Author Archives: Nate

About Nate

Co-Founder of Love Drop. Changing the world in 15 minutes a week.

Charity Spotlight Series: Dream Foundation

When a child is diagnosed with a terminal illness, parents want to make precious memories in the time they have left, often enlisting the help of the Make A Wish Foundation to grant a final wish. In 1993, Thomas Rollerson discovered no such organization existed for terminally ill adults. One year later, the Dream Foundation was created.

For families struggling to make ends meet, granting the final wish of a dying loved one can be difficult, if not impossible. Astronomical hospital bills and care-giver fees can drain a family’s budget very quickly. The Dream Foundation focuses on easing this burden by catering to the specific needs and desires of its dreamers.

Located in California, the Dream Foundation manages three different programs, Dream Granting, Flower Empower and the Toy Program.

Dream Granting – The website refers to this program as the, “heart and soul of the Dream Foundation.” They pose the question, “If you had one year to live. . . what would your dream be?” Then they try to fulfill it. Potential dreamers are encouraged to fill out an application telling a little about their illness and then describe their request. For the Dream Foundation there is no “want” that is too farfetched. In the past, people have asked for a garden in their name, a book of poetry published, a loved one flown in from far away and many would like to meet a favorite celebrity or take one last vacation with their family.

Flower Empower – Based in Santa Monica, this program was started by local volunteers who wanted to brighten the day of critically ill people in their city. Every Saturday morning a group of volunteers meets at a local farmer’s market to assemble bouquets of donated flowers. The arrangements are then delivered to hospitals, hospice facilities and homes. In addition to the flowers, deliveries may also include fresh-baked cookies and chocolate.

Toy Program – For dying parents with young children, the emotional and financial strain on a family can be overwhelming. Volunteers from the Toy Program send parents age-appropriate gifts for their children. The gifts are pre-wrapped and sent directly to the parent to give to the child. This partnership with Ty company and Hasbro is wonderful because it gives children a momentary respite from their parents’ illness and everything it brings with it.

It was an emotional experience to read through the current dreamer requests and past wishes granted. Paul is battling a brain tumor but wanted to see the final installment of Harry Potter with his 16-year-old son. Zoh, a mother of two young children whose breast cancer returned, wanted to spend some quality time with her family. Amie, almost completely paralyzed from the neck down from her battle with ALS, wants to attend a Rick Springfield concert. Sweet, spunky 91-year-old Jeannie told her doctors she wanted to die in her home and then promptly asked the Dream Foundation for a lobster dinner and coconut cream pie. The wishes are different but the sentiment is the same. They each want something they can savor, that their families can savor, to take some sting out of what’s to come.

The Dream Foundation accepts monetary donations, mileage vouchers and other unique ideas individuals have that could help the dreamers.

“I know if we could step away just for a few days we could put some punctuation on this time and move forward as a family, lighter and less wounded. My wish is to be just myself, for my family.” — Zoh – Dream Foundation dreamer

 Make your heart happy. Do good.


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Charity Spotlight: Band Back Together

When you’re weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all. . . I’m on your side.”

Those iconic lyrics are from the 1970’s classic, Bridge Over Troubled Water. After all these years it remains a tune of hope and feels like a snug radio hug whenever I hear it. The message of the song reflects the mantra of our latest charity spotlight, Band Back Together, “we are none of us alone.”

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the Simon and Garfunkel of Band Back Together, Becky and Jana. Some of you serious bloggers might know Becky as Aunt Becky from her wildly popular site, Mommy Wants Vodka. I’m a big fan of her no-holds-barred persona and zany Twitter page so I didn’t know what to expect. During our interview she was reserved, making it very clear she was serious about The Band and all the goodness they provide, in spite of the often difficult subject matter.

Before The Band

Becky’s third child was born with a rare neural tube defect. The shock of the diagnosis and weight of the treatment involved to cure her daughter took its toll. Already fighting emotional demons from life as a child of alcoholism, she began to experience depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. When she wrote about these torrents of emotion on her blog she received many, “there-there” comments but also, “hey, I’ve been there too” responses. When I asked why she didn’t create a site based solely on her daughter’s condition she said, “I thought about it, but then decided it would be too exclusive. Everyone has a story.”

