Dirk, Lonneke and Bane

My top 10 charities to give to this year

If you don't know to which charities you should give money, here is my top 10 charities to give to this year. Charities that, some big and some small, give focused help. Therefore you get more "use" out of the money you spend on these charities. While there are many organizations that do good, I have listed charities I have experience with/donated to in the past/or have been to their charity events.  Either I have seen it with my own eyes or I just really trust these organizations, these are my favorite 10 charities of 2013/2014:

My top 10 charities to give to this year

1. Animal Haven

Category dogs and cats in NYC, USA. This is a boutique no-kill shelter for dogs and cats. They don't have a big budget, but seem to really be efficient with their funds, and they help a lot of dogs! Many come from the NYCACC kill shelter, but they also take dogs in need from all over the World. My dog BANE came from Animal Haven and we adopted him from there a few years ago! They took care of him for 10 months before he came into our lives. The dogs are extremely happy and well-behaved who come from this shelter. Volunteers and employees really do everything to make their short-term stay (hopefully) as comfortable as possible. Their new location even has airconditioning in the rooms that are spacious for the dogs and cats! My dog Bane loves to visit them. I think that says a lot if a dog likes to return to a shelter!

Dirk, Lonneke and Bane
Dirk, Lonneke and Bane

 

2. Stichting Dimarte

Category: horses, the Netherlands.

Stichting Dimarte is a dutch charity that gives a home to abused and injured horses. Dimarte, led by Hester and her team, rehabilitate the horses both emotionally and physically. Most horses have so much trauma that they can't be ridden ever again, so they stay there until their last breath. Volunteers help with the daily care. This charity is also doing a lot on the social level, helping young kids and teenager who are having troubles rehabilitate too. There is a lot of emphasis on education of care for horses. I had been looking for a nice place for my 2 horses for years (as many of you know my horses were unfortunately abused by the people I paid to care for them, and I am still in a court case about it after almost 6 years!). I was happy when Dimarte helped me find that place. Regularly I receive pictures and videos of U2 and Cooper having a good time. All the other horses seem to be doing well too. If you want to support this cause too, you can go to their website or Facebook page to get more info on how to donate. I know each Euro or dollar will really do a lot of good here at this small charity! www.stichtingdimarte.nl 

horses U2 and Cooper with Hester

U2 (dark bay color) on the left, and Cooper (chestnut color) on the right, with Hester.

3. ASPCA (USA)

Category: dogs, cats, horses USA - The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I have been supporting, donating and going to their charity events for years now. Why? I think the way you treat your animals says a lot about you. In most cases when people find animal abuse, there are other problems in place. Finding animal abuse ism besides helping animals, sometimes also the first step to help the people who own them. I have seen with my own eyes how they take in dogs & cats that are abused, neglected or malnourished, or are on the list to be euthanized in other shelters. They will bring them back to health, and find new forever homes for them. People who can't afford it, can get free veterinary care for their pets. Also, the ASPCA has been doing the same for horses all across the United States. In 1866, this charity was founded by Henry Bergh to primarily help sick, injured or abused horses. in 1902 they were the first to have an ambulance in NYC to take carriage horses of the streets that were injured. (Read more ASPCA history HERE)

lonneke aspcaAttending an ASPCA charity event in NYC, photo by Sonia Moskowitz (?) for ASPCA

3. NYCLASS (USA)

nyclass logoCategory: workhorses NYC - New Yorkers for Clean, Livable And Safe Streets. Although some people think the horse drawn carriages in NYC are so very romantic, the fact is that this is true case of horse abuse. There are many reasons why the 220 carriage horses of NYC should be taken of the streets. First of all: horses don't belong in heavy and loud traffic of one of the busiest metropoles of the World. Horses get into accidents, and every year it seems to be more and more. The horses work too long hours, in extreme cold and extreme heat, 7 days a week. Sometimes doing double shifts if the owner wants to make an extra buck (that's over 16 hour days then) They are never turned out or walked without a carriage so they can just stretch and be a horse. Their living conditions? Appalling. Some horses are stabled even on the second floor of buildings that were obviously not meant to have horses reside there. Ever seen a horse walk up the stairs? Well, some do it every day. Not to mention the small spaces they stay in. Some horses can't even turn around. During Sandy in November 2012, These horses were not allowed to be on the streets. Where were they? Suddenly, after working every day, they stayed INSIDE their stables for the full week! If that is not bad for a horse, I don't know what is! To make a long story short: NYCLASS already has a loving and forever place for each of the 220 NY Carriage horses once the bill is in place to take the horses of the streets of NYC.  There is even a great alternative I wrote about earlier:  the horseless electric carriage. How Smart! These days they focus also on more animal-related issues. Attending a NYCLASS charity event in NYC

4. Pencils of Promise. (USA)

Pencils of Promise logoCategory: children/education/worldwide - Founded by the manager of Justin Bieber, Adam Braun, this charity builds schools worldwide in places where kids otherwise would not go to school. It is that simple. Every penny goes to the schools. They have projects in countries like Laos, Guatamala & Ghana They have a goal of 100 schools by the end of 2012. They already finished about 75 of them. This year I attended the PoP gala where Usher was being honored, and also bid 12000 dollars on a cute labradoodle puppy he called "Poppy". This way more and more is raised for education for kids! So join the movement!

lonneke Pencils of PromiseAttending a Pencils of Promise event in NYC in 2012

5. Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Fund.

