Gifts That Give To Those Who Need It Most #GiftGuide

As you buy gifts for loved ones this year, consider what you could do to help impoverished children throughout the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well. Gifts are made through Cross Catholic Outreach, a 501c3 Catholic relief and development ministry that provides food, shelter, medical care, water, education, self-help programs, care for orphans and emergency relief. These are a few of the options people can choose from as gift ideas (more ideas are here):

  • Food for the hungry – Send lifesaving supplies of Vitafood to starving children and their families. $27 can feed a family for a whole month.
  • Toys and gifts for a needy child – Let Cross Catholic Outreach pack your Box of Joy with toys and gifts and send it to a child. For $34, Cross Catholic Outreach will pack your Box of Joy and send it to a needy child overseas.
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Five Reasons to Not Buy Turtles or Tortoises As Gifts

American Tortoise Rescue, the international nonprofit for turtle and tortoise protection, is asking consumers to not buy live animals, especially turtles and tortoises as gifts this holiday season. Adopt don’t shop.

According to Susan Tellem, co-founder of the sanctuary, while these wonderful reptiles have outlived the dinosaurs, wide spread illegal smuggling and the commercial pet trade in turtles and tortoises has devastated wild populations worldwide. Many once thriving species are now threatened or endangered. Worse, some are now extinct.

“The pet industry thrives on small, adorable exotic animals with a big price tag,” Tellem says. “What we are recommending is to avoid impulse buys. We understand the appeal of an adorable two inch baby turtle!” Tellem adds, “But most animal rescues have many turtles and tortoises ready for adoption to good homes.”

Tellem gives five reasons why people shouldn’t buy a turtle or tortoise.

  1. Reptiles are boring. Parents shouldn’t expect their kids to find everlasting enjoyment in an animal that basically sits still most of the day sunning itself. Many kids tire of a turtle in a tank and don’t want to clean the habitat and change the water daily. Turtles and tortoises poop, Tellem reminds everyone.
  2. Most turtles and many tortoises hibernate during fall and winter. It’s unnatural for them to be awake and available for sale when they should be sleeping from about October through April. It’s cruel to sell wild animals that need to hibernate to stay healthy.
  3. Turtles and tortoises confined in tanks are miserable. It’s like a human spending their entire life in a bathtub Tellem says. The only proper habitat for these reptiles is outside. Natural sun exposure helps maintain a healthy shell and is necessary for the animal to grow and thrive. During hibernation, most reptiles can stay outside in shelters that are dry and predator proof.
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Stocking Stuffers that Give Back

Looking for a holiday gift that gives back? These are a great alternative to the usual stocking stuffer and also gives back to the planet: a tree planted by Tree-Nation (300 varieties to choose from) to help reforest the Earth and reduce CO2 emissions, all in one present.

The Earth loses about 36 football fields worth of forest each minute and during the holiday season, the U.S. alone sells 2.65 billion cards and spends $12.7 billion on wrapping paper, so this is the perfect time to give back. Gifting a tree with Tree-Nation can cost consumers as little as a dime and supports climate change and reforestation projects across the globe—here in the U.S., Brazil, India and many more. Recipients will receive access to the platform where they can track their tree growth and check in on the CO2 emissions they are offsetting all via their personalized “forest” page.

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Write for Rights: Amnesty International launches global campaign championing youth activists

Amnesty International has today launched Write for Rights, the world’s biggest human rights campaign, which this year champions children’s rights and youth activists.

“This year Write for Rights, Amnesty’s flagship human rights campaign, champions youth activists who are taking on the world’s biggest crises,” said Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“From those campaigning for climate and environmental justice, to those challenging inequality, poverty, discrimination and political repression, young people have emerged as a powerful force for change who deserve the world’s support.”

Every December people around the world write millions of letters, emails, tweets, Facebook posts and postcards for those whose human rights are under attack, in what has become the world’s biggest human rights event.

Amnesty International is hoping to break last year’s Write for Rights record of nearly six million messages of support for activists and individuals from 10 countries whose human rights are under attack.

Youth activism in the spotlight

Youth activists have played a prominent role in major protest movements and human rights campaigns during 2019, such as the Fridays for Future climate strike movement founded by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, as well as protest movements in many countries around the world.

Write for Rights 2019 features youth human rights defenders and individuals in Belarus, Canada, China, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines and South Sudan.

Launching two days ahead of Universal Children’s Day on 20 November, a day to promote children’s rights, several of the featured activists had their rights violated as children.
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Speaking out against LGBTQ bullying #SpiritDay

stand up to bullying

Paper Mill Playhouse and the company of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz support “Spirit Day 2019” in the attached image.  This year’s Spirit Day (Thursday, October 17) is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Pledging to “go purple” on Spirit Day is a way for everyone to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth and to take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world.  Feel to use this image on your websites, social media and broadcast. Photo by Emma Rhyner.

