Gifts with Heart ❤️

2017 has seen more than its’ share of tragedy.  Mother Nature was angry this year – very, very, very angry. Our world experienced  multiple devastating earthquakes, hurricanes that tore apart whole islands and deadly fires that also ravaged homes and businesses.  Then there was the broken hearts caused by recent acts of violence and rage – Las Vegas, Barcelona, London, throughout Africa and the mid-east and of course, New York City.

Despite the tragedy and profound sense of losses, we can still hope and seek a silver lining this holiday season by giving from the heart to heal hearts.

I have compiled a list of organizations or companies that want to help the greater good by doing good.  Please consider their efforts when you are gifting others’ during the holidays or just “any day”.


One Hope Wines. Annually this company features worthwhile organizations that deserve our love. Whether to help fight against breast cancer or drive attention about Autism, this company always is about the giving through gifts.  Discover their lovely gift bags here that nourish the soul.

This year the grape crops of Northern California were nearly obliterated due to numerous fires of unprecedented magnitude.  One Hope has pledged to help the farmers and wineries and sent a note from their CEO with their vow for assistance.

Read about the ONE HOPE wine GoFund Me campaign


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The statistics are staggering as to how many animals are destroyed annually. That is a polite way to say killed.  That’s right – thousands upon thousands of dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. are euthanized because of bad luck.  They were throw-aways. BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL RESCUE works tirelessly to save animal lives and educate humans.

Adopt a pet either for “real” or  sponsor a pet virtually here.

Sponsoring a pet is the perfect gift to give someone who is allergic or unable to care for a furry family member due to living circumstances.  Last year I adopted a dog and horse to gift someone!



Sponsor a Classroom!

Organizations are abundant to help teachers get the essentials (and occasional perks) funded for their classroom.  Don’t believe that school districts in 2017 are flush with money to help our student’s learn. Many have shoes-string budgets and can hardly cover the basics, like textbooks or science equipment.  I would love to think that we don’t need a bake sale each time our students need uniforms or basic science equipment. But, that is the reality.

Here are some alternate ways to help without having to crack an egg for cookie-dough.

Click on the links below to learn more about each organization.

Donors Choose – Help a specific teacher / classroom request

Adopt a Classroom (including a special section for Hurricane Relief)

Go Fund Me Educational Campaigns



Last but not least,  one of my favorite charities is the SANDY HOOK PROMISE foundation.  They do AMAZING work – year ’round. Their goal – to stop senseless violence, especially from guns,  and increase tolerance and compassion in this world.

Their store has items that would make groovy gifts! Shop here

Watch their powerful array of videos here.





In closing, please the gift of sharing and caring this holiday season.  Imagine the impact your $5, $25 or more donation could have on your community and other communities’ around the world.

Thank you.







DOG ADOPTIONS – When is the right time?


Meet Kingston, a ten-month old (we think) Basenji (we think again) puppy.  This little fella was recently adopted by family members.  He is cute, cuddly and willful.  We  had the pleasure of babysitting Kingston this weekend (along with his bigger and older sister, Cali)  which reminded me about the challenges one faces when you adopt a puppy. ( It is funny how fast I forgot about “puppy-isms” since our own dog is a senior now! )

Yesterday, I  happened upon a dog adoption day at a local pet store. (Karma) I must admit I felt a bit conflicted when I saw families with kids still in strollers making adoption requests. Was this the right time to adopt a puppy? Was this fair to the child? The dog?

I did some online research to find out what would be  the best “practices” for having a new dog enter a home with a young child.  Some articles were positive, yet many were cautious. I found that little humans and little doggies don’t always mix.  Some experts gave suggestions about training, such as teaching the words “gentle” to both, in order to maximize safety and foster bonding.     Special techniques were offered on sites that had dog rescues with the words “supervision” and “socialization” stressed.  The use of a kennel to help contain the dog, if needed, was suggested, as well.

There is no doubting the positive impact a dog (or cat) can have on a family.  Yet, proceed with knowledge, caution, patience and love.

Here are some resources which are available to help find a dog that needs a forever home and how to make the experience rewarding, pleasurable and safe for everyone in the family.  (Dog and Cat Adoption and Foster Care  Resources  )