Rockin’ for a Cause.

Today’s crankiness crusher is signing up to be a 2011 Class Ambassador for a cause I believe in: universal education.

I’m sure that most of you reading this post have either gone to college or at least had the opportunity to do so. People aren’t as fortunate in other countries–especially women. In fact, of the 130 million youth who are not in school worldwide, 70 percent are girls. Sadly, less than two cents of every development dollar goes to them. (Check out some more staggering facts here.)

As one of the first women in my family to pursue a higher education, I find it completely disheartening that others won’t have that same chance simply based on where (and how) they’re raised. So much good could come from ensuring that everyone has an equal shot at having the education they deserve. After all, knowledge is power–the power to make a difference.

That’s why I want to introduce you to an inspirational event called GIRLS WHO ROCK, an annual concert held during Internet Week (which is this week!) in New York City that advocates and raises money for girls’ education on a global level. The concert is a partnership with the not-for-profit organization She’s the First and sponsors girls’ education in developing world countries, while mentoring local student volunteers to be leaders.

So if you’re yearning to be an everyday change-maker like I am, I strongly encourage you to do one (or both) of the following:

1. Donate $11 to the Class of 2011 on their Causevox page. You can even donate in recognition of a 2011 graduate. It’s a nice way to honor their achievement in a pay-it-forward kind of way. This year’s goal is to raise at least $2oK for the girls of the Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda. All proceeds and donations go towards the cause.

2. Buy a ticket to the GIRLS WHO ROCK event. (They start as low as $35.) The concert will take place THIS FRIDAY JUNE 10th at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. Doors open at 8 p.m. Click here for more info and to see their amazing lineup of performers.

To stay connected to GIRLS WHO ROCK and the cause, check it out on Facebook, Twitter, and websites girlswhorock.org and shesthefirst.org for more updates. Together we can help others make groundbreaking achievements, big and small, that will better our word!

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Inspiration to make a difference.

I’m excited and delighted to attend tonight’s 10th anniversary celebration of  the Young Survival Coalition’s (Northern NJ Affiliate)In Living Pink” event. The YSC is a global organization dedicated to helping young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer by offering resources, connections and outreach so women feel supported, empowered and hopeful.  My good friend Dina is being honored for her volunteer efforts and dedication, and I couldn’t be more proud of her!

Dina began volunteering a decade ago when her friend Lisa Marie founded the YSC’s North Jersey Networking Group. The YSC had become an invaluable resource for her when she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer at the age of 27, so she wanted to help others through this difficult and emotional time. After Lisa lost her battle at age 33, Dina then served as President of the YSC NNJ Affiliate. Her 4 years of leadership not only raised awareness for the organization–but also close to a half million dollars! It’s no wonder that she was elected to the National Board of Directors and acts as their Secretary today.

Dina’s commitment to the YSC is an inspiration to me–and today’s crankiness crusher.  She empowers those who are affected by breast cancer while fighting in memory of those who have lost their battle. Dina will say that she’s a better person for having known and learned from these individuals. I say that I’m a better person for knowing Dina.

How can this story help crush your crankiness? Try doing something for yourself that will also benefit others. Be an advocate for something you believe in. You’ll enrich your life and your soul while truly inspiring those around you. When you put your heart into something that matters, you’ll find the happiness that lives inside it.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

~ William James

Little things can make a big difference.

So it’s Day 3 of saying no to “Dr. Crankenstein” and while I’ve still been on edge (mostly due to PMS), I definitely feel lighter in spirit–and I really think it has something to do with this blog. Here’s why: I looked like total crap yesterday (messy ponytail, no makeup, sweats–you catch my drift) because I was home with the kids and had NOTHING on the agenda, but whenever my phone would buzz with one of your positive comments on my FB page or blog it really kept me going. For example, my mother-in-law wrote this as her status update:

“Walked on the beach for an hour, sunny, hot, the ocean is pleasantly cool. Came home and had a glass of white wine with ice. Little pleasures of life. One day at a time. So far so good.”

How could that not make you smile? (And make you wish you were hanging out with her!)

And here’s something my friend Danielle wrote on her FB page in response to my first post:

“…I am so glad I logged on to Facebook today and read this. Life is hard. It has so many ups and downs and sometimes it is easiest to stay down. I too love my baby girl Maggie’s cute little feet and I am going to kiss them more often until they become big girl feet (like our other two daughters!)”

When I realized that I’d helped her focus on one of the “ups” in life it warmed my heart. Even if I wasn’t the most productive person yesterday, I at least made a tiny difference in someone’s day. (FYI, I know I sound kind of cheesy, but for those of you who don’t know me, this is really how I am–a total sap.)

Please keep sharing whatever it is that’s making you happy today. I really want to know. And who knows, you may end up turning someone else’s frown upside down. 😉

Okay, now on to TODAY’S HAPPINESS (for me):

My new kitchen table. I know it’s kind of lame to talk about material things already, but this table encourages my family to eat together because it’s a lot bigger than the one we had previously–and it’s not glass (so I don’t have to see greasy little fingerprints all over it!). Every time I sit at it, it just makes me happy. Plus the chairs are waaaaay more comfortable. Check it out:

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