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Tag Archives: philanthropy

  • Book Review: Change the World, Change Your Life

    We talk about wanting to change the world a lot here at Daily Grommet -- we're doing it by giving everyday people a way to support the products, services and people that matter most to them.  Just recently, I read about a young woman, Angela Perkey, whose new book is something I'd like to support:  Change the World, Change Your Life: Discover Your Life Purpose Through Service.  Angela founded and volunteers as the Executive Director of a national, non-profit organization called Students Serve and we invited her to write a guest post for us today.

    Change the World, Change Your Life

    We'd also like to give one lucky reader a copy of the book. Leave a comment for Angela, tell us about an organization you support, or how you're making a difference. We'll randomly select one winner, and send you your own copy of Change the World, Change Your Life - it's a great gift, and a great read too.

    Simple Ways You Can Make a Difference, by Angela Perkey

    Giving to other people is one of the most effective ways to change and improve your own life.  Through volunteer service, you can use your talents and skills to help solve a local or global problem.  Nothing can compare to seeing the direct impact that your work has on filling urgent needs in your neighborhood or making a meaningful difference to someone else.  Changing the world can change our own lives as well.

    Although most of us lead busy lives, it’s possible to make a contribution in a way that doesn’t require a lot of time and can even reduce stress.  Here are a few simple ways that you can make a meaningful impact and also improve your own life:

    1. Start ClippingAngela Perkay, Change the World, Change Your Life

    Not everyone can afford to buy the food they need for their families, and there are ways you can help—even while strolling down the supermarket aisles.  If you cut out coupons, be sure to clip the offers that you don’t plan to use in addition to the coupons for products that regularly appear on your grocery list.  For example, if you have no need to buy baby formula or diapers, cut out those coupons anyway.  Then, when you’re in the grocery store and passing through the baby aisle, place the coupons that you don’t need on the shelves.  You never know who will be coming along behind you.  You might help a mother on WIC or food stamps save several dollars, which she can use to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables for her family.

    2. Give Someone a Job

    Unemployment is still soaring, and many people are out of work.  If you’re fortunate enough to be employed, look to see if your company is hiring.  If so, think about whether or not you know of anyone who would be a good fit for one of the open positions.  As a current employee, you can provide a reference for someone, and this can help them land a new job.  If they’re hired, an added benefit is that you may receive a referral bonus from your company.

    3. Clean Up

    If you haven’t worn an item in your closet over the past year, chances are you’ll never wear it again in your life.  Go ahead and get rid of that extra baggage.  Free yourself from clothes that don’t fit and don’t flatter your body!

    Volunteering enables you to form connections with other people and help solve the world problems we face.  By making efforts to give to others, even if it’s as simple as cutting coupons, you can make an impact and also improve your own life.

    Thanks so much, Angela!

    General contest rules: To enter, you must be a U. S. resident, and at least 18 years of age and you must leave a comment or question on today’s post. No purchase necessary. The winner will be randomly selected and will receive a win a copy of Change the World, Change Your Life: Discover Your Life Purpose Through Service. Employees, contractors, and the families of employees and contractors of Daily Grommet, Inc. are not eligible to enter. You are not eligible to win if you have received a prize or giveaway from Daily Grommet in the last six months. Void where prohibited. Contest will run from 10:00 am EST April 16th through 10:00 pm EST April 19, 2010.

  • Daily Grommet Spotlights Online Bakery, Baking For Good

    Baking for Good is a bake sale - on the web! Launched in September 2009, it is an online bakery that sells all-natural, made-to-order brownies, cookies, and snacks, including delicious vegan and gluten-free options. Even sweeter, 15% of every purchase goes to a cause the customer chooses, from national nonprofits to local community fundraisers. With nationwide shipping, the products are perfect for gift giving.

    Today, founder Emily Dubner from Baking For Good is sharing her coveted Triple Gingersnap recipe with Daily Grommet and our readers. Enjoy!



    Baking for Good: Triple Gingersnaps, by Emily Dubner 

    Gingersnaps are perhaps most often thought of at the holidays, but we love them all year round. Using three types of ginger adds complexity and brightness to these cookies, which are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. In our bakery we use butter in place of the shortening, but when baking them at home we find the shortening helps them keep their form every time.

