How cute is he? And how equally strange is that title? Well, we had an interesting night last night. It started off like any other night with dinner at our fav pho place and a trip to Target (who else goes multiple times a week? I digress…). We were just getting home when our friends call to say they found this cute little guy chasing cars and after an exhaustive search, were unable to locate his family. I was thinking “sad story… what do you want me to do?” like any semi-reasonable person when my friend asked me to watch him and help find his family. That’s when it all clicked.
You see, I’ve been a little down on myself lately because I’ve been feeling like I’m not setting and achieving enough goals. I was bathed in the waters of Franklin Covey and 7 Habits and was truly converted. But like with most things, after a while your conviction can fade and mine was no exception. But then this dog.
You may remember back on my birthday last year I wrote a list of 30 goals before 30 and one of them was to foster a dog. I thought that this would be an easy one considering my friend runs a rescue and Austin is a no-kill city but heavens, the timing was always off. It was not for lack of trying, believe me(!), but I felt like life was constantly in the way and sending me the same message my husband was: Not now! That can be incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to achieve a goal that you feel like is a worthy and fairly selfless act.
So last night, after much cajoling and eventual husband acquiescing, this little guy came to stay and play with us. I wish I had videoed him because he has the most adorable little gait and walks like a little gentleman. This is where the whole Gaylord thing comes in. We couldn’t not give him some sort of name and after scrolling through other fancy British sounding names, he somewhat responded to Gaylord and it stuck. I’d like to say that it was all sunshine and roses but there was crying on his part and a slight allergy attack on mine. Thankfully we both made it and I awoke from my allergy med-induced sleep to texts and calls from his owner.
All the coughing and watery eyes were worth it because watching Gaylord (whose real name is Perry) see his owner again was the closest I’ve ever come to witnessing one of those touching reunification stories you see on Hallmark movies. Definitely my feel-good moment for the week. And selfishly, it feels like I can cross off “fostering a dog” from my list. It might not be considered fostering 100% but I feel like this was the universe lobbing me a slow pitch, letting me get an easy hit. And because my friends (and Google) are so awesome and it fit in so well with my baseball analogy, I feel like I have to share with you that there is actually a Hall of Famer named Gaylord Perry. He was a renowned cheater but let’s save that story for another day and keep our eye on the ball, er story.
So there’s my story on how being open and ready to help can also help you. It’s totally a cheesy trope but they exist for a reason, right? And getting to call an adorable little animal Gaylord was hilarious and almost as satisfying as completing one of my goals.
*Welcome to another Make A Difference Monday where I highlight a good cause, an inspiring person, or even just a new way to do something to make your life a little better.*
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Humans of New York (HONY), the photographer who takes photos of New Yorkers and tells a little snippet about their respective lives. This year he’s traveling the world again and has landed in Pakistan. You can check out so many beautiful pictures of his on his Instagram or Facebook but you should definitely check out the latest Indiegogo account. He does a great job of describing the issues there but the one that touched my heart the most was his feature on modern-day slavery.
Fatima (pictured above) is a women in Pakistan trying hard to end slavery through education with only very little by way of resources. She’s endured multiple beatings and threats on her life, and she remains unwavering in her quest. Fortunately, HONY photographed her, spoke out for her cause and an Indiegogo account was set up to help her help her people break the cycle. They’ve already reached their goal of $100,000 in less than 1 day but every additional dollar helps. Head over here to the Indiegogo to find out more details on the situation and how you can help. Not one of us can fix the world’s problems by ourselves, but together our efforts can make a difference.
Have a great Monday!
(Image from HONY Facebook)
We all reach that point when we realize that we have far too much “stuff” that we really don’t need. So we usually grab a bin or a plastic bag and gather up all of our “stuff” and then load it into the car/bus/train to donate. Well, before you head to the nearest Goodwill, think twice.
Goodwill does somethings like most charity shops. They take donated items, price them, sell them and use the money to cover costs, fund charity programs, and pay their employees. The problem really lies in the payment of their employees. A loop hole in labor laws allows them to pay their employees less than minimum wage- some just 22 cents an hour! And it’s not like they aren’t making enough to pay these employees, most of which are disabled, they just choose to spend their money else where, especially when it comes to CEO payouts. The international CEO reported a salary of over $725,000 all the way back in 2011. Then they have local, regional, and state CEOs, many of which make well into the 6-figures. Fortunately, there is a bill in the house that would end their ability to take advantage of the loop hole and force them to pay minimum wage to all employees.
