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Tag Archives: Causes

  • Making (pink) waves

    Awareness is a powerful tool. A month of awareness has the potential to make waves, and this month is the 25th National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That's 25 years worth of bright pink waves.

    I've been sporting bright pink waves of my own but I was unprepared for the impact it would have. It's been a great conversation starter and an ever-present reminder of the reason it's there.

    I'm referring a couple of pink hair extensions from the Pink Hair For Hope campaign. The extensions are really fun, and work overtime to create that awareness. My sister Emily put mine in at Mode Salon, one of over 375 participating salons. You'll get a hair extension for each $10 donation.  Check out the pics to see how it works!

    Pick a color... or two!

    The tools of the trade.

    Me before getting my extension. 

    A plastic piece is used to protect the scalp and separate the hair that will be bonded.

    There's a piece on the end of the extension that is bonded to your hair with a heat tool.

    Once the extension is in the stylist will cut it and style it to match your hair. Here's my mom and my sister rocking their pink!

    Having pink hair was a great way to create awareness.  I've gotten a lot of comments and compliments about it, and it's sparked a few good conversations.  The fight against breast cancer is close to my heart;  my grandmother is one of over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.  The most important thing to do, I've learned, is to celebrate victories no matter how big or small they might be. Remembered your self exam this month? Celebrate. Got a mammogram with a friend? Celebrate.  Been cancer free for 14 months? Celebrate! (That's you, Memere!)

    I scored tickets to the Patriots game this weekend... there was pink everywhere!  And I was pretty impressed with the "Pink" House last week. Have you seen anything else noteworthy this month?  Or maybe you've done some awareness rallying yourself... share with us!

  • Be Bold, Be Bald!

    Today we would like to share a unique philanthropic organization with you. Small Army for a Cause has founded an event called Be Bold, Be Bald! — a fundraiser to honor cancer patients and raise money to fight the disease itself. Participants are sponsored to wear a bald cap showing support and solidarity with those battling cancer. Here is a photo from this year:


    Be Bold, Be Bald! (founded in Boston, Massachusetts) was launched in honor of Mike Connell, co-founder and former Creative Principal of Small Army for a Cause, who lost his battle with cancer in 2007.

    Witnessing Mike’s heroic, two year fight, the team saw first hand the courage and strength cancer patients have. He inspired them to continue that fight - and to do so in a way that would truly represent the boldness of Mike and his ideas.

    It really is easy to help. No shaving heads. No training. No time off from work. No interfering with weekend plans. Just wear a bald cap, and go about your day. Do it on your own - or, better yet, do it as a team with your work, school, organization or family members.

    Last year, they brought the boldness alive with the 1st Annual Be Bold, Be Bald! event. Participants ranged from sororities, fraternities and offices in the U.S. to individual supporters in Alaska and Puerto Rico. With their help and incredible enthusiasm, they raised nearly $100,000! I am thinking that with our help, they can surpass that number this year, what do you think?

    The registration fee to participate in the Be Bold, Be Bald! event on October 22 is just $15. Check here for the simple steps to help this deserving cause.

  • Breezy beach memories and a desire to help

    I grew up (as my children are now growing up) in sunny California. The most fond memories of my childhood include the smell of sea salt in the air and chasing sand crabs by the shore. The beach isn't just someplace we "go;" for my family, it has always served as a place you can "be." Be at peace, be in clarity, and be a part of something bigger -- the ocean's glory.

    As the images of the recent oil spill began to emerge, I felt sickened, like many who have seen them. Although I am removed from the direct physical encounters of the oil soaked shores here on the West coast, I am emotionally touched by the horrific photos being captured. These images brought back a memory of an experience I had as a teen during marine biology camp where we were challenged to remove oil from a ducks wing. That experience shook me. The only thing that worked was Dawn dish soap. I remember feeling sick then but this picture amplified that memory x 100.

    AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

    AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

    So although I may only be experiencing this catastrophic event through these oil soaked images, I cannot help but wonder if one day I could see these same oil-filled waves breaking on our CA shore.

    image via MSN.com

    image via MSN.com

    And if this is the footprint we are leaving behind

    oil filled beaches

    AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

    Sometimes it's easy to feel helpless ... I found myself wondering, what can I really do?  Then I found out that the Grommet team had also been asking this question and trying to find a way to contribute. In doing so, they've found a way to give back and to support the mission of preserving our oceans -- we can't wait to share it with you. You can find out more about this compelling Grommet on the Daily Grommet website on Friday, July 2, at 12pm EST. Trust me:  you won't want to miss it.

  • Calling for contractors, help needed in Haiti

    The Daily Grommet team has shared with you a sewing cooperative in Haiti, a  portable heathcare delivery system bound for Haiti and several other philanthropic Grommets that you all warmly embraced. That is why when we got an email about physical volunteers needed in Haiti- we knew we had to share the information with you. Read on to learn what help is needed and how you can assist.


    My name is Michele Boston and I am Executive Director of No Time For Poverty, a St. Paul, MN based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a program of comprehensive medical care to the southwest region of Haiti.  Specifically this summer we will be completing our 8370 sq. foot pediatric medical clinic for children ages one day to 16.  We expect it to be the first medical facility to open in Haiti since the earthquake. In accompaniment of our clinic is a comprehensive community outreach program addressing the preventative needs of children ages one day to five years.  No Time For Poverty has been working in Haiti for the past six years.  We have a well developed infrastructure and an excellent reputation. 

     We need volunteers in the following areas to come to Port Salut , Haiti , and work for 7 to 14 days on our children’s clinic. Volunteers are needed beginning June 27th and thereafter throughout the summer.

    Electrical wall rough-in - Last week in June or right after July 4th.

    One electrician and one assistant (or additional electrician) needed.
    This will involve installation of flexible plastic conduit and electrical boxes into the panel walls.  Plumbing will be with PEX and clamp-ring connections for supply piping and PVC for waste. All in ground plumbing is now complete. Once this is completed we will plaster the interior walls while the roof trusses are going up. (one week estimated).

    Then approximately the second week in July we will rough-in the ceiling electrical and pull wire. Two electricians and two or three assistants needed. (10-14 days estimated).

    Plumbing rough-in  - Second week of July.

    Two plumbers needed. Plumbing will be with PEX and clamp-ring connections for supply piping and PVC for waste. All in ground plumbing is now complete. Once this is completed we will plaster the interior walls. (one week estimated).

    Carpenters for roof framing crew - last week of June or right after July 4th.

    Two carpenters and 2-4 assistants (or carpenters) needed.
    This will involve building light weight metal trusses on site and setting of these trusses on the Clinic walls. The truss members are cut from c-studs and attached with prefabricated/pre-punched metal truss plates connected with tech screws. Trusses are then strapped to a metal top plate (attached to the walls with a threaded rod embed). This is a hip roof covering a 8,500 sq. ft. building. (14 days estimated). 

    Carpenters for window/door installation - Last week of June or right after July 4th.

    Two carpenters and 2 assistants needed. These are to be installed into the panel walls with metal embeds, cemented in, and metal door frames (interior only) to be filled with grout half way up. (7-10 days).
    Then approximately the third week in July we will install the roof insulation and metal roofing. Two carpenters and 2-4 assistants (or carpenters) needed.
    This will involve placing a reflective foil product over hat channel (already installed with the trusses) and then attaching 260 metal roofing  sheets to the hat channel with gasketed tech screws. The metal sheets are 33" X 16'-0". (14 days estimated)

    Carpenters for ceiling metal lath installation – Third week of July 

    Two carpenters and 2 assistants needed.
    This will involve installing high-rib metal lath to the under side of the trusses with tech screws. (7 days estimated).

    Plasterers for finish Portland plaster ceilings - Last week of July

    Four to six Plasterers.  Portland plaster to be placed over the high-rib metal lath by hauk and trowel method (9'-8" high ceilings).The mix would be 1-part Portland , (4) parts sand probably with an add-mix plasticizer. (7-10 days estimated).

