5 Ways to Give Back on Your Birthday

As I continue to get older (ūüė≠), one thing I enjoy doing on my birthday is trying to give back – whether that’s through monetary donations, time volunteering, or donating goods. So if you’re looking to give back, but not sure where to start – I’ve put together a few ideas on how you can pay it forward!

Here are five ways to give back on your birthday:
  1. Donate Goods. This could be a variety of things; whether it’s canned goods or other needed pieces (many local food banks list their most needed items on their website), or going through your closet and donating old clothes to a local church, there are so many ways to give back. Even donating old furniture to a local Habitat for Humanity is another great option, some places even pick-up clothes and furniture!

  2. Volunteer Your Time. This may be a little harder now during Covid-times, but I’m so glad to have the opportunity to volunteer my time at a local dog shelter. For this type of volunteering, I had to do a series of training in order to be able to volunteer, walk and handle the dogs on my own. If you run into a situation like this, and don’t have the training – look to see if there are other ways to give goods. The dog shelter I volunteer at has an Amazon Wish List and can always use dog treats, poop bags, and a variety of other necessities for the pups at the shelter. You can even order from Amazon and send directly to the shelter!

  3. Host A Facebook Fundraiser. As much as I hate Facebook, this is a great and easy feature to have friends and family raise money and donate to a cause near and dear to your heart! Plus, Facebook covers all of the fees, so there isn’t any built in charges when you or your friends donate. If you don’t have Facebook, create your own fundraiser by sharing a web link to family and friends in lieu of presents for your special day!

  4. Random Acts of Kindness. Whether it’s in the Starbucks drive thru by picking up the tab for the car behind you, or leaving a twenty at a local coffee shop to grab the next round of drinks — buying coffee for a stranger is an easy and simple way to bring a little sunshine to someone’s day! Another way to do this, is dropping off flowers to someone who might be having hard time, cooking a meal for someone in need, or maybe wheeling back your neighbors garbage cans!

  5. Donate Blood. This one is definitely not for everyone – but as a first time blood donor this past week, the fear of donating has officially been faced and I finally took the jump. Now I’m in the system and can more easily know what to expect and give a couple times a year! Trust me, I nearly passed out, but it wasn’t that bad or time consuming in the grand scheme of things. The Red Cross always has a plethora of drives, and other opportunities to give back.

A few other ideas to sprinkle a little good into the world; pick up trash at a local park or along your street (safely of course), sending a card to a friend, draw a positive message with chalk along your sidewalk, or bringing your neighbors garbage cans up on trash day. I’ve found myself giving more monetary this year or through goods, since I’ve cut back on in-person volunteer hours. But, I have found in my time volunteering, especially with the dogs, I am able to do something I truly love, and through spending a few hours over a weekend giving the dogs a break from their kennels (or whatever your volunteering is) — it’s just good for the mind and soul.

Local Love – Two Cafe & Boutique

This weekend I finally got a chance to visit the Two Cafe & Boutique in Chargin Falls. From the outside what appears to be your typical farm to table cafe, quickly turns into something special when you walk in. Two Cafe & Boutique is a training center for individuals with exceptionalities allowing these individuals real work experience and employment within a fully integrated setting.
Local Love - Two Cafe & Boutique - the bee life
So let’s talk about the cafe. With a full breakfast and lunch menu you’re sure to find something you’ll like. I ordered the Apple Peanut Butter and Bacon Toast with some organic brewed coffee. Both of which were phenomenal. Allie had the Avocado Toast with Chopped Egg and said she would’ve had another! In addition to a robust coffee menu, fresh smoothies are also available and a variety of pre-bottled beverages. The lunch menu also looked great, especially once I saw what a few other people ordered. So many options! So little time – a trip back is definitely in the books for the future.

The boutique has a variety of organic facial and beauty products in addition to candles, jewelry, clothing and kitchen decor – all sourced in line with Two’s mission and values.¬† They’re constantly sourcing new products in additional to updating their cafe menu seasonly!¬† There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, the cafe is a great spot to grab something to go, hunker down on some work, or a catch-up with good friends.

