Friday, October 29, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Spirit of Children

Tis the season when Spirit Halloween stores pop up in empty storefronts across the country. Yes, but why are we talking about them on Feel Good Friday? To learn about their Spirit of Children program, of course. 

Created in 2006, the mission of Spirit of Children (SoC) is “to make hospital stays less scary for kids and their families”. In the first year, SoC hosted Halloween parties at 11 hospitals. Today these celebrations happen in 147 partner hospitals around the United States and Canada.


In addition to Halloween parties, Spirit of Children has raised over $77 million in cash and merchandise donations to support Child Life departments in their partner hospitals. These are departments that provide developmental, educational and therapeutic support for children undergoing medical treatment.

Donations are collected from customers in the 1400+ Spirit Halloween stores and 100% of the money goes to partner hospitals in communities local to the stores. As they explain on the website, the money raised provides, “salaries for Child Life Specialists and Fellows, a full-time Child Life presence in the Emergency Department, creation of dedicated playrooms, teen lounges and family space, and the ability for our hospitals to purchase sensory and educational equipment, computers, iPads and distraction toys for use during procedures as well as toys created specifically for physical and developmental limitations.

To get a sense of the work and the impact, watch the 5-minute video on this page. You’ll hear from children and their parents and see the Halloween parties in full swing.


If you’d like to support Spirit of Children, the best way to do so is by making a donation when you’re in a store tomorrow buying your last minute sexy fill-in-the-blank costume. To stay informed year-round, follow Sprit Halloween on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @SpiritHalloween and Instagram @apirithalloween.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Save Our Water

I’ve been enjoying the recent rain in the Bay Area, but we’re still expecting drier than normal conditions in California this winter, which is why today’s Feel Good Friday is focusing on Save our Water.

Created in 2009 by the Association of California Water Agencies and the California Department of Water Resources, Save Our Water is “a statewide program aimed at helping Californians to reduce everyday water use through conservation ideas, inspiration and tips.”


According to this article, “the California Department of Water Resources estimates we need 140 percent of average precipitation to get our reservoir storage back to where it needs to be.” That’s why taking steps to conserve water is so important. Luckily, the Save Our Water website is full of resources.


Tips are divided into three categories: around the housearound the yard and save our trees. You won’t be surprised to read that fixing leaks, installing high-efficiency toilets, and taking shorter showers can save water, but did you know turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth can save 10 gallons per person per day??

For those of you with yards, planting water-wise, California-native plants and drought resistant trees can help. Using a broom instead of a hose to clean outdoor areas can save 8-18 gallons of water every minute! And if your yard has trees, keep watering them. “It will take more water, time, and money to replace a mature tree lost to drought than to keep it alive.”


In addition to the tips you can find at the above links, there is also a resource page with more links to useful water-related resources, partnering agencies, and supporting organizations. If you’re feeling especially inspired, you can visit the toolkit and download social media posts, logos and videos to share.


The best way for you to support Save Our Water is to help spread the word about the site and their resources so more people can learn how to up their water conservation game. Like the Save Our Water Facebook pageand follow them on Twitter and Instagram @saveourwater.




Friday, October 15, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Bat Conservation International

October is Bat Appreciation Month so we’re celebrating with Bat Conservation International.

Founded in Texas in 1982, the mission of Bat Conservation International (aka Bat Con) is “conserving the world's bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet.”

Why bats? As the team at Bat Con explains, “with more than 1,400 species located all around the globe, bats play a substantial ecological role that is vital to the health of our natural ecosystem and human economies.” That includes pollinating valuable cash crops, dispersing seeds that are critical to restoring cleared or damaged rainforests and providing natural fertilizer courtesy of bat poop. “Loss of even one bat species affects ecosystems, communities, and economies.”

