Giving Back: Heart of Haiti

I’ve added another item to my life list. #44. Do kind things for others.

In addition to self-improvement during my “year of 40″ I want to find ways, both small and large, to give back in meaningful ways. When I heard about this initiative through Clever Girls Collective - I just had to get involved. I think you will, too.

The devastating earthquake of January 2010 made it virtually impossible for Haitians to make a living. Raw materials were wiped out and there’s a lack of secure and sanitary conditions and little funding to support economic relief.

Through Heart of Haiti and in partnership with Fairwinds Trading and BrandAid Haiti, you can purchase handcrafted masterpieces by Haitian artisans at Macy’s. Purchasing one of these items directly benefits the artisans by allowing them to support their families with dignity and purpose.

Artisans receive 22 percent of the retail price for each item in the collection. This initiative offers the first sustainable income since the earthquake, enabling artisans to repair homes, pay school fees and feed and clothe their families. With steady income comes better nutrition, improved education and access to healthcare.

This initiative empowers people to use their God-given talents to support themselves and grow as a community. How incredibly powerful is that?!

That’s why I’m purchasing one of these watermelon bowls made by 29-year-old Haitian artist Blase Emilien. Many other artists have created beautiful pieces, from recycled oil drums to wrought iron and stone - there’s something for everyone. Make shopping meaningful and go to to see what’s available.

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.


Reach - Acupuncture

photo courtesy of SuperFantastic/flickr
I was at the park yesterday with a friend of mine, Stephanie, and while our kids played we talked about what was going on in our lives and where we are “at” right now. I mentioned, as I often do these days, the fact that I would like to make my “Year of 40″ significant…and that I choose the word “reach” to be a mantra of sorts.

One thing we talked about was health and the fact that we’ve both suffered from months and months of allergy related symptoms and that we both want to lose weight. Lose weight. Remember the comic strip Cathy? Well - I’m running around, ripping my hair out shouting eekkkkkkkkkkk as I say that in true Cathy form.

Stephanie is my free spirit sister and we share many of the same thoughts about parenting, politics, work, books, etc. She mentioned that when she lived in Austin, she had tried Acupuncture and it really worked well.


Acupuncture has been on my mind for years. I’ve always believed in treating our bodies as a “whole” - where everything works together and energy flows from one part to another. I’ve suffered from things like allergies, headaches, depression and anxiety…illnesses/symptoms that are hard to fix with conventional medicine. Plus - I see different doctors for each different problem. I think Acupuncture would be something great to try that may help everything.

One teeny, weeny problem (well - actually hundreds of in teeny, weeny problems). Mama don’t like needles. Yet - I’m going to REACH out on this one and make this year my year to try acupuncture. I’ve had clogged up sinuses and ears for 3 months now that I can’t seem to shake…maybe acupuncture can help. And I’m always working to keep depression and anxiety at bay. Perhaps this is the answer? All I know is - it can’t hurt. Well - it can…but is it worth it? I’ll let you know!