Active Girls, Healthy Life + $50 JCPenney Giftcard Giveaway

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with JCPenney and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own and all compensation benefit our orphans.

LOGOKOLITAEvery girl deserves a life filled with joy and a healthy upbringing and there are several ways to do that, even through sports such as soccer. Among the many things we do for our girls at the orphanages is give them Quinceaneras to let them know they are loved, that are esteemed and that we celebrate womanhood.

We also bring sports to each of our centers with soccer being one the favorite sport of our kids, but it’s not only for the boys, the girls love soccer too! Soccer has become a healing vehicle for the girls at our centers.

Monica1In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, JCPenney has partnered with Monica Gonzalez, an ESPN soccer commentator, and Gonzo Soccer to host a free soccer clinic for Houston-area girls ages 8-16 years old.

Monica Gonzalez and Gonzo Soccer align with the passion, strength and dedication JCPenney stands for by empowering young Hispanic women of today to become the Latina leaders of tomorrow.

It’s great to see that in the U.S. organizations such as the Gonzo Soccer’s leadership academy is providing young girls with premier soccer training along with valuable leadership and life skills. Girls between the ages of 8-16 years old with an interest in soccer gathered in Houston this week to learn about Gonzo Soccer Academy, the importance of physical condition as well as hear decision-making tips to help them become future leaders of their Hispanic communities.

Monica Gonzalez’s Soccer Tips for New & Beginner Players

  • Set goals. Determine why are you playing, is it for fun or to become a pro? Once you have clarity as to why you play, keep those goals in mind and create actionable steps to reach them.
  • Get as many touches to the ball as possible – the more you practice, the better you’ll become.
  • Play at your level, and find a team or league that’s just above your level. That way you’ll be challenged to improve your game and reach the next level.

Share with us why you think it’s important to help support young women in areas of sports and education for the chance to win a one (1) $50 JCPenney gift card!!! 

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Traditions Packed In My Bag

Collective Bias

 

 

 

Fabuloso CleanerAlthough I’ve moved around and lived in different countries, there are family traditions I’ve packed in my bag and I’ve carried them with me no matter where I go. From food to all-purpose cleaners, there are things that keep us connected to home.

It’s curious to see how people that migrate from all over the world may have left their countries behind but never leave traditions. Have you ever talked to someone who is from another country and although they’ve lived in the U.S. for most of their lives they refer to their country of origin as “back home”? I’m guilty of that!

The forces behind why we migrate vary, from political to financial to safety reasons… it’s always a hard decision to leave home; so we grasp to a little piece of home and not only bring it with us, we pass it along to the generations that are being raised in a new country. These are some things I’ve brought with me and share with my family:

 

Food
Before migrating to the U.S. I was lucky enough to learn how to cook Nicaraguan food. A staple at the table is gallopinto, small red or black beans and rice cooked together – simple but delicious! The reactions I get from my family when I cook the delicious food we ate growing up are priceless!

Music
There is no family gathering without salsa, merengue or cumbia music. Music is an invisible vehicle that takes my family to a happy place. Music usually goes hand-in-hand with food, it’s never one or the other.

Language
Latin America is so fun with each country having a distinct accent and language that makes each one so unique. In my family we use words that only other family members of Nicarguenses know: puchica, caramanchel, tuco, solo mate, chiguin, chavalo – it’s really fun when we get together and talk Nicaraguense.

Cleaning habits
Back in Nicaragua we cleaned on a daily basis but once in U.S. we simply designate one day as our deep cleaning day. But the desire to keep a fresh home daily is still with me. I still put on comfy clothes and walk around barefoot listening to my music and using the product I used growing up in Nicaragua, Fabuloso, the household essential and best cleaning product used to clean floors, clean surfaces and clean bathrooms. I bought my Fabuloso Twin Pack at Walmart This is the way my abuelita and mom taught me how to use Fabuloso:

  • #MiFabulosoPour a little bit of Fabuloso in the toilet on a daily basis to keep it clean
  • Dilute it to clean the kitchen floors after each time I cook to remove the unwanted odors that linger in the air
  • Put just a cap-full in the washer to keep my cleaning rags smelling fresh and clean.