As their website says; “The cafe is not only a place you can count on for healthy and local food. It is a place where you can truly make a difference in the world.”

Weekend Recap – JDBCF

With the last few days of Breast Cancer Awareness month among us, this past weekend we were able to attended the 7th Annual Pink Carpet Gala, which is held by the JD Breast Cancer Foundation, a foundation that I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer for the last 2+ years.

Along with the event being a fundraiser, it’s also a special day/night for a selected number of women who are battling/battled breast cancer.¬† They’re pampered with hair and make-up along with being able to show off their gowns they were able to shop for and pick out! A night all glammed out, on the town, being celebrated for their bravery, their fight, and their positive outlook on it all. This year, three beautiful ladies were honored; and they couldn’t have been more deserving.

JD Breast Cancer Foundation’s main mission is to provide vital resources and support to enhance breast cancer survivorship in NEO.¬† So anything from providing finical support for daily bills/necessities and counseling, to providing community resources and support, even transportation. JDBCF wants to help take off the daily burdens of life from the challenges faced when diagnosed and being treated for breast cancer.
JDBCF - Pink Carpet Gala - the bee life
The event was special for the honorees, and surprisingly special for myself as well! I was surprised with being named Volunteer of the Year РWOW! I was speechless, in shock and truly humbled. I have donated time and resources  over the last few years, but I truly do it out of a place of giving back and wanting to help out, not ever expecting something back in return. It was very special.

The theme of the night was a casino night, so there were a number of table games up for grabs, including black jack, craps, and roulette… among others! The night ended with the lucky raffle prize winners being called for various prices like having a Tesla for 24-hours, an impressive booze basket (it was legit!) and a dream vacation. It was a great fundraiser for a organization with a genuine mission and fight to help those battling breast cancer.

Six Dates.

It’s that time of the year again, and I’m back to share some unique ideas to switch up your normal Valentine’s Day routine – whether your single or dating!
six-dates-valentines-the-bee-lifeOne:¬†Take a cooking class! This seems to be¬†a popular date idea as of late, but having done this it would definitely be a bit more¬†fun with a larger group of friends! ¬†Most places also allow you to BYOW; so be sure to plan ahead and bring something that pairs well with your dinner. ¬†B and I took a sushi making class, which was really great and unique – because it’s something that we probably would’ve never tried on our own!

Two:¬†Paint and sip wine classes are another fun way to relax, be creative and try something new. Plus you can make this a group activity with a bunch of girlfriends or couples. If you don’t want to keep the painting, it could be a great gift for your mom or another friend! It’s a great way to get out and socialize especially with these colder winter days.

Three:¬†Dinner at home with friends, potluck style. Help decide on a menu as a group and then pick a dish to bring. Pair it with some games, good wine/beer and company and you’ve got a fun night that is still different and unique but takes the pressure off of the big day!

Four:¬†Take a fitness class together! Sign-up for a spin class or find a boot camp and start the morning off strong. ¬†This is another way that you can work with a friend/partner to get you motivated to conquer your new year resolutions together. ¬†Not to mention you won’t feel as guilty enjoying chocolate covered strawberries and champagne later in the night!

Five: Volunteering and giving back is the perfect way to share and give love to people or animals who might not be as fortunate.  Some different ideas to look into around your area are; donating/sorting books for children, volunteering at a local animal shelter, collecting can-goods or serving hot meals at a shelter, visiting the sick/elderly, or donating clothes!

Six:¬†Make something! Whether this be big or small, you could make Valentine’s cards for family/friends, paint wooden picture frames for the house or find your latest Pinterest Hack to make! Looking for some ideas? Check out my pinterest board: Bee Creative.

Since Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday, it might be harder to some of these specifically on the day, so get a jump start this weekend or the following! And last but not least, don’t forget to give a card to your honey, bestie, parents and friends!

XO