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, presents the New Jersey premiere of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz with a book by Marc Acito, musical adaptation & additional music by David Libby and conceived by and additional lyrics by Tina Marie Casamento. Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz  will run through Sunday, October 27, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ). Directed and choreographed by Tony award nominee Denis Jones, Orchestrations by Larry Blank and David Libby with music direction by Lawrence Yurman, the principal cast features Ruby Rakos (Billy Elliot) as Judy Garland/Frances Gumm, Tony Award nominee Max Von Essen (An American in Paris, Paper Mill’s The Baker’s Wife) as Frank Gumm, Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Ethel Gumm, Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!, And the World Goes ‘Round) as Ma Lawlor/Kay Koverman, Stephen DeRosa (Into the Woods, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) as Louis B. Mayer, Michael Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryTuck Everlasting) as Mickey Rooney, and Colin Hanlon (ABC’s Modern Family, Paper Mill’s Benny & Joon) as Roger Edens.

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Info on Boycotting Nestle

I’ve recently gotten several PM’s and messages asking me about the Nestle Boycott, so I thought I would post them again for anyone who is interested. Below are two pages that list the other brands that they own, such as Purina, Jenny Craig, and Dryers to name just a few.
http://www.babymilkaction.org/nestle-boycott-list
and
(this one has a more complete listing) https://www.crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2009/10/07/the-updated-nestle-product-boycott-list
There is also an app you can use that can help you avoid them while you shop- it’s really tough to remember all the under-brands when you first start trying to shop ethically. Your dollars matter, don’t give them to a company that uses child labor, slaves, poisons and drains public water without any benefit to the public (but funds their own pockets as well as politicians greed), has lead to the death of babies in multiple countries, and so many more evil actions. For more info, check out these pages or Google the topic-

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POLAR BEAR PLUNGES ARE SUCH A SHORE THING! #PolarBearPlunge

Plunging into frigid ocean waters with nothing more than a bathing suit on is not necessarily something that a person would do willingly.  Unless of course, you are one of thousands of participants taking part in the five plunges that are planned in Cape May County, New Jersey in the next four months. Whatever your reason is to willfully run into a freezing ocean during the winter months, there are some benefits, both entertaining and charitable, to taking the plunge.

How about getting together with your friends?  Plan to make it a weekend stay in Sea Isle City for the Polar Bear Plunge set for Feb. 15-17.  Revelers have been taking the bitter cold dip in the ocean waters of Sea Isle for more than 25 years.  It is not all about the plunge on this third weekend in February. There is plenty to do so plan to be busy from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon.

The official plunge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 16 on the beach between 38th and 40th Sts. beginningwith a costume contest at 12 p.m. at LaCosta Complex at JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue followed by the Plunge at 2 p.m. www.lacosta-seaisle.com  www.seaislechamber.com or www.lacosta-seaisle.com

 Sea Isle’s plunge weekend ends on a charitable note on Sunday, Feb. 17 with Mike’s Seafood 5K Run and 1.5-Mile Fun Walk for Autism at 12 p.m. on the city’s promenade. Registration will take place at 9 a.m. at LaCosta.  You can also pre-register by visiting www.polarbearrunwalkforautism.com

For some participants, plunging for a charitable cause makes the dip into the freezing temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean a little more doable.  One such event is the Fallen Heroes Plunge which helps to raise funds for families of police officers lost in the line of duty.
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St. Jude’s global childhood cancer initiative aims to cure 60 percent of the world’s children by 2030

Over the past year, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has announced it’s expanding its international reach with St.Jude Global, a more than $100 million investment toward accelerating efforts to improve childhood cancer survival rates worldwide. In addition, as part of this renewed effort to prioritize the global approach to childhood cancer, St. Jude and World Health Organization announced a five-year collaboration – a multi-faceted, coordinated effort to cure 60 percent of children with six of the most common types of cancer by 2030.

 

In the United States, pediatric cancer survival rates top 80 percent, and most children have access to quality care, regardless of where they live. Around the world, however, the statistics are bleak. More than 80 percent of children with cancer live in low- and middle-income countries, and the overwhelming majority will die from their diseases.

 

Video – Global Disparities in Childhood Cancer

 

“During this year’s World Cancer Day, we continue to make great strides in achieving St. Jude founder Danny Thomas’ dream of a world where ‘no child should die in the dawn of life,’” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and chief executive officer. “Global childhood cancer rates are on the rise as more children worldwide survive infancy. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of those new cases are happening in places where they lack access to adequate diagnosis and treatment.”
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