The smell of Fabuloso transports me to my teenage years when I had to clean my home and mop the floors every day before going to school. The house was NOT clean unless the evident smell of Fabuloso lingered in the air. It’s definitely the essential multi-purpose cleaner for my family – its #MiFabuloso. Thanks #CollectiveBias for the hook-up!

We’re truly lucky to live in a country that embraces our differences and allow us to bring that little bit piece of home with us. That’s why the U.S. will always be the best country in the world!

 

Ignoring Domestic Violence Doesn’t Make It Go Away

Disclosure LBC

Abused in GuatemalaDomestic violence is a hot topic lately. With the NFL scandals and actresses revealing their abusive relationships, domestic violence is finally getting the media spotlight it deserves. But it’s not that domestic violence is not on the rise, it’s been a hidden problem that many rather ignore and look away than get involved.

Most people only think of the physical affects that domestic violence leaves, yet, financial abuse happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence and is one of the most powerful ways to keep a victim trapped.

When I was in Guatemala I heard a story of the lady pictured in this post. In the darkness of night, her screams could be heard through the lush trees and penetrated the hard mountain sides, her husband beats her. With no immediate family to help her and under the anguish of poverty, she has nowhere to go. Her husband is part of a community that works picking coffee at a farm and they live in one big warehouse-type building along with at least 30 people. Of all those people, no one interferes when she’s being abused. Finally the coffee farm administrator threatened the abusive man with kicking him off the workforce.

When I met her in person I gave her clothes, extra food for herself and her young child because I knew she had no other option than to stay with her abusive husband because of the financial abuse that comes with this situation. We promised we would continue helping her and hopefully her situation gets better.

Even though domestic violence and financial abuse often go hand-in-hand, only 8 in 10 Americans have not heard much about financial abuse as a form of domestic violence. The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay, leave or return to an abusive relationship is that they don’t have the financial resources to break free.

Allstate Foundation Purple PursePurple Purse movement is making easier to talk about domestic violence and the financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships. The program ignites fundraising for more than 140 national, state and local domestic violence organizations. Funds raised will support life-changing financial empowerment services to help domestic violence survivors build safer lives for themselves and their families.

Two out of 3 Americans think domestic violence is a serious problem, yet just over 1 in 3 have talked about it. Allstate Foundation #PurplePurse is changing that. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to break the cycle of violence in our nation – one family at a time.

How you can help

  • You can help ensure domestic violence survivors – likely someone you know – aren’t financially trapped in an abusive relationship by joining the Purple Purse Challenge. Open your heart and wallet to stand up for survivors and the organizations that serve them at PurplePurse.com.
  • Go to #PurplePurse.com between 9/2 and 10/3 to join the Challenge and help a nonprofit near you compete for Allstate Foundation funding.
  • To turn any purse into a Purple Purse, The Allstate Foundation is widely distributing Purple Purse charms so you can show your support and attach to your favorite bag year round. They are being distributed with inspiring survivor stories through Purple Purse Challenge participants and Allstate agency owners.

Helping in GuatemalaThe Allstate Foundation is investing more than half a million dollars in the Purple Purse Challenge. The more donations each nonprofit gets, the more it can compete for Allstate Foundation incentive funding. Go to PurplePurse.com between Sept. 2 and Oct. 3 to join the Challenge and help a nonprofit near you.

Feel Good and Look Good This Fall – No More Allergy Face

I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for Latina Mom Bloggers on behalf of ZYRTEC® ALLERGY FACE® and received compensation as a thank you of which 100% will go to our kids. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Fuchi Allergy FaceI can’t afford to take a day off due to allergies. My days are packed with meetings, phone calls, I need to focus on documents and at any given time, I need to be ready for the camera. Having a stuffy nose, watery eyes and a puffy-face-feeling can only slow me down by not allowing me to be my 100% self.

Allergies not only affect my work life. When I travel for The Orphaned Earring I usually visit countries where there’s a lot of dust, different types of vegetation and pollen in the air and that kills me! I can’t travel without allergy medication or I wouldn’t have all the fun that I do with the children. I wasn’t aware until recently that there’s ZYRTEC® Dissolve Tabs that can be taken anytime or anywhere because they dissolve in your mouth without water and provide allergy relief for 24-hours. They’re perfect for someone who is on the go like me!