Band Members

It would be great if life were like an episode of the Cosby show with little Rudy Huxtable lip-syncing a jazz tune at the end but it’s not. Life has handed people some dark and twisty stuff that tests their resolve every day. Band Back Together provides a place for people to submit their story of struggle and also triumph, whatever that may be. The stories are categorized so you can find a topic with ease. BBT’s goal is to give people a safe place to read, share and talk. With over 100 subjects already covered under the site from adoption to eating disorders, to the loss of a child, nothing is off-limits.

How The Band Helps

For many, writing down the words they wish they could say to their abuser or talking to cancer like it’s a living thing is helpful. Telling their personal story is cathartic. Others just want to know they’re not alone. Band Back Together provides both these opportunities and then they go one step further. For each category they also provide a resource page. Many bleary-eyed, sleepless hours by Becky, Jana and their volunteer staff went into creating it. From a suicide hotline to Asperger’s page, The Band not only allows readers to vent, they also let them know where to go for help. Becky considers this page especially helpful to patients who have just been diagnosed with a serious disease or condition. Doctors provide advice for the disease itself but not how to “live” with it. Band Back Together helps patients deal with the emotional toll.

Aunt Becky, Jana and the entire BBT team are incredibly inspiring and their work is tireless. Regardless of the burden you carry, Band Back Together wants to be your bridge over troubled water. Everyone is welcome and you are never alone.

Make your heart happy. Do good.

Posted in Blog, Charity Spotlight | 2 Comments

Charity Spotlight: Positively Positive

positively positive logo
Where can you find a master yogi, a super model, an Olympic gold medal winner, a shark attack survivor, a chef, a singer/songwriter and an author? If you said on the next season of Dancing With The Stars, I’ll give you points for creativity. And you know the yogi would totally dominate because, hello, flexibility. But no, actually, these accomplished individuals make up an organization dedicated to, “optimism and inspiration.” They’re known as simply, Positively Positive.

People, it’s tough out there. Open the newspaper (they still exist, really, go get one) and you’ll read about home foreclosures. Turn on the news and you’ll see pictures of the latest natural disaster or bickering presidential candidates. Even when the bad news is delivered by the dreamy Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News, it’s still depressing. Throw in a bevy of our own personal issues and it’s easy to get mired down. Positively Positive wants to make sure you’re uplifted, every day, and they’re doing it by providing inspirational quotes, short videos and blog posts.

Only have a few minutes? You can still fill up your happy tank.
  Positively Positive is chock-full of video and bloggy nuggets of wisdom, humor and insight. Do you have a little extra time? Order the Venti Pumpkin Spice at Starbucks and really settle in to check out the site in detail. Be sure to read through the contributor profiles. Psst – You might find a famous super model, best-selling author or celebrity fitness coach in the mix.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life” – J.K. Rowling.

That’s just one bit of goodness taken from the Quotes section. I guess even an extraordinarily successful author with a gazillion dollars can have a bad day.

illustrated by Amanda Cass - Dodinsky "The Light Within"

The quotes, stories, poems and videos at Positively Positive are not just bits of cotton candy fluff to be consumed and forgotten. The contributors are real people dealing with real subjects people can relate to. Cancer, parenting, charity, weight loss, yep, you’ll find that here and so much more.

One of my favorite videos on the site was by author/social media expert, Gary Vaynerchuck. In his 2.5 minute video, Gary shares a story from high school. The take-away is this; Don’t worry about improving your weaknesses, instead, focus all your energy on your strengths. His last sentence is the title of the video, “A Penguin Cannot Become A Giraffe, So Just Be The Best Penguin That You Can Be.”

The Positively Positive team believes in, “lifting one another up to richer, more fulfilling lives.” That’s a message we approve of.

Make your heart happy. Do good.

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Charity Spotlight: Create The Good

Have you ever had one of those moments where you were really inspired to help but didn’t know how to make a difference? Like maybe after you watched the Blind Side? You know, the movie about the Tuohy family and how they adopted an at-risk youth and just by showing him trust, kindness and love, turned his life around? After the movie was over, did you put down your box of Kleenex and shout, “I WILL ADOPT AN AT-RISK YOUTH,” but then realized you shared a college dorm with 3 other people and that idea probably wouldn’t go over well with your resident advisor?

