Giving Gives Back

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie Rawlinson

Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow.~ Dame Elizabeth Taylor

Everything on our planet has a purpose. Our lives have a purpose.

I’ve discovered that natural givers are always happy, no matter what.

My husband and I lead a simple life. However, we’re both generous people which is the building block in our relationship. We both enjoy helping whenever and however we can.

Yesterday, I was a little tired due to just a few hours sleep yet something profound happened which gave me such energy and filled my heart with joy. Something which made me think how our lives should be about giving and reaching out to others. We donated an item to a kind soul. When this kind soul reciprocated our act of giving with the utmost kindness, my entire being was, once again, filled with the most powerful fuel: LOVE.
I noticed my husband’s joy as well.

“Giving becomes more important than getting because giving is in alignment with your purpose.” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

Givers are always the miracle workers. When we focus on giving as our life purpose, we seem to receive more. It’s all about unconditional giving, with no expectations in return. If you do this, you’ve aligned yourself with the universe. You’re a miracle worker and more will come your way. Believe it!

Giving gives back. It fuels the universe.

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie Rawlinson

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie Rawlinson

Kathy Ireland ~ Living Life with Purpose

Achievement doesn’t come from what we do, but from who we are. Our career is an extension of our personality.” ~Marianne Williamson, from A Course in Miracles

I met Kathy Ireland on Twitter in early 2009. I was taken by her kindness and down-to-earth attitude. Since then Kathy’s multi-billion dollar empire has been growing larger each year. Kathy is the CEO and Chief Designer of kathy ireland Worldwide®. Her enthusiasm is contagious. She empowers others and surrounds herself with talented people who share her passion.

Recently, Kathy Ireland appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine. Last year alone, kathy ireland Worldwide® grossed close to $2 billion dollars in retail sales. And it all started with a line of socks. A mom herself, the mission statement of kathy ireland Worldwide® is “…finding solutions for families, especially busy moms.”™

Photo Courtesy of Forbes

kathy ireland Worldwide® founded in 1993, offers designs in Home, Office, Weddings, Fashion, Fine Jewelry, Baby Products, Destination Properties and More. Kathy is also Chief Designer for Window World, America’s largest window replacement company. Fairchild Publications names her one of the 50 Most Influential People in Fashion. Kathy Ireland Skincare products are incredible and affordable. These effective skincare products are from the Dead Sea.

Recent TV appearances include co-hosting “Oscars 2010 Red Carpet.” Prior to the live broadcast, Kathy had recently returned from a humanitarian trip to Haiti. On February 29, 2012, she was guest co-host on ” The View.”

Kathy has also written six books and produced several fitness videos. UCLA acknowledges Kathy as one of the top 10 Women’s Health Advocates in America.

Kathy Ireland recently added bridal fashions to her product line empire with a mission statement “…finding solutions for people in love.”™

Kathy is a dedicated Philanthropist. Her philanthropic work supports several non-profits including the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation, Feed The Children, the Alliance for Christian Education and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Kathy reminds me everyday that one person can make an enormous difference.

One of my favorite quotes of Kathy Ireland is: “Don’t just work for the money; that will bring only limited satisfaction.”

Kathy Ireland is and will always be a special friend to me.
Thank you for leading by example, a life with purpose and inspiring us all, Kathy!

Follow Kathy Ireland on Twitter
Visit and for more information

A Hungry Child Can’t Wait: Ask 5 for 5

Guest Blogger: Sarah Lenssen from #Ask5for5
Family photos by Mike Fiechtner Photography

Thank you Shire and nearly 150 other bloggers from around the world for allowing me to share a story with you today, during Social Media Week.

A hungry child in East Africa can’t wait. Her hunger consumes her while we decide if we’ll respond and save her life. In Somalia, children are stumbling along for days, even weeks, on dangerous roads and with empty stomachs in search of food and water. Their crops failed for the third year in a row. All their animals died. They lost everything. Thousands are dying along the road before they find help in refugee camps. 

At my house, when my three children are hungry, they wait minutes for food, maybe an hour if dinner is approaching. Children affected by the food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia aren’t so lucky. Did you know that the worst drought in 60 years is ravaging whole countries right now, as you read this? Famine, a term not used lightly, has been declared in Somalia. This is the world’s first famine in 20 years.12.4 million people are in need of emergency assistance and over 29,000 children have died in the last three months alone. A child is dying every 5 minutes. It it estimated that 750,000 people could die before this famine is over. Take a moment and let that settle in.