    If you prefer a more subtle ginger flavor, you can pull back on the spices. The crystallized ginger is optional, but we highly recommend it.


    3/4 c vegetable shortening

    1 c light brown sugar

    1/4c molasses

    1 large egg

    2 1/4c unbleached flour

    2 tsp baking soda

    pinch kosher salt

    2 Tbl ground ginger

    2Tbl cinnamon

    1/2 tsp cloves

    2Tbl candied ginger, finely chopped (optional)

    1 Tbl fresh ginger, finely chopped

    Granulated sugar, for rolling the balls of dough in before baking


    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

    Place the shortening, brown sugar, molasses, and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary to incorporate all ingredients.

    In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in increments and mix until combined, again scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary to incorporate all ingredients. Sprinkle the candied ginger (if using) and the fresh ginger over the dough and mix briefly on low to incorporate.

    Pick up small spoonfuls of the dough and roll very gently in your hands to form rough balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. Roll each ball in the granulated sugar, then place on the parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each ball of dough.

    Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are puffy and golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely (Emily writes: "The cookies stay softer if removed to the wire rack right away" - we tested and agree!).

    Makes about 48 cookies.


    Thanks for sharing your recipes and these great photos with us, Emily! You can visit the Baking for Good online bakery at http://bakingforgood.com or call 888-684-4644.

  • Grommet Spotlight: Containers to Clinics - Helping in Haiti

    Today's Grommet - hand-embroidered nightgowns made by the Haiti Project - got us thinking about a Grommet we featured over the holidays, Containers to Clinics. You might recall that founder, Elizabeth Sheehan, visited us to tell us how about her creative solution for converting shipping containers into healthcare clinics to serve people around the world.

    And then, the earthquake hit Haiti.

    Containers to Clinics was one of many organizations to offer help. We'd like to share a letter we just received from Elizabeth about her organization's plans to visit Port-au-Prince next week and bring one of their clinics to the country in the next few months:

    Hello Daily Grommet Community,

    Greetings in the New Year from Containers to Clinics (C2C). I wanted to update you on our C2C model and our work to bring sustainable healthcare services to women and children in underserved communities in the developing world.

    At the end of 2009, C2C was pursing the opportunity to deploy the prototype container clinic to a community in the Dominican Republic. We conducted a feasibility assessment outside of Baní, DR, in September 2009 and began working with the Ministry of Health (both national and provincial) in an effort to support their health sector reform implementation and the extension of health posts to rural areas. Despite efforts to advance our options to pilot the C2C clinic model in the Dominican Republic, the MoH was not able to commit to a reliable and comprehensive supply chain for pharmaceuticals.

    As our discussion entered into the New Year, the devastating earthquake struck Haiti and C2C was approached with a number of opportunities to deploy the prototype unit to Port-au-Prince. As always, our commitment to sustainable health systems informed our choices. Piloting the clinic in Port-au-Prince presents a different set of challenges, but also an opportunity to make an important contribution to the post-earthquake health crisis.

    Our focus is and has always been on maternal and child health and primary and preventive care. Together with Americares, C2C will launch the pilot clinic in Haiti in May 2010.

    While the Haitian Ministry of Health has experienced significant setbacks in the weeks and months after the earthquake, there are aid and relief organizations working to increase the MoH’s capacity and autonomy. C2C is collaborating closely the Health Cluster in Port-au-Prince to ensure that our efforts are responsive, collaborative, and aligned with the MoH’s reconstruction plans.

    Americares will provide essential support to C2C’s pilot deployment. Americares will supply all pharmaceuticals and health commodities to the clinic for a period of three (3) years. We recognize that a fee-for-service model is not feasible in Haiti under the present circumstances, but this pilot program will allow C2C to refine our operational model, to learn about ways to improve the facility for future fabrications and – with a robust M&E protocol – we will seek the inputs and learnings that will enable us to fabricate and deploy additional clinics in the second half of 2010 and in 2011.

