Monday, October 31, 2011

Be Rich Campaign

Small Deposits = BIG change

Credit: North Point Community Church,

Do you ever feel like the money you give is just a drop in the bucket? 

Does it sometimes seem like your contributions are insignificant with such GREAT need?

Each dollar, each dime, each hour can and does make a difference.  Let me show you how you can see the difference that you are making. 

Would $1 million seem like a good start to something big?  What about 8,000 hours of community service?  Would accomplishing this great feat in just 7 weeks seem BIG enough?  In Atlanta, and throughout the world thanks to their online community, North Point Ministries is reaching high when it comes to giving  to those in need.  Sunday, October 30, 2011 was the launch of their annual Be Rich Campaign. In his message on Sunday, Andy Stanley discussed how most of us are rich, even if we don’t think so.  Some factors he uses to identify whether you are rich are things like having a change jar at home, having money in your wallet, or keeping extra money in your car’s “ashtray”.  To listen to his compelling words about participating in this great campaign, click here.  No one can say it quite like him.

The specific causes that NPM have zeroed in on are: Sickness, Poverty, Hunger & Children at Risk.  They are partnering with several organizations to donate money for medical equipment, basic needs, and, well, LOVE.  As he says in the link above, all of the money and volunteer hours that are raised from this campaign will go directly to the charities.  North Point Ministries will not be taking admin fees or any other “cut”.  100% will be sent to their partner charities.  To read more about this campaign, please visit their website at  Whether you attend one of North Point's campuses or not, this is a great opportunity for you to be a part of something SO much BIGGER than yourself.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fair Trade Coffee

What's the Buzz about Coffee?

Why do you drink coffee? 

The Taste?  With it's bitter undertones, it is certainly an acquired taste.  It might not be your original reason for drinking coffee, but it might be why you keep coming back.
The Aroma?  The smell certainly brings back memories for me: breakfasts with my parents, coffee dates with my husband, or even hanging out with friends on the lake in the early morning.

The Connection?  I once posted a facebook status all about how crushing it was to grab my morning cup with the intention of savoring the last two sips only to discover that I had already finished.  It was one of my most commented on statuses.  We all like to connect or feel a part of something bigger than ourselves.  With 80% of the U.S. claiming to be coffee drinkers, it certainly can start to make you feel like you are in the cool club.
The Experience?  There is something so incredibly alluring about heading to Starbucks with a great book, your computer, or to meet with friends.

Caffeine?  In our go, go, go society, we are always looking for ways to accomplish more in less time.

No matter the reason for drinking it, there are ways your cup of joe can do great things for others, while attaining that high quality you deserve.  Take a look at two coffee organizations that will warm your heart with each coffee purchase.

Fair Trade USA:  This 501(c)3 nonprofit has designed a certification process for farmers (including coffee bean farmers) in developing nations to ensure that the product is healthy, the workers are safe, and the farmer’s compensation is fair.  

*Video Courtesy of Fair Trade USA

          Why Fair Trade?  The 1995-2005 global coffee crisis is a great example of the need for fair trade.  During this time, farmers in developing countries like, Latin America, South America and Asia were really struggling.  Their coffee beans weren't making enough money to sustain the production.  As a result, farmers were having to change occupations (which could have resulted in a coffee shortage) or start growing coffee in ways that were unhealthy both for the workers and consumers.  As you can imagine, a career change is extremely difficult for a rural farmer in a third world country.  According to USA Today, in order to try and salvage their income, many farmers were choosing to clear cut land, sometimes even rain forests, in order to produce more by means of direct sunlight.  If you're not that into conservation, then this might not sound like that big of a deal, but it affects more than that.  When coffee is grown in direct sunlight, more can be produced, but farmers need pesticides and chemicals to treat the crops.  Not only does this result in unhealthy conditions in the coffee, but can be extremely dangerous to the crop workers.  Fair trade prices insure a healthier growing process, as well as a higher quality of life for farmers, their families, and crop workers.  

