Category Archives: General Awareness

Week 46: NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking: Fighting for the Victims


The speaker stood up at the front of the auditorium….

Several times a year our group goes into local cities and towns and asks,Who are your missing children?We get their names and photos, then make posters of these children.”


(She holds up one of the posters with the faces of at least 15 children on it)


We then stop at motels and hotels” she continued, “and ask the staff, ‘Have you seen any of these faces?’”


EVERY TIME we’ve done this we’ve had at least one rescue. Sometimes several. The children are usually going by different names, but we always find someone who recognizes at least one and it allows us to start to work towards finding them and rescuing them.”


These children… they are typically between the ages of 12 and 16. These cities and towns? …. They are in New Jersey….

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Week 41: The Surprising Effects of Building Intent Around Kindness



Because this is New Jersey, and aggressive, caffeine-fueled commuting is standard, I pass 7 Dunkin’ Donuts and 3 Starbucks on my 40 minute, 11 mile drive to work.


Not only do all these coffee shops ensure I can always find a boost of energy, they provided the perfect venues for me to work on this week’s charity –

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Week 35: Protecting Children in Crisis: Paint-&-Sip with Family Intervention Services

CDC sources of abuse

According to the NJ Department of Children and Families, there were 59,151 referrals for child abuse and neglect in 2013. All were referred for investigation. Just about 10,000 of them became active/open cases. Ongoing neglect, physical and/or sexual abuse, domestic/school/community violence… these are the environments of children living in trauma… of families in crisis. It’s a world behind closed doors, a secret space in society.  It is into this world that Family Intervention Services (FIS) steps, with the goal of protecting children and rehabilitating families.

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Week 33: SpreadKindness.Org: Heart+Action=Power



One of my goals for this 52-week journey is to explore a wide variety of ways to get involved – from more structured organizations to grassroots efforts. Sometimes volunteering can take a pretty big commitment of time, resources, or planning. However, there are also many simple ways to tie volunteering and kindness into your life in much more organic and simple way. is one such avenue.


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Week 32: DoSomething.Org – Empowering Youth and Young Adults to Get Involved and Get Active (because apathy sucks!) is the future of volunteer and activism experiences. The non-profit uses a digital platform to power offline action through hundreds of grass-roots volunteer, social change, awareness and civic action campaigns.



Words on flower

Targeted at ages 13 – 30, the campaigns can be completed by individuals or groups, without any need for transportation, funding by participants, or oversight. Young adults love to get involved and make a difference. They are passionate about causes they identify with. taps into that potential and makes getting active super easy and super fun, empowering teens and young adults to drive social change.

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Week 28: Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee – A Story of Forgiveness


Let me tell you a story…


Map of rwandaSince the early 1960s civil war between the Tutsi and Hutu had flared across Rwanda. For decades, propaganda by politicians on both sides fueled a deep hatred between the groups. Tutsis were perceived to have greater wealth and social status as cattle ranchers, than the Hutus, who were considered lower-class farmers.


A generation grew up in the midst of this turmoil, influenced by never-ending cries of hatred and bias towards the other group. The conflict spread like a slow, smoldering burn across the country with the Tutsis killing thousands of Hutus in ongoing conflicts over the years. Rwanda became a tinderbox of anger and hatred, ready to ignite and explode at any moment.  That moment came in 1994 and would rock the world…


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Week 26: Salvation Army Angel Tree Program – Practicing Empathy Skills With My 4 Year Old Grandson

I wanted to include my grandson Jason in a few charitable activities this holiday season. He’s 4 years old, cute as a button and has more energy than a wild bronco, so I needed to find something that was both active and would make sense to him. The Salvation Army Angel Tree program fit perfectly.

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Week 18: Becoming a RAKTIVIST! Spreading kindness with Random Acts of Kindness

rak_logo_orangeDid you know there are scientifically proven benefits to being kind? “If you perform just one random act of kindness a day it reduces stress, anxiety, stress and depression, AND your body is flooded with the same hormones that make you, and the person you’ve helped, calmer, healthier and happier (serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin)…” so began my journey into the world of RandomActsOfKindness.Org…

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Week 15: Racing for Awareness: Virtual Racing Offers a Flexible Way to Foster Your Charitable Spirit

Is a busy schedule and a hectic life preventing you from participating in charity activities? Finding time to volunteer or support a charity can feel impossible in our fast-paced, over-scheduled day-to-day lives. With that in mind, I went on a quest to find super-flexible avenues for involvement in charities. Options that were adaptable to whenever I had time and wherever I happened to be. Virtual racing met that goal. Read more

Week 8: Fighting Climate Change with

la-me-political-issues-climate-changeThe average American’s total annual carbon footprint is a whopping 50,000 pounds a year. That includes emissions from your home, car, air travel, and everything you use. Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gasses that helps keep the Earth warm by absorbing the sun’s energy and redirecting it to the earth’s surface. It traps heat and warms the globe. The surge in carbon dioxide levels due to human activity over the past 100 – 150 years is causing an overall warming of the planet that is having impact on environments around the globe. Human activity may not be the only reason for climate change, but it is a piece of it. Rising temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns are changing the growing patterns of plants. As vegetation shifts wildlife becomes threatened. Seal levels are rising and destroying coastal ecosystems, putting coastal cities at risk. All of this means climate change will effect local economies dependent on land and natural resources.


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