Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Heart Chicago

It's been about 5 months now since we moved to San Francisco and I have to say that I am loving it!  But there are a handful of really important things that are absent in my West coast life, such as my family and friends, a job and my volunteer work.  There isn't much I can do about the distance from my family and friends besides stay in touch and visit often, I have been and continue to look for a job on a daily basis, but my slack in volunteering well that's my bad.  In Chicago I had a group of wonderful organizations that I would lend my time to so I wanted to give them a little shout out here and maybe inspire some of my Chicago peeps to check them out.

The organization I gave the most time to was The University of  Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital, this hospital dedicated solely to children is awesome! There are a bunch of different ways you can volunteer your time or skills, I chose to work in the Childlife Playroom interacting hands on with the little patients and their siblings.  My time spent with those children is something I will never forget and just thinking about them makes me smile.  I encourage everyone to check them out and see if you can lend your time, I promise it will change your life.

The next organization I worked with involves something that I am very passionate about, nutrition.  Common Threads teaches low income children about nutrition and well-being through hands on cooking classes and gardening.  You can volunteer your time to help with these classes or at their special events, they also have a new cookbook you can purchase.  I learned about Common Threads through A la Card Chicago.  A la Cards are one of my most favorite gifts to give, it contains 52 cards each with a different amazing chef/owner restaurant on it that serves as a $10 gift card.  It is a great way to get out and try new restaurants, many of which are focused on serving local sustainable foods, and at a discount!  They really do make a perfect gift for any occasion, housewarming, birthday, you-like-to eat, whatever!  And on top of all that awesomeness, A la Card donates $1 to Common Threads for each deck sold, so come on people get on it.

As you can probably tell, I love kids, which is why I chose to give my time to organizations that support them and why I have chosen to recently return to school for a Masters in Nutrition and Health Education. I have 2 good friends in Chicago who also love children, so much that they started their own company called The Glitter Girlz.  The Glitter Girlz are a fun bunch that host the most creative kids parties, I have had the wonderful pleasure of working some of these parties and they are such a good time!  Besides the parties, the Glitter Girlz do some great charity work supporting St. Jude's Hospital.  Last year I helped them put on a hat making event with over 250 girl scouts; the hats were then given to the St. Jude's cancer patients who had lost their hair during treatment. They are always looking for extra hands or donated supplies for these types of events so if you feel like getting crafty or throwing a party check them out.

These are just a couple of the groups that I have spent some time with in Chicago and now it is time for me to find some organizations here in San Francisco to lend my time to, if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!

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