Who Doesn't Love Shoes?


You guys, it's been an insane week! I've been dealing with a 3 day long headache - I was hoping it was weather related but it's not letting up so I might have to suck it up and see a doctor, I'm giving it a few more days. We had a foot of snow fall on us in the last 24 hours, causing NYC schools to be closed yesterday, which NEVER happens. I was telling a friend that in the 8 years my kids have been in school, this was our 3rd snow day. We baked cookies, shoveled the stoop steps and sidewalk and made a fort out of couch cushions. Then I took a nap while the boys had a wrestling match in the living room. A good time was had by all - and school is open today!! (woo hoo!!) That means it's Friday - again! Sheesh! Every Monday I wake up wondering what's in store for me this week and then I blink and it's Friday again. It's truly amazing how fast time really does fly. I've been doing research on different organizations to highlight for Pay It Forward and I came across this one yesterday and I can't stop thinking about it. It's called The Shoe That Grows, and it's a sandal that is designed to grow with your feet. Anyone can wear them. The founder of the company Kenton Lee had the idea when he was in Kenya in 2007. He saw children trying to fit into shoes that were too small or were full of holes because they didn't fit when he had the idea to create something durable and long lasting. This is genius!

The best part is that there are multiple ways to be involved with this amazing cause. Donate a pair - for $15 dollars you can donate a pair of shoes - yep, that's right, FIFTEEN DOLLARS and a child in need gets a new pair of shoes that will last up to 5 years. Distribute shoes - there are multiple donation partner levels for example $200 gets you 10 pairs of shoes to deliver to a place in need. Buy a pair - for yourself, your kids, whoever for $50 and that gets you your pair PLUS two pairs to be donated. You guys, this is such an amazing idea!! I signed up to be a volunteer for the company because I love their mission - I'm waiting for more info on how I can help spread the word.

So today, as you're lacing up your comfy sneaks or your super warm snow boots or perhaps slipping on your flip flops, think of all the kids that don't even have one pair of shoes that fit them properly. Bring your lunch to work and donate a pair of Shoes That Grow today!!

For more information about The Shoe That Grows - check out their website:

Fighting Autism - Year #2


Kicking off love month by spreading some LOVE! it’s time to Pay It Forward!! This week's post is a follow up from last year. I have a good friend who’s 7 year old grandson, CJ was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and they are on a crusade to make sure he receives as many resources as possible to help him reach his goals and dreams. Now, I’m sure most of us know someone who has some form of ASD, the spectrum is vast. In CJ’s case, his mom, Janita was on top of it as soon as she saw signs of a developmental delay. CJ has an older sister, Mya, and he wasn’t keeping up with hitting milestones the way she had as a baby. Janita and her husband Chris have been committed to making sure CJ gets all the help he needs when it comes to schooling and advancement. They will jump through any hoop, fight any denial and bust through any road block when it comes to CJ. Quite frankly, every parent I know that has a child with a form of ASD deals with hoops and road blocks every day. It’s exhausting, frustrating and time consuming. It’s a full time job making sure your child is cared for, is learning, thriving and growing without a stigma associated with it. It’s a constant worry when your child isn’t in your line of site, wondering if they’re okay, if they’re making it through the day without incident. It requires medication sometimes. It requires additional teachers and para professionals to help not only your child but the parents to navigate uncharted waters. It takes dedication, it takes money and it takes perseverance. I am in awe of the parents I see in our schools and neighborhoods advocating for their children and their needed resources.

I’m writing today to raise money for CJ and his quest to help others like him get the resources they all need and deserve. Last year, CJ and his family raised $14,000 for this cause!

This year they're at it again raising money for QSAC, a New York City and Long Island based nonprofit that supports children and adults with autism, together with their families, in achieving greater independence, realizing their future potential, and contributing to their communities in a meaningful way by offering person-centered services. Their goal this year is $15,000!!!

QSAC pursues this mission through direct services that provide a supportive and individualized setting for children and adults with autism to improve their communication, socialization, academic, and functional skills.

QSAC offers programs and services for both children and adults with autism. Programs for children include early intervention, preschool, school, after school, and in-home educational and support services. QSAC’s adult programs include supportive living, skill development programs, and in-home services. All of QSAC’s programs provide supportive and trained staff, high-impact services, and a commitment to quality.

In support of its direct service programs, QSAC works to be an innovator in the field of developmental disability providers by implementing new technologies to best support the children and adults in our programs. In addition, QSAC’s clinical and educational leadership teams regularly embark on research projects that seek to further unlock new and innovative strategies and methodologies for best supporting the learning outcomes of the individuals we serve.

To extend its impact, QSAC offers parent and sibling support groups, trainings, an annual conference for parents, and other programs that expand the community’s awareness regarding autism and access to services.

CJ will be bowling for dollars on March 18th and he’s also taking donations now. So what does your donation mean?

  • $25 = Support services for children and adults with autism
  • $50 = Sponsor supplies for one of our classrooms
  • $100 = Sponsor art supplies for one of our classrooms
  • $250 = Sponsor a physical education class for students with autism
  • $500 = Sponsor a tablet for a child or adult with autism
  • $1,000 = Sponsor a recreational activity for adults with autism

Today’s pay it forward is for CJ and all of the other families I know who are living with ASD. Give up today’s latte and give it to CJ and his crusade. Here’s the link

Thanks for your generosity and kindness! Happy Friday!!