Giving More – With a Little Help from My Friends

March 15, 2010

For the Food Bank

My husband and I spend about 10% of our grocery bill on food for the food bank. With a little help from my online friends, I’ve been learning how to get more food for less and stretch our donation dollars.

It was extra rewarding to shop for the food bank on Friday, thanks to Penny Experiment and Thrifty NW Mom. Penny Experiment encourages people to shop for food banks using coupons in order to spend less and give more (they have other advocacy programs too) and Thrifty NW Mom publishes coupons for stores in our area.

Normally, we take a reusable bag, our “food bank” bag, to the store on Friday. This Friday we filled the food bank bag plus a bonus food bank bag – $34.20 worth of cereal, granola bars, and fruit snacks for $10.70! I am not an avid couponer – but I am certainly willing to learn more to give more. Thanks Penny Experiment and Thrifty NW Mom for helping us step up our game!


It Doesn’t Hurt to Give a Tweet

February 24, 2010

Give a Tweet is a relatively new Twitter application (beta) to encourage Twitter users to donate to non-profit organizations and/or match the donations of others. I don’t see a downside to experimenting with this approach to soliciting donations. While there is a little labor required by non-profits to set up (“claim”) and monitor the account, most of the administrative details, including the delivery of donations to your nonprofit are handled directly by Network for Good.

Give a Tweet was founded to leverage the real-time power of Twitter to make it easy to donate to non-profits. Give a Tweet wants to enhance the donations received by helping individuals and companies promote the non-profits that they support by matching donations from friends and strangers! The original donation gets a boost, the matcher gets the kudos and the charities benefit all around.”

Because the Give a Tweet application is fairly new, it may take a while before it is widely adopted and/or perceived as a valid donation vehicle.

There is no financial commitment required.
Administration of actual donations is provided by Network for Good.
You may be able to raise money for your non-profit via an already established social network channel – your Twitter account.

4.75% fee for collecting and disbursement of donations.

There is a potential to partner with or find donors who will match your Give a Tweet donations.
Followers of your twitter account can be encouraged to donate on your Give a Tweet page and to send their followers to your page to make donations.
Businesses (especially small businesses) that donate or match can benefit by getting exposure for their philanthropy via Twitter.

A human vets your claim to set up a non-profit page.
Donations are collected via a secure donation form provided by Network for Good.
All donations go directly to your mailing address or can be directly deposited in your account.

Set Up
Login using the official Twitter account for the organization and “Claim” your organization. This goes thru a (human) verification process. Once the Twitter account is linked you can login, set up and edit your information organization’s info on
Directing followers to the Give a Tweet page. Attracting and nurturing followers willing to donate and/or match the donations of other followers. Checking Network for Good admin console and reporting on donations.
Tax Receipts
Tax donation receipts are sent by Network for Good.
Your organization does need to send an additional receipt.
Network for Good disburses all successful donations made through the Give a Tweet site on the 15th of each month.

Three Reasons Why Nonprofits Should Give a Tweet
Sample:Give a Tweet Announcement
Sample: Give a Tweet Page
Give a Tweet: How Small Businesses Can Generate Buzz on Twitter Through Philanthropy and Cause Marketing
Give a Tweet on Facebook

Six chickens can help feed a family all year round

February 4, 2010

My friend has three chickens; and they are producing about 18 eggs a week. I am becoming a believer in the power of chickens! Obviously, not all of us can raise chickens (I know my neighbors, dog and cat would not much like the idea). But, as an alternative, we can support families by “gifting” chickens through Concern Worldwide

photo of chicken

Egg Provider

To Catch a Chicken

January 25, 2010

Walk & Knock – Saturday, December 5th, 2009

August 6, 2009

Walk & Knock

Walk & Knock

Planning is going on now for the 25th annual Walk & Knock food drive, taking place Saturday, December 5th.

An all-volunteer one day event, Walk & Knock gets results – last year volunteers collected over 141 tons of food for the Clark County Food Bank Coalition.

See what you can do to help fill food pantry shelves. Volunteer your time or make a donation today at the Walk & Knock website.

All Recipes, All the Time

July 20, 2009



A friend introduced me to recently.
Another friend and I are going blueberry picking soon.
I like because I can search by recipe or ingredients.
Here is a link to “To Die for Blueberry Muffins”. I hope I’ll be trying this one soon.

Sweet Tea in the Summertime

July 6, 2009

Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea

My husband has been making this instead of sun tea this summer. He loves it.

8-10 tea bags, any kind you like (although I highly recommend Luzianne or Lipton Iced Tea Brew)

Small pot of water, with a lid that fits well

1 cup of sugar (We use Splenda for sugar-free tea, it’s delicious!)

1 gallon-sized pitcher (or a big pickle jar)


Add sugar to water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

It doesn’t matter how much water you boil; just make sure it gets really hot and bubbly. If you remembered to put the sugar in already, you’re doing great. Now get your tea bags ready so that when the water comes to a boil you can just toss them in.

As soon as you get the tea bags in, the water may act like it’s about to boil over. I usually just add the tea bags in with one hand, and then take the pot off the stove with the other. That way the hot bubbles have a chance to stir the tea up a bit, getting them off to a good brewing start.

Cover the pot and let the tea steep for as long as possible. It will be good in 20 minutes, but even better in an hour or two. Then pour the tea syrup (that’s what it’s actually called when made this way) into your gallon-sized pitcher and fill with water, making sure to gently squeeze the tea bags to get as much tea as possible into the water.

Well that’s it, your Southern Sweet Tea is ready! Just pour into a glass (pretty canning jars are a southern favorite) filled with ice and serve. Some people will keep this in the fridge for several days, but unlike unsweetened tea, it’s really only good for about 2 days. After that, it’s time to make a fresh batch!

Source: Frugal Recipes

Quick Spinach Dip

July 6, 2009

Eat Yours Spinach!

Eat Yours Spinach!

4 oz softened cream cheese
1 tbsp minced onion
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup spinach puree (2 – 10oz packages thawed, frozen chopped spinach
blended with 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup evaporated milk in blender)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in remaining ingredients until well blended.
Chill. Serve with chips or crackers.

Source: WIC Cookbook
WIC is a special supplemental food program for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, infants, and children under five years of age.

Community Gardens

June 28, 2009

Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation Community Gardens

VancouverClark Community Grown Gardening

Gardening Quote from My Friend John

June 21, 2009

A Mystic Garden; Working with Soil, Attending to Soul
by Gunilla Norris. New York: Bluebridge [Press], 2006
From her introduction:

To have a garden, even a small one, is a great privilege. Working with soil, with seeds and plants I find I must live a different kind of
time. Growth, both inner and outer, has its own rhythm, and if I am to really be present I must be with organic time, with seasonal changes, with weather and waiting, with hard work and trust, and with disappointment and surrender. I know in the end that while I garden I am the one who will be cultivated. It will be my inner soil that will be worked. I will be the one pruned and weeded. If there is any integration, peace, and fruitfulness, it will come by grace.

Photo from John's Garden

Photo from John's Garden