Cute Earrings For A Great Cause!

So my lovely blogging friend, Sarah Mae, from Like A Warm Cup Of Coffee is doing something fabulous to help a friend’s business and a charity at the same time. Watch the video above to find out all about it and then visit Sarah Mae’s blog post that explains it more. Oh and did I mention there are lots of goodies to win and MONEY up for grabs? (Follow the #10for400 hashtag on twitter for more information.) And as if that weren’t enough visit Our Daily Chocolate for more fun!

(Disclosure: I’m writing this blog post because I love the idea and I love the blogger behind the idea BUT I also want to add that by writing a post about what they are doing I will be entered into a contest to win some cute things. :) Even if I wasn’t trying to win something I still would have been writing this but like to be completely honest with you all.)

World Autism Awareness Day

The month of April is Autism Awareness Month and today, April 2nd, has been declared as World Autism Awareness Day. I will be wearing blue today as I join in on the Light It Up Blue Campaign.

What is autism? According to Wikipedia.org- “Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.”

What amazed me was reading how many children were affected by Autism. According to Autism Speaks- “one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.” Wow, and this site says that in the United States (where I live) the “current estimates” are that ” one out of 70 boys is diagnosed with autism“. That number seems so high to me and this website says that the number of children being diagnosed is growing each year!

So once I learned a little about what Autism was and how many of our children it’s affecting I wanted to know the warning signs of Autism. I found this list of “red flags” to look for. This site, and many other ones that I have looked at, suggest that if your baby shows a couple (or more) of these “signs” then you should take your child to the doctor for an evaluation.

I will do another post later this month about Autism and will hopefully have a special giveaway related to Autism then, too. As for now let’s all wear blue to raise awareness for this cause that is affecting more and more children every day.

Better Basket Blog Hop

I’m joining in on Hershey’s Better Basket Blog Hop to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. CMN is a non-profit whose mission, according to their website, is “to generate funds and awareness programs in partnership with and for the benefit of member hospitals/foundations and the children they are privileged to serve”. They “create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that saves and improves the lives of 17 million children each year”. For everyone that blogs about this blog hop, Hershey is donating $10 per blog post, up to $5,000!

Here are the “rules” of Hershey’s Better Basket Blog Hop:

  • Copy and paste these rules to your blog post
  • Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
  • Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
  • Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
  • Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
  • Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.

I would like to give Easter baskets to the following ladies who all inspire me to be a better woman, mom, and blogger:

Paula

SarahMae

Brooke

Kristi

Tamara

Michele

Earth Hour 2010

Just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow night the World will celebrate Earth Hour by “going dark” for one hour.

Here is the link to the US website with all the information: Earth Hour 2010.

Earth Hour Commercial:

Why Go Dark?:

Earth Hour 2009-Countries Around The World:

Are you celebrating Earth hour? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to know your reason for participating (or not participating). My family WILL be participating this year if we are home :)

Don’t Turn Away

Below is a guest post from Kristi Stephens about the upcoming series on her blog.

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I have an odd defense mechanism with things that make me uncomfortable – I go to sleep!

When on long car trips through the mountains with no exits in sight, or stuck in a traffic jam in a tunnel, and we start to run low on gas, I lean my seat back and sleep (when NP is driving, of course!) I figure that if we are going to run out of gas, it will happen whether I am awake and anxious or asleep and blissfully unaware – most likely we’ll be fine, so I might as well avoid the stress and sleep!

There are a lot of horrifying and evil things in this world that I would rather not think about. I find myself metaphorically sleeping in my seat to avoid anxiety.

Human trafficking is one of those issues I would rather not think about.

Chew on these stats – read them out loud if it will help them sink in.

  • 100,000 girls, ages 9-19, are trafficked in commercial sexual exploitation in the U.S.
  • 3,000 children are forced into commercial sexual exploitation at any given time, just in San Francisco.

  • 1.2 million children are trafficked internationally each year
  • As many as 4 million women and girls are bought and sold worldwide every year.

Horrifying.

I’m guessing most of us are like me – we’d rather close our eyes, stay blissfully unaware. We figure it’s going to happen whether we know about it or not, so we might as well ignore it.

It’s time to wake up, friends. There are things we can do.

The more I learn about human trafficking, the more it vividly illustrates for me my state as a former slave, redeemed from the bondage of sin. Christ paid the price with His own blood to redeem my life from the pit – the least I can do in return is to tell others about the freedom available through my Savior. And as a former slave, redeemed by a God who loves justice and mercy, I feel compelled to do all I can to secure freedom for the millions of physical slaves in this sin-marred world.

I humbly ask you to join me on this journey. For the next two weeks- the weeks before we commemorate the blood-price paid for our freedom – it is my honor to host Gillian Ferdwerda from Women at Risk, International here on KristiStephens.com. Gillian will be sharing amazing stories, horrifying statistics… and hope. Women at Risk, also known as WAR, is on the front lines – helping to find, rescue, love women and children who have been sold, abused, betrayed, forgotten. There are so many ways we can help.

So please be sure to read this amazing series. Visit Women at Risk, International’s website. Learn all you can about trafficking. Tell your friends. Post links on facebook, twitter, or your blog. Please help spread the word – wake us from our slumber.

If you are a blogger and would like to help, please grab this button for your blog – the more who hear, the better.

BWS tips button

Code: <a href=”http://www.krististephens.com/redeemed”><img src=”http://www.krististephens.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/WAR-page.jpg” alt=”BWS tips button” width=”150″ height=”125″></a>

Let’s proclaim freedom for the captives in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Help for Haiti- How You Can Help For Free!

Watching the video clips and viewing pictures of the earthquake’s aftermath in Haiti brings me to tears. Seeing the stunned faces. The battered bodies. The frightened children. The people sleeping in the streets…. I knew there must be some way that I could help them from where I was, with the resources I had available. When Crystal Paine a.k.a. Money Saving Mom asked other bloggers to come together and join her in giving to Haiti I immediately jumped at the opportunity to help. She has asked each blogger participating to choose which organization we would like to donate to and write a blog post inviting others to link up to us with how they plan to contribute. To do this I need your help.

Here’s what I would like you, my readers and friends, to do… Think about what you have done to help Haiti (or are currently doing). If you are a blogger please blog about how you are supporting the people of Haiti and add your link to Mister Linky. If you do not have a blog you can leave a comment below.

For every blog post that is linked up by midnight on January 21, 2010 I will be donating $1 to Feed My Starving Children. One dollar may not seem like a lot to us but this charity will stretch that dollar and provide six meals to hungry children. $62 will feed one child for a year and $170 will put food in one thousand mouths.

For every comment that is added by midnight on the 21st I will be donating half an hour of my time to volunteering at the organization helping package the meals. Financially I can’t do as much as I would like to so I want to offer up my time. Part of the reason I chose this organization is because it is within an hour of where I live and they use volunteers to package the meals. As of now they are booked through March with people wanting to help so I will be volunteering in the Spring- and into the summer if you guys overload me with comment love! I plan to have a ticker so you can see my progress and the hours served.

Most importantly please remember the people of Haiti in your prayers. This is the most powerful thing you can do!

Won’t you join me? Please link up or comment below.