Category breast cancer/cancer /research/women's health - A charitable organization originated by Ralph Lauren, which supports breast cancer research and prevention all around the World. You can donate directly, or buy one of their Pink Pony products to show your support and that way donate to this good cause. I also posed for Ralph Lauren Pink Pony once.

Lonneke Pink Pony

6. Washington Square Park Conservancy

Category: parks & recreation

This is my favorite park in NYC, and a favorite of many New Yorkers and tourists alike.  Creative and musical people find this place inspiring. Every day I walk here I feel like I am on vacation. A Mix of all kinds of people are enjoying themselves. My father figure George Vellonakis redesigned the park a few years ago and is now working for the Washington Square Park Conservancy to upkeep the park and it's beautiful plants, trees, history, famous arch and famous fountain. The Conservancy hires many homeless people to do the landscaping of the park. That way they help them get work experience and get them back on their feet.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

7. WSPA International.

Category factory animal welfare/food safety

Helping factory farm animals around the World who are raised for consumption. The WSPA protects and helps all animals around the World where help is needed. They bought agree that animals should not be raised in a factory as this is a situation of prolonged suffering for the animals. The practices used to raise these animals are upsetting and make you not want to eat meat again if you see it. Unfortunately a lot of people are closing their eyes for these practices, and keep buying these products, to which the industry continues to use these practices. As the consumer is King, if they would refuse to buy these animal products, the industry would have to change their practice. it is that simple. So you can help these organizations by buying animal friendly products consciously to show your support. Only consumers can truly change the system by asking for better living quality for the food they eat, and not let a few cents make the decision of what animal products you eat or not. The money you save this way short-term will get back to you in health problems the long way, as these animals are treated with hormones, cruel feeding methods, lots of medication, and are just unhappy. You eat that energy and bad energy is never good for you. Think about helping these organizations and think when you buy your food next time in the grocery store. You are what you eat.

wspa logo

8. The Non-GMO project.

non gmoCategory food safety. While most people are becoming more aware of the reasons to choose and eat organic food, just buying products that say "Organic" on it, is not good enough anymore to assure what you eat is truly as nature intended. Big corporations are making "organic" a business and are trying to sit on the fine lines of what is organic and not. A product can get an "organic" seal even if the product is not 100% organic. You can't be totally sure anymore unless you investigate yourself some more of what you and your family eat. It is important to investigate even further what you eat, on a molecular level. Since a few decades some big corporations have invented "GMO" , and they are selling it and you are buying it. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and means that the food that you consume, is genetically altered. (You should read my article on GMO to understand what it is.) There are many reasons why one should not consume GMO, and this non profit organization is showing you all the facts. But it is a personal choice if you want to know or not. Now the Non-GMO project is labeling food that is without GMO, it has become much easier to know what is in the food products you buy. I appreciate their work so much! Now I know what to buy or not in the store. As food, together with clean water and clean air are the essentials to live, I think this is something that is important for all people. Your support will help them bring more awareness and better food to you. Keep an eye out for this label!

9. Food & Water Watch, Category air/water/food safety

This organization covers many issues we have these days. Issues that come from water pollution to fracking, from factory fish farming to bottled water and many more that affect everyone. this website is a great resource already to get your info on what's going on in the World these days, so you can make the right decisions on what to support when it comes to the knowning what food you eat and protecting the water you drink.

food water watch

10. Justgiving

Category charity website.  And to conclude my 10 favorite charities to give to this year, I added a website to which you can browse yourself to find your preferred charity to give to. You can search on Just Giving for or a charity you like and donate online. Over 10.000 charities, big and small, are waiting for your donation!

just giving logo

I hope these 10 great organizations have helped you to find out whom you are going to support this year!

Other charities that were brought to my attention on Twitter when I asked my followers which charities should add, but did not make my top 10 are: Net4KidsLendahandGive Directly, Reporters without Borders,  Stichting Vluchteling Artsen zonder grenzen; Warchild; Human Rights Watch; Amnesty International; Greenpeace; Bits of Freedom; Wikileaks; Tess Unlimited, Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij KNMR,  World Wildlife Fund WWF. Plan Nederland, Terre des HommesStichting Hulphond Nederland, ,Inloophuis de Eik ,De Snoezelbus in Rotterdam ,Even a charity to make cannabis legal named VOC  .Thank you followers for sharing these with us!

Forbes also made a list of the top 50 largest USA charities, which can help you make a decision on what charity to support this year too!

What is your top 10 of favorite charities to give to?

Love, Lonneke

all photos courtesy of myself or the charities mentioned.

(if you are a photographer featured please let me know so I can credit you accordingly :) )


red heart with hands

5 tips for a Good Heart

Everyone wants to do something Good for others once a while. You can give money to a charitable cause, or volunteer to show your "good heart". You can just give away things you don't need to others who can use it very well. There are so many things, big and small, easy or difficult, you can do for others. Doing good for others feels good!

