Start 2013 out right by lending a helping hand

Remember when you were younger and you studied really, really hard to get good grades in school because getting an “A” was so special? Do you remember how good that felt and how you couldn’t stop smiling all day long? That is exactly the same feeling you get when you help someone else out in your community. You feel good because you did something good for someone else and they are so thankful that you took your time and energy to help them. Call it karma, call it giving back, but it’s easy to do and something everyone should make a point to do in 2013. 
give-back-2013.jpgWhile giving back in your community is such a personal choice and should be guided by your interests, there are so many simple ways to incorporate it into your everyday life that makes the effort seem non-existent. One of my personal favorites (of course) is shopping for a cause. Whether it be “shopping pink” for breast cancer awareness or picking the Philosophy shower gel that gives proceeds to benefit saving the rain forest organizations, just knowing that a portion of the money that I just spent will going towards a cause that I believe in is reward enough. If you’re going to buy the product anyway, why not try the one that champions a good cause — one simple way to give back. My personal favorites: Philosophy WhyHunger To Believe Charity Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bubble Bath, $20, at, FEED Love Bag, $50, at, and the Tory Burch Patent Foundation Double Wrap Logo Stud Bracelet, $95, at
Being a mom, I also like to get my kids involved in the giving back process. One way we do this is to leave a collection box on our porch for people in the neighborhood to drop off gently used coats and blankets in the winter months and in the summer we have a box for toys and baby items that people no longer can use. Then, as a family, we deliver the items to a homeless shelter, women’s shelter or other organization that has the need for these items. Our neighbors love that they have the opportunity to declutter and it’s a great feeling to deliver these items that someone will appreciate. To look for places to donate in your community visit,
We’re also a military and a patriotic family, so another way we get involved each year is to collect and create care packages to send to the troops. We collect items needed such as candy, small toys like Beanie Babies, food like beef jerky and non-perishable items, as well as personal care items, and create individual boxes to be sent overseas to our military troops. Each box also contains a hand written note from either myself, the kids or neighbors to thank them for all their hard work and dedication. We might not know who will receive the package on the other side of the world but it’s a fantastic feeling once it’s sent. Last year, we actually received a letter back thanking us and it was one of the best days of 2012. For a list of items and for directions on how to send packages and cards visit,
These are just a few ways we get involved in helping out each year but there are so many organizations whether local or national that would appreciate any time or talents you could lend them and if it’s easier to just write a check, I’m sure they won’t turn it away! 
How are you pledging to give back in 2013?


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