The Good News

The title of this section is called "The Good News" because this blog is about the amazing things people do to help others, and isn't that good news? I now have a few helpers of my own to keep this blog going. Hopefully you can use this as a resource when you are looking for ways to help or share your talents.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


·         Fair Trade
·         Hand Made
·         Nonprofit
“SERRV is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.” (

History: SERRV started after World War II to help refugees rebuild.  It is now a 9.5 million dollar fair trade network.  Due to the growth of the mission, SERRV is not an acronym.  However, when it began, it stood for “Sales Exchange for Refugees Rehabilitation and Vocation.”

Fair Trade:  SERRV is a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization and a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation. To learn more about the importance of fair trade, check out the tab “Fair Trade” on the website.

Farmers and Artisans:  “SERRV works with thousands of small-scale artisans and farmers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other developing regions of the world by marketing their handcrafts and agriculture products.” 

SERRV is such a huge organization that helps others in so many ways, I only just briefly wrote a few scattered highlights.  I’ve loved and learned so much from browsing the website.  If you’re interested in learning more, check out the following link:

How can we get involved?
·         Look at the website!
·         Buy gifts online-you can even order a catalog
·         Check out locations of stores that may be in your area (unfortunately there are none in AZ)
·         Help sell products
·         Donate or Lend
“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.” ~William James

Saturday, June 25, 2011


This week’s post highlights the non-profit, generationOn.  Based out of NY, NY, generationOn is an outstanding website with the following mission: “To inspire, equip, and mobilize youth to take action that changes the world and themselves through service.” (  It is super kid, parent and teacher friendly, as it provides ideas, projects and curriculum specifically geared towards helping the community.  If you’d like to create ripples of compassion within your family or with your students, this website is a Godsend.
Just a few tidbits you’ll find on the website:
·         1,500 lesson plans on service-learning
·         Grant opportunities for community
·         Operation:  Kids Help (currently focusing on disaster relief)
·         Kids Care Clubs: program of generationOn
·         Click on the “Kids” tab and you will find 65 Ways to Make a Difference
·         When picking a project, you can search by issue:  animals, environment, homelessness, hunger, literacy, Seniors
·         “Parents” tab:  Project Ideas
How can we get involved?
·         Check out the website!
·         Awareness leads to action…pick a project and try it out with your kids or students!
·         It’s a non-profit that also accepts donations (look at the “support us” tab)
·         Leave a comment about things you’ve done/tried with your kids to help make a difference (the more ideas, the better).  My friend Ivonne took her young boys to a Senior Center and based on the pictures, everyone was happy!
“Children are great imitators.  So give them something great to imitate.” ~Anonymous

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Give a Bike

Give a Bike is working to bring mobility, healthy life choices, and joy to United States Veterans, and underprivileged communities around the globe.” (
Talk about two crazy lovebirds!  I felt like my husband and I really roughed it spending 19 nights in a backpacker’s tent while in Italy.  It pales in comparison to what Christy and Adam are doing for their honeymoon.  These two amazing people are touring 50 states on their bikes to create awareness and raise money for World Bicycle Relief and Achilles International.
You have to check out their website and blog for yourself because I cannot do it enough justice!  Christy and Adam are just about halfway through their journey and have raised $18,000 of their $25,000 goal.

To donate, the Coppolla’s website is:

I love it!  They will be the first people to complete an unsupported bike tour of all 50 statesJ!

How can we get involved?
-check out the website and blog and prepare to be inspired (and maybe even be a little jealous)
-help Christy and Adam reach their goal by donating!  World Bicycle Relief provides bicycles for people in developing countries.  Achilles International (Freedom Team of Wounded Vets) gives veterans who have lost a limb the ability to race by providing hand-cycles.

