June 16, 2011 at 9:15 am , by Ron Kelly
For the second year in a row, Ladies’ Home Journal kicked off CMA Music Festival week by hosting a volunteer afternoon at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. This year, though, the afternoon also served as a kickoff for our brand spankin’ new partnership with CMT One Country. Click here to read about how our partnership’s Do Good Rewards program can lead to you winning a trip to the CMT Music Awards in Nashville next year!)
We had some amazing musical talent lending us their muscles and elbow grease for the afternoon, including Steel Magnolia, Jimmy Wayne, Crystal Bowersox, Carter’s Chord, Margaret Durante and Coldwater Jane. Along with reps from both LHJ and CMT, these artists donated some of the very little free time they had during their frenetic week to sweat alongside us prepping supplies for Feeding America‘s BackPack program, which was designed to meet the needs of hungry kids at times when other resources aren’t available (such as weekends and school vacations). By the afternoon’s end, our volunteers had prepped 2,107 bags of food for the program! At the CMT Awards the next night, other musical acts signed some symbolic bags to be auctioned off to raise more funds for the program, to which CMT makes a generous donation in lieu of those pricey artist gift bags other awards shows usually give out.
To keep the spirit of our volunteer afternoon alive, LHJ and CMT are now partnering up for a Do Good Summer Virtual Food Drive. If you’re able, we’d love it if you could contribute to it, which will then in turn provide much needed food to programs such as the BackPack effort. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Of course, if you’d like to volunteer at a Feeding America food bank, that’s another great way to do good and make a difference. As you can see from the slideshow below (with Carter’s Chord’s “Love a Little Bigger” as a musical background), our volunteer afternoon was a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun. Click here to find the nearest food bank in your area. Be sure to let us know how it goes!
For more pictures from our volunteer event, additional info on the BackPack program and stats from Second Harvest, read on after the jump.
All photos by John Russell.
Categories: Do Good, Entertainment, Food, Fun, Ladies' Lounge | Tags: Carter's Chord, CMA, CMT, Coldwater Jane, country music, Crystal Bowersox, Do Good, Feeding America, Jimmy Wayne, Margaret Durante, Nashville, Second Harvest, Steel Magnolia | 5 Comments
June 14, 2011 at 10:13 am , by Amanda Wolfe
This sweet video (which, we’ll admit, made us tear up a little), is a tribute to our Special Olympics athletes and the moms who help them get where they are. With team USA heading to Athens for the 2011 games next weekend, Proctor & Gamble is donating $250,000 to the Special Olympics, and giving all of us a chance to contribute too! For every like, share, or comment on Facebook.com/thankyoumom, P&G will donate a dollar (up to an additional $250,000) to the Special Olympics in celebration of the moms and families who support our athletes.
May 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm , by Gabrielle Porcaro
I’ve never really been a big fan of bees. Between the time they stung me when I was 8 years old and killing Macaulay Culkin in My Girl, they haven’t exactly been my favorite. But two of my favorite brands (the maker of, in my opinion, the best lip balm ever, Burt’s Bees, and one of my favorite jewelry designers, Helen Ficalora) teamed up with the Pollinator Partnership to raise awareness about the increased threat to pollinators in our country. Bees and other pollinators (butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, birds and bats) play a crucial roll in our food system and help maintain our natural ecosystem. But pesticides, habitat loss and disease have put them on the endangered species list.
Burt’s Bees has been working with the Pollinator Partnership for years but this year in honor of National Pollinator Week, Helen Ficalora joined the cause. This cute sterling silver beehive charm and chain costs $100 and comes with Burt’s Bees tinted Lip Balm in Pink Blossom (which was our pick for best lip balm in our First Annual “This Stuff Works” Beauty Awards). 100 percent of the proceeds will go to providing a school with a Bee Smart School garden kit, which will help students learn how vital pollinators are and allow them to create bee-friendly gardens.
This is a win-win all around. A beautiful necklace, a fabulous lip balm and helping the bees. Because even though they sting and their buzzing can be annoying, life wouldn’t be the same with out them!
To purchase the charm or donate visit pollinator.org/beesmart.htm
April 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm , by Lauren Piro
We all remember what it was like as a kid to have a “cool aunt.” She’d take us to movies and treat us to popcorn, bring a new book to read when she visited or create arts and crafts with us – even if they were a bit messy. Melanie Notkin, founder of SavvyAuntie.com and author of Savvy Auntie, just out from William Morrow, loves being that cool aunt (or “PANK” as she dubs herself and her peers—Professional Aunt, No Kids), and wants every woman with a niece, nephew, godchild or other special kid in their lives to be one too.
“What’s so terrific about the aunt is that she’s a grown-up in the child’s life who is all about magical experiences,” says Notkin. “PANKs have discretionary income and time to spend with kids and can take them on day trips, go to sporting events or see plays at times when maybe their parents can’t—‘qualAuntie’ time, as I like to call it.”
Notktin started Savvy Auntie in 2008 after her nephew was born, and she couldn’t find any resources on how to be a modern aunt (she now has six nieces and nephews, and many more of her friends’ children are also happy to call her “auntie”). Everything she read was too “auntique” (auntie lingo has become her thing, too). Plus, she wanted to be thrilled about her new important title, and not dejected that it wasn’t her own newborn she was cooing over.
“I’ve learned that when I focus on all that I am, including a very loving aunt, it enables me to rewrite happiness for myself,” she says. “When my nieces and nephews ask me how I started my own company or how I wrote a book, it feels extraordinary to be able to share my experience with them, and I realize the value I can add to their lives.”
