August 17th National Thrift Shop Day

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Well, maybe but where in the world do you find these treasures?!? You can wait for the weekend and go to garage sales or you can go to the Thrift Shop where they collect everything that didn’t sell at a garage sale.

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The trick here is knowing what is treasure and what is trash. Now you can study all the antique books you can find but that still won’t make you an expert. Trust me, just because it looks old doesn’t always make it old. I’ve never been lucky enough to find  a fortune buying something that someone else discarded.

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And isn’t that what most people find at thrift shops? Things that no longer fit, are outdated or mystery items no one knows what they are used for. And then, whatever it is has to get past the shop owner and the workers if there is any value to it. Not that it doesn’t happen, it does… but they are few and far between.

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And there is no law requiring things like shoes to match. If you really want to wear two different shoes at the same time, why not? But as for setting a new trend, don’t count on it. Since you are wearing a mis-match pair of shoes there is probably someone else who bought the other pair!

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But its a lot like Christmas. You never know what you’re going to get but it is fun to anticipate what you might find. Keep on looking, it normally benefits someone in need.

How to celebrate – Go thrift shop shopping. Donate to thrift shops those things you no longer need. Study before you shop so you know what you are after.

 

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April 29th World Wish Day

April 29th World Wish Day

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7-year old Chris Greicius wanted to be a Police Officer when he grew up. Unfortunately, his leukemia was going to prevent this, but someone made his dream come true, eventually forming into the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 1980.

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Today there are 200 wishes granted a year in over 48 countries. Some of us will never get to do the things we hoped we could do, some of us won’t live long enough to see our dreams come true. But with your help, children all over the world might at least get a glimpse of it.

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How to celebrate – Give to the Make-A -Wish Foundation. Donate time to Make-A-Wish or another local charity.

November 15th National Philanthropy Day

Today we “recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy – and those people active in philanthropy community – have made to our lives, our communities and our world.”

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The only issue here is, it’s basically a “thanks for the cash”. When donated expecting nothing in return, it is truly a gift that merits appreciation from everyone. It doesn’t have to be large, it just needs to be given in the right heart.

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November is filled with thoughts of giving and days of honoring those around us. Probably because we think of Thanksgiving, family and the holidays that celebrate those events. But giving is needed year round and philanthropy is a way to give back and pay it forward. It is hard for those who cannot put a meal n the table to be philanthropic.  That makes it even more important for those who can.

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While the greatest honors always go to those who give the most it really should be given to those who give the most according to what they can afford. A true philanthropist is the person who gives 50 cents when all they have is a dollar verses those that give a thousand dollars when they have ten million.

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The point is, we should all give when we can and not be too proud to receive when we are in need. National Philanthropy Day is believed to have started in 1985 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In other words, groups that make money by raising money for others. It may be required, it shouldn’t be needed.

How to celebrate – Thank those who give, no matter how much it is they give. Give what you can afford and only take what you need. Make sure who you donate to properly awards the money they collected.

August 17th National Thrift Shop Day

One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. Keep that in mind while shopping at a thrift shop. Nearly every thrift shop has a charity connected to it, I think maybe it’s even a rule, so they do serve a purpose beyond just allowing you to find a bargain.

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It really doesn’t matter what you are looking for, there is a very good chance you’ll find it at a thrift shop. True, somebody has probably used it before you get the chance and you don’t have the history of that person, but it’s sort of the same as a garage sale so… deal with it.

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The fashions are probably not going to be the latest fad and I draw the line at underwear!

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And while you might find good deals, don’t expect to find that very valuable antique because the staff gets to see everything first. But there may be something of value to you that would be considered priceless.

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And remember that at least a part of every dollar you spend will go to support some good cause. You get something, and you give something. It’s a win-win for all.

How  to celebrate – Spend part of your day today thrift shopping. If you don’t need anything, donate to a thrift shop today (it will probably be tax deductible). If you don’t need anything, shop for someone else who does… that makes it a win-win-win.

May 28th Amnesty International Day

Today is the day to celebrate human rights and awareness of all the abuses that occur daily in the world. Of course you can’t do that in one day, but today is the day to start.

