Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Helping Others Helps You - UPDATED

Do you know what is awesome? Helping abused kids get the therapy they need. Do you know what's even more awesome? Winning a prize for helping kids who need help!!

After seeing several bloggers I read have raffles as an enticement for the charities for which they were raising money, I thought "hmm, I know some local businesses that might help me raise money for Murphy-Harpst, I know that so many people care about children, and it is a home for severely and abused children, surely folks would want to help." And I thought right!!

I reached out to some awesome local businesses and now I have FOUR prizes that four of you could win!

First, do you like amazing coffee and cupcakes that will make you sing praises? Then do I have the deal for you! Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters has donated a pound of coffee plus one of their amazing mugs. And Sweet n' Sinful Bakery has donated a half-dozen cupcakes to enjoy with your coffee. I won't even judge you if you eat the entire six cupcakes all by yourself. I could easily eat all six without even getting up! 

Second, do you like burgers? Do you like burgers even more when you know that the cows were fed only grass and raised in humane conditions? Then you'll love that Farm Burger has donated a $50 gift card for one lucky participant! Farm Burger has locations in Decatur, Buckhead, Dunwoody and now in Asheville, NC (my most favorite city in the southeast!). 

Third, do you remember me talking about the amazing food that we had at our wedding? Well, you can go eat some of Chef Terry's vittles too! Wrecking Bar Brewpub has donated a $45 gift card for another lucky participant. 

And last but not least, do you love bacon? Wait, why am I even asking that question, everyone loves bacon! Pine Street Market has donated a year. of. bacon (one pound each month for a year). And, in the event that anyone asks why you're smiling all the time, they are providing Pine Street Market t-shirt so that you can just point at the t-shirt because obviously you won't be able to talk because you're mouth will be full of delicious bacon!.

Today, I had to visit my chiropractor aka the best doctor in the whole world (and I've seen a lot of doctors, so I would know). I was telling him about my raffle and he said that he would participate too! So, Active Life and Health Center is donating an hour massage and an acupuncture session. 

How do you get in the running for one of these cool prizes? I'm so glad you asked! Just go here: and donate. For every $5 donated your name will go in the hat. On July 1, I'll pull four names from said hat. Donate now so that you don't miss out on one of these amazing prizes!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Giveaway!

When I put together my fundraising site for Murphy-Harpst, I reached out to Karen Spears Zacharias on Twitter to ask if she would please share the link. Well, being the awesome person that she is, she said that not only would she share it, but that she would send me an autographed book to raffle off as part of my fundraiser. So, the first person to donate $100 to Murphy-Harpst Children's Home, will receive a signed copy of her book A Silence of Mockingbirds.

Please give! There are children who need your help! Click here to go to the donation page!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Running for the Forgotten Among Us

Yesterday the running community took a giant blow to the gut. I was not in Boston, and I can't really speak on the pain that those associated with this tragedy are experiencing. But I do know that I will keep running, every single week, just like I always have, because I possess the same spirit that all my fellow runners possess...a spirit that is not afraid.

This year, I am running the Peachtree Road Race for the third time. The first year I ran the race, I was right in the middle of my divorce and I needed something to focus on that would keep me sane. Running was that something for me. Last year, Jeremy and I both ran the Peachtree, but I was near the middle and he was near the end. This year, we worked really hard and pushed ourselves in a qualifying race so that we could start together. We're pretty darn excited about it. However, this year, I'm not just running with someone, I'm running for someone (or something, since it is a not-for-profit). This year, I am running for the Murphy-Harpst Children's Home.  Murphy-Harpst is a children's home in Georgia that seeks to provide a safe and nurturing environment where severely abused and neglected children can thrive and heal. Severely abused and neglected children. Can you even wrap your head around that? Here are some statistics from Child Help:

  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
  • *More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
  • Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. 
  • It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. 
  • More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. 
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. 
  • About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. 
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion. 

Five children die every day from child abuse. Every. single. day. Murphy-Harpst is working to stop that. When I approached their giving department to make sure that I wasn't stepping on anyone's toes by making Murphy-Harpst my fundraiser, this is the reply I got from their VP of Development: Thank you for caring about children whom the rest of the world has not only abused, but often forgotten.  Our prayers will be with you.

Let's make this happen y'all. I've made my fundraising goal $5,000. I know it's lofty, but why aim low when there are so many children who can be helped. If you can help, please check out my fundraising page at

Thank you in advance. You are all beautiful people!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Feeling Feelings

Saturday night as I was driving home, Jason Isbell's song Dress Blues came on my ipod. I heard this song for the first time in 2007 when Jason first started touring on his own after leaving the Drive-By Truckers. It's a song about a friend of his who was a Marine, went overseas, and didn't come back. That first time I heard it I stood in the middle of the 40 Watt in Athens, GA, and sobbed. I've cried every time I've heard the song since then. I even skip it sometimes because I don't want to go into work/the gym/etc with a tear stained face. Every time I listen to it, I think, "surely this time I'll make it through without crying." And every time I don't. This past Saturday, my aunt and uncle celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a couple of months early, because my uncle isn't expected to live to see the actual date. And as I was driving home, listening to the song, I thought, "you know, I never want to be the kind of person who doesn't cry listening to this song." I don't want to be the kind of person who can hear about someone dying and not cry just a little. I never want my heart to be so hard that I don't feel things deeply. Life is short. Tell someone you love them. Spend a little extra time talking to your parents or your best friend or some stranger. Live life full of feelings. It's the only way to live.