Through Fair Trade,  many coffee farmers were able to survive that crisis.  Plus, Fair Trade continues to make a difference in the daily lives of the communities in these developing countries because not only do they allow for just compensation and teach farmers how to thrive in a free market, but special funds are set aside for social, economic & environmental projects.  To read more about how Fair Trade Coffee is impacting these communities, please see the 2010 Fair Trade Coffee Impact Report which you can download here courtesy of Fair Trade USA.

          How can you know that coffee is fair trade certified?  Just look on the bag to see if it has the Fair Trade logo, or ask the coffee shop clerk which coffees are Fair Trade certified.  They also have a new facebook and cell phone app that will tell you where you can buy Fair Trade in your area.  To find out more about Fair Trade and the Fair Trade Finder App, click here.

Photo Credit: Just Love Coffee Roasters

Just Love Coffee Roasters, LLC: This coffee company offers Fair Trade coffee, which can be purchased through their website, but that’s not where their philanthropy ends.  The experience of adopting two children from Kids Care Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by Rob Webb, the owner of Just Love Coffee Roasters,  resulted in a portion of their proceeds going to help build a school for older children at Kids Care.  Also, he has a vision to help others with their adoption costs by setting up a business model that allows couples to raise funds for their adoption costs by taking Just Love Coffee orders through their own websites and receiving $5 for every pound they sell.

Link to Just Love Coffee Roasters Store

Link to Just Love Coffee Roasters Fundraising Information

So take a "mug half FULL" approach and jolt into action by supporting farmers, families, developing communities or children looking for a forever home by drinking your morning brew!

Do you know of an organization offering Fair Trade coffee or coffee company that is giving back?  If so, give them a shout out in the comments below or email me the details at


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Shine Project

 Knowtable Person

Today is the beginning of a new segment for Knowtable.  In hopes of inspiring you to make a positive difference in the lives of others, I will be introducing you to people who are taking matters into their own hands and making creative investments into the lives of others.  I like to call them Knowtable People, meaning a person you should "know" because they are making "notable" efforts.

Today’s Knowtable person may be new to some of you, or you may know her already through her blog, The Shine Project.

Ashley Courtesy of The Shine Project Blog

Having worked with Inner City kids, Ashley realized that there was so much to be done and that a little contribution (whether money or time) could make a big difference in the lives of those who are hurting.  Thus, she started The Shine Project.  There are several aspects to the project: The Shine Scholarship Fund, Change 4 Change, The Shine Project Blog, Shine Necklaces and Shine Raffle.  Although they somewhat intertwine they each represent one thing: Shining in the world, so that you can make a difference.  Here is a quick list and description of each.

The Shine Scholarship Fund - Her goal is to raise money for scholarships for four inner city kids at Cesar Chavez High School in Phoenix, Arizona.  Soon she will even be hosting the Shine Event in Phoenix that will raise money for the scholarships.

Change 4 Change Courtesy of The Shine Project Blog

Change 4 Change - One of the avenues for raising money for The Shine Scholarship fund.  Get a jar from her to keep on your desk at work or your countertop at home so that you and those around you can contribute to the scholarships.

The Shine Project Blog - Where she often posts inspirational thoughts and ideas or updates on the Fund and Shine fundraisers.

Shine Necklaces - Necklaces she creates where a portion of the proceeds go to the scholarship fund.  I think this is also a great way for you & I to tell others how we want to SHINE when they ask us about our adorable necklace.

Shine Necklace Courtesy of The Shine Project

Raffle 4 Scholarships - Taking place October 13 - 20, 2011, this raffle has some great prizes and all the funds raised will go toward the scholarships.  Don’t worry if you miss this opportunity, I am sure this girl has more up her sleeve, so stay tuned to her blog.

Ashley has come up with several ways that she can raise funds for something she is passionate about that will make a positive difference in the world.  She is truly a Shining light, an Inspiration, and a Knowtable Person.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Taste of Atlanta 2011

Logo courtesy of Taste of Atlanta

Have you ever participated in a progressive supper?  You know...where you go from place to place eating a different aspect of the meal at each point.  The first place is dedicated to the appetizer, the second the salad, and so on.  Well, I know how you can achieve that same great experience times 80, because you can experience over 80 of Atlanta’s finest restaurants, all within walking distance. 

