The Salvation Army

Last week I donated four bags of miscellaneous items to the Salvation Army. It was so nice knowing that my donated goods were going to help the community.

 Here is the video of me donating to the Salvation Army.


The Salvation Army is a great non-profit. “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

How to Donate:

  • You can donate  online
  • Donate at the store (like I did).
  • Schedule a pick up at 1-800-SA-TRUCK

The Salvation Army has many programs, such as the Christmas donations (which I’m sure you have seen outside of Wal-Mart) and a rehab program for drug and alcohol users. I think this is a great program because they extend a helping hand to help others, not only with providing goods, but also helping them get through a successful rehab. If you would like to know more about the Salvation Army’s rehab program click here.

You can visit the Salvation Army on

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Kyle Needs You

My mission for this blog post is to have as many people as possible see it. When I heard Kyle’s story I had to help, just looking at his pictures and seeing how happy he is knowing his life may soon end makes me want to do everything possible for this little boy I have never met. I hope you fall in love with this adorable child like I have. Please do anything you can to save his life.

Meet Kyle
Kyle is a four year old boy who loves being with his family, being around animals, and being outdoors.

 

Kyle is just like every other four year old boy, but Kyle is sick and desperately needs your help. Kyle has aplastic anemia and has six months to live if he does not receive a bone marrow transplant.

   

*Kyle and his baby sister* 

Kyle is a very special boy whose needs are also unique. Kyle is half-Chinese/Asian, half-Caucasian which means his bone marrow donor will most likely also need to be a half-Chinese/Asian, half-Caucasian. This is especially hard for Kyle because of the 9 million donors, less than 3% of all registered bone marrow donors are of any mixed race at all. If you are part Asian, part Caucasian, or know somebody who is, you may be the hero that can save Kyle’s life. With the odds of finding a match for Kyle, it is estimated that 40 million people need to be reached about Kyle’s story. Please help spread the word.


Aplastic Anemia
Aplastic anemia is a rare blood disorder where the patient’s bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells. Kyle has a very stubborn case of aplastic anemia, and his bone marrow is not producing any blood cells at all. This is why his window to live without a bone marrow transplant is only 6 months.

How You Can Help Kyle
 *    
If you are part Asian, part Caucasian, you can register to be a marrow donor through the Asian American Donor Program, here.
*     You can help spread the word about sweet Kyle through any social network.
*     You can donate to Kyle’s foundation (This donation will help Kyle’s family with medical bills).
*     You can register to become a bone marrow donor (if you are of any race, or biracial) at DKMS Americas.
*      Print off a flyer to post around your community.

If you would like to learn more about donating bone marrow, the process, the over- exaggerated pain I’m sure you’ve heard about, the benefits, learning about how it is free, etc. please visit my blog post about donating bone marrow. I think my bone marrow blog post should answer any questions you may have.

Kyle needs you now, today was one less day of life this little boy may have. Every four year old child should be able to run around with a free spirit, please keep Kyle alive.

Kyle loves fish, sharks, and whales, so a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was the perfect trip for this amateur marine biologist. You could be the one to give Kyle a lifetime of ocean adventures like this, but next time he won’t need a bandage on his arm.

 

Help us find a match for Kyle
I am asking that you spread Kyle’s story anywhere you can think of – Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media page. Tell your family, your friends, or your co-workers.

Kyle deserves to live, and deserves to have someone save his life. Please help share this little boy’s desperate need.

Getting tested to see if you’re a bone marrow match is as simple as swabbing your check.

 

Kyle’s Team
I asked a member of Kyle’s team to share something with you guys, this is what Joel Muratalla had to say about Kyle.

“ We know that Kyle’s match is out there. Ten years ago, finding a match for Kyle would have been extremely difficult, but as social media has connected our world more than ever before, our chances of finding a part Asian, part Caucasian donor to help save Kyle’s life are better than ever. Even if you don’t know a potential match, someone you know might. That’s why it is extremely important to spread the word to all your friends, colleagues, and family members. Thank you for helping in the mission to save Kyle.”

Kyle at his 4th Birthday party, please make sure he is able to celebrate his 5th.

 

You can visit Kyle on the following pages:

Bone Marrow Donor

When you woke up this morning what was the first thing that went through your mind? Bills, school, work, maybe.