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We here in America, and most of the rest or the modern countries of the world, complain about how rough we have it. The thing is, we do not know suffering like those living in oppressed countries and the very poor countries. Those countries devastated by war, famine and natural disasters.  In fact, people living in those countries would probably trade us for our worst days here.

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Think about them the next time you go to a restaurant or pub, go see a movie or theater show or just get a glass of water out of your tap. For the price of a meal at a medium priced restaurant, a couple of drinks, a movie or a seat in a theater you could probably feed a dozen or more starving people.

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For some unknown reason we have all decided that it is a governments job to take care of others. Whether it is our government or someone else’s government we expect them to take care of the problems around the world. That is not the role of government. Government is meant to take care of our own. The only time a government should be assisting another government is if there is war and even then, it’s not always in our interest to fight someone else’s war.  If people help people, the government doesn’t have to come into it. They have nothing to gain, or lose, if we are taking care of the problem with people.

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We can’t stop war but we can stop hunger, we cannot stop natural disasters but we can help clean up the aftermath. Amnesty International was founded in London on May 28th, 1961.  There should be no politics about helping others. After all, there may come a time when we need help ourselves.

How to celebrate – Learn more about Amnesty International. Stop saying you wish you could help and go help. Set aside money from one meal out a month and send it to Amnesty International.

February 3rd Bubble Gum Day

Yes, yes I know… the picture says Bubble Gum Day is February 7th but it is actually the first Friday in February so this year, it’s February 3rd! It was originated by Ruth Spiro, a writer, in 2006.

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Her idea was to create a day where children could enjoy one of their favorite sports, chewing bubble gum, and serve the community at the same time. Children bring 50 cents to school to buy the right to chew gum in school for the day. In theory, the idea is that the money goes to charity, or to the school for any of a hundred different things needed. Nothing is being sold so there is no expense.

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The idea caught on and is now a fund raiser for not only schools but also libraries, churches, and community events where gum is not normally allowed. It can cause issues because many children are careless with their gum or purposely use it to leave a mess behind, but it can also teach children to be respectful and responsible.

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Believe it or not, it can also be used to make children more attentive. Chewing gum takes away a lot of their nervous energy and helps them to focus on the task at hand.

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It would be great to get animals involved in this as well, the only problem is… they don’t have pockets to carry their 50 cents in (except for maybe kangaroos).

How to celebrate – See if you school participates in this fundraiser. If not, start one at your school. Check with your local library about the fundraiser. Find an organization that can benefit from today and get them to participate.

July 15th Give Something Away Day

Most of us have way too much stuff. Some of us have nothing at all. Linda Eaton Hall-Fulcher asks that those of us who have, give something away to those of us who do not. The idea, I think, is to put someone ahead of yourself. Giving clothes away to those in need, shoes to those who have none, even a warm meal to someone who is hungry seems like the least we could do. If we all did that we would not only help those people in need physically but mentally as well. Who knows, maybe it could change their lives for the better forever.

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If everything you have is too valuable for you to give away, go buy something that you have no attachment to and give it away. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it may be worth a small fortune to those you are giving it to. And you don’t have to do it everyday, though that would be nice, it just needs to be today. Even something as simple as buying the person behind you in line at Starbucks a cup of coffee. Maybe they don’t need you to buy it for them but what a nice gesture to show someone you are thinking of them instead of just yourself.

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And gifts can be something as simple as a handful of flowers if the intent is meant. Even by receiving the gift from someone else and showing your pleasure is giving a gift back that can’t be bought. Receive the gift in the way it is meant, giving just as much thought back to the giver as they gave to giving something to you.

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I am always amazed by those who have little to nothing themselves but always find some way to give to others. Even if those others happen to be an animal down on its luck. A little human kindness goes a long, long way.

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And maybe that someone just needs a well timed hug.  That can be  huge gift of its own.

How to celebrate – Bring a co-worker a drink without being asked. Better yet, if you know what they like you will surprise them even more and show them they are more than just another person in the office. Drop some food or blankets off at a pet shelter, they need your help a lot more than you might think. Drop off some clothing you no longer want or use to the Goodwill or Salvation Army.