Tag Archives | Giving Back

Giving Back: San Francisco SPCA

After my Giving Back post on Farm Sanctuary, I’m sure that you’ve come to realize that I’m a friend to the animals.

In this latest edition of the 2016 Giving Back series I’m sharing my experience with the San Francisco SPCA. This is an independent, local non-profit that started in 1868 and is still rescuing animals, socializing them, finding them homes, and helping educate the public about animal abuse and cruelty.

Both of my cats are rescues so I definitely have a personal reason to love this organization. While my moustached cat Bones, and his sister Bungie, were found by a friend of mine on the street as a very young kitten, my second cat, Jameson, was rescued from the San Francisco SPCA.

Originally Bones and I lived in a three-bedroom apartment with Bungie and her mom Jac, and they had grand cat adventures in Russian Hill. But when Bones and I were living solo he started getting very angsty at home. Ahhh – The teenage years. He was making tons of noise all night and committing hate crimes while I was a work. {Read: Knocking the screen off the fireplace and tracking ashy footprints all over the ENTIRE apartment.} A friend who was crashing with me at the time suggested a trip to the SPCA to pick out a sibling for him.

Giving Back SF SPCA San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Crazy Cat Lady

While I was secretly hoping to get an older, well-behaved cat, there were two tiny black kittens that immediately caught our attention. It turned out that they were siblings whose home had recently caught on fire and they’d been turned over to the SPCA while their family focused on relocating and rebuilding.

They were shy, obviously a bit traumatized after their harrowing experience, but they still came out to check on all the people and smell their hands. I knew coming home with two kitten wasn’t the best idea, and was hesitant to split them up, but while we watched a cute couple picked out the male kitten. We stayed and played with the little female, who eventually flipped up her tail {a sign that she was getting comfortable} and nuzzled our fingers.

I was hooked!

Jameson is still an exceptionally shy cat, who hides in the closet when anyone other than my boyfriend or I walk into the apartment, but she’s also sweet, affectionate, and an A+ cuddler with a V-12 motor.

If you’ve never rescued an animal, I highly, highly recommend visiting an SPCA facility next time you’re thinking of expanding your family.

No plans to get a pet right now? You can still get involved! You can volunteer, there are even youth programs, and you can donate here.

Are YOU a rescuer too? Have YOU been to your local SPCA?

And yes – This SPCA write-up was the perfect excuse to go Crazy Cat Lady for a full post. 🙂


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Giving Back: Dare to Bare Fitness Festival

I was recently introduced to the wonderful Bay Area organization – The Movemeant Foundation. This group promotes self-confidence in young men and women by supporting local programs that use health and fitness to empower and inspire.

And last weekend I was beyond excited to join the whole Movemeant crew, including the organization’s founder Jenny Gaither, for a seriously inspiration morning of fun in the sun for their annual fitness festival.

Dare to Bare Fitness Festival Movemeant Foundation San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Workout Gear SoulCycle Trainer

The Dare to Bare event, held in the Marina, was an outdoor festival that featured the likes of TRX Suspension Training, SurfSet, hip hop dancing classes, SoulCycle, and other fun, exciting workouts.

The event also had a wonderful round-up of sponsors including some of my favorite brands – Zico, Purity Organic, Camelbak, Sambazon, and Under Amour, among many amazing others.

Dare to Bare Fitness Festival Movemeant Foundation San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Workout Gear SoulCycle Trainer

After enjoying the walk over to the venue and checking in, I did a quick spin around the space. Two stages, a dance floor, surf boards, TRX equipment, and delicious snack and drink stands. Not to mention a high energy group of fitness enthusiasts all milling about excitedly. Post-tour I was thrilled to grab a bike and sit in the sun listening to Jenny introduce the event and her fellow SoulCycle sisters.

The three trainers then took us through a killer workout with tons of girl power and cheering. Nothing makes you feel quite as powerful as being in a sea of inspirational women all pumping their fists and riding in a black Dare to Bare sports bra to support the same cause as you.

