The Fabulous Giver

Archive of ‘TFG Spotlight’ category

Birth Control Convos Don’t Need to Be Awkward

This post is sponsored by Bedsider. All opinions are my own.

As a gal who supports women’s health and empowerment (um, hello, Red Pump), my eye is trained to notice interesting campaigns that aim to educate women in smart and non-judgmental ways. That’s why I have been pretty impressed with the Bedsider campaign since first reading about it in the New York Times last year.

For those of you who aren’t as familiar with the campaign, let me give you the deets: Bedsider is an online birth control support network for women 18-29 operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. They teamed up with BET and the Ad Council to create a campaign that uses humor and relatable situations in order to get folks talking about birth control. Did you know that seven in 10 pregnancies among unmarried women between the ages of 18-29 are described by women themselves as unplanned? Eek. That seems like a lot!

I spend a good portion of my time discussing how women can take action to avoid putting themselves at risk for HIV or other STD/STIs. I actually think some of the same advice applies to the topic of preventing unwanted pregnancies.

“Don’t be intimidated by the topic, find a knowledgeable source of information, and make an informed decision that best protects your health and goals.”

Bedsider is a great site for anyone who is looking for the actual factuals on birth control. You can get started here.

While you’re on the site, check out some of the awkwardly funny PSAs. The spot with the grandmother??? Omg. No way. I would have to stop my Granny right there.

Have you ever had any embarrassing convos about birth control? Thankfully, I haven’t but I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Let Us Inspire One Another…

Hebrews 10:24

As I move through this Fabulous Giver lifestyle, I am constantly motivated by friends of mine who are doing selfless things for others, both near and far. Today, I wanted to spotlight two current projects being spearheaded by two of my friends.

Cover Chicago

My broseph, George, has one of the biggest hearts that I know. So, I wasn’t surprised when he announced his goal to collect socks and warm blankets to help get 213 people through this bone-chilling Chicago winter. The initiative, Cover Chicago, has also inspired similar efforts in Atlanta and Sacramento. Kindness is definitely contagious! For details on drop-off locations in Chicago, check out the flyer below. You can also keep up with the efforts on the blog.

Madie’s $10,000 Birthday Wish

Birthdays are a time of celebration, reflection, and wish-making. My soul sister, Madie (one of the fab ladies behind Divas, MPH), has made one BIG wish for her 30th birthday. And, that is to raise $10,000 to build a well in Ethopia. When she accomplishes her goal, the well will provide clean water for 500 people. Hopefully, I don’t have to tell you what a big deal that is. Madie has already raised over $3,000 dollars for the cause and has less than 70 days to raise the rest. Learn more about her wish and make a donation on her MyCharityWater.org page!

So, these are two of the people who inspire me. Do you have any do-gooder friends? Tell me about them!

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20 Social Good Instagram Accounts You Should Follow

I knew that I would become addicted to Instagram before I even purchased my iPhone. Like most technological advances, there are people who use the service for ill activities but also folks who use IG to shed a little light on their daily do-gooding activities. Out of sheer curiosity, I started jotting down IG accounts that were connected to a cause or social impact. What started off as 12 names has somehow amassed into a list of over 40.

Those on my list include social advocates, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and socially-responsible companies. I love seeing how each group uses images to capture the story of their brand or cause. It’s rather fascinating. So, you ready to see who made the first list?

Check out the images below!

 

Any other organizations or companies that I should include for future lists?

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Monday Motivation: How Far Will You Go for Change?

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a luncheon hosted by the team behind the incredible MAKERS series. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the MAKERS’ site includes videos of women who have done and are doing incredible things. These women have blazed and are blazing trails in industries ranging from politics to education to health and they are all HUGELY impressive.

With Dr. Amy Lehman

At this luncheon, we had the opportunity to meet Dr. Amy Lehman and to hear her story. She is the founder of the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, which provides health care access to millions of Central African people who live in the isolated Lake Tanganyika Basin. Let’s stop here.

Can you please take a moment and soak in the awesomeness of that sentence? A floating hospital that provides invaluable medical services to those who might otherwise go without. Okay. Let’s continue.

As Dr. Lehman talked, I had a thought: What would’ve happened if she hadn’t accepted her mission to serve this community? As a surgeon trained at the University of Chicago, I’m pretty sure that she could’ve found a posh practice to show off her skills. But, she didn’t. Which leads me to this question: How far are you willing to go to make an impact?

 

Dr. Lehman’s incredible tattoo of the Lake Tanganyika region

When we discuss making an impact, we often limit ourselves to the communities around us. And, I don’t always mean community as a physical location. Community can be your affinity group (i.e. Catholic, African-American, or disabled), a specific neighborhood, or a specific cause. Like many things that we do, there is a tendency to stay within our comfort zone when it comes to assisting those in need.

As we close out 2012 and look ahead to a new year, let’s resolve to go one step further to make a difference. If Dr. Lehman can execute her purpose on another continent, then there’s no reason why we can’t execute ours across town.

To learn more about Dr. Lehman’s work, visit her website at FloatingClinic.org.

To learn more about the other women recognized by MAKERS, visit their website at Makers.com.

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Cause and Effect: Multiple Sclerosis

As a fun new way to spotlight causes and issues that I think you should know about, I’m launching a new series of posts called “Cause and Effect.” This series will give you a bite-sized piece of information about an issue and showcase a few items that you can rock in support of the cause. The first cause on my list? The fight against multiple sclerosis. Check the image below for a quick stat about the disease and some fab orange pieces that you can snag to rock in your support whether you’re attending a MS fundraising soiree or just lounging around the house.