The media plays a major role in disasters. They have the power to draw the attention of society to respond–or not. Unfortunately, this horrific disaster has become merely a footnote in most national media outlets. News of the U.S. national debt squabble and the latest celebrity’s baby bump dominate headlines. That is why I am thrilled that nearly 150 bloggers from all over the world are joining together today to use the power of social media to make their own headlines; to share the urgent need of the almost forgotten with their blog readers. Humans have the capacity to care deeply for those who are suffering, but in a situation like this when the numbers are too huge to grasp and the people so far away, we often feel like the little we can do will be a drop in the ocean, and don’t do anything at all.

When news of the famine first hit the news in late July, I selfishly avoided it. I didn’t want to read about it or hear about it because I knew I would feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. I wanted to protect myself. I knew I would need to do something if I knew what was really happening. You see, this food crisis is personal. I have a 4-year-old son and a 1 yr-old daughter who were adopted from Ethiopia and born in regions now affected by the drought. If my children still lived in their home villages, they would be two of the 12.4 million. My children: extremely hungry and malnourished? Gulp. I think any one of us would do anything we could for our hungry child. But would you do something for another mother’s hungry child?

My friend and World Vision staffer, Jon Warren, was recently in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya–the largest refugee camp in the world with over 400,000 people. He told me the story of Isnino Siyat, 22, a mother who walked for 10 days and nights with her husband, 1 yr-old-baby, Suleiman, and 4 yr.-old son Adan Hussein, fleeing the drought in Somalia. When she arrived at Dadaab, she built the family a shelter with borrowed materials while carrying her baby on her back. Even her dress is borrowed. As she sat in the shelter on her second night in camp she told Jon, “I left because of hunger. It is a very horrible drought which finished both our livestock and our farm.” The family lost their 5 cows and 10 goats one by one over 3 months, as grazing lands dried up. “We don’t have enough food now…our food is finished. I am really worried about the future of my children and myself if the situation continues.”

Will you help a child like Baby Suleiman? Ask5for5 is a dream built upon the belief that you will.

That something I knew I would need to do became a campaign called #Ask5for5 to raise awareness and funds for famine and drought victims. The concept is simple, give $5 and ask five of your friends to give $5, and then they each ask five of their friends to give $5 and so on–in nine generations of 5x5x5…we could raise $2.4 Million! In one month, over 750 people have donated over $25,000! I set up a fundraiser at See Your Impact and 100% of the funds will go to World Vision, an organization that has been fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa for decades and will continue long after this famine has ended. Donations can multiply up to 5 times in impact by government grants to
help provide emergency food, clean water, agricultural support,
healthcare, and other vital assistance to children and families suffering in the Horn.

I need you to help me save lives. It’s so so simple; here’s what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share #Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter!

I’m looking for another 100 bloggers to share this post on their blogs throughout Social Media Week. Email me at if you’re interested in participating this week.

A hungry child doesn’t wait. She doesn’t wait for us to finish the other things on our to-do list, or get to it next month when we might have a little more money to give. She doesn’t wait for us to decide if she’s important enough to deserve a response. She will only wait as long as her weakened little body will hold on…please respond now and help save her life. Ask 5 for 5.

Thank you on behalf of all of those who will be helped–you are saving lives and changing history.

p.s. Please don’t move on to the next website before you donate and email your friends right now. It only takes 5 minutes and just $5, and if you’re life is busy like mine, you probably won’t get back to it later. Let’s not be a generation that ignores hundreds of thousands of starving people, instead let’s leave a legacy of compassion. You have the opportunity to save a life today!

Moms Blog to Save Lives: Ask 5 for 5

Guest blogger: Sarah Lenssen from Ask5for5
photos courtesy of Cate Turton / Dept. for International Development

First, thanks to Shire @ShiCooks; for allowing me to post on her blog today! Today, 25 bloggers, including this one, are standing with me to Ask 5 for 5 for Africa. Here’s why….

I began pursuing a BIG dream two weeks ago. After deciding I could no longer avoid the news about the famine in the horn of Africa, I had that gut feeling that I couldn’t sit this one out. I HAD to do something because I could. Something bigger than I could do alone.

