Give Thanks, Give Back

Thanksgiving is such a special time of year; it’s the only holiday that is solely dedicated to spending quality time with your friends and family and appreciating what those people mean to you. No presents, no costumes – just people sharing a meal and reflecting on what they’re thankful for. Thanksgiving is also an opportune time to remember how fortunate we are and give back to those who aren’t as lucky. As a sad result of Hurricane Sandy, a lot of people won’t have the warmth and comfort of a traditional Thanksgiving this year. I just wanted to share a few great ways to give back to some great causes that I personally care about. Every little bit counts and sometimes, giving time is an even more rewarding way to make an impact.

Shwood is one of my favorite up and coming brands in eyewear. Their sunglasses add an organic and modern twist to universally classic frames, but still look cool and effortless. To lend support to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the company launched the Shwood Recovery Initiative and released these rad limited edition shades – the classic Canby in Santos Mahogany. Each pair has the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum” engraved on the frames – meaning “Many uniting as one,” signifying communities coming together in times of need. Proceeds from these shades will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Circa Survive was one of my favorite bands growing up and frontman Anthony Green has always been one of my favorite vocalists because of his unique voice and beautiful lyrics. Originating from New Jersey, the band and many of their loved ones were directly affected by the storm so this week, the band released a Hurricane Sandy Benefit EP, in which all proceeds go towards hurricane relief efforts in the Northeast. Listeners can pay what they want for the 5-song EP at a minimum of $4. What a beautiful way to give back.

A cause that strikes very close to home for me is breast cancer. When I was in high school, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and it was one of the most difficult and painful ordeals my family has ever experienced. Thankfully, my mom’s a fighter and a survivor and her strength inspires me every day. One organization that I’ve been impressed with over the years is Keep A Breast. Since I was only a teenager when my mom was diagnosed, I appreciate the youthful and fun spirit of the Keep A Breast organization and their dedication to educating young people about early detection and prevention. Rather than hosting yet another 5K, Keep A Breast partners with artists and musicians to target young people and mobilize them. I smile when I see teenage skateboarders wearing “I ❤ Boobies” bracelets because it gives me hope that future generations will hopefully live in a cancer-free environment.

What are you thankful for this year?

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