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Showing posts from June, 2011

Day 168- The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse and Foot High Pie

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I have had a crush on Johnny Rzeznik for over 10 years.  We've been through a lot together.  It turns out that he is of Polish decent, so we have that in common.  He's cute in a bad boy in a band kind of way, and that definitely helps.  The biggest reason for my undying love, however, is that I am obsessed with the Goo Goo Dolls and their music.  I wrote about them last year after popping Dizzy Up the Girl in my cd player last year and singing along to every word of every song.

I did a little research on my longtime love to try to find a good organization for today.  I discovered that Johnny's dad had a problem with alcohol that really affected the Rzeznik family deeply, especially after his alcohol-related death.  Johnny's mother died just a few years later, and he was an orphan at a young age.  This just makes me want to hug him more.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse works to help people with all kinds of addictions and problems like the one Johnn…

Day 167- Pitch in for Baseball and First Pool Day

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What a difference a year makes!  Armando Galarraga technically (but not officially) pitched a perfect game for the Tigers last year.  He's currently playing for the Diamondbacks now and not even a Tiger anymore, but I'd still like to make a donation in honor of his (almost?) accomplishment last year.

Pitch in for Baseball is a charity that focuses on kids.  The program lists four crucial goals on its website:

• To support the growth of baseball in the U.S. and internationally.
• To give kids equipment so they can get out, have fun and stay healthy.
• To teach kids important lessons through baseball, like teamwork and sportsmanship.
• To make friends across the world through America's pastime.

These are all really excellent lessons for kids, and I think Galarraga would be proud.

http://www.pitchinforbaseball.org/html/index.html

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After our teacher breakfast and a short stint at school, I am officially DONE for this school year.  I think that means I am no longer a first…

Day 166- Humanities Washington and School's Out for Summer!

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Art of Dancing in the Rain by Garth Stein last year.  The book made me laugh and cry and think, and reading the blog from last year made me want to read it all over again.  I just might.

I looked up Stein's website, and it turns out that he is involved in some really great organizations.  By stalking his calendar of upcoming events, I found one that I'd like to donate to today.  Stein grew up in Seattle, moved away for a while, and now resides there again.  Many of the groups he works with are scattered around that area, including Humanities Washington.  Their mission is to honor "stories, ideas, and perspectives from across our state that connect Washingtonians from all backgrounds and communities, allowing us to understand our past and present as we work to shape our future." 

Through reading, writing, storytelling, conversation, presentations, and other avenues, Humanities Washington reaches out to all to create a deeper understand…

Day 165- Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust and "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!"

Speaking of Memorial Day... it was on this date last year.  Here's an excellent charity that helps out our veterans.

http://cst.dav.org/

Not only is this one of the highest ratings I've ever seen for a charity on charitynavigator.org, it is also on their list of "10 Consistently Excellent Charities".  The program helps veterans in a variety of ways:

•Helping to maintain a volunteer-operated transportation network providing rides to sick and disabled veterans needing transportation to and from VA medical centers for treatment;

•Providing food and shelter and connecting homeless and needy veterans to essential medical care, VA benefits counseling and job training;

•Meeting the special needs of veterans faced with specific disabilities such as blindness and amputation;

•Supporting significant therapeutic initiatives;

•Supporting physical and psychological rehabilitation projects aimed at some of America’s most profoundly disabled veterans; and

•Bringing hope to the forgotten a…

Day 164- Sheltering Arms Senior Services and Memorial Day BBQ

I was thankful last year for Carol, a woman who was not too proud to accept some help from me.  I Tetrised (a new word?) a patio set into her car for her at good ol' HD and helped build and lift stuff.  I got as much out of the deal as she did.  It made me feel good.