About Organice Your Good Heart:

Good Heart definition

My 5 tips to do good for others:

  1. Take care of yourself first. If you are strong & healthy, you have the best chance to succeed to help others. (Example: when an airplane is in trouble, you first put on the oxygen mask yourself and then help other passengers.)
  2.  Choose your focus. Choose your charity. What is the most important to you right now? Even if you want to, you can't save the World and everyone on it. If everyone focuses on their own subject of passion, there will be more results possible faster and without too much waste of time and money.
  3.  Find out what you can share or give. If you have a lot of money, you can give money. If you don't have money but you have time, you can volunteer. If you don't have any of those, you can share knowledge or connections. You can maybe share products or services. Fact is that a lot is valuable. Money or things like knowledge: it is all worth a lot!
  4.  Look around your surroundings and in your group of friends/relationships to see what is needed and what people focus on. Sharing is caring. Together you are stronger.
  5. Organize. The better you are organized (or "organiced"), the more success you will have.

My focus with Organice Your Life is to share knowledge and information. Besides that I love animals so I focus on charities that care for animals. Because Gandhi said it well:

Gandhi quote animals

What I support

I support most of all the Charities in my heart, while my focus is to support to a few local NYC charities.  My unwanted clothes ,household products and groceries I bring to friends, and local people who don't have much to spend. It feels good :)

What do you focus on?

Love, Lonneke


Fabio Nunes of Masterchef Brasil

We asked Chef Fabio Nunes - famous for competing on Masterchef Brasil, and currently on Masterchef Brasil A Revanche -  to share with us how he "organizes his life in an organic and nice way" by using the Organice Your Life Circle of 5. Enjoy!

1. Organice your Home

I like to live in an organized environment. Before, when I was living in my hometown and at my parents' home, I didn’t have any idea about the importance of an organized home. Later on, I have lived everywhere in the World sharing apartments with roommates and I learned from this experience that to be called ‘Home’ it needs to feel "homie", it must be organized, be functional…

The Kitchen

The kitchen is where I like to focus my organization. I know how important is to have a good 'Mise en place’ to the whole process of cooking. So I try to take that idea as a model, as a professional chef and apply it to everything else I do in life. I also try to be consistent, there are certain things I have to do every single day, at least for a few minutes a day. But consistency is very important when you are trying to achieve your goals.

The household

I'm glad that I have a great partner in life to help me organize my clothes and my closets, because I’m the worst at foldings my shirts ( and she’s the best at it by the way ). 

2. Organice your Agenda

I like to wake up early everyday it’s possible and I love to have a good night sleep of 10 hours every once in a while… I don’t like to make people wait for me, or be at places with some time to spare ahead of the time of the meeting. I get pretty anxious about leaving my house in big cities where you have to keep track of traffic jams and other inconveniences. So I tried my best to keep my schedule on time by planning my day ahead, something I usually do every morning. Now I can luckily count on car services and fresh organic food delivered to my door, which makes living in a big city much more enjoyable. I have always tried to balance my time between running my errands and taking care of stuff, with fun moments of relaxation where I get to enjoy a little bit life and have a brake. Usually I go to the gym, or I just sit and play some videogames. I also love to search online for new ideas of recipes, so I spend a lot of time in front of devices, and maybe that's not too 

3. Organice Yourself

Nutrition

Cooking to nourish my body and to keep me energetic through the day, is what I do every weekday. On Weekends we are free and some weekdays as well.. I live a happy life and I'm happy eating whatever I want, even though I’m completely aware of the importance of a healthy diet.

Workout

I love exercising at open spaces and recently I have joined a group to practice running. Im in love with the activity, I have also meet wonderful people through it and I even ran a half marathon!

Himalayan Salt Lamp

Because I spend a lot of time in front of devices, I always have my Himalayan salt lamp light up during the evening. 

Aromatherapy

Also at night, I get the benefit from aromatherapy with therapeutical organic oils I mix with water on my diffuser. That’s how I end up the night, just before sleep, I practice a mindfulness exercise that really gets me ready to unplug my mind and calm my thoughts. 

4. Organice your Relationships

Family

I live far away from my family. So I take advantage of social media to stay in touch with. Not seeing my niece growing up, is not pleasant and I'd love to be in my hometown with more frequency. I try to do my best even with a busy agenda and living abroad for all these years. I have been present in the most important moments I guess… for instance, one night my best friend had his daughter when I was there. She’s my Goddaughter. Recently my sister got pregnant and had her first baby girl - I was there too. I also went to her graduation and my nephew’s . So I’m pretty happy with it. It’s a real struggle living far away from each other, but we have been able to manage it. 

Love

I have been together with Carolina Fontaneti for more than 10 years already, and they are the best years of my life. We’ve learned and evolved so much from each other's experiences that I just want to have her in my life to keep that feeling forever. She’s my best friend and she’s the best person I met in this life. She truly inspires me, one of the reasons I started caring more about the culinary World, and building on this passion by her side was joyful.

Love under the water!
Me and my cat Ninis when he was a little kitten!

Cooking with love

I just really love to cook for my friends. It's one of the things I love most in life, that’s why I always say that 'I cook when I love’.  So in the best case scenario, at least once a week I get my friends or family together to prepare something delicious, I usually get inspired with an urge for cooking with a particular ingredient, or sometimes I bump into an amazing piece of ‘something delicious’ that I simply have to take back home. I like to serve my loved ones with love and care, of course reflected in the food I prepare them.

