5 Powerful Ways to Help Others This Holiday Season

Thank you Amnesty International USA for sponsoring this post.

5 Powerful Ways to Help Others This Holiday Season, with a focus on the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania #humanrights #ad #TheBerksKids #CLVR

Last night, Cassidy and Scarlet baked cookies together. I had received an ultimate cookie recipe book from my uncle last Christmas, and Cassidy had received an attachment for our mixer from my parents which would mean we wouldn’t have to scrape the bowl anymore. We were excited. I started to smell the cookies wafting through the house as I put some work stuff together and I followed the smell, entranced. We did a three-person taste test, although poor Des was asleep. They were good. Great. And after we had all sampled at least one cookie, Scarlet said, “They’re good. So now we go and give them to homeless people on the street right?” Not in this case but I’m not surprised she said it. It’s been a season of giving.

5 Powerful Ways to Help Others This Holiday Season, with a focus on the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania #humanrights #ad #TheBerksKids #CLVR

And it always is.

The thing is, my kids are naturally curious and inquisitive. They understand some injustices and pain, but there are some things that are hard to explain. I’m proud that we’re instilling in them the necessity for helping others, because I don’t think they always realize how lucky they are. It’s a hard balance to skate – wanting them to feel safe, protected and innocent. Shielded from the news of the world. And between using that knowledge as power. I want them to grow up with empathy.

A need to put back together what is broken. A need to put right what is wrong.

holiday season

1 – There’s something very wrong right now with the current situation at Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania. My #1 tip way to powerfully help others this season is to donate to a humans rights campaign like Amnesty International USA.

Families have been forced to flee their homes because their lives are under threat and their human rights are being violated. We all share a responsibility to help people who have lost everything, and to give them a chance to rebuild their lives safely the same way all of us would need to if we were in this horrible situation.

Parents are facing an impossible choice: stay and risk violence or flee to the U.S. and risk ending up behind bars with their children.

In August, four families were released after being held for nearly two years at Berks. Some of the Berks children spent a significant amount of their lives essentially behind bars, some learning to walk and talk in jail.

Whether for two weeks or two years, no family should be jailed for seeking safety.

Berks is currently holding at least 60 parents and kids. Many of them are from Central America, where Amnesty International has documented horrific violence.

If deported, many of these families will be facing incredibly dangerous situations, perhaps even death, upon their return.

We must do everything we can to ensure protection for people who are fleeing violence.

To find out more, you can read about it here and watch the Amnesty International USA video here.

When I think of the #1 way I want to help people this holiday season, that’s it. While I can’t yet explain it to my kids, I know I can raise them with empathy and kindness – and the subtle power of wanting to change the world, no matter what it takes.

I believe it’s our responsibility. And we will also employ these four other ways to help people:

2 – Send a letter or care package to a soldier overseas, and also reach out to a veteran locally.

3 – Think about where to send gifts. You can donate toys to kid through many programs, and by plucking an “angel” off a Christmas tree that lets you adopt an angel. Also think about bringing gifts to senior citizen centers and lonely neighbors.

4 – Pack stockings for people in homeless shelters and out on the streets, etc. Pack them with fun gifts, but necessary personal care items as well – like toothpaste, floss, snacks, warm gloves, socks, water, gift cards, protein bars, etc.

5 – Donate food, time, and/or money to your local food bank. You can also buy a food hamper for a local family.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

What will you do this holiday season to help others?

How to Prepare the House for Caregiving This Holiday Season

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyCareGivingStory #CollectiveBias

My family is no stranger to caregiving, and I’m proud I grew up with it in my life.

Here are ten ways to prepare your home (and yourself) for caregiving during the #holiday season, making it a place of comfort & joy! #MyCareGivingStory #ad

I think it goes with the territory of having a big family. My father passed away suddenly when I was nearly four-years-old, leaving my mom as a grieving, single mom of two. She later a married a man with three kids – who had also lost their mother young – and we became a big, blended family. In fact, we became the Brady Bunch! There were five kids – each of us with our own needs – but we all had our own bedrooms. Since our blended family had four family sides, we would often double up in bedrooms so that guests could have a quiet place to sleep. In fact, I think we had house guests more than we didn’t! Some stayed for long visits. With a big family, and a lot of friends, we got to grow up witnessing just how big our parent’s hearts are – to care for so many people without a second thought. I admire that so much. I strive to be that way, if I’m not already.

Here are ten ways to prepare your home (and yourself) for caregiving during the #holiday season, making it a place of comfort & joy! #MyCareGivingStory #ad

In fact, my parents are still that big-hearted and welcoming. We often shake our heads at the way they make it seem easy to throw a holiday party for 60 guests, or to host Christmas (breakfast, gifts, dinner) for over 18 people! It’s magic with them!

