Make Someone’s Day with Happy Mail

Over holidays, I received a package from DaySpring that contained some gifts that I had ordered and a little note that said the average person receives something like 12 pieces of personal mail per year. I’d double check the number, but the note was pitched in the holiday chaos. It was a really low number. DaySpring included a free card with the encouragement to be the 13th (or whatever came next) for someone.

Being that this is the time of year that I reflect on my goals and plans for the new year, I decided this was a great fit for me. I’m wanting to be more intentional about reaching out this year (among other things) and who doesn’t like to get a piece of mail that is personal, just for them and NOT a bill or junk?

I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Make a point to mail out a card or letter every week or so to someone you love. Packages are great and if you can do that, go for it! They can be a bit expensive to mail though so if you are like me, they tend to be far and few between mailings. A letter, card, or a postcard costs you roughly 50 cents.

Make someone's day with happy mail! Send a letter today!

Who should I send happy mail to?

Don’t know who you should mail or give a letter to? Here’s a list to get you thinking:

  • Family. Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. They don’t even have to live far away, you can mail a letter next door!
  • Friends. You know those people you talk to on Facebook, through text, and other electronic means? Take a minute to write them a short personal note and drop it in the mail.
  • Co-Workers. Let them know how much you appreciate them.
  • Church Family. You see them on Sunday, let them know that you think about them through the week, too.
  • Kids. Your kids or someone else’s, it doesn’t matter. Kids LOVE getting mail.
  • Community Workers. Send notes of thanks to your police officers, firefighters, EMTs, pastors, and volunteers.
  • Military. You can find addresses through Any Soldier or send letters through Operation Gratitude.
  • Government Leaders. Yeah, those people making laws and generally on the receiving end of all kinds of nastiness? Be different. Be encouraging.

What do I say?

Don’t overthink this. If you aren’t comfortable writing your feelings out, find a card that says just what you want to say and add an “I love you” or “Though of you when I saw this” to the bottom.

Just remember that the point of this is to brighten someone’s day. If someone is going through a hard time, share an encouraging thought, prayer, or Bible verse. If someone recently celebrated something, celebrate with them and send them well wishes.

If you are writing a politician and you want to address something, be gracious. Be kind in your words. Be encouraging.

What do I send?

Currently in the United States, it costs 47 cents to mail a first class letter or card. It costs 34 cents to mail a postcard. Those are the cheapest options.

You don’t have to buy an expensive card, a letter requires a piece of paper, a pencil or pen, and your time. You can make cards with simple craft supplies (ahem, easy washi tape craft alert).

If you want to make it a little more special, choose a fun stamp from the USPS to dress up your envelope.

If you choose the postcard route, there are LOTS of options for you. You can pick up post cards in some restaurants, gift shops, and even on Amazon.

Will you join me in brightening someone’s day this year?

3 Ways You Can Support Shop Small

3 Ways You Can Support Shop Small (and Why)

Shop Small Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but you don’t have to wait for an official day to support small business owners. You can shop small all year long.

Why Shop Small?

Small businesses employ local people, they tend to be very involved in their communities, and they give towns a unique flavor. They are good for the local economy, too. Just think about it, have you ever traveled to see a town because of its Wal-Mart or Bed, Bath, and Beyond? Not likely, small businesses create a draw because they are different.

Your shopping small ensures that they can stay in business.

I am not saying big business is bad. Big business has its place. I simply would hate to see big business completely demolish small business.

Go Local

Take a look around next time you are in your town or city and see if you can find a “mom and pop” store. In our town, you can shop at an independent book store, art store, and a fabric store. Look for small cafes and non-chain restaurants for your lunches or date nights.

Smaller businesses can be priced a little higher than bigger business because they don’t have the buying power that brings volume discounts. You can offset this some by signing up for the newsletters, emails, or mailings so you will be aware of special promotions and possible coupons from the store.

Go International

This is the opposite of shopping local, but not the opposite of shopping small. When I say international, I don’t mean buying lots of “made in china” stuff. There are a growing number of organizations and ministries that are committed to making a difference in the world.

These organizations work with impoverished, marginalized people to provide them with training for various life skills and crafts. Then they sell those items, with the majority of the profits going directly to the artisan. Your purchases have a direct impact on the lives of some of the neediest people in the world.

Go Independent

You can shop online and support small business. The most popular site for this is Etsy, but don’t stop there. A lot of small businesses sell on their own websites now.