5. Organice your Good Heart

Giving back

I’ve got amazing opportunities of working on giving back to my community more and more. For many years I’ve been part of The Heart of Fashion Organization that does beautiful work with some institutions all over Brazil. My favorite one - and the one I like to visit often - are the 'Taiguara Houses'. They are committed to help homeless kids who are living on the vicious streets and provide them a home and opportunities to study and get a job or get connected to their once lost families again. 

READ MORE: The Heart of Fashion

Eliminating food waste and conscious cooking

'Invisible Food’ is an amazing project that I'm very happy that I've joined as it brings together two great passions of mine: food and conscious cooking. Thousand tons of food are thrown away every single day all around the World, but we found a way to begin the process of saving this food locally. With the 'invisible food truck', the whole team that is part of this very passionate movement and I were able to save a lot of ingredients with a full potential of being saved and transform into beautiful and tasteful food. The idea is to bring awareness about how much food we could feed the ones in need just by changing a few wasteful horrible habits. It starts at the producer of the foods, and goes all the way to the final consumer. We all need some enlightenment about the urgent food issues to be solved. I want to live in a beautiful sustainable world, and I believe I'm doing my part to it.

 Follow Fabio Nunes on Instagram , Twitter, and check him on the new episodes of Masterchef Brasil A Revanche!

Masterchef Episode 1 with Fabio:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw5orx_47uY&t=28s

The full episode you can find on the Masterchef Brasil Youtube page!

 

About the Circle of Five by Organice Your Life

Organice Your Life® revolves around the OYL Circle of Five. With these 5 steps you can organize your life in an organic and nice way. The OYL Circle of Five can help you improve your home, your finances, your career, your health, your relationships, and your good charitable work for others. Giving you the tools so you can make each area of your life the best possible! These simple five steps can create big positive change.


Support the ASPCA

One cause that is important to me, is the care of abused and neglected pets all over the world. If you live in America there is the ASPCA: the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals. 

ASPCA

The ASPCA takes in dogs, cats, horses and other animals that need our help. Please take a moment of your time and go to their website, to read one of the stories of the animals they care for.

And hopefully you want to support them by thinking of them next time you want to add a pet to your family. They have amazing dogs, cats and horses that can be adopted once they have passed the vet check.

Every rescue and treatment is paid for with donations. I have seen what they do with the money with my own eyes. It is put where it is needed the most: The animals.

The ASPCA NYC organizes many fun events to raise even more awareness and money for the animals.

Lonneke at an ASPCA event

 

With donations, they were able to upgrade their facility in the upper West side in NYC a few years ago. The dogs and cats have now bigger more open rooms and spaces to play together. It truly looks like an animal heaven.

Adopt don't shop

Unfortunately a lot of people still think of animals as just an "accessory" or "thing" and still a lot of animals are neglected or abused. We can all help to stop this, keep an eye out in your neighborhood to animal abuse, and notify your local animal rescue organization. You can also donate money; every little generous gift counts. As well as your time: You can even apply to become a volunteer! There is a lot to do, Every animal needs care, time, and cuddles!

UPDATE October 16th 2019: The ASPCA, together with the NYPD Paws cruelty investigation busted a dog fighting operation in New York City. Thirty dogs were saved and I hope they will be rehabilitated and adopted out to loving homes!

www.aspca.org

Love, Lonneke

First published on July 19th 2013, Updated in 2019


Beau Young: Peace be with you.

A conversation with Beau Young

The name Beau Young conjures up a gorgeous image which inspires me! It's one of my favourite Aussie surfer, poised on the nose of his 9.4 surfboard, five toes over, left leg bent behind him from the knee with foot raised behind him, arms outstretched - 'crucifix five.'

How is it that I was the spoiled model who, just this morning, managed to catch a wave and speak a few words with someone that cool. In 2004 Beau Young won the world longboarding championships for his strong yet finesse surfing.

These days, Beau is pretty much a singer and songwriter full time, and - as I found out – the most passionate of animal lovers!

To refresh my memory, I played Beau's first CD 'Waves of Change' on the drive to meet him. I wanted to get a feel for his style, his emphasis on life through the words of the songs. His voice is 'Bob Dylan-ish', it's raspy tones likeable with his unpredictable emphasis, you can sure sure hear 'soul'. I played my favourite song on the disc, 'Peace Be With You' twice. It's catchy, it's kind of surfy, it's fun... 'As the last wave of summer, rolls on, along... don't waste a second, coz when it's gone it's gone... Let your future, break on down the line... Peace be with you, in your time...'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_cjkNjawbQ

Of course I brought chocolate. I found out his favourite flavour (Beau loves white chocolate!) the day previously, and made a natural variation which I'll share the recipe for in another post soon. Chilled bottles of freshly made almond milk went down well before the surf, and we enjoyed blueberries, organic apples and my cinnamon tahini cream.

We chatted like old friends. Beau's dogs name is D-Dawgitty. He is a Yogi. He has a spot right between the ears, and loves my chocolate. Beau is so crazy mad about animals, and
lately he's written over 80 kids songs with different animalistic impersonations! I was intrigued.

So apparently lots had happened since 'Waves of Change'! As well as working on a few mainstream music albums, Beau now has a music dimension just devoted to children. His band is called ANIMALS ROCK. He played me a few new songs he'd been working on from his Iphone as well as surprising me with a gift of two childrens CD's, 'Farm Animals', and 'Wild Animalz'... he sure can impersonate some wild noises with that voice! He dresses up in animal suits too. Wow, nothing could have prepared me for this. This guy is seriously amazing.