    C2C designed the prototype clinic with the support of a broad stakeholder group, including leading public health practitioners, medical doctors, and international development specialists. The prototype clinic consists of two 8’x20’ shipping containers which have been retrofitted to allow for two patient consultation rooms, a pharmacy, and a laboratory. The mechanical and electrical systems have been designed for maximum versatility, so that this pilot (and future clinics) can be constructed to “plug in” to a variety of water and power scenarios. 

     C2C would be grateful for any support that can be given to our clinic production roll-out in Haiti.

     At C2C, we believe that the high quality health care in both rural and resource-challenged areas is possible and that the lack of adequate delivery systems deprives people of access to healthcare – both treatment and education.

    The health situation in Haiti is both grave and urgent and we are confident that the container clinic model is well-suited to disaster relief environments, because we offer a facility that can move with changing migration patterns and demographics. C2C is creating job opportunities for Haitians – we are not importing western medical or management personnel

    We will be in Port-au-Prince from March 14th through March 19th to assess the optimal site for the clinic.  I appreciate any financial assistance you're able to offer.


    Elizabeth Sheehan

     You can follow the progress of Containers2Clinics on their trip down to Haiti right on their blog: http://www.containers2clinics.org/

  • This video made us all cry

    amber_rwandan-1It was a big day. Amber Chand was in the office. Long before we had even launched Daily Grommet, Joanne had told me she thought we should feature Amber's work at the Grommet.  Fast forward--Joanne made the connection and Amber was in!

    On the big day, Ugandan refugee, and social entrepreneur, Amber Chand came to shoot her video. I was out for a bit, and when I returned, the video was in progress. Joanne was behind Jesse, the camera man extraordinaire, and she was totally rapt. She didn't even notice my entry in the room.

    I don't normally watch videos being shot--it can make people nervous. But I stopped in my tracks, realizing I was suddenly party to something special. At the top of the video, Nataly shared her own refugee story, and then Amber's lilting and beautiful voice spun stories and images that made the lives of the women in war-torn and distressed areas of the world come to life, through their own enterprise.

    The video shoot ended. We all spontaneously clapped. (We never do that.) I walked around the corner, in tears, and found Deb (who could only hear the video in progress, not even see it) with her own tears.

    Wow. What a special woman, Amber Chand. It's was a long video for us (5 min), and I asked that nothing be edited. It was that good.

  • In honor of International Women's Day

    When I was growing up in the former Soviet Union, March 8th, International Women's Day, was a really big deal. In school, boys made postcards for girls and many brought in flowers or other special goodies (prodded by their parents, of course). We made gifts and special cards for our teachers, sisters, mothers and grandmothers. And wherever you went, you would say "Happy March 8th!" to any women you met.

    I have to confess that I really miss this holiday since we've been living in the United States. A friend, who is a fellow immigrant, suggested that Valentine's Day can take it's place, but I disagree -- they celebrate two very different things. What I love about International Women's Day is that it focuses on and honors the amazing strength and power of women. And I know more than one woman who is juggling a million responsibilities -- including work, kids, family, household chores, etc. -- and who wouldn't mind one bit if she were celebrated one more day of the year. (Yes, this is a very unabashed hint to my husband, I'm shameless.)

    So here at Daily Grommet we wanted to celebrate International Women's Day by featuring some amazing women from around the world and the unique Grommets they've made and inspired, including:

    Aprons by Nondyebo Art -- bright, colorful aprons hand-made by a designer in South Africa, who has used the proceeds from making her to beautiful textiles support her family.

    Indika Tree of Life Applique, which is hand-stitched by three women in India over a period of three days. These women have formed a cooperative to create their art and have improved the lives of their families with hard work.

    Embroidery from Haiti

    Haiti Projects -- Hand- Embroiderd Nightgowns,  a  womens' sewing cooperative is a program of  Haiti Projects, Inc, an organization that supports the economic livelihood of the people of Fonds des Blancs, Haiti. They hand-embroider sleeveless, white cotton, hand-embroidered nightgowns.

    We hope you'll take a moment to check out these special Grommets and of course, we wish you a happy March 8th!

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