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Give Back This Thanksgiving. Kenwood Vineyards & WhyHunger

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Kenwood Vineyards. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

This Thanksgiving is the first Thanksgiving that Manny and Priscilla will experience in America. In one of Manny’s recent classroom assignments they were asked to write about Thanksgiving. On his paper he wrote: “I don’t know Thanksgiving. I wish to know Thanksgiving. I hope I know what Thanksgiving is.”

His homework made me realize that I haven’t done a good enough job of discussing what Thanksgiving is beyond eating the turkey.

Has Thanksgiving become solely about the meal? It seems that our culture almost skips over Thanksgiving and goes right to Christmas. Many of us even put up our Christmas tree and decorations on Thanksgiving or the day after. We are in such a hurry for Christmas to get here before Thanksgiving has even passed!

This Thanksgiving I am hiding the iPads, turning off the TV and making it more of a point to focus on THANKFULNESS and FAMILY.


Our church donates all of the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal to 40+ families in our community and our family is participating. I am making this a yearly tradition and involving my kids because we have so much to be thankful for and it’s important to instill giving back at a young age.

I don’t know about you, but my family likes to have a bottle of wine especially for special occasions. This Thanksgiving, the wine on our table will be from Kenwood Vineyards. As you know, I like to support companies that give back and this year Kenwood Vineyards will be donating $25,000 to WhyHunger in support of ending hunger in America.

WhyHunger is a recognized leader in the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment.

You can give back with Kenwood Vineyards by donating a virtual holiday meal for WhyHunger. Donate today or set up a team to challenge your friends to give back!

Kenwood Vineyards

Kenwood Vineyards is located in Sonoma Valley and is dedicated to producing premium wines, many of them from sustainably farmed grapes from Sonoma’s world class vineyards including Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Mountain.

In addition to using natural soil amendments and pest controls, each lot from each vineyard is kept separate throughout the winemaking process to ensure that the wines showcase classic character, subtle complexity and superb balance.

Kenwood Vineyards Wine

7 Social Good Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes are super popular right now and you can find monthly boxes of everything from jerky to kid’s crafts. Ever since I went to the AYA Summit in DC last month, I have tried to focus on what I can do to empower women from my own home. One of those ways is to buy fair trade or support products and businesses that donate back to non-profits.

Here are seven social good subscription boxes that would be a perfect gift for yourself or a gift this Christmas season!

7 Social Good Subscription Boxes


Trade As One - Fair Trade Subscription Box

Trade As OneThis fair trade subscription box is delivered to your door every 3 months and includes 12-15 ethically-sourced products. Each product in the box helps provide living wages to their producers all over the globe. This living wage can then help them enrich their families and their communities. It’s easy to enjoy healthy, ethical food and directly support the farmers who make it. Live Simply, Buy Ethically.

Price: $99/3 months

Love with Food Subscription Box

LOVE WITH FOODYou can choose from three different subscription box options: Tasting Box, Deluxe Box and Gluten Free Box. Each box is filled with new, organic or all-natural snacks. You can snack smart and do good at the same time because for each tasting box sold, Love with Food donates one meal to food banks such as Feeding America or Share Our Strength- No Kid Hungry. For every Deluxe or Gluten Free Box they donate two meals.

Price: Tasting Box $10/month, Deluxe Box $17/month or Gluten Free Box $24.50/month 

Click here for 50% off the Gluten Free Box!

Fair Treasure Fair Trade Subscription Box

Fair Treasure2-3 hand-picked quality fair trade jewelry, accessories and/or home decor is sent to your door each month.  By buying fair trade, communities are improved; nutritional needs met; health care costs are covered; the poor, especially women, are empowered, and protection for the environment is valued.In the process, you’ll get to explore the finest global designs and creativity — from the mountains of Central and South America, to the rural villages of India and Nepal, to the city streets of Turkey and Morocco.

Price: Monthly subscription $35/month. Discounts for 3, 6 and 12 months purchased.

Conscious Box Eco Friendly Subscription Box

Conscious Box“Scours the planet to bring you the absolute best ethical and sustainable everyday products. Together, we can create better lives, and build a more beautiful world.” Each box contains all-natural and GMO-free products. They always aim to support sustainable, fair trade businesses and are a member of 1% for the Planet, an organization that pools resources from businesses to support environmental causes. There are three option boxes: Vegan, Gluten Free and Classic.

