Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I loled when I Googled cornucopia and this was the first image that popped up. Figured I might as well use it. Google knows me too well.

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is the day when we get to eat way too much turkey and pie! I really am not big on turkey, to be honest. I'm more of a sides and pie girl. I like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, olives (yes, they were presented to me as a side as a child, so I still consider them one), cranberry sauce (only the jellied one that looks like the can it came in) and pumpkin pie buried in whipped cream. Today is also a day to give a few moments to allow yourself to reflect on what you're thankful for. It doesn't have to be anything deep or meaningful. I am thankful for my family and the fact that I'm alive. But I'm also thankful that my cat tolerates me enough now that she'll jump on the couch with me sometimes, and that the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Beverly Hills are back on teevee. See, I have varying degrees of thankfulness, but it doesn't make any of them any less important to  me. And whatever you're thankful for this year is equally as important - no matter what it is.

I know that some of you may be planning to head out to Black Friday sales, or Thanksgiving Day sales (since so many stores are opening up right after dinner time tonight) to start on your Christmas shopping, and that's cool. I have never been one to brave those crowds, I am just not a people person like that. But before you go, I'd like to leave you with these links, and maybe you might like to donate to one of them today (or some time this holiday season). My grandfather believed that if you had even just a little extra to give to someone else, you should. He grew up during the Depression, so sharing with and helping out your neighbors was something that he experienced firsthand. Volunteering and donating has always been a big part of my life, and I try to pass that spirit on to others when I'm able.

*WoW Mom- This Kickstarter is for a documentary about a lady named Terry who has a very serious form of cancer, and uses World of Warcraft to cope with it. Cancer is a subject near and dear to me, and Terry using WoW to deal with what is going on with her health is interesting to me. Backer perks range from online screenings of the documentary to a Skype call with cast members of The Guild. Chris Hardwick is a supporter of Terry and her daughter Andie, and there are Nerdist perks available too. This Kickstarter ends on December 11, 2014. They are hoping to raise $45,000 and as of press time they have raised $23,387.

*Game and Gab for Good- Created by Mariko McDonald of Gamerwife, this event is aiming to raise $2000 to give to Love146, which is an organization that's helping to stop child trafficking and exploitation. The event is December 9th, 2014. Mariko and others will be discussing the evolution of female protagonists in the game industry while playing Contrast in a live stream. You also have a chance of winning some really neat prizes depending on your donation amount, so thats pretty awesome.

*Extra Life and Play Live- I haven't been able to stream much lately, as my laptop is hanging on to dear life, but I am still raising money for these charities. Play Live is ongoing, Extra Life will go until December 30, 2014. Both are great causes that help children dealing with life changing events. Play Live specifically goes to helping St Jude hospitals- for supplies, research, and to make sure that any child there for cancer treatment never receives a bill for their care. Extra Life supports Children's Miracle Network hospitals. The money raised is given to those hospitals and they can use it as they need it. Meaning they can use it to pay for more training, equipment, whatever the hospital is lacking at that time. And there is a giveaway going on here for an in-game pet if you donate to these.......

*Operation Supply Drop- This organization donates games and gaming consoles to the US military. They also hold a gaming marathon once a year, similar to Extra Life. My brother is currently serving in the Army, and while we have been so lucky that he hasn't been sent overseas, we have known so many other servicemen that have. These "supply drops" help the men and women serving our country get a little fun and relaxation in an otherwise harsh environment. If you click on the link, it will take you to my donor page. I would like to announce here that I am also looking to form a team for this cause! Click on the Team KMT part of my profile and you should be able to register if you'd like :)

*Samaritan's Purse- This organization has been in the spotlight recently because they had some of their volunteers in Africa contracted Ebola. I know Samaritan's Purse because of their Christmas Shoeboxes though. My stepmom's church does them every year, and they're a lot of fun to make. You get to choose the gender and age of the child you'd like to make a box for, then fill it will some fun things (small, yet age appropriate toys) and some practical things (soap, toothpaste,etc). The boxes get sent to Samaritan's Purse, who then sends them to countries where the boxes are needed. Their website shows the many ways in which you can donate, including building a Christmas Shoebox online!

And here is a list of sites that the IGGPPC compiled during our camp this year. Its all about donating books. The list is mighty, and doesn't just cover the US.

So these are just a few things that I think are great causes to donate to. But even if none of these causes tickle your fancy, I do hope that you'll find something that does this holiday season, and give a little to it. Whether its time, money, or supplies- anything helps, truly.

Have a safe and happy day!

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