Helping a local cause in a fun way

There are many opportunities on the internet to join national competitions to earn recognition or funding for local efforts. One such that I recently learned about was While catching up with the Washington State University Roots & Shoots group, I learned that they have been working very hard to try and help a local sanctuary called Orphan Acres win a makeover from They need to accrue as many points as possible during the last 2 months of the contest. The top 20 organizations nominated will be able to proceed to the next round of judging by zootoo advisors who will travel to each site and see the conditions first hand. The vice president said that this would be an amazing turn of events for the owner Brent who has such a great need. Club members volunteer on the weekends but are trying to find new ways to help out more.

Right now the R&S group has helped push Orphan Acres from #59 to #36 in very little time.

If you are interested in learning more you can go to and join the group. I think you may have to create a zootoo account. Once you have joined you can help accumulate points through activities on the website like posting picture reviews or uploading photos of your pet.

I am sure there are more contests out there to help people, animals, or the environment. Feel free to respond and share some links with me!



An alternative to google that helps raise $

Hi all,

I have been using for a year now and wanted to share the link with everyone. JGI is a designated cause, so just type the full name in the field “Who do you search for?” and select verify. Once  you past that step you can search just as you would using google or choose to shop online. In 2006 we only raised $53.60, but this year it is up to $229.34. I typically search info online 10-15 times a day, so I could possibly raise about $50 a year all on my own. It doesn’t seem like a lot but if we continue to share this website with Roots & Shoots groups, especially during this holiday season, it is sure to add up  : )

Getting Glamour-ous with Dr. Jane

Everyone was dressed up and excited. We huddled together on the curb waiting to cross the street and enter one of the most famous performance spaces in the United States: Carnegie Hall.

Shanay Healy Katia Rossi Glamour Awards NYC

Shanay Healy Katia Rossi Glamour Awards NYC

It was November 10, and I had traveled to New York City to support Dr. Jane at the Glamour 2008 Women of the Year Awards. With me were Roots & Shoots Graduate Fellow Katia Rossi, as well as Roots & Shoots members from Port Jefferson, New York; New York City Home Educators Alliance (NYCHEA); and Western Connecticut State University.

Our calves burned as we were led, in heels, up several flights of stairs to the highest balcony. The view from our seats was outstanding. I tried to think of all the people who had sat in my seat before me. What did they wear? What performance did they see? I felt so lucky and overwhelmed with the history of the place.

We spotted Dr. Jane right away and then peered down to try and see the other award winners. We watched the stars’ entrances and introductions. Some of the celebrities—including Natalie Portman—were waiting in line to meet Dr. Jane. You could see the excitement and admiration they felt when they were meeting Dr. Jane. I remember those same feelings when I first met her too.

We were seated with a few groups of young women supporting other organizations and award winners. Even though we were far from the stage, the award winners knew that a whole bunch of young people were up there watching.

They would call up to us and say things like, “To all the young women in the balcony, this is what I wish someone would have told me when I was your age.” It made the whole experience so unique and especially uplifting. The editor of Glamour Magazine, Cynthia Leive, said, “I know you are in the nosebleeds today, but we hope that someday you’ll be up on this stage receiving your own award.”

Besides all the wonderful women we got to listen to and be inspired by, I think my favorite part was when Dr. Jane accepted her Lifetime Achievement Award. She pant-hooted at us from the stage, and we cheered in return. The Huffington Post wrote, “Jane did a special chimpanzee call to a group of girls from her not-for-profit Roots & Shoots, who were sitting in the upper balcony.” What they didn’t mention is how loud we cheered back!

Katia Rossi Shanay Healy Glamour Awards NYC

Katia Rossi Shanay Healy Glamour Awards NYC

It was a truly inspirational evening. The performances, speeches and heartfelt stories left me in a euphoric daze. Looking back on the event, it continues to fuel me to make a difference.

Want to get more of the Glamour awards happenings? Get the gossip.

Ditch the stress and walk.

I was returning to work after lunch today and realized just how much I like walking instead of using my car. It is much more relaxing then sitting at red lights and having to deal with other drivers. Unfortunately most people’s routines fall into our on-the-go lifestyle that our society has created and I think it weighs very heavily on work related stress and our health. As I walk home it gives me time to relax and think about other aspects of my life outside of work. The exercise is an added bonus, plus the fresh air. 

Selfishly I also wish more people had the ability to walk because then I would be breathing in less exhaust from cars passing by. Maybe I would even meet a few new faces and exchange in some light friendly conversation. If people walked between work and home, maybe it would allow more time to connect with the natural world and develop a few more environmental advocates. I challenge you to examine your day and add up all of the hours you spend inside a building or car; you may be surprised by how little of your day is spent in nature. It this is not the case, then consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

Another negative aspect of our lifestyle choices is the amount of garbage we create by always eating out and not spending time cooking at home. Both of my roommates work during the day and feel that fast food is their only option with the little time they have at lunch. They jump in their cars and speed to the nearest drive thru. Over time I see so many problems developing. It is not healthy for you or the environment.

By walking and preparing healthy meals at home you can greatly improve your daily life, help the environment, and curb stressful habits that affect so many people in our country.