Come the fall, I start thinking about stocking up on allergy medicine. The fall is the hardest time for me, as the leaves blow and the weather changes (and the darn leaf blower comes every Wednesday to my apartment building), and I not only think about feeling good but also looking good. I must always look fresh-faced and flawless during the height of allergy season.

What can you do to help with the red nose, puffiness and watery eyes? I was happy to learn that ZYRTEC® has partnered with celebrity makeup artist Jackie Gomez to help us tackle ALLERGY FACE® As an allergy sufferer herself, Gomez knows all too well how allergies can disrupt her daily beauty routine and has developed a variety of celebrity-inspired looks that will help all women face their allergies.

So now I can tackle my allergies with ZYRTEC® and apply Jackie’s beauty tips so I’m always ready. Check out my favorite look, bronze beauty:

UpdatedZyrtecBooklet_Eng_JackieGomez_3.20.14

Bronze BeautyJoin ZYRTEC® Rewards for Great Savings and Exciting Rewards
To help you Face Your Allergies this fall, ZYRTEC® giving us 20 bonus ZYRTEC® Rewards points! All you have to do is sign in or register (https://www.zyrtec.com/rewards), then click on the Earn Points tab to enter the Secret Word ALLERGYFACE. You can get a free $2-off coupon for ZYRTEC®, just for signing up. Once you’ve earned 500 points, you have the option to redeem them for a Neutrogena® mascara to help disguise ALLERGY FACE® beauty challenges.

That’s a pretty deal!

Allergy Face Logo - Vector File

Great Design, Great Cause: Target and TOMS Team Up for the Holidays

TOMS for Target

Listen up, Target and TOMS enthusiasts, because we’ve got news that’ll knock your socks (and canvas shoes) off: Target and TOMS are teaming up on a limited-edition collection for the holidays. Not only will you find pieces you’ll want to give – and get – but for each item purchased, you’ll be helping someone in need.

Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, and Kathee Tesija, executive vice president and chief merchandising and supply chain officer, Target, surprised nearly 14,000 Target team members with news of the do-gooding partnership at Target’s annual meeting in Minneapolis. And now, we’re bringing you an exclusive first look at the full collection!

“Target’s holiday partnership with TOMS is the perfect marriage of both brands’ core values—great design that’s accessible to everyone and a commitment to giving back,” said Kathee.

“We’re excited to partner with Target for the holidays and take TOMS’ One for One® giving model further than ever before,” said Blake. “Every purchase allows Target’s guests to bring home a beautifully designed product and do good, providing nourishment, warmth and shoes to a person in need.”

TOMS for Target features more than 50 items, each under $50, and will be available at all Target stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Target.com on November 16 … so mark your calendars now! And beyond TOMS’ beloved slip-ons, the collection includes home goods and apparel and accessories for women, men and kids, meaning you’ll have a lot to choose from.

Even better, with your help, TOMS for Target has the potential to provide more than 11 million meals, blankets and shoes to those in need. Every TOMS for Target apparel, accessory and home good purchase results in the donation of a blanket through the American Red Cross or Canadian Red Cross, or one week of meals through Feeding America or Food Banks Canada. And for every TOMS for Target pair of shoes sold, a pair will go to a child in need.

Looking good and doing good? Count us in! Take a first look at the full TOMS for Target collection below, plus a behind the scenes video.

Little Boy With Tumor on Face Needs Your Help! #HelpMingo

MingoMingo is a sweet little boy who urgently needs help. He has born with a tumor on his face that continues to grow and probably also has a mental condition, but it’s hard to know because Mingo has never been seen by a doctor.

He lives in terrible conditions with his family in the mountains of Guatemala and is left alone all day because his parents and siblings must work the land. He can’t speak or feed himself and is not potty trained so being left alone results in injuries and creates an insanitary condition that can only further endanger his health.

His condition brings shame and ridicule to his family so he’s not allowed to go outside and when they do take him out, they cover him from head-to-toe with a sack-like carrier so no one can see him. Although I was initially disturbed by this I had to understand that that’s their indigenous culture and consequence of the lack of education.