WELL, recently I discovered a website where you can find volunteer opportunities to fit any lifestyle, Create The Good.

Create The Good, sponsored by the fine folks at AARP is designed in a way that makes finding a good deed as easy as clicking the “Find Things To Do” tab. By entering your zip code you will be given immediate access to local opportunities in your area. On the day I searched, I found requests for gardeners, camp assistants, painters, animal lovers and emergency response team assistance. No money is required, just arrange with the project coordinator, show up and create the good.

Too busy to help in person? Maybe the “online opportunities” are better suited for you. Become a pen pal mentor, help someone budget their finances, edit a resume, or discuss career counseling. The site is a good reminder that help comes in many forms. It doesn’t always need a big commitment of time or even a money investment. A small gesture like donating used eyeglasses, buying batteries for the children’s ward at a hospital, participating in a book swap, and thanking someone in the military are all fantastic ways to make a difference.

On Create The Good, not only can you find opportunities for yourself, you can also recruit. Once you’ve registered with the site you’re able to create your own activities and invite volunteers to help. You can advertise for a one-time event or an ongoing need in your community. It’s like hosting your own festive Helping Party. Bring fun beverages, maybe balloons.

Create The Good – motto:  Be a force for good. . . whether you have 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days.” How will you create the good, today? Whether you check on an elderly neighbor, serve dinner to the homeless, read at a library or adopt an at-risk youth and teach him your love of football, the important thing is, DO something and pay it forward!

 Make your heart happy. Do good!

Posted in Blog, Charity Spotlight | 3 Comments

Charity Spotlight: TwitChange

Here”s an organization that set out to prove our grandparents wrong. Social media is not the end of civility today, in fact, it’s quickly becoming a philanthropic revolution. Read on to find out how TwitChange is using Twitter and Facebook to make an impact on the world.

How TwitChange was born. In January 2010, the world watched as the impoverished country of Haiti was literally shaken to its core by a devastating earthquake. In the aftermath, Shaun King, a self-proclaimed, “techie humanitarian” launched a social media campaign to help raise money for Haiti’s people. It was so successful he raised 2 million dollarsand caught the attention of Microsoft execs. Microsoft advised actress and activist, Eva Longoria to partner with Shaun’s team instead of starting her own relief fund. When she heard the pitch about TwitChange (an idea that had been swirling in Shaun’s mind for some time) Longoria was not only excited nbso online casino reviews to join the mission herself, she invited a few of her closest friends. Perhaps you’ve heard of them, Demi Moore, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato and that master of tween suspense on American Idol, Ryan Seacrest. Not too shabby.

By the time TwitChange launched, over 100 celebrities had agreed to come on board and invited their Twitter followers to participate in a unique relief effort. Using the eBay auction site, fans bid on the opportunity to be followed, mentioned or retweeted by their favorite celebrity. Stars had fun with the campaign, often sweetening the deal by including tickets and autographs. In 10 days, eBay received over $500,000 in bids.

Since the Haiti campaign, TwitChange has teamed up with Pittsburgh Steelers, Troy Polamalu to help families of American soldiers, and a second time with Eva Longoria to raise funds for CARE, an organization committed to providing education to girls and women in 80 countries. Again, the idea was simple. Loyal fans bid for the chance to be followed, retweeted or mentioned by their favorite stars and maybe receive a little celebrity swag bag, as well. Again, both campaigns were a success.

In addition to managing their ongoing relief efforts and fundraising activities, the TwitChange site has a news section where they link to other charities and discuss social media connections people can get involved with. According to the site, their next campaign is “coming soon.” With Twitter and Facebook giving fans instant access to their favorite celebrities, it’s no secret why this is a winning formula. Thanks, Shaun King, for teaching us there’s more to social media than lunch tweets and Farmville.

For more information aboutTwitChange, visit their site: and follow them on Twitter @TwitChange and @shaunking.

Make your heart happy. Do Good.

