LifeStraw

Vestergaard Frandsen, a water purification company, has saved millions of lives by inventing the LifeStraw. The LifeStraw is a low-tech, low-hassle personal water filter that enables the user to simply stick one end into a water source of questionable cleanliness, such as a river, and suck to receive clean water. A LifeStraw is good for one year.

This invention saves millions of lives by delivering safe drinking water. “Half the world’s hospitalizations are due to water related diseases. More people have cell phones than access to clean drinking water. Investment in clean drinking water would result in 272 million more school attendance days a year! The value of deaths averted would amount to $3.6 billion a year!” Every 15 seconds a child dies from unsafe drinking water.

How You Can Help

I strongly encourage you to donate to LifeStraw. Just $5.00 allows one person to have clean water for a year, if you can, donate $25.00. This will allow for one child to have clean water for three years!

  • At the University of Nevada, Reno, four girls have dedicated their time to promote the distribution of LifeStraws in Africa. They’re goal is $500 (100 LifeStraws) and they aren’t quite there yet. If you would like to donate through them click here.
  • You can donate to the LifeStraw organization.

There are two types of water filters; the individual, lightweight, portable filter and the family filter that hangs from the ceiling to offer clean water to an entire family while at home.

Individual Filter

“Offers easy access to clean and safe drinking water away from home. Filters at least 1000FL of contaminated water. Removes a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne protozoan parasites. Reduces turbidity by filtering particles of approximately 0.2 microns. Contains no chemicals. Has a high flow rate. Requires no electrical power, batteries, or replacement parts.”

Family Filter

“Is a point-of-use water treatment system providing instant access to clean and safe drinking water. Filters up to 18,000L of water, enough to supply a family of five with microbiologically clean drinking water for three years, thus removing the need for repeat intervention. Ensures high flow rate and high volume of purified water. Complies with US Environmental Protection Agency (1987) Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Water Purifiers. Has an easy-to-clean pre-filter and purification cartridge. Requires no electrical power, batteries, or replacement parts.”

If you would like to buy your own LifeStraw for use while you are outdoors (camping, hiking, hunting, boating, etc.) and clean water is not available, click here.

LifeStraw is such a great invention it is receiving awards left and right. To see a complete list of awards LifeStraw has earned click here.
       *TIME magazine of the LifeStraw: Best Invention of 2005.
       *Forbes Magazine of the LifeStraw: One of the ten things that will change the way we live.

To learn more you can visit www.lifestraw.com or  http://www.thinkkindness.org/lifestraw  Please comment any thoughts. 🙂

Love Gone Wrong

Word continues to spread through my hometown (Elko, Nevada) about a husband killing his wife. The largest concern? He is still on the loose ten months later.  

Eduardo Estrada-Puentes and Stephanie Gonzalez Estrada were married prior to 2001 and had three children. Their entire marriage was filled with domestic abuse. By 2011, Stephanie gained the courage to leave her abusive husband after years of being scared. Eduardo was wrathful and on June 25, 2011, he went to Stephanie’s home and strangled her in front of her children. A day later, Stephanie’s body was found on one of her children’s bed, hidden under a pile of clothes. After Eduardo killed his wife, he dropped the children off at his mother’s house and fled the area.

Eduardo has been declared one of America’s Most Wanted fugitives because he has not been found yet. Here’s where you come in, please share this blog, video, and pictures with anyone you know. In order for Eduardo to be punished for killing a beautiful mother, the world needs to know who they are looking for. Eduardo is said to be in Mexico, Nevada, or Idaho. Eduardo has many SUR-13 gang related tattoos on his chest and arms. He is approximately 30 years old, has black hair, a goatee, and brown eyes. He is 5’8” and weighs 185 pounds.

If you have any information regarding this case, call the America’s Most Wanted hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

Here is a video about Stephanie and Eduardo made by Stephanie’s cousin, Lucy.

Please help bring Stephanie, her family, children, and friends justice.

