For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Friday Finds

Friday Finds 2.6.15

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

1. Inspired by the Joan Didion’s Celine ad, which hit the web this January, Fusion writer Elisa Rodríguez-Vila does some of her own model casting for other high fashion lines.The results are pretty fabulous and I really hope this sparks some diversity in the fashion world.

2. If you couldn’t tell by now, I love a good animal rescue story. I’ve featured dogs, cats, koalas, manatees and now… a flying squirrel. Let the cuteness ensue!

3. The American Edit is a website that celebrates brands that manufacture in the USA. And while we know it’s good to buy “made in America” products, it’s sometimes hard to articulate exactly why. That’s exactly what this article does.

4. Check out this article about the World Bicycle Relief organization, which brings wheels to those who need them most. As the article explains, “Mobility is as literal as it is metaphorical, and providing the means to move provides a tangible hope”.

5. We all cope in different ways. Check out this girl who created a bucket list for her dying dog in order to help cope with the parting of her companion. Yes, the story is sad, but it is also very inspiring.

Now here is a funny cat picture to cheer you back up. Happy Friday!

thin mints


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It’s Nice To Receive, But Nicer To Give

I remember one Christmas when I was really young, I had just finished watching The Grinch (the original) and began understanding the “real” meaning of Christmas. I then I began preaching to my poor younger sister about the importance of giving during the holiday season.

Over the year the message became more clear and giving gifts is easily my favorite part of Christmas. I love surprising people with something thoughtful. I even went as far as making an Excel spreadsheet for gifts this year.

And in the spirit of the holidays and of giving, I have realized how important it is to give back to those less fortunate. Any time is a good time to give back, but I find a special importance during the holidays. I love the idea of holiday miracles and that anything can happen.

Whether you donate time or money, try to add giving back to your list this year.

In case you’re not entirely sure where to start, I’ll help you out.

There are 3 different geographical areas I consider when I research charities and nonprofits, which are: local, national, and global causes. I’ve put together some examples of each one to hopefully give you some ideas and inspiration. Happy Holidays!

The Grinch

Local

Find a cause that directly effects your community.

Animal Shelters, Libraries, Homeless Shelters, Support Groups, After School Programs, Park/Beach Cleanup, Environmental Research, Hospice, Museums

You can also look into locally run non-profits. For example there is a non-profit called Safe Passage, which helps children in Guatemala, but is run in my tiny, little hometown in Maine.

National

These causes operate nationwide.

Make A Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. If you haven’t watched the Bat Kid video yet, you gotta check it out.

The Project Night Night gives homeless children care packages filled with a new security blanket, an age-appropriate book, and a stuffed animal.

No More is a public awareness and engagement campaign focused on ending domestic violence and sexual assault.

The American Cancer Society is the largest nongovernmental funder of cancer research in the United States. They are working every day to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

American Heart Association helps to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Donations help fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information.

Global

These causes make the whole world a better place.

Habitat For Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. You can donate or volunteer your time to help build a house.

The World Wildlife Fund is the world’s leading conservation organization. Their mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

Project HOPE delivers essential medicines and supplies, volunteers and medical training to prevent disease, promote wellness, respond to disaster and save lives around the globe.

GlobalGiving is a charity fundraising web site that gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money. This one for the Sunda pangolin (one of the most trafficked mammal in the world) really pulled at my heart strings.

Help stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa by donating to UNICEF.  UNICEF is airlifting essential supplies, distributing vital health information and caring for children and families.

Heifer International helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.  You can give an animal which can provide wool, milk, eggs and more. It’s almost like donating a small business to someone. You can check out their gift catalog here.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Do you have any causes that are close to your heart? Share them in the comments below!


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Fashion Foundation Gifts That Keep Giving

gift of education

A few months ago I did an interview with Amanda Munz about her wonderful non-profit, The Fashion Foundation. I think it’s about time for an update on some of the amazing things she’s been up to since then.

November 13th marked the one year launch of their website. After that The Fashion Foundation hosted their very first annual kick off fundraiser and I would say it was a pretty big success. They sold out! Over 130 people came and over $6,000 was raised for their next school partnership. They had raffle donations from some pretty cool peeps like Calvin Klein, Michael Stars, and Dream Hotel. They even had desserts donated from bakeries throughout New York. Sounds like a pretty great time to me!

Currently, The Fashion Foundation is working on their third school partnership, which is a middle school in Queens. Because of budget cuts, the art classes at the school struggle to supply students with the necessary materials. The Fashion Foundation is donating $750 worth of art supplies to allow the students a chance to freely express their creativity.

Once The Fashion Foundation reaches that goal, it just keeps going! They are in the process of finding two new schools to partner with. So far they have worked with one elementary school and two middle schools, but Amanda is hoping to extend all the way up to high schools.

The Fashion Foundation has also partnered with AmazonSmile, which will donate .5% of your Amazon purchases to The Fashion Foundation. It’s so simple! Just click here to get started. I know you’re going to buy one holiday item on Amazon this year!