2010 Taste of Atlanta Attendees

 Taste of Atlanta, to be held on October 22-23, 2011, was voted “Top Festival Worth the Trip” by Oprah Magazine and “Best Outdoor Festival in the City” by Jezebel Magazine, and it’s not hard to see why.  This premiere festival brings restaurants of every description together to Tech Square in Midtown so that you can try a smorgasbord of delicious dishes.  Whether you are into fine dining, pubs, fast food or ethnic fare, Taste of Atlanta has something for you.  However, it doesn’t stop there!  It goes beyond by supporting local food related charities.  Keep reading to see how your day filled with food can actually be putting food into the hands of those who need it.

Alluvia 2010 Taste of Atlanta

Share our Strength® - This national organization works hard to make sure that no kid in America has to grow up hungry.  Share our Strength® weaves together a net of community groups, activists and food programs to catch children facing hunger and surround them with nutritious food where they live, learn and play.  Through their Cooking Matters™ program, they empower families with the skills, knowledge and confidence to prepare healthy and affordable meals.  As the main nonprofit partner of Taste of Atlanta, they will be receiving the proceeds from the Silent Auction to be held on the 5th Street Bridge.  So, make sure you stop by and buy a little something special.

Silent Auction - Taste of Atlanta 2010

Atlanta’s Table - a project of the Atlanta Community Food Bank collects prepared perishable food from the hospitality industry and delivers it to over 40 Metro Atlanta nonprofit, hunger-relief agencies daily.  They will have refrigerated trucks on site at Taste of Atlanta so that they can do just that!

2010 Taste of Atlanta - Tech Square Midtown Street View

American Culinary Federation - this nonprofit organization promotes the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.  This year, Taste of Atlanta has provided them with a free booth so that they can prepare a dish to sell for the American Culinary Scholarship Fund.    

5 Seasons 2010 Taste of Atlanta Booth

Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia ProStart® - ProStart ® teaches high school students culinary skills and business management training. HEFG bridges the gap between high schools and the hospitality industry by providing teacher resources, scholarship opportunities, hospitality education and industry partnerships.  Taste of Atlanta is proudly showcasing this valuable program at this year's event. The top two students and their professional chef mentors will perform cooking demonstrations on the Home Plate Main Stage.  So grab something delicious, have a seat & cheer on these amazing students who are achieving goals at such an early age!

Main Stage - Taste of Atlanta 2010

Les Dames d’Escoffier Atlanta Chapter - This worldwide society of women is dedicated to creating a culture in the community that fosters excellence and promotes the achievement of women in culinary professions through educational and charitable activities.  Their scholarship fund will receive the proceeds from the Live Auction to be held Sunday at Taste of Atlanta.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to support women through shopping!

HobNob - 2010 Taste of Atlanta


Can you smell the aroma of garlic?

Can you hear the bacon frying?

What about the smiling faces of those in need receiving a helping hand...can you see those?

Maybe not yet, but soon!!  Grab some friends, make a date for October 22 or 23 to go enjoy the amazing fall weather that makes Atlanta such a great place to live, and participate in Taste of Atlanta: a progressive meal that feeds the soul!

Mondavi Toast - Photo Courtesy of James Camp

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ulta - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Ulta Fights Cancer One Dollar at a Time!

Bare Minerals Veil Duo
 Ulta is doing their part to raise awareness and funding for Breast Cancer Survival.  For the month of October, they have different promotions that will fund organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation,  The Women's Cancer Research Fund & The National Breast Cancer Foundation.

All month long, you can SHOP PINK and purchase products that are giving back to Breast Cancer Fighting Organizations.

Then, on October 16, 2011, donate $10 or more to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and receive a free shampoo, cut & style.*
*Walk-In's Only.  Subject to stylist availability.

PhilosophyAmazing Grace
Plus, you can receive free gifts for making a donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  

The more you give, the more you get and the more lives are saved at Ulta.

For more information on the MANY things they have planned, visit the Ulta Website.