A malnourished child in an MSF treatment tent in Dolo Ado

Two of my children, Ashen and Bereket, were adopted and are from the region affected by the drought in Ethiopia. They would be two of the statistics if they still lived there. I see my son’s and daughter’s faces in the photos of those suffering in the refugee camps. It could have been him. It could have been her. The thought haunts me.

And moms just like us are watching their children go hungry day after day. I can’t imagine what it’s like, but I have to –I have to be there to help them, because it could have been my children. These families have lost their livestock, their crops, food prices are inflated at the market if there any food there, and don’t have any more lifelines to tap into. Many are traveling hundreds of miles through parched land in hope of finding help. Many are dying along the way. It is estimated that 29,000 children have died in the last 90 days in the famine in Somalia alone.

Malnourished children, weakened by hunger

But I KNOW we can do something about it. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed, we can rally ourselves and our friends to respond! I set up a fundraiser through See Your Impact. 100% of your gift will go to the relief and development organization World Vision, where it will be combined with government grants to multiply up to 5 times in impact!

You’ll receive updates on just how your funding is being used to help save lives affected by famine in East Africa. I’m amazed at how much we’ve raised already — over $7,000 in just four days! We blew through our first 3 goals in just 3 days and are well on our way to $10,000 and beyond!
I need you to help me save lives. It’s so so simple; here’s what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share Ask5for5 on Facebook to stay updated too!

I’m also looking for 100 bloggers to stand with Ask5for5 to spread the word during Social Media week, September 19th – 23rd. If you’re interested, email me,

Extra food for every child under five

Thanks! Please donate and email your friends right now–don’t wait for a calmer moment, because if you’re like me, other demands inevitably crop up and you won’t get to it. A child’s life hangs in the balance, but you can help save her!

Make Wishes Come True

Love and compassion is at the core of giving. Giving back enriches all. I know I feel energized, fulfilled and happy when I give. Giving is indeed a beautiful experience.

A child suffering with serious illness is one of the saddest things in the world. Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® has given hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

One of these children is Erik “Electron Boy”. He wished to be a superhero. On World Wish Day® 2010, Erik transformed into Electron Boy. More than 350 people helped the Make-A-Wish Foundation® make Erik’s wish come true on this special day. Watch this video to see Erik’s wish, one of the many wishes, that was granted last year:

World Wish Day® 2010 – Erik’s wish to be a superhero

World Wish Day® 2011, a global celebration of wish granting, is coming up on Friday, April 29, 2011.

Please visit Ways to Help: World Wish Day® and get involved in World Wish ® 2011. There is a variety of options for helping and giving.

Follow Make-A-Wish Foundation® on Twitter @MakeAWish and “like” on Facebook at

Everyone should get involved in supporting the World Wish Day campaign on April 29, 2011.

Spread the word!

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Every New-Born has a Purpose

Love Without Boundaries(LWB) provides the most compassionate and dedicated help to orphaned and impoverished children in China. This is accomplished through five different programs. One of these programs is healing homes.

There are times that babies with medical needs in the orphanage system need an extra dose of tender loving care. These children are among the most vulnerable due to being born with special needs that often cannot be met in an institutional setting. 

Healing homes are staffed with well-trained nannies who devote their time to the careful nurturing of these children. Through their medical work in China, they have realized that orphaned children born with cleft lip and palate often become failure to thrive babies due to their inability to feed properly. It’s heartbreaking as life in a crowded institution can be a true struggle to survive for a child born with cleft.

In 2008, LWB opened the Anhui Cleft Healing Home, welcoming the babies with cleft into a safe and warm environment. The careful feeding of the children is being provided by devoted nannies, and then the children receive surgery to correct their cleft lip at the first possible opportunity. LWB’s second healing home, Henan Cleft Healing Home opened in June 2009, providing nurturing care to cleft effected children of one of China’s poorest provinces.
Please watch LWB Cleft Healing Homes Video.

According to an ancient Chinese legend when a child is born, an invisible red thread connects the child’s soul to everyone who will play a part in that child’s life, present and future. Whether you believe in this ancient legend or not, through sponsorship or adoption you connect with a child born in a country with a history of 4000 years.

Every new-born has a purpose. Children at cleft healing homes are waiting to find their place in this world. One of the children who are currently waiting for sponsorship is baby Neil. This beautiful child is living at the Henan Cleft Healing Home, waiting for a kind soul to give him a chance. For a sponsorship of $50 a month, you can help Neil have a new beginning on life!