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Charity Spotlight Series: Kiva

Lately we’ve been telling you about some unique charities and all-around cool people doing some pretty nifty stuff for mankind. . . and animalkind too. This week we want to introduce you to a nonprofit group with over 450 volunteers in 60 countries who span the world in order to provide lending opportunities to people without access to traditional banking services. Grab a beverage, sit back and let me tell you about our latest find, the micro-finance organization, Kiva!

Lawrence Mushabe is a 42-year old businessman from Kyenjojo, Uganda. He’s a married father of eight who owns a small successful roadside store where he sells local staples like maize flour, sugar, salt and soft drinks. Lawrence would like to expand his product line and purchase more inventory, but he’s unable to obtain a bank loan. In the past, this budding entrepreneur would’ve had little options to grow his business. Now, thanks to Kiva, Lawrence can request a small loan and people from Mississippi to Mogadishu can help fund it for as little as $25.00. That’s global giving!

Maybe you’re saying, but Dani, that sounds complicated. Not for Kiva. They’ve got a well-developed plan. Let’s break this new-fangled lending system down, shall we? Kiva works with Field Partners who meet with potential borrowers. After a vetting process, if the borrower is approved, the Field Partner distributes the small loan. Information about the borrower is shared with Kiva through a group of editors and translators. The borrower’s story is published on the Kiva site. Lenders then read through borrower stories and choose which loans they’d like to fund. They can fund a large portion of one borrower’s loan or small portions of several loans. The minimum loan amount is $25.00. The borrower makes repayments to the Field Partner who then sends it to Kiva. Kiva deposits the loan repayment in the lender’s account who can then use it to fund another loan or withdraw it.

Of course, that was just the quick version. If you visit the site you’ll find detailed information about how Field Representatives are chosen, what criteria they use to approve borrowers and if you’re like our resident fiscal-fanatic, J$, you can really dig deep and learn about the history of microfinance. Be sure to check out the borrower stories. They provide an interesting glimpse in to the trade and commerce of other countries, particularly impoverished regions.

Pop quiz! Name a top-selling retail commodity in Tanzania?If you said, charcoal, you’re RIGHT, and should probably be on Jeopardy. See there, now you have a little factoid to share with the kids at dinner tonight. You’re welcome.

Wanna see the impact of Kiva? Check out this great video that maps the flow of money over the last 5 years.

Intercontinental Ballistic Microfinance from Kiva on Vimeo.

We think Kiva is worth talking about because they believe in global empowerment. Their mission: “Connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.” Yep! Sounds like a good plan to me.

Make your heart happy. Do good!

EDITOR’S NOTE: I, J$, have been participating in Kiva for about 2 years now – they are hands down one of my favorite organizations! The beauty of the whole thing is that after you “invest” your money in these hard workers, you slowly get it back and can then RE-LEND it again over and over continuing to help people with that same original amount (for the most part – there are little fees here and there). I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t heard about them before – they’re good people. And then join my Budgets Are Sexy team if you end up signing up! We have a small group of people giving together :)

Posted in Blog, Charity Spotlight | 2 Comments

Charity Spotlight: Freekibble

This week’s charity spotlight is so adorable I just can’t stand it. Are you an animal lover? Do you have pets? Does the mere site of a puppy or kitten make your voice go up 12 octaves and your dignity go out the window as you squeal, “It’s soooooo cute?” If so, you’re going to love Freekibble and its sister site, Freekibble Kat.

The Freekibble tail (do you see what I did there) began in 2008 when 11-year-old Mimi Ausland, a budding philanthropist, wanted to make sure dogs and cats in her local Oregon animal shelters had enough good nutritious food to go around. Freekibble partnered with the pet food company, Halo, Purely For Pets and now they deliver food to shelters across the United states. According to the kibble counter at the bottom of the website home page, over 600 million pieces of kibble have been donated since 2008.

Interestingly, Freekibble has a corporate sponsor so they don’t necessarily need donations but they do need people to show an interest in the cause. In order to show that people care about Freekibble and to keep their sponsorship, they’ve created a very clever way to keep people coming back to the site. . . trivia! Each day when you visit Freekibble or Freekibble Kat you will be greeted with a Bow Wow Trivia or Meow Trivia question. The questions are multiple choice but you don’t even have to get them right. Just by participating, Halo donates 10 pieces of kibble to animal shelters.

