Giving From The Heart

In today’s economy, everyone is watching where they spend money.   However, while giving to charity may be lessened, the gift of giving still remains present.  With so many charities out there, choosing which charity to give to seems daunting.  My best advice – pick a charity that “speaks” to your heart.

When we first created, we partnered up with Share Our Strength. Their vision “is to end hunger and poverty in the United States and abroad.”  Especially with Leisa and me being moms, we both agree that no child should grow up hungry.

I think that through your life, certain charities speak louder to you.  Depending on where you are in your life can determine what is most important to you at the time.  My favorite charity is The Compassionate Friends (TCF).  The mission of The Compassionate Friends “is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive.”  Unfortunately, the way I learned about TCF was after my younger brother, Jon, passed away in May of 2009.  For me, being able to give back to this charity that has, and continues to be, a source of strength to me, is worth giving to.

One way that I am able to donate money is thru  For each event in my daughter’s life, I take a percentage of their gift and make a donation in memory of their  Uncle Jonny.  Whether it was a gift from their birthday, or the holidays, Alison & Lauren know that they are doing something to honor their Uncle, and make their mom proud in the process.

What charity is closest to your heart?  Is it to help a rescued animal, or donate money to Share Our Strength?  Whichever charity it is, there is no wrong way when giving from the heart.



Ordering online – which one is for you?

Ordering online gifts is pretty commonplace in today’s world.  Not only is it convenient, but also eco-friendly.  While there are many online vendors to choose from, how does one go about picking the right one?

There are many factors that go into finding the right vendor for your purchase.  Most of the time, money plays a big part.  How much money do you want to spend on the gift?  Is shipping additional? Another factor is the guarantee of what you see online will actually be the product you want.

The great part of ordering online at is the fact that you get what you pay for, because you decide how much you want to spend.  The unique twist to this online gift registry is that each gift is three gifts in one.  A percentage of your gift is divided three ways – contribution to your child’s college fund, a charitable donation, and a gift card.  It is easy to set up a registry – and it’s free!  Go online today to register your child’s special upcoming event.


The True Holiday Spirit without the Stuff

This is the time of year when we think about all the holiday get-togethers, the decorations, and the shopping.  The prep for Thanksgiving followed by Hanukkah then three more weeks until Christmas puts me on HIGH ALERT.  It’s a giant to-do list and that is my entire focus for the next 25 days.  We have family that celebrates both Holidays, we have dinners and gift exchanges.  Though I love this time of year I find it so stressful.  Until I take a step back.  I read news articles or see headlines that many are still struggling financially due to job loss.  The charities themselves are raising less and less money due to everyone else’s bad fortune.  Wouldn’t it be better to focus and spend on those that don’t have versus those that do have?  How about a combo gift?  Donate to a charity in honor of a friend or family member while giving a smaller gift.  You can use as a family holiday gift registry and tell family and friends that a portion of whatever they give will go to your favorite charitable organization.    

 A registry helps in so many ways.  No pressure to pick the right gift.  And with any dollar amount can be given – – no floor, no ceiling.  It’s quick and easy from the comfort of your home.  And maybe this year, your dream gift is a weekend trip skiing or to the beach or a weekend cruise for the family.  Instead of more stuff, how about less stuff and more ACTION!  Something different – –  to get a gift for the whole family and help others at the same time.  Check it out today at


The holiday season has begun – ready or not!

A friend of mine was shopping in a local department store this weekend and heard Christmas music.  Really?  We just got thru Halloween and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!  You know what that means, the holiday season has begun – ready or not!

According to the November 3rd Business Wire report from New York, “Though recent reports suggest retailers are optimistic about holiday sales and expect to see better year-over-year results, shoppers disagree and are planning to be more frugal than they were last year when it comes to holiday spending, according to a survey released today by global business-advisory firm AlixPartners LLP. The survey of U.S. consumers asked about their spending patterns over the past year and their plans for the upcoming holiday season. Notably, the survey found that consumers plan to spend an average of 8% less on holiday products and gifts than they did during last year’s holiday season.”

With increased online shopping in the forecast, I have  registered my daughters at and will do so this year again.  I feel this is the best way to communicate with family and friends about what my girl’s want and need.   This way, my family and friends have stress-free gifting and can spend whatever they’d like.

Once I set up individual registries online for my daughters, I am able to e-mail my family and friends a link to their registries and our wish for gift giving through  As a result, my daughters are able to have money put away in their college funds, donate money to their favorite charity, and not be bombarded with too many toys.  My daughters love getting a gift card to go shopping for that perfect gift, and as an added bonus, they learn about the value of a dollar.