My dad’s parents are in their 90’s and he visits them weekly. My mom’s parents both lived to age 100, and my mom was the quintessential sandwich generation until my Nana Jane’s passing. She had the most beautiful 100-year-old birthday party. I watched the makings of her 100th birthday party come to life. My mom, with her big heart and attention to detail, planned it as exquisitely as she planned all of the birthday parties of our youth. My Rocky Horror Picture Show birthday cake when I was 13? It had black and red frosting. The carnival she made for my little sister turning five. The endless pool parties and Bar/Bat Mitzvah decorations and sign-in boards. The parrots that hung on my bedroom ceiling for years after my tropical party.

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Imagine doing all of that & more, and then planning a birthday party for your 100-year-old mother nearly a decade after the last of five kids has gone to college. It’s testament for them both – the one who gave life to the one who gave me life.

We all give each other life. It doesn’t work downwards. It works up and every which way. We hold each other up sometimes.

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From my parents, I have learned so much about how to be a caregiver, and how to set up your home for caregiving. We have many relatives and loved ones who need our help, and it’s because we have so many people in our lives. We’re LUCKY. Our hearts are opened wide each and every day, and especially this holiday season! Here are tips inspired by my family!

How to Prepare the House for Caregiving This Holiday Season:

1 – Is your toilet too low? A raised toilet seat is easy to install! You just need a screw, and no tools. Some even come with handles to make sitting on and getting up easier. You can purchase raised toilet seats online or in drugstores.

2 – You can rent a portable ramp that can be folded and transported in your vehicle. They are available in a variety of lengths and widths, and can be used for the front path, or even from steps to and from back doors and garages.

3 – You can also buy furniture risers! If a chair is raised a bit, it is easier to get on and off. Risers can be used for chairs, couches and beds!

4 – Beware of extra electrical cords. You can secure them so they are not a hazard. Run them along outside walls so no one trips on them.

5 – Include your loved one in holiday prep. There was a year in which my uncle had a hurt back and helped make magic cookie bars. Focus on the strengths they have, and let them help with small tasks. It can be such a happy experience.

6 – Try to schedule major holiday activities for earlier in the day. We all tend to become tired, hungry, cranky, etc. as the day goes on. For someone struggling already, this stress can be higher. Have a time of sitting later in the day.

7 – If people ask how then can help, give them something to do! They really mean it. Let them run errands for you, cook for you, bring food, or stay with your loved one(s) while you take a break.

8 – Try to keep a regular routine, even amid the holiday crazy. You want to make your loved one feel secure and protected. There will be slight changes in the home, but keeping as regular of a routine as possible is beneficial to your caregiving.

9 – Try to fit in some YOU time this holiday season. Use extra people to your advantage with help. Take quiet time to yourself to read a book, take a hot bath, or even take a much-needed nap. We all burn out when we try to do too much!

10 – Stock the home for comfort and necessity! What might that be, other than the small home changes listed above? We’re members at Sam’s Club and that’s where I pick up a variety of Poise® and Depend® products to help my loved ones.

You can get more info about Poise products here, and Depend products here.

I’m still going to tell you some of my favorite things about them, though!

Poise® Liners are specifically designed for Light Bladder Leakage (LBL). Poise® incontinence liners stay 3x drier than leading period-only liners**. The panty liner’s absorb-loc® core quickly locks away wetness and odor to help keep you fresh and dry. Poise® Maximum Absorbency Pads provide even more absorbency to give you the confidence and protection you need for your Light Bladder Leakage (LBL). Our absorb-loc® core quickly locks away wetness and odor, while the leak-block* sides provide discreet and worry-free protection. Depend® Fit-Flex® Underwear is purchased for women or for men, and it features all-around leg elastics and a smooth, close-to-body fit. The slip-on protection is soft, quiet & breathable for outstanding comfort.

Sam’s Club Family Caregiving is a powerful resource. Poise® and Depend® products can simplify your life and the lives of your loved ones. This is your one-stop shop for all of your caregiving needs. You get exclusive benefits by being a member at Sam’s Club, and it the in-club experience provides quality products at a great value. They are carefully designed to offer superior protection and comfort. This is about enjoying the time we share with our loved ones, and furthermore, sharing that enjoyment with people in need. Share that love. As a caregiver, to other caregivers, and to all.

Sam’s Club is your one-stop shop for all things caregiving, like prescription refills, free health screenings, and personal care/health-related products. They can help you to help your loved ones.

Additionally, you can download the Digimarc Discovery app and you can scan anywhere on the Depend packaging, and it will drive you to the Sam’s Club Caregiver website. There is new packaging on Poise® and Depend® products at Sam’s Club.

We can do this.

What are your tips for caregiving during the holidays? Find out more about Depend products and Poise products!