1. Chevron Fabric Tablet Cover, $28 | 2. Madewell Thermal Sweater, $88 | 3. Aqua Floyd Skater Dress, $184.50 | 4. Ginger+Liz Dancehall Queen, $12 | 5. ALDO Fravel, $38.49

To learn more about multiple sclerosis and ways to show your support, visit NMSS.org.

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I Dare You to Dream

“You can find your greatest cause in your greatest failure.” – Pastor Matthew Barnett

The Dream Center Los Angeles

Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to Pastor Matthew Barnett tell the story of his journey as the co-founder of The Dream Center in Los Angeles. The Dream Center is a church that never sleeps nor closes, and instead offers residents (and everyone else ministry) around the clock. More than just a church, The Dream Center is a vital part of the community that it serves. The Center offers residential rehabilitation programs for teens and adults, a shelter for victims of human trafficking, a transitional shelter for homeless families, mobile hunger relief and medical programs, and a foster care intervention outreach.

Housed in a former hospital, over 700 families live on the center’s 400,000 sq. ft. campus and the organization receives and distributes one million pounds of food to LA residents. When I heard this, my mind was blown away…Another amazing fact? None of the operations are supported by the government. Incredible, especially with the size of their operations and the amount of work that they do.

As Pastor Barnett spoke to us, he reminded us that we all have one great cause, even if we don’t recognize it yet. It was an uplifting and motivating talk, which inspired me to order his New York Times’ bestseller, “The Cause within You: Finding the One Great Thing You Were Created to Do in This World.” It’s supposed to arrive by Friday and I can’t wait to rip into it.

If you need a reminder about the power of believing in someone and following your dreams, I encourage you to learn more about The Dream Center. They’ve been recognized at the White House and various national press outlets. Here is a cool clip from CNN Heroes of George Lopez volunteering with the organization in LA.

CNN Heroes from PlainJoe on Vimeo.

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Happy Fifth Birthday to Bright Pink!

Bright Pink is a kick-ass organization and I am a huge fan of almost anything that they do. This week marks their fifth anniversary and I am loving the beautiful post written by the Founder, Lindsay Avner. Lindsay is equal parts fearless leader and a true sweetheart with a dose of fabulousity sprinkled in for good measure.

With Lindsay in 2008

While reading her post, I was particularly inspired by her decision to not only undergo a double mastectomy (something which I already knew about), but also her decision to leave her marketing position at a global company. She states, “While I was enjoying my role in marketing at Unilever, I felt a compelling responsibility to fill the gap for a community of young women who so desperately longed for education and support.”

Well, my dear…You have done all of that and more.  Thank you for your advocacy, your leadership, and (of course) your fun events! I can’t wait to see what the next five fifty years bring to you!

At a health fair with BP gals

Supporting BP at BowlHer

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Do Good Chicago – School Supply Drive

Image: GoDoGoodChicago.com

I’ve been meaning to blog about GO DO GOOD all summer…I’m so ashamed of myself that it’s taken me this long to put something up on TFG. *hangs head*

Here’s a little background on GO DO GOOD…Artist Kay Rosen unveiled an installation in the Loop of the same name at the beginning of the summer and the Chicago Loop Alliance and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago subsequently launched the GO DO GOOD campaign to inspire individuals, organizations, businesses, residents and students in the Loop to connect art to action in what has been a summer-long, city-wide movement to prepare Chicago’s kids to succeed in school. So, as a way to do this, they asked Chicagoans to try to log 100,000 good deeds this summer via various activities and events.

Chicagoans were encouraged make a donation to United Way, share their good deeds on Facebook/Twitter, and/or choose one (or more) or 60+ “do good” activities listed on the site. Last month, several office buildings served as dropoff locations for a food drive and this month’s focus is on school supplies.

The United Way of Metropolitan Chicago is hoping to collect new supplies for 2,000 8th graders. If you are in the Loop area and want to contribute, you can drop-off supplies in the lobbies of the following office buildings:

  • 55 E. Jackson
  • 8 S. Michigan
  • 11 E. Adams
  • 16 N. Wabash
  • 17 N. State
  • 29 E. Madison
  • 177 N. State
  • 180 N. Wabash
  • 180 N. Michigan
  • 134 N. LaSalle
  • 223 W. Jackson

The supply drive goes until the end of the month (maybe later), so you (and I) still have plenty of time to contribute. I recently saved some art supplies, binders, and index cards from the throwaway pile at work so I think they will make good candidates to donate!

It’s moments like this that I wish I was starting undergraduate life again. What I wouldn’t give to be moving into a dorm right now and buying ECON 101 textbooks again. Sigh…Okay, I’m back! Anyways, to learn more about the supply drive and all the other awesome things happening around DO GOOD Chicago, visit GoDoGoodChicago.com.

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Dear Izzy…

…I love you. Specifically, I love your contributions on the field (DA BEARS!) and off the field. It’s no secret that Israel Idonije is one of my favorite Bears players. As a matter of fact, I totally plan on adopting a pug and naming her Izzy. I’m impressed with the charitable work that Izzy spearheads through his foundation. The Israel Idonije Foundation is committed to providing positive experiences to economically disadvantaged families. IIF executes programs in Chicago, Manitoba, Canada; and Africa.

Within the past few months, Izzy has been listed to Crain Chicago Business‘ “40 Under 40″ list, was named a finalist for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, and was recognized as a “Hometown Hero” by Bank of America. He even found himself (temporarily) memorialized on a billboard along the Kennedy Expressway (below). I just want to take the time out to salute my third favorite player* and thank him for all that he’s doing to give back to various communities. To learn more about IIF, check out the foundation’s website http://www.israelidonije.org.

Go Bears!

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*Robbie Gould and Brian Urlacher round out my Top 3 Bears players.

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