When you check out the site, be sure to visit Mimi’s blog under Freekibble Kids and the “Knews” section for fun posts about animals and other kids doing big things. The stories titled, “Unlikely Animal Friendships” are precious. A Cockatoo and a cat?A hound dog and a pot-bellied pig?It’s almost cute overload I tell you. Oh, and I almost forgot, pictures of dogs and cats galore.

Although the site appears to be aimed at kids and tweens, the work they’re doing for shelter pets is clearly grown-up stuff. In July 2011 they were mentioned in an article featured in “O” magazine. You know “O” magazine is Oprah, right? If Ms. Winfrey is talking about you, odds are you’re a pretty big deal. I hope the site prompts adults to visit and answer trivia questions, and inspires kids to think about how they can help their own community.

Hey! Did you know the Tanzanian Tiger is not found in Africa, nor is it a wild cat? I didn’t either, but I do now, AND I just donated 10 pieces of kibble to a shelter just by answering the question. Visit the site today, answer a question to get those 10 pieces of kibble donated to an animal shelter and tuck all those factoids away for your next game of Trivial pursuit.

Make your heart happy. Do good!

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Charity Spotlight: The $5 Project

People who belong to the Facebook community, know it’s a great place to track down childhood friends, keep in touch with distant relatives, stalk old high school boyfriends and play a game of Bingo Blitz with Grandma. Now they can also help a worthy cause (several actually) and it will only cost $5.00. This week we highlight the charity managed solely on Facebook, The $5 Project.

When Betsy Schauer, professor of music at University of Arizona, watched coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, she was struck by the magnitude of people who heeded the American Red Cross’ plea to make $10 donations via text message. Though people gave just a little, they felt empowered because they knew they were a part of a bigger movement. Betsy had a little epiphany for a future endeavor that night and after it needled her brain for a year, The Five Dollar Project became a reality.

As mentioned above, The $5 Project doesn’t have a traditional web page, it has a Facebook page and that’s where all the action happens. Betsy and her board members choose a local or regional charity to highlight for one month. Loyal followers of the project donate $5.00 to the cause and then use their own social networks to spread the word. At the end of the month, the donations are tallied and the group does a follow-up on the highlighted organization, showing how they were impacted by the influx of generosity.

Since The $5 Project launched on Facebook in January, they’ve helped a variety of agencies. Their idea was to champion local and regional causes across the United States that normally don’t get the exposure larger charities such as the Red Cross gets. Including their very first charity, PALS (Positive Activities Lead To Success)an after school and summer program located in an impoverished area of Colorado.

In August, the project rallied around, Beyond Balance, a New Jersey therapeutic riding center for people with special needs. Giving to this organization hit close to home for $5 Project board member, Dana Dwyer who has two children with Autism. Dana previously attended a Beyond Balance class with her son and remarked at the amazing difference it made in his coordination and physical awareness. The $5 Project was able to raise $660.00 for Beyond Balance in one month. Dana hopes the money will be used to sponsor other Autistic children who otherwise might not be able to have the same experience her son had.

The $5 Project is an example of what Love Drop has known to be true from the beginning of our adventure in micro-giving, that people are more apt to participate and donate if they feel like their portion is an essential ingredient in the big ole pie. Members of the $5 Project seetheir dollars go to work every month in a new and different way. We know how precisely how that feels. . . awesome!

Make your heart happy. Do good!

Posted in Blog, Charity Spotlight | 2 Comments

Episode #2: Strength and Love

(Episode #2 of 4)

This episode gives us an inside look into the strength and love that surrounds Lucy and the rest of her family and friends. Her attitude in life has always been contagious, and no less so now that she’s dealing with her sickness. Her steadfast faith that she will work through the pain and come through on the other side has inspired those around her to be stronger, both for her and for each other.

It’s evident how much everyone loves Lucy, which goes to show you the depth of her own character. It’s going to be our privilege to meet this awesome young woman face-to-face in a couple weeks. :)

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Felicity’s Love Drop!