Another option is independent consultants for direct sales businesses. Yes, I know. A lot of people are skeptical of the multi-level marketing set up. I get that, but I also see tremendous potential for supporting entrepreneurs. There are a lot of direct sales businesses, ask on Facebook and I’m sure you will have no shortage of options. If you are looking for hair pretties, I am a Lilla Rose consultant. ūüėČ

Shopping small doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, be relegated to one day in November. You can support small businesses year round by being a little more intentional with your spending this year.

#IAmYourVoice

#IAMYOURVOICE - Learn how you can make a difference for people persecuted by ISIS.

Blogging is in many ways a privilege. It is a privilege to have people who read my words. It is a privilege that I live in a country where I can freely write. I count it a blessing to write posts that equip and encourage in the areas of homeschooling, homemaking, and faith.

Today, I would like to share with you (equip you with) a way that you can make a very real difference in the world.

The #IAmYourVoice Campaign

Let your mouth be open for those who have no voice, in the cause of those who are ready for death.

As Isis is taking over parts of Iraq and Syria, our Christian brothers and sisters are¬†fleeing their homes to survive. Taking only what their arms carry, often just their¬†children‚ÄĒthey are facing even more hardships on the road. The lives they knew¬†before have been destroyed.

ISIS is kidnapping women, killing husbands and horrifically beheading children. The Iraqi and Syrian Christians are so busy running, they have lost their voice to cry for help. Their day is survival.

Living to sundown without anyone dying is their daily goal.

They have been made voiceless. But now we will be their voice.

We will cry out for the children who fear they will be the next victim.

We will call out for the women who fear enslavement by this enemy.

We will speak for the men who cannot protect their wives and children.

I Am Their Voice.

We will let them know that we hear their silent screams. And we are praying and will send help. We will carry your testimonies here so people know what is happening to you.

We will not allow America, or the rest of the world, to ignore you. Alone, we are nothing, but through the blood of Jesus Christ, we are family and we will speak for you. I am your voice.

We need your support to love our persecuted brothers and sisters. Please visit Iamyourvoice.org to find out how you can help.

Let them know you will be their voice. Let them know they are not alone. You no longer have to feel powerless living a world away. Food for the Hungry is already on the ground, serving the
persecuted refugees fleeing the fighting right now. These refugees fleeing the fighting have left everything behind.

Your support will not only provide their physical needs but also will tell them they are not forgotten. You will be telling jthem we hear their cries and that you will speak for them. Together, we are their
voice.

Stand with the I Am Your Voice campaign and tell the persecuted¬†Christians of Iraqi and Syria ‚ÄúI am your voice.‚ÄĚ

Ministries Making a Difference Around the World

Ministries Making a Difference Around the World - Together we really can change the world.

Together we can change the world.

One of the reasons I love my church family is their heart for reaching out to help marginalized people. Our missions board organizes an annual International Fair Trade Expo each year. It was there that I learned about many ministries working to make the world a better place for marginalized people across the globe.

I’ve wanted to create an informational post for a long time to highlight ways that everyday people like you and me can have a global impact. The time has come for me to just do it. I started this list with those I knew about and then took to Facebook to ask my friends. They didn’t let me down.

I’d like to challenge you to read through this list and then turn to prayer to see where God may be leading you to help. Together we really can change the world.

