How KIA Helped #OEDrive be a Success!

IMG_20141206_231413

Ana Flores and husband Alan all smiles while donating

Our busiest month is almost over, a month that we had the honor to work with great friends and supporters and a great car brand, KIA. Before we started the #OEGiveaway we didn’t know what vehicle we were going to get but surprised with a minivan #Sedona at the steps of my door. When I first saw the minivan I was doubtful about being able to drive it comfortably since I was under the impression that only moms could be expert minivan drivers. I’m a mom at heart but don’t have any children of my own. I could have not imagined how easy, convenient and comfortable the Sedona was, helping #OEDrive be a complete success!

 

I was in for a surprise. The moment I hoped into the passenger seat I was taken away by the luxurious feel the Sedona has. The leather seats, the navigation system, the control from the steering wheel and the comfortable seats made me feel I was driving a sports car!

The Sedona was definitely a getaway vehicle and lounge while we collected our donations. The Sedona offered comfort to all my passengers with the slide-n-stow seats and all-around comfort options anyone can make the seat their own personal thrown. Airlines should learn from KIA and design seats this good!

IMG_20141209_200953Advanced Technology:

This vehicle really cared for me. It is intelligent and responsive and loaded with features that helped me keep navigate smoothly. Features like Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), UVO Local Search Powered by Google, and the Smart Power Tailgate provided hands-free opening with both feet on the ground – extremely helpful when carrying things and have both hands occupied. And the surround viewing through the cameras blew me away, so helpful when parking and calculating space and I sure needed that! Can you spot the camera on the grill of the vehicle? See look at the photo carefully.

RoomyComfort:

The Sedona has an unexpected personality: legroom, luxury amenities in every row, a class-exclusive center console for ample storage and easy third-row access made loading so easy. The dual sunroofs was a treat as we drove from Los Angeles to San Diego in a sunny day – the warm rays re-energized all of us and made us forget we were in a minivan because we felt we were in a small luxury car.

FrontConvenience:

When you are on the go like I was, taking pictures and talking with potential donors your devices will drain fast. But the Sedona offered a great feature: multiple power outlets take social sharing to a whole new level! No batteries needed.

IMG_20141210_010517

Monique Fausto of Curves & Chaos just had to check the KIA out herself!

As I drove through Southern California picking up donations, my supporters were also taken away by the luxury car hidden in this minivan. My fiancée and I have decided that the next vehicle we lease or purchase must be a KIA – we completely had underrated this brand and delightfully surprised. Can’t wait for the next car shopping experience.

In the Sedona we collected donations that will now benefit our kids and that has no value – priceless. Thank you KIA for giving us the tools to do our jobs and experiencing a great ride while at it!

Snoopy, Inspiration & Memories with Knott’s

SnoopyI can’t believe the year is almost over! And although it saddens me to think I’m one year older and have about a million more grey hairs on my head, I also feel so honored to have had the support of so many friends and a couple of brands.

Among the brands that I’ve had the honor to work with is Knott’s Berry Farm. Throughout the year they have offered fun and entertainment for my family and friends – a little escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Knott’s also inspired and made us proud as they created pink tickets in support of Susan G Komen Foundation and invited cancer survivors to tell their triumphant stories. They invited us to see the flowers bloom in the Spring, helped us create memories with my nephews and scared us with Scary Farm.

To end the year strong, Knott’s made one final act of kindness; they donated a Snoopy for each girl at an orphanage in Rosarito, Mexico, bringing so many smiles to girls that otherwise would not have a plush toy to cuddle with at night.

Words can’t express how grateful we are with Knott’s for giving a Snoopy to each girl. And even though it may seem like something small, the message that they delivered to each girl is that someone cares and is thinking of them and that may change their entire lives.