(Episode #4 of 4)

This was one of the biggest Drops yet, team! We drove down to Atlanta to hang out with little Felicity and the rest of the Withrow family, and to help them out a little bit with all the medical costs incurred from battling Felicity’s brain cancer.

We were blessed this month to have visitors and special guests at the Drop from all over the country, all gathering at the (almost) farm of one of our team members. Especially cool was a very sweet presentation from Kat Cole, the president of Cinnabon, who came down to join in the celebration. All in all, our community raised over $5,000 to help with expenses, plus threw a surprise baby shower for Amanda, delivering tons of extra gifts!

Thank you all for making this month special! Click here to learn about Felicity’s entire story :)

Total gifts given to Felicity and family:
[To check out the pictures, click here.]

  • A check for $5,287.26! – You guys REALLY outdid yourself this month! And a perfect family to come together for too, as the Withrows can really use this support right now:) There are a ton of medical bills that come out of cancer treatments as you can imagine, and with a new baby on its way, they were incredibly thankful to hear the news. A special thank you goes out to Cinnabon and its president, Kat Cole, a long-standing member of Love Drop, for pushing us over our $5,000 goal this month, and then taking it a step further and actually SHOWING UP to celebrate with us! It was an incredible treat (bah-dum-ching)!
  • A customized Cinnabon Party! – Not only did Cinnabon show up to BE a part of our Drop, but they also surprised the Withrows with a fully-catered “make your own Cinnabons” party the next time they need one for any event :) They’re opening their company doors to them, and will soon be having fun baking them right there in their R&D offices (or wherever the Withrows choose). Pretty unique gift!
  • $750 worth of custom organization!! An incredible gift by The Stow Company, and its local affiliate SpaceMakers. They’ll be building out some killer shelves/organizational areas for one of their closets/pantries, or whatever they really need help with. Thanks so much, guys! Great surprise.
  • Dozens, and dozens of hand-made cards full of love and support – Made by the wonderful kids at St. Andrew Lutheran Church Youth! And headed up by our very own Love Drop member, Emmy. Not only were these made to cheer up, and support, the Withrows, but also to be delivered to the other kids at the hospital where little Felicity currently gets treatment every day. Really really cool idea, and always meaningful coming from little kids just like her :)
  • A hand-made “Love Drop” blanket for Felicity – Designed, and created, by Jacqueline Mukweto Designs :) This was absolutely incredible.
  • A FULL DAY’s worth of house cleaning! – Courtesy of Rosie & husband from Rosie’s Cleaning Service :) That was so gracious of you two.
  • A *large* gift card from special guest Anissa Meyhew of – who not only gave such a generous gift, but ALSO provided an enormous amount of emotional support for Amanda and family. One of us overheard that it was actually the highlight of the event for Amanda :) So thankful you could be a part of it, Anissa!
  • A Kindle, and Kindle cover! – From long-time member Diane Mettam – mom of Joy Stalnaker!:)
  • Also a whole bunch of yarn, and a pattern book – From Diane
  • Family tickets to The World of Coke!! – Another *awesome* gift by Coca-Cola (along with their partner Cinnabon).
  • Family tickets to Cirque du Soleil – Courtesy of (thx, as always!)
  • A handful of $25 gift certificates – from a whole bunch of people including Robin Greene and Jacqueline Mukweto (thx guys!)
  • $50 gift certificate to Texas Roadhouse — Which we celebrated at the next night, and we thoroughly enjoyed :) (with our own money, haha, not *their* gift card!) Thanks Roadhouse!
  • $35 gift certificate to Jump in The City – Woohoo!
  • Passes & tokens to Chuck E. Cheese’s – Double woohoo!
  • A beautiful stuffed horse for Felicity – lovingly given by Elizabeth Daniel :)
  • Fully catered munchables by Chick Fil A – Huge thanks Shannon!)
  • A couple of kiddie bags, full of books and toys to keep Felicity and Brennan occupied during their hospital visits :) (Good idea Sarah!)
  • Two beautifully designed custom hand prints – crafted by Nicole Gray from Piggies and Paws!
  • 6 months of meal plans courtesy of (Thanks for always participating!)
  • 6 months of coaching services from – Solutions for midlife parents, troubled teens, single moms & career challenges.
  • Hand-picked toys for each child from
  • Computer lessons from Brandon (thx man!)
  • And a photo book to capture the entire Drop’s celebrations. You rock GroupStory.