Mingo’s parents are illiterate and they’re not even sure of when Mingo was exactly born or how old he is. They initially said Mingo was 3 years old but we estimate Mingo is about 5 or 6 years old.

When I met Mingo he smelled like urine and was really dirty. He was barefoot, shaved head and was not responsive to my caresses, kisses or games, he only wanted to make sounds, clap and wonder off. I knew right away that he was in great need of not only medical attention, he needs the basic items.

I spoke to his parents and they want us to help Mingo and are willing to leave the mountain and go to Guatemala City to get the help Mingo needs. We’re making calls and trying to find a pediatrician that will see Mingo without charging us and we’re confident we will find one. That’s step one.

With all the responsibilities The Orphaned Earring HELPMINGOalready has of supporting over 300 other children, we don’t have the funds to cover all the costs involved of taking this family to Guatemala City. Mingo doesn’t even have shoes so we need to get him shoes and clothes for his trip. We also need to provide clothes and shoes to his parents and cover transportation costs as well as food.

I’m acting by faith. I don’t know what he needs or what will result be from his medical visit, but I can’t abandon this child innocent child. Mingo is a defenseless baby.

Please help us raise the funds to help Mingo remove the tumor and create a better living condition for him. I have people in Guatemala ready to donate their time and a nurse who is willing to dedicate the time to slowly educate Mingo’s parents, all we need is the money to start this project.

Please help improve Mingo’s quality of life. We’re currently taking donations for his immediate needs and medical expenses, PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK WITH OTHERS TOO:

https://fundly.com/helpmingo

Could We Really Change The World? Recap Trip to Guatemala

Change the WorldAlthough our recent trip to Guatemala was a complete success, I can’t help but feel that we didn’t even make a dent. The need is so great and is more than just food and clothes, these people are in need of a system that will teach them the basic stuff, like brushing their teeth and their children’s teeth at least twice a day, how to read and write, how to keep their areas where they eat clean among so many other practices that we take for granted. If we teach them these things they can better their lives, and in turn, the lives of future generations have a better life too.

In case you didn’t know, in Guatemala we help three different groups of people:

Helpful Girls

Girls at the orphanage sort through donated vegetable and help cook for a 70 other girls

The all-girls orphanage where we celebrated the Quinceanera of three young ladies as a way to help with their self-esteem, self-worth and celebrate them entering womanhood. It’s a way to let girls know they are loved and prevent them fall prey to men that know these girls are vulnerable and lure them with promises of a better life. We also help the rest of the girls who live in the orphanage, there are 70 girls in total who were left there due to abandonment or their parents just can’t take care of them anymore.

We also help over 25 indigenous families living in an area called El Progresso, a coffee farm where these families not only work but live in terrible conditions. We provide Incaparina and sugar to families for their young children. Before we started helping, many of these families had to give up their children because they couldn’t feed them.

20140815_121443

Students and The Orphaned Earring team at the San Francisco school. One teacher (far right) for over 40 children!

We also support a local school located in the mountains, near the coffee farms. The condition we’ve established with the indigenous families mentioned above is that we will continue helping if they send their children to school.  But that puts more burdens on the school, so we promised the school that we would help too. So each year we provide school supplies, clothes and even prepare incaparina at school to consume there.

I came back moved and humbled.

I saw so much poverty and no access to education. Most children in the farms didn’t even know how old they were, girls are having children at age 14 and they don’t even have a decent place to live. Do they choose to be this way? No, these are communities that once depended on the land and trade of their crops to survive but with big greedy governments taking away lands and industrializing the area, what choice do they have. The government only knows how to take away, not give back.

Sick teenage girl

Sick teenage girl laying in her bed with no access to medicine

It’s then when many parents have to leave their children and seek help. Where do they go? To land of land of the brave and land of the free, where anyone can achieve the American dream, at least that’s what it used to be, the good old U.S.A.

Unfortunately this has cause an immigration crisis and not only are there many illegal people living here, their babies back home are victims of violence and terror, with no one to defend of protect them they do the only thing left, look for mommy and daddy in the U.S.