SnoopyNow to celebrate the New Year, we are putting on our party hats and getting ready to ring in the New Year at Knott’s family-friendly New Year’s Eve event that offers something for everyone! Knott’s is a fun and safe options for families who want to ring in the New Year together. My family and a couple of friends will be receiving the New Year at Knott’s thanks to the extended park hours, live entertainment, and a fireworks display which are all included in the price of regular park admission.

If you have a 2015 Season Pass the value is even better, because each 2015 Season Pass includes one FREE visit in 2014 that can be used on New Year’s Eve!

I can’t wait to close the year at a park that has brought so many smiles not only to me and my family but to over 20 needy children in Rosarito, Mexico.

Join us and celebrate a great year together and you can also join the conversation by using #KnottsNYE. 

Annie Movie to Visit Our Orphan Girls!

ANNIE_DOM

We are so excited for the upcoming Annie movie coming out Friday, December 19 set in modern day New York. The cast is amazing and sure to make this movie a great one. And the protagonist is cutie pie Quvenzhané Wallis who recently was nominated for a Golden Globe. I love to see her adorable personality come through while I watched the trailer, she won me over already.

Annie is a movie about an orphan girl that despite her hard life is optimistic and was adopted. HELLO!! How perfect if this movie? We wish this was a true story for all our kids at our centers!

This Saturday we will be spending the day with real orphans and Annie Movie will be taking gifts to our 15 girls in Mexico! How cool is that!?

Growing up, Annie was my favorite movie. My parents never took me to the movies as a little girl so when the movie came out on TV and the songs would play as part of the teaser, I would run from whatever room I was at to watch the 30 seconds of this red, big hair little girl dance and sing like I had never seen before. The day finally came when I would watch the movie but unfortunately it was school night and I had to go to bed early and missed it. My dad promised he would tape it; he was eager to use his new VHS recorder. I couldn’t contain my joy when the day finally came when I would watch Annie. My dad pushed play, my heart racing and the movie only played for 15 minutes, my dad had messed up the recording.

I was devastated and didn’t watch the movie until years later. My parents were not the type that would go out of their way to rent or buy a movie, it was too much luxury for a little girl so I had to wait until the movie played again, by then I was almost a tween.

Little did I know that my life would be directly tied to orphans for the rest of my life. I remember watching the movie and although I was a child myself, I wanted to bring them all home with me. I could say that Annie was the inspiration in my life to be compassionate to needy children and want to take action and help them.

Watch Trailer Here:

Annie2AnnieAnnie4

Annie1

 

 

BEEP BEEP! The Orphaned Earring Drive + 50$ Giveaway!

Disclosure: The Orphaned Earring received a week long media loan from Kia and no other compensation or sponsorship.All opinion and initiatives are own.

We are kicking off holiday season for our kids! In preparation of the holiday parties for all our orphanages, we are doing an Orphaned Earring Drive (#OEDrive) where we’ll be driving all over Los Angeles collecting donations in the form of new and used clothes, swag from events (thanks to my blogger friends) and other items that our kids and pre-teens need.

The Orphaned Earring Drive is possible thanks to the kind vehicle loan from Drive STI on behalf of Kia Motors. Many times we don’t pick up donations because we don’t have a large and reliable vehicle that can accommodate many packages and odd shaped items, until now! For an entire week @Kia is helping us gather all the donations while experiencing firsthand the sweet and spacious ride of a KIA Sedona, the most comfortable vehicle for the entire family!

Everyone knows that when you give, you get back! That’s just the way God designed blessings and we want to give you a gift for your support too! Enter to win two beautiful Orphaned Earring bracelets inspired by KIA and a $50 dollar gift card!

PhotoGrid_1417575396667

 BEEP BEEP! WHAT DRIVES YOU?

All you need to share is what drives you? What motivates you to live, laugh, dream or work hard? We all have something that drives us to greatness and we want to know!OEDrive Giveaway

We encourage you to not only drive but to strive for greatness and be part of the social change we need to better this world. Imagine if everyone did ONE act of kindness a day? That would be 7.1 billion acts of kindness a day, enough to end with poverty and despair – be #1 today and do good!