Plant a Flower Garden
“This is great for kids of all ages. When they see the seeds that they planted themselves bloom, they really feel like they’ve created something special.”
“It sounds pretty basic, but it’s easy, inexpensive and a lot of fun. Little kids love chasing the bubbles, while older ones like to see how big they can make their bubbles.”
Color with Sidewalk Chalk
“Another easy and cheap idea that’s all about art and creation – even when the older kids like to take the hose and wash the art away!”
Read a Book
“I always bring a new book when I visit. We’ll talk about the illustrations and learn new words. One of my new favorites is 13 Words by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Maira Kalman.”
“Whether we’re playing hockey in the driveway or riding scooters and bikes, it keeps them moving, which is great.”
Pick up the new Savvy Auntie book through Wednesday, April 27th and do good with Melanie. She’ll donate $1 to the non-profit Epic Change, which uses social media to help worthy causes raise funds, for each copy sold. She likes to think of it as being a—wait for it—“benevolAunt.”
Photo of Melanie Notkin by Anna Schechter
March 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm , by Jennifer Castoro
This week, we’re taking a break from our regular Can This Marriage Be Saved? posts to bring you a little something about relationships of the animal kind. I have been somewhat-obsessively watching video after video of the events in Japan, but this show of loyalty and tenderness between two animals got to me more than any other clip. (Maybe that’s weird.) I’ll let the video speak for itself, but a word of caution: When the brown dog puts his paw lovingly on the injured dog’s head around 2:03, prepare to sob. Maybe we could all learn a lesson from this little brown guy about devotion in the face of horrible tragedy.
I’m sure you’re wondering, as I did, about the fate of these pups: They’re okay! If you’re moved to help the animal victims of the crisis in Japan, or any other, you can donate to the American Humane Association. (See a list of other ways to help from editor Amanda here.)
Tell us about your love for your pets! How have they helped you when you were down on your luck? Does this video surprise you? On a related but much less serious note, check out our Can This Marriage Be Saved? video, “She Loves the Dog More Than Me.”
March 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm , by Rachel Shippy
When you hear of a 23-year old girl starting a gift registry, most would assume she must be getting married, right? Well for Diem Brown (of MTV fame), who founded MedGift at 23 while battling the effects of ovarian cancer, a registry was her answer to her loved ones’ ever-present question: “What can I do to help?” From there Medgift was born and is not only a registry, but also a resource and social networking site for anyone going through medical hardship. It’s difficult to ask someone for help with medical bills, or for a wheelchair or for a ride to treatment, so Diem’s site makes it easy for patients to create a profile of needs, and sponsors can look-up patients by name to help out. “No matter what the medical misfortune, the stress can be debilitating,” says Diem echoing the premise of her site. Beyond her vision for this growing support network, read on to see why Diem Brown is a Lady We Love.
1. What makes you a lady? My mom was Australian and being a lady was the most important thing to her, including even having tea time for us girls to teach us manners like always saying “pardon” instead of “what.” I think being a lady is about being strong, having integrity and never being the straw that breaks someone’s back (but rather the hand that pulls them up).
2. What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Salt and artificial sweetener. I know both are so bad for you but I can’t seem to kick the bad (yet tasty) habit!
3. What are 3 things on your Life List?
1. To meet Oprah 2. To become a mom 3.To get my passion, MedGift into every hospital around the United States (so if you are a hospital employee or know someone who is, let them know about Medgift and help your community benefit from this resource).
4. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Being able to teleport! I could go from my house, to work, or even to India in the blink of an eye — No traffic, no crowds, and no airport security. Plus, how cool was Quantum Leap?!
5. Who are ladies you admire?
I admire ladies who have changed the way we see the world! Oprah, for telling us it’s okay to express, understand and explore our feelings. Barbara Walters, for showing us you can work in a “man’s world” being strong, confident and intelligent while maintaining your femininity and elegance. And Laura Ziskin, for the work she’s done for cancer research through Stand Up To Cancer (all while undergoing her own cancer treatment).
March 7, 2011 at 9:33 am , by Amanda Wolfe
Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The first IWD honored suffragettes—the women who campaigned for our right to vote. Now the day is celebrated around the world with events that raise money and awareness for hundreds of issues affecting women and girls. It’s a powerful way to celebrate how far we’ve come—and keep pushing for much-needed change, especially for our sisters across the globe who have less opportunities than we do. Want to celebrate with us? Here’s how!
* Find an event near you at InternationalWomensDay.com. There are literally thousands of events going on around the world—everything from major conferences and marches to movie nights, concerts and makeovers. Air India will even be flying all-female crews tomorrow to honor the day.
* Attend the CARE National Conference in Washington, D.C. Okay it’s probably a little late but if you’re in the D.C. area, it’s an amazing 3-day event where you can hear from and be inspired by amazing women like Melinda Gates, Laura Bush, Judy Woodruff and our very own editor-in-chief Sally Lee. Follow CARE on Twitter to keep up with all the action from afar.
* Can’t find an event close by? Do something yourself to honor the day. We are loving the cupcake party toolkit from our friends at Vivanista and Sprinkles cupcakes to benefit CARE (and help eliminate global poverty). When you sign up to throw your own Party With a Purpose, they’ll give you a free toolkit with cupcake recipes, IWD trivia and more. Sweet! You can also watch broadcasts from events around the world on YouTube.