Take 5 Friday

Hi lovelies! Happy Friday! Sorry I didn’t post yesterday, I came home late Wednesday night and was just too exhausted to write a post. I hope you all have had a great week! Mine has been so busy that it has flown by and all of the sudden it’s the weekend again… love when that happens! Tonight I’m going to an event with some girlfriends and tomorrow an event with my Grandma… details and pictures to follow!

Now let’s move on to Take 5 Friday: my bi-monthly list of 5 things that you can do to make a difference that will take you less than 5 minutes!

1. Join the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem!

Remember that amazing campaign Dove did a few years ago to campaign for real beauty? Recently, they have launched a new movement for self-esteem to provide women everywhere with opportunities to mentor the next generation and celebrate real beauty. They also recently released findings from the largest global study on women’s relationship with beauty and found that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful and that anxiety about looks begins at a very early age. It’s time to change this for all the women in our life! Start by browsing the Inspire a Girl Tool-kit for ideas or simply sign up to join the movement and be updated on the great things that Dove is doing!

2. Write a Note to a Teacher!

We all have a teacher who made an impact on our lives, whether it be big or small. Sometimes the lessons they teach us that make the most difference are the ones that they never get to hear about. Like one of my college professors who took the time to email me back late at night when I was going through a difficult time with medical issues and was worried about missing class. I think that teachers are so underappreciated but this campaign is striving to change that! With Thanks For Teaching you can write a quick note online to a teacher that made a difference and they will publish it on the website for the next 30 days. People from all over the world are doing this and it’s inspiring to see all the lives that teachers have changed.

3. Support Charity: Water!

Charity: Water is an amazing organization that is striving to end the water crisis that affects 1 billion people living without clean drinking water. The truth is, water affects everything: education, health, poverty and especially women and children. But in the past 5 years, they’ve been able to help bring clean water to two million people in need. Now they are trying to raise the money to buy another drilling rig that will provide 40,000 people with water each year. Normally I don’t ask for people to donate money since everyone’s financial situation is different, but this is a cause truly worth supporting, even with $1 or the $3.50 you would have spent on a coffee today. Charity: Water is all about accountability too and donates 100% to clean water (not employee salaries) and shows films and gps locations of everywhere your money is going.

4. Donate Old Clothes!

(Source)

Let’s face it, you are probably never going to wear those jeans in the back of your closet or that shirt that ‘never really fit right but you bought because it was on sale’ again. Yet, they take up prime space in your closet and don’t serve a purpose. But they could make a real difference in someone else’s life- that suit could be the outfit that a homeless woman wears to an interview that lands her a job and takes her off the streets. It could be the outfit that a student gets to wear for their first day of school, feeling confident for the first time. Your old clothes can be doing great things in this world, so find a shelter or organization to donate to today!

5. Thank a 9/11 Hero

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 just passed, I am filled with such sorrow for what happened and gratitude for all who have sacrificed. This great website shows you a picture and a short synopsis of heros from that day. By signing in with your Facebook account, you can write a short note of thanks to these incredible men and women.

Have a great weekend everyone and Take 5!!

Questions:

-What would you thank a teacher for?

-What message would you like to tell young girls regarding body image?

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Take 5 Friday

Hi lovelies! It’s finally Friday and a three-day weekend! We definitely have something to celebrate and I hope that you all have some fun things planned! I hope to do some relaxing and am going to get together with one of my best friends who moved to DC in January! It will be so good to see her and catch up!

Today is the second edition of Take 5 Friday! For those new to my blog or the series (welcome!) every other Friday I highlight 5 things that you could do that take under 5 minutes to help make a difference in the world! Catch up on the first edition here and now on to this week’s list…

1. Take Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge

Warning, the above video might make you tear up, but it also showcases how important this cause truly is. In a world where we all live on our phones, using them when driving is truly detrimental to the health and safety of ourselves and those around us. In 2010, a study by the National Safety Council found that 28% of accidents involve talking or texting on cell phones or about 1.4 million annually. The even scarier part is that there are many unreported cases and many near misses that would only increase that number. I know putting away your cell is hard but you are risking your life and everyone elses just to see that your friend wrote back “kk.” Join me in taking the pledge and encourage your friends and family to do so too!

2. Stop Junk Mail

This might seem like a surprising way to make a difference, but I recently found out that over $350 million taxpayer dollars are spent disposing of junk mail that has not been recycled and 100 million trees are needed to create this mail! Besides all the harm that is doing to our forests and budget, who wants to deal with it? By calling the customer service department for the company you can usually get off their mailing list. (There are also a bunch of companies that help provide this service but since I haven’t personally vetted for them, I don’t want to link to any specifically.)

2. Donate magazines to the hospital!

Recycling this picture from May, but I can assure you I have more than this from September!