In honor of this, I found an organization that helps out senior citizens.  It's called Sheltering Arms Senior Services, and they seem to do wonderful work.  I really like their motto, which is "Preserving Dignity and Independence".  Their mission is:

Sheltering Arms Senior Services is a nonprofit organization committed to the health and well-being of older adults and their family caregivers. Our mission is to promote the dignity and independence of older adults through service, advocacy, and support for caregivers.

http://www.shelteringarms.org/

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When we left Seattle a few years ago, I was happy to be starting the next phase of our lives, to go back to school, and to start teaching.  I was also read…

Day 163- National Disaster Search Dog Foundation and Stand-up Guys

It's Puppy's choice time again!  I so enjoyed a walk with him on this day last year, which means he gets to choose another charity.  Believe me, he's totally excited.

General chose the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation for today's donation.  He likes dog things and helping people.  He figured this would be a good way to combine a few of his interests.  In all seriousness, though, this is a wonderful organization. 

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) was founded in 1996. Our mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. We offer the professionally trained canines and an ongoing training program at no cost to fire departments. And we ensure lifetime care for every dog in our program: once rescued, these dogs never need to be rescued again.

This is also a timely donation, as teams of these dogs a…

Day 162- TZONE and Stress-free Saturday

Believe it or not, I was thankful for Tyra Banks last year.  (Believe it!  It happened.)

Tyra actually does a lot of great stuff and does use her celebrity for good.  One of the wonderful projects Ms. Banks lends her time, money, and fame to is the TZONE Foundation.  She's talked about this a lot on America's Next Top Model and on her talk show, and I thought it was time for me to check it out.

http://www.tzonefoundation.org/

TZONE was born in 1999 when Tyra, passionate about inspiring girls to believe in themselves and take control of their lives, launched the TZONE camps. The camps provided a "Tyra style" leadership and empowerment program which gave teen girls a unique, week-long overnight camp experience held outside of LA, where Tyra personally lived among and bonded with the campers. TZONE's mission was to reinforce positive values and encourage girls to resist social pressures through a fierce, self-esteem building adventure.

Building self-esteem?  Sign me u…

Day 161- Yearbook and Husband to the Rescue

As a Comm. Arts teacher, I had job of handing out yearbooks to all of my students.  I had been telling the kids all year as they got little reminders to order that if any of them needed a little help, they should approach me privately, and we'd work something out.  Our yearbook is not your typical middle school book (or at least it's not the floppy kind I got in middle school).  It is a full color, hard cover, nice looking, yet expensive type deal. 

A kid looked all sad in my class today as the other kids got their yearbooks, laughed at all the pictures, and started signing.

By the end of the day, the student brought me his yearbook to sign.  He was beaming.  The thanks in his eyes warmed my heart.

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I DID IT!  I finally finished my grading for the year.  It is hard to believe that I will not have another paper to grade until August.  WOO HOO!  I'll miss my kids, but I won't miss the grading.

My husband really helped to make this moment possible today.  I decided…

Day 160- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Day of Celebrations

Last year= Domino's pizza fun and deliciousness
This year= A donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a Domino's favorite

"Find cures.  Saving children.

St. Jude is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. With research and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is where some of today's most gifted researchers are able to do science more quickly.

St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay."

http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f87d4c2a71fca210VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD

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I got to do a lot of things that made me very happy today. 

I started a tradition last year.  I created PowerPoints for my classes at the end of my student teaching to share a few …

Day 159- A BroaderWay Foundation and Shut Eye

Idina Menzel rocked my world a year ago, and she's still doing it today.  I'm happy to support a charity that Idina created with her equally wonderful husband, Taye Diggs.

http://www.abroaderway.org/

A BroaderWay Foundation was established in 2010 by Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs as a means of supporting young people in the arts. A BroaderWay sponsors camp programs, theater workshops, innovative educational programming and offers scholarships and opportunities to experience professional performances.

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After hours and hours of perfecting some slideshows for my classes tomorrow, I am happy to get a few hours of shut eye.  This sleep will help me to be warm, nurturing, and perky tomorrow as I attempt to share one last time with my students how special they are.  I really am excited.

Thank you, shut eye, you made my day.