Being Thankful…

This thanksgiving… there is so much to be thankful for.  During my daily routine lately, I’ve been often struck with thoughts of just how lucky I am.  Take for instance, a couple days a week I study at my neighborhood public library, taking advance of their free wi-fi.  I sit here with my laptop while a line is forming to use the computers the library provides for 30 minute intervals.  It never occurs to me that many are without this luxury I take for granted.  Many don’t have a computer, let alone high-speed internet access which I consider a staple, if not a necessity in my life. 

Every year my sister and I participate in a number of charitable givings such as Toys for Tots and Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child.  This year is no exception.  I do find myself grateful as a blogger to receive many free products, some green, some not, some of which I do use and keep and others I put aside for use at a future date.  Part of my nesting of late has included cleaning up some of that swag and sending them off as part of my charitable contributions.  After all, I got them for free, why not share the wealth?  It got me thinking of all the other excesses I have in my home, things that will either sit there and collect dust and things that will eventually get tossed…

Here are some wonderful ways to recycle old things and some new things, doing good not just this holiday season, but anytime you feel a need to do good.

This comes to you from a random need to clean my shoe closet due to my expanding feet.  The shoes aren’t old, many are in great condition in fact, but no longer fit.  Individuals can donate footwear both new and used to those in need around the world.  Soles4Souls has coordinated relief efforts for the Asian Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, netting over 1 Million pairs donated for these disasters.

Send your old shoes to:
Alabama (Primary Warehouse Facility)
Soles4Souls, Inc.
315 Airport Road
Roanoke, AL 36274

Soles4Souls, Inc.
619 Old Hickory Blvd.
Old Hickory, TN 37138

Soles4Souls, Inc.
Foreign Trade Zone #89
6620 Escondido Street
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119

For more information, go to, call (615) 391-5723, or e-mail

Stuff Animals for Iraqi Children

I read in a paper I can no longer find, a piece on a soldier serving in Iraq, who was collecting used stuff animals to give away to the children in Iraq.  I thought it was an amazing idea and thought of the tons of stuff animals that Ava has at home… many of which sit untouched or never played with.  She has her favorites and occasionally she might make a new discovery in an old toy but does she really need a couple hundred stuff animals?  When you’re ready to clean out some of those stuffed animals, check out:

*UPDATE* – I found the missing article!  Stuff Animals can be sent to Michael Fellenz, a soldier deployed in Iraq:

Michael R. Fellenz, USACE-GRN-MAO, FOB MAREZ, APO-AE 09334,

Project Night Night

A similar concept to Operation Christmas Child which is now closed, Project Night donates over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year, free of charge, to
homeless children who need childhood essentials to feel secure, cozy, ready to learn, and
significant.  Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age-appropriate
children’s book, and a stuffed animal — all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag.  By providing
objects of reliable comfort, Project Night Night  reduces trauma and advances the emotional and
cognitive well-being of the children they serve.   Visit their site at: to donate items or funds to help this great cause.

Other great ideas for donating gently used, like new stuffed animals can be found at:


One last thing… if you’re like me… a savvy internet shopper.  Resist the urge to pop all those bubble wrap, or toss those plastic peanuts.  Bring them to your local UPS store for reuse!

About Suzanne Chan

Suzanne is student, daughter, wife, (labor & delivery) certified registered nurse, certified lactation counselor, friend, entrepreneur and blogger – but the job she's most proud of is mother… She shares her journey on this blog and The Disney Files. Read more about her here.


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