Dare to Bare Fitness Festival Movemeant Foundation San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Workout Gear SoulCycle Trainer

This was the second Dare to Bare festival and I for one can’t wait until next year’s festival!

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Giving Back: SF-Marin Food Bank

After a trip to Africa to learn about ASKenya last month, I thought we’d stay closer to home for April’s Giving Back post.

I’ve been working with the SF-Marin Food Bank since it was just the SF Food Bank!

Not only have they been around for 27 years, but they have a great rating over at Charity Navigator. What does that mean? It means that when you donate to this organization, virtually all of the funds go to the organization itself rather than towards administrative costs or fundraising. In the case of the SF-Marin Food Bank – 96.5% of the charity’s total expenses are spent on the programs and services that it delivers.

San Francisco Food Bank: Giving Back

So what do they do?

With 130 employees, 25,000 volunteers, and 450 partnering organizations in the Bay Area, the SF-Marin Food Bank is working every day to fight hunger. That means they’re collecting, packing, and distributing food, as well as offering programs geared towards supporting children and families, seniors, and nutritional education.

There are a number of ways that you can get involved that range from monetary donations and supporting the meal-a-month program to workplace & corporate sponsorships, hosting food drives, and volunteering.

With locations in San Francisco and Marin, local food drives, events, and work-sponsored programs, anyone interested in getting involved with the SF-Marin Food Bank here in the Bay Area can find a way!

How are YOU giving back this month? Do YOU have a favorite organization to support right now?

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Giving Back: Africa Schools of Kenya (ASK)

After January and February’s Giving Back posts on animal rights organization Farm Sanctuary and community oriented accessories company Ways of Change, respectively, I wanted to delve even deeper and touch on some of the international aid organizations that are doing wonderful things in the world today.

First up is ASKenya – aka African Schools of Kenya.

ASK African Schools of Kenya Giving Back Non-Profit

Since 2007 ASK has been working with the Maasai people of Southern Kenya to develop scholastic and awareness programs to educate students on everything from leadership and life skills to women’s rights, healthcare, and sustainability.

As a result of these efforts a number of students have graduated or are attending middle and high schools sponsored by ASK donors and the organization has been able to work in conjunction with 20 schools in the surrounding areas to provide educational opportunities that would never have existed otherwise.

The focus of ASK has been on the Maasai people of Esiteti and the foundation & growth of Esiteti Primary School, which has more than 400 students today.

There are a number of ways that you can get involved with these educational programs – From helping teachers earn their teaching certification, book drives, sponsoring a student, supporting the Alternative Rite-of-Passage program for Maasai girls, or even becoming a pen pal.

ASK African Schools of Kenya Giving Back Non-Profit

I was excited to get involved with this great organization during 2016 by sponsoring a child to finish school and supporting the incredibly important Alternative Rite-of-Passage program for young Maasai girls.

Want to learn more? Check out the ASK photo gallery and the Becoming Maasai Women documentary.

Tell me – How are YOU giving back?

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Giving Back: Ways of Change

I couldn’t be more excited for today’s edition of the Giving Back series and to finally get to share the fun project that I’ve been working on.

Not only because I’m thrilled with how my film debut turned out {squeals} but because I get the chance to introduce you to an amazing new brand.

In the past few years I’ve really enjoyed getting the chance to learn more about the fashion industry and where our things come from. Not just the story behind the clothing and accessories, but the people behind them.

And today I get to share the wonderful story of Ways of Change, an ethically sourced accessories company that works with refugees who are also skilled artisans. In addition to being a socially conscious company, they’re also giving back to the community as a portion of all proceeds go to support community projects and to improve the daily life of refugees all over the world.

So click the link below to see me twirling on the beach at sunset in some truly unique and eye-catching pieces of jewelry from Ways of Change.

The rings, the earrings, the necklaces, and the bracelets – All to die for!

And be sure to stay tuned for an amazing giveaway featuring this gorgeous jewelry!

And don’t forget – #WearTheChange

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