November 12, 2010 at 9:26 am , by Amanda Wolfe
This Friday instead of a sweepstakes we’ve got a downloadable freebie for you — everybody wins! Just become a fan of Ladies’ Home Journal on Facebook if you’re not already and you’ll get this awesome Holiday Sweets & Treats cookbook, with 49 delicious recipes and ideas. It all looks so yummy, we can’t decide what to make first. Tell your friends so they can score this freebie too.
And check back on Monday for a huge (huge!) holiday giveaway. Can you tell we’re in the holiday giving spirit? Happy Friday!
November 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm , by Amanda Wolfe
We need your help! For an upcoming story in Ladies’ Home Journal, we’re looking for everyday women in the U.S. who help women around the globe. Do you know a local church group who raised money to build a school in a village halfway around the world? A woman who is a longtime pen pal with a woman abroad? A teacher who set up an exchange with another teacher across the globe? Or a woman who hosts families who come to the U.S. for medical emergencies?
If you know a lady or group of women who are doing great things (big or small!) to help other women or kids around the world, post them in the comments! (And pass along to your family and friends.) If we decide to feature you or the woman you know, we’ll get in touch with you directly via email.
October 25, 2010 at 11:22 am , by Amanda Wolfe
Halloween isn’t necessarily a holiday that you associate with volunteering and giving, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great occasion to do a little good! Here are a few ways to help out:
- Still looking for a last-minute costume? Dress up for a cause you believe in. That way every time someone asks what you or the kids are, you can get a little plug in for your favorite charity. (If you volunteer at an animal shelter, for instance, go with a cute dog and cat theme.)
- Halloween is just a few days before election day. No matter what side of the political aisle you fall on, we can all agree that it’s super-important to vote! Help get out the vote in your area by volunteering with Trick or Vote, a non-partisan organization.
- Trying to figure out how to keep your kids (or yourself) from eating their weight in candy? Donate some of your haul to needy kids in your area who don’t get to go trick-or-treating. Call local shelters and organizations to find out how to donate. You could even dress up to deliver your treats together!
- Check Volunteer Match for a Halloween-themed volunteer opportunity in your area. We did a quick search and found lots of different spooky carnivals, food drives, auctions and other events around the country. (Just type in your zip code with the keyword “Halloween.”)
October 11, 2010 at 12:14 pm , by Amanda Wolfe
Today, on National Coming Out Day, we want to take a minute to talk about tolerance. LHJ is committed to doing good—whether that’s awarding our Do Good stamp to companies that care or highlighting stories of amazing women who are making a difference. But at its most basic level, our do good message is one of everyday action: small acts of kindness that can transform someone’s day—and change the world. We’ve been watching the news lately with dismay. From vitriolic political mud-slinging to gay teens like Tyler Clementi being bullied so much that they feel there is no other option than to take their own lives… it just feels like there’s an awful lot of hatred and anger going around these days. It’s sad, and scary.
That’s why we’re happy to see movements like Love Is Louder (which helps spread the message that love and support is more powerful than all that hate). If we all take a minute to do something nice for someone else every day, and try to have an open mind when we’re dealing with people who aren’t like us, and make sure our friends and family members know that they have our unconditional love and support, we can absolutely make the world a happier place.
Photo by Helga Weber.
October 4, 2010 at 9:20 am , by Amanda Wolfe
Do you make a difference in your community, or know a woman who does? Maybe she started a local charity organization. Or she finds the time in her busy life to volunteer for a cause that’s close to her heart. We’re looking for these amazing women for our Difference-Makers Contest!
Nominate your difference-making lady today and she could be featured in an upcoming issue of Ladies’ Home Journal and on Better! Don’t know a difference-maker yourself? We bet someone in your community does: Help us spread the word! Click the “Share” button above to share with your family and friends via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
September 27, 2010 at 10:31 am , by Amanda Wolfe
Maybe I just needed a little warm-fuzzy on this gloomy, rainy day here in New York. But I am loving the heartwarming Facebook Fairytales, a sort of less-cheesy Chicken Soup For the Soul of the social networking era. There are, of course, plenty of slightly-stalker activities to do on Facebook (why, exactly, do I need know so many intimate details about people I haven’t seen in 15 years?), and plenty more time-wasters (Farmville, anyone?).
But the story of the parents who were finally able to adopt a child after posting their plea on Facebook, or the young mom dying of kidney failure who is now alive and well thanks to a kidney from a friend of a friend found via the site… well, they got me. If you have a soft spot for acts of kindness and do good stories (and c’mon, who doesn’t?), I bet they’ll get you too.
September 22, 2010 at 10:00 am , by Amanda Wolfe
I ended our November story of my mom, Janice Alexander’s, fight with (and death from) ovarian cancer with her memorial service. But of course that’s not the end of the journey for my sister and me, or the end of her legacy. If you’ll let me share a little more (and Lord knows I’ve already taken up a lot of your time and, I suspect, tissues if you made it through all 4,375 words with me), I’ll tell you what it’s been like in the eight months since my mom passed away.
Those 21 months of stress and worry and exhaustion and pain—it’s funny how that sometimes feels like the easy part now. I feel fundamentally changed by my experience of being my mom’s caregiver. I can’t put my finger on what’s different, exactly. I imagine this must be (a very small version of) what a soldier feels when she returns home from battle. I’m still myself, of course. I miss my mom constantly, but I’ve gotten to the point where most of the time I can go about my day in good spirits, and feel that I’m living the life she’d want me to live. But in a strange way I feel simultaneously stronger from my experiences, and more brittle.
I went to a grief counselor for a few months after mom’s death (through Cancer Care, a wonderful organization). She said something that stuck with me. “It’s always going to be sad, but hopefully time will make it less painful.” So deceptively simple, but true. It’s okay to be sad. Forever. It’s just plain sad. But it’s going to be (and already is) less raw, less sharp. I’ll always carry this with me, but time will help dull the edges.
PICKING UP THE PIECES
And then there’s the practical stuff. It turns out that managing my mom’s Ohio estate from New York is nearly as challenging as managing her care was. She did an amazing job of getting her affairs in order for us, but there were still a ton of decisions that had to be made and tasks to be done. My sister, Audrey, and I have made almost as many trips back to Ohio for the estate as we did while we were taking care of her. There was, I’m not ashamed to admit, a feeling of relief after the ordeal of her illness was over. Of feeling like, “This is a really crappy time, but maybe I’ll at least get a break.” Not so much. Mom lived alone and since neither of us want to move back to Ohio, Audrey and I had to deal with all of the usual legal and accounting stuff, plus her house and a lifetime’s worth of possessions. Because we’re out of town and the house is empty, every little task is about 10 times harder than it should be, and requires a ridiculous amount of coordination.