Price: Plus Box Classic: $19.95/month Taster Box Classic: $9.95/month Discounts for 3, 6 and 12 months.

Umba Subscription Box

Umba – Umba box is for those who are passionate about handmade products. Umba empowers handmade artists and small batch producers both in the US and around the world to make a living wage. The scour the community for the freshest handmade goods including home goods, women’s accessories, stationary and bath products.

Price: Discover Box $25/month + shipping Delight Box $49/month + shipping

CauseBox by Sevenly

Causebox by Sevenly – Every three months you receive a box full of $150+ worth of Sevenly’s favorite world-changing products for women from socially conscious brands. A new, exclusive Sevenly product will also be included in each box. For every box sold, Sevenly will donate $7 to your choice of one of their partner charities. Every box contains a “Reveal Card” that helps explain how and why they chose each product, and also, what each inclusion means for the betterment of the global community.

Price: $54.95/quarter or $199.80 annually

Fair Trade Friday Subscription Box

Fair Trade Friday – Your monthly FTF box includes 3-4 handcrafted fair trade items, a signature handmade bag and a gift tag in case you’d like to gift any of the products. 100% of the proceeds support the artisans, over 300 women and their children from all over the world. Every box is a minimum $50-75 worth of product.

Price: Reoccurring monthly box $31.99, one-time box $35 plus $10 shipping.

Please let me know if you know of any other social good subscription boxes!

The AYA Summit

Photo credit: Karen Walrond/ONEPhoto credit: Karen Walrond/ONE

I had the privilege of attending ONE‘s Aya Summit in Washington DC centered around their newest program for Girls and Women in developing countries. The word AYA comes from a symbol that means “the fern” and it is a great West African symbol of resourcefulness and endurance. Interestingly enough, this symbol is from the Ashanti people of Ghana and it was actually the people of Ghana that led me to advocate for the women and children of Africa in the first place.

This one symbol was a great reminder of everything coming full circle on why I was at the AYA Summit and why I am choosing to use my voice and my blog to advocate.

If you didn’t know already, two of my children are from Ghana. They were adopted and came home on Christmas Eve of last year. Taking up this mission of advocating for the women and children in developing countries feels like my duty.

Getting to hear stories first-hand during my time in Ghana, I realized that the root issue of why children end up in orphanages is poverty. Whether that is parents dying early because of lack of healthcare, mothers feeling desperate with nowhere else to turn or the stigmas that children with mental and physical disabilities face in their communities because of the lack of education surrounding these issues. Because of my connection to adoption it gives me all the more reason to fight against the root issue: poverty.

The AYA Summit drained me emotionally, but also stirred something in me to stop just thinking about doing things, but to actually do them. That’s why going forward you will see a great emphasis on social good on this blog rather than just a few posts here and there. What does social good have to do with a site called “Busy Mommy,” you ask? I feel, as moms, there is even more reason to weave social good throughout all aspects of our lives because we are raising the next generation.

At the summit we discussed everything from child sex trafficking to Ebola and I left with an immense amount of information that I am still trying to process so that I can eloquently share on this blog and provide the most impact.

For you, as a blog reader and social media user, I condensed the summit into three things you can do right now to join in this fight against poverty and use your voice to make change and empower women and girls around the world.

1. Help replenish GAVI.

Since the year 2000 GAVI has saved more than 6 million lives by providing life-saving vaccines, but there are still 1.5 million kids who die around the world from vaccine-preventable deaths. Simply send out this tweet to the White House.

Hey friends, I need yr help. ReTweet: .@WhiteHouse: HELP save 6 M children’s lives by pledging $1 bill over 4 years to @GAVI #AYAaction

2. Support women and children by purchasing with a purpose.

Support companies like Heifer International, RED products, To The Market, FashionABLE, and the Kate Spade on purpose line. Especially with Christmas coming up you can lend your hand to causes like creating an AIDS-free generation or helping provide economic opportunities to empower women around the world.

3. End Ebola

Thousands of men, women and children are dying and more countries and individuals need to step up to put an end to Ebola. Don’t Let Ebola Dehumanize Africa. You can donate to these organizations that are working tirelessly against Ebola.

AfricareDoctors Without Borders - Catholic Relief Services - Samaritan’s Purse

When you see a need, it is important to act on it. That need may be in your own community or it may be an issue that your fellow brothers and sisters around the world are facing. You have the ability to use your voice to make change. You can start with the three points above!