Posts Filed Under Good Causes

Reaching Out

by bosssanders on July 2, 2011 with 3 comments

There is this thing about (most) military wives – they don’t like to ask for help.

To many, it’s thought of as a character defect – as something they just need to learn to get over and “do.”

But, the truth is:  It’s what we’re taught to do.  We’re taught to stand brave and proud behind our men.  We’re taught that a good military wife is courageous, patient, resourceful, and when duty calls…self-reliant.  We’re taught from the inside, but more than that, it’s the outside world that teaches military wives these things.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget some of the things still being fought for when it’s not blaring at us from the news and it’s no longer front-page headlines.  It’s easy for communities to forget the sacrifices that many men, women, and children make when someone serves, especially in cities removed from military posts or bases.  But, forgetting doesn’t make the reality fade away.

A short time ago, I was having dinner with a friend as she related some of her struggles as a military wife to me.  Her husband was called up, leaving her pregnant and what felt like a million years away from him.  She didn’t live near post, and it didn’t take long for the emotions and daily tasks to become overwhelming without him there.  And too soon, the community and church that had vowed to watch over that military service member’s family…was mostly forgotten.  She was left mostly alone to deal with it all in a dark corner on her couch.

As she related parts of her story to me, I couldn’t help but feel disgusted.  I couldn’t believe people would just forget her.  I couldn’t believe I was one of those people.

You see, I hadn’t really connected with this special woman before, but I did know OF her.  I knew her husband was leaving.  I knew she was pregnant.  But, that was about it.  I could try to wash it away now with excuses:

Had I known she was hurting, I would have…

She never told me…

She never asked me for…

I thought others would step up… where were her friends?…

But, you know what the truth is?  Excuses…it’s all they are.  I didn’t know she was hurting because *I* didn’t call to find out.  I didn’t know how many people had virtually stepped off the grid because I wasn’t there to find out.

I learned the reality and frequency of happenings such as these when my husband had only just left for the first stage in his deployment.  It began as a kind question from a woman, “How are you doing?”  I smiled, forcing tears back as I told her he’d recently left.  “Ah, well…you’ll get over it.”  She said, “After all, you knew it would happen at some time or another.”

My heart froze, my face along with it.  And, in that moment (and many more to come), I finally realized something:  Not reaching out and asking for help is sometimes not a defect at all, but rather a learned response after having it all shoved back into their faces, time and time again.

I understand how easy it is to forget the families that serve.  I know that sometimes we believe they are doing just fine, and sometimes…we don’t even know how to help.  I know schedules are busy and overloaded and pockets run near empty sometimes.  But, I hope you choose to remember anyways.

To all of the men and women who have given up their lives for our country – MY FREEDOM – thank you.

To all of the men and women that have served and still serve.  To those of you who have given up not only being able to see your family and air-conditioning and good food, but also sometimes sacrificing an arm or leg (or more) — THANK YOU.

To the families, who go day in day out, serving their country quietly (or not-so-quietly).  To those of you who give up bedtime kisses and time with your loved ones.  To the wives who play the roles of both mommy and daddy, endure long days and longer nights, and comfort their crying babies when they want to be held themselves.  –THANK YOU.

To the brave children who stand behind their mommies and daddies as they do their jobs far away.  To the little tear-stained cheeks who trade Hershey kisses for mommy/daddy’s kisses as they wait for them to come home…  THANK YOU too  (You are a whole other brand of heroes to me!)

To the communities who diligently watch out for these families and soldiers, who do more than talk about supporting and loving and actually DO SOMETHING.  To the people who make it their mission not to let soldiers or their families fall through the cracks.  — THANK YOU

We live in a country that claims to be PROUD of our heritage and our men and women who got us here, but I pray that we become a country that is more ACTION than TALK – and that someday soon, someone’s service to this country and the sacrifice it involves will no longer be viewed as their problem/their choice but rather a community’s  blessing and chance to serve and be supportive.

I pray that each and every one of you have a happy and wonderful FOURTH OF JULY weekend – and if you haven’t already, that you’ll invite a soldier and their family, deployed family, veteran, or widow to your own festivities.

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bosssanders

Give A Little Hope, Win $100

by bosssanders on April 6, 2009 with 1 comment

I recently found out about a local charity in our area that provides care to women in need, specifically pregnant women. Although Hope Unlimited Pregnancy Crisis Center has been around for several years, I’d never really known MUCH about it. As a pregnant mother now, I know how bittersweet a pregnancy can be. I know how fears about money and life situations can creep into even the strongest of minds, and I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be confronted with doubts that other women have to face every day. For me, this charity is an important one that tugs at my heart. It is a place that women can go and learn about their choices (although this center does not perform abortions), and should she choose to keep her baby, she is given access to medical care – regardless of whether she can afford it or not. The charity provides not only medical care and counseling, but also classes and other programs to help get women (and men, too) back on their feet.