 

Thanks to your support and donations, we will be able to give Christmas parties to:

  • Casa Hogar Estrella – Rosarito, Mx (December 13)
  • Colombian Street Kids – Santa Rosa, Colombia (December 24)
  • Casa Hogar Hosanna – Tipitapa, Nicaragua (December 26)
  • Hogar Madelaes – Santo Dom., Dominican Republic (December 27)
  • Comunidad El Progreso – Cuilapa, Guatemala (January 10)
  • Casa Hogar de la Gracia – Tijuana, MX (TBD)

Now go and enter the giveaway and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Emma Story, What’s Your Story?

My Emma Story

Disclaimer: This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheStoryOfEmma #CollectiveBias

Head Start

According to statistics I should have been just another number in this country, an immigrant that depends on government assistance all her life, that might have more children than what I can afford and live paycheck to paycheck. But God had other plans for my life. I had access to education.

My parents brought me to the U.S. as a baby and I was able to attend elementary school until they moved back to Nicaragua when I was 9 years old. I came back to the U.S. at age 17 and briefly lived with relatives before I had to move on my own. With no money, no family support and in a country that was now so foreign to me I struggled to survive. I met many people in my life but only a couple of true friends that helped me live one day at a time. I also met many people that caused lots of pain and sorrow and I knew that that was not the life I wanted for myself.

At some point duBlogger Badgering my tough adjustment period in the U.S. someone I really looked up to discouraged me and said I would not be able to serve or help others because my ideals and beliefs were not similar to his own.

Deep inside I knew he was wrong and my desire to serve was so much more powerful than his words of discouragement. I needed a change in my life and a real opportunity to serve others. But what would I do when the opportunity came? That’s when I knew I needed education to achieve my dreams and goals. I promised God that if He helped me achieve my education, I would serve Him with it.

Ten years after I came to the U.S. I finally received my degree in Communications/Public Relations and dedicated to God. That’s how The Orphaned Earring was created, a desire to help, education and a promise to God.

Baby bro

My lil bro graduating from preschool

Today my organization helps many children providing their school supplies, food and clothes so they can have a better future. I know firsthand the impact that education has on someone’s life and that’s what drives me to work hard and help others.

There is another organization that I really admire and I will support for what they do and the impact they have in the future of Latino children. Mi Escuelita preschools provide Latino children with a foundation of developmental and educational skills by teaching English to children and preparing them for success both in school and in life. Who is Emma you may be still wondering. Emma is the star of the movie trailer below and represents our future Latino generations. Will she succeed? Will she fail? It all depends in our support to Emmas everywhere!

What will be the future of children in 2034? View this video and see yourself:

What’s your Emma story? How has education or PreK made a difference in your life? Share your story and encourage others to share too.

Please join us for #TheStoryOfEmma #LATISM Twitter Party on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 9:00pm. @LATISM and @ColectivaLatina will be joining forces to support of the Mi Escuelita campaign and create awareness about #TheStoryOfEmma.

5 prizes of $50 gift card + $50 donation to Mi Escuelita in winner’s name will be awarded during the twitter party.

Every share, tweet, or retweet that utilizes the hashtag #TheStoryOfEmma will generate a donation of $1.00, up to $10,000 in donations!

Blog Post Image

30 Dominican Princesses Adopted into Our Family!

MadelaesIt is with great pleasure to announce that The Orphaned Earring has now adopted 30 beautiful princesses from the Dominican Republic!

Through a good friend and founder of La Familia Cool who is looking into opening her own non profit to help the poor in the surrounding neighborhoods from where she grew up in Dominican Republic, I learned about MADELAES, a small home orphanage that is home to 30 girls ages 2 months to 20 years old. Madelaes1

Before we officially adopt a center we talk to the center director and find out about the needs, struggles and dreams of the girls. After learning about the hard work this center goes through to NOT ONLY feed and clothes these girls but also fundraise to send the eldest girl to college.

