Not only am I passionate about causes, but I also care about improving health outcomes. Every now and then, I will talk about a timely health issue. Learn and enjoy.
It’s that time of year, ladies and gents. You know, when your co-workers, family members, and Facebook friends ALL start talking about “the flu.” Even typing those words makes me shutter. I think that I’ve only had the flu maybe twice in my adult life and *knocks on wood* I’m hoping that it stays that way for the foreseeable future. But, you never know what germs are lurking around the corner. And, that is essentially the premise behind the CDC’s National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 2-8, 2012).
If you’re like me, you might be wondering why the CDC picked this week. Well, it turns out that once the holiday season arrives, Americans become so busy shopping for gifts that we forget to go and get vaccinated. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but it is true that that influenza vaccination activity drops quickly after the end of November. So, I was sort of right.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated as the most important step in protecting against the flu. I know that there are various beliefs about flu vaccinations, but I won’t get into those here because I’m not an expert. But, I do know that there are certain folks who have a higher risk for developing flu-related complications (i.e. people over age 65, those with chronic illnesses). And, those in that group should definitely consider vaccinations to help build up their systems.
If you have questions about the flu and approved vaccinations, head on over to the CDC’s website. And, once you have the information, please share with family and friends.
If you are currently battling the flu, you have my prayers and following words of advice.*
1. A hot toddy can be your friend (don’t mix whiskey with meds though).
2. Download “Homeland” on iTunes.
3. Go all out and splurge on the Kleenex with Aloe. It will make a huge difference.
What are your personal flu remedies? I’d love to have in my back pocket. You know, just in case…
*Obviously, you should go see your doctor. I assumed that was a given.
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.
Tonight, MTV will air “I’m Positive,” a documentary that follows the daily lives of three young people who are living with HIV. The hour long special airs at 7p ET/6p CT. Young people between the ages of 13 and 24 make up 24 percent of new HIV infections in the US.
Dance (Red) – Download this high-energy dance album produced by global DJ Tiesto. All proceeds from the sale of the album will be donated to the Global Fund.
Starbucks – For every handcrafted beverage, Starbucks will donate five cents to The Global Fund. (It’s easy to scoff at five cents until you think about how many drinks Starbucks moves on a daily basis.)
MAC Cosmetics – TODAY only, MAC will double the donation of your online Viva Glam purchase. View the collection here.
Identify community organizations in your area that provide HIV services and/or resources and get involved. That can be doing anything from passing out condoms, volunteering at a health fair, or even answering the phones at a clinic.
Today, I’ll be preparing lunch for women attending a support group at the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project before going to support my church’s Community Health Fair. Every action counts.
How will you honor World AIDS Day today and moving forward?
Last night, I had the time of my life at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s 11th Annual “World of Chocolate” event. I’d heard all types of rave reviews from people who practically overdosed on cocoa goodness and KNEW that I was going to be in trouble.
While I felt like a winner, I also felt like a loser. There was so much chocolate in the place that I tapped out… EARLY. I only visited like 35% of the stations and seriously reconsidered my life’s purpose. Why didn’t I try more items? I suppose that there’s always next year.
So, what did I try? The short list is below…
A bacon chocolate martini (YUM!)
Mashed potatoes drizzled with chocolate (An interesting combo that kind of worked.)
A date stuffed with Belgium dark chocolate and wrapped in bacon (I wasn’t ready for this one.)
Chocolate covered pretzels
Chocolate-covered grapes with Riesling (Omg. Delish.)
But, when I tell you that they had all types of chocolate there, I really mean it. There were stations with salads drizzled in chocolate vinaigrette, cocoa chile wild boar sliders, chocolate shrimp and grits, and WAY more. Ah. SUCH a magical place and all for a fantastic cause! Funds raised through World of Chocolate support AFC’s grant-making, policy and public education programs. I will definitely return next year and this time I will be ready. Ready for the fun and ready for some wild cocoa treats.
What’s the craziest chocolate dish that you have ever tried?
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.
Back in 2009, I made the bold leap into the world of Tumblr with my first page, GiveInStyle. Then, I decided that I was over that one, so I abandoned it for another more random page. Well, guess what? I’ve since returned to GiveInStyle. I can’t tell you what exactly brought me back, but it’s safe to bet that it had something to do with my recent fascination with captivating images and clean layouts. I was able to find a template that combined both so…
Looking for some baubles to add to your arm candy collection? The lovely Rae of RLT Collections is hosting a sale on her website and you can snag some of her custom bracelets for an amazing price. The pieces are going fast so head over to the site for your fix. Below are a few that I think would look FAB on your arm.
Black and White Ceramic, $25
Lava and Pewter Cross, $23.50
These beautiful bracelets help fund Rae’s tireless life work of educating others about the impact of HIV/AIDS. If you’ve never heard of her, then I suggest that you get familiar. Her unfiltered and real story is exactly what we need in this fight. You can learn more about this “Diva Living with AIDS” and her journey on her website.
Thanksgiving. A day to think about all of things that you are grateful for. For me, it’s a humbling honor and experience to sit back and think about all the things that I have been blessed to receive, enjoy, suffer through, learn, and know. Everyday is a day of thanksgiving, but I’m happy that today’s reflections come with turkey and sweet potatoes!
In my opinion, it’s hard not to love Southwest Airlines. Yes, they have great fares but they also have a phenomenal staff. Every single team member that I’ve ever met has been super friendly, personable, and sometimes downright hilarious. I’ve never questioned their commitment to their customers.
On Saturday evening, I found myself on their YouTube page. Don’t ask me how I got there, but I was happy about it because I discovered a video chronicling the airlines’ participation in the “Wings for Autism” program. To alleviate some of the stress involved in taking a family vacation with a child with autism, Wings for Autism gives participating families a chance to practice entering the airport, getting boarding passes, going through security and boarding a plane.
While I’m aware of some of the challenges when traveling with children, I never stopped to think about how flying would affect an autistic child. Kudos to the Charles River Autism Support Center for spearheading this effort. It seems like an amazing program that is greatly appreciated by both families and airline/airport personnel.
Unilever is undertaking a comprehensive initiative to cross off hunger, which among other accomplishments will help donate TWO MILLION MEALS through Feeding America.
Today, the company is co-hosting a Twitter party to raise awareness about hunger in America and to inspire all of us to take small actions that can add up to a big difference in the world. Conversations will be driven by facts about hunger and simple ways that we can all do our part to help out.
The Twitter party kicks off at Noon ET, and you can follow along using the hashtag #BetterTogether. Oh, did I mention that there will be gifts? Use the hashtag in your tweets to show participation and be eligible for prizes given out during the party. Party peeps will have the chance to win one of 15 gift baskets filled with Unilever food and personal care items AND Unilever will donate 500 meals on behalf of each winner to Feeding America.
Good times indeed. Now, in full disclosure, Unilever is a client of my agency. I usually keep the two gigs separate unless a Client is doing something that totally fits into the scheme of my blog. All of that to say, I posted this on my own free will and was not asked to do so by my colleagues, managers, etc.
With that out of the way, I hope to see you at noon! Not following me on Twitter? Let’s fix that.