Aside from making donations, there are two other fun ways you can help the cause. One way is buying gifts that give back. There are so many gift options available online and they’re all affordable options!

give that gives backBut if you’re like me and already finished your Christmas shopping because you are a gift giving nut case, then why not buy something for yourself? With holiday parties galore and New Years right around the corner (yikes!), you should treat yourself to a new outfit! If you’re looking for something fashionable, then you’ve come to the right place. Amanda put some awesome ideas together that might just get your creative juices flowing…

holiday looks

Michael Kors Red Dress $79.50 $24.00 / Starfish Necklace $32.99 $15.00 / Aldo Black Clutch $35.00 $9.00 / Elle Nude Heels $59.99$16.00 / Kenar Black Sparkle Top $42.00 $10.00 / Forever 21 Houndstooth Skirt $15.00

$5.00


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Friday Finds

 

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…
Friday Finds 2

1. Wolves were absent from Yellowstone National Park for 70 years until they were reintroduced in the 90s. Check out this video to see exactly how the wolves changed their surroundings. The results are astounding (in a good way)!

2. Check out the 2014 CNN Hero of the Year, Pen Farthing. He started a nonprofit that reunites soldiers with the dogs and cats they left behind during combat. I can’t even put into words how awesome I think that is.

3. Cold weather and candles go hand in hand, but your candles made of paraffin wax may be giving off toxic fumes. Ew. Instead check out these clean burning coconut wax candles.

4. Remember the post I did about Trend Tribe? Well they have some pretty cool stuff on their blog. This week Samantha did an interview with the founder of Sundara, which is a nonprofit that provides soap to urban slums in India, Haiti, and Ghana. 


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The Most Fashionable Of Foundations

Everyone comes to crossroads throughout their lives. Crossroads are inevitable. Whether it’s choosing what to have for dinner or what career you want to pursue. You can play it safe and order pizza or go wild and try a new, complicated recipe. You can choose a career in fashion or decide to start a nonprofit.

That is exactly the crossroads Amanda Munz ran into (the career one, not dinner). After spending years interning with various fashion designers, one day Amanda realized she needed to do more. She wanted to inspire people, help those in need, and make a difference. Combining her knowledge of fashion and her desire to make an impact, she created the Fashion Foundation and started her mission to help students in need.

The Fashion Foundation is an online store that sells donated new and gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories. The money that is raised through sales helps purchase various school supplies for students and schools that can’t afford them.

I had the opportunity to ask Amanda some questions about her nonprofit, how she got started, and what inspires her. Her story is inspiring and she gives great advice.

How did you come up with the idea for the Fashion Foundation? What inspired you?

I was interning at one of the top designers in the world, and one day I had to throw out boxes of shoes, right into the dumpster.  I thought “there has to be something we can do with all these shoes instead of throwing them out”.  Months before graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, I decided to turn down the job offers I received and start a nonprofit that could eliminate fashion waste and enhance education.

One problem with my new found idea… what if I can’t get designers to donate their samples they don’t want?  So I thought, everyone always has an item in their closet they don’t wear.  What if I can get individuals to clean out their closets and donate their unwanted clothing to us.  After months of brainstorming, the vision of The Fashion Foundation started to come together to have designers, individuals and people who don’t even care about fashion, come together and support education.

We had a ton of individuals clean out their closets for us, and now designers are starting to get involved.  We had jewelry designer, Jacqueline Rose, donate 11 pieces from one of her collections, which was really exciting for us.

Has education always been a cause you’ve been passionate about?

Yes, I personally loved school when I got older, not so much as a kid though.  I don’t think kids realize how important education is.

When we were partnering with our first school I asked their Assistant Principal “What do your students need?”. I was expecting them to say ipads, computers, or new technology systems.  She responded, “Art supplies”.  Their students didn’t have access to basic art supplies like glue, markers, paint, paper and more, because their budget was so tight.  It’s crazy to think that some students don’t have basic education necessities that some of us take for granted.

What has been the hardest part of starting your own nonprofit?

Spreading the word about The Fashion Foundation.  When people hear about us, they love the concept.  What’s better than shopping for a new outfit that actually provides school supplies to students?  It’s hard to reach a broad audience that isn’t connected to our friends, family, friends of friends, coworkers, etc.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give other aspiring nonprofit starters that you wish you knew when you started?

Honestly, don’t be afraid to google a question you don’t know the answer to.  Everyone does it, but no one admits it.  There were times I didn’t know the answer to a question, and I spent time researching on google. 99% of the time, you’ll find the answer you were looking for, and if you don’t, there’s always someone you can find that knows the answer.

And don’t underestimate the power of networking. Making strong connections with people is essential to growing.  People are always saying “You should talk to my … “, people really want to help connect you to others.

What has been your favorite moment since starting The Fashion Foundation?

At our first school partnership, we donated $1,500 worth of art supplies to PS 325 in Harlem, NY. We got to spend a day with their students to see all the artwork they created with our donation.  A few weeks later I went back to PS 325 for their Field Day, and a handful of students ran up to me and hugged me because they remembered me from my last visit.  In that moment, I knew I made the right decision to start The Fashion Foundation, because our donation brightened these student’s school days.

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On top of the interview, Amanda has put together some snazzy outfits using clothes that are currently available on the Fashion Foundation website.

Outfit 2

Armani Exchange Jeans ($118.00) $10.00 / H&M Sweater ($24.95) $10.00 / Aldo Black Suede Boots ($129.99) $8.00 / J*V Black Leather Bracelet ($75.00) $7.00

Outfit 1

Dolce & Gabbana Top ($975.00) $98.00Forever 21 Faux Leather Skirt ($15.00) $5.00Unknown Black Booties ($25.00) $6.00 / Jacqueline Rose Earrings ($18.00) $12.00 / Unknown Black Clutch ($20.00) $10.00

See anything you like? Get it quickly because there’s only one of each item and once it’s gone, its gone for good.