Love’s Journey

Love Without Boundaries is giving away a copy of Love’s Journey 2 (LJ2): The Red Thread to anyone who mentions LWB in a blog, on their Facebook page, or on another type of online social media.

LJ2 is a beautiful hard cover, coffee table style book filled with hundreds of photos and stories about China and international adoption. I know because I have got one. After reading this awesome book packed with great stories and photos, all I could think of is international adoption.

Please find all the details here:

Take advantage of this offer now and give a copy to your family members or friends. A perfect holiday gift!

LOVE'S JOURNEY 2 The Red Thread

LOVE'S JOURNEY 2 The Red Thread

We can create a miracle in our world.

We must encourage International Adoption. Because we know it’s our job to accomplish.

Helping children after trauma

By Jonathan Wilson

Children around the world who suffer emotional trauma need our help.

In many places, trauma is not just from personal tragedy but due to conflict, poverty, disaster or discrimination.
Most of these children simply do not have access to adequate care.

OperationSAFE is working on a solution…
•Child-friendly resources that help children recover.
•Easily reproduced volunteer-run program
•Large scale screening allows professional counselors to focus on the most serious cases.

We are encouraged by the results we have seen…
In fifteen camps after the Great Sichuan Earthquake in China,
•Children opened up about the trauma they experienced
•Families welcomed counselors into their homes to receive more help
•Local authorities enthusiastically invited teams back to hold follow-up camps.

For many of these children the OperationSAFE camp was “the most fun I have EVER had!”

But we need your help…
•Become a fan on FB and Twitter and spread the word
•Give so we can make this available to children worldwide!
•Volunteer to translate, edit, train, teach, go!

You can become a fan here on Facebook, or follow me @operationSAFE on Twitter.

You can give through

You can volunteer by contacting us on Facebook or Twitter.

Pete’s Arctic Adventure: 1st draft animation trailer

Children learn that they are not alone through a game where they have to rely on someone else to help them.

BCCF-A Voice For the Voiceless

“Only great souls know the grandeur there is in charity.”~Jacques BNigne

Philanthropy in Ancient Greek, means “to LOVE people.
Love opens our Heart to Kindness. When we truly Love the world rewards us. Love inspires Giving. It allows us to be selfless and reach out to help others in need. Some take it a step further like my dear friend, Mr. Lotay Yang, a brilliant and compassionate philanthropist, who founded The Black Card Circle® in 2005. Mr. Yang is the President of Black Card Circle®, a trusted and secure network for influential individuals worldwide, a network of “CIAs”: Connectors, Influencers and Alphas. launches on 9.9.09.

The Black Card Circle® Foundation (BCCF) is a 100% volunteer-supported public charity recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The Black Card Circle® Foundation(BCCF) allows the collective of conscious capitalists and influential individuals assembled by the Black Card Circle® to contribute substantially to the betterment of humanity globally, by raising awareness for and providing grants to non-profit organizations that serve one of the following 5 core areas:

1. Education
2. Environment
3. Health Care
4. Community Development
5. Poverty Relief

BCCF is supported primarily through the efforts and highly dedicated work of Black Card Circle® to make a difference and to empower the voiceless in society by promoting self-reliance and sustainability.

BCCF is a 100% volunteer organization. All net proceeds are donated directly to charity. The donations support BCCF’s grants, programs, fundraising activities, and beneficiary charities. BCCF’s executive team receives no compensation for their volunteer work. Donations to the Black Card Circle® Foundation (BCCF) are tax-deductible as permitted under law.

This Saturday, on August 15th, 2009 at 6:00 PM “A Spectacular Midsummer Night’s Cocktail Benefit” will be held at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, California. This benefit raises awareness and funds for BCCF’s two partner non-profits: Autism Speaks ( and Touch of Love ( These non-profits are changing our world. Participants will have the privilege to meet Autism Speaks’ Executive Director, Touch of Love’s Founder, and ONEHOPE Wine’s CEO at this Black Tie Charity Event. It’s noteworthy to mention ONEHOPE Wine is a for-profit enterprise that donates 50% of profits to partner charities. 50% of ONEHOPE Wine‘s Cabernet Sauvignon profits are donated to the fight against AUTISM. As official sponsors of BCCF’s Cocktail Benefit this Saturday, ONEHOPE Wine is providing wine for the evening, a bottle of wine for each Tiffany & Co. gift bag, a Silent Auction item.