The Orphaned Earring does not make much money but we do what we can with what we gather from bracelets sales. Even though it may not seem like much, we help each orphanage with $50 a month. In addition to the monetary help we provide clothes, school supplies and pay for several other activities through the year – not bad for an organization that operates with a few volunteers with full time jobs themselves!

We can only base our adoption decision on our gut feeling and lots of prayer but we can feel how the love for them grows a little more each passing day.

GUESS WHAT? We get to meet them this month! On Christmas day, we’ll be visiting Dominican Republic and meeting our new girls in person!!! 

Madelaes2We are truly lucky to have friends that want to help and God knows we really need it! Our first donor of items for the girls is Daily Curlz who was nice enough to donate some of the swag she receives as blogger – THANK YOU Daily!

We need to raise $300 to give our girls a nice Christmas party, that’s not including the gifts for each girl, but we hope to get them in time for our trip. The money we raise will pay for food, beverages and dessert.

We welcome our girls and encourage you to help us raise the money we need for this unforgettable party that will change the lives of these girls because from now on they will know that they are loved by people like you and me! 

THANK YOU!

 

 

 

Black Friday, Cyber Monday #GivingTuesday!

 

GiveTuesday_700x

We are one week away from #GivingTuesday, a global movement brought together by over 10,000 organizations worldwide. It’s a chance to share some of your blessings with someone else.

As we get closer to the holidays we hear about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals but we must also remember to be grateful for what we can buy during these deal-filled-days and think about GIVING. On every 1st Tuesday of December (after cyber Monday) you can choose to give to ANY non-profit organization as long as you GIVE. Wherever you give to a small or large non-profit, you will have an impact on someone’s life. A small blanket, a few dollars or canned goods are just some things you can donate that will make a difference in life.

Of course we encourage you to give to The Orphaned Earring cause as we are working hard to raise money for a few projects:

HelpMingo
Christmas parties for all our centers
Help Guatemala orphans + indigenous community

You can donate by CLICKING HERE

When you give to ANY organization be aware of NOT giving “leftovers,” make a conscience decision of giving something you would like to receive. Would you like to receive old torn clothes or broken toys? Be mindful of what you give, give from the heart. Donating is a thoughtful act to bless someone else and not a way to get rid of your junk.

On Tuesday, December 2 upload a selfless selfie on your instagram account and use the hashtags #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday and pledge to GIVE to a charity.

For more information and to pledge your support visit http://www.givingtuesday.org/

Unselfie1

Donate A Photo On #GivingTuesday

Donate a photoThe holidays is a great time to reflect about all the blessings we have in life. After the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday we need to take time to think about how we’re going to give back. #GivingTuesday is the perfect opportunity to give. This Dec 2, pick an organization and donate any amount, every penny counts! We would truly appreciate it you pick us as your charity but the opportunities are everywhere, even on your phone. With the Donate a Photo app you can make a difference.

With the Donate a Photo by Johnson & Johnson, you take a photo and pick a cause you want to donate. For every photo you share through the Donate a Photo app, Johnson & Johnson donates $1 to a cause you want. There is absolutely no excuse not to give. 

 

HOW DOES YOUR PHOTO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Your photo raises money.
Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes, and for every photo you share through Donate a Photo, Johnson & Johnson gives $1 to the cause you want to help. That $1 does things like fix up a public park, get medicine for an infant, or help kids play sports safely. Each cause will receive a minimum donation and will appear in the app until its donation period ends or its goal is reached.

Your photo raises awareness.Donate A Photo
When you share your photo, you spread the word about causes that need help, and you and your friends can help those causes meet their goals.

Your photos add up.
You can donate one photo every day. Those days turn into weeks, months, and years. And you can see all the causes your photos have helped, and how

Your photo can inspire others
Share a picture that means something to you, chances are it’ll mean something to your friends, too. And the more photos you inspire, the more awareness you’ll raise.