For the parents of children with leukemia, the first thing they thought of when they woke up this morning was: I hope today is the day we find a donor for our child.  

I know donating bone marrow is the last thing you thought about doing when you woke up, but when you go to bed tonight I hope it is the last thing you think about before shutting your eyes.

The major drawback of patients depending on us to donate is that there are not enough of us willing to keep them all alive.

15,000 people are told they need a bone marrow transplant each year. This is because of a life-threatening disease. One of these diseases is leukemia which kills more children in the US than any other disease. When a patient receives bone marrow their diseased blood-forming cells are replaced with healthy cells.

One foundation where they match patients to donors is DKMS Americas. DKMS Americas has two famous faces to help show how important registering to donate is.Those celebrities are Rihanna and Lamar Odem.

On the DKMS website it states that only three out of ten children are lucky enough to receive a transplant before they pass away. Half of this is due to the condition the child is in, the other half is because we are too selfish to donate our own bone marrow that replenishes within a few weeks.

As many as 3000 people die each year waiting for the bone marrow transplant they never received. Only 6 out of 8 patients receive a transplant that saves their lives.There are 16.5 million registered donors but that is not enough. Everyone is strongly encouraged to become a registered donor. All ethnicities are needed for bone marrow transplants, but minorities and biracial donors are especially needed.

Doctors make sure that the donor has a human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type that is very close to the HLA of the patient. HLA are proteins in our body that our immune system uses to detect which cells belong in our body, and which ones do not.

Because HLA is inherited, the patient’s family is first to get tested for a bone marrow match, but all the patients on the waiting list did not match any of their family members. Only 30% of patients match someone in their family. The other 70% of patients need you.

Here is what you can do and should know about donating.

  1. Go to dkmsamericas.org and look at the terms and conditions.
  2. If you have back problems, or certain illnesses you are not able to donate.
  3. You must be between 18-55 years old to donate.
  4. If you agree to the terms and conditions-register to donate!
  5. About a week after you register, a packet with two long Q-tips to swab your cheeks comes in the mail.
  6. Mail your swabs back to DKMS Americas in the prepaid envelope that came in your packet.
  7. They will keep your swab until your 61st birthday. You also have to allow DKMS to search for you because you may move, get married, etc. from now until your 61st birthday.

Your packet contents will look like these. 
    *You may click on the images to enlarge them*

 
            Payment is Optional

There is less than 1% chance you will be a match for someone, but if you are there are a few things you should know. Once you find out your tissue cells match a patient, you need to give a blood sample. If the blood sample also matches and you pass the physical (safe for you to donate), you have some major decision making to do.

You have no legal liability to donate and you can change your mind about being a donor any time (even if you have been told you are a match), but it is important to know that once you agree to donate (when they get a hold of you) you can’t really back out. This is because as soon as you agree to donate, the patient starts chemotherapy. At the end of their chemotherapy it is crucial they receive your bone marrow. If you fail to donate bone marrow after the patient has started chemotherapy, you have put a person in life-threatening conditions.

PAIN-  OH COME ON

Everyone has the perception that donating bone marrow really hurts- this is wrong!!!!!
There are two ways doctors can retrieve your bone marrow.

    *You may click the image to make the font larger*

If marrow cells are collected from the backside of the pelvic bone you may choose not to have anesthesia. The extraction causes a tiny bit of pain, nothing more than getting a tattoo. The thing that makes me personally think I can handle this is the fact that these patients (often times young children) have to go through the same process you do.

Positives about donating

There are three really good things about donating.

1. It is completely free for you. DKMS will pay for the hospital visit, meals, lodging, any traveling you have to do, and a limo ride.  How cool!
2. Your bone marrow completely replenishes within a few weeks.
3. If the child is alive one year later, you and the patient will have the opportunity to meet each other. Again, DKMS will pay for you and the patient you saved to meet. 
          *You do not have to meet the person you gave life to*
4. The best thing about donating is that you become a hero, you truly saved a life, and I don’t think there could be a better feeling than that. Without your donation they would have passed away. Why wouldn’t you want to donate?

After DKMS Americas has processed your HLA tissue type and registered you into the national bone marrow registry, you will get a wallet card.     *You may click on the images to enlarge them*  

                      

If you would like to learn more about DKMS Americas you can contact DKMS at (866) 340-3567, email info@dkmsamericas.org, click on the bone marrow image on my sidebar, go to www.dkmsamericas.org, or visit https://www.dkmsamericas.org/register.