This one might take slightly longer than 5 minutes depending on your proximity to a hospital, but I promise it is a worthy cause. If you’ve ever been a hospital patient or visitor, you know that time goes by extremely slowly in the hospital. Around here we call it “hospital time” because you can never tell whether it is day or night and it all blends together. One thing that makes that time a little easier is having a distraction. I learned this the hard way when I spent the night on a hospital chair for a family member and my only reading material was a Spanish Reader’s Digest. So as regularly as I can, I try to donate magazines to the hospital for the patients. You can simply drop them off at the help desk and they are so appreciative. Then instead of collecting dust on your floor, they are making a difference in someone who really needs it.

4. Microvolunteer!

I just found out about Sparked and am so excited to share it with you all. Not only is it based here in SF, but this is an amazing opportunity to volunteer when you really do only have 5 minutes. The company’s goal is to “offer *convenient* online volunteerism to you. We’re driven to fit volunteerism into the same kind of time that you might normally spend on Facebook, Farmville, or Twitter. It’s volunteerism for the digital age. We call it microvolunteering.” This microvolunteer program has already done amazing things. Whether it’s by instructing someone in Africa on how to build a well or matching photos of missing persons after the earthquake in Haiti, Sparked is truly making a difference in the world.

5. Shop in a Global Marketplace

Whether you are shopping for yourself or for someone else, considering shopping in Ebay’s World of Good which vets every product to make sure it’s eco-friendy and ethically sourced. Not only will you be doing something great for the world, but you will be supporting hard-working people in disadvantaged countries! There are some really beautiful items for great prices and the best part is that they tell you about the person that made it!

Well, I hope you are all feeling as inspired as I am! After writing this post, I genuinely feel so excited about the positive impact we can make just by participating in some of the above things. Have a great weekend everyone and I hope you’ll join me in taking five!

Questions:

-Which cause did you feel inspired by?

-What are you up to for the three day weekend?

Take 5 Friday

Hi lovelies! Happy Friday! I hope that you all have some great weekend plans! I’m really excited to see the movie One Day this weekend and am hoping it is just as amazing as the book!

Instead of my usual Fave 5 Friday post today, I wanted to introduce you to a series that I will be alternating with on Fridays called Take 5 Friday. As you know, participating in important causes is something I’m passionate about but sometimes I feel like I don’t have the time or energy to take on one more thing. But what if you could make a difference by taking out only 5 minutes out of your day? Could you spend 5 less minutes on facebook, twitter or watching tv? Could you sneak in 5 minutes in at the office? Could you spend 5 minutes doing something that would make a difference in someone’s life?

My answer is YES and I hope that yours is too. Every other week, I will be posting 5 things you can do to improve someone’s day or even their life. Some of these things will be new to you and some of them may serve as a good reminder.

1. Click to Help End World Hunger


According to the World Food Programme, there are 925 million undernourished people in the world today. This sounds like an intimidating problem to solve but by visiting the website Freerice.com you answer vocabulary questions and for each answer you get right, the sponsors donate 10 grains of rice. Through people participating on this website, they have been able to feed 27,000 refugees in Bangladesh for two weeks, provide four kilograms of rice for two months to 13,500 pregnant and nursing women in Cambodia, feed 66,000 school children for a week in Uganda and the list goes on. This site has donated over 91 billion grains of rice thus far but world hunger still exists and a few clicks really does make a difference.

2. Let a Loved One Know You Care

This one is simple but sometimes the hardest to remember to do. Too often we get caught up with our own agendas and forget to reach out to others. But what you might not realize until you do it, is that the time it takes for you to reach out will probably make their whole day. The form doesn’t matter: text, email, call, facebook, card, etc. but just a little something to remind someone that you care about them is something that is worth doing.

3. Give a Free Mammogram

I think in this day and age the sad truth is that we all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. And although we are still waiting on a cure, we can do something to detect it early. The American Cancer Society has proven how essential early detection is, but many women still do not have access to mammograms. By going to thebreastcancersite.com you can give a free mammogram with just one click- that’s it, you don’t even have to fill out anything, only click your mouse once! Last year, the site was able to fund 2,808 mammograms… let’s make it even more this year!

4. Smile & Say Hello

If you live in a big city like I do, seeing homeless people on the street is an everyday occurrence. When I worked at a homeless shelter, what struck me most was how so many men and women went from having normal jobs and lives to feeling completely dehumanized, being ignored and scoffed at by people who walked by. So next time you see them, take the two-seconds, to smile and say hello to a homeless man or woman. You don’t have to do any more than that, but I can bet that it will make a difference to them.

5. Post an Operation Beautiful Note

The incredible blogger Caitlin, from Healthy Tipping Point is the amazing woman behind Operation Beautiful. If you are new to Operation Beautiful, its goal is to end negative self talk or “fat talk” and to lift someone up in a positive way. If you have a pen and paper then you are all set. Just write a message on the paper, i.e. “You are beautiful” or “You are great just the way you are” and post it in a public place! You may never know how many lives you touch with that note, but it is guaranteed to uplift both someone else’s spirits and your own.

So that it! 5 easy ways to make a difference today in less than 5 minutes. I hope you’ll join me on this journey and that you like the new series! If you have suggestions on causes that you would like me to look into or highlight for Take 5 Fridays, please email me: glitzglamgranola@gmail.com.