We then surprised Amanda with a fun baby shower! (With over $1,000 worth of stuff. And by “we,” I mean our AWESOME Love Drop members – Desiree Miller & Shannon Henrici :))

  • Fully catered snacks by our Cinnabon friends! (We called them “bons in the oven,” haha…) As well as a beautifully packaged gift basket.
  • $300 Pampers gift card – Along with a ton of free baby wipe certificates (Thx Jolly mom & Pampers!)
  • A diaper cake & a whole bunch of hats – So cool :) Huge thanks to Little Boo Creations
  • A GREAT mommaRoo baby swing! – Thanks so much 4Moms!
  • A K’tan Baby Carrier! – Thanks Michal :)
  • A slew of hand-made baby bibs, blanket, booties – Lovingly sewn by Jacqueline Mukweto yet again!
  • A huge gift bag full of cool baby stuff – Courtesy of Cool Mom Picks
  • Another basket of goodies – Including a $50 salon gift certificate (Thx again Desiree!!)
  • And ANOTHER gift basket :) – This one including a bunch of Episencial all natural skincare lotions

You guys killed it again! Our 2nd biggest $ amount raised yet – thanks to everyone who participated and made this Drop happen :) Especially Cinnabon, Shannon, Desiree, Stow, and both of our lovely photographers for the event: Brandy Knight and Joy Knight Photography (no relation, haha…). Love ya!

Posted in felicity | 3 Comments

Episode #2: The Strength of Family

(Episode #2 of 3)

In this episode, we get to see the strong family bonds that hold the Aubin family together, especially through Sheila’s tireless work ethic. Everyone not only pulls their weight, but helps each other out along the way. They’ve stuck together through thick and thin, so this month we’re happy to help lighten their load just a little bit, and let them focus on the transition as they move into the next phase of their lives.

In the next video we’ll learn more about the family’s journey and sacrifice…

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The Stalnaker’s Love Drop!

(Episode #5 of 5)

Guys, this was one of the most fun Drops we’ve ever done. A 1,000 mile road trip, Southern hospitality, a big giveaway, a fantastic surprise, local special guests, and working with high school kids . . . such an awesome time!

The Stalnaker family was a pleasure to be around, and Joy’s class helped make every moment fun for us. Also, guess what? The video you’re watching here was shot by two students from her class. We loved getting everyone involved, and you’re gonna love the video. Enjoy!

Thank you all for your help in making this month special for our family! See you next time…

Total breakdown of all gifts given:
[To check out the pictures, click here.]

  • Ford Mustang Convertible! WE DID IT GUYS!!! We got Joy a new car! Huge enormous thanks goes out to Britt and family for making this happen and completely putting their hearts behind it. The power of this community is absolutely incredible, and we wish them nothing but luck on their RV trip around the country. Thank you THANK YOU thank you! (And to Church Point United Methodist too)
  • $1,200 Check from the Love Drop team. Icing on the cake!
  • $450 from Kart Ranch – a family owned and operated family entertainment center. They sent over $200 worth of gift cards, on top for a check for $250! You guys rock.
  • PlayStation 3 as our team’s “special gift” this month :)
  • $50 Gas card from Pointe DE L’Eglise Texaco (thx guys!)
  • $50 Amazon gift card for Kindle books (thx Trinnie!)
  • $25 Food card to (and from) Parrot’s Pointe
  • $25 Coffee card to (and from) Community Coffee
  • Cinema Package! Courtesy of Crowley Cinema. Not only did they give the Stalnaker’s free tickets and food and special posters for the kids, but they delivered it all IN PERSON! It made such a difference that Joy even started crying. Seth and the Crowley crew didn’t know it, but they hadn’t been out to the movies together in over a year. It was awesome to have them celebrate with us.
  • Children’s Museum of Acadiana Package! Physically brought, and shared, by the lovely ladies of the Museum too! Adding even more joy to the entire presentation :) They brought an artistic basket full of crafts and membership passes for the entire family – which just so happens to be little Bradley’s favorite! You all rocked it out. (The next time anyone’s in the Lafayette area, I highly encourage you to check it out – it’s awesome!)
  • Lafayette Travel Package! Full of gifts and toys and a whole bunch of VIP tickets to local attractions. Thanks so much Lafayette Travel!
  • 1 year family membership to the Zoo of Acadiana! (Great idea, Carey!)
  • Framed newspaper of Super Bowl champs, The Saints Given by Joy’s mom, and original Love Drop team member, Diane! It was wonderful meeting you guys in person!! Thank you for being a part of such a special day :)
  • Bags full of toys for Bradley & David – Packed with bubbles, chalk, battle axe (haha…) coloring stuff, water toys, and a whole mess of other fun kid stuff… big thanks to Sarah, Em and the gang for putting all this together :)
  • 6 months of meal plans courtesy of (Thanks for always participating!)
  • 6 months of coaching services from – Solutions for midlife parents, troubled teens, single moms & career challenges.
  • Star Wars DVD set sent over by Love Drop member Aldo
  • Nice journal from Love Drop member Sarah :))
  • Computer lessons from Brandon (thx man!)
  • Hand-picked toys for each child from
  • And a photo book to capture the entire day’s fun by GroupStory – mad love as always.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this day special for the Stalnakers! All our Love Drop members, our Forum members, Church Point High School, all the kids who participated throughout the month, Aldo & Josh for our free stays, and a special thanks to Catherine Guidry Photography for capturing the day’s events for us. See you next month! :)