Gun Safety Awareness

What would you do if you walked into a room and saw this laying on the bed?

Until a few months ago, I had no idea either. I had no idea what I would have done if someone handed me a firearm, if I saw a gun, or what to do in an uncomfortable situation. I recently got my first gun and now I know what to do with them. After reading this blog, you will know too. Shooting targets is an adrenaline rush, and so much fun, but guns are also very dangerous. It is important to understand how to handle firearms even if you don’t own one. You never know when a gun may fall into your hand, or when you are put into an uncomfortable position.

If someone ever hands you a gun the first thing you need to do is take the clip out. On most guns there is a button close to the clip that you can push in, then the clip will come out when you pull on the clip.
               Here is what a clip looks like being taken out of the gun.

The safety is on in this picture (the latch is up).

The next thing you need to do is make sure that there is not a bullet in the chamber. It is important to note that just because the clip is out of the gun, there still may be a bullet in the gun. To take the extra bullet out of the gun you need to pull back on the slide and tip the gun until the bullet falls out. The slide is the part of the gun that is able to slide back.

It is very, very important to keep your firearm on safety, especially if you are showing someone your gun or storing your gun around people (children) that do not know how to operate a gun. To do this there are four things you can do.

1)      There is a switch/latch by the slide. When you pull the slide back (like you would if you were taking the extra bullet out) you can push the latch up. This will lock the gun open, and unable to shoot.
 2)      If the gun is closed, you can also push the latch up. This will keep the gun locked, but has a better chance of shooting than if the gun was open.

3)      You can open the gun, empty the bullets, and put a lock on it.

4)      The last way to keep your gun in safety mode is to take it apart. A gun cannot shoot if the parts are not put together. Depending on your purpose for the gun (safety, play, show) you may or may not want to do this.

There are also four universal shooting guidelines:

1)      Treat every gun as if it were loaded.

2)      Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.

3)      Always be sure to know what is beyond what you are shooting.

4)      Never place your finger on the trigger unless you are ready to shoot.

One of the most important things to know when dealing with gun safety is drug, alcohol, and guns do not mix. Do not ever operate or show a gun under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Storage of guns is another important area of gun safety. You need to store your gun in an accessible, secure place. A bottom drawer when children are in the home is not safe. You may want to keep a gun on the top shelf in your closet if you do not have a safe. You want to keep your gun out of children’s reach. Deciding where to store your gun is up to you, but keep in mind that if you need the gun immediately it needs to be fairly accessible to you. Do not store it where it can accidently fire (under a pillow, in a messy drawer, etc.) or where it is accessible to children.

Gun safety is especially important when children are in the home or vehicle. I hear a new accidental shooting on the news all the time. There have been many accidents like when a little boy shot his sister, or when an 8 year old boy shot a classmate. These events would not happen if the gun was not accessible to the child.  

Now that you know about firearm safety, you can be safe all the time, get your CCW license! If you would like to carry your gun on your person (hip, in a purse, etc.) you need to get your Concealed Carry Weapon license (CCW). To obtain your CCW you must take a class and register with the county. The CCW class costs anywhere from $85 to $125 in Nevada. This class is about 8 hours long in which you take written tests, learn about legislation, and shoot your firearm.  Once you pass the  course you need to apply for your CCW license with the county. This normally costs around $125. Once you apply, they conduct an extensive background check to make sure you are able to carry a weapon. If a CCW license isn’t right for you, you can still keep your firearm concealed in your home or your vehicle because it is not on your person.

For additional information please visit http://www.washoesheriff.com/CCW-Permits.htm.

ACM Lifiting Lives

Lucky for me, this past weekend I went to the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM). Let me tell you, I had a blast! But, better than having the best five days of my life, I found something new to share with you. The ACMs gives back with the Academy of Country Music Lifting Lives Program. ACM Lifting Lives is dedicated to “improving lives through the power of music”.

