Gaia Fights Hunger has partnered with Soles4Souls for the Flippin’ Good Deeds Challenge. The challenge will have me, Linda the blogger, hosting a shoe drive for the entire month of October. This shoe drive is very important because the shoes collected will be donated to those who are in dire need of foot protection.

Families and children all over the world are living in extreme poverty or have been faced with natural disasters that have left them without food, water, or clothing. Soles4Souls does an incredible job of collecting and distributing shoes (and much more) to those who need it most.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting some of the organizations representatives and then writing about them as a guest contributor for Poverty and Homelessness Issues and Resources. I’m very happy to be taking part in the “flippin’ good deeds challenge” because it combines so many things I am passionate about.

There will be four locations in my hometown area of the Poconos where donations can be made. I’m working on securing them today and will post them as soon as I’m able.

If you run a blog I’m going to encourage you to participate in this challenge also. Other than being able to do “flippin’ good deeds,” blogger’s participating will have a chance to win an international mission trip with Soles4Souls to help deliver the shoes to the people who need it most.

Shoes are so important and often we here in America take for granted our footwear. I know that I do. I have a closet filled with shoes and most I don’t even wear. Shoes can prevent disease and it could mean whether a child receives an education in some places.

Can you imagine walking miles to school only to be turned away because you didn’t have a pair of shoes on your feet? Children in other countries face this reality every day.

If that isn’t enough incentive to get you to give up a pair of shoes then think about this; shoes can prevent the spread of parasitic diseases that plague over 1.4 billion people worldwide.

The “flippin’ good deeds” challenge is sponsored by flipflop wines, a brand well worth checking out. To learn how to get involved or to learn which blogs are participating check out visit Soles4Souls “flippin’ good deeds” sign up page.

Z is for Zero to Three

Posted: May 1, 2011 in Children, Education

The mission of Zero to Three is simple. It is to promote the health and development of infants and toddlers. According to the About Us section Zero to Three began because, “Neuroscientists have documented that our earliest days, weeks and months of life are a period of unparalleled growth when trillions of brain cell connections are made. Research and clinical experience also demonstrate that health and development are directly influenced by the quality of care and experiences a child has with his parents and other adults.”

Z to 3 offers care, advice, information and more about everything from promoting early language development to caring for special needs children. The mission is clear, “to inform, train, and support professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers.”

For Zero to Three it is all about infants and toddlers. Their health; physical and/or mental, is the number one priority of this national non-profit organization. For more info on what they do, how they do it and resources visit

Rachel Ray launched Yum-O! in 2006 to help empower kids and their families develope a healthy relationship with food and cooking. The non-profit organization focuses on three key steps: Cook, Feed, Fund.

According to the Yum-O website Rachel Ray had this to say about the Cook part of the program, “We want to get parents and kids cooking healthier breakfasts, lunches, lunchboxes and dinners and we want to make food fun, fast and affordable for American families. Our goal is to get great recipes out there and to listen to parents’ and kids’ concerns about health and nutrition, and what their kids are eating both at school and at home. We want to get people really excited about getting food into our kids. The challenge I’ve heard from a lot of parents is that it’s a time and a finance issue. They just don’t really believe they can make good food fast, but they can by taking help from the store. It’s just a matter of getting information and recipes out there so that kids can learn to cook for themselves and help Mom and Dad get dinner on the table.”

Once the “Cook” part of the program is learned, explored (interactive web items help!), and utilized, the focus turns to Feed and Fund. “Feed” is all about feeding the hungry. Yum-O’s partnership with Share Our Strength (SOS) helps to raise awareness about the hunger issues in the U.S. and works to complete special projects that address the issue of hunger in America. The “Fund” part of Yum-O! focuses on giving back via education and scholarship programs.

Learn more about eating healthy right at home by checking out Rachel Ray’s Yum-O!

Xeroderma Pigmentosum is a rare genetic disorder. XP patients have extreme sensitivity to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Those who suffer from XP have a higher risk of cancer, non-cancerous and cancerous growths on the eyes and may experience various skin conditions.

The XP Support Group was founded in 1999 in the UK by the parents of a child with XP. The group is now as UK charitable Trust that “aims to relieve the needs of persons with Xeroderma Pigmentosum and other related conditions and their families.”

Funds raised by the support group go to assisting families, research, nighttime camp activities, and grants for UV protective equipment and products. Visit the XP Support Group to learn more about Xeroderma Pigmentosum and how you can help families dealing with this disorder.

Remember to follow all the awesome blogs doing the A to Z challenge on Twitter by viewing the hashtag #atozchallenge

W is for World Food Programme

Posted: April 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

The World Food Programme is a program run by the United Nations that fights worldwide hunger. WFP is one of the largest, if not the largest, humanitarian agency dedicated to wiping out hunger. In 2011, the WFP was responsible for bringing food assistance to over 90 million people in 73 countries.

WFP provides food assistance in emergency situations and helps institute programs to prevent against future hunger risks by making communities food secure. By using a strategic plan, the humanitarian agency is able to acheive the goal of reducing hunger, saving lives, and helping people restore and rebuild their lives after an emergency.

Donating, providing relief, and lending a helping hand are easily done through the WFP’s website. Sending e-cards, placing banners on websites, and even playing computer games help to spread awareness about global hunger and raise food funds for those in need. Free Rice, a trivia game, provides grains of rice to those in need. Every right answer is 10 grains of rice that goes to end worldwide hunger.

Writer’s can learn help end the hunger fight by joinging the WFP’s platform “Bloggers Against Hunger”. If you are a writer, have a blog, and want to end hunger, consider joining.

V is for V-Day

Posted: April 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

A horrible, shocking statistic that comes from the United Nation’s says that one of every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime. V-Day is a global activist movement dedicated to ending the violence inflicted on women and girls all over the world.

Violence against women is real. Rape, incest, abuse, genital mutilation, and sex slavery are still happening in the world. V-Day seeks to put an end to this desecration of human dignity by opening up communication through performances, creating new opportunities and providing resources for women and girls of all ages.

Eve Ensler, playwright and performer of The Vagina Monologues, started the grassroots movement of V-Day in 1998 with a small group of women and volunteers in NYC. She was inspired to start the movement after speaking with women who attended her performance piece, The Vagina Monologues, and would share their own stories of surviving violence and abuse. Ensler believed that, “performances could be a mechanism for moving people to act to end violence.”

Now in NYC alone over 5,400 events take place annually in support of the V-Day movement. Many other events take place all over the world.

Read V-Day’s mission statement and if you agree, join to help end the violence against women.

Remember to follow all the awesome blogs at #atozchallenge on twitter!

Bringing equality, protection, health and education services to children is what UNICEF is all about. The United Nation’s Children’s Fund is a global movement for children and the advocacy of children all over the world. With the help of national committees, country programmes, the help of volunteers and generous donations, UNICEF works to provide educational tools to children, prevent the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDs and malaria, and provides emergency humanitarian assistance during natural and man-made disasters.

UNICEF advocates for children about topics pertaining to nutrition, exercise, life skills, education, health, and so much more. They are a leader in providing care and help for children who have been abused, abandoned and become refugee’s from war ravaged countries. UNICEF gives these children a voice.

To learn more about what UNICEF has done, is doing, and will be doing in the future visit