All The Orphaned Earring members have downloaded the app and give daily – will you join us?

 

Named Best Social Good Blog by LATISM

ForGood1We’re honored to be named Best Social Good Blog by Latinos in Social Media (LATISM). It’s never been about receiving awards or recognition, it’s about raising awareness of the extreme poverty, hunger and abandonment that our orphans live with in Latin America.

Although we cannot fulfill ALL of our orphans’ needs, we strongly believe that every child deserves a fun and healthy childhood and strive to at least fill their bellies with nutritious food and give them our love. With your help we create a fun environment and give them lots of love through arts & crafts, dance and music in hopes that they may find  healing from the harsh life experiences they’ve endured at such a young age. We work hard so that any sadness becomes a distant memory.

What’s Up With the MO? #Movember

Previously posted on LatinaGeeks:movember_letterhead copy

It’s mid-month and you might me wondering what’s up with all the extra facial hair in November! Suddenly we have more men allowing their facial hair to go wild in support of Movember, but what’s all the fuss about?

Movember is a campaign that starts every year on November 1st focused on men’s health issues aiming to change the ‘face’ of men’s health and reverse the reluctant way of thinking (men not going to see a doctor) by putting a fun twist on this serious issue. Its primary objective is to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Using the moustache as a catalyst, Movember wants to bring about change and give men the opportunity and confidence to talk about their health more openly.

Although we are half way through the month of November, men can still pledge support through the entire month of MovemberNovember. As the loving Latina you are, encourage the men in your life to grow out their moustache, called “Mo” de cariño.

Once registered at http://www.movember.com, men start with a clean shaven face and for the rest of the month, these Mo Bros groom, trim and wax their way into raising vital awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.

Let us know how you take care of the men in your life, your concerns, and personal stories of support and survival – becoming a Mo Latina Sista supporting your Mo Latino Bros! #Movember

The Facts:

Did you know that even in men most cancers are highly curable if caught in the early stages, therefore Movember aims to increase early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment. This will ultimately reduce the number of deaths from cancer.

  • The average life expectancy for men is five years fewer than women (presently 77 years old compared to 82).
  • 1 in 2 men, and 1 in 3 women, will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
  • Evidence suggests that about a third of the 571,950 cancer deaths expected to occur will be related to OBESITY, physical inactivity and poor nutrition, and thus could be prevented.
  • 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with PROSTATE CANCER in his lifetime.
  • In 2012, more than 242,000 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed and more than 28,000 men will die of PROSTATE CANCER.
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35.
  • 8,590 men will be diagnosed with the disease and 360 will die.
  • 6 million people die every year from tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. One person dies every six seconds.
  • 1 in every 13 men will develop LUNG CANCER.
  • While not as common, men can get breast cancer. About 2,140 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed among men and about 450 men will die from the disease.
  • More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the US.
  • An estimated 13 million or 11.8% of all adult men over the age of 20 in the US have DIABETES.
  • Approximately 76.4 million men and women in the US have high blood pressure- 1 in 5 do not know it.
  • About 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure, and blood pressure tends to rise with age.
  • Researchers estimate that at least 6 million men in the United States suffer from a depressive disorder every year.
  • Four times as many men commit suicide compared with women.
  • 24% of men are less likely to go to the doctor compared to women.

Studies show that many men don’t get regular health checks for the following reasons:

  • Fear it will lead to a hospital visit
  • Embarrassed to discuss their health issues
  • Find it too hard to see a doctor because they just can’t fit it into their schedule
  • Just can’t be bothered making an appointment

Statistics show that, on average, men die at a younger age than women – the average life expectancy for men is five years fewer than women (presently 77 compared to 82). That said, despite trailing the women’s health movement, things are beginning to change, but much more progress needs to be made to close the gap between the state of men’s and women’s health. Established taboos and barriers relating to men’s health are gradually being broken down.