So with that good news, what can each of us can do in the meantime is donate our “stuff” to other good causes. So why the Salvation Army? They pay their employees fairly, they are run largely by volunteers, they donate grundles of money to women and children, and their National Commander makes less than $200k.
So let’s each drive an extra mile or two and donate to a company that does the most good.
We all want to give back but sometimes we’re limited by time, money, resources, etc. Today I want to share an easy way for you to help children in need get access to school supplies. Target (oh how I love thee!) will donate $5 to the Kids in Need Foundation for every download of a song. The best part about the song download is that it’s free. So basically, you download a song for free and Target sends $5 to children who need supplies for school. Free song, free supplies. I’m not really seeing a downside here.
So head on over here and pick up a new tune while helping out! Happy Make a Difference Monday!
*I was not paid or perked by Target Corp for this post- I just think they’re awesome and had to share!
Meat-less Mondays aren’t a new thing. They’ve been growing in popularity since 2012 and three years later the movement is still going strong. I love this movement for so many reasons, but especially because it normalizes the idea of having a meal not centered around meat. In the past it’s been very un-American to see carrots or beets (or any veggie) taking center stage on your dinner plate, but more and more it’s changing. For about three years my husband and I were vegetarians and going out to eat, inviting friends over for meals, and eating at other people’s homes were often frustrating and sometimes even awkward. Thanks heavens that now it’s pretty widely accepted that having meat-less meals are not only acceptable, they’re healthy.
- The average cost of organic carrots is $2.26 a pound. The average cost of regular beef is $4.10 a pound.
Help the Planet
- Did you know that for every pound of meat produced in the U.S., it takes 1,850 gallons of water. For a pound of vegetables it’s only 39 gallons. Not an insignificant amount when you think about the drought in California where much of our food in the U.S. is produced.
Help Your Waistline
- Limiting your meat intake can help you decrease your chances of cancer. Yes, cancer, the worst “C” word. Even just one additional serving of veggies a day to can also lower your risk of heart disease by 4%.
If you’re nervous about what to cook without throwing chicken into a pan, don’t worry, there are tons of vegetarian options.
Click on the picture or HERE to find awesome French vegetarian recipes. You won’t regret trying even one of these amazing recipes! Want an awesome blog that features a lot of super great veggie recipes? Check out OhSoDelicisioso– they are amazing, especially their vegetarian chili recipe.
Anyone else out there still observe Meat-less Mondays or maybe some of you just avoid meat all together? Any recipes you swear by?
Picture Source, Stats Source
Today we’re going to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: puppies. Well, young puppies and older puppies (commonly known as dogs). I love dogs. I am solidly a dog person and most of my friends and loved ones are as well because dogs are pretty much the best. You know who else is the best? People who rescue dogs. You guys, the stats out there on homeless pets are terrifyingly awful. I’ll spare you from most of the details except this one: Over 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. EACH YEAR. Guys, that is a crazy number of furry souls dying before their time. But back to rescues- these people are saints.
One saint that I know and love is Allison Allred who started This One Starfish, a non-profit that rescues dogs from death and helps them find their forever home. She is just one of many who devotes insane amounts of time, money, gas, and love to dogs who have been abandoned and forgotten. They spend so much of their personal resources helping dogs they know they won’t keep, which to me feels incredibly selfless and amazing. When they say that all dogs go to heaven, they forgot to include the people who rescue dogs, because those people certainly do as well.
So by this point I’m sure you’re thinking how you want to help or get involved. Natch. I asked This One Starfish what they would recommend to someone wanting to help and this is what they said:
Dog rescue is kind of like holding a bucket under a running sink to catch the water. It’s a good temporary solution but the only permanent fix is to get the water turned off. We can keep pulling dogs out of shelters and busting puppy mills, but the shelters will keep filling up. One way that we can start to turn the sink off is educating the public about the reality of dog shelters. Most dog shelters are not shelters at all. After a few days or sometimes only a few hours the dogs are euthanized. In the best case an adopter shows up to pull the dog before they reach the top of the kill list, but usually the dogs die. People need to educate themselves on these realities and learn the alternatives to dropping dogs in shelters. There are so so many people willing to foster so if you find a dog contact a local rescue first and consider fostering until an adopter surfaces. Even if you can only foster for one night, keeping these dogs out of shelters will save their lives. Another way people can help is by sharing our Facebook posts am following/ retweeting out Twitter page. These shares help us spread the word about our mission and make it possible for us to quickly get dogs out of shelters and find forever families.
So all you dog people, let’s make a difference and find a way to support dog rescues and fosters. Already helping save puppy lives? I’d love to hear how you’re making a difference!