ACM Lifting Lives has the help from many country music artists and the industry. Iit is a strong program that has helped many lives.  

ACM Lifting Lives gives back to many organizations that are music focused, and non-musical focused. ACM Lifting Lives helps in many different ways from partnering with Make-A-Wish Foundation to fighting child hunger.  

There are many times throughout the year that ACM Lifting Lives gives back, but three times a  year they have their annual giving opportunities. These three events are: the ACM Awards, Lifting Lives Grant Cycle, and ACM Entertainer of the Year Marching Gift.

The ACM Awards allows for a time for awareness (how you and I are finding out about the program). The ACM Awards focuses mostly on our troops and the Wounded Warrior Project.  Artists such as Toby Keith and Trace Adkins have also donated proceeds from their downloaded songs to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Lifting Lives Grant Cycle gives grants to “music education, and music therapy programs across the country”. 

The Entertainer of the Year Matching Gift was started by Carrie Underwood, a two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year recipient. She donated instruments to public schools. This will allow the school’s music programs to stay alive.

Music is important and allows children to have a way to escape. There are many ways you can donate or help by supporting different organizations and keeping music programs across the country alive. You can participate in the ACM Lifting Lives Auction, shop ACM Lifting Lives where you can find many items including candles, clothing, accessories, and posters, or donate.

There are many artists in country music who have their own causes they support. Click here to see a complete list.  

 To find out more you can visit the ACM Lifting Lives.

 

Circle of 6 App

Circle of 6 is an app for your phone that can help you that was requested to be made by people in government. The app was designed for college students to help each other be safe.

Circle of 6 allows you to connect with 6 friends in order to stay safe and prevent violence before it happens. This app also allows you to easily and quickly reach 6 of your friends through a text message that is pre-programmed into the app.

This app is great if you have a night out and need a ride home, need an interruption phone call to get out of an awkward/uncomfortable situation, need help from a hotline, or your friends.

Circle of 6 is easy and discrete to use because it has icons that are quick to push, so people can’t see what you are doing.

When you download the app the first thing you need to do is choose 6 (less if you want to) family members, or friends to add to your circle. These people can be changed at any time. You need to make sure these people are people you really trust to help you. It is important to choose people that live near you or can contact people that live near you quickly. This is because people in a different city can’t quickly come pick you up.

There are only a few icons you can choose from. You have to tap the “ask my circle to” button first. After you push the “ask my circle to” button, three icons will pop up. There is a car icon, this icon will send a SMS message to your circle of 6 saying, “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely.” It will also send a map to your circle of 6 of where you are by using GPS, so make sure to allow the app to use your current location. There is a phone icon, this icon will send a SMS message to your circle of 6 saying, “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption.” The last icon is a chat icon, this icon will send an SMS message to your circle of 6 saying, “I’m worried my relationship might be unhealthy. I’m trying to find out. Just letting you know. www.loveisrepect.org.” I suggest only sending a chat SMS to people you truly trust.  Love is Respect is a relationship website that allows you to take quizzes that will show you the health and well-being of your relationship.

*Keep in mind; you must accept the SMS message before it is sent to your circle of 6. You can also edit the message before it is sent.*

On the home screen there is also a danger icon. If you click the danger icon it will direct you to two different hotlines (you can add your own too). The first is a rape and sexual assault hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE/4673. The second is a relationship abuse hotline, 1-866-331-9474.

When you find a ride, or someone to help you get out of the current situation you are in, there is a “Checkmark” icon. When you click this icon a text message will be sent to your circle of 6 saying, “Thanks everyone. I’ve gotten help.”

The last icon you can choose is the “information” icon. If you click the information icon it will take you through the step-by-step functions of the app.

Circle of 6 Anti-Violence App for iPhone from Nancy Schwartzman on Vimeo.

Here is a video of the app.

Go download the app, stay close, stay safe, and prevent violence before it happens.