    Painting of Interior Ceilings and walls - Second week of August.

    One Painter and two assistants. Ceilings will be sprayed with Dryfall. Walls will be sprayed and back-rolled with primer. (7-10 days).

    NOTE: Floor tile by Haitians will start second or third week in August.

    Painting of Exterior walls - Second week of August.

    One Painter and two assistants.

    Walls will be sprayed and back-rolled with elastomeric. Two color scheme, two coats. (one week estimated).

    Finish Electrical -Third or fourth week of August.

    Two electricians and two assistants needed. (one week estimated).

    Finish Plumbing - Third or fourth week of August.

    Two plumbers needed. (one week estimated).

    Final paint coat by NTFP volunteers - First week of September.

    (one week estimated).

    The cost of a 7 to 10 day trip is approximately $1,500.00. 

    If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please give us a call at 651-714-6359, or send an email to [email protected].  You can also learn more about No Time For Poverty by visiting our website at www.notimeforpoverty.org.

  • An international flash mob event: raising awareness

    We are happy to have Sarah Evans stop by the blog today to share details on the international flash mob event she has been organizing.

    What is a flash mob? It is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place (communicated via social networks), perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse.

    Sarah Evans:

    This Friday, June 4 is the first #somob4good, an international flash mob event to raise awareness for social service agencies. The mission of #somob4good to raise awareness for social service agencies around the world, many of which suffer from lack of funding and therefore cannot or are limited in providing much needed support in the communities they serve.

    So, let's give them an opportunity for awareness and a platform for support.

    For more details, to join a mob or create your own, join the Social Mob 4 Service fan page.

    Even if you can’t participate in person, share your stories about social service agencies and their impact in your life via CNN iReport.

    How else can you get involved?

    • Lead your community's leg of the flash mob. We'll give you everything you need to make it happen. Just ask to be invited to the Google group. (The details are still a bit "hush-hush," but are available here.)

    • "Like" the Facebook page. Even if you can't be at an event in person, you can join in virtually. Plus, all of the event locations will be listed here.

    • Share the news with your networks: 1) Suggest the Facebook page to your friends; 2) Tweet about #somob4good; 3) Forward this email to anyone who might be interested in helping out

    • Mark #somob4good on your calendar for June 4 and tweet and post using the hashtag.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Sarah. Look forward to seeing what #somob4good comes up with and excited about the great things you are doing. Keep us posted!

  • Guest Post From The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

    We spend every day here at Daily Grommet spotlighting the best and brightest entrepreneurs, but at this time of year we like to take the time to acknowledge another type of hero. These are people who are working just as hard, and even harder, to support others in need and help make mind-boggling breakthroughs in medicine and science. Today we'd like to introduce you to one of those individuals who we heard about through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Christen is a cancer survivor and volunteer with the organization, and seeing as it is her Miracle Baby's 1st birthday today, we thought it would be perfect to share the interview with her on the Daily Grommet blog today.

    Patient Story: Christen’s little miracle of hope


    Christen Reilert was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) when she was just 27-years-old. She took some time out to answer our questions on what it meant for her to be diagnosed with cancer as a young adult, as well as the fertility issues she faced.

    LLS: How did you find out that you had NHL?

    Christen: I found out I had NHL when I started having trouble taking deep breaths. Every time I took a deep breath it hurt which prompted me to go to my doctor. Twice I was misdiagnosed with walking pneumonia, given antibiotics and sent on my way. Two months later the symptoms returned and I ended up going to the hospital where they did a chest x-ray and found a large mass in my chest. That was the 4th of July in 2002 when I was diagnosed with NHL.

    LLS: That sounds frustrating. Can you describe how you handled the diagnosis, as well as how it affected your day to day life?