Thousands of children have flocked to the U.S. border in hopes to find parents and a better life. Our government has responded with deporting them back to their countries, only to be murdered and be disgraced.

So what’s the solution? I don’t know. All I can do through The Orphaned Earring is work hard and take as much aid to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and Colombia so that these children don’t have to take that terrible journey of despair, rejection and not even finding their parents.

To give just a little bit of love, attention, education and fill their tummies might just be enough to keep them in their countries and inspire them to one day go to a University. It may be naïve of me but I think that taking aid there is the immediate solution to the border crisis. We just need more caring people to get involved and stop ignoring these children.

If I effectively want to help these communities in Guatemala I have to come up with an effective system to help. I thank God that He’s sent people like you to support my over 300 children. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do but I invite you to join me and change the world one person at a time.

Thank you for your love and support. 20140815_140925

An Inspirational Story Worth Your Vote – Johana Hernandez #DoGoodDiva

johnanaSPANISHBorn and raised in Compton, CA of Salvadorian decent, Johana Hernandez has accomplished in her young life what many fashionistas only dream of; to have their own clothing line and design for globally recognized brands such as Seven7 Jeans, Isaac Mizrahi and having her own collection in stores such as Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Target to name a few.

But this success doesn’t come cheap; there was sweat, long work-hours and probably tears in order to achieve her dream.

Because of her strong work ethics exampled by her parents, her talent and years of hard work in the garment industry, she landed a coveted spot on NBC’s reality competition seriesFashion Star where she shared her unique style and flair and had America wondering who this corky, creative and unique Latina was. Her gowns have been worn by X-Factor judge Paulina Rubio, Gloria Trevi among other celebrities but yet when you talk to her, it’s like catching up with an old friend.

Johana is by far the most humble and sweetest person I’ve met. As you talk to her one can’t help to be amazed at her love for God and her passion for life, she lightens any room she walks in. Willing to share a smile and always making sure people feel comfortable.

Her love for others led her to create her own collection, GLAUDI by Johana Hernandez, where through fashion events and sales from her clothing line she raises funds for kids suffering from poverty in Latin America. She is also founder and Vice President of Latinos Con Corazon, a fundraising event that helps nonprofits for children and elders in Latina American countries with fashion, music, and art events.

It’s no wonder that her madrina, the popular and good-doer herself, Myrka Dellanos, nominated Johana for People en Espanol’s Las 25 Mujeres Mas Poderosas – The 25 Most Powerful Women for her philanthropic work helping needy children in El Salvador and Mexico. In fact, Johana along with her friends and family are rallying everyone to vote for her because she will be DONATING the cash prize to an impoverished school in El Salvador.

You can help her win this recognition and help get that money for the school by voting. Please DO SO NOW – THIS IS THE LAST WEEK FOR VOTING:

  • Visit: http://ow.ly/A4Xox

  • Click/slide to page 6 (you might have to close out an ad or click volver box)

  • Once the names of the nominated appear, click on Johana Hernandez

  • You can do this daily until the end of the week.

Let’s show support to this young inspirational, Spirit filled girl and VOTE today while doing good for kids in El Salvador, this too is another way of giving back!

How You Can Help Children in the Border Kids Crisis

USA Today

(Photo: Michael Chow, The Arizona Republic)

The Rio Grande Valley of Texas has been the portal for tens of thousands of children who have ventured to the U.S.-Mexico border over several months, most fleeing extreme poverty and unimaginable violence in Central American countries. People have different views about the situation; some being very outspoken either protesting and citing immigration laws, others in defense of the kids and urging a speedy immigration reform to help.

All politics aside, when this beautiful country stops being compassionate, we will lose the greatness that we’ve been known for. It is crucial that the U.S. response to the border crisis be both generous and humane.

Regardless of any political views, here are ways you can help the children that have traveled for days, walked hundreds of miles and have suffered so much just to get here. Nothing goes unnoticed by God, He will bless you for giving.   

Border Kids Relief ProjectBecome a Partner

Get involved with the Border Kid’s Relief Project. Discover several ways to get involved including leading a donation collection team in your local area, and helping spread the word. The Orphaned Earring is proudly partnering with this effort, stay tuned for more details.