Posted in Stalnaker | 11 Comments

Episode #3: A Teacher in the Truest Sense

(Episode #3 of 5)

When you think about teachers who have made an impact in your life, you think of the ones who not only help you understand the material, but will go above and beyond to make sure you’re doing the best you can with the knowledge, not only in the classroom, but also in life. Joy Stalnaker is that kind of teacher.

In this episode we get to hear from many of the kids she teaches and mentors at Church Point High School. It’s so cool to get to hear firsthand from the lives she’s impacted, y’all. We can’t wait to get down there next week and meet everybody!

Next episode coming shortly… it’s going to be a fun one ;)

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Episode #2: We Meet Brenna

A strong little girl
(Episode #2 of 5)

In this episode we learn more about Brenna’s story from the people who are closest to her. It’s amazing to hear about all the things she and the family work through on a daily and weekly basis, and yet they remain firmly grounded in the fact that they love each other, have fun together, and share the same strong bonds that all healthy, happy families do.

Our favorite part of this video is when our videographer asks Brenna’s brother Nathan if he tries to take care of her, and he replies “…she for the most part can take care of herself.” This is a strong family, y’all. In so many ways. And little Brenna may just be the strongest of them all. :)

Posted in Kahlen | 3 Comments

Our Friends at BlissDom

In late January, J. Money and I were invited to attend the BlissDom conference in Nashville, where I also had the pleasure of speaking. We were blown away by the intimate, real-life relationships existing within the web of such a large online community – it was great to see such a relevant group doing it right.

BlissDom had signed on to be a Love Drop flagship partner before we even launched, and with such an influx of team members and nominations after our appearance there, this month’s mission is a perfect match for all of us. We’re going to focus more on community this month than on money, and we know that with these ladies on our side, it’s gonna be something special. :)

Check out the video intro from Alli Worthington, one of the principals of BlissDom, and then learn what they’re all about below:

About BlissDom:

BlissDom Events’ Alli Worthington, Barbara Jones and Paula Bruno host premiere social media conferences for women who find and express their bliss by publishing online in both the U.S and Canada. BlissDom conferences combine intimate-sized gatherings with a welcoming atmosphere in the ever-changing blogging world. Speakers and panels featuring the best blogging, public relations and social media pros gather to teach and mentor new and old friends alike.

BlissDom is dedicated to making sure its attendees have a meaningful learning experience, connecting and cultivating inspiration for her blog, her business, her family and her life. Our partners are excited to support ‘our bliss’ by sponsoring a rich schedule of experts, partaking in meaningful interactions with our influential women attendees plus engaging in abundant entertainment in both Nashville or Toronto.

BlissDom. Your Blog. Your Bliss. Your Conference.

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