I began by asking him what it was about kids & animals that motivated him, a world champion longboard surfer to reach out to them?
Kids are our future and they are so so intelligent from such a young age these days. Instilling a love of the natural world, our environment and our fantastic, remarkable extended family - that is the animal kingdom - on the youngest of generation gives me more pleasure than I could have ever imagined!

I wondered how Beau envisaged his work for the future? What it was that he dreamed of, and what, he would change if he could, today?
“There are so many things I would change today if I had the chance. For a start I would be playing music to millions of kids and instilling the importance of love and understanding and all the proceeds would go to great causes. Today if I had my way (the government already knows this is possible) I would have only air and water powered cars, wind and solar would be the only method of obtaining energy and everyone on any income could have there needs met. People with too much would be encouraged to give to those in need. This is a very broad question but for a start there would not be one more hole put in our earth via the coal seam gas fracking process. One more hole they would say and I would scream “No fracking way my friends.”

Beau had a few words to say on the phrase 'Organice Your Life, World' ~ His mind runs so expressively...
“To me to OYW sounds like a universal understanding that together we are one. No segregation due to skin colour, race, religion or monetary income. Everyone together. The world as we know it has a very small voice and the voice should not only sit with the few. They say charity starts at home and with the family. Well this world is our home and and we are all in this together. The one thing we truly need is to look inside ourselves and from there our environment, how fortunate we are and deep down understand that it may begin at how but I swear this planet feels like it has less than 6 degree's of separation and you know what everyone I happen to talk to these days ultimately feel the same way. So just when you thought this world was spinning faster and crazier than ever, it turns out - we're all grounded and believing in the same positive vibe.” As he spoke I could hear the lyrics from 'Peace Be With You' playing in my head, 'Doin' it ain't so difficult, couse we'll all be honding hands... Doin' it ain't so difficult, but we only got this one chance...'

Any health tips from Beau Young?... Organice Your Life readers might like to know?...
“For me and how I like to feel, it's all about yoga, exercising once a day and eating well. I like to try and stay strong and positive in mind and body as much as possible. I think it tends to keep everything on an even keel. It ain't easy but just like love, there really is no other solution than the positive. Hiccups occur and things happen all the time, the bright side of life definitely is the way and I can breathe it all in through a slow Hatha yoga and meditation session at any time of the day; and just like surfing I can take that emotion and empowerment with me.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUYFj40k_Do

Beau dedicates monies from his work to charities for endangered animals, and for children who are deaf and hearing impaired. It seems if he can't touch them with his music, he'll touch them – with his heart.

First published in 2012, updated in 2019

 


The Heart of Fashion

I've spent a lot of time asking myself what's the best way to do something that really helps people in need. Every year, when the month of December comes, I want to make even more of what we've been doing all year around...

Organice Your Good Heart

Back in 2007, couple of my dearest friends had the amazing idea of creating a non profitable association, about the time we were all living in France. What got them inspired was the work made by another friend that worked for Brazilian organization called "GOL de Letra" that  it's organized by famous Brazilian soccer players. Differently from its source of inspiration - The Heart of Fashion was created to gather the fashion industry together for a greater good.

logo brasil

The Heart of Fashion

I have loved the idea from the beginning, and got involved with the whole project. After all these years, the people we helped putting smiles on theirs faces, meals into their plates... It feels so great being able to share some of this happiness to inspire your Christmas to be whole and complete - if you also are willing to spread love trough your actions... There are so many ways to do so !

The Heart of Fashion is well known among Brazilian models and other fashion people but it's quickly spreading around. Top models like Michelle Alves, the Canadian Coco Rocha and the German Julia Stegner have been supporting the cause from its first days.

DSC06950
Brazilian supermodel Renne Castrucci and his father just before Christmas helping to spread the love at the nursing home in the state of Minas Gerais - Brazil

The Heart of Fashion supports 3 different institutions

  •  a nursing home (Lar de Velhinhos de Sao Tomé das letras)
  • a program that help favela families (Favela Maraba)
  • a Home for kids and teenagers found in the streets (Casas Taiguara)
4_CAMPANHA DO FRANGO
Pictures from the "Favela Maraba" project - more than 130 families got their food for Christmas eve dinner and lot more!

It's pretty basic - but the association is helping a good range of people and ix growing!

 

Part of The Heart of Fashion founders and contributors : Michelli Provensi, Livia Gabriel, Alex Schultz, Francisco Gassen, Ana Paula Barros, Thiago Volpato and Renne Castrucci - in four different events : goodie bags and linens shopping; partnership with english school CNA and just before Christmas eve giving presents.
Part of The Heart of Fashion founders and contributors : Michelli Provensi, myself, Livia Gabriel, Alex Schultz, Francisco Gassen, Ana Paula Barros, Thiago Volpato and Renne Castrucci - in four different events : goodie bags and linens shopping; partnership with english school CNA and just before Christmas eve giving presents.

I do it whenever I can with all my heart and love especially at the end of the year. I find myself more energized and ready for a brand new YEAR after that.

You can always give back to others!

O Coração da Moda

Xo Carol :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Interview with Corey Stanford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Blazetrak.com

Corey Stanford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Blazetrak.com, tells us about his successful online-based platform, which links the general public to established industry experts and celebrity talent, his healthy and green lifestyle, and his favorite charities.

