Giving Back this 4th of July

Happy 4th of July lovely readers! I hope you are having a day full of good company, good weather, and thankfulness. There are certain days when I can’t help but to step back and think, “wow, I am so incredibly blessed to have all that I have.” 4th of July is definitely one of those days. I can’t hear the national anthem without my heart swelling with pride and gratitude for this wonderful country I call home and the courageous men and women who have fought (both figuratively and literally) to make it a place where we are given the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. America is quite a special place; however, tragedies and hardship seem to lurk no matter how prosperous or happy a place may be. Thats why today’s post is devoted to five great american non-profits and charitable organizations.

I asked my dear friend Tera to take the lead on this post because she is one of the most generous and environment conscientious individuals I know. In comparison to my often “type A” personality, Tera is a free-spirit through and through and has been this way every since I have known her. This is probably one of the biggest reasons I gravitated towards her so many years ago. Tera and I have been best friends since ever since high school and she never ceases to amaze me with her unwavering loyalty, brutal honesty, adventurous spirit, and her deeply held adoration for those she loves, the underprivileged, and the environment. Thanks for sharing your favorite charities/ non profits, Tera!

TERA: It is important that we all realize how good we have it in this beautiful country! Be grateful, courageous, inspiring, happy, and humble to your fellow neighbor!!!I am a huge outdoor enthusiast from Tennessee, and love taking care of others and the planet.So as best friend to the blogger here, I have been asked to list my top five charity/non-profit organizations in the USA. I actually donate to five personally.


Number 1 on my list is St Jude Children’s Research Hospital,founded in Memphis, Tennessee in 1962 by Danny Thomas. On average, 7,800 active patients visit the hospital each year, most of whom are treated on an outpatient basis. St. Jude is the first institution established for the sole purpose of conducting basic and clinical research and treatment into catastrophic childhood diseases, mainly cancer.In 1962, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer, was 4 percent. Today, the survival rate for this once deadly disease is 94 percent, thanks to research and treatment protocols developed at St. Jude. No family EVER pays St. Jude for anything.
Donate today, 50th Anniversary.


My number 2 is the  American Whitewater (AW), founded in 1954, is a national non-profit organization that works to protect and restore rivers, maintains a national inventory of whitewater rivers, monitors potential threats to whitewater river resources, publishes information on river conservation, works with government agencies to protect the ability of the public to have a voice in the management of rivers, advocates for legislation protecting our rivers and their aquatic resources, and provides technical advice to local groups regarding river conservation and management.
AW members proposed some of the initial concepts for protection of Wisconsin’s waterways that Senator Gaylord Nelson incorporated into the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This legislation was passed in 1968 and we continue to use this important tool for protecting some of our nation’s most spectacular rivers. AW has represented the public interest at over 100 federally-licensed hydropower projects restoring flows on rivers that have been dewatered for decades. AW has worked with a variety of agencies to remove over a dozen dams on rivers and we have several more scheduled for removal including some major projects in the West.
Get involved: Treat our natural resources with respect, Pick up litter that you find on local waterways, Attend a local river cleanup and restore your river’s natural beauty, Be mindful of local residents and their community
We will preserve our rivers, but we need your help.

Number 3 is Feeding America, founded in 1976, is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. The mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. 1 in 6 people in America struggle with hunger every day, that is 49 million AMERICANS.This includes more than 1 in 5 children. Research has shown that food insecurity and hunger are serious threats to children’s health, growth and development. The nation’s economic growth depends on the well-being of our children. As such, the existence of childhood hunger in the United States threatens future American prosperity. Feeding America believes in the power of community.They collaborate and build strong relationships, based on trust, with and among those who share our vision of creating a hunger-free America. They work together to accomplish the vision at the national and local levels, valuing each other’s roles and using an open process and honest communication.  Through the assistance of local and national food assistance programs, Feeding America is able to provide nutritious, fresh foods to Americans struggling with hunger; safe and nurturing places for children to have a meal; emergency assistance for disaster victims; as well as a chance at self-sufficiency for adults trying to break the cycle of poverty and hunger.
VOLUNTEER, ADVOCATE, DONATE. We have to step up to help end hunger in our back yard. Your local food banks always need help!


Number 4 is Greenpeace, is the largest, independent, environmental, organization on the PLANET.  It was founded in 1971 by a small team of activists who decided that they could each make a difference. Their mission was to “bear witness” to U.S. underground nuclear testing at Amchitka, a tiny island off the West Coast of Alaska, which is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions. Amchitka was the last refuge for 3,000 endangered sea otters, and home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and other wildlife. Even though their old boat, the Phyllis Cormack, was intercepted before it got to Amchitka, the journey sparked a flurry of public interest. The U.S. still detonated the bomb, but the voice of reason had been heard. Nuclear testing on Amchitka ended that same year, and the island was later declared a bird sanctuary. The only bottom line is a green and peaceful future.
Greenpeace focuses on nearly 50 campaigns in nearly 50 countries today. Some of the major campaigns Greenpeace is fighting for in your neck of the woods would include: sustainably caught seafood, eliminating toxic chemicals for our clothing, having “whole,” GMO-free food, NO MORE mountain-top removal for coal, and less carbon emissions.
Donate today! There are hundreds of grocery stores in your home town that can sell you endangered species of fish, and are doing it. We have to push for sustainability.


Last but not least is the World Wildlife Fund, founded in 1961, seeks to save a planet, a world of life. Reconciling the needs of human beings and the needs of others that share the Earth. We seek to practice conservation that is humane in the broadest sense. WWF seeks to instill in people everywhere a discriminating, yet unabashed, reverence for nature and to balance that reverence with a profound belief in human possibilities. From the smallest community to the largest multinational organization, we seek to inspire others who can advance the cause of conservation. WWF seeks to be the voice for those creatures who have no voice. We speak for their future. We seek to apply the wealth of our talents, knowledge, and passion to making the world wealthier in life, in spirit, and in living wonder of nature. WWF is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
Be the voice and take action now, before it is too late.


Do as the great yoda once said, “There is no try, only do!”
Everyone, find your passion! We are all “broke,” but we are so lucky as AMERICANS. GIVE BACK!

LOVE! Tera


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