Mr. Lotay Yang in his own words: “Philanthropy isn’t about you or me… Philanthropy is about them… For the Black Card Circle Foundation, philanthropy is serving as a voice for the voiceless. On Saturday, help us raise awareness for children and families affected by… Autism. On Saturday, help us raise awareness for micro-lending in impoverished villages in Egypt. On Saturday, help us *help others*.. There is no failure in philanthropy. If but one life is touched, then we have made a difference.

You, too, can make a difference. You can join the Black Card Circle® Foundation cause on Facebook and help BCCF help the voiceless worldwide.

For more information please email BCCF at:

Visit the Black Card Circle Foundation website at:

Watch the fascinating video from the charity dinner on 7/16/09 in Santa Monica, CA:

To learn more about how Black Card Circle® & the Black Card Circle® Foundation work together, please visit BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange for more information.

“To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.”~Oscar Wilde

ADOPTION-Every Child Has a Purpose

The Red Thread

“An invisible red thread connects those that are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break. Almost everyone who adopts a child from China hears the legend of the invisible red thread that connects them to their children. As parents travel to China and fall in love with their new son or daughter, they slowly begin to realize that there is not just one thread but many that guide them through the amazing journey of becoming a family. These threads connect them not only to their children, but also to the new friends they meet along the way, to the birth families and caregivers, to all the orphaned children who still remain, and of course to the beautiful country of China herself. All of these threads are woven together to create the most beautiful heirloom of all – an intricate tapestry of family, friendship, honor and love.”
From the Book: Love’s Journey 2, The Red Thread, LWB Foundation 2007,

Every child has a purpose. There are millions of children in the world that are waiting to be adopted. Our world today needs more conscientious thinking towards adoption. The children are born into poverty or to families who neglect them. They need a home and a family who will embrace them and love them as their own. The orphan or foster care children need to feel loved and wanted. They need to believe in their future. We should all work towards a common goal: help these kids to find a loving family. Each child deserves a home.

The nonprofit organization Love Without Boundaries specializing in medical care, education, foster care, and nutrition for orphaned children in China, is not an Adoption agency. However, they advocate for the adoptions and work with the adoption agencies. They make sure as many children as possible in Chinese orphanages are given the chance for adoption.

Families who adopted children from China describe their experience as an incredible journey. They don’t see a complex picture. They see a magnificent tapestry that reflects unconditional love and commitment.

Amy Eldridge and Karen Maunu are Executive Director and Associate Executive Director of “Love Without Boundaries” respectively. Both adopted children from China.

In Amy Eldridge’s own words:
“We are definitely all about adoption. I tell our volunteers that no humanitarian aid program in the world can do as much for an orphaned child as simply having them find a family to CHERISH them. A family changes everything for an orphan. That child then has someone to encourage them, to believe in them, and of course to love them. That child then has an unlimited future. So all of our program areas work to get as many children ready for adoption as possible, and we work with orphanages to advocate for these children to have that chance. The way the adoption program works is that an orphanage will prepare a child’s adoption file, and then they send that file to the national government office for adoption in Beijing. They then place the child’s file with adoption agencies, such as those in the US, and then families who wish to adopt from China can be matched with a child.

I know it can seem like an overwhelming task to adopt internationally, but if you take it just one step at a time, before you know it you can be home with a wonderful, beautiful baby or older child.

Adoption is such a blessing. If anyone is interested in more information, they can contact us at any time. I am blessed to have seven children, two from China, and I cannot imagine our lives without them!”

One of these many kids who are waiting for adoption, is Timothy. A brilliant boy who loves to explore!


Timothy, is from Henan Province. He has a grant for $3000.

Lillie is a ten year old little girl from Hunan Province. She is ready to be adopted!. She has been given a $3000 grant as well.


After reading “The Ten Best Things about Lillie” , you’ll see she is ready to meet her forever loving family.

Ruby and Brent have also received grants and are waiting for a family to adopt them.

The grants would be provided to the family who bring them home.

I can’t conclude this article without mentioning a special little girl Iris . It’s an amazing story. So many loving people, so many branches of LWB have worked together to change this beautiful child’s life. She will soon be in the U.S. to get the surgery she needs. I am hoping a loving family will adopt this little girl. I know the family will have a glorious journey with Iris.


“Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.” ~Henry Ward

For information, please visit Adoption and watch the Video on “Waiting Child Adoption”.

Adoption Assistance Grants

Frequently Asked Questions

Current recipients of grants

Past recipients & LWB Success stories