There’s so much more, so much that it’d take a good hour for me to just TELL you, much less write it in a blog post…

Steven and I felt called to raise money for this awesome source of hope for so many, and we’re hoping our friends and family from across the world will join in. We’re stepping out on faith and offering $100 as a giveaway to one lucky person who chooses to donate $10 or more (to be drawn at random). Of course, we completely understand if you find yourself unable to donate or give – and that’s okay. We really hope that whether you can give or not, you’ll visit the original post and leave a comment to help cheer us on. Every voice counts and we want to hear from all of you…we need to hear from you.

(If you DO wish to donate, you can use the widget below.)

Love,
Ashley

bosssanders

Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty

by bosssanders on August 15, 2008 with comments closed


Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

bosssanders
filed under Good Causes

Day 2…of THE CHALLENGE (enter theme music here)

by bosssanders on April 18, 2008 with 9 comments

I figured I’d try my less-trash challenge again today.  I’m kind of intrigued, if I do say so myself.  And, I’m quite curious as to what the results would be should I do this for any longer than a day.  So, I marched on.  On cleaning day.  Well, sort of.

Today, I trashed the following:

One Diaper.

Toilet Paper.  Like I said, I am NOT going to a) sit there for hours to “drip dry”, b) use my hand, or c) use cloth.  Nuh uh.  HOWEVER, if I happen upon some more-eco-friendly TP than my supersoft Charmin that is soft and not see-through thin, I may consider that.  Maybe.  (This is going to bring in some interesting searches on analytics.  Can’t wait.)

Paper Towels.  Only for Glory messes, though (my dog is only sort of potty trained…and, she “fakes it ” sometimes outside just to come inside and pee.)

2 Shaklee Cleaning Wipes . TWO!  Did you hear me?  I cleaned the entire bathroom, and that’s the only trash I had!  Woot!

Some Floss.  Uh, yeh.

One Cotton Ball soaked in Witch Hazel.  –In case you were wondering, it’s a natural astringent and skin soother.

Disposable Razor, which would no longer shave.  Anything.  It was purple.  You’ll be quizzed later.

Frozen Mixed Veggie Bag.  I make Lorelei’s food (and have been since she started solids) soooooo…yeh.

Colored Pencil Shavings.  I had to sharpen a few pencils.  I guess I could’ve technically thrown them outside but it was raining…and I’m lazy.

Okay…so that was IT.  My only trash. You have to be oh so proud of me, right?  I think it’s pretty good.  Not 0(zero), but IF I did 0(zero), it wouldn’t be a forever thing, you know?  I AM cutting down though.

And now, here’s the fun part.  Stuff I’m RE-PURPOSING:

1 TP Roll and 1 Paper Towel Roll and some Dryer Lint.  Stuff the Dryer Lint in the Paper Towel/TP Roll for fire starters.  More Ideas for Paper Towel Rolls: Use them to make bracelets, organize cords or Christmas lights.

1 Empty Wipes Canister (Shaklee).  I haven’t figured out what I’m doing with this guy just yet.  Hmmm.  But, I’ll figure something out.

Hand Soap Container.  I refilled it with concentrated hand soap and added a bit of water to make it last longer.  Voila.

Plastic Walmart/Kroger Bag (I forget which).  Used it to line the bathroom trash can.

Want to know what you can do with all of your lovely trash to REPURPOSE it?  Try these cool websites:

Re-purposing your trash 

Replayground 

WhipUp 

And then… To win some cool prizes, check here:

Shaklee Go Green Cleaning Set (hosted by yours truly!!)

Earth Day Celebration with lots of goodies to win 

More giveaways!! 

bosssanders
filed under Good Causes

WHAT IF…Trial and Error

by bosssanders on April 17, 2008 with 1 comment

I figured that since I issued the challenge, I should be one of the first to jump in feet first. So, today when I woke up, I was ready to go – I’ll show you, I can reduce and reuse with minimal trash. Um, sort of. Maybe?

My intention for this entire challenge was more focused on having people become MORE AWARE and less about what actually went into the trash bags…

Today, my first activity resulted in trash. A dirty diaper. Not only did I already have trash at 9AM, but it was stinky trash. I changed the diaper and replaced it with a fresh cloth diaper. (By the way, I was going to take pictures but decided not to, you can thank me later.) Then, I headed to the bathroom to mix up the diaper wipe solution (a squirt bottle full of water and a squirt of her baby wash) so it’d be on hand for later (I use cloth wipes for non explosive diapers, cutting down on waste).