Ministries Making a Difference Around the World

  • Compassion International – Sponsors financially support children from all over the world. Sponsorship is just a small portion of what Compassion does.
  • Samaritan’s Purse – Their most known program is Operation Christmas Child, but they also have ministries to aid in crisis situations, natural disasters, support military veterans, and more.
  • Children’s Hunger Fund – Literally feeding the hungry children around the world. Each $1 you donate provides 20 meals.
  • Restore Haiti – A ministry that provides medical, educational, and nutritional needs in Haiti. You can sponsor children through them as well.
  • Youth With a Mission – Connecting willing workers with projects all over the world.
  • American Leprosy Missions – Curing and caring for people with leprosy. They also recently worked in the Ebola outbreak.
  • Living Hope – Works with at-risk kids to provide emotional, physical, social, and educational needs.
  • Matthew 25 Ministries – Provides humanitarian aid and disaster relief around the world.
  • Word Made Flesh – Works in the poorest of communities, serving children who work in sewers or the streets; women forced into the sex industry; and children soldiers fighting in civil wars.
  • Amani Ya Juu – Means “higher peace” in Swahili. This ministry serves marginalized women in Africa, teaching them to sew and run a business. The fair trade products you can purchase through their website directly helps a woman who has nothing.
  • Wipe Every Tear – Rescues girls and women from the sex trade industry in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
  • RecycloCraftz – This ministry works with widowed, unemployed, and orphaned women to help them create a business to support them and their children in Zambia.
  • Education and More – Educating children and aiming to reduce poverty in Guatemala.
  • Sari Bari – Sari Bari works with women in India’s red-light district. These women have heartbreaking stories that start at very young ages. The ministry teaches them to sew and they make beautiful blankets out of recycled cotton saris.
  • World Gospel Outreach ¬†– Works with the poor in Honduras.
  • Samaritan’s Creations¬†– Beautiful jewelry and accessories created by Thai women whom the ministry has rescued from Bangkok’s red-light district.
  • Mission Lazarus – A ministry that works to provide educational, medical, agricultural, and spiritual help to those in Honduras and Haiti.
  • Medical Ambassadors International – Providing medical help worldwide.
  • Community Livestock Integrated Development Consultancy – Located in Uganda, CLIDE works in the area of community development.
  • Gospel for Asia – Focusing on the 10/40 window, you can sponsor a child or a missionary to help spread Christ’s love and provision.
  • United Methodist Committee on Relief – A wide range of services provided.
  • Insight Resources International, Inc. – Entrepreneurial guidance for people, businesses, and communities around the world.
  • New Missions – Another option for sponsoring a child’s needs in Haiti.

As you can see, you can support these ministries by donating funds or buying items created by the people (largely women) your money will help. Consider doing holiday or birthday shopping with one of these ministries online or finding a local fair trade store.

Blogging for Orphans {Make a Difference}

Blogging for Orphans Christmas in July for Door of Hope of Palawan. We are banding together to bring Christmas to orphans in the Philippines. Come see how you can help at vicki-arnold.com!

I am excited to be partnering with a great group of bloggers for Blogging for Orphans. We are banding together to bring Christmas to orphans in the Philippines and we need your help. Please read the rest of this post put together by my friend Dollie to see how you can help us! Please and thank you!

Blogging for Orphans | Door of Hope Palawan

Blogging for Orphans is a group of bloggers, who are uniting together online to make a difference in the lives of children… orphaned children.

Door of Hope Palawan is the orphanage for this campaign and we would love to introduce you to some of the sweet children who call this place home.

 

Blogging for Orphans has set out to accomplish 2 goals in this campaign for Door of Hope and we need your help to do it!

52 Filled Bags for Christmas in July

It is our goal to help in the Christmas in July program, where√ā¬†every July people fill 2-gallon plastic bags for each child in the care of Door of Hope. This year there are 52 children to bless (24 for boys and 28 for girls), at the Door of Hope Palawan. It is our goal to help fill these bags, so each child can have something to call their own on Christmas. √ā¬†The bags are shipped from the host church in upstate New York on a ship for the cheapest shipping, which takes 3 full months. Now is the time to make their Christmas special!

Two Ways You Can Help Meet This Need:

  • Fill Your Own Bag for An Orphan – Once you have registered for blessing a child’s Christmas, print Door of Hope Christmas in July Shopping List, shop and fill a 2-gallon plastic bag or use 2 – 1 gallon plastic bags for each orphan you registered for and ship it to New York. (Address will be provided once you have registered)
  • Let Us Fill Your Bag for You – If you have limited time and want to avoid shipping, while providing a Christmas bag to a child, you can donate $25 and the bag will be filled for you. You need to register to let us know the gender and age of the child you want to bless this upcoming Christmas. After you have registered for a child, please donate on the Door of Hope website for this need, which is below the registration form.

Please register and donate by July 15th and have all bags shipped to New York no later than the 18th of July.

Door of Hope Palawan Collage | Blogging for Orphans

52 Children Sponsored for a Year

It costs $300 a year to provide food and education to each of the children, who call Door of Hope home. Blogging for Orphans would love to help meet this need but we need your help!