So tell us about your company.

Blazetrak is an online-based platform that provides video access to the world’s top professionals in the areas of music, fashion, tv/film, sports, business & lifestyle.  It is the first website that allows you to get directly in touch with established industry experts and celebrity talent – and be guaranteed a direct video response.  Blazetrak has a roster of 400+ professionals utilizing the platform including Big Boi, from the Grammy Award-winning duo Outkast, Edyta Sliwinska, formerly with “Dancing With the Stars”, Tyson Beckford, Ralph Lauren Supermodel, Mathew Knowles, World-Renowned Music Executive, Tara Conner, Miss USA Winner, and Darren Sharper, of the New Orleans Saints.

We, at Organice Your Life®, promote a healthy and organic lifestyle in all areas of our life.  What do you do to stay healthy?

I workout six days a week, which includes taking a Zumba class, completing a Kukuwa Dance Workout, a strength-based session at the Firm Studios, playing basketball, and swimming. In addition to working out, I eat a well balanced meal on a daily basis, with the exception of Friday’s. I generally splurge with pizza on a Friday.

Does living a healthy lifestyle carry over into your work? Do you let others around you know the benefits of eating organically and being green?

Living healthy is not only part of my work; it’s a part of my life.  My wife is a physician and a workout fanatic. She continuously encourages me and leads by example. I frequently hear stories of her patients who end up in the hospital due to a poor lifestyle choice. Many of the complications she faces with her patients could have easily been avoided if they lived a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes we run to medicine as the solution when ultimately, the solution may be as simple as changing your diet or being physically active.  Instead of just telling my colleagues, associates, and friends the benefits of eating organically, or being green, I demonstrate it.  I walk to the grocery store. I carry my green shopping bags. Sometimes, I even post my grocery list on Facebook and Twitter.

As a very busy executive, what are the major drawbacks that you see regarding living a healthy life?  How do you overcome these? 

The major drawback is definitely traveling. It’s very difficult to maintain your balanced nutritional plan, when the only food selections around you are fast food restaurants.  To overcome this challenge, I typically pack FiberOne Bars and apples in my suitcase. It’s pretty amazing how full you become eating those two items. I also generally purchase a grilled chicken sandwich from a fast food restaurant. I have to admit, at times, I do succumb to the combo meal. However, I pay for it with an intense workout afterwards.

What are your healthy living secrets?

My healthy living secret is to partner with someone to stay healthy. Without my wife, I would have a difficult time. It can be a spouse, companion, friend, colleague, or associate. Encourage each other to eat healthy. Plan workout dates or even report to each other what you have done, good and bad. It really helps.

Do you have a favorite charity? What kind of charity have you been involved with?  Tell us about your charity.

My favorite charity is Rosie O’Donnell’s, Rosie’s Theater Kids. Rosie’s Theater Kids is an arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the arts. Using professional teaching artists, Rosie's Theater Kids provides instruction in dance, music and drama and a professional theater experience for children who might otherwise not have the opportunity. Blazetrak has supported this organization through in-kind donations, including capturing some of their highlighted moments on video (http://vimeo.com/29853752). Blazetrak Co-Founder Nathaniel Casey sits on the Jr. Board of Rosie’s Theater Kids as well.

Blazetrak has also recently become a premium sponsor and has partnered up with event producer Faisal Al-Juburi, who has assembled a consortium of not-for-profit organizations – including Friends In Deed; God’s Love We Deliver; Hispanic Federation; International AIDS Prevention Initiative; The NAMES Project Foundation; and Rosie O’Donnell’s Rosie’s Theater Kids - to serve as beneficiaries of funds raised at a gala event to be held in New York City during the week of World AIDS Day. This event, centered around a staged reading of QUILT - A Musical Celebration, will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the AIDS crisis and the 25th anniversary of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. A large scale viewing of portions of The Quilt is also planned to coincide with the reading, curated to reflect panels made by and/or for New York City artists in the fields of theatre, music, and fashion.

Lastly, we’re also working with Blazetrak Advisory Board Member, Candice Cook, who has connected us with several global organizations. She is assisting us with developing a solution to integrate our technology with the non-profit sector, to spread awareness and receive donations online via our platform.

 

 


Heidi, Lonneke & Antoniette

Operation Smile Ball 2012

In 2012 OYL, Antoniette Costa and myself joined the Trump & Hearst family to support Operation Smile during their 10 year anniversary event at Cipriani Downtown, NYC.

Heidi, Lonneke & Antoniette
Heidi, Lonneke & Antoniette

 

Operation Smile Logo

 

dresses
The dresses that were sent to me and I could choose from....

What to wear

My lovely agents Peter & Emerson from IMG arranged a few beautiful dresses I could pick from, I asked my Instagram/Twitter followers which one to pick, and the most votes went for the golden dress by Kaufman Franco. I felt like old Hollywood glamour wearing it!

dress Operation Smile
.... And the dress I chose to wear by Kaufman Franco!
Lonneke Red Carpet
..and working it on the red carpet!

What kind of Operation Smile foundation?