Then, at breakfast, I realized another place I create trash. The paper towels I use to wipe her face and hands and high chair tray after eating. So, today…I got out a wash cloth instead. I really do need to get a few “special wash cloths” to keep in the kitchen that are just for this purpose. Also, instead of reaching for the Kleenex when her nose started running, I used a cloth (old -as in she’s outgrown them -burpcloths).

I was feeling awfully proud of myself when I almost sidestepped into a puddle of Glory pee (the dog). Thanks for that. I’m definitely using papertowels for this mess. Sorry. I hurriedly took Glory out JUST IN CASE. If she pees outside, she MIGHT not go inside…which means, less trash, right? Right???!!!

So, moving on…I found a bit of tin foil hubby used to cook with last night and forgot to throw out. I threw it out. That counts as trash today. DANGIT. And then…the 2 DHL shipping envelopes got trashed…. DANGIT.

And then…I had to pee. (Useful information for you right there.) I considered my options and grabbed the toilet paper anyhow. I’d rather hold it then save TP. Sorry again. If it makes you feel any better, I only use 3-4 squares of Charmin Ultra.

Then, I made a large free-shaped (meaning it’s from remnant fabric and not an exact square…or circle…or triangle) cloth pillowcase type thing to stuff fabric scraps in. Once it’s full, I plan to close up the small opening and give it to Glory for her dog bed. She’s not happy with the shop rags I threw in there…she keeps pulling them out. So, she’ll get a “mattress” and I don’t have to throw it away. Plus, it’s totally washable.

Next, I had a few oranges on the counter top…I was afraid that they’d turned bad (mom would kill me as she gave them to me…err…a month ago?). But, no black spots. No spots at all. I opened one up and tasted…yep. Still good. Sweet! I cut them all in half and had my therapy, standing there juicing oranges. Gave baby some diluted juice and saved the rest (in the refrigerator for later). Then, I cut out the pulp of 1 of them and sliced up the peel. I’m saving the peel to try a candy recipe later tonight. What can I say? I was intrigued. I dumped the rest of the orange waste into my mini compost I made beside the house (it’s in a small crate).

Of course, we had a couple of casualties. Two bags were too close and within orange juice squeezing range and got stickified. I trashed those. I guess I really could have rinsed them out…but too late. I’m not digging them back out.

Then, it was time to do a little research. I discovered that the town my husband works in offers recycling. They can recycle paper/cardboard items all the time and plastic stuff they have certain days set aside (like 6x a year). SO, I wrote down the info and called the office to make sure I got everything. “Do I need to cut out the plastic windows on envelopes? No? Great. Can I recycle postcards? Yes? Awesome. Magazines, newspapers, books, business cards, brochures, and frozen pizza boxes? Yes? Lovely.” So, I made a “recycling area” by the trash can…just a paper bag where I put paper items to be recycled. Later, I will group the cardboard boxes in the garage to take to the recycling center. Or…for Steven to take to the recycling center :D

Total in trash for today:

- dirty diaper (ONE)
- piece of aluminum foil
- paper towels
-toilet paper
- two bags
- empty frozen pea bag
- DHL shipping envelopes (2)

Not bad, not bad…

bosssanders
filed under Good Causes

WHAT IF????

by bosssanders on April 16, 2008 with 10 comments

Have you ever stopped to think about the impact we make on this world? Have you ever stopped to think about the garbage that we daily consume and throw out? Have you ever thought about what it would be like if we all reduced our trash for one day…much less, for an entire year…or *gasp* for the rest of our lives?

April 22nd is Earth Day, and with that, comes a challenge for all of us to do something better for our Earth. And so, I have a challenge for you ;)

Between now and April 22nd, for ONE DAY, try to reduce your trash to as close to “zero” as you can get it – And then document it. If you have a blog or website, write about it. Take pictures if you want. Or, if you have no blog/website, come back here and tell me about your experience (in my comments).

For one day, see if you can have no trash (or see how close you can get). Re-purpose the things you would normally throw away…and go out of your way to use things that aren’t encased in plastic, paper, styrofoam, paper, etc.

If you are up for the challenge, please sign up in my comments. And, to make the deal a little more sweet, I’m going to do a giveaway (which will be drawn from the participants names). Don’t forget to leave a link to your post if you do it!!

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bosssanders
filed under Good Causes