Sign a Petition

We Belong Together petition  – Tell President Obama that children and families don’t belong in detention.

I Stand With The Border Children petition – Recognize these #borderchildren as refugees because they are fleeing violence and political instability.

Volunteering

Catholic Charities of Dallas is looking for Spanish-speakers to conduct interviews with children. Contact volunteer coordinator Eileen O’Malley at volunteer@ccdallas.org.

The League of United Latin American Citizens is looking for Spanish-speaking volunteers to tutor, mentor and help with recreational activities once the children arrive. Those interested can sign up here.

Legal services

Catholic Charities is also looking for volunteer attorneys. Contact Eileen O’Malley at volunteer@ccdallas.org

The Dallas Hispanic Bar Association and the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas are training attorneys to help represent children in immigration cases. Those who are interested can sign up here.

American Bar Association is looking for pro bono attorneys for the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR), contact them here.

Clothing and other goods

Visit The Border Kids Relief Project for a full list and locations of where to help.

Catholic Charities of Dallas is asking for Target and Walmart gift cards in $25 increments. These will be used to buy clothes for the kids. Gift cards can be sent or delivered to Mary Jo Dorn at the Catholic Charities offices, 9461 LBJ Freeway, Suite 128, Dallas TX 75243.

Catholic Charities is also asking for toiletries, pajamas, rosaries, Bibles, prayer books and picture books — in Spanish, if possible. These can be dropped off at 9461 LBJ Freeway, Suite 128.

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery is seeking specific clothing and food items for its border locations. Details on what’s needed and where items can be donated are here.

First United Methodist Church of Dallas is accepting donations of Pedialyte, newborn Nido powdered formula, and children’s underwear. The church is at 1928 Ross Ave. in downtown Dallas. Donations should be brought to the reception desk at the San Jacinto Street entrance.

Other Critical Items Needed TX, NM, CA area:

New Tennis Shoes: Women sizes 5 to 8.5 New Tennis Shoes: Children sizes 2-12 New Women’s Cotton Underwear (sizes 5 and under) New Children’s Cotton Underwear Baby Toiletries (infant to toddler) Toiletries Disposable Diapers Baby Wipes Nido Baby Formula/Powered Milk Hygiene Products (sanitary napkins, no tampons) Small Towels Children’s Blankets Small Backpacks Easy Open Snacks Easy Open Juices Rebozos (baby sling/wraps) Reading Glasses

Become A Foster Parent/Family

International Education Services of Texas is providing emergency shelters and long-term care facilities for immigrant children, and helping place children with foster families. Contact them here.

Lutheran Immigration and Refuge Service is working diligently with government and service partners to care for Central American children and families fleeing to the US for refuge. Learn about becoming a foster parent for immigrant youth. Connect with a LIRS partner site or make an inquiry here.

Monetary gifts

Catholic Charities of Dallas will use donations to cover legal fees for representation of the children. Donations can be made online here or dropped off at the office, 9461 LBJ Freeway, Suite 128, Dallas TX 75243.

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery is accepting donations online here and by mail, in care of Finance & Accounting, Baptist General Convention of Texas, 333 N. Washington Ave., Dallas TX 75246. Checks should be made payable to “Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery,” with the memo notation, “For the Children Fund.”

First United Methodist Church in Dallas is taking donations at its website.

Free Lowe’s Build & Grow Workshops

LOzzie at Lowe'sooking for a fun way to spend some time with your little ones, well you need to checkout Lowe’s kids workshop, Build and Grow Clinics. Every other Saturday during the summer Lowe’s invites you and your family to come down and create a project together.

When you first arrive, you will need to sign in and let them know its your first time visit. your little ones will get a very coolLowe’s apron and working goggles. Make sure you bring them with you every visit. They will be handed a project that you will help them put together. The Lowe’s team is always near by to offer assistance if needed.

Once the project is complete head back to the signup area your little ones will be given a certificate with their names and a badge your can iron on. 

its a fun way to spend a Saturday morning plus its FREE!! my favorite price. 

To view the summer schedule check out Lowe’s website:
http://lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/fullschedule.aspx
Lowe's Build & Grow