    Christen: The news was a total shock, being 27-years-old and a two-year newlywed with my husband, Josh. I was devastated. After the shock, I decided I was going to do whatever it took to survive. At the time, I didn't want to know anything about the cancer, I just wanted to fight it. Every day I went in for my chemo treatments I had a smile on my face and I knew at that moment, I was a survivor. I went through six chemo treatments over an 18-week period and 18 days of radiation. I lost all of my hair on my body, got severe thrush*, became extremely fatigued and was out of work for seven months. Since that dreadful day of diagnosis, I look at every day as a gift. Every day I wake up, I thank God for letting me enjoy another day of life. There is nothing in life that be that bad. In my life, there are no bad hair days, no feeling sorry for myself, just living everyday as it comes.

    LLS: Do you mind sharing if and how your diagnosis affected your plans to have children?

    Christen: Just two months prior to my diagnosis, we had just started trying to have a family. I had always dreamed of becoming a mother and when I was told I had cancer, my dreams were shattered and put on hold. There was no definite answer if I'd ever be able to have children. I sought out professional advice from an infertility specialist in Manhattan. Josh and I traveled there by car and she told me I could freeze embryos but I'd have to wait until my next cycle when I ovulated again. Unfortunately my tumor was so aggressive I couldn't postpone chemotherapy and I was not able to freeze any embryos to preserve my fertility. Needless to say, I cried all the way home.

    LLS: Was there anything you could try at that point?

    Christen: My chances of becoming a mother were slim. I took a chance and the doctor put me on a birth control pill to suppress my period for the duration of chemo (which was 18 weeks as well as 18 days of radiation) in hopes the chemo would bypass my reproductive system. The chemo I endured was very aggressive and harsh, and basically prayer and hope was all that was going to ensure any sort of fertility.

    I was very ecstatic when I found out I was pregnant in April of 2008. When I took that pregnancy test, I literally did a double take. All the prior tests were always negative and to get a positive result was just shocking. When the doctor confirmed my pregnancy with a blood test I didn't waste any time breaking the news to family and friends!

    LLS: Congratulations!

    Christen: Yes, on December 23rd, 2008, our miracle baby born. Our son, Jaden was born! My motto which I've been saying since I found out I was pregnant has been "CANCER SURVIVOR'S HAVE MIRACLES TOO". We are so blessed to have him. What more could a cancer survivor ask for?

    LLS: How is your health now?

    Christen: I am currently in remission and have been cancer free for the last seven years now.

    LLS: We hear that you’re actively involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

    Christen: After I completed radiation in early 2003, I ended up calling LLS to become involved in fundraising because felt like I owed the world a big fat thanks! For everyone who helped me beat this disease, I felt like I had to give something back. So in 2003 I started doing the Light The Night Walk and formed my own team, Christy's "Cure"ators. I have been the team captain for the last six years and an honored patient hero for the last five years. Everyone who walks with Light The Night Walk has been following my story. Last year at Citibank Park I was speaking (as I do every year) and was able to announce my pregnancy. I unveiled my seven month pregnant belly in front of hundreds of people with a zip of my jacket and the crowd roared for me. It was so exhilarating. This year, I get to introduce my son Jaden to everyone at Citibank Park, I can't wait.

    In addition to being a team captain and honored patient hero I also volunteer my time anywhere I can. I am also a First Connection Volunteer for those who are diagnosed with similar diagnosis and who are around my age - I am like a mentor to them.


    * ”Some people may develop a white, shiny coating or white patches on their tongue, inside of the cheeks or on the floor of the mouth. This symptom may indicate a yeast infection, also called ‘thrush’ or ‘oral candidiasis.’” From the free booklet, Understanding Drug Therapy and Managing Side Effects.

    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation is looking for feedback from cancer survivors who are between the ages of 18 and 39 for their "Stupid Cancer" Survey. This is an ongoing research study to help young adults affected by cancer.  If you're a survivor,  you can take the Stupid Cancer Survey here and help make a difference.

    An anonymous friend of LLS is offering to match all donations up to $100,000 made through Dec. 31, 2009 - click here for details and to donate. 

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

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