Operation Smile is a great foundation that has one particular focus: helping kids around the world with facial deformities by giving them proper medical care, so they can function normally physically as well as have a normal social life. Deformities include cleft lip and a cleft palate. This does not only affect a child's appearance, and how other children interact with them, but can cause other health problems such as hearing disabilities, having issues with breathing, swallowing and chewing. Every 3 minutes somewhere in the world a baby is born with a cleft. It is a serious widespread problem. While the Western world has the resources to help affected children,  in many underprivileged countries there is simply no medical help available. The doctors of Operation Smile go to these countries and bring their medical expertise to help as many patients as possible. Usually a child with a cleft requires multiple surgeries, as one mother explained to the full room of 500+ guests during this night, but the results are great with a relatively small amount of money. $240 is good for one child's surgery. That's why I like this charity, as it focuses on one problem that is quite easy to take care of. It does not cost a lot of money and it really helps one child with a very low chance of succeeding in life, to start dreaming again like every child should be able to.

 

Operation Smile
The dinner table at Operation Smile

 

We enjoyed a nice dinner, musical performance, and John Salley was the funny host of the night. Guests included President Donald Trump, who brought his whole family (his son Donald Trump and his wife Vanessa are on the Board of Operation Smile), Including Ivanka, Eric and Melania Trump. Of course there were a lot of beautiful women like Miss Universe Leila Lopes, Miss USA Alyssa Campanella & Miss Teen USA Danielle Doty, (Donald Trump is the owner of these pageants), IMG Models Heidy de la Rosa & Mackenzie, Lydia Hearst (who gave a nice speech about her recent trip to Panama for Operation Smile, Katie Lee & more.
What got me most was when they showed a video of a little girl in South America, who was hiding first behind a stuffed animal to hide her cleft, then she got surgery. They filmed her when she got to see her face for the first time. Her reaction was worth a million bucks, she was so happy!
It was a really nice night to celebrate with all nice people who donated so much to this charity, all the successful operations Operation Smile has done. Kudos to them!

Ambiance Operation Smile
Ambiance Operation Smile
For more information on Operation Smile, go HERE>.
To DONATE directly, go HERE>
 Love, Lonneke

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Art of Giving and Getting Back

Every year you have to do your taxes! I hope that in the last calendar year you contributed to a charity in some way, shape or form.  If not, start contributing now for next year’s tax return.

How to pick your charity of choice

If you are contemplating making a charitable contribution, make sure you make smart choices to maximize the benefits.  For example, when picking a charity you should inquire as to how the nonprofit is spending your money. You would want at least 75% of a donation to go towards a program. You can inquire about actual amounts of aid distributed and how the charity is fulfilling its mission.  If you are donating cash, you should write a check directly to the charity because if you pay with a credit card, charities lose 2% to 3% processing fees to the card issuer.  If you are shopping, be on the lookout for stores that donate a percentage of your purchase to a charity.  If you can’t afford to give money to many different charities, the smart choice is to focus on one or two charities so that your donation will have a greater impact.  Moreover, if you do not have cash to donate, giving your time or physical goods such as canned food and gently used clothing can have just as much of an impact.  Also, you should watch out for scams, which use names that are confusingly similar to legitimate charities.

Charitable donations can be tax deductions

If you have donated to charity, apart from helping others and boosting your own health and emotional well-being, on a practical level, your donations to charity are tax deductible expenses that can reduce your taxable income and lower your tax bill.  So you are giving and getting back. In order to be tax-deductible, you must ensure that you: (1) actually donate cash or property; (2) contribute to a qualified tax-exempt organization; (3) be able to itemize; and (4) meet record keeping requirements.  It’s time to use your organization skills and keep excellent records of your charitable contributions!

For deductions less than $250, you must obtain a receipt or letter showing the organization name, location, donation date, and item description, and you must keep a written record of:

  • The name and address of the organization to which you made your contribution
  • The date and location of the contribution
  • A reasonably detailed description of the property
  • The fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution, and how you computed the fair market value
  • Your cost or basis in the property
  • Whether there were any terms to your donation

For deductions more than $250 but less than $500, you must meet all documentation requirements for donations of less than $250, and ask for and keep a written acknowledgment of your contribution, with the following information:

  • A description of the donated property
  • Whether you were compensated for your donation
  • A good faith estimate of donated goods

For deductions more than $500 but less than $5,000, you must meet all documentation requirements for donations of more than $250 but less than $500, and you must make a record of how you acquired the property, the date of acquisition, and your basis in the property.

For deductions more than $5,000, you must meet all documentation requirements for donations of more than $500 but less than $5,000, and you must get a written appraisal from a qualified appraiser.

Donated items, such as cars, clothing, and household goods, must be in good condition.  You cannot make a deduction if the items are less than in good condition.  You should keep a detailed list of the non-cash goods you donated to charity, along with a description of their condition.

What contributions are not tax deductible

There are, however, contributions that are not tax deductible.  For example, contributions to political parties, political campaigns, or political action committees, individual people, professional associations, labor unions, chambers of commerce, or business associations, for-profit schools and hospitals, and foreign governments; and the value of your time for services rendered to a non-profit.  Therefore, make sure that if you want to claim a charitable deduction that the charity or philanthropic organization you select is a tax-qualified organization under IRS rules.