The purpose of me doing this blog is to learn about the amazing things people like these two are doing in the name of helping others.  Go Christy and Adam!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

African Soul, American Heart

This week’s post highlights the non-profit, African Soul, American Heart (ASAH).
ASAH “shelters orphans in Southern Sudan.”  It began from one man’s desire to help the parentless children left behind as a consequence from the Sudanese war.  This “Sudanese Lost Boy,” now an American, is a survivor and refugee, hence the name “African Soul, American Heart.”  The organization is relatively new, but incredibly successful.  The following is a brief description of the three main projects of the non-profit:
·         In July, the ASAH Home for Girls will open.  The goal is to educate the girls through Secondary school as most girls do not complete even an elementary education.   The philosophy, “educating women lifts communities out of poverty.” 
·         Kids in Kenya:  ASAH provides 100% sponsorship/support to 10 Sudanese (refugees) orphans in Kenyan boarding schools. 
·         Get Your Panties in a Bunch:  This ongoing program provides reusable (cloth) feminine hygiene products and “panties” to young, female Sudanese orphans. Many girls stop attending school because they don’t have the items necessary for certain times of the month which leads to absences from school, embarrassment, and eventually, dropping out.  These items help girls stay in school!

I have the pleasure of knowing the President of African Soul, American Heart.  She is a HUGE part of the “heart” and success of this non-profit. 
If you would like more information about ASAH, please check out their website…it is truly fascinating!:

How can we get involved?
·         Purchase the DVD documentary:  African Soul, American Heart
·         Donate whatever you can
·         Sponsor a student
·         Contact Deb ( to see what kinds of female hygiene products are needed to help keep Sudanese girls in school

“If these kids are raised from the age they are and given what they need, they will be good leaders in our nation or in our world.” ~Joseph Akol Makeer

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)

Got Milk?  An abundance of human milk, that is…
I am now at the 20 week mark of my pregnancy and due to my changing body and soreness in certain areas, I feel like discussing lactation. 
What is HMBANA? 
“HMBANA is a non-profit association of donor human milk banks established in 1985 to set standards for and to facilitate establishment and operation of milk banks in North America.”
Who gets the milk?
“HMBANA milk banks process donated human milk primarily for fragile and vulnerable infants to ensure they have an adequate and safe supply of this life-giving and life-sustaining supplement when mother’s own milk is not available.”  (
When I donated, I was told my milk went to a 4 year old who had severe digestive issues and needed the milk to survive.

Since I have personal experience with this organization, I’ll write about the process so you can see, it’s really not difficult to do…if you are lactating…a lot!
After the birth of my first child, I for some reason was blessed with a TON (maybe literally) of milk.  It could have been because I was pumping non-stop for 9 ½ weeks until my daughter finally latched on or maybe because I had been initially pregnant with twins, but after Mia was born, holy cow, I was the dairy queen.  My husband bought a deep freezer because we no longer had any space in our regular refrigerator freezer (nor did my parents or anyone else who was helping us store milk).  Anyway, because I knew I would never be able to use all of the milk, I looked into donating it.  My friend, Leah, sent me the web address for HMBANA.
The website gives the locations of member milk banks in the United States and Canada.  Once you contact the location where you are going to send your milk, it’s a very easy process.
Step One: I chose the non-profit milk bank closest to my area which turned out to be Presbyterian/St. Luke’s in Denver, Colorado.  I then did an over-the-phone interview with someone from the bank and received paperwork via mail, necessary for becoming a donor.  The paperwork included the need for a blood test, approval from my OB for donating milk as well as my daughter’s pediatrician’s approval. 
Step Two:  The milk bank sends all of the necessary packaging and labels and pays for the shipping.  The only things I had to do were buy the dry ice from the grocery store as well as the storage bags for the milk, pump, and call Fed Ex to pick up the box.   
So, I first sent 2 big boxes of milk that I had already stored up and continued to send milk for a few months after that.  When I was finished donating milk, I received a letter stating I had donated over 2,000 oz.

The website gives great information about HMBANA services, and includes interesting stuff such as how the milk is pasteurized and distributed. Here is the link:

How can we get involved?
-      If you are nursing and have an abundance of milk, check out the website and consider donating your extra milk. 
-      If you are talking with a friend who has no qualms about sharing the fact that she is a dairy queen and has no more space to store her milk, tell her about HMBANA like my friend Leah told me.

HMBANA: the true milk of human kindness