It costs DKMS $65.00 to register a new donor. Please help DKMS register more donors by contributing any amount of money. This contribution is 100% tax deductible for you.

The neat, but sad thing about donating bone marrow is you become the only solution to saving a patient’s life- no medication, no other person, and no machine can save them- just you.

       Please go online, register, donate, and save a life.

Sole Hope- A Pair of Shoes Can Change a Life

Ever thought you could make a shoe that would change a life? Now is your chance to show your shoe-makin’ talents!

Sole Hope is a non-profit organization that needs your help. Sole Hope’s mission is to:

offer HOPE to widows, orphans and others within impoverished and forgotten communities around the world by teaching the simple trade of shoemaking which provides jobs and shoes to those in need”.

Sole Hope hires widows and others in Africa to sew shoes. Sole Hope teaches their workers the skills in basic shoe making. These jobs help the widows with monetary problems because they are left without means of survival. These jobs also help prevent jiggers in children. Jiggers (small sand fleas) are parasites that lay eggs in children’s bare feet. These eggs cause sores, infection, and sometimes even amputation. Sole Hope happily gives the closed-toe shoes to children to prevent disease and jiggers. Jiggers are often common in elderly people as well. When a child/elder has jiggers they are unable to walk or work. “Isolation is also a problem and this leads to low self-esteem”.

This video shows a faith group removing jiggers from people in Africa. *Content is graphic*

If you think that video is as horrible as I do, you probably want to know how you can help.   

There are five ways you can get involved:

1)      Make a donation. You can choose to make a selfless onetime donation of $10.00 or a monthly donation. Donating just $10.00 allows for these children to receive a pair of shoes that they desperately need. $10.00 is all it takes to save one of these children.  Donate now. With your donation more children can wear shoes- the more children that wear shoes means more children that can run and play. Something a child should never be restricted on.

2)      Host a shoe cutting party. You can host a party in your home. Sole Hope will send you the materials you will need to host the party. A shoe cutting party is where a group of your friends take the selfless act of cutting out shoe uppers that will be taken to Africa, and sewn by Sole Hope’s shoemakers. If you would like to order a shoe party packet click Here.

3)      Go on a Trip. How awesome is this! You can tag along with Sole Hope to see Zambia or Uganda Africa. If you are interested in this amazing opportunity email Sole Hope at: info@solehope.com.

4)      Intern in Africa or in the USA. Sole Hope’s internships are unpaid, but college credit is available. You may intern in Asheville, NC or in Zambia or Uganda, Africa. If you are interested in an internship of a lifetime visit US internships and Africa Internships.

5)      Purchase. You may purchase shoes, clothing, party packets, or jewelry Here. If you choose to buy a pair of shoes you support the funding for providing jobs to the workers for Sole Hope in Africa and the USA.

Sole Hope gives jobs, shoes, and also educates the people in these impoverished communities about the importance of wearing shoes and keeping their feet healthy. Sole Hope’s shoemakers have a fair wage and are able to make a difference with their 100% handmade shoes. Sole Hope also helps the environment because the shoes are made from 96% recycled parts.

About Sole Hope

There are millions of precious children in Africa right now, becoming infested because of a simple problem. Sole Hope is solving that problem, one pair of shoes at a time.

You can find more information about Sole Hope by clicking the ‘Sole Hope’ image on my sidebar. You can also visit http://www.solehope.com/.

    Go on now, show your awesome talent, cut on the dotted lines and make a shoe!

Locks of Love

Do you have long hair? Maybe even short hair that you want to grow out? How about using your hair or your dollars to help support a life? If you do, you have come to the right place!

Locks of Love is a great non-profit organization that “makes hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis”(www.locksoflove.org).  Locks of Love uses real hair in their hairpieces because real hair has the highest quality at the least cost.

Your donation can help a life because these children’s self-esteem is restored with a hairpiece for them to wear. When you help a child by donating your hair you give courage to these young children to stay focused on their dreams instead of their baldness. Something no child should have to worry about.

In order to donate your hair you must:

  1. Donate a minimum of 10 inches (layered hair is acceptable)
  2. Your hair must be in a ponytail or braid before it is cut
  3. Your hair must be clean and completely dry before it is mailed in
  4. Your ponytail or braid needs to be placed inside of a plastic bag, and then inside of a padded envelope
  5. Mail all donations to:
                                         Locks of Love
                                         234 Southern Blvd
                                         West Palm Beach, FL 33405-2701

When donating your hair you have two options. Option A- Cut and mail in your own hair or, Option B- go to a salon that supports Locks of Love. A salon that supports Locks of Love will mail in your donation for you.  Some of these salons will also cut your hair for free if you are donating.

   Here are just two salons in the Reno-Sparks area that are Locks of Love supporters:

  • Fantastic Sam’s Hair
  • Salon 2000

I donated my hair in December 2009 and it is something I am still very proud to say I did. I had long annoying hair that would get caught in everything and I wanted it gone. I knew I wanted to cut a lot off, so I started looking into Locks of Love.  I went to a salon in Elko, Nevada and they were glad to send my donation in for me.  As you can see in the picture of my donation day below, I donated 11 inches! Then, to ‘style’ my hair, the hairdresser cut another 3 inches. I am so glad I did it. My hair (2 years later) is just a few inches shorter than when I donated, so do not be afraid that you will have short hair forever.

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It was a bit shocking at first, but SO worth it!

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If you would like to be acknowledged for your generous donation you need to fill out the hair donation form (found at www.locksoflove.org), or write your name and e-mail address or mailing address on a full size separate sheet of paper. Make sure to include this piece of paper in your envelope.

Here is what that acknowledgement looks like.

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If you are unable to donate your hair you can still help these children. You may purchase jewelry at the Locks of Love website by either clicking on the ‘Locks of Love’ image on my sidebar or going to www.locksoflove.org. Albertsons’ grocery store will also donate to Locks of Love when you use your Locks of Love Community Partners key tag. To receive a key tag please send your name and mailing address to volunteer@locksoflove.org.

Be selfless, donate your hair. It will grow back, you will help a child’s life, and you will always be glad you did it. I promise.

 

       *If you have further questions about requirements/guidelines for donating your hair you can visit www.locksoflove.org. *

 

Breast Cancer Awareness

I begin with the awareness topic I am most known for: breast cancer awareness. Five or so years ago I became very interested in learning more about breast cancer. Most people, including myself, find it to be a little weird how passionate I am about finding a cure because I do not have breast cancer, my family does not have a history of breast cancer, and none of my friends have breast cancer. Absolutely no one I am acquainted with suffers from this awful cancer.

During my research I found out a lot of things I did not know about breast cancer. I found out that men can also get breast cancer. When a man does get breast cancer they often find out when it is too late; since men usually have less breast tissue than women, male breast cancer does not need to grow far to invade into the skin and the muscles underneath the breast.

The main message to send about breast cancer is: early detection and awareness is the best medicine to fight the cancer. There currently is no cure for breast cancer but radiation and chemotherapy are known to help.

Early detection of breast cancer reduces the chance of death. Breast cancer is not picky. It does not care what your age, sex, gender, or race is. This is why it is important for all people to check their breasts every month. If you ever feel or see any abnormality to your breasts you should go to your doctor. The National Cancer Institute recommends women (4o years and up) to have screening mammograms every one to two years. If you have a family history of breast cancer you may want to start your screenings sooner than 40 years old.

When you check your breasts you should be looking for

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
  • Change in the size or shape
  • Dumpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that does not go away

I have this reminder to check my breasts every month hanging on my bathroom door. I picked this one up at the doctor’s office at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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If  doctor diagnoses you with breast cancer they will have needed to preform a mammogram on you. These mammograms can be pricy. As I am sure you have seen foundations and companies like Susan G. Komen have made products for anyone to purchase. If you buy a breast cancer awareness product, a portion of the sales will go towards the cost of mammograms.  It is so hard for me not to buy a breast cancer awareness item. This is for three reasons 1) They are cute! 2) I am helping fund mammograms 3) I am spreading awareness when I use the product.

Here are some of the products I have purchased. If you would like to purchase items of your own and help save a life, click on the ‘Hope Faith Cure’ image on my sidebar. You may also go to www.komen.org .

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          Maybe without hearing this, you would have never been aware. Awareness makes people think and act. So act, go check your boobies!