How You Make a Difference For These Orphaned Children

  1. Raise $300 to Sponsor a Child for a Year – As a family, you can work together to raise $300 to sponsor a child for a full year, in your family’s name. √ā¬†We have created a promotional form that can be emailed or printed√ā¬†that will help you share with family, friends, church members and neighbors about this life-changing campaign for Door of Hope Palawan. √ā¬†Every donation helps and nothing is too small to make a difference! √ā¬†You may want to have a yard sale, bake sale, lemonade stand or talent show that can help you raise the money to sponsor a child for a year. With a donation of $100, a child’s expenses are covered for 4 months and $200 covers these expenses for 8 months, while the $300 covers their expenses for a full year!
  2. Sponsor a Child for $25 a Month – That is all it cost a month to feed and educate one child in the care of Door of Hope Palawan, which is less than $1 a day. √ā¬†Our goal for Blogging for Orphans is to see all 52 of the children, who call Door of Hope their home, to be sponsored by the end of this campaign. Won’t you make a difference in an orphaned child’s life and sponsor one now? √ā¬†To do so, please donate on the Door of Hope website with the $25 a month option.
  3. Donate $25 in Teachers of Good Things Name – Each of the bloggers involved with Blogging for Orphans would love to help by sponsoring a child’s expenses for a year. √ā¬†With 12 of my readers donating $25, the readers of Teachers of Good Things will have the joy of sponsoring an orphaned child.

Want to do more for Door of Hope Palawan? √ā¬†They have many needs and are sharing them with those who have a heart to help where they can.

Show Us How You Are Helping!

We would love to see photos of all the wonderful things that your family is doing to help the children of Door of Hope Palawan. If you are on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and would like to share your photos of packing your bags, raising money for sponsoring a child or anything that pertains to how you are uniting with us to meet these needs, please use and follow the hashtag #blogging4orphans on all of those social media networks!

To stay connected with Door of Hope Palawan, you can read their blog and follow them on Facebook.

On behalf of the bloggers that make up Blogging for Orphans, I would like to thank you for taking time to learn how you can ‘unite with us online and make a difference in the lives of orphaned children’ in Palawan, Philippines. We invite you to share our post on your social media networks to help us spread the word of the needs at Door of Hope.

Blogging for Orphans | Door of Hope Palawan Bloggers

Dollie of Teachers of Good Things
Cassondra of Beyond the Cover Blog
Lisa of Organize 365
Vicki of the Vicki Arnold Blog
Aurie of Our Good Family
Ticia of Adventures in Mommydom
Sarah of Chores and Chatter
Tabitha of Meet Penny
Trisha of Intoxicated on Life

How to Help Oklahoma City Tornado Victims

How to help the Oklahoma City tornado victims.

Not everyone will be ending May in their own home or with all the family members they had just a few weeks ago. Thousands have been affected by the tornado in Oklahoma City. We can help. This post is part of a group effort to drive help their way. Keep reading to see what I mean.

Inspired to Help

The devastation in the United State’s Midwest region breaks our hearts, and the Inspired Bloggers Network desires to use our influence and the power of our blogs to make a difference.

How Can We Help?

Volunteer

One of the charities we are choosing to feature, Samaritan’s Purse, is currently enlisting volunteers. So, if you are close to the areas affected, please visit the Samaritan’s Purse website to see how you can serve those in need.

√Ę‚ā¨ŇďOur prayers are with all of those who are suffering because of this massive storm. We are going to stand by them and do everything we can to help them recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.√Ę‚ā¨¬Ě – Samaritan√Ę‚ā¨‚ĄĘs Purse President Franklin Graham

Volunteers are already in action and more help is needed. Please consider donating your time to Samaritan’s Purse and if you are not available to serve physically, keep those who are working in your prayers.

Contribute

If you are Inspired to Help, please make a donation to either Samaritan’s Purse or the American Red Cross to support their relief efforts in Texas and Oklahoma and help us track our impact by marking the amount you donated in the form below. If you would like, you can let us know you joined our effort by commenting on one of our blogs listed below.

samaritans purse donation button american red cross donate button

Message and data rates may apply.

The following bloggers are all participating in the Inspired to Help campaign by posting a call to give on their blogs on Memorial Day… Monday, May 27th.

Please visit one or all of these blogs for their personal thoughts on the Inspired to Help campaign.

What is the Inspired Bloggers Network?

The Inspired Bloggers Network is a group of over 250 women bloggers of various niches, backgrounds, and experiences but all are united as they seek to support and encourage one another while growing their blogs in order to impact the world in a positive way.

How to join the InspiredBN

To join the Inspired Bloggers Network, you must be 1) female and 2) a blogger. Ask to join our Facebook group HERE.

For questions or media inquiries, please contact Tabitha.