State Farm Neighborhood Assist

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for State Farm. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

State Farm Neighborhood AssistWhat is State Farm Neighborhood Assist?

Communities across the United States and Canada answered the call from State Farm to help create a positive impact in their community and submitted 4,000 causes as part of this year’s State Farm Neighborhood Assist. Now the top 200 causes have been selected by the State  and they need your “assist” to help vote them into the top 40. Through May 16, anyone who has the free State Farm Neighborhood Assist Facebook application can vote daily for their favorite cause, or causes, and help bring $25,000 to the top 40 vote getters. 

What to see a winner from last year? Check out this video …

Check out this infographic …
State Farm Neighborhood Assist Infographic

We love that 45 states had a cause in the top 200! You are certain to find a cause that is either local or close to what you support locally on your own!!

You can vote on the State Farm voting page! We were excited to find a local campaign to vote for when we went to vote! We voted for the GROWING MICRO BUSINESSES cause in Charlottesville, VA. It is local to use and it a great cause! Check out their submission:

How would you use the $25,000 to address an unmet need in your community?

Volunteers from across our community leverage knowledge, tools, capital, guidance, and support systems so that entrepreneurs with the passion/drive to build their own enterprises, but without resources, can do so. CIC would use the $25k will provide scholarships to help as many as 40 individuals take our 17 week entrepreneurial education workshop. Through a combination of a the workshop, mentoring, micro-lending and networking, entrepreneurs develop the skills, tools, and connections they need to launch or grow their business. After completing the workshop, they are eligible to apply for micro-loans to help finance their business.

How much of a lasting impact on your community will your cause have?

Each successful business in a low/moderate income neighborhood acts as a powerful model for others. With 51 graduates of CIC, 13 businesses have expanded, 10 new ones opened, and we’ve created 15.5 FTE jobs. 14 businesses are in development. 10 people who otherwise could not have received a loan have accessed $43,000. We empower people to make their dream businesses a reality! Beyond cultivating job opportunities and new businesses in our community, CIC creates cross community connections that will strengthen our community for years to come.

We are excited to help vote since we involved in our community. Just last week Brian went and delivered the Birthday Boxes the Girl Scouts made to the food pantry. We participate in Operation Christmas Child boxes too. We love to keep the kids involved in the community and hope to find a local project to help with this summer. How do you get involved in your community? Who will you vote for in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week is Coming!

Brian and I love working with Operation Christmas Child. We wrote a post last year and are excited to bring you several posts this year. National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child is next Week November 18 – 25. Our church is kicking off National Collection week a day early with a Packing Party. We can’t wait to show you how that event goes. If you are local to us, come join us to pack shoe boxes November 17 from 5-7pm at Spring Hill Baptist Church!

We kicked off the Operation Christmas Child campaign with announcements during all four services at our church. Brian shared the shorter version of Alex’s story video.

He also read a letter we received from one of the shoe boxes we sent last year. It was so exciting to get that letter and we are excited to keep in touch with that family. Brian also let everyone know that we had boxes all out in the hallway to hand out. We had been busy making boxes and have kept making boxes since that early November Sunday! We have been amazed at how many shoe boxes are leaving the church doors to be filled. I love seeing the kids carry them out the cars after services! It warms my heart!

Operation Christmas Child Donation Table

Last Sunday on our way out of church after Sunday School hour, we actually had to stop in the hallway and make some more boxes because the table was empty. Brian had just left 30 boxes on the table that Friday so our kids sat there and helped us get more boxes together before the last service that day ended. We will be working this week to add to the box pile before the Packing Party event! We love that our church is embracing the Operation Christmas Child mission!

To add a personal touch to shoe boxes this year, we also had a craft time at our church to support Operation Christmas Child. The kids enjoyed making bracelets (this is our Sophie) …

Operation Christmas Child Craft Time Bracelet Making

and loop potholders.

Operation Christmas Child Craft Time Loop Potholder

The kids that participated in our church’s Vacation Bible School this year made headbands so we will be adding those to the boxes at the packing party! Brian has been going through the collection boxes at the church trying to sort out all of the items in them into categories for the packing party.

Are you ready to make a shoe box? Here is what you can add:

  • TOYS: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy trucks, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.

  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

  • HYGIENE ITEMS: Toothbrush, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.

