Archive for the ‘ Charities ’ Category

Being an author and teaching artist has in turn taught me so much. Most enlightening has been learning about the many outstanding grant-based and donor-funded programs available to South Florida parents and their children. Because of these programs, many parents have affordable and often free before and after care options, so they can work to support their families financially. And there’s so much more to these wonderful programs, including dedicated staff members.

Kids in Distress was created to for “the prevention of child abuse, preservation of the family, and the treatment of abused and neglected children.” Since 1979, the Broward chapter has been educating children through their preschools, aftercare program and day camps. They support families with numerous programs such as adoption, foster care, recovery services, and health and counseling services. The Children’s Services Council of Broward is at the forefront of this agency’s funding.

I was thrilled to be invited to present my literacy program to 75 students who participate in the MOST Aftercare Program, under the direction of Kevin Bochenek. These kids were curious, eager to learn and asked me more questions than I’ve ever been asked before. By the end of the author visit, they had a new appreciation for the biodiversity of the rainforest and seemed excited about reading more about it on their own.

DSC_0015Learning about the many animals species of the rain forest is so exciting!

DSC_0008We learned about the importance of geography literacy and reading maps.


One five-year-old boy knew how birds are responsible for planting so many trees (Yes, they poop out the seeds!)

DSC_0023Any and every child who has the privilege of learning with MOST Director Kevin Bochenek is lucky indeed. Kevin has been a dedicated child advocate for more than 25 years, and he’s so kind and caring with the children.

DSC_0002I love seeing art projects made by the children, and this beautiful facility has them decorating their bright walls.

DSC_0004The charming children’s library offers kids a wide variety or reading and learning options.

I want to thank Kevin from Kids in Distress for inviting me to present Lilly Badilly and all the children for making my day so bright. Keep reading and learning!

Readers, to contact Kids in Distress, click here. For more information about foster parenting, volunteering or mentoring, click here.

Comments (1)

My husband dragged 9 Hefty bags full of clothes and boxes of old books to Good Will this weekend. We’re cleaning up and streamlining here! I have so many Empty Nester friends doing the same thing now, I’m sure there are many of you out there who are doing the same. Here’s a list I compiled of 5 legitimate National charities where you can take your stuff or have it picked up and get a tax credit for your donations.


We sorted piles of clothing to give away and now have immaculate, uncluttered closests

  1. Good Will Industries – They take clean clothing, working electronics and toys with all the parts included. They do not want soiled clothes, broken items, anything unsafe or recalled or anything incomplete (like 1 mitten!)  83% of the money made is used to fund employment and training programs. I find that dropping off to Good Will is convenient and easy and there are locations all over the country.
  2. Salvation Army – This charity provides help to adults through their Adult Rehab Centers, striving to make those who use them totally self sufficient. They will gladly take furniture in good condition, clothing, books, household items, electronics and more, all in good condition. Their stores are really a great place to shop too, which is another way to support this excellent charity.
  3. Habitat for Humanity – Other than donating cash or your volunteer time to build homes, this charity has “Restores” that sell building materials as well as furniture and other home improvement items. So if you have any extra wood, tools, furniture, lighting or decorative items, this is a great place to donate. We gave an unused giant tub of high quality house paint (almost 5 gallons) one year. It was enough paint  for the exterior of a small house.
  4. AMVETS – Supporting American Veterans, Amvets is a great choice for donations, because they will come to your house to pick up your donated clothing and household items. They sell these in their thrift stores and use the proceeds to help veterans receive benefits, provide educational scholarships and much more.
  5. Vietnam Vets of America – They too have a pick-up program. You can schedule the pick up online. They take clothing, household goods, books, shoes and appliances.

There are many great local charities in every community as well. Check local churches, women’s organizations, animal shelters and more. Don’t forget our troops too.

For me, there’s no better feeling than to see my old stuff heading out the door. It means that I will have a less cluttered house and a less cluttered life. And there’s someone out there who can really use my stuff. It’s a Win/Win situation all the way around!

Have fun cleaning, and feel good about donating!

Leave your Comment

Last year I interviewed my friend, Daphne at Dylan’s Smile about her charity and her personal experience with having a son with a birth defect. It remains one of the most read blog posts on the site! Read it here.


Daphne brings comfort to families with children who have cleft palettes, lips and other other birth defects. Her charitable organization is accepting donations that will help pay for beautiful Gund teddy bears for children who are getting ready for surgery. You cannot imagine what a difference a teddy bear can make for a frightened child! Daphne is an amazing person with a great big heart! You simply cannot choose a better organization to support. Please donate today!

Click here for more info about the teddy bear program.

Leave your Comment