Nevada Women’s Expo

When was the last time you had fun at a health screening? This Saturday (March 31) and Sunday (April, 1) you can! At the Nevada Women’s Expo you can receive free health screenings from 10am-5pm. The health screenings are put on by Northern Nevada Medical Center.

 This year is the 10th annual celebration! Not only are there nearly 200 exhibitors to entertain you for hours, but you also have the chance to win money. Ten women will win $100 each and door prizes (worth over $5,000) will be given. Because this year is a Birthday Celebration, Tahoe Creamery, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Go Girl Energy Drinks, and RenosBest.net will be giving away samples to celebrate. There is even an ice cream tasting contest! Also at the expo, 10 presentations and demonstrations. You can meet celebrities in the field and the guest presenters.

Click here to see all the exhibitors that will be at the expo. There are so many cool ones, and one for everyone’s personal taste! You can find anything from jewelry, to makeup, to chocolate.  Here is a short list of the exhibitors that are related to my blog topics that will be at the expo: AARP Nevada, Abbott Labs Health Screenings, Adlington Eye Center, Avon (hosts breast cancer awareness walks), Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada (non-profit that sells COOKIES!!), HD Retina Eye Center, Healthy Beginnings Magazine, HMR Program for Weight Management, Hair Loss Solutions, Nevada Center for Reproductive Medicine, Screaming Through the Silence (memories, truths, and a hope towards understanding), Susan G. Komen (breast cancer foundation), and Veterans Business Outreach Center.

Here is their commercial advertisement.

Worried about a baby sitter? The expo offers free child care so you can have a few hours to have fun without the kids. The child care is put on by The Creative Art Center.

To see what time and day events are happening visit the schedule.  Admission is $7 per person, but you can get discounted tickets ($5 per person) by clicking here.

To learn more visit the Nevada Women’s Expo Website.

Have fun girls!!

Bully

I know I said I would write a blog about bullying later this week but something very exciting has just happened. Awareness works! Here’s proof.

Weinstein Company developed a documentary called Bully. This documentary followed the lives of five children throughout the school year who are reallybeing bullied day in and day out. The movie has mature language in the movie and can be as “disturbing” for some. Because of this mature language the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated the documentary film as “R”.

The Bully Documentary Cover

This instantly raised concern for one 17 year old, Katy Butler, who thought that everyone should be able to see the film to help end bullying. Butler (along with 486,000+ others) believes this movie can help save lives. Even though the movie does in fact possess mature language and disturbing scenes, it is nothing the bullies and/or the victims haven’t heard or seen before-it’s happening to them. The language is part of the story of being bullied. Because an “R” rated film cannot be seen by anyone under 17, Butler decided to start a petition to have the rating of the movie changed.

Butler’s petition online (can still be signed) through Change.org. Today the petition has 486,694 signatures out of the 5000,000 that she is striving for. Here is what you petition for when you sign the petition.

 Butler’s decision to petition the MPAA’s decision went viral and got celebrity attention. Ellen DeGeneres  had this to say about the movie:
“I can tell you that the lessons that the kids learn from this movie are more important than any words that they might hear — and they’re words that they know already anyway.” “You can’t show R rated movies in schools — and that’s exactly where the movie needs to be shown. So, I think it’s important for the movie to be rated PG-13.”

I have to agree. I think this movie will show victims of bullies that they are not alone. I believe it will help enforce more rules in schools about bullying, and hopefully cause fewer children to commit suicide because of being bullied.

       BUT THIS JUST IN!!!!!!
Bully will have no rating! The movie is released to the public on March 30th (this Friday). Movie theaters will have the decision to let people under 17 see the movie or not.

To learn more about bullying and different ways you can help visit Lady Gaga’s FoundationStand Together, American SPEC, or Flip The Script . You may also visit Lady Gaga’s help bullying page where you can donate, tell your story, and involve others.

Please help call your local theaters and make sure they allow anyone to see this movie. Help end bullying, and help save lives.