  • ACCESSORIES: T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries).

  • A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may write back.

  • DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

Find a collection location HERE!fb_cover_image_basbo

Don’t have a collection site near you? Make a shoe box online. We started an online campaign for shoe boxes. You can add the items to the shoe box and cover the $7 shipping cost to get the box to a child in need. Help us reach our goal of getting 10 shoe boxes made online!

We hope you join us this year in making an Operation Christmas Child shoe box either online or through a local collection drive. What is your favorite items to put in a shoe box? Leave us a comment and let us know your story releted to Operation Christmas Child!

State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant


What is the State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant?

Do you have an idea that would make your community a better place to live, and would $25,000 be a game-changer? State Farm is here with the assist. Now through March 6, people from the United States and Canada can submit a cause for a chance to win a $25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist™ grant.

I was trying to think of my passion in our community and I didn’t have to think long. My passions in this community are around the kids. Friday is the first Math and Science Night at Grace’s school. Why? I asked why there were not family learning activities at the school. I said I would help plan and then I ended up planning the whole event. My undergraduate degree is an engineering degree and I LOVE to hear about activities around the math and science topics. I know our kids will have an introduction to math and science being fun but that needs to be an option for all of the kids in our community. Yes, math and science can be fun. Dancing Raisins … Catapults … you know you would enjoy those activities too. I am so excited to share these with the kids on Friday.

Now it is your turn to think.  How do you come up with idea? Think about areas of your town that need improved. Think about a subject you love … education, safety, etc.!

We were excited to see an effort local to us as a winner from last year’s program! The PACEM Shelter project is located in Charlottesville, VA just near us. Our church is part of the efforts to help house these men in our community during the cold winter months. Brian spent one night our church with these men and they are amazing. This program is amazing. “PACEM provided shelter for 229 people last year (2011) during the cold weather months when the chance of freezing on the streets was a very real concern.”

Was a there a winner in your community last year? Check out the list to see. Maybe even take a idea to expand it your to area or your loves!

Check out this overview video of the program:

Be sure to check out the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Website for more information on how to apply. Just ready to vote? Head over to the State Farm Neighborhood assist voting tab on Facebook!

What would you nominate for the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant Program? Leave us a comment and let us know.

NOTE: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of State Farm and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Help Pfister Revitalize Homes with Rebuilding Together

Pfister and Rebuilding Together are partnering together to help build up communities. The work that rebuilding together does in local communities is amazing. The office I work in participates in the National Rebuilding Together Day where they help a local home owner. The tasks are often common tasks such as painting outside and inside the house, repairing boards around the house, repairs inside the house such as bathroom and kitchen maintenance.

While not updating houses, my Daisy Girl Scouts are working on a community event that I will be posting about soon. We will be creating Birthday Boxes for the local food pantry. We are excited to help some local children celebrate their birthdays with a cake and birthday supplies!

You can help Pfister and Rebuilding Together reach their goal buy “Like” Pfister’s Facebook Page and $1 worth of product will be donated!


Want to do more to help?  Join my Friends of Pfister Blog Hop!

  • Simply publish a post on your blog sharing how you get involved in your own community and encourage your readers to like Pfister’s Facebook page and join the effort for Rebuilding Together.
  • Amplify your post on Twitter using hashtag #PfisterHop
  • Link up your post on the linky so readers can “hop” the posts and read your experiences.
  • Encourage your readers to join the Blog Hop, too!  The more posts the merrier!  Host the linky code in your post so your readers can join in the fun!
  • Posts must be included in the linky by 11:59pm EST on April 30, 2012.  Only one blog post per domain name, please.

Pamper’s Giving Back to Little Miracles Program

I am excited to share with you about the 50th birthday of Pampers and the opportunity I had to participate in their celebration!In celebration of its 50th birthday, Pampers is recognizing how much parenting has changed over the years, and is sharing their belief that every baby is a little miracle that deserves to be celebrated, supported and protected, by unveiling its Little Miracle Mission campaign – a program that delivers acts of kindness to miracles and their families while encouraging parents to support others.