Charitable purchases are only deductible in the amount exceeding the worth of the item purchased.  For example, if you attend a gala dinner for $1,000 for a charitable organization, the deductible amount is equal to $1,000 minus the fair market value of the dinner.  If the cost of the actual dinner is $100, then you can deduct $900.  You should keep all documents for any and all of your charitable cash contributions.  You should have receipts from the charity, a cancelled check, or credit card statement to prove the donation.  Even though you don’t need to mail in the receipts with your tax return, in the event the IRS decides to audit you, you will then be able to show supporting documentation.  Generally, household and personal items may be deducted at their fair market value. A good way to get the fair market value of an item is to determine what the item would sell for at a garage sale, flea market, or thrift store.

I hope these general tidbits help you maneuver your way through your charitable contributions this year.  You should definitely consult a lawyer or tax advisor if you have questions regarding your specific situation.  If you make smart choices and keep organized, everyone will be able to benefit from your charitable contributions!

NOTE: The information contained in this article is intended to provide general information and does not constitute legal or tax advice. The content is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and the author, and you should not act or rely on any information in this article without seeking the advice of an attorney and tax advisor. First published in 2012.


KOMERA PROJECT Event with Kate

KOMERA PROJECT Fund raising night

Hello- everyone,

I am a freelance makeup artist who works in the Fashion and Beauty industry.  I have been a contributor to the OYL Magazine for the past few issues and I'm really excited to be a contributor on the website now!

You will hear from me with everything regarding the natural approach to beauty and health for both inside and outside the body, and can't wait to share my inside secrets with all of you.

Kate with her supportive husband, Gabe

But for my first post, I wanted to start with one of OYL’s mission ,“Good Heart”, as it's also a big part of contributing to your healthy mind, and is a major factor to your overall health, skin and inner glow. Everything is connected, body, mind and soul.

 

Kate (middle) and Munemi(right)

I attended the KOMERA PROJECT fund raising event last Thursday night to support our contributor, Kate, who is also a co-founder of the project.  KOMERA PROJECT is founded by Margaret Butler who is a former primary school teacher, who spent a year in a remote village in Rwanda and saw a major need for a support system for girls who have the courage and desire to pursue secondary school, but who don't have the resources to do so.  In the area, only a few made it through elementary school and the others are expected to stay home and help with household duties and who do not have the opportunity to attend secondary school.  And the only way for them to change their life and get out from the circle of poverty is to gain more education.

The event was filled with people who care for the cause.  I later received an email with how much they raised that night and I firmly believe that this amount will change many girl’s lives, and they will be able to continue to grow and pursue their dreams.  For their $500 scholarship program, it includes; Full ride scholarship, uniform, books, pencils, pens, health insurance, transportation, feminine hygiene products, soap, mattresses, and soap.

I can’t wait to hear an update on how these girls are doing and what they will be doing in the future.  Kate, congratulations on the successful night and please keep us updated on the wonderful news...

For those who would be interested in the cause, please visit;

www.komeraproject.org

Just your love and small contributions can make a change.

Love,

Munemi


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

When it comes to this month, a lot of emotions are stirred within me.

It hits home, as I lost both my precious Mother & Grandmother to this devastating disease. It literally leaves me speechless.

I don't want to ramble on about the importance of prevention and easy detection. But as women, it is a MUST.

Feeling sexy and feminine is a huge gift we have as women, so let's celebrate it & make sure we are doing all we can to stay our sexy selves.

There are SO many Breast Cancer foundations, associations, merchandise and campaigns around the World. I know we can all do our part, and see this disease eliminated during our lifetime! Keep your eye out for the PINK RIBBON this month...I know it will be everywhere.

Leading a happy, healthy life is a gift, and we make choices each day to contribute to that! Choose health & life.


Kate Dillon and the Komera Project

Most of my career as Kate Dillon the model I have spent speaking out about positive body image, but over the years other issues have captured my heart and mind, including global poverty. 

How the Komera Project started

In 2009, I co-founded the Komera Project, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for secondary education to girls in rural Rwanda (Komera means “be strong, have courage” in the official language of Rwanda).  Educating girls is an essential part of breaking the cycle of poverty because educating girls has far-reaching impacts on health and economic outcomes.

I became interested in sponsoring secondary education during a trip to Zimbabwe in 2007.  I was on safari and visited a school in a remote, rural community.  These students impressed me so much – there I was in the finest outdoor activewear while these students shivered in cotton sweaters, shorts, and skirts in the 30-degree weather.  Many of the students didn’t even have shoes!  The teacher had to lead the students in a cute song and dance in the middle of the lesson just so they could warm themselves up in the unheated classroom.

Despite the difficulties these students faced, they were so committed to their studies.  They knew that an education was the only chance they had to transform their lives out of poverty.  One little girl there captured my heart, and I decided to support her education.  Then, in 2009, I met Komera’s other co-founder who had started a grassroots sponsorship program in Rwanda, and the two of us decided to join forces!

The Komera Project was excited to launch the Global Run for Komera.  The week of May 16th  2011, schools, organizations, and individuals all over the world hosted t fun runs to raise money for Komera Project scholarships.   We had a team running the International Peace Marathon in Kigali, Rwanda on May 22nd, and I joined the New York 5K on May 19th – my first race since giving birth to my son!  To learn more or to participate feel free to email me at Kate@komeraproject.org or check out myCrowdrise page!

love, Kate 

Kate Dillon and her son for Organice Your Life Magazine shot by Sterling Pierce
Kate Dillon and her son for Organice Your Life Magazine shot by Sterling Pierce

pictures courtesy of the Komera Project and Organice Your Life