You can see why the team of scientists and conservationists at Bat Con is focused on ending bat extinctions worldwide. To accomplish this, they divide their work into four missions:

1.   Implement endangered species interventions – examples include creating a bat sanctuary for endangered Fijian Free-tailed Bats, protecting the critically endangered Hill’s Horseshoe Bat in Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park, and saving the rarest bat in the United States — the federally endangered Florida Bonneted Bat.

2.   Protect and restore landscapes – this is done by assessing and documenting bat roosting sites and seeing that those sites are preserved to sustain healthy bat populations. 

3.   Conduct high-priority research and develop scalable solutions – including collecting information through the North American Bat Monitoring Program, applying science to address bat loss, sharing their research, and developing a global capacity to save bats worldwide. 

4.   Inspire through experience – welcoming visitors to Bracken Cave Preserve near San Antonio to witness bats in flight and educating them about the importance of bats and bat conservation. Bat Con also trains volunteer ambassadors, organizes Bat Walks, and runs an annual week of bat-promoting events because experiencing the wonder of bats fosters stewardship. 

If you’re near San Antonio in 2022, you visit Bracken Cave Preserve and see the bats for yourself! No matter where you are, you can support Bat Con with a donation and by amplifying their work on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @BatConIntl and Instagram @batconservationinternational. 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Today’s Feel Good Friday post was inspired by National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15. That means we’ve still got time to celebrate the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

Founded by the White House in 1987, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) is “a national nonprofit focused on education, workforce, innovative leadership, and culture to meet America’s priorities.” Or as they explain on Twitter, “We identify, inspire, prepare & promote Latino leaders.”


Programs are divided into four categories: leadershipeducationworkforce development and public awareness. Examples of specific programs include: Latinas on Fast Track (LOFT) bringing together Latina professionals and college students for leadership trainings, workforce development, networking, community outreach and access to mentors; Code as a Second Language, a national initiative that has taught tens of thousands of students computer programming and connected them to mentors; the #WeDreamAmerica campaign, which urges Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act; and Youth Awards which recognize hundreds of high-achieving Latinx high school students across the country and provides them with grants for their education or in support of an idea for social impact. In the last 22 years, more than 5 million dollars have been awarded to students.


The culmination of HHF’s year round efforts are celebrated during the Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony. This is the 34th year of the show and it happen to be airing on PBS tonight! You can check out the trailer here and tune in on your local PBS station.


If you’d like to support the work of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, you can do so by making a donation and amplifying their message on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter@HHFoundation and Instagram @hispanicheritage.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Random Acts

Usually, I try to tie my Feel Good Friday posts to current events or holidays but sometimes the connection is random. That thought is what led me to today’s organization, Random Acts. 

Random Acts is “conquering the world one random act of kindness at a time”. Founded in 2010 by actor Misha Collins, the first random act was raising over $30,000 for the UNICEF disaster relief program in response to an earthquake in Haiti.


From those beginnings, Random Acts has grown into an organization with offices in 18 countries and an all-volunteer staff of over 150 people. Together, they encourage and fund people of all ages to “perform their own acts of kindness wherever, and whenever, possible.” 


Big projects completed by Random Acts include the 2013 construction of an orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti that houses 80 children and the 2015 construction of an unconventional high school in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Designed for people not able to attend a traditional school, like those over 18 or women with children, the high school is free and includes an onsite daycare center. A current project, Change a Life, is a partnership with a scavenger hunt organization that identifies individuals, families and communities where a substantial positive impact can be made.


Random Acts is now focusing on food equity, “the concept that all people have the right to equal access to or the ability to grow and consume healthful, affordable, and culturally significant foods.” They are funding initiatives such as urban farming operations, community gardens and food redistribution projects.


What has the impact been? Since their founding, Random Acts has raised over $5,300,000 for acts across the globe. You can read their kindness stories here or watch this 2-min video


Inspired to get involved? Why not start by performing an act of kindness? First time applicants can request up to $499 to fund their idea and you can find details and an application form here. You can also support Random Acts with a traditional donation and by amplifying their message on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @RandomActsOrg and

Instagram @randomactsorg. #GetKind