The brand recently kicked off the Little Miracle Missions campaign by delivering a giant act of support –donating care packages to Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) across the country. Celebs Joey Lawrence , Ali Larter, Mark Consuelos and LaLa Anthony were on-hand in New York City to personally deliver a care package and thank you basket to Mt. Sinai Hospital and their staff.

The public can easily participate in the Miracles Missions programs, and support little miracles across the country, by logging on to Pampers Facebook page ( Pampers is also asking everyone to pay-it-forward by participating in the first Little Miracle Mission- to congratulate and offer support to an expectant mother with a gift or surprise gesture. Once more than 2,500 people pledge that they have achieved this mission, Pampers will respond by giving baby showers to expectant mothers nationwide just in time for Mother’s Day. Pampers will issue different missions throughout the entire year to celebrate all aspects of parenthood, and with the help of parents, family and friends, they hope to touch the lives of every baby born in the next year.

As part of this program, I partnered with University of Virginia Children’s Hospital. They do a lot of work with children in the community and well from all over since they are a research hospital. When asked what they needed the most right now, I was told comfort items for those in treatment and for the siblings of those in treatment. So my kids and I went out shopping and ended up with Play-Doh, coloring books, crayons, and card games. These will be delivered to the hospital this week!

Now here’s where you come in! We’d love for Simple Budgeted readers to get involved in these random acts of kindness, too. Pampers would like to challenge you to find a way to celebrate, support or protect a new little miracle in your community by donating a $50 Visa Gift Card to you. Now what you do with that gift card is entirely up to you, but the challenge will be for you to decide its best use!

Some ideas we’ve heard is to use the money to purchase diapers for a family who could use them, use the money to prepare meals for a family, or even use the money to host a larger fundraiser for a family. We’d love to see your creativity come to life!

This drawing will end Monday, July 11th at 11:59pm EST. I may pick the winner using The winner will have 48 hours to reply with their address. You must include your email address in your comment or have it in your profile so you can be contacted if you are a winner! Please make sure I can see your email address!!! You must complete the Mandatory Entry for the additional entries to count.

This giveaway is open to US residents!!!

So how do you enter?

Mandatory Entry: Tell me your idea for using the gift card to support a new little miracle in your community!

Additional Entries:

1) Like Simply Budgeted on Facebook: (worth 2 entries! …maybe you can leave a comment on a post while you there … I miss seeing comments over there!;))
2) Follow me on Twitter. Leave a comment with your twitter name.
Tweet about this giveaway with this tweet:

#Win a $50 gift card to help a little miracle in your community @simplybudgeted #giveaway #giftcard #pampers ends 7/11

Leave a comment with the URL for your tweet. (One Tweet per day until end of giveaway!!)
4) Add my blog button to your blog. Button is in my sidebar! Leave a comment with the URL and where to find the link.
5) Follow me publicly through the Google Friends Connect on my side bar. Leave a comment with your name that you subscribe with.
6) Subscribe to my blog using the Subscribe To option on the sidebar. Leave a comment stating you subscribe.
7) Leave a comment in a Friday Favorite or Wednesday Random post! Leave a comment here with what you did (what post and what comment #). (worth 3 entries!!)

NOTE: I was sent a gift card to participate in this donation effort
in support this giveaway by a PR company associated with this effort. No other compensation was received. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Fundraising for UVA Children’s Hospital

I am not a big fundraiser person. I believe that you give when and where can give. I don’t appreciate phone calls, door-to-door sheets, or people just walking up to you. If I could give to every organization that asked, I could but I can’t. So if you skip this post, I don’t blame you and hope you find another great one to read!

That being said, when my husband and I signed up to do the UVA Walk for Kids, we knew there was fundraising for it. We knew that we could cover the fundraising minimum ourselves so we didn’t have an issue with the request for donations.

That being said, I will make a post about our efforts. We will be walking three miles (with three kids in tow) on June 5th for the UVA Walk for Kids. The UVA Children’s Hospital is a great resource for not only this community but for children all over who come here. I am blessed that my children have not needed the intense services they offer but I know many in the community do need their services.

If you would like to donate to my campaign or my husband’s campaign, you can click either of those links. It is all through the’s site so you know I won’t take your money and run with it!

I would say we appreciate your donations but really it is the kids who use these services that appreciate it. We are just doing the walking part of it!

Thanks for considering this as a worthy cause and watch for a picture of us as we walk!!