, struggled to feed us. She received WIC, food stamps, and other government support.
We lived with my grandmother, Mema, because Mama couldn't afford a place of our own after the divorce. My brother and I shared a big antique wrought-iron bed with our Mama. By day, Mama worked at Elixir Industries, a steel manufacturing plant located here in South Georgia, where I grew up. By night, she was a scholar attending classes at the local community college. She was a fierce warrior for us boys. She spent hours fighting lawyers, our deadbeat dad, and what seemed to be the entire world in order to keep us.
We Didn't Know We Were Poor
Back then, Dusty and I didn't know that we were poor. We were still young enough that brand named clothing didn't matter to anyone in our class at school. There were times when Mama wasn't sure what we were going to do about meals for the next week until she got the next batch of food stamps. Mama says: "If it hadn't been for our big, loud Southern family, I don't know what we would have done. I counted on the free meals you boys received at school!"
This is all well and good. The problem was, everyone picked on us "poor kids" for not having to pay for our meals when we reached the end of the lunch line. I remember many of the other children bringing their breakfasts from McDonald's or Hardee's to school and eating them. I was too ashamed and embarrassed to go to the cafeteria and get the free breakfast. Needless to say,
I Went Hungry
I went hungry most mornings and was starving by the time lunch rolled around. I was too young to know what "stigma" meant. Some days, I wouldn't even eat lunch so that the other kids wouldn't see me walk past the lunchroom lady without paying like they did. The times when I actually DID eat, I would lie and tell the others that the reason I didn't have to pay was because my Mama paid for all of my meals at the beginning of the year. But back then, it really mattered. I was a faceless child with no one to stand up for me.
Lunchroom Ladies are Awesome!
Let me say this: Lunchroom ladies are awesome! These women realized that a problem existed in our rural county. Faceless children were going hungry and not eating at school because of stigma. Due to the fact that for some of us, the two meals at school were the only meals we had access to, we were sometimes not eating at all.
It doesn't take an Ivy League education to realize that this was a problem that needed to be addressed. The lunchroom ladies realized a few things needed to happen: First and foremost, the stigma of eating school meals had to be eliminated. They made it a requirement for every student to go to the lunchroom for breakfast and lunch, and the parents of every student would deal with their child's account privately. Lastly, they knew that meals needed to be provided to students during summer and fall breaks, and with their hard work and dedication, that is exactly what they did.
From Afghanistan to Le Cordon Bleu
I don't mean to be long-winded. But, this history is important for you to understand how things continue to come full circle. I graduated from high school and joined the Army. During my time on active duty, I was wounded in Afghanistan and developed a food-borne disease. Subsequently, I medically retired from service. After that, I decided to follow my stomach. I transitioned from wearing a military beret to a chef's toque by enrolling in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu.
No Kid Hungry
During my internship, Chef Instructor Lori Flynn approached me about applying for the Zwilling J. A. Henckels Cutting Edge Scholarship to attend Share Our Strength's Conference of Leaders. I wrote the required essay and get this--I won! The scholarship paid for an all-expense paid trip to the conference. I was ecstatic even though I was clueless as to what Share Our Strength was truly about.
I sat down in one of the very first sessions of that conference and couldn't do much more then choke back tears as I heard about the work being done to help kids who are just like I was. These tears came from a realization that overwhelms me even as I type. If you're ever fortunate enough to attend Conference of Leaders, you'll be inspired.
How Far Your Arms Can Reach
With sharing this story, MY story, I hope you all reflect on this: whether you're setting up a booth for your local Great American Bake Sale, participating in a Taste of the Nation event, teaching a Cooking Matters class, or planning the next "big thing" for Share Our Strength remember: you never know how far your arms are reaching. You never know how far a whisper of concern is carried, and you never know the distance something as simple as a sack lunch can travel. Every pound cake that we sell, every penny that we raise, every painting that is auctioned is for children like me.
I am blessed with my Mama, but sometimes mamas need help. And, as long as I am able, I will give a face and a voice to the children who have none. I will share MY strength.
Chef Roman is a graduate of the prestigious L'Academie D'Art Culinaire de Paris at Le Cordon Bleu, with a degree and diplôme in classical French Culinary Arts. Roman is a Disabled Veteran and is retired from the U.S. Army (medically). He served as an Interrogator and Human Intelligence Collector/Linguist (French & Pashto), while on overseas deployments.
In 2010, Roman was honored by being chosen as a recipient of the 2010 Cutting Edge Scholarship. He continues to be a Chef Advocate for Share Our Strength and Cooking Matters, regularly participating in the Great American Bake Sale, Taste of the Nation (multiple cities), Atlanta's Give Me Five events, Dine Outs. Roman is a Certified Culinarian by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). He is a proud member and supporter of Share Our Strength, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, SlowFood International, the Humane Society of Georgia, Disabled American Veterans, the Special Forces Association, and the Fisher House.
Posted January 23, 2013
CommonKindness has added $1.50 coupons on any two Mary's Gone Crackers' organic, gluten-free, vegan and kosher products. Mary's Gone Crackers' crackers, cookies, pretzels, and crumbs are widely available on supermarket and specialty stores shelves . Click here to find the stores nearest you.
Mary's Gone Crackers, Original are a crisp delicious cracker with a rich nutty flavor, wheat-free, gluten-free and organic. Made of organic whole grain brown rice, organic quinoa (keen-wa: a high protein seed/grain), organic flax seeds and organic brown sesame seeds, with no added fat. They are surprisingly satisfying on their own or with your favorite toppings. Always hold their crunch; unlike any other cracker you've ever had-they will soon become a staple in your cupboards.
Mary's Gone Crackers cookies combine unique, whole food ingredients and low glycemic sweeteners that deliver delicious flavor and texture. Oh-and by the way-they are gluten-free, wheat-free, vegan, organic and kosher. A healthful indulgence that anyone can enjoy!
Mary's Gone Crackers, Inc. is committed to manufacturing the best tasting wheat-free and gluten-free baked goods using the highest quality, organically grown ingredients. Mary developed the recipes for her delicious gluten-free products beginning in 1994 when both she and her son were discovered to have gluten intolerance.
Mary's Gone Crackers Sticks & Twigs Pretzels were recently reviewed in the Examiner by health coach Cherie Lester. Click here to read the article.
At different stages during production, the bakers at Mary's sift the crumbs from the crackers so they don't get packaged. They now collect and package these crumbs for a tasty substitute to breadcrumbs. The crumbs are very flavorful and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, wherever you would use bread or cracker crumbs.
After being diagnosed with celiac disease, Mary began baking her signature organic, gluten-free, vegan and kosher cracker in her home. As she took these crackers with her to events, people tried them. They fell in love with the crispy, whole grain treats. After she had baked 30,000 crackers by hand in her home, she and her husband Dale decided to launch Mary's Gone Crackers and feed them to the world.
Posted January 22 , 2013
I've been thinking this morning about my comfort zone and how I sometimes prefer not to move out of it. I reason with myself that I like the way things are and how changes often create chaos.
A few months ago, I was volunteering at an outreach in a neighborhood of very poor families. It always surprises me that many of these families have several pets. There isn't enough money to feed the children, but they have four cats and two dogs. I like to carry a couple of cans of cat food and dog biscuits in my car for when I visit this area. Yep, I'm an animal lover!
On this particular day, a family I had bought groceries for in the past had a new puppy. A young puppy. This was their third dog. As I played with this sweet little pup, I realized he was not well. I won't go into all the signs, but all of sudden the thought occurred to me that this pup was not going to make it if someone didn't get her to the vet.
I spoke to the family, and they seemed unconcerned. That's when it happened. Without thinking, I told them this puppy needed a new home, and asked if I could take it right then and find it one. At the time, I had an eighteen year old cat, a four year old cat, two gerbils, and a lovebird, all living in my house. As our family also travels quite a bit, I knew this pup was not going to be able live with us, but I knew it wasn't going to stay there. The family seemed indifferent, not really caring one way or the other what happened to the dog. A friend dumped her kids toys out of a crate and we put the puppy in, slid it into my car, and away I drove.
This Little Dog Is Going to Die
I volunteer for the Humane Society, and I immediately called them to see what I should do. I left a message and waited to hear. I took the puppy to my house. Over the next 24 hours, it became clear to me that this little girl was going to die if I didn't get her some help. Finally, the Humane Society called me back and said they would see us. They determined that the dog had either Parvo or hookworm.
If it was Parvo, she probably would not make it. They couldn't take her, as Parvo was highly contagious, AND if the dog had "done" anything in my yard and had Parvo, I need to notify my neighbors not to walk their dog anywhere near my yard. OH MY WORD. What have I done? They tested her for Parvo and gave her medicine for hookworm, just in case.
Avoiding Bad to Worse
This situation could have gone from bad to worse, but, thankfully, it didn't. "Hope," the pup's new name, did not have Parvo. Within 12 hours, she was a typical crazy puppy, chewing, barking, playing, and stealing the hearts of everyone in my family. But she still needed a home.
I took her back to the vet a few days later for a checkup, and they told me someone who volunteered at the Humane Society wanted to adopt her. Leaving her there, I cried, my kids cried, but we knew a family who stayed put would make a better home for her.
That day, I stepped out of my comfort zone. The vet said Hope would have died if she had stayed where I found her. It was a crazy week, but it was worth it, and I have pictures to prove it! You don't have to go out and rescue puppies to make a difference.
I heard from a pretty reliable source that you are better to go directly local than through a national organization. Give locally so you can see the results. Don't take food. They need to be consistent with what they feed the animals, so they stick to one brand. Even five or ten dollars goes a long way. Be blessed!
Kelly Stilwell is a blogger who is passionate about volunteering. Visit her at www.kellystilwell.com where she writes about parenting, education, traveling, cooking, serving others, and life in the fast lane.
Posted January 21 , 2013
Freeze-dried fruit retains real fruit flavor and valuable nutrients, Fruit Crisps from Brothers-All-Natural are a fun and healthy choice for kids' lunch bags and snacks. Families can find new online coupons for the snacks on CommonKindness.com that will save money at the grocery store and help fund their favorite nonprofit organization.
Fruit Snack Coupons
Families are discovering great deals for Brothers-All-Natural Fruit Crisps-the happiest snacks on earth-at http://www.CommonKindness.com. The online coupon website that gives 20% of its revenues to the nonprofit organizations of the coupon redeemer's choice now offers free printable grocery coupons for Fruit Crisps redeemable at Walmart stores.
"Disney-themed Fruit Crisps from Brothers-All-Natural are far more than a fun and convenient snack that is perfect for lunch boxes, snack bags and road trips," said Sarah Schloemer, president of CommonKindness. "They are 100% real sliced fruit with all of the nutritional value of fresh fruit with nothing added."
Freeze-dried for Freshness
Each snack bag contains two servings of nutritious fruit with no added sugars, preservatives, or flavor enhancers. Brothers-All-Natural makes the snack by freeze-drying premium fruit until they are crispy and crunchy.
"Our freeze-drying process locks the natural goodness of the fruit into crunchy crisps that are convenient any time, mess-free, and stay fresh on the pantry shelf for months